As my wife and I were the only two South Island members to attend, we did get a special mention at our New Zealand CCS meeting held in Auckland in October 2017. We were highly impressed by the wonderful work the organizing committee had done in arranging this meeting. Thanks folks!
We were met at the Auckland Airport (despite me leaving my cell phone at home!) by Brian and Sheila Wyeth, and Dawn Lea Black, a US member from Alaska, for the start of a great weekend. We began on the Friday night with a visit to a favourite Japanese restaurant of John Steele’s. Brian had to teach me how to use chop sticks, but I steered away from the octopus. It was a first class night out, Cook style.
The meeting started on Saturday morning in the very smart Uxbridge Centre, with our President, John Robson, opening the meeting with his presidential address. We had him answering many questions all day; his knowledge is amazing.
The master of ceremonies (MC) was Brian Pilkington, who was appropriately fully outfitted as Captain Cook. Brian Wyeth was detail manager, Dr Nigel Rankin was technical manager, and John Steele was site manager.
All the subjects talked about by our speakers raised some very interesting questions, such as Did Cook take shelter from a storm in Wellington Harbour when looking for Adventure?
Dr Alison Sutherland spoke about goats, and one in particular, Cook’s Endeavour goat. Did it have a name, or was she just called Goat? Where was she buried? Cook noted in his personal diary that she died on March 28, 1772, and that she wore a silver collar. Where is that silver collar? It may tell us her name. Was she the first female to sail around the world twice? As goats on Arapawa Island, plus all the livestock Cook liberated elsewhere, leave us with a direct link with Cook, where did they come from? Was it the UK, or were they picked up on the voyage out? Dr Sutherland’s book No Ordinary Goat explains her battles to save these special goats.1 Her new book, due out early in 2018, and called Cook’s Ark, will cover more details on Cook’s animals, and how they survived.