easter banner


What a great start to the 50th anniversary of the Vancouver Branch, RSCDS with a really swell and happy occasion last Monday.   I never did try to count but there must have been well over 100 in attendance and many I had not seen for a long time.   It was great to renew acquaintance with some of my first teachers and many other familiar faces.   A good feast and some good all-inclusive dances with Mary Ross providing the music and Mary Murray with the briefing, a cake cutting ceremony (with the current President, Jennifer and the oldest former president in attendance, Jim Gordon wielding the knife) and many happy faces all very well MC’s by Stewart.   Congratulations to the Anniversary Committee on a job well and truly done.

The next Ceilidh Dance is THIS Friday, April 25, 2014 – in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.    That is just one week on Friday so please make plans to come along as we really need all of you.   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.  Think of the great exercise you get as well.

Even though it was good attendance at the last Ceilidh Dance we still need an even larger attendance as numbers have been low and that means we are not covering our costs.   Please help by spreading the word, rounding up as many as possible to come along – it really is lots of fun and very inexpensive.   Remember if you have a group of 8 or more call or e-mail me and I will arrange for a discount of $1 for each of your group but you must contact me in advance – ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org


Late Spring - Achmore near Kyle of Lochalsh

Achmore near Kyle of Lochalsh

A note from the Celtic Treasure Chest that they are having a Spring cleaning with many items below wholesale.    Note that, despite rumours to the contrary, the two stores are not for sale, nor are there any plans to close either store.


 easter bunny basket


There is one more Scottish Country Dance workshop coming up around the Province this one to be held in Vernon on April 26.  Check out the information listed under Upcoming Events


late spring - Bostadh Beach, Great Bernera

Bostadh Beach


I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

 I am a Nobody.   Nobody is perfect.   Therefore I am perfect.


Easter chicken & tulips



Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes .

Velcro – what a rip off !


Late spring - Corgarff Castle

Corgarff Castle

An article in a recent edition of the National Post is applicable to the Ball and to Scottish Country Dancing in general. Check out https://life.nationalpost.com/2013/11/02/jane-macdougall-it-battle-of-fun-vs-the-gym-scottish-dancing-wins-every-time/ Thanks Gill for the tip.



Thanks to many of you who have helped by sponsoring my son Ian  who is, once again, planning to join the Ride to Conquer Cancer.   This will be his fifth year and 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 and he just needs another $5,675 to do so.  If you can spare a few dollars for this excellent cause please go to his web page at


easter rabbit balloon



Another pretty nice week weather-wise anyway and I did manage a few hours in the garden although you wouldn’t notice it.   I did fill 4 cans of garden waste though so I must have done something!!   I am also a bit stiff – I really feel older and get tired much easier so it is slow work but we are getting there!!

What did I do – well Monday night was the 50th anniversary party, Tuesday night was the West End class; Wednesday was the White Rock class & AGM. Thursday was the Dem Team practise and Saturday night I was calling ceilidh dances at a 40th wedding anniversary in a hall very close by.   I drove cancer patients on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, was in the office for the rest of Tuesday, worked in the garden while the Sprinkler Company were here to fix the system, worked again in the garden on Friday(after church) and Saturday, took my wife to a hearing test on Thursday – sorry, what did you say – I didn’t catch that!!

I guess, in retrospect, it was another fairly quiet week.

Late spring - flowers

Spring blooms



Johnny Weissmuller died on  this day. Which jungle-swinging
character clad only in a loin  cloth did he play?



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  DCampbell@designroofing.ca



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Late Spring - Glencoe


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 – www.scottishculturalcentre.com . 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.





Squirrel Away! 

 To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne
pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the squirrels won’t come near it. (Wonder if this works with rabbits?  Sure gonna give it a try)


The next Ceilidh Dance is THIS Friday, April 25th, 2014 and there will be a short performance by the Branch Demonstration Team.   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 www.scotcanbc.org 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 web@rscdsvancouver.org. The link for the pictures is: www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.316825198419573.56421.149674745134620&type=3


I wanted to place a “FedEx” logo here but that made the whole newsletter go wonky so I have had to delete the logo.   Maybe you could Google it and see the arrow.

Do you see the arrow between the second “E” and “x”??   I had never noticed this before.    


Late Spring - Glenfinnan Viaduct

Glenfinnan viaduct

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

Take a few minutes out of your busy schedule & watch this. Truly amazing! This is
really fun to view — The 50 most beautiful women of yesterday & today.   Interesting how this was done – just click on the attachment below & watch. Be sure to catch the Queen of England towards the end. SOME INGENIOUS PERSON DID QUITE A JOB!!!

Las 50    mujeres
mas   bellas 0

Nice video done for Homecoming year it follows the other episode sent previously






There will be a raffle at the Gleneagles Spring Dance on April 26 with the proceeds going to help support young people to attend the Gleneagles Ball in December.   The Fairmont Vancouver Hotel has again very kindly donated an “Art of Romance Package” at their hotel.   The raffle tickets can be purchased even if you cannot attend the dance by contacting Simon at simon.scott43@me.com

Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $20



Late spring - Loch Lomond from Balmaha

Loch Lomond from Balmaha

The next Ceilidh Dance will be held this Friday, April 25, 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.

Late Spring - Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond on a spring morning.

A man on his Harley was riding along a California beach when suddenly the sky clouded
above his head and, in a booming voice, God said, “Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish.”

The biker pulled over and said, “Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can ride over anytime I want.”

God replied, “Your request is materialistic; think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking; the supports required reaching the bottom of the Pacific and the concrete and steel it would take! I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of something that could possibly help mankind.”

The biker thought about it for a long time. Finally, he said, “God, I wish that I, and all men, could understand women; I want to know how she feels inside, what she’s thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she means when she says nothing’s wrong, why she snaps and complains when I try to help, and how I can make a woman truly happy.”

God replied: “You want two lanes or four on that bridge…?”


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


Subscriptions are still fairly stable with a few new additions but some also unsubscribing.   This newsletter will go out to 387 people in many cities, provinces & countries. This is one less than last week and I had hoped we would be going up!!   Still it is only 13 short of my goal to get back to 400 and I may have signed up 2 more tonight although they have not showed up yet!!  Can you help to find these 13 people to make my total?  If only everyone who says they will sign up (including relatives!) would do so we would be there.   Please pass along the website to your friends and ask them to subscribe – it is free!!  www.vancouverceilidh.org

At time of writing this last week’s newsletter was opened by only 207 subscribers or 53.5% of the total list which is much lower than recent weeks.  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 www.avriel.com lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll]]]]]]]]


Events happening in the immediate future include the Ceilidh Dance on the 25th and Gleneagles Dance on the 26th .  Please see “Coming Events” below for all information.

Late spring - Loch Muick (Avalanche warning)

Loch Muick with avalanche warning sign!


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


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

Apr 25 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
Apr 26 Gleneagles Spring Dance in Christ the Redeemer Church, West   Vancouver at 7:30 p.m. – $10
Apr 26 Vernon Scottish Country Dancers Annual Workshop with guest   teacher Maureen Lyon from White Rock with music for the dance by   Kristi and Friends.  For more information contact Ruth Hurst at kenhurst@shaw.ca or 250 545 2626
May  2 White Rock Ceilidh featuring Marian Anderson and many other   performers at 7:30 in Elgin Hall, 14250 Crescent Road, Surrey   Tickets $15 (Students $8) from Gerda   604-531-4595 or Margaret 604-536-9481
May 2-4 Youth Weekend West at Western Washington University for those 18   — (Under 18 with adult supervision) Teachers Eileen Hsu, Jim Maiolo &   Katherine Shearman and music for the Ball by Calum MacKinnon & his   Ceilidh Band — see www.youthweekendwest.com for all information.
May  3 White Rock 60th Anniversary Dance with Marian   Anderson’ s Scottish Dance Band.  Star   of the Sea Hall, 15262 Pacific Avenue, White Rock at 7:30 p.m.   Doors open at 6:00 p.m.; Wine &   appetizers at 6:30 — a late buffet will follow the dance.   Tickets $40 from Laurie 604-944-6678  ljreel@telus.net or Gerda 604-531-4595  gerdab@shaw.ca or by PayPal at www.wrscdc.org
May  5 Burnaby Spring session, Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540   Thomas Street, Burnaby at 7:30 p.m.  –   $6
May 10 Bellingham social
May 12 Burnaby Spring session, Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540   Thomas Street, Burnaby at 7:30 p.m.  –   $6
May 25 Fort Langley Whisky Tea Dance
May 28 Last Programme class
Jun 16 Dancing in the Park starts with a bang as the host is the   Burnaby Club and the music will be by the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra

““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““` “

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.

The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a
human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.

The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.

Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.

The little girl said, ‘When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah’.

The teacher asked, ‘What if Jonah went to hell?’

The little girl replied, ‘Then you ask him’.


  Late spring - ploughing in Wormit

Spring ploughing in Wormit

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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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Late spring - plum tree blossom

Plum blossom (note the bee!)

The next Ceilidh Dance is THIS Friday, April 25, 2014 with live music by Calanaish.  There will be a short performance by the Branch Demonstration Team 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MvUwZnY9Ms and here is a link to the Facebook advert:   https://www.facebook.com/events/597360563665264/597360566998597/ 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 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


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 GIVE IT A GO! 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 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 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


sheepjumpSt patrick's Day Dancers


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


late spring - Rouken Glen highland_games

Rouken Glen Highland Games (the first Games of the season)

Other announcements etc: Seattle Branch – info at www.rscds-seattle.org 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 www.rscds-seattle.org   Next class:  May 9, 2014


The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held this Friday, April 25, 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 Eighth and last regular Ceilidh Dance of the 2013/14 season and it would be great if we could double the attendance of the last dance on March 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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh2HV3OPBgw or the Face-book page https://www.facebook.com/p.php?i=116203315&k=Z5C5Y4TZPT6G6BD1PKZZTWQQQ6BAW26L34AV&oid=164741310207760 https://www.facebook.com/events/597360563665264/597360566998597/

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.

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!

chickens line dance

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 —


April 25

Then the 2014/15 season will start on September 26

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 – 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.

Late spring - sandstorm on Banff to Fraserburgh road

Sandstorm on Banff to Fraserburgh road.

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 387 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:

The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.


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 – www.vancouverceilidh.org


Late Spring - St. Cyrus

St. Cyrus

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

DUNCAN ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org