Castle Tioram

I am writing this on a sad day.  We have just returned from a funeral for Lazar (Larry) Fainberg who was a long time caretaker at the Scottish Cultural Centre to hear the news of the terrible fire in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Larry’s family and to the people of Paris, France, in fact all over the world for their loss.

Many days spent in the garden so far this month clearing up and still more to do.  We have filled many green bins – 5 were emptied this morning.  It seems a never-ending cycle – get the leaves, twigs, ferns, etc. hauled away and bring fresh soil in.  The garden does look much better though – a reward for all that hard work.

Thank you for all who came to the Ceilidh Dance in March – my birthday dance!  It was good to see family and friends there to share some cake and enjoy all the dances that Alison taught.  I don’t have another birthday this month but perhaps you do and what better way to celebrate than at the Ceilidh Dance.  We need to have a larger than average turn out at the next Ceilidh Dance again.  You can help by coming along, by bringing friends (and enemies!) by telling people about the Ceilidh Dances, by bringing a group of 8 or more so that you all qualify for a discount of $1 (see 2 paragraphs down).

The next Ceilidh dance is on Friday, April 26, 2019 which is the last Friday of the month – and I hope to see many of you, and your friends, then, as it will follow the usual format with the “class” from 7 – 8 pm and the dance, with Calanais providing the music, from 8 – 11 pm.  Mark your calendars NOW!   Even if you can’t make it in time for the class; come to the dance, it is lots of fun.

If you have a group of 8 or more everyone in your group qualifies for $1 discount off the amazingly low admission price of $15 ($10 for students).  You have to let everyone in your group know the password you have chosen which you then relay to me ( before midnight on Wednesday, April 24.  So get busy, put a group together be it student friends or a faculty celebration, or an office get together, or a bunch of friends, or a birthday/anniversary/end of exams celebration, or whatever, we ‘d love to have you.

There are refreshments/drinks (including beer, cider, juice, etc.) available for a donation   So apart from the fun and great exercise of Scottish Ceilidh dancing there is all the ingredients for a great evening.

No need to be scared if you don’t know how – we will teach you and you won’t be the only newbie.  Two left feet? we will show you how to use the right one – it doesn’t matter, no ones watching anyway!  You will be a star before the night is out.  Make it a date – it will be a night you won’t forget.

Findhorn Bay

For those new to ceilidh dancing the class is a great introduction and you will soon find out you are not the only one who does not know their left from right or back from front!!  We teach everything and the dance follows the same format.  Everything is very relaxed so you don’t have to worry about anything.  If you can walk; you can dance.  Wear flat comfy shoes and loose, layered clothing as it is warm work reeling and spinning.

What is a Ceilidh dance? It is informal, easy Scottish Country dancing in a relaxed style for all ages. We teach everything, no experience or partner required just a desire to have fun an ability to move to the wonderful beat of the lively music and to enjoy the company of other like-minded folk.

Gruinard Bay

The next Ceilidh dance is on Friday, April 26, 2019 at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver with the usual class at 7 pm and the dance following from 8 – 11 pm. Pay at the door – $15 ($10 for students). Tell your friends etc. about the dances, they are lots of fun.

  • The other dates are
  •  April 26
  • September 27
  • October 25
  • November 29
  • 2020
  • January 10
  • February 28
  • March 27
  • April 24

The dances are all held at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver (73rd and Hudson which is between Granville and Oak Streets). They are all held on Friday evenings and where possible the last Friday of each month – the exceptions are December (as we never schedule one but we have one in early January) and January (because of Burns.)


Haddington on the River Tyne.


The next regular Ceilidh Dance is the Last FRIDAY of the April – April 26, 2019
I sure hope you can come and bring lots of friends.



Kelvinegrove Park, Glasgow

Are yer Scoattish ?

1. You consider scattered showers with outbreaks of sunshine as  good weather.
2. The only sausage you like is square.
3. You have been forced to do Scottish country dancing every
 year at secondary school.
4. You have a wide vocabulary of Scottish words such as numpty,
 aye, aye right, auldjin, baltic…
5. You destroyed your teeth when you were young using
 Buchanan’s toffee, Wham bars, Penny Dainties, MB Bars, Cola Cubes etc
6. You have an enormous feeling of dread whenever Scotland play a ‘numpty’ team like the Faroe Islands.
7. You happily engage in a conversation about the weather with someone you’ve never met before.
8. Even if you normally hate the Proclaimers, Runrig, Caledonia , Deacon Blue and Big Country, you still love it when you’re
 in a club abroad and they play something Scottish.
9. You used to watch Glen Michael’s Cavalcade on a Sunday afternoon with his side kick Lamp Paladin.
10. You got Oor Wullie and The Broons annuals at Xmas.
11. You can tell where another Scot is from by their accent – “Awright, pal, gonnae gies a wee swatch oa yur Sun ? Cheers, magic
 pal.” Or “Fit ya bin up tae ? Fair few quines in the nicht, eh ?”, etc
12. You see cops and hear someone shout ‘Errapolis’.
13. You have participated in or watched people having a ‘square go’.
14. You know that when someone asks you what school you went to they only want to know if you are catholic or protestant.
15. You have eaten lots and lots of random Scottish food like mince ‘n tatties, Tunnock’s Caramel Logs, oat cakes, haggis, Cullen
 skink, Lees Macaroon Bars, etc.
16. A jakey has asked you for money.
17. You think nothing of waiting expectantly for your 1p change from a shop keeper.
18. You know the right response to ‘Ye dancing ?’ is ‘Y’askin?’ followed by ‘Ahm askin’ and finally ‘Then ahm dancin’.
19. Whenever you see sawdust it reminds you of pools of vomit as that’s what the jannies used to chuck on it at school.
20. You lose all respect for a groom who doesn’t wear a kilt.
21. You don’t do shopping… you ‘go the messages’.
22. You’re sitting on the train or bus and a drunk man sits next to you telling you a joke – and asking ‘Ahm no annoying ye ahm
a?’ and you respond ‘Naw, not at a’, yer fine. This is ma stoap, but’.
23. You can have an entire phone conversation using only the words ‘awright’, ‘aye’ and ‘naw’.
24. You have experienced peer pressure to have an alcoholic drink when out – regardless of the circumstances.
25. You know that ye cannae fling yer pieces oot a 20 storey flat, and that seven hundred hungry weans’ll testify tae that.
  Furthermore you’re sure that if it’s butter, cheese or jeely, or if  the breid is plain or pan, the odds against it reaching earth are 99  tae wan.
26. You know that going to a party at a friend’s house involves bringing your own drink.
27. Your holiday abroad is ruined if you hear there is a heatwave in Scotland while you’re away.
28. Your national team goes 2-0 up again the Czechs in a qualifier in Prague and your mate says we’ll end up losing 3-2 here
 and you think “Probably”.
29. You can properly pronounce McConnochie, Ecclefechan, Milngavie, and Auchtermuchty.
30. Your favourite pizza is deep fried and battered from the chippy.
31. You’re used to 4 seasons in one day.
32. You can’t pass a chip shop or kebab shop, without drooling, when your drunk.
33. You can fall about drunk without spilling your drink.
34. You measure distance in minutes.
35. You can understand Rab C Nesbitt and know characters just like them in your own family.
36. You go to Saltcoats because you think it’s like being at the ocean.
37. You can make a whole sentence out of just swear words.
38. You know what haggis is made with and still eat it.
39. Somebody you know used a football schedule to plan their wedding day date.
40. You’ve been at a wedding where the footie results were read out.
41. You aren’t surprised to find curries, pizzas, kebabs, Irn Bru, nappies and fags all for sale in one shop.
42. Your seaside holiday home has Calor gas under it.
43. You know that Irn Bru is an infallible hangover cure.
44. You understand all the above and are going to send it to your pals.
45. and, finally, you are 100 per cent Scottish if you have ever used these terms – “How’s it hingin’?”, “clatty”, “boggin”,
 “cludgie”, “dreich”, “bampot”, “bawheid”, “baw bag” and “dubble  nugget”.

Thanks to the Celtic Treasure Chest there is now an online list of all the Celtic societies as well as a calendar of events:


The Celtic Treasure Chest on Dunbar is open 7 days a week and stock includes haggis imported from Scotland and many of your favourite foods.

Celtic Fashions on E-Bay – go to


The Scottish Cultural Centre is a pretty unique and wonderful asset and space is available for rent to anyone or any group. The Centre does not run itself but is actually run by the  Scottish Cultural Centre Society (SCCS). Memberships in this Society are for individuals only and presently cost $5 annually. Membership Application Forms may be obtained either at the Centre or on the USCS website – .

Any person may join SCCS and Scottish Country and Ceilidh Dancers are encouraged to show their support by doing so. If any SCCS member would like to be more involved, then, Darryl Carracher, the Manager at the Centre (604-263-9911), will be pleased to give you further information.


Loch Eck


The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, April 26, 2019. That will be the seventh one of  the season and the fourth of 2019. There is lots of time for you all to get yourselves and your friends organized to come along for another fun, filled evening. Come and dance, it is lots of fun and really easy. Everything is taught from scratch – you won’t be the only newbie!




Michelle has very kindly made up a Facebook event page for the Ceilidh but you need to “Search for Vancouver Ceilidh on Facebook and “Like” us to receive updates on upcoming Ceilidhs and other events”. Then, if you “Like” the Vancouver Ceilidh FB page (do as described above), you too will receive updates AND be able to share those updates and events on your personal Facebook page to your friends and ask that they “Like” and “Share”, etc. Ceilidh Dances are great ways to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries etc. Invite all your friends to come and join you at the Ceilidh. You are welcome to bring your own cake and we’ll even sing for you!!


view from Bracadale, Skye



I am sending this only to my smart friends.   I could not figure it out and had to look at the answer.  See if you can figure out what  these words   have in common.  



Are you peeking or have you already given up?

Give it another try.  Look at each word carefully.

(You’ll kick yourself when you discover the answer.)
 This Is Cool.





In all of the words listed, if you take the first letter, place it at the end of the word, and then spell the word backwards, it will be the same word.

Did you figure it out? 

Send it to more people and wreck their day !!


Some fun and interesting sites: – note if you have a link to something you think others will enjoy send me the link. Sound on, full screen:

Thought this was an interesting video – if you are interested in purchasing a home in London for 1M GBP………………….

Think you will enjoy this one……………….

If you like the Cirque-du-Soleil, you will enjoy this clip.  Full screen if possible.

You might enjoy this one – from “Britain’s Got Talent”……………………………




Reminds me of the civil servant (Humphrey?) in Yes Minister


COMING EVENTS IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS: Note – please check the Branch website for and last-minute changes.

Apr 15 Vancouver Branch end of term Ceilidh
Apr 26 Ceilidh Dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver – no partner or experience required – live music with Calanais – refreshments available – class from 7 – 8 p.m. followed by dance from 8 – 11 p.m. – all dances walked, talked and called – admission at the door $15 (students $10)
May  4 White Rock SCDC 65th Anniversary Dance In the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver at 3:30 pm with music by Alan Small (accordion) & Gemma Donald (fiddle) both of the Lomond Ceilidh Band.  The dance will be followed by a catered buffet dinner – Tickets $65 advance sales only contact Laurie 604-944-6678 or by email  
May 26 Fort Langley Whisky Tea Dance, Fort Langley Hall, 9247 Glover Road, Fort Langley at 2 pm.  Music provided by the Tartan Players.  Cost $20
May 27 Highland Games Massed Dance practice
Dear Fellow Dancer,
We hope that you will join us this year.  Practices will be held at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver on three Mondays prior to the games: 7:30pm to 9:30pm May 27th, June 3rd and June 10th.Mary Murray is once again putting together a set of dances for the demonstration.  Dances will not be difficult: everyone is invited to join in.  Come by yourself, bring a partner…better still, bring a whole set.Participants will receive a discounted ticket into the games. Please let us know if you will be joining us.   Many thanks,
Jean Wagstaff and Fran Hillier, RSCDS Vancouver Branch
Jean:  Ph: 604-371-1939
Jun   3 Highland Games Massed Dance practice Practices will be held at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Jun   8 Seattle Branch Summer Ball in Leif Erikson Hall, 2245 NW 57 Street, Seattle, WA  98107 with music by Giants’ Causeway Scottish Dance Band.  Tickets (prices in US $) by March 31 $55; by May 24 $60; at the door $65.  Information:
Jun 10 Highland Games Massed Dance practice  Practices will be held at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Jun 15 BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival
New Location:
Lafarge Lake Park, 1240 Pipeline Road, Coquitlam
(Close to Percy Perry Stadium)
June – August Monday evenings from 7 – 9 pm Dancing in Stanley Park – dates to be confirmed
Jul 26 – Jul 28 The Teachers’ Conference Weekend will be held at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  From March 1 to May 15, 2019 early-bird pricing will be in effect.  Registrations received after May 15 will see a 10% increase in fees.  We encourage you to register early to secure your space.  Details of fees and registration forms, staff, class levels, evening dance programmes, accommodations, and local/campus information are available on the TAC website.     For the Teachers’ Conference Weekend (open to teachers holding RSCDS teaching certificates at all levels, and Associate members of TAC) go to
Jul 28 – Aug 4 Summer School will be held at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.   Details of fees and registration forms, staff, class levels, evening dance programmes, accommodations, and local/campus information are available on the TAC website.  For Summer School (open to dancers of all levels from basic to experienced) go to
Sep  6 Vancouver Branch A.G.M.
Sep 27 Ceilidh Dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver – no partner or experience required – live music with Calanais – refreshments available – class from 7 – 8 p.m. followed by dance from 8 – 11 p.m. – all dances walked, talked and called – admission at the door $15 (students $10)
Oct 25 Ceilidh Dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver – no partner or experience required – live music with Calanais – refreshments available – class from 7 – 8 p.m. followed by dance from 8 – 11 p.m. – all dances walked, talked and called – admission at the door $15 (students $10)
Nov 11 Lady Aberdeen Tea Dance
Nov 29 Ceilidh Dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver – no partner or experience required – live music with Calanais – refreshments available – class from 7 – 8 p.m. followed by dance from 8 – 11 p.m. – all dances walked, talked and called – admission at the door $15 (students $10)
Dec  8 56th annual Gleneagles ball at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Dec 28 Betwixt & Between Dance



 The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, April 26, 2019. Same time, same place, same amount of fun and entertainment. Now it is up to you all to help by planning on coming along and bringing loads of friends, family, acquaintances, etc. Please do your best to spread the word. Let me know if you would like a poster to put up.

Anstuther marina


What a great gift this newsletter would make (and it is free!!) Please pass along the website to your friends and ask them to subscribe.

Please keep opening the newsletter!! Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.




If anyone has any suggestions or complaints regarding the newsletter, please let me know – Please do not complain to your server that this is junk mail. There is a link on the e-mail should you wish to unsubscribe.

Looking towards Arran’s Holy Isle


Come Scottish Country Dancing – it is lots of fun. Just ask anyone who came along to the Dancing in the Park. We had great audience participation so I hope you will all come along and join one of our great classes or at least come to one of the Ceilidh Dances.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, April 26, 2019 (i.e. the last Friday of the month) with live music by Calanais. This is the seventh of the season. We would like another good attendance, like we had at the last dance, with everyone coming along for a really fun evening.

Balmoral Castle

You still have time to spread the word about all the Ceilidh Dances as that is the best (and cheapest) form of advertising. It is great exercise and fun, for all ages, too. Here is a link where you can watch a short video of a Ceilidh Dance: and here is a link to the Facebook advert:
The format for all of the regular monthly Ceilidh Dances will be the same with the class from 7 – 8 p.m. and the dance from 8 – 11 p.m. and all dances will be walked and talked through.

They are all held at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver. The price is only – $15 or $10 for students which, for what you get is a super bargain – everyone is welcome. No partner is required and you should wear FLAT, comfy shoes and loose clothing. Children are also welcome but should be prepared to dance with other people as some of the dances require a change of partner. Don’t forget to bring a few extra $$$$ to help defray the cost of the refreshments which are otherwise free.


The Branch has opened a Facebook Page at “RSCDS-Vancouver” – check it out there are some good pictures etc. There is a link on both our website and the Branch website



Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes are a place where you will be made very welcome.  Try the link to “classes” or go to and check for a class near you or one that has a convenient time and try it out.

Dance - blue

Come to a class soon – You will be made very welcome. Many classes have a policy that the first night is FREE! Plan to come along to try out a class. There are classes all around and on different nights so GIVE IT A GO! Go to either or www, for a list of class locations and times.

For those who don’t know SCD is a fabulous pastime (much better and lots more fun than golf!!) and is super exercise for body and mind. SCD is, naturally, rooted in Scotland but there are groups in almost every country so you can learn here and then dance with other groups when you vacation or travel. SCD is not to be confused with Highland Dancing which is more solo dancing. SCD is usually done with a partner in groups or sets however you do not need to come with a partner. It is more akin to Square Dancing.

It takes a year or two of classes, workshops, etc. to learn the basics then you can hone your skills in advanced classes. You start by learning the steps and formations. Dances (of which there are over 13,000) are made up of these formations so a good grounding will give you the ability to learn a new dance fairly quickly. SCD has its HQ in Scotland and is known as the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) and there is a Vancouver Branch of the RSCDS under which there are many clubs throughout the Province (there is also a Branch in Seattle).

There are a great many classes and the ones in the Vancouver area are listed on the website. Come along – check us out – the first night is usually free and thereafter it will average about $6 a night and that’s for a 2 hour class!   You will find many friendly people who will be eager to help you and welcome you to their club. You never know you actually might like it!!  Check the list of classes at either at or Note that the latter website has the latest updates to temporary changes to times and locations.


as well there are classes all up and down Vancouver Island, a number of the Gulf Islands, the Cariboo, Okanagan, Sunshine Coast, etc. etc. and there are various groups all over this great Province, Country, World and who knows where else! Check the Branch website for all these details –


Bluebells at Kinclaven



For upcoming events see and

Other announcements etc:
Seattle Branch
– info at ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held Friday, March 29th, 2019 in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, (73rd & Hudson which is between Oak & Granville), Vancouver,

We need everyone to help us get as many new comers (as well as former Ceilidh Dancers) as possible to come and join us. The Ceilidh Dances are a great way to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Invite all your friends along. Contact me if you will have a group of 8 or more and we can give them a discount!!!

We Really NEED YOUR HELP to advertise the Ceilidh Dances!!!! It only costs $15 ($10 for students) – it is worth so much more in fun, exercise and camaraderie. Use any access to free adverts etc. You can also use things like the YouTube link or the Face-book page

Suggestions to improve our advertising are always welcome. Don’t forget to tell them about the website and get them to “subscribe” to the newsletter.

Most of you have been to at least one Ceilidh Dance so you know how it goes. You don’t need a partner; you don’t need any experience; you should wear FLAT soft soled shoes; we walk, talk, and call every dance and you should come to have fun and have a good evening of exercise and entertainment and maybe even to learn!

There is a FREE class from 7 – 8 p.m. and the dance from 8 – 11 p.m. with music by Calanais. Remember to bring some extra cash so you can make a donation towards the cost of the refreshments. Without these donations we will have to increase the price of admission again!!

The schedule for the 2018/19 season shapes up as follows:
All on Fridays of course and, except for January, it is the last Friday of the Month —

April 26
September 27
October 25
November 29
January 10
February 28
March 27
April 24

Come along and get some great exercise while also having lots of fun. We hope to have lots of new Ceilidh dancers. Remember to bring your smiles and wear flat shoes.
Please do your best to assist us in letting as many people know as possible. Use Face-book, e-mail, telephone or even word of mouth and tell everyone you know what a fun night it is.

We would like to attract more young adults and students from Universities and all the colleges. Somehow we have to get word out to these students etc. Please do all you can to help us. Come one, come all to the same place (Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver) and the same time (7 p.m. for the class and 8 – 11 p.m. for the dance) and the same amazing price ($15 or $10 for students.)


You should check the website – – from time to time as you can find various pages listing “Ceilidhs and Events;” Classes:” Duncan’s List;” etc. On these pages you can check all the upcoming events, where all the classes are located, times, etc. and some places to find Scottish things or some local trades, etc. I will continue to highlight the more current events in each week’s newsletter but, as stated, the calendar of all events will be available on the website.

You should also have a look at the Vancouver Branch website from time to time – – as there is always useful information on it and it is a very good-looking site.

If you have any questions regarding the Ceilidh Dances send them to me at Please check the website – for updates, pictures and news.

Dance – it is good for your health.

Keep sending jokes, pictures and info you wish to have included. Don’t forget to look at our web pages at If you know of anyone who would like to be on the mailing list please send them the web address – and ask them to subscribe.

C0mstoun Bridge near Kirkcudbright

If anyone has good pictures from the Ceilidh Dances please send them to me so I can put them on the web page. If you have any announcements please send them to me preferably in Word; Times New Roman 12pt format with a layout similar to the one used in this newsletter. I occasionally hear of an event somewhere in our beautiful Province, on the Island or in the Interior, but don’t know all the details.


This newsletter reaches out to some 385 subscribers from all over the Province, Country and to many other countries as well, so please send me the details of your event and I will only be too happy to include them.




Enjoy yourselves – come Scottish Country Dancing – for it is good for your health and you never know you just might …..!

See Coming Events on the website for info –

May your troubles be one, may your blessings be more,
and may nothing but happiness come through your door.

Duncan MacKenzie