As the History Team prepares to bring out William Colenso’s magnificent printing press for the forthcoming exhibition Oceania – Early Encounters (opening 6 August 2011), I am reminded that the Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery are planning ‘to celebrate the life and ideas of Colenso – one of the fathers of New Zealand – on the bicentenary of his birth’ from 9 to 13 November 2011.
The event programme will be centred around an academic conference. Here is their call for expressions of interest and papers:
“A printer and missionary, explorer and botanist, an MP and author – William Colenso was a maverick.
“Controversial, opinionated, insightful and passionate, he had a keen appreciation of what it was to be an inhabitant of these shores in its earliest incarnation as a world of Maori and Pakeha. It is only today that we can see William Colenso in the round: a talented polymath, at home crossing the Ruahines, providing Kew Gardens with knowledge of New Zealand plants, or writing and printing the only published eyewitness account of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
“The aim of the Bicentenary is to explore the breadth of Colenso’s life and ideas, so there are many ways to be involved whether your interest lies in botany, theology, New Zealand history, education or politics.
For more information about the symposium and call for papers, visit the Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery’s website.
I will be doing an exhibition on William Colenso at the Hastings City Art Gallery during the bicentenary celebrations if you are interested.
Terrie Reddish, artist
Whilst up in Pahia the other year, I was led to undertand that somewhere up there, there was a plaque in memory of William Collenso near the beach, but we couldnt find it… I was touring the area, with John King’s Gt. Gt. Granddaughter (one of the First Missionaries) It will certainly worth visiting Hawke’s Bay later this year to see the exhibition.,
Alas the HBMAG is closed for refurbishment, and as such there won’t be an associated exhibition. There will be, however, a whole programme of events, so keep your eyes out. If you are ever in Napier, the cemetary in which Colenso is buried is worth a visit – author Peter Wells and the museum archivist Gail Pope have been working with volunteers over the last few years to populate the cemetary with wild flowers.
All the best