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Dunedin is the second largest city in the South Island, and the only real "University Town" in the country. Founded by the Scottish Free Church, the city was originally to have been called New Edinburgh. "Dunedin", more interestingly, is the old Gaelic name for the same city. Even today, the city still retains a strong Scottish flavour; there's haggis at New Year's, a statue of Robbie Burns in the town square -- or rather the town Octogon -- and the sound of bagpipes to accompany every occasion.

When Mark Twain visited Dunedin, he had this to say1 about the subject

When I was passing through the North Island, I noticed that on the gates in the fences on each side of the railroad right-of-way there were signs that read, `Please close the gate', in the characteristic polite way of the English. But when I passed into Otago Province I noticed that the wording of the signs was different. They read, `Any person who fails to close this gate after passing through it will be subject to a fine of five pounds'. Then I knew that I arrived where the Scots ruled.

While we can hardly agree with the prejudice expressed, we are grateful for the results of this Scottish rule, including the Neo-gothic architecture exemplified by "First Church" (1873, Presbyterian) shown at right.

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