Summer - Inverness



Tomorrow night, Monday, October 6, at 7:30 you are invited to come to a special Branch class in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street.   The class will have two visitors from New Zealand – Noeline O’Connor and Iain Boyd – both of whom are very well-known the RSCDS worldwide community.   Noeline is an examiner while Iain has written over 250 dances.   All dancers welcome.

Ceilidh for Stuart and Cancer   help

As mentioned last week the next Ceilidh Dance on October 24 is being dedicated to a wonderful person, the late Stuart Somerville, and it is to be a fund-raiser for the BC Cancer Foundation.   Now I need lots of help to make this a success and I was not flooded with offers after last week’s announcement so I really hope some folk will contact me to volunteer.   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.  I probably will have to apply for a license and that has to be done very soon but I need to know what I should apply for. 

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


The week has flown by again and I have to sit and think what on earth I did.  One nice thing was a short 4 day visit from our baby son who lives in Hong Kong and of course I had dancing on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings (I begged off the Wednesday class as my foot was a bit sore) and I danced with the Tam O’Shanter Dancers on Saturday afternoon.   Then I had work related meetings on Tuesday and Thursday, went to friends for lunch on Monday, did a cancer drive on Thursday and was at a long time client’s funeral this morning.   Did very little in the garden though the weather has been nice and the sun shone this afternoon, watched a bit of tennis on TV – too bad Milos Raonic lost in the final – and each night read a few chapters in my book.   And so the week went by.


Joke 11


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.


  Hot Air Balloon


 Summer - Loch Katrine

Loch Katrine


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.


There are some Thanksgiving specials at The Celtic Treasure Chest’s two stores.  Check them out at www.celtictreasurechest.com


Humming Bird


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 .   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 are presently in the midst of painting and sprucing up the main hall and hope that this will be completed in the next few weeks..

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.


 My continuing battle with the raccoons seems to be going well but it may be that they have found some grapes to eat down the hill at April’s house!!!  Hopefully they will stay away a bit longer so the sod gets a chance to put down some roots.

The squirrels are another matter.   They have kept a low profile lately but I know that the battle will heat up when the weather gets cooler and wetter.


                  Joke 12



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

A college class was told they had to write a short story in as few words as possible.   The instructions were:   The short story had to contain the following three things:

  • Religion
  • Mystery


The following is the only A+ short story in the entire class.

“Good God, I’m pregnant; I wonder who did it.”


Summer - Balintore


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: https://www.facebook.com/groups/451447541666799/


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


THE COOLEST JUKE BOX EVER  If you haven’t seen this before….it’s pretty cool. I hope it works for you….  

Can’t believe how much work went into this!   Just click on the square for the song complete with the original video!!!!    This will keep you occupied for hours.



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.


 I have sent a note to some 106 addresses that have not opened the last 5 newsletters asking if they wish to remain on the subscriber list – they have until October 15 to respond.   So far I have received e-mail requests from 16 people wanting to remain on the list while a few others have already unsubscribed or wish to opt out.  Subscriptions are therefore down to 392 and with the upcoming purge they will drop down to nearly 300.   I 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!! www.vancouverceilidh.org   At time of writing this last week’s newsletter was opened by 213 subscribers or 53.9% 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 special class tomorrow night at the Branch,  the Ladies Step dance workshop on October 18 and later that day the Gleneagles dance also 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 - sunset over Nairn Beach

sunset over Nairn beach


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.

Oct   6 Special class with Iain Boyd and Noelene O’Connor from New Zealand at 7:30 p.m. in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver
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 kay_sutherland@hotmail.com
Oct 24 Ceilidh Dance and fund-raiser for the BC Cancer Foundation in memory of Stuart Somerville 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 andersonmary41@comcast.net
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 ljreel@telus.net or Paul plowe@wrscdc.org
Oct 29 White Rock Halloween party
Nov   1 Ladies soft shoe Step Dance class  Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson St., Vancouver – 1 – 3 p.m.   
Nov   8 Ladies soft shoe Step Dance class  Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson St., Vancouver – 1 – 3 p.m.   
Nov 11 Lady Aberdeen Tea Dance at 1:15 – 4:45 p.m. in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver hosted by Deep Cove SCD Club – Adults $10/ Children $5 – raffle with super prizes.   All proceeds to War Amps and Heart & Stroke Foundation.   A donation of a food plate would be gratefully received.
Nov 15 Ladies soft shoe Step Dance class  Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson St., Vancouver – 1 – 3 p.m.   
Nov 15 Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra Concert & Ceilidh – an evening of Scottish music & dance featuring the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra; RSCDS Vancouver Demonstration Team; Emily Helsdon, fiddle virtuoso; Kim Reid, piper & Shot of Scotch, premier Vancouver highland dancers.   7:30 p.m. at Highlands United Church, 3255 Edgemont Blvd., North Vancouver.  Tickets $15 available from the Church, VFO members; Gliga Violins Canada (778-386-0209) or, if there are any left, at the door.
Nov 15 Bellingham social
Nov 22 Ladies soft shoe Step Dance class  Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson St., Vancouver – 1 – 3 p.m.   
Nov 22 St. Andrew’s Ball in the Hellenic Centre, Arbutus Street, Vancouver
Nov 25 Fort Langley St. Andrew’s Party Dance
Nov 26 White Rock St. Andrew’s (blue & white, no refreshments!!)
Nov 28 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)
Nov 29 Delta Borderers’ Dance at Kinsmen Centre, Tsawwassen with a surprise

          Another touching story………….

What is Celibacy?

Celibacy can be a choice in life, or a condition imposed by circumstances.

While attending a Marriage Weekend, my wife and I, listened to the instructor declare, ‘It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other..”

He then addressed the men, ‘Can you name and describe your wife’s favourite flower?’

I leaned over, touched my wife’s hand gently, and whispered, ‘Robin Hood All-Purpose, isn’t it?’        And thus began my life of celibacy……….

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


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: 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.

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. www.facebook.com/rscdsvancouver. There is a link on both our website www.vancouverceilidh.org and the Branch website www.rscdsvancouver.org

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

Summer - straw bales near Forfar

Straw bales near Forfar

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



Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy.


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

Other announcements etc: Seattle Branch – info at www.rscds-seattle.org


The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, 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 .  I need  help

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.

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 – 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.

Summer - Train on Glenfinnan Viaduct


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 392 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.


Joke 13


Summer - dusk over Greenock

Dusk over Greenock


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


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

DUNCAN   ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org