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Kicking Horse Rock Arrives At Te Papa

2 November 2007

Kicking Horse Rock Arrives At Te Papa For Explorer’s Symposium – Monday 5 November

The symbolic boulder, from Kicking Horse Pass in the Canadian Rockies, will be on display at Te Papa from 5 – 12 November to mark the centenary of the death of explorer and scientist Sir James Hector. It will be officially received and put on display during a small ceremony at Te Papa on Monday 5 November, attended by Hector’s descendants. Media are welcome to attend.

Hector was a member of the Palliser expedition, from 1857-60, exploring the Rocky Mountains and seeking a pass that would connect eastern and western Canada. Hector’s party discovered the pass that is now on the route of the Canadian Pacific railway, but he almost lost his life when kicked by a horse.

The Canadian High Commissioner worked with the town of Golden, near Kicking Horse Pass, to select and package the boulder that was then freighted to Vancouver by Canadian Pacific Railways. The boulder arrives in New Zealand on the inaugural direct Vancouver-Auckland Air New Zealand flight today.

Geologist Hamish Campbell will deliver a free public lecture “Buried Alive at Kicking Horse Pass: the Remarkable Exploits of James Hector”, at 6.00pm on Thursday 8 November, in Soundings Theatre at Te Papa. This lecture is part of a wider commemoration of James Hector including a symposium, a reunion of Hector descendants and the dedication of a new park near Percy’s Reserve by the Hutt City Council.

James Hector’s name is familiar to most New Zealander’s through Hector’s dolphin, Mount Hector in the Tararuas, the Hector Range near Queenstown, and the settlement of Hector on the West Coast. He set up the forebears to Te Papa (formerly the Dominion Museum), GNS Science (formerly the New Zealand Geological Survey) and the Royal Society of New Zealand. Hector founded the Wellington Botanic Garden and is also featured in Te Papa’s The Scots in New Zealand community exhibition on Level 4.

ENDS

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