Hope you all have had a simply marvellous summer.   We, in SW BC, were certainly spoiled with loads of sunshine and warm weather.   But other places have not been so fortunate:

UK Summer

Summer - Haddo House

Haddo House

This is the first newsletter for the season.   I have deleted a number of people who have not been opening the newsletters so our list of subscribers is back down and I need your help to get it back up again.   Tell your friends to sign up – it is FREE!

Summer - Gullane



Summer - boarding

There were many enjoyable nights in Stanley Park and there was wonderful audience participation.  Thanks to all the clubs, teachers, helpers (especially Alison who seemed to be there early and late every night) and of course to the Dancers who came along.   It would not be too much fun without you!!

Remember the Fall Frolic on Saturday, September 5 in the West End Community Centre, 870 Denman Street with the Tartan Players providing the music.    The dance starts at 7:30 p.m. and the cost is $15.   A small donation of food would be greatly appreciated.   There is free parking behind the Centre, enter off Denman Street.   The dance programme and notes can be found on the Branch website – www.rscdsvancouver.org

Do not forget to come along to the Annual General Meeting of the Vancouver Branch, Royal Scottish Country Dance Society which will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 18 in the Scottish Cultural Centre.   Come check out what has and will be happening, cast your votes and meet up with friends.

 Summer - GullaneGullane

It has been another busy summer with children & grandchildren, some staying for the 2 months while others came and went and one came back again.   Some are still here but leave on the 31st.   Then our home will be so quiet and lonely with just the two of us.   We have some travel plans though so we have that to look forward to.

We have been up and down to the Crescent Beach Swimming Club many times as well as to other events run by the club.   Races have been swum, run, ridden, ribbons have been won and maybe trophies too although those races are not until the 3oth.   All in all everyone has had a wonderful time and the trampoline and hot tub have been well used.   Blu, the La family’s black lab was a big hit and did not wander away from our yard although the flowers etc. got a bit trodden down especially when a squirrel wandered into the garden or the children were playing ball.


 The definition of a Scottish Gentleman is someone who knows how to play the bagpipes, but refrains from doing so.

           – Anonymous


 Summer - Heron fising on the Kelvin

Heron fishing on the Kelvin


The next regular Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, September 25, 2015 (the last Friday of  September) .

Unfortunately, mainly due to rising costs but also because of some lower attendances, I have been forced to increase the admission price for this season to $12 ($10 for students) so I really hope this does not stop people from attending.   Remember that if you have a group of 8 or more you can all qualify for a discount but you have to contact me beforehand.


Summer camping


  … A piper is being taken to court for practising on Hampstead Heath which has a bylaw forbidding music. Mr. Brooks, the bagpiper, has denied the charge, citing that bagpipes were declared to be instruments of war by an Act of Parliament after 1746. Mr. Brooks claims he was practising a weapon!

             – from the Radiocaster, Autumn 1996


Summer - Highlad Cow Loch Venacher

Loch Venacher




… [There is a] similarity between the bag of the bagpipe and the haggis. They are the same shape — and the same taste.

             – Allan Fotheringham, McLean’s Magazine


Thanks to Steve at the Celtic Treasure Chest there is now an online list of all the Celtic societies as well as a calendar of events:

List    https://www.celtictreasurechest.com/links/index.php
Calendar    https://www.celtictreasurechest.com/celticevents/index.php

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

Celtic Fashions on E-Bay – go to https://www.CelticFashions.com


Summer - Isle of Canna looking to Rum

Looking to Rum from the Isle of Canna

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.  




Summer - Isle of Lismore

Isle of Lismore


The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, September 25th, 2015. 

 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.

Draw a Stick Man” Just draw a stick man, nothing else required.  This is so neat. You have to try it. Follow instructions

Just Click here.    https://www.drawastickman.com/index.htm 

Use your mouse, or finger to draw.

 Amazing Grace in a different way

This is the Bungra/Highland blend I was talking about. It’s kind of neat. Right-click and open Hyperlink.    It is “Shot of Scotch” PLUS



The next Ceilidh Dance will be on Friday, September 25th, 2015.    Same time, same place, small increase in 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.


After removing 46 subscribers who have not opened recent newsletters we now have only 323 subscribers.  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

Please keep opening the newsletter!!  Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.


 Please see “Coming Events” below for all information.

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

Sep   2 Fall Frolic walk through at the Scottish Cultural Centre from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. – $6
Sep   5 Fall Frolic hosted by the West End Scottish Country Dance Club, West End Community Centre, 870 Denman Street, Vancouver at 7:30 p.m. with music by the Tartan Players.   Cost $15 and a small donation of food would be greatly appreciated.   There is free parking behind the Centre, enter off Denman Street.
Sep 11 – 13 Port Townsend (WA) Fort Worden Dance Workshop Weekend at Fort Worden State Park & Conference Centre. Fri: Welcome dance 8-11pm; Sat: classes 9-noon & 1:15-2:30pm, Ball 8-11:30pm; Sun am class. Sponsored by Seattle Branch RSCDS. Teachers are Patricia Houghton, Rebecca Blackhall Peters, Sandy Gallamore, Gordon Robinson. Music by Deby Benton Grosjean, Calum MacKinnon, Ralph Gordon, Andy Imbrie. Ball is semi-formal/formal attire. There will be a music workshop on Friday afternoon this year. Contact Elizabeth Miller 206-7828345 3martlet@gmail.com or Kathi Ploeger (Registrar) fwreg@rscds-seattle.org. [www.rscds-seattle.org]
Sep 13 White Rock annual picnic
Sep 18 Vancouver Branch A.G.M. 7:30 p.m. in the Scottish Cultural Centre
Sep 19Sep 19Sep 19

Sep 19

Nanaimo Teachers’ Workshop with teacher Fiona MillerRelease party for Blackthorn’s new CD – “Open Skies”
St. James Hall – 3214 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC
Tickets: $20 ($16 members) available at:
The Rogue Folk Club: 604.736.3022 | www.roguefolk.bc.ca
Highlife Records, Prussin Music, Red Cat Records & Rufus’ Guitar Shop
Sep 25 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 $12 (students $10)
Sep 30 White Rock social – Bring a friend night


Dance - blue


Late submission:

The Sons of Scotland in Victoria present “Tartan Up!” from September 9 – 12 in Victoria including Whisky Tasting; Golf; Concert and Ball.   For info contact klmccull@sfu.ca


With apologies to all good pipers:

Q. How do you get two bagpipers to play in perfect unison?
A. Shoot one. 

Q. What’s the difference between a bagpipe and an onion?
A. Nobody cries when you cut up a bagpipe. 

Q. What’s the difference between a bagpipe and a trampoline?
A. You take off your shoes when you jump on a trampoline. 

Q. How can you tell a bagpiper with perfect pitch?
A. He can throw a set into the middle of a pond and not hit any of the ducks.

Q. How is playing a bagpipe like throwing a javelin while blindfolded?
A. You don’t have to be very good to get people’s attention.

Q. What’s the difference between a lawnmower and a bagpipe?
A. You can tune the lawnmower.

Q. What’s the range of a bagpipe?
A. Twenty Yards if you have a good arm.

Q. Why do bagpipers walk when they play?
A1. To get away from the sound.
A2. Moving targets are harder to hit.



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.


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

BBC Scotland is on the lookout for Scottish-Canadians descendent from two 1920s emigrant ships for a new documentary series looking at the aftermath of the First World War. 

Within two weeks in 1923, two ships carried approximately 600 people from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland to their new home in Canada. At the time most Scottish emigrant ships were leaving from Glasgow, however the April  1923 voyages of the SS Marloch and SS Metagama embarked first from Glasgow, then stopped en-route to pick up passengers in Lochboisdale and Stornoway respectively.

 The Marloch set sail for St John, New Brunswick from Lochboisdale on the 15th of April 1923. On board were at least 50 families from the southern outer islands of the Outer Hebrides, including Barra, Eriskay and North and South Uist. Over 300 men, women and children were on their way to the Clandonald colony in the Red Deer area of Alberta.

 When the Metagama sailed for from Stornoway on the 23rd of April 1923, the ship contained 300 people mostly from Lewis with an average age of twenty two – all but twenty were young men. They were on their way to Montreal, Quebec.

The BBC is keen to hear any personal stories from any Canadians or Americans descendant from those who boarded either ship in Lochboisdale or Stornoway in 1923. Similarly, any stories from people descendent from those who stayed behind in the Scotland will be gratefully received. 

 You can contact researcher Nadine Lee by e-mail nadine.lee02@bbc.co.uk or by phone +44 1224 384 816.



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, September 25, 2015 with live music by Calanaish.   

You have all summer 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 – $12 or $10 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

September will be a really good time to come along and join in one of many Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes as they will be starting up again.    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.

St patrick's Day Dancers

Dance - green

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.

Classes will be starting up again at various locations throughout the Lower Mainland and beyond.   Check for location, start date and time at www.rscdsvancouver.org

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


I was at the checkout of a Tesco store.  The cashier rang up a £46.64 charge ….. I gave her a fifty pound note. She gave me back £46.64. I gave the money back to her and told her that she had made a mistake in MY favor. She became indignant and informed me she was educated and knew what she was doing and returned the money again.  I gave her the money back. Same scenario, again!

I departed the store with the £46.64.





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, September 25, 2015 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 8 or more and we can give them a discount!!!

We Really NEED YOUR HELP to advertise the Ceilidh Dances!!!! It only costs $12 ($10 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.

Summer - Isle of Lunga

Isle of Lunga

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 2015/16 season shapes up as follows:
All on Fridays of course —

September 25
October 23
November 27
January 8
February 5 & 26
March 25
April 29

Come along and get some great exercise while also having lots of fun. We hope to have lots of new Ceilidh dancers and we might even have Louise and maybe Daniel and/or Michelle to help with the calling.  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.

 Summer - Jura from Islay

Jura from Islay

We would like to attract more 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 ($12 or $10 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 - Laburnam walk in Kincardine Castle

Laburnam walk in Kincardine Castle

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.


Someone out there either has far too much spare time – or is deadly at Scrabble.

SLOT MACHINES: When you rearrange the letters: CASH LOST IN ME

ANIMOSITY: When you rearrange the letters: IS NO AMITY

This newsletter reaches out to some 323 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.


I walked into a Starbucks with a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for a Grande Latte.  I handed it to the girl and she looked over at a little chalkboard that said ‘buy one-get one free.’

‘They’re already buy-one- get-one-free,’ she said, ‘so I guess they’re both free’.

She handed me my free Lattes and I walked out the door.



Summer - Largs marina

Largs marina


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

Summer - Lighthouse at end of Mull of Kintyre

The tip of the Mull of Kintyre

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

Duncan      ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org