Lord Provost takes celebration of Scottishness to another hemisphere

Lord Provost, Donald Wilson, will tomorrow (November 30) take to cyber space to join St Andrew’s Day celebrations taking place on the other side of the world.

A live link-up has been arranged between Edinburgh and its twin city Dunedin in New Zealand, some 12,000 miles away.

British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell will host hundreds of guests, including Commonwealth Games Chef de Mission Rob Waddell and Visit Scotland Chair Mike Cantlay in the Glenroy Auditorium, Dunedin. She will welcome the Lord Provost to the proceedings at 8am (9pm NZ time), which will have added significance thanks to the arrival of the Queen’s Baton on the latest leg of its globetrotting relay.

The Lord Provost will share his excitement over the packed programme of events planned to mark Scotland’s National Day in Edinburgh, the centre-piece of which is in the City’s Grassmarket. He will be joined by Jodi McGinty, a Youth Legacy Ambassador from Edinburgh, who will talk about her involvement with the Commonwealth Games.

Lord Provost Donald Wilson said: “It says so much for our culture – and technology – that we are sharing our St Andrew’s Day celebrations with people on the other side of the world.

“Next year is a huge year for Scotland and for Edinburgh and I am very proud that, as a co-host, we will play our part in next year’s Commonwealth Games. Of course, 2014 is also significant in that it will be 40 years since we became twinned with the beautiful city of Dunedin.

“I understand that the New Zealand team will be staying with us during the Games and I can promise them the warmest of Scottish welcomes here in the Capital.”

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, is currently in Australia and New Zealand as part of the Queen’s Baton Relay tour, spreading the word about the incredible year of events taking place in Scotland in 2014 and meeting with bodies such as the Scottish Australian Heritage Council, Tourism Australia and Tourism New Zealand.

On Thursday evening, he addressed delegates at a special ‘Scotland Welcomes the World’ reception at Auckland Museum and will be among those wishing a ‘Happy St Andrew’s Day’ to the Lord Provost during tomorrow’s live link-up with Dunedin.

Mr Cantlay said: “Almost everyone I have spoken to here in New Zealand has told me that they have Scottish ancestry and the strong ties between our two countries are further demonstrated by this wonderful joint celebration of St Andrew’s Day.”

Edinburgh and Dunedin were twinned in 1974 but the links go back to 1848, when the latter was founded as a Scottish Presbyterian colony. Its name comes from Dùn Èideann, Gaelic for Edinburgh, and many of its streets share the same name, such as Princes Street, George Street and York Place. The Dunedin Room in the City Chambers is panelled in indigenous New Zealand (Rimu) wood.

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