150th festivities a family affair

Canon Michael Wallace, his mother Margaret and son Ewen  Clarke-Wallace at the University of...
Canon Michael Wallace, his mother Margaret and son Ewen Clarke-Wallace at the University of Otago campus during 150th anniversary celebrations last weekend. PHOTO: MARGIE CLARK

A family with a long history at the University of Otago attended its 150th anniversary celebrations in Dunedin last weekend.

Dunedin North Anglican Parish vicar Canon Michael Wallace, the Selwyn College chaplain, said his mother Margaret Wallace (nee Simpson, 82) travelled from Christchurch to be part of the event.

As a music student at the university, she composed a piece for the university's centenary celebrations in 1969.

The piece, Centennial Suite 1969, was performed by the Dunedin Civic Orchestra at the Dunedin Town Hall, as part of the centennial celebrations in 1969.

After completing her study in Dunedin, she completed a PhD in music education at the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch.

At the Dunedin Town Hall on Sunday, June 2 - 50 years after her piece was performed - Dr Wallace heard her grandson, Ewen Clarke-Wallace (15), sing in the 150th anniversary gala concert, as a member of the Southern Youth Choir.

"She was very proud,'' Mr Wallace said.

Mr Wallace sang in the university's 125th jubilee celebrations in 1994, as a member of the Capping Sextet.

Dr Wallace's great-uncle, Alexander McNab, studied at the university in 1892, and her daughter, Alison Isadora, was Mozart Fellow at the university in 2001.

If Ewen attends the university, he will be the fifth generation of his family to attend the institution.

Dr Wallace returned to Dunedin in 1988 to serve as warden of Salmond Hall (now College), then as warden of Studholme Hall (now College) until her retirement in 2002.

SHAWN.MCAVINUE @thestar.co.nz

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