The Otaki Scholar and Ōtaki: a legacy of World War I

For 75 years a student from a Scottish secondary school has travelled to New Zealand annually to visit selected schools and to see the country. The student, from Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon’s College, holds the Otaki Shield which commemorates a sea battle fought in the Atlantic during World War I.  A former pupil of Robert Gordon’s College, Archibald Bisset Smith, captained the SS Otaki which was sunk by a German raider the Moewe. Captain Bisset Smith went down with the ship and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery. In 1937 his family presented the Otaki Shield to the college in his memory.

This annual visit has helped to develop a strong relationship between Robert Gordon’s College, Ōtaki College and the Ōtaki community. Ōtaki  Museum is hosting an exhibition to commemorate 75th anniversary of the scholarship.