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Historic Surveyor Thomson Painting Donated to TSS Earnslaw

Historic Surveyor Thomson Painting Donated to TSS Earnslaw

The TSS Earnslaw’s centenary celebrations this year have sparked a link between the 100-year-old steamship and the Central Otago Surveyor Thomson vineyard whose namesake, John Turnbull Thomson, officially named Mt Earnslaw at the head of Lake Wakatipu, during his tenure as Provincial Surveyor of Otago in the mid-19th century.

Mr Surveyor Thomson as he was commonly known was appointed to the role in 1856 after a period as Government Surveyor in Singapore.

His great-great-grandson David Hall Jones, formerly of Invercargill and now based in Hong Kong, planted the first grapes at the Lowburn vineyard 12 years ago naming it after Surveyor Thomson, in recognition of his contribution to the exploration and mapping of southern New Zealand.

Surveyor Thomson Wines is providing the official centenary wine at the TSS Earnslaw celebrations in October, but to further cement the connection with the TSS Earnslaw, a print from an original oil painting of Queenstown Bay, painted by Thomson in 1868, has been presented to Real Journeys.

Unveiling the painting in the Earnslaw’s fo’c’sle bar on Saturday Hall-Jones said while his great-great- grandfather was best known as a surveyor he was also an accomplished artist and today several of his paintings are housed in Dunedin’s Hocken Library.

“It is a real honour to partner with the TSS Earnslaw. My great-great-grandfather named Mount Earnslaw after his father’s village (formerly Herneslawe) in Eccles in Berkshire and at Surveyor Thomson we believe we need to cherish our heritage and this is a significant opportunity to do so.”

Hall-Jones said heritage is a key element in the Surveyor Thomson brand. “If our generation doesn’t guard our history and culture it will be lost.”

Real Journeys CEO Richard Lauder paid tribute to Surveyor Thomson Wines for donating the painting which depicts Queenstown Bay as it appeared in the 1860s. “The Surveyor Thomson links with the TSS Earnslaw are significant and the steamer has a dominant profile in Queenstown Bay. It is very fitting and we have selected a prominent place to display the art work with a special plaque indicating the importance of the work.”

The Surveyor Thomson 2009 Pinot Noir, which recently won a silver medal in the Decanter World Wine Awards, is the dedicated wine for the TSS Earnslaw centenary featuring a specially designed centennial label.

The TSS Earnslaw centenary celebrations will be held in Queenstown from October 14-22 2012.


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