Sydney visitors left impressed by city graduation parade

Australian cruise ship passengers (from left) Samantha Lloyd, mother Natalie Lloyd, family member...
Australian cruise ship passengers (from left) Samantha Lloyd, mother Natalie Lloyd, family member Marjorie Fester, Peter Lloyd and visiting carer Marie Zumbo (partly obscured, at rear) watch a University of Otago graduation parade. Photos: Peter McIntosh
The stars aligned for both Dunedin and  visitors when the peak day of the cruise ship season coincided with the start of the city’s record December graduation ceremonies.

Members of the Lloyd family from Penrith, near Sydney, visiting passengers aboard Ovation of the Seas, were delighted to have the chance to see the University of Otago’s latest graduation parade as it swirled  along George St after 11.30am on Saturday.

This was before a 1pm graduation ceremony at the Dunedin Town Hall. There was another graduation at 4pm.  Natalie Lloyd and husband Peter were both impressed with the  parade, and would like to see the idea adopted by the University of Western Sydney’s campus sites in Penrith.

Watching  it had been a positive, colourful experience, and they felt holding a public parade enabled the community to acknowledge the educational achievements of the area’s tertiary students.

Mr Lloyd said the parade was a "great thing" and he would "most definitely" like to see the idea promoted in Penrith.

Mrs Lloyd said the parade was also a "great" way of "celebrating achievement".

"It’s nice when they have something special for the graduates," she added.

University of Otago graduands surge along George St, Dunedin, on Saturday morning in the first of...
University of Otago graduands surge along George St, Dunedin, on Saturday morning in the first of three university graduation parades this month.
It was a bonus for them that the day of their visit coincided with the first academic parade and the first two university graduation ceremonies of the year.

Dunedin i-SITE manager Louise van de Vlierd said the colourful graduation parades were popular viewing for cruise ship visitors.

Much of the cruise ship summer season coincided with a time of the year when most of Dunedin’s tertiary students were out of town, and visitors otherwise would not realise this was a tertiary education city.

The combination of graduation parade, graduations and cruise ship visits added to the vibrancy of the city.

Port Chalmers was also busier than usual with passengers still streaming off the cruise ships in early afternoon, and a lively market running at the Port Chalmers town hall, she said.

Ovation of the Seas (4180 passengers), Golden Princess (2624) and Caledonian Sky (114) brought more than 6900 passengers and more than 2400 crew to the city, on the only day of the Dunedin cruise season when three cruise ships are scheduled to be visiting.

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