Fall - colours

Autumn colours

Thank you dance

Ceilidh for Stuart and Cancer  

Well it was a lot of work but many hands helped to make my load a whole lot lighter.   There are far too many to list but you know who you are that donated items, came to help set up, sold tickets, looked after the silent auction and collected all the money (only one item was not claimed and I have arranged to deliver it and collect the amount bid).   It was a fun evening although a bot crowded at first as we had to give up the part of the hall we usually use for the class and I was planning on opening the partition and moving the silent auction tables back into the other hall but the hall was booked by a group of dancers who were in their final rehearsal for a big show so they really needed the space and could not fit in upstairs.  All ended up OK but the band did not get a chance to have a sound check.

The 50/50 draw had a prize of over $180.  I read the ticket numbers backwards and stopped at the third last number forgetting there were two rolls of tickets in use so at that stage there were two winners!!   The rightful winner was very generous and gave some of his winnings to the other person who thought she has won and then donated the rest back to the BC Cancer Foundation.

The silent auction raised over $950 and there were many cash and cheque donations so all in all we will be sending a goodly sum to the BC Cancer Foundation.   I have some expenses to clarify and some amounts still to collect so I can’t give you the final total yet but I will put it into next week’s newsletter.   

chickens 1

Many, many thanks to all who helped, donated, etc. to make this a super event – you done good.

Of course if you are from out-of-town or are for some reason were unable to attend you can still 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

Stuart’s obituary was in the Vancouver Sun of October 18, 2014


Fall - Aurora Borealis from North Uist

 Aurora Borealis from North Uist

With one thing or another it has been a very hectic week and it seems I hardly had a moment to sit and think.   I need to make lists of things to do as I am getting forgetful and the list has to be in order of priority as although I get some things done new items that need to be added to the top keep coming up!!

I try and answer e-mails the day I receive them but occasionally I put some off to do later and then I forget them as they are not in the current inbox.  E.G. we have a beautiful 9′ antique curved oak pew and we really don’t have room for it so I have it listed for sale.   Last Wednesday I received an enquiry and I failed to respond and it was not until last night I sent a reply.   Today the interested party wrote back to say as they had not heard from me they had bought another one!!


Young people forget that we old people had a career before we retired.

You just have to appreciate this one.

Charley, a new retiree-greeter at Wal-Mart, just couldn’t seem to get to work on time. Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late. But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean-shaven, sharp-minded and a real credit to the company and obviously demonstrating their “Older Person Friendly” policies.

One day the boss called him into the office for a talk. “Charley, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a bang-up job when you finally get here; but your being late so often is quite bothersome.”

“Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it.”

“Well good, you are a team player. That’s what I like to hear. Yes sir, I understand your concern and I will try harder. Seeming puzzled, the manager went on to comment, I know you’re retired from the Armed Forces. What did they say to you there if you showed up in the morning late so often?”

The old man looked down at the floor, then smiled. He chuckled quietly, then said with a grin,   “They usually saluted and said, Good morning, Admiral, can I get your coffee, sir?


The next regular Ceilidh Dance is Friday November 28, 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.


  Goul Dance


 Fall - Balloch



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

There is a sale of dance shoes – both ghillies and ballet slipperswww.avriel.com


ghost figure


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 have also just finishing painting and sprucing up the main hall and hope you all like what we have done.

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.


 At the Gleneagles Fall dance, which was the tribute to John Drewry,  there were some interesting articles and pictures which Simon had put together.   He  has kindly allowed me to use these in the newsletters so I will post one each week and hope you enjoy reading them.

Drewry MM-3

John Drewry & Miss Milligan

John Drewry

 John was born on the 14th of July 1923.

 1923 was the same year that Miss Jean Milligan and Mrs Isobel Stewart founded the RSCDS, the organization and activity through which we all know the name John Drewry.

 He was born in a small thatched cottage in Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. This cottage was built in 1490, during the same decade as the founding of the University of Aberdeen, where John was to spend most of his working life.

 John was to become renowned throughout the Scottish Country Dancing world for his innovative and delightful dance compositions.

 He was to join the Biochemistry Department of the University of Aberdeen in the mid 1960s.


Fall - Bass Rock from Bonnybank

Bass Rock from Bonnybank

 A bloke starts his new job at the zoo and is given three tasks. First is to clear the exotic fish pool of weeds.   As he does this a huge fish jumps out and bites him. To show who is Boss, he beats it to death with a spade.   Realizing his employer won’t be best pleased he disposes of the fish by feeding it to the lions, as lions will eat anything.

Moving on to the second job of clearing out the Chimp house, he is attacked by the chimps who pelt him with coconuts.   He swipes at two chimps with a spade killing them both..   What can he do? Feed them to the lions, he says to himself, because Lions eat anything…    He hurls the corpses into the lion enclosure.

He moves on to the last job which is to collect honey from the South American Bees.   As soon as he starts he is attacked by the bees. He grabs the spade and smashes the bees to a pulp.   By now he knows what to do and shovels them into the lions cage because Lions eat anything.

Later that day a new lion arrives at the zoo.   He wanders up to another lion and says “What’s the food like here?” The lions say: “Absolutely brilliant, today we had Fish and Chimps with Mushy Bees.


The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, November 28th, 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.  

Canada Day maple leaf line

An Arab Sheik was admitted to Hospital for heart surgery, but prior to the surgery, the doctors needed to store his blood in case the need arose.   As the gentleman had a rare type of blood, it couldn’t be found locally, so, the call went out.

Finally a Scotsman was located who had a similar blood type.   The Scot willingly donated his blood for the Arab.   After the surgery, the Arab sent the Scotsman as appreciation for giving his blood, a new BMW, diamonds & US dollars.

A couple of days later, once again, the Arab had to go through a corrective surgery.   His doctor telephoned the Scotsman who was more than happy to donate his blood again. After the second surgery, the Arab sent the Scotsman a thank-you card and a box of  Quality Street chocolates.

The Scotsman was shocked that the Arab did not reciprocate his kind gesture as he had anticipated.   He phoned the Arab and asked him: “I thought you would be generous again, that you would give me a BMW, diamonds & money, but you only gave me a thank-you card and a box of Quality Street .”

To this the Arab replied: “Aye laddie, but I now have Scottish blood in ma veins”.

Fall - Bedlormie near Blackridge

 Bedlormie near Blackridge

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 next Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, November 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.


Subscriptions are up by one to 335.   I really 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 235 subscribers or 70.4% 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 the St. Andrew’s Ball class on Wednesday the 29th and the Ladies Step class on Satursay the 1st. 

The St. Andrew’s Ball will be held in the Hellenic Centre on Arbutus Street on Saturday, November 22 – please keep the date free.  You can buy your tickets, your wine and your whisky online at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/st-andrews-ball-2014-tickets-8412539131?aff=eac2  .

Please see “Coming Events” below for all information.

Fall - buachaille_etive_mor

Buachaille Etive Mor


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 29 White Rock Halloween party
Oct 29 St. Andrew’s Ball dance class – Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver BC with Duncan MacKenzie.  8:15 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – $6
Nov   1 Ladies soft shoe Step Dance class  Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson St., Vancouver – 1 – 3 p.m.   
Nov   5 St. Andrew’s Ball dance class – Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver BC with Duncan MacKenzie.  8:15 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – $6
Nov   8 Ladies soft shoe Step Dance class  Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson St., Vancouver – 1 – 3 p.m.   
Nov   8 First Annual Piping and Drumming Ceilidh Party.   This will be our main event of the term.  Bagpipers and drummers from SFU Pipe Band and other bands from across British Columbia will be joining us to take part in an informal music contest. Come watch and cheer on the contestants as they compete for top prize. , 6:30pm  Halpern Centre, SFU Burnaby Campus, 888 University Dr, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6.   Bar service and pizza will be available for purchase. Although alcohol will be served, guests of all ages are welcome and permitted to attend.  Entry is free for SFU students, faculty, staff, Scottish and Celtic Society members, and their guests, who RSVP before the event. Tickets are available for $5 at the door.   RSVP for yourself and guests athttps://scs-ceilidh-free-rsvp.eventbrite.ca/  Invite your friends on campus with our facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1447275425519261/
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 12 St. Andrew’s Ball dance class – Wescot Elementary School, 760 Wescot Road (NW corner Taylor Way & Upper Levels), West Vancouver with Duncan MacKenzie 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. – $6
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 18 St. Andrew’s Ball dance class – Wescot Elementary School, 760 Wescot Road (NW corner Taylor Way & Upper Levels), West Vancouver with Duncan MacKenzie 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. – $6
Nov 19 St. Andrew’s Ball dance class – Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver BC with Duncan MacKenzie.  8:15 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – $6
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, Hellenic Community Centre, 4500 Arbutus Street, Vancouver at 6 p.m. (grand march at 6:45) with music by the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra.  Scottish Country dancing; full formal dinner, whisky tasting and much more.   Tickets $99 ($75 for those under 30) at  https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/st-andrews-ball-2014-tickets-8412539131?aff=eac2    Contact standrewsball@shaw.ca for more information.   Come and learn the steps for all the dances at classes in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street on Wednesdays Oct 15 & 29 and Nov 5 & 19 at 8:15 p.m. or in Wescot Elementary School, 760 Wescot Road, West Vancouver on Tuesday Oct 21; Wednesday Nov 12 & Tuesday Nov 18 – $6 drop in fee.
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

 Read this with your best Scottish accent…….

 Glasgow Wedding

 Two Glasgow young men, Archie and Jock, are sitting in the pub discussing Jock’s forthcoming wedding.

 “Ach, it’s all going like magic,” says Jock.

“I’ve got everything organized already – the flooers, the Church, the cars, the reception, the rings, the minister, even ma stag night…”

Archie nods approvingly.  “Man, I’ve even bought a kilt to be married in!” continues Jock.

“A kilt?” exclaims Archie, “That’s great, you’ll look pure smart in that!  And what’s the tartan?”

 “Och,” says Jock, “I’d imagine she’ll be in white.”

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

Fall - Burravoe, Yell

Burravoe, Yell

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.

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

halloween 3

The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, November 28, 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.

Fall - Caledonian Canal

Caledonian Canal

For those who don’t know SCD is a fabulous pastime (much better and lots more fun than golf!!) and 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).

Halloween r cox

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



A truck driver was driving along on a country road.  A sign came up that read ” Low Bridge Ahead.”  Before he realised it, the bridge was directly ahead and he got stuck under it.  Cars were backed up for miles.  Finally, a police car arrived. The policeman got out of his car and walked to the truck’s cab and said to the driver, “Got stuck, hey?”  The truck driver said, “No, I was delivering this bridge and ran out of diesel!”


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, November 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!!!

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 —

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.

Fall - Collessie, Fife


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 335 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.


Halloween you know you are too old


Fall - Eildon Hills

Eildon Hills


Enjoy yourselves – come Scottish Country Dancing – for it is good for your health and you never know you just might …..!

witch flying line

See Coming Events on the website for info – www.vancouverceilidh.org

Fall - Ecclesmachan West Lothian


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

DUNCAN   ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org