While Mr BG does not like bagpipes, hates The Proclaimers and prefers Irish whiskey to Scotch, he proudly declares himself to be of Scottish heritage.
In 1851 Alexander Finlayson emigrated from the Isle of Skye off the West coast of Scotland and settled in Ascot, just outside of Ballarat, near Clunes. He married Isabella McKay another emigre from Skye and went on to have scores of descendants, one of whom was my Mr BG.
Needless to say we will be going to the For Auld Lang Syne: Images of Scottish Australia from First Fleet to Federation, which starts at the Art Gallery of Ballarat this Friday 11 April.
This is an exhibition which brings together art and objects to tell the story of the Scots and their influence upon the cultural, social and politician life of Australia. Australia’s first Catholic saint, Mother Mary McKillop, is herself of Scottish parentage and learnt to speak Gaelic in her Fitzroy home as a child.
The exhibition is curated by Dr Alison Inglis, Associate Professor, Art History Program, University of Melbourne and Patricia Tryon Macdonald, curator, Exiles and Emigrants, Epic Journeys to Australia in the Victorian Era, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2005-2006).
The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue that will include essays by leading scholars on aspects of the Scottish presence in Australia.
There will also be a schedule of public and education programs. I am hoping for learning how to play the bagpipes, if only to tick off my husband…
For Auld Lang Syne: Images of Scottish Australia from First Fleet to Federation runs from Friday 11 April to Sunday 27 July 2014 at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, 40 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat. The Gallery is open from 10am-5pm daily.
The cost for this exhibition is Adults $15, Concession $10, Children free.