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Transit of Venus homecoming in Tolaga Bay

Announcement from the Royal Society of New Zealand


Members of the 20-member Transit of Venus Expedition that travelled to the UK in June will meet up again in Tolaga Bay, and report back to the Navy on the secret instructions given to them by Rear Admiral Ledson before their departure.

Commander Dave Mundy will bring the Resolution into Tolaga Bay on Thursday 29 July, and land a contingent of officers to attend the homecoming get-together at Tolaga Bay Area School, whose students won a place on the Expedition. It is likely that most of the Tolaga Bay community, which took such great pride in their success, will be packed into the school gymnasium for the event.

The other Expedition teams from Nelson College (teacher Dave Fairley and students Michael Potton, Michael Holmes, and Patrick Downey) and Pakuranga College (teacher Gordon Lawrence and students Riddhi Gupta, Sarini Naidoo, and Sandy Tsai), will be reunited with the Tolaga Bay team (teacher Eileen Harrison and students Hana Parata Walker, Sara Pethybridge and Dexter Waru) to report to Commander Mundy, and tell the gathering about the highlights of their two-week trip to the UK to observe the Transit of Venus and investigate the history of Cook's first voyage. They have each completed video accounts of their experiences, which may be viewed soon on Commander Mundy has invited the students to come on board the Resolution in the afternoon.

As well as the Navy and Expedition members, representatives from some of the organisations that organised and supported the Transit of Venus Expedition will attend the homecoming: Royal Society of New Zealand, Freemasons New Zealand, British High Commission, British Council New Zealand, UNESCO, Radio New Zealand, and e-net Ltd (developed the website in association with The University of Auckland).

Hugh Fletcher, who bought three volumes of the accounts of Cook's voyages at auction two weeks ago, has generously allowed them to be taken to Tolaga Bay for the event. These will be viewed together with a 233 year old volume owned by a Tolaga Bay resident, which featured in the video produced by the Tolaga Bay students.


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