Scottish Centre for Island Studies

Scottish Island Studies@ University of the West of Scotland

Tristan da Cunha Resettlement 50th Commemoration November 2013

Image courtesy of British Pathe
Image courtesy of British Pathe

2013  SCIS Research Talks and Archive Screenings Media Academy Knowledge Exchange Event

Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Resettlement of Tristan da Cunha (1963-2013) Friday 1st November 2013   Venue: Wellington Suite, Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

Please note: This event is now FULL. No further places are available.

In 1961 the island’s volcano erupted and the entire community were forced to leave Tristan for safety with no prospect of certain return. The plight of the Tristan islanders was a global media event. Their story was one that intrigued  and invited comment in terms of our ideas of island living, remoteness  and sustainability in the changing  times of the early 1960s. These ideas continue to inform how we think and represent island communities today, here in Scotland, and beyond. The Tristanians were offered immediate refuge in Scotland, with Shetland playing a pivotal role, but they were actually ‘settled’ in England where they worked and lived for some two years.  In 1963 the islanders eventually returned to Tristan to rebuild their lives on this most remote of islands.  Today the community continues to thrive.

This UWS research and knowledge exchange event offers a series of talks and archive film and media screenings which each commemorate this remarkable story from the despair of 1961 evacuation to the elation of 1963 resettlement. It also provides an occasion to focus on the present, the successful rebuilding of a sustainable Tristan da Cunha and to invite reflections on 50 years of change on islands here in Scotland, in Tristan, and elsewhere. Our theme for the day is that of the images, the issues, and the reality of small island community life. Our examples are largely drawn from Tristan da Cunha but also from the island communities of Scotland, including the Hebrides and Shetland. A range of speakers including academics, educationalists, film-makers and island community enthusiasts will share experiences and information together with the audience.

09:30 09:40          Welcome and Introductions Scottish Centre for Island Studies

09:40 10:00          Opening Comments: Mr Chris Bates, Tristan da Cunha Government UK Representative

10:15 11:00          Tristan da Cunha ‘The Volcano Years 1961-63’: Media Archive and Representation in a Scottish  Context Dr Kathryn A Burnett, SCIS UWS Chair: Professor Neil Blain, University of Stirling

11:00 11:15          Refreshment Break (15 mins)

11:15 12:00          Tristan da Cunha: Marginalisation, Community and Islandness – the Shetland and Canna dimensions Mr Ray Burnett, SCIS UWS; Chair: Professor Mike Danson, Heriot Watt University

12:00 13:00          Screening: The Forgotten Island (1998) (Dir: Uwe Kersken) 48 mins BBC ”Under the Sun”, followed by a short Q & A

13:00 14:00         Break (60 mins)

14:00 14:30          Illustrated Talk: “Rockhopper Choppers”   Mr Bob Carse, Advisor to Tristan da Cunha Heritage Committee Chair: Mr Chris Bates

14:30 15:15          Screening: The 1991 Jim Kerr videosa Q & A session on Tristan community life

Mr Jim Kerr, Former Education Officer Tristan da Cunha Chair: Mr Ray Burnett

15:15 15:30          Refreshment Break (15 mins)

15:30 16:00          Illustrated Talk: Island Links – A Royal Society Expedition Link with Barra.

Mr Alasdair MacEachen, Islands Book Trust Chair: Dr Kathryn A Burnett

16:00 16:30          Screening: ‘Impressions of Tristan by David Mackenzie’   

 Mr David Mackenzie (Director), Chair: Mr Tony Grace

17:00 17:30          Final Discussion, Close and Thanks

Please note: This event is now FULL. No further places are available.

If you would like to attend this UWS Scottish Centre for Island Studies event then please contact to reserve your place, or call Dr Kathryn A Burnett on 01292 886482 with your details.  There is no charge for this event but please note places are limited. Refreshments and a light lunch will be provided for full day attendees. Alternative lunch for purchase is available on site and nearby.   All welcome.

Please note: This event is now FULL. No further places are available.

For directions to the venue please link here:

One thought on “Tristan da Cunha Resettlement 50th Commemoration November 2013

  1. The event was a great success with a full house of people from all corners onshore and off-shore of Scotland, Ireland, England and the Isle of Man. It was great pleasure to welcome so many to this Scottish Centre for Island Studies event and we were most grateful to the speakers, chairs and all guests for making the time and taking the effort to join is in this small commemoration research event.
    I am in the process of psoting up some photographs of the day to the and there are a fair few folk there to ‘spot’!
    Thanks to everyone involved for contributing so generously to the day’s success.

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