It has been a mite colder here than normal for this time of year with temperatures dipping down to as low as -7C even here at sunny Crescent Beach.   The days have been filled with sunshine but it was windy too so that made it even colder.    As advertised the Demonstration Team performed outdoors at the German Christmas Market on the plaza of the QE Theatre.   Despite the cold there was a queue to get in and we were well received.   We were all very cold and huddled in our jackets, coats, etc. between dances while most went in search of somewhere warm between the end of our first performance at 12:30 and the start of the second at 2:00.   Thanks to quite a few dancers who came along to give their support.   We did pass out (well not the dancers although Sandy did fall) quite a few brochures and had a few inquiries.


Practising before the demonstration.


Trip to Bavaria complete with travel bags

The stage was very small so our dances had to be just one set at a time.   We tried one set outside but the concrete was too cold on the feet which were already like blocks of ice.   It took a long time to thaw out.

Loch Lomond sunset

Loch Lomond sunset

Here are link another two Canadian regiments which were part of the decorations at the Lady Aberdeen Tea Dance on November 11, 2013.

Lady Aberdeen 6 Lady Aberdeen 7

Alison commented “The information was gathered off websites etc. It is only the basics of the wealth of historical and current information available. I included only the older ‘regiments’ – there are many other corps and units, plus naval ships and Air Force squadrons – and Engagement or Battle Honour information up to World War II. There is much more about each regiment’s more recent activities in Korea, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and many Peace-keeping duties.”

Note that the proceeds from the Lady Aberdeen Tea Dance were $2,608.00 and this was donated equally to the BC Poppy Fund and the BC Cancer Agency (for brain cancer research.)


River Don estuary 2

River Don Estuary

The Gleneagles Ball was held yesterday afternoon and into the evening – we got home just after 10 p.m. having left just after noon.   As always it was a very grand affair in the Pacific Ballroom of the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel.   This year it was even more special as it was the 50th Gleneagles Ball so there were many members who came along to join in the celebration though some of them did not dance too often.   Still, with 200 or so in attendance, the floor was filled with 3 lines of 6, 7 and maybe even 8 sets long.

The programme was made up of dances celebrating the club’s history and there was a programme for everyone with information about the club and the dances.   It was also the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra’s 21st time they have played for this ball so there was a special dance dedicated to them with the tune written by their leader, Janet Wright.

As has been the rule since the dance had to be moved to a Sunday afternoon – it got too expensive to rent the ballroom on a Saturday night – the event started with a great buffet lunch with salads, cold cuts, fish, hot vegetables, roast turkey etc. and then it was a huge grand march led by piper Michael Beech and on into the 19 dance programme (it is not surprising that my feet are a bit tired today!) and the evening ended with a wonderful dessert table.

Congratulations and many thanks to the Gleneagles club, and especially the Ball Committee, for organizing this tremendous event.   It was great to hear the letters from the Lieutenant Governor on behalf of her Majesty, the Mayor of West Vancouver, R.S.C.D.S. HQ as well as the Vancouver Branch expressing their good wishes.

Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra

An article in a recent edition of the National Post is applicable to the Ball and to Scottish Country Dancing in general. Check out Thanks Gill for the tip.


reindeer flashing lights

Local news — New Dance Competition for Book 49. Have you written a dance? Do you fancy trying your hand at writing a dance? The Vancouver Branch has been invited to submit one (1) dance into the world-wide competition for dances to be published by the RSCDS in Book 49. If you wish to submit a dance into the competition it must be emailed to not later than December 10, 2013 that is tomorrow!!!! To enter the competition you must be a member of the Vancouver Branch. A Vancouver Branch jury will review the submissions and submit the winning dance to headquarters in Scotland. Submissions must never previously have been published in electronic or paper form or submitted for Books 47/48. They should follow RSCDS terminology as closely as possible. Divisors may make only one submission. Full instructions and guidelines can be found at We hope to have a lovely lot of dances from which to choose THE Vancouver Branch Submission. If you have any concerns or questions do not hesitate to contact Fran Caruth at Good luck — We could get some great dances out of this! Fran Caruth, On behalf of the Branch


Some of the Branch Demonstration Team will be dancing at the Festival of Lights in Dundarave, West Vancouver on Saturday, December 14.   The Team will be dancing around 3 p.m.  Come along and give them your support and enjoy the Market as well.


At our recent meeting of the Highland Games Committee we identified some areas that we need volunteers for next year. Overall, the Games went very smoothly last year with a large number of new recruits to help us run the show. So going forward, we have identified a few areas that we really need help with – can you please ask your contacts and organizing committees and members as we need to fill these positions: Children’s Events Co-ordinator – organizing the line-up of events which is pretty easy to do, and day of just making sure everything runs smoothly Programs – this job takes more work in the last couple of months prior to the games, making sure all copy is submitted, having it put into a program and submitted to a printer. Sponsorship/Advertising and promotion – Cher is going to do the social media aspect, Mary Jane may be around to help out again for sponsorship and advertising, but we need extra help. Someone to develop an advertising plan, to find new advertisers and sponsorships, and to be responsible for writing requests for grants and sponsorships from a list that the City of Coquitlam has provided. So could you please circulate and any volunteers can contact Jim – Joan – or myself. Glenna Urbshadt –


The Vancouver Branch RSCDS are looking for a webmaster.

We are looking for an assistant for the new website. The site has been developed using WordPress and is designed to be easily maintained. Our web designer will set you up and get you started.

  • Do you have a PC or Apple with Internet access and browser?
  • Are you able to use a web browser, E-mail and word processor (such as Word)?

Then YOU have all that’s needed to help RSCDS Vancouver Branch continue to improve its online presence.     What is wanted is someone to do the picture posts (same person as loads them to Facebook) and someone to deal with the events.   This person would collect the information and they would be assisted with direction on how to deal with the website and for any issues or questions they may have.

Please E-mail – for more details or to express an interest.

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The following was received from a dancing friend whose son sent the following e-mail which is very interesting:

If you haven’t already installed the ‘find my friends’ app on your iPhone, you should do that now. It just saved Julia’s phone, which was stolen at the aquarium today. I chased after the gps signal from the aquarium to the miniature train ride, miss the thief catch a bus #19 a block away at Stanley park 1 minute earlier, then I chased the bus down Georgia in my car, the person got on the sky train (I couldn’t pursue for obvious reasons…two screaming kids in the car). We watched the GPS signal get off the sky train a bunch of stops later; then catch a bus to Burnaby then walk 10 blocks to her townhouse complex. Within an hour of getting home the police knocked on her door and promptly took the phone (and credit cards and cash) from her hands, thanks to ‘find my friends,’ Apple maps and google street view.

I could be specific to the police about the townhouse complex address, the specific row of houses within the townhouse units, and the likely door to knock on. They got it on the first try. Imagine her surprise when she got home in a small neighborhood 20 km away from the aquarium scene of the crime and the police came a knocking! 

 Love the technology, without the apps Julia and I would be out $600 for a replacement phone (and hassle to replace 10 of her credit/ ID cards) and still be waiting to see if the aquarium’s lost and found station in their gift store came up with anything weeks later 🙂

 Oh yah, Julia likely dropped the phone from her pocket while watching the aquarium interactive movie. Just a reminder to make sure you stow the devices away safely when heading out of the house.


Craig follows with this message:

 Feel free to forward the email. Of course the app works if there’s a data connection only, wi-fi or otherwise. ‘Find iPhone’ is another mandatory download. It runs in the background, and if the phone is stolen you log into your computer to see where it is via GPS, and if that doesn’t work you can either: 1 lock the device, 2 send the thief a message, 3 make the device emit a really loud sound that can’t be stopped or 4 erase the device completely.

 Winter - Aberfeldy Golf course

Aberfeldy Golf Course

Would you believe I had this letter all finished and just had the dem photos to include and 75% of the letter disappeared.   I save it at regular intervals so that was not the problem.   It is most annoying as apart from the time it takes I had deleted the used jokes etc. so had to find new ones  — SCREAM!!!!!!!! 



- snow

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 no guesses so here is another one. In these days of face recognition someone must have come up with software that recognizes places!!    Send your guesses to  You can look back at prior newsletters and see previous mystery pictures going to our website


santa & reindeer dance

The next Ceilidh Dance is the on Friday January 10th, 2014.   Right at the end of the festive season.   A great way to work off all those goodies you have eaten as well as to have a great evening of fun, exercise and laughter.  Please call all your friends and arrange to bring them along to the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver to the class from 7 – 8 p.m. and the dance following from 8 – 11 p.m. with the live music of Calanais.  Admission at the door is only $10 (students etc. $8).  No partner or experience necessary – just bring your smiles and I would suggest flat, comfy shoes.


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 The link for the pictures is:


SFU’s Tartan Day celebrations featured the launch of the long-awaited “Scots in BC” website with information on how you can add your family history to the site. The website can be accessed at: It is well worth a visit.


Winter - after the storm Portmahomack 200 year old wall


Some fun and interesting sites:

I am sure you have all heard about the terrible accident in Glasgow just over a week ago where the police helicopter crashed into a pub named Clutha.   Hughes Goldie kindly sent me some information about the origins of the name and the dance of that name and has agreed that I could include it here.



It doesn’t hurt to have a little Biblical humor to start the day….

Q.. What kind of man was Boaz before he married Ruth? 

A.. Ruthless.


Auld Country Tours are a big supporter of our Ceilidh Dances James Johnson []


santa & snowman


Winter - An Sgor, Meall Garbh, Mrall a' Bharr & Carn Mairg

An Sgor Meall Garbh Mrall a Bharr Carn Mairg
(I think I got that right!)

The next Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, January 10, 2014. 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 and bringing loads of friends, family, acquaintances, etc. We need to improve the attendance to make the dances financially viable. Please do your best to spread the word. Let me know if you would like a poster to put up.

Winter - Angus Glens from Gateside

Angus Glens

I start a new job in Seoul next week. I thought it was a good Korea move.


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


Fantastic – subscriptions are over the 400 mark at last. This newsletter will go out to 423 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 –

The new mailing system comes with some interesting reports. I can see who opens the newsletter and who doesn’t and how many reach different countries round the world. You would be surprised that no newsletter goes to Myanmar but 1 goes to India, 5 to Hong Kong and 6 to Japan. Only 54.5% opened last week’s newsletter.  Enough weeks have gone by using MailChimp so I can do a study to see if most of those who do not open the e-mail each week don’t open it any week. I know some of you go direct to the homepage so that would increase the statistics.   I have contacted the 76 people who have not opened a newsletter in the last two months to see if they want to remain on the mailing list.   They have until December 15 to reply.

Note: the Celtic Treasure Chest has just received large orders of Christmas items. For information on specials etc. call one of the stores – Vancouver 604-261-3688; Delta 604-940-5366 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

An online contact for dance and marching shoes (ghillies, pumps, brogues, etc.) is Bruce Griffith at



We have spent the quite a bit of time indoors getting our Christmas cards written etc. I took all our out of country mail to the PO this morning.   Did you know you can avoid paying the GST on international & US postage?   You need to take your mail to the PO.   tell them you don’t want to pay the GST before buying your stamps and they will comply so long as you stick the stamps on their and give the letters to them to mail.   Won’t work for just a few envelopes but we had over 36 international and another half-dozen or so for the States so it saved about $3.75 – and you thought I wasn’t a Scot!!




Events happening in the immediate future include the various class parties this week, Vancouver Branch tonight, Glenayre tomorrow, White Rock on Wednesday and I am sure Delta on Thursday and of course there is the Betwixt and Between on Saturday, December 28. – see website for date, time and location. Please see “Coming Events” below for all information.

Note:  Please order your tickets for both the Tam O’Shanter’s and the Branch Burns Suppers soon – all information is shown below.

Winter - Arbroath sunset



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.


Dec  9 Vancouver Branch Party & Ceilidh Night 7:30 p.m. in the   Scottish Cultural Centre – $6
Dec 10 Glenayre Christmas Party, St. Laurence Church Hall, 825 St.   Laurence St., Coquitlam – $8
Dec 11 Last Programme Class
Dec 13 — 14 Workshop and Grand Ball in Bologna, Italy with Muriel Johnstone   and Bill Zobel.  Check out their   website for all the information at
Dec 14 Bellingham Social
Dec 28 Betwixt & between Dance in the Scottish Cultural Centre with   music by Mary Ross — 7:30 p.m. FREE for all RSCDS Members – $15 for non   members.   A small offering of seasonal   fare would be appreciated.
Dec 28 — Jan 5 New Zealand Branch Summer School in St. Peter’s School,   Cambridge, NZ — info
Jan 10 Monthly Ceilidh Dance of the season at the Scottish Cultural   Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.     Class at 7 p.m. and dance following from 8 — 11 p.m. and all for the   fantastic price of $10 (students $8) — info 604-536-9481
Jan 25 20th Annual Tam O’Shanter Dancers Burns Supper in   Star of the Sea Hall.  Tickets $55 —   contact to order yours.   Note tickets will sell out fast!!
Feb  1 Vancouver Branch Burns Supper — Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886   Hudson Street, Vancouver.   Tickets $55   via PayPal at or from club rep or even
Bar 6 p.m. Dinner at 7 p.m.    A great   evening of entertainment and dance.

Note: Please check list of classes for all start times and locations.

The calendar of events is always being updated so you should check it out from time to time on our website at


Xmas present

“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““ “

Wife:         ‘What are you doing?’

Husband:     Nothing.

Wife:         ‘Nothing . . . ?
You’ve been reading our marriage certificate for an hour.’

‘I was looking for the expiration date.’




Wife :       ‘Do you want dinner?’
Husband:      ‘Sure! What are my choices?’
Wife:       ‘Yes or no.’
 Winter - Arran & HMS Duncan

Arran & HMS Duncan

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

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.

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

winter - ballaculish


The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, January 10, 2104 with live music by Calanaish. You 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:   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.


For those who enjoy listening to Scottish music, song, banter etc. try 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


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

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 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 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 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 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 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, 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 –


Riddles (answer next week)

last one:
Soft and fragile is my skin
I get my growth in mud
I’m dangerous as much as pretty
For if not careful, I draw blood.

Answer:  a thorn.

This week:
Three brothers share a family sport:
A non-stop marathon
The oldest one is fat and short
And trudges slowly on
The middle brother’s tall and slim
And keeps a steady pace
The youngest runs just like the wind,
A-speeding through the race
“He’s young in years, we let him run,”
The other brothers say
“‘Cause though he’s surely number one,
He’s second, in a way.”


For upcoming events see and

Winter - Ballater Church

Ballater Church

Other announcements etc: Seattle Branch – info at A monthly Challenge Class is 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   Next class:  January 10, 2014

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held one week on tomorrow – that is on Friday, January 10, 2014 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 will be the third regular Ceilidh Dance of the 2013/14 season and it would be great if we could double the attendance of the dance last month.

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 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.

Thanks to good attendances last year the finances for the 2012/13 season will still allow the cost to be 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 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 2012/13 season shapes up as follows: All on Fridays of course — 2014 January 10 February 7 February 28 March 28 April 25

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 – – 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.

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 423 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.

These fit so well they should be in a dictionary.

The pain that drives you to extraction.

One of the greatest labor-saving devices of today.


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 –

Winter - Ballindalloch, Moray


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