Summer - Haddo House

Haddo House

Well the 2014/15 Ceilidh Dance season got off on the right foot (well most of the 75 in attendance managed that some of the time – using the right foot that is!)   Yes we had at least 75 folk there including quite a few from a group called “Meet Up” where I advertise the Ceilidh Dances.   From comments received the response was positive so I think many of them will return in October.   The band was in good form and we tried out 3 new dances, 2 of which I shall repeat in future dances.   Thanks to all who came and a big thanks to Francis, Bonnie, Richard and Gil for all their help and, of course, to all the members of the band “Calanais” who make my job so much easier.

The new food seemed to be fine as there was very little left to give away at the end.   Francis tried bringing some chips (crisps if you come from Scotland) and they disappeared as well.   It worked out slightly more expensive but I was anticipating that as the Laidlaws were very generous to us over the years.

I have contacted Stuart Somerville’s daughter and she thinks it would be a great idea to dedicate the Ceilidh Dance on October 24 to Stuart and make it a fund-raiser for the BC Cancer Foundation.   I think the Branch will be onside as well and I have approached the Cultural Centre and they will give us a break on the rental cost.   So we are on!!   Now I need lots of help to make this a success.   I do not want to increase the admission price as that may inhibit some people from attending so we need to look elsewhere for ideas to raise money.

We could have a 50/50 draw; a raffle; silent auction, ask for donations – any or all of these and I am sure others will come up with other ideas.   I really need volunteers to help to get these ideas off the ground and we have less than 4 weeks!!   A raffle and silent auctions will need donations of prizes etc. and that may entail making requests to retail stores, restaurants, etc. etc.   If you would be interested in any of these fund-raising activities or have another suggestion you want to try then please contact me as soon as possible.   Lets make this and event we can be proud of.   It is a great cause and Stuart was a wonderful person.

Of course if you are from out-of-town or are for some reason unable to attend you could always send a cheque – donations of $25 or more will get a charitable receipt.   Make cheques payable to BC Cancer Foundation and mail them to:

c/o Duncan MacKenzie
Scottish Cultural Centre
8886 Hudson Street
Vancouver   BC   V6P 4N2


I saw a few snippets of the Ryder Cup golf on the TV.   Never saw a picture of the hotel but the golf course and the scenery looked very nice and it seemed as if it was dry!!!   Of course we have our own Gleneagles over in West Vancouver and there is a Scottish Country Dance club with that name too.   They are hosting a dance on October 18 which is being dedicated to John Drewry who was a prolific dance devisor.   The programme for this dance is made up of his dances – see below for details.


Joke 8


The next regular Ceilidh Dance is on Friday –  October 24, 2014 – in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.  Start to 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.   See below for more information.

For well over 10 years Jock & Cathy Laidlaw have been baking the apple squares, currant squares (known as fly cemeteries) and shortbread which they have provided (and delivered) at a very low-cost for the monthly Ceilidh dances.   Unfortunately Jock’s health no longer permits him to continue so I will have to look elsewhere for our monthly refreshments.   Many, many thanks to Jock & Cathy for their support of the Ceilidh dances over all these years. 




 Summer - Spynie Palace, Elgin

Spynie Palace


There is a need for an Editor for the White Cockade as Eleanor has indicated this will be her last year and there is also a need for someone to help with the Facebook page.


Anyone looking for new dance shoes? Direct Liquidation in Burnaby has lots of split sole and ballet shoes, all sizes from children up, Leo’s Dancewear and Capezzio, all 70% off. —




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 – .   The cost is only $10.

Any person may join USCS and Scottish Country & 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. We have just finished replacing the roof which was a major expense.  We also plan to paint and spruce up the main hall but that will not take place until October.

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.


 Very nice weather this weekend which meant I was out in the garden so I am now very stiff and sore.   I did quite a bit of pruning so my hands are tired from all the cutting and, as some of the work was on a very old rose, I have quite a few scratches.   I filled 4 of the large green garden waste wheelies which will be emptied tomorrow.

I am continuing my battle with the raccoons and either I have done something right or they have found a better lawn to wreck as they have left my new bits of sod alone for a few days.  Hopefully they will stay away a bit longer so the sod gets a chance to put down some roots.

I cleaned out the shed a week or so ago but, a squirrel I think, has been in and made a mess.   That will be my next battle!!


                  Joke 9



The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, October 24th, 2014.   I have tried an experiment and registered with Meetup and 20 people have now “joined” and many say they will come to the Ceilidh dance.   Note, as mentioned above, this Ceilidh will be a fund-raiser for the BC Cancer Foundation.

Canada Day maple leaf line


Summer - Degatie Castle

Degatie Castle

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!!


You can join the e-mail list of the SFU Scottish and Celtic Society; the club connecting you to all things Scottish and Celtic at SFU and the community. As members of this mailing list, you will receive updates on events and learning opportunities. All are welcome to participate and enjoy. Facebook Group: As of today, our new Facebook Group is launched and available to join. It is an ‘Open’ group. Anyone can join and invite their friends. We will create Facebook ‘Events’ for all our occasions. Join today at this link:


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

Dinnae be feart . . . gie it a wee try!!!

Quiz: How Scottish are you?

The Dance of the Peacock Spider

This very funny and timely video is well worth 15 minutes!


The next Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, October 24, 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.

And, as advertised, this dance will be a fund-raiser for the BC Cancer Foundation in memory of a big supporter of the Ceilidh dances.


Subscriptions are still the same so this newsletter will go out to 395 people in many cities, provinces & countries.   I have not had time to do a purge of those who have not opened the last few editions but I hope to get that done this week.  This normally means quite a few deletions so I will need your help to get the subscriptions back up again.   Thanks for all your support.

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 232 subscribers or 58.7% of the total list.   I know some of you prefer to go to the website and open the newsletter from there so the number is probably much higher. Please keep opening the newsletter!!

Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.


Events happening in the immediate future include all classes starting up (See www.rscdsvancouver for details of locations, start times etc.)  the Ladies Step dance class on October 4 and the Gleneagles dance on October 18.   The Gleneagles club have recorded videos of some dances on the October 18th programme so all the dances are now available on YouTube.   Let me know if you have any trouble locating one of the dances.

The St. Andrew’s Ball will be held in the Hellenic Centre on Arbutus Street on Saturday, November 22 – please keep the date free and watch for more announcements.

Please see “Coming Events” below for all information. 


Summer - Castle Fraser

Castle Fraser


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.

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

Oct 3 – 5 The Saskatchewan Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society announces that Ruth Jappy will be the guest instructor at this year`s annual workshop, along with Ron Krug and Ken Nattrass, our musicians extraordinaire. As more details are finalized, they will be posted on our website:
Oct  4 Soft shoe Ladies Step dance classes Open House in Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson St., Vancouver – 1 – 3 p.m.    Contact Kay Sutherland <> if you have any questions.
Oct  4 SCD Ball and workshop in Redmond, Oregon with teacher Monica Pollard and music by A Scottish Heart – info by e-mail to or try website
Oct  4 Join the Gaelic Society for another night of great music.  Gaelic singing, bagpipes and other Celtic instruments are always part of the program.   Scottish Cultural Centre;  Doors open: 7:30pm, Ceilidh begins: 8:00pm
Oct 18 Gleneagles Fall dance 7:30 p.m. in Christ the Redeemer Church, 595 Keith Road (just east of Taylor Way) West Vancouver.   The Dance is Titled “Vancouver Tribute to John Drewry” and all the dances on the programme were devised by him.
Oct 18 Ladies Step Workshop in Seattle taught by Ron Wallace. Some of you have already received a notice about this if you attended the last Seattle Workshop. Info from Kay at
Oct 24 Ceilidh Dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver – no partner or experience required – live music with Calanais – refreshments available – class from 7 – 8 p.m. followed by dance from 8 – 11 p.m. – all dances walked, talked and called – admission at the door $10 (students $8)
Oct 25 Ladies soft shoe Step Dance class  Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson St., Vancouver – 1 – 3 p.m.   
Oct 25 Bellingham Masquerade Ball in the Majestic Ballroom, 1027 N. Forest Street, Bellingham with music by Calum MacKinnon, Deby Benton Grosjean, Andy Imbrie and Ginny Snowe.  Contact Mary Anderson 360-933-1779 or
Oct 26 White Rock Fall workshop in Sullivan Hall, 6306 152nd Street, Surrey with Maureen Lyon – $10.   Advanced class 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon; Intermediate & Beginner class 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.   Bring own lunch; tea, coffee & juice provided.   Contact Laurie 604-944-6678 or Paul
Oct 29 White Rock Halloween party

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

 When the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.  Is this man truly a genius?       Checked out and this is true…it DID happen!

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.  The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Socialist’s plan”. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.  The second test average was a D! No one was happy.  When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. 

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.  To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. 

These are possibly the 5 best sentences you’ll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

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

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


The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, October 24, 2014 with live music by Calanaish. You still have time to spread the word about all the Ceilidh Dances as that is the best (and cheapest) form of advertising. It is great exercise and fun, for all ages, too.

Here is a link where you can watch a short video of a Ceilidh Dance: and here is a link to the Facebook advert: The format for all of the regular monthly Ceilidh Dances will be the same with the class from 7 – 8 p.m. and the dance from 8 – 11 p.m. and all dances will be walked and talked through.

They are all held at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.  The price is only – $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.


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

This is a really good time to come along and join in one of many Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes as you will be starting at the same time as other “beginners.”    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.

Summer - Dunnottar Castle

Dunnottar Castle

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).

horse & buggy

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 –



All the toilets in New York’s police stations have been stolen. The police have nothing to go on.

I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.


For upcoming events see and

Other announcements etc: Seattle Branch – info at


The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, October 24, 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!!!

Remember this is an extra special event as it will also be a fund-raiser for the BC Cancer Foundation in memory of Stuart Somerville.


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.

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 —

October 24
November 28
January 9
February 6
February 27
March 27
April 24

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

We 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.

Summer - Port Seton harbour

Port Seton harbour

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 395 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.

It’s late Fall, and the Indians on a remote reservation in South Dakota asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.   Since he was a chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the  winter was going to be like. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.    

But, being a practical leader, after several days, he got an idea.  He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, ‘Is the coming winter going to be cold?’  

‘It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold,’ the meteorologist at the weather service responded. So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.  

A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. ‘Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?’  ‘Yes,’ the man at National Weather Service again replied, ‘it’s going to be a very cold winter.’  

The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.  

Two weeks later, the chief called the National Weather Service again. ‘Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?’ ‘Absolutely,’ the man replied. ‘It’s looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters we’ve ever seen.’   ‘How can you be so sure?’ the chief asked.   The weatherman replied, ‘The Indians are collecting a an enormous amount of firewood.’

Joke 10


Summer - View from Sgurr na Stri on Skye

view from Sgurr-na-Stri on Skye


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 –

horse jump

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