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Compiled by Roger Edwards, Special Projects Officer, Glasgow Zoopark, December 2000

5. The official opening of the zoo, Wednesday 9th July 1947

The Zoo was opened by the wife of the Society's president, now called the Marchioness of Bute.

The Zoo was opened by the wife of the Society's president, now called the Marchioness of Bute. Behind sits the Lord Provost of Glasgow, who, having recently received a knighthood, was now called Sir Hector McNeil.
The director-secretary of the new zoo, Sydney Benson

The director-secretary of the new zoo, Sydney Benson , addressed the opening, his arm in
a sling .
The President, the Marquis of Bute

The President, the Marquis of Bute, spoke.
Vice-president, Dr James Johnstone

Vice-president, Dr James Johnstone, also spoke (see note ).
The Marchioness of Bute, wearing a Zoological Society broach

The Marchioness of Bute, wearing a Zoological Society broach, was presented with a carved box (see note ).
 

NOTES:
These notes come primarily from a taped interview with W.R.S. MacKenzie (Society President) and others in July 1987.

1. Opening of Glasgow Zoo . Seated behind Sydney Benson are to the left Lord and Lady Bute, and to the right A. McNab Chassels and Professor Edward Hindle, up from London. Sydney Benson's arm is in a sling because, when demonstrating to the keepers how you should feed lions, he hadn't been paying proper attention himself, as he admitted, and the lion took a swipe at the chunk of meat on the end of the pole on which it was fixed, and it broke his wrist. London Zoo had lent an adult pair of lions (Singh and Topsy) and Dublin Zoo had donated a pair of lion cubs (Dublin being famous for its lions); the lions had arrived on 26th June. Sydney Benson had also picked up a frog which was the 161st exhibit; he may be holding it in the picture. The Benson children had been bringing all their pet rabbits and everything you could think of into the Zoo.

2. Dr James Johnstone here looks much more aggressive than he ever was in real life.

3. The Marchioness of Bute , wearing the wild cat broach and carrying a carved box. Vice-president A. McNab Chassels in the bow tie and the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Sir Hector McNeil. The child is said to be the daughter of Lady Bute (but is perhaps a Benson daughter).