by Roger Edwards, Special Projects Officer, Glasgow Zoopark, December
The official opening of the zoo, Wednesday 9th July 1947
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
director-secretary of the new zoo, Sydney Benson , addressed the
opening, his arm in a sling .
President, the Marquis of Bute, spoke.
Dr James Johnstone, also spoke (see note ).
Marchioness of Bute, wearing a Zoological Society broach, was presented
with a carved box (see note ).
These notes come primarily from a taped interview with W.R.S. MacKenzie
(Society President) and others in July 1987.
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
Dr James Johnstone here looks much more aggressive than
he ever was in real life.
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