Shetland Islanders visit HB
Ninety Shetland Islanders visiting relatives in New Zealand are in Hawke’s Bay this week taking in wineries and places of interest.
The Hawke’s Bay Shetland Island Society entertained the visitors in Napier last night with the music and dancing unique to the Scandinavian and Scottish culture.
The New Zealand connection is strong in the 100 islands that make up the Shetland group.
Only 15 are inhabited and the rest are famous as wildlife conservation areas.
They lie about 160km west of Norway.
Shetland Islanders immigrated to New Zealand in the 1920s and 40s. There are six societies around New Zealand.
Hawke’s Bay farms were of interest to the visitors. The Shetland’s 23,000 population rivals New Zealand for sheep a head, he said.
The group was also interested in a Taupo prawn farm. The Shetlands farms 30 per cent of Scotland’s salmon consumption.
New Zealand hospitality, accommodation and food, exceeded the group’s expectations, a spokesman for the party said.
The Scottish-Scandinavian ancestry of the islanders originated in the Middle Ages.
England’s [Scotland’s] King James III accepted the Shetland Islands as a wedding dowry from Denmark when he married Princess Margrethe in 1468.
Photo caption – Shetland Islanders at Brookfield’s Winery yesterday.