Ceilidh Dance newsletter – 2012/13 #31  

The Memorial Cross of Lorraine on Lyle Hill, Greenock
(as requested by two readers!!)


Yet another of these pictures of Scotland that I have been sent without any note as to where they are. Last week’s picture brought at least two responses including one with pictures to prove that it was in fact Struan Cottage, Malacleit, North Uist and so it will be labelled.   So on to yet another new mystery picture.   It looks a quite a rocky rampart so maybe some climbers will recognize it.  Hopefully this week someone will know where it is – send me an e-mail – ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org    You can look back at prior newsletters and see previous mystery pictures etc.by going to our website  www.vancouverceilidh.org.

There were some very good pictures taken at the January 4, 2013 Ceilidh Dance which have been posted on the RSCDS Vancouver Branch Facebook page. If you do not want your picture on that page please contact web@rscdsvancouver.org. The link for the pictures is:


The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, April 26, 2013.   I am hoping that after the wonderful attendance at last Friday’s Ceilidh Dance with the Gordon Shand Band many will return again and join in the fun.   Plan to attend, mark your calendars and inform your friends.

A very enjoyable Heather Ball last night with about 150 dancers.   A pity more people did not come along but the good thing about the low numbers was that there was lots of room!!   Simon and his committee did a great job with all the preparations etc. leading up to the Ball as well as during the Ball and afterwards too.   The hall was tastefully decorated included bunches of the donated heather and we were charmingly greeted at the door and a heather corsage was pinned to our lapel etc.  Drinks and appetizers were served in the reception hour and then we all lined up for the grand march led by Michael on the pipes.

We danced the night away (all 18 dances) on that wonderful sprung floor to the super music of Gordon Shand and His Band.   The band was made up of Alison on the fiddle, another Gordon on the drums, Graham on the keyboard and Gordon on the accordion.   It was a great sound and an enjoyable tempo.   It was such a shame the band was only here for 3 days.   They arrived late Thursday and leave tonight.  Work and other commitments were the reasons.   I was fortunate to have been able to spend some time with them and found them to be a fun, enjoyable but very dedicated group.   They are definitely a team which comes across in their enthusiastic playing. It was very timely that they got to see Vancouver in the nicest weekend we have had this year.

The programme of dances was not overly challenging which is probably right for such an occasion.  We could all relax and enjoy ourselves.   Good to see some younger dancers from Bellingham as well as elsewhere.  The evening ended with a light supper, which seemed to be gobbled up very quickly, and some time for socializing.   Then time for home and rest our tired feet and bodies.

I am sure all who attended join with me in thanking Simon and the Heather Ball committee (and those added by absorption) for a job well and truly done.

Proofreading is a dying art, wouldn’t you say?

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks 
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half


A fun link – (especially for Grandparents and their grand kids!!)


Auld Country Tours who are a big supporter of our Ceilidh Dances are offering a special promotion:
“We still have space on our Scotland tours that are departing in July of 2013.  Any members or participants of the RSCDS can enter the promo code “RSCDS” and I will give them a $500 discount on the tour price when they book.  This is good for us as we look to fill our empty spaces on the tours, but this is a very good price for anyone wanting to go too!”
James Johnson [auldcountrytours@gmail.com]


A note from Dr. Leith Davis, School of Scottish Studies, SFU

As many of your know, National Tartan Day (April 6) is fast approaching.
Please join SFU’s Scottish Studies Centre for Tartan Day, 2013: A Tribute to Our Scottish Roots.

This event is taking place on Monday, April 8, 2013 from 7:30-9:30 pm. in Room 1410, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver.

We will be featuring the launch of our long-awaited “Scots in BC” website (with information on how you can add your family history to the site), a short talk on the history of “Scots in BC,” dancing with the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (Vancouver Branch) and other entertainment.

All are welcome! Please spread the word and come on down to Harbour Centre on April 8.


Sinclair Castle, Wick

Super music, fantastic crowd, good fun and lots of dances at the Ceilidh Dance last Friday night.   Thank you to everyone who came to listen and dance to Gordon Shand and His Band.   You did not disappoint me.   Just under 150 came along which, I think is a record.  It is so nice to have a good sized group especially when we are welcoming a band from Scotland.   It would be fabulous if we could keep up these numbers.

The band, even though they had arrived less than 24 hours before, were in great form and we were treated to some excellent, rollicking sets of reels and jigs.   There was only the slightest of complaints from them when I asked for a 7 x 64 reel!!   According to Gordon Shand we are the only ones in the world who have this dance – well it normally is 6 x 64 but because there was one extra couple in one of the sets they agreed to play an extra 64 bars.   Jim, the sound man helped a great deal too as he had rented the sound equipment and set it all up as well as packing it all away at the end of the evening.   Jim also did the sound for the Heather Ball last night.

With that number of dancers we had to open the partition and even then, for the circle dances, we had to have two circles.   There was a group of UBC students with one who was here on exchange while the others were all going to Scotland on exchange next year.   I hope they, and everyone else, had a fun evening and that you will all come back as well as telling your friends to come along as well.   I would love to run a Ceilidh Dance at UBC (SFU too!) and just need a group of students to organize it and I would be happy to come and call the dances.

The next Ceilidh Dance is not until Friday, April 26.   Same time, same place, same price, same amount of fun and entertainment.   Now it is up to you all to help by planning on coming along on April 26 and bringing loads of friends, family, acquaintances, etc. so we can end the season on a high note.    Please do your best to spread the word.

wild haggis

Registration for Alasdair Fraser’s Fiddle Camps in California, Scotland and Spain are now open.   Try news@aladairfraser.com for info.

Some local budding teachers are taking classes which will allow them to become certified Scottish Country Dance teachers. It is a five part course and takes a few years to complete. Examiners come, perhaps from Scotland or other areas of North America. The local classes are taught by Mary Murray. Part of the training is learning to teach a class. So they need volunteers to make up a class. (For some reason these volunteers are called stooges.) If you are interested – it really is fun and educational – in volunteering to be a stooge please contact Jean Wagstaff at jeedwag@shaw.ca


Pat has asked me to thank everyone who donated heather for the Ball last night.   It was very much appreciated and made very colourful decorations and corsages.


The Battlefield Band from Scotland (named after the area in South Glasgow where the Battle of Langside was fought on May 13, 1568 between the supporters of Mary Queen of Scots and those supporting her son, the young James V) are playing at St. James Hall, 3205 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver on March 30 and our own Demonstration Team will dance at the beginning of the concert.      Info & tickets www.roguefolk.bc.ca or 604-736-3022

A message from Mhairi who helped organize the Bust a Move Ceilidh for Cancer:

You will be pleased to know that after expenses we raised $4360 from the night.  Of course we couldn’t have raised anything without you, so I would like to offer a profuse thank you on behalf of the whole group.   Everybody that came along had a marvellous time and as usual have started asking about next year.


Muted blue dress Stewart kilt 22 inches long, waist 36-40 inches, kilt pin included, – $150
Green heather tweed day jacket made in Scotland with elk horn buttons size 38L – $60
Men’s sport coat in original Johnston tartan size 38L – $50
Black leather belt -no buckle-size 38 – $20
1 pr NEW men’s black dancing slippers size 8 1/2 – $10
Black cummerbund and bow-tie  – $5
Maroon cummerbund, bow tie and braces – $10

To view or for further information call: Joanne 604-521-8999

A new website for kilts and accessories. Prices seem excellent, no idea of quality or trustworthiness though: www.aglowmusichouse.com

Fantastic – subscriptions are over the 400 mark at last. This newsletter will go out to 415 people in many cities, provinces & countries.   Now my goal is to get to 500!! Please pass along the website to your friends and maybe they will subscribe – www.vancouverceilidh.org

Note: the Celtic Treasure Chest has some specials. – For the exact hours and more info see www.celtictreasurechest.ca. Just say you read about it in this newsletter.


There is a message from the 2013 Highland Games Committee that they are very much in need of volunteers for a variety of positions. Please contact Joan at jdrabyk@shaw.ca if you can help in any way.


it more-or-less came in like a lamb so beware the end of the month which also happens to be the Easter Weekend.

If anyone has any suggestions or complaints regarding the newsletter please let me know – ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org ==============================================================


Here are some quotes to inspire you….)
The most effective way to remember your wife’s birthday is to forget it once…

Whitehaven Harbour

Events happening soon include the Glenayre Dance on April 6 and the Children & Adult Workshop and Dance on the 13th
Please see “Coming Events” below for all information.

In Honour of Stupid People . . …
In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods.

On  an American Airlines packet of nuts —
“Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts.”
(Step 3: say  what?)

On  a child’s Superman costume —
“Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.”
(I don’t blame the  company. I blame the parents for this  one.)


This year’s TAC Summer School of Scottish Country Dancing will be held in Mount Allison University, New Brunswick. Registration for all levels from beginner to advanced is now open and information can be found at https://www.tac-rscds.org/

In case you hadn’t thought of taking a vacation “down east” in New Brunswick – think about it.   Teachers’ Assoc. of Canada Summer School is for all levels of dancer – they will have classes to suit all abilities.  You will have wonderful teachers and musicians….some elective classes, including different dance forms..…there are evening dances / Banquet and Ball / Ceilidh and optional tours during the week and at the end of the week for a few days….   Dancers will be there from around the globe – what a wonderful experience….seize the day if you have time and resources to do this….you won’t regret it!


Upper Largo


Mar 30 Battlefield Band, St. James’ Hall, Vancouver.   Info & tickets www.roguefolk.bc.ca or 604-736-3022
Apr  6 Glenayre Annual Dance in St. Laurence Church Hall, 825 St. Laurence Street, Coquitlam at 7:30 p.m. – $15
Apr  6 A Finn-Tastic Ceilidh raising funds for pediatric cancer research.  7:30 — 11:30 p.m. in the Vancouver Rowing Club with the Mad Celts.   Tickets $45 (cash bar).   Info & tickets from Steve r-m-i@shaw.ca
Apr 13 Children’s Workshop & Dance (there is also an Adult workshop) Highlands United Church, 3255 Edgemont Boulevard, North Vancouver.   Workshop 10:30 a.m.; Lunch 1:00 p.m. Dance 2:00 p.m.   Workshop & Dance — children $18; adults $20.   Dance only children $2 & adults $5  all info at 604-922-4406 or delbrookdancers@yahoo.ca
Apr 13 Nanaimo SCDC workshop & tea dance with teachers Rebecca Blackhall-Peters & Ruth Jappy along with musicians Alex Jappy, Deborah Jones and Julie Smith.   Workshop & dance including lunch & afternoon tea $55; Dance & tea $15; lunch $10 — info at www.nanaimoscd.com — you can travel to Nanaimo as a foort passenger and be picked up & taken to the workshop if arranged in advance.
Apr 13 Bellingham monthly dance
Apr 15 Vancouver Branch class party and ceilidh night 7:30 — 10:00 p.m. everyone welcome – $6 drop in.
Apr 20 Deep Cove dance in St. Catherine’s Church Hall, 1058 Ridgewood Drive, North Vancouver at 7:30 p.m.  —  $15   Music by Mary Ross

See website www.vancouverceilidh.org for a more complete list

Seattle Branch announces the start of their Challenge Class which are held on the 2nd Friday each month in the upper building, Room 7, Phinney Neighbourhood Association, 4532 Phinney Avenue, North Seattle at 7:30 p.m. Info at www.rscds-seattle.org

Next class April 12, 2013


Dalmeny House

When Insults Had Class
These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.

“Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” – Mark Twain


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If the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

McDonald’s is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

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Cuillins from Dunscaith Castle

The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, April 26, 2013 with live music by Calanaish.    You have lots of 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MvUwZnY9Ms

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. The price is only – $10 or $8 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.

Dunfermline Abbey

For those who enjoy listening to Scottish music, song, banter etc. try www.andysceilidh.co.uk/ this is a radio programme that you can get sent to you and listen any time you want. Andy is asking everyone to send in their requests so if you have a favourite Scottish tune, song, recitation, band, performer, choir or whatever send an e-mail to andyrossbw@aol.com


Crookston Castle

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

It really is never too late to come along and join in one of many Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes and well any time is a great time to do it. 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 next week. There are classes all around and on different nights so


Go to either www.rscdsvancouver.org or www,vancouverceilidh.org for a list of class locations and times.

For those who don’t know SCD is a fabulous pastime which 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 get the basics learnt 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 also are Branches in Victoria and Seattle). There are a great many classes and the ones in the Vancouver area are listed below. 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 www.vancouverceilidh.org or www.rscdsvancouver.org. 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, 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 – www.rscdsvancouver.org

Also the Inverary Step Dance class on Wednesdays in the French School, 1555 West 7th Ave., Vancouver- info b_campbell@dccnet.com


Riddles (answer next week)

Last week:

Five hundred begins it, five hundred ends it,
Five in the middle is seen;
First of all figures, the first of all letters,
Take up their stations between.
Join all together, and then you will bring
Before you the name of an eminent king.

Answer:   DAVID – (Roman numerals)

This week:

It cannot be seen, it weighs nothing, but when put into a barrel, it makes it lighter. What is it?



For upcoming events see www.vancouverceilidh.org and www.rscdsvancouver.org.

Other announcements etc:

Seattle Branch – info at www.rscds-seattle.org


The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, April 26, 2013 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 12 or more and we can give them a discount!!!   This is the last regular Ceilidh Dance of the 2012/13 season and it would be great if we could end with a really big crowd.

We Really NEED YOUR HELP to advertise the Ceilidh Dances!!!!    It only costs $10 ($8 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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh2HV3OPBgw or the Face-book page https://www.facebook.com/p.php?i=116203315&k=Z5C5Y4TZPT6G6BD1PKZZTWQQQ6BAW26L34AV&oid=164741310207760

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

The cost is still the amazingly low price of $10 or $8 for students and we provide refreshments although we do ask for your donations towards their cost. We always need your support both by coming along and by helping us to advertise these dances by whatever means you use to communicate with your friends be it e-mail, Face-Book, Twitter, Text or even telephone! 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 on 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 2012/13 season shapes up as follows:
All on Fridays of course —

April 26 – with performance by the Tam O’Shanter Dancers

Come along and get some great exercise while also having lots of fun. We are still working on improving the strength of the smile muscles as well as the bows and curtsies! 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 need to attract students from UBC, SFU and all the other colleges and universities. Somehow we have to get word out to these students. 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 ($10 or $8 for students.)
You should check the website – www.vancouverceilidh.org – 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 – www.rscdsvancouver.org – 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 ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org

Please check the website – www.rscdsvancouver.org for updates, pictures and news.
Dance — it is good for your health.

Crail High Street





Keep sending jokes, pictures and info you wish to have included. Don’t forget to look at our web pages at www.vancouverceilidh.org

If you know of anyone who would like to be on the mailing list please send them the web address – www.vancouverceilidh.org and ask them to subscribe. 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 415 subscribers (at long last we are over the 400 mark!) 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. Note:- I normally compose the newsletters on Sundays.



WHAT CAUSES ARTHRITIS?                      

A drunk man who smelled like beer sat down on a subway next to a priest.  The man’s tie was stained, his collar had red lipstick on it, and a half empty bottle of gin was sticking out  of his dishevelled coat pocket.   He opened his newspaper and began reading.

After a few minutes the man turned to the priest and asked, ‘Say Father, what causes arthritis?

The priest replies, ‘My Son, it’s caused by loose living, being with cheap easy women too much alcohol, not having regard for others and perhaps the lack of a bath’

The drunk muttered in response, ‘Well, I’ll be  damned, ‘then returned to his paper

The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologised ‘I’m very sorry I didn’t mean to come on so strong.   How long have you suffered from this painful disease?’

The drunk answered, ‘I don’t have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does.’



Gunknowe Loch, Tweedbank

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

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

Duncan ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org