Anne DunnettDonald Sutherland and the Sutherland Falls
Duration: 11m 25s
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.