Newspaper Article 2011 – Book on Colenso for launch

Book on Colenso for launch

By Roger Moroney

Five days of remembering and celebrating the bicentenary of the extraordinary life of William Colenso will be launched at the Hawke’s Bay Club in Napier tomorrow.

The event will be attended by delegates who have arrived from all over the country for a two-day conference as part of the commemorations, with the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Chris Finlayson, carrying out the official launch duties.

He will also unveil a specially commissioned portrait of Colenso by artist Gavin Hurley.

The conference kicks off on Thursday from 9am at the Napier War Memorial Conference Centre with a highlight being the official book launch of Peter Wells’ five-year work – The Hungry Heart.

The book launch is set to take place at The Dome at 6pm on Thursday.

Mr Wells said William Colenso was seen as many things during his life.

“Both highly admirable and a ‘prince of humbugs’. It is timely for us to look back at this amazing polymath and celebrate his insights into the strange contradictions inherent to life in New Zealand-he can still tell us things we need to know.”

The bicentenary will also feature a series of talks and walks – the latter a trek to the foot of the Colenso Spur in the Ruahine Ranges on Sunday.

William Colenso frequently used the route over the Ruahine Range.

Special services are also taking place at Waiapu St John’s Cathedral.

On Friday an Evensong service will begin at 6pm, with Dean Helen Jacobi preaching on the life of Elizabeth Colenso.

“Elizabeth Colenso was a missionary in her own right.”

On Sunday at 6pm the cathedral will host a service led by Bishop David Rice, and the preacher will be the former Bishop of Waiapu, John Bluck.

Colenso had been an Anglican missionary but spent some time estranged from the church, although toward the end of his life he was reinstated as a priest and became the first vicar of Woodville.

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Date published

8 November 2011

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Newspaper article


Hawke's Bay Today


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today


  • William Colenso
  • Chris Finlayson
  • Gavin Hurley
  • Peter Wells
  • Dean Helen Jacobi
  • Elizabeth Colenso
  • Bishop David Rice
  • John Bluck
  • Roger Moroney

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