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Our Collection Wick Voices Johnston Collection The Garden Boats & Fishing

Anne Dunnett

Donald Sutherland and the Sutherland Falls

Born: 1942

Duration: 11m 25s

Type: Audio

Filesize: 10Mb

Recorded: 24 November 2017


About this recording

The 1904ft Sutherland Falls on New Zealand’s South Island take their name from Donald Sutherland, a soldier, sailor, fisherman, prospector and explorer who was born in Wick in 1843 or 1844. Anne Dunnett stumbled across this connection to her home town during a holiday to Milford Sound in the 1990s and she became fascinated by the story. She discovered more about Sutherland’s life of adventure on subsequent visits to New Zealand and also researched his Wick background; the Sutherland family lived in Bexley Terrace, overlooking Pulteney harbour. Anne shares some of that information in this interview.
It seems Donald Sutherland was always destined to make his mark on the world. Around the age of 12, he stowed away on a ship sailing to Leith (only to be brought back north by his father) and a couple of years later he ran away again, this time to join the army at Fort George – stuffing his boots with straw to make himself appear taller. Sutherland’s many escapades also included fighting with Garibaldi in his cause to unify Italy. Sutherland would eventually be known as “The Hermit of Milford Sound”. He died in 1919.
Anne is a retired Wick lawyer and retired Lord-Lieutenant of Caithness.


Hi Anne, Greetings from Auckland New Zealand!! Thank you for such an interesting commentary on the Sutherland Falls and the wonderful things you said about my country. I am also descended from the Sutherlands of Wick, my 3x great grandmother was Isabella Sutherland who came to NZ from Wick in October 1866. Two of her sons, married sisters in NZ whose father was James Leith, who also came from Wick. So from a small township in the far North of Scotland, I have some quite strong connections and heritage over a couple of generations on the other side and far South of the world! I would be pleased to hear from you as I am just researching the Sutherland connection and I'm sure somewhere we will be connected. My email address is registered now with The Wick Society and I can be contacted on that. Regards,Jane Gormican

Posted by Jane Gormican at 00:57:43 on 02/12/2017 - Report comment

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