Ōtaki Scholar Visits College

The Ōtaki Scholar, Hamish Atkins, arrived in Wellington on Monday 28th July. Hamish is the School Captain of Robert Gordon’s College (Aberdeen Scotland) and is the 71st Scholar since the inception of the Ōtaki Shield in 1937 in his college.

Hamish is a first class scholar and he will be studying engineering next year at Bath University. He has been working already on a project with Robert Gordon University building a submersible vehicle that can perform tasks out in the oil fields. He is a keen rugby player but also enjoys the outdoors through skiing, rock climbing and running.

Hamish attended the Powhiri at Raukawa Marae on Tuesday to welcome him into the town and was then treated to a tour of places of significance to the town and outlying areas. A huge thank you to Rupene Waaka and Nga Hapu o Ōtaki for organising the Powhiri. Also another big thanks to Andre Baker for giving up his day to act as tour guide.

On Wednesday, thanks to the continuing support of John Barrett and Kapiti Island Nature Tours, Hamish went to Kapiti Island overnight with our Head boy Hamish McMillan and had a great time despite the poor weather.

On his return from Kapiti Island Hamish was hosted by the Mayor, Ross Church, who presented him with a copy of the book “Kapiti Island” by Chris McLean.

Thursday saw Hamish return to a whakatau and full school assembly at the college where he was able to share his experience around being the 71st Ōtaki Scholar. After spending some time in the College mingling with the student body he went off to the surf club to experience his first RIB experience in the local surf. Thanks to the Ōtaki Surf Lifesaving Club for hosting Hamish.

It has again been a real honour to host Hamish and be the gateway to his New Zealand experience. The growing tradition of him starting his tour here in Ōtaki coupled with the longevity of this tradition makes the Ōtaki Scholar an event worth celebrating as something that is truly special and unique!