March 1

We’ve just past the Ides of March made famous by Mr. Shakespeare and before this week is out the official start of Spring will be here.

  St Patrick flag         stpatrickbanner

The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, March 28, 2014 – in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.   This is a fun and inexpensive way to have an enjoyable evening out with family and friends.  Tell at least 2 friends to join you, forward this e-mail to more friends and encourage them to sign up for the newsletter and to come to the Ceilidh Dance.  What a great way to have a fun, inexpensive night out and think of the great exercise you get as well.

Even though it was good attendance last Ceilidh we still really need an even larger attendance as numbers have been low and that means we are not covering our costs.   Either we get the numbers up again or we will have to bump up the cost of admission.   It is your hands.


Skye Bridge

The Vancouver Celtic Fest has come and gone although there may be a few performances in theatres etc. this week.   It was amazing that despite the inclement weather 16 members plus a driver turned up to represent the RSCDS in the parade this morning.   We walked and danced our way from the Granville Street Bridge to West Georgia.   We were sandwiched in between two pipe bands which made it hard to hear our own music but we did our best and had fun too.   Thanks to the 16 + an important 1 who took the time to show their support.


The Branch Demonstration Team performed in the  rain on the Community Stage in Robson Square on Saturday.   The front of the stage was quite wet and we swept the puddles every now and then.   It was a good performance but the best part was the response for the audience participation.   The little stage – 20 x 20 – was crowded with 24 couples for 2 dances and all had a good time.   I had to leave and did not get to see the Inverglen Dancers but heard that it was very wet and there was very few in the audience.   I will have some suggestions for them for next year so both the performers and the audience can stay dry.

This afternoon, after the Parade I watched a great performance by Shot of Scotch which is a new professional Highland Dance Team and later there was another good performance by the Tam O’Shanter Dancers from White Rock.   It was not too wet for Shot of Scotch and by the time the Tam’s performed it was dry so they had a better audience.   Thanks to these groups for keeping the Scottish element in the weekends festivities.


The Heather Ball is next Saturday, March 22 in the wonderful Gizeh Temple.   Tickets are still available either online at or at your class etc.  Make sure you get yours soon.

There is the annual request for heather.  If you have any it should be brought to the Cultural Center for the Wednesday night class March 19 or the Thursday dem night March 20.  Hopefully, we’ll be as lucky as past years and be able to add to the hall’s look with real heather.

There are Scottish Country Dance workshops coming up around the Province with one in Victoria on March 29, White Rock/Surrey on March 30, Nanaimo on April 12 and another in Vernon on April 26.  Check out the information listed under Upcoming Events


Winter Rannoch



A young woman on a flight from Ireland asked the Catholic priest beside her,
‘Father, may I ask a favour?’

‘Of course child. What can I do for you?’
‘Well, I bought an expensive woman’s electric hair dryer for my Mother’s birthday that is unopened and well over the Customs limits, and I’m afraid they’ll confiscate it.  Is there any way you could carry it through Customs for me? Under your robes perhaps?’
‘I would love to help you, dear, but I must warn you: I will not lie.’
‘With your honest face, Father, no one will question you.’
When they got to Customs, she let the priest go ahead of her.
The official asked, ‘Father, do you have anything to declare?’
‘From the top of my head down to my waist, I have nothing to declare.’
The official thought this answer strange, so he asked,
‘And what do you have to declare from your waist to the floor?’
‘I have a marvelous instrument designed to be used on a woman, but which is, to date, unused.’
Roaring with laughter, the official said,
‘Go ahead, Father.


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

Lady Aberdeen 45 Lady Aberdeen 47 Lady Aberdeen 46

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.”



What does a clock do when it’s hungry ? It goes back four seconds .

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger . Then it hit me !


Winter River Ayr

River Ayr

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.



My son Ian is, once again, planning to join the Ride to Conquer Cancer.   This will be his fifth year and many have helped him in previous years for which my personal thanks.   In the 4 years he has raised a total of $44,280 – how good is that?   He would like to get that total over the $60,000 mark this year so if you can spare a few dollars for this excellent cause please go to his web page at

Leprechaun & clover


The Ceilidh for Cancer raised a total of $4,300.   Well done everyone.   The main organizer wants to take a rest so they are not planning another Ceilidh for Cancer in 2015.   Maybe someone else will take on the task as this is an excellent cause.

It was a busy week what with dance classes etc. and then on Friday I was out at Chilliwack Secondary School where I had been invited to teach Ceilidh Dancing to the students for their dance PE.   It was a fun but tiring day.   I was treated and supported extremely well by staff and students.   I had a wonderful lunch of pot roast and 4 classes of about an hour or so each.   The students are grades 10 – 12 and this was the end of their “dance” week having done waltz. tango and jive already.   This is a brand new school with a fabulous gym and state of the art sound system.   I was lucky to have a student work the CD player for me and many of the students opted to come to more than one class (at least 1 came to 3!!) which was very flattering.   I hope they all enjoyed themselves – I have been invited back so that makes me feel very good.   The only downside is the long drive and it was lashing down too which made it seem even longer and then school starts at 8:30 so you can imagine when I had to get up.

After dancing on Saturday I was out in Abbotsford (nearly into Chilliwack it seemed.)   I never knew 8th Avenue, Huntingdon, Vye went so far east.   This was for a Ceilidh for a Youth Group which was held in a renovated barn loft in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere!   It was a great space for dancing but barn walls have lots of cracks so it was fresh to say the least then after the first few dances the 40 or so dancers were so warm they opened the windows and doors so I was quite cold.   They thought they might dance for an hour or so but they kept me there for 3 fun-filled hours.   It poured on the way there and back but at least the gas prices out there are a bit less.

Winter Ruthven barracks

Ruthven Barracks



Chris  Searle:
In which European country is  Mount  Etna  ?


Chris  Searle:
I did say which European  country, so in case you didn’t hear that, I can let you try  again.

Er ……..  Mexico  ?


Hello everyone. The Highland Games will be on Saturday June 21st  this year. Anyone that would like to volunteer again please let me know. I know a lot of people compete and have set schedules for the day, so let me know the times you would be available and I will try to make a schedule for the day that will suit. Thank you very much Duncan Campbell —  604-944-2977



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Winter Schiehallion Loch Rannoch


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 United Scottish Cultural Society (USCS). Memberships in this Society are for individuals only and presently cost $10 annually. Membership Application Forms may be obtained either at the Centre or on the USCS website – . Any person may join USCS and Scottish Ceilidh Dancers are encouraged to show their support by doing so. If any USCS member would like to be more involved then Darryl Carracher, the Manager at the Centre, will be pleased to give you further information. At the present time we need to replace the roof which will be a major expense and quotes will be requested from roofing contractors.  Upgrades to the Centre are also being considered so it is particularly appropriate that dancers join USCS. No final decisions on these upgrades will be made before Members of USCS are fully informed.


st patrick clover



The next Ceilidh Dance is this Friday, March 28th, 2014 and there will be a short performance by the Tam O’Shanter Dancers.   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) but unless we get a big increase in attendance the price will have to go up.  No partner or experience necessary – just bring your smiles and I would suggest flat, comfy shoes.

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!!


A new link has been added to the contacts page – Scottish Canadian Business Association of British Columbia.   ScotCanBC seeks to expand trade and investment between Scotland and B.C.   The website is where you can find details about the organization, membership etc.


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 shieldaig


Some fun and interesting sites:  – note if you have a link to something you think others would enjoy please forward them to me.

Clever Way to Test Batteries


An elderly Italian man who lived on the outskirts of Rimini, Italy, went to the local church for confession. When the priest slid open the panel in the confessional, the man said:  “Father – during World War II, a beautiful Jewish woman from our neighbourhood knocked urgently on my door and asked me to hide her from the Nazis.   So I hid her in my attic.”

The priest replied: “That was a wonderful thing you did, and you have no need to confess that.”
“There is more to tell, Father.   She started to repay me with sexual favours.   This happened several times a week, and sometimes twice on Sundays.”
The priest said: “That was a long time ago and by doing what you did, you placed the two of you in great danger, but two people under those circumstances can easily succumb to the weakness of the flesh.  However, if you are truly sorry for your actions, you are indeed forgiven.”

“Thank you, Father.   That is a great load off my mind.
I do have one more question.”

“And what is that?” asked the priest.
“Should I tell her the war is over?”   


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

There are some St. Patrick’s specials at this Vancouver store:

Celtic Fashions []


St Patricks Beer singers



Winter sign


The next Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, March 28, 2014.  Same time, same place, same price (so long as there is a big attendance), 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 Skye view



Expanding Frosting 

When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your
mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to
frost more cake/cupcakes
 with the same amount. You also eat less
sugar and calories per serving.


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


Subscriptions are still fairly stable with a few new additions but some also unsubscribing.   This newsletter will again go out to 382 people in many cities, provinces & countries. This is only 18 short of my goal to get back to 400!!  Can you help to find these 18 people to make my total?   Please pass along the website to your friends and ask them to subscribe – it is free!!

At time of writing this last week’s newsletter was opened by some 233 subscribers or 61.0% of the total list which means it did not make the top 5 list.  I know some of you prefer to go to the website and open the newsletter from there so the number is even higher.   Please keep opening the newsletter!!   Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.


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

St patricks dance

Events happening in the immediate future include the  Heather Ball walk through on the  19th and the Heather Ball itself on the 22nd.  Please see “Coming Events” below for all information.

Winter South Queensferry

South Queensferry


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.

St patricks end of rainbow 

COMING EVENTS IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS: Note: Please check list of classes for all start times and locations.

Mar 19 Heather Ball practice at 7:30 p.m. in the Scottish Cultural   Centre — drop in $6
Mar 22 Heather Ball in the   Gizeh Temple, 3550 Wayburne Drive, Burnaby with the fantastic sprung floor   and the great music of the Scotch Mist Band.     Reception 6:00; Dance 7:00 followed by a light supper.   Tickets $85 (30 & under $65) through   PayPal at  Info 604-925-9333 or
Mar 28 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
Note that there will be a performance by the Tam   O’Shanter Dancers at this Dance.
Mar 29 Van Isle workshop & dance to celebrate VanIsle’s 40th   anniversary.   Teacher Mary Murray and   musician Julie Smith.  Colwood   Community Hall, 2219 Sooke Road, Victoria.    Morning session 10 — 12 for experienced dancers & afternoon   session 1:30 — 3:30 for beginners & intermediate dancers.   Dance at night to the music of the Tartan   Players.   Information at or e-mail to
Mar 30 White Rock spring workshop,   Sullivan Hall, 6303 152nd Street, Surrey.  Advanced class 9:30 — noon;   Intermediate/Beginner class 1:00 — 3:30.     $10 — bring your own lunch. Tea/coffee/juice provided info or   604-531-4595
Mar 30 Free concert by the NW Scottish Fiddlers at 2 p.m. Everett   Public Library, 2702 Hoyt Avenue, Everett.
Apr  5 SFU Centre for Scottish Studies presents a talk by Hunza Yousaf,   Scotland’s Minister for External Affairs and International Development from   10 a.m to noon in the Morris Wosk Centre for Dialogue, 3300 — 515 West   Hastings Street, Vancouver with entertainment by the Gaelic Choir and the   Junior North Shore Celtic Ensemble. Admission FREE
Apr  5 Glenayre Annual Dance in St. Laurence Church Hall, 825 St.   Laurence Street, Coquitlam at 7:30 p.m. – $15
Apr 12 Children’s Easter Party & Dance, Harry Jerome Memorial   Centre, 123 East 23rd Street, North Vancouver 2 — 4 p.m. Adults $5   — Children Free
Apr 12 Deep Cove Dance in St. Catherine’s Church Hall, 1058 Ridgewood   Drive, North Vancouver at 7:30 p.m. with music by Mary Ross – $15
Apr 12 Bellingham Social
Apr 12 Nanaimo workshop & Tea Dance with teachers Ruth Jappy &   Rebecca Blackhall-Peters plus musicians Alex Jappy, Deborah Jones & Julie   Smith.   Workshop (3 classes), lunch   & Tea Dance $55; Tea Dance $15; Lunch $10.   Info etc. at or Hazel 250-758-6224
Apr 14 We’re Celebrating and everyone is invited for the start of our   50th anniversary celebrations.    Vancouver Branch Party & Ceilidh night at the Scottish Cultural   Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver 7:30 — 10:30 p.m. — Free   admission!!   For details go to

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Husbands are husbands

A man was sitting reading his papers when his wife hit him round the head with a frying pan. ‘What was that for?’ the man asked. The wife replied
, ‘That was for the piece of paper with the name Jenny on it that I found in your pants pocket’. The man then said ‘When I was at the races last week, Jenny was the name of the horse I bet on.‘ The wife apologized and went on with the housework. Three days later the man is watching TV when his wife bashes him on the head with an even bigger frying pan, knocking him unconscious. Upon re-gaining consciousness the man asked why she had hit again. Wife replied.. ‘Your horse phoned’


  winter St Andrews Castle

St. Andrew’s Castle

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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.

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Winter St Andrew's Church Brechin

St. Andrew’s, Brechin

The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, March 28, 2014 with live music by Calanaish.  There will be a short performance by the Tam O’Shanter Dancers about 9 p.m.   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. 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.

St Patricks Happy

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 –


St Patricks irish danceSt patrick's Day Dancers


For upcoming events see and

Winter Stirling


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:  April 11, 2014


The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, March 28, 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 seventh regular Ceilidh Dance of the 2013/14 season and it would be great if we could double the attendance of the last dance on February 28.

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.  But low attendance this season might mean we have to look at increasing the admission in future.  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!

St Patricks kiss me

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 2013/14 season shapes up as follows:

All on Fridays of course —


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 Universities and all colleges. 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.

Winter storm Mallaig


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 382 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.


They’re back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences (with all the BLOOPERS) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:

For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.


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 –

St Patricks line dance


winter Storr & old man of Storr

Storr and the Old Man of


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