Ceilidh Dance newsletter – next Ceilidh Dance – Monday, August 6, 2012 in Stanley Park

Paps of Jura

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

You know why a banana is like a politician?
When he first comes in he is green, then he turns yellow and then he’s rotten.


I, unfortunately, missed what has been reported to me as a super dance at White Rock last Saturday.   There were, I am told, over 100 in attendance and they all seemed to enjoy the varied programme of dances selected by Maureen.   I am sure the music would have been wonderful of course.   I had the privilege of listening to Jim Lindsay and Bill O’Donnell play in my house last Friday when they were here for dinner.   Congratulations to the team of organizers, to Maureen Lyon and to all the members of the White Rock club.   The Ceilidh featuring Jim & Bill plus a host of other entertainers last Thursday was also well attended and very enjoyable.

This was a forced change for them as the hall was not available on a Sunday which had been the normal time for the White Rock Tea Dance so they had to switch to the Saturday.  This change was the reason I had to miss the dance as I had agreed, over a year ago, to call some Ceilidh Dancing at a wedding and thought it would be OK to accept as the Tea Dance would be on the Sunday.   Too bad but I may have got some new recruits!

There is a Ceilidh night in the Park again – August 1 – see below for more details of Dancing in the Park.

Classes are pretty well over for the season although there is still the Fort Langley Whisky Tea Dance to come plus there are workshops and dances elsewhere.


Almonds are a member of the peach  family.

An ostrich’s eye  is bigger than its brain.


NOTE:- the BC Highland Games is to be held on Saturday June 23, 2012 in Percy Perry Stadium, Coquitlam. This is a week earlier than normal so please help us by passing this information along.
The BC Highland Games Organizing Committee still needs more volunteers.
50 to 75 volunteers are needed on the day of the games.
If you are able to assist, please contact Jim Bain (604-435-0764) or Glenna Urbshadt (604-224-5479).

The Vancouver Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) have put on a mass display of Scottish Country dancing each year and this year is no exception. Practices are to be held at the Scottish Cultural Centre on Wednesday evenings June 6, 13 & 30 from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Participation entitles you to a discounted entry into the Games but more importantly you can join in the fun and the thrill of performing at centre stage as part of a great display. The programme is devised by Mary Murray and everyone is welcome to join in. Call or e-mail Jean for info and to register – 604-464-8103 tac@rscdsvancouver.org – or come on the first night and sign up then. Note none of the dances will be difficult!!

Check out the BC Highland Games website at www.bchighlandgames.com A Sponsorship package is available from the website so if you or you know of anyone who would like to sponsor the Games and/or advertise in the programme please download the form and pass it on.

The Celtic Treasure Chest have a sale of all their 2011 inventory in their three stores. Check our webpage for contact info – www.vancouverceilidh.org You can get refunded for 1 hour of parking at the White Rock store with minimum purchase.

The wedding I attended last weekend was held in Cranbrook BC.   The Scottish bride to be wanted some Ceilidh dancing on her big day,   Cara grew up in Ardrisaig on Loch Fyne and met her man in Fernie – at least I think that is where they met.   All arrangements were made by e-mail as we never met before the event.   I flew up to Cranbrook on Saturday morning leaving Vancouver on a beautiful sunny morn and flying right over my house although I was sitting on the wrong side of the 18 seater plane.   The 90 minute flight was uneventful (thankfully) and we landed to a cloudy day.   I had to phone for the shuttle to the hotel where I was staying and also where the reception was to be held.   The hotel, St. Eugene, started its life in the 1900’s as a Catholic residential school and was a very impressive stone building.   It has been renovated and had a lot of additions including a Casino and is owned by a group of the local Native Indian bands.   There is also a golf course and a Pavilion.   The service was being held as I arrived across the road in the little chapel which was also under renovation.  Apparently this was the first wedding to be held for many years.   I was not able to view the inside but I gather the renovations are mostly complete and now they were working on the landscaping.   The chapel was built about 1908.

I had time to view all the facilities while waiting for my room to be ready.   The casino was fairly quiet but quite large, the golf course looked in pretty good nick but there were areas that were being re-sodded perhaps due to winter kill.   There is a Pro shop and cafeteria and there is also a pool and exercise room for the hotel guests.   The hotel has a bar with cafe and a restaurant.

The reception was to be held in the Pavilion which is a permanent marquis tent affair with 6 or 7 peaks which reminded me of the tents erected for Cirque Du Soleil.   It was very large and easily sat the 100 or so guests with loads of room for greeting etc.   There was a stage and an 18 x 36 wooden dance floor made up of 3 x 3 interlocking panels.   The groom’s family owns the local craft brewery (the groom is the Manager) so instead of specially labelled wine there were bottles of specially labelled beer on each place along with a personalized fridge magnet and many other personal touches which made the tables very beautiful.

I was seated at table 4 along with 8 other very friendly guests who I told were going to be the demonstration set for the Scottish dancing!   We were served a very lovely 4 course meal which arrived at each table on very large platters plus glasses that were never empty of wine, beer or other drinks (mine was water!).   There was an open bar plus a special Scotch table on which there were about 8 different single malts some of which had to be brought over by the guests as they are not available in Canada.  A server was on hand to explain the differences and how to taste the whiskies without getting too much spirit.

Then came the speeches which were all personal and from the heart.   A bit of humour, a bit of nostalgia and loads of love.   The DJ, Jim, played pleasant background music.   I had met Jim earlier to set up my wireless microphone and pass him my case of CD’s along with the list of dances, track numbers etc.   The happy married couple had their first dance and then everyone joined in to what I would call Western country music then after a few more dances it was my turn.   The floor was overflowing for the progressive Gay Gordons then the bride wanted the Orcadian Strip the Willow and by the end of that the floor had separated in many places so it was nor safe.   The staff managed to repair most of it but the back row of tiles proved too difficult and after 1/2 hour it was decided to remove it.   While this was being done the DJ played more music and the usable part of the floor was used for dancing but it must have taken an hour before I could get them back up and even then the floor broke up again.   I had a good crowd of enthusiastic dancers up for each dance and I received many complimentary comments.   Dancing of one sort or another continued until 1:30 and then it was time to dismantle stuff although there was some left until the morning.

Apart from the floor the evening was a big success.   This was the first wedding in the Pavilion and the hotel staff should be complimented on doing a great job.   If there were other hitches I was not aware of them.  The Bride looked very beautiful and always had a beaming smile.  Her mother father, sister, brother, bother-in-law and I think an aunt had all come over from Scotland so there were a few Scottish accents to be heard.  Everyone was very friendly and needed very little persuasion (sometimes none at all) to get up and learn some Scottish dance.   Maybe Cara will start a Ceilidh or even an SCD class in the Cranbrook/Fernie area.

My thanks to the Bride and Groom for inviting and taking great care of me, to all the guests, to Jim the DJ and to the hotel staff for a very nice weekend.  Sunday dawned sunny though there was a chill in the wind.   I had a very enjoyable brunch with some of the guests and then enjoyed a walk along the creek which flowed beside the golf course.   A rest in the sun and then it was back to the airport for the flight home – bigger plane with washroom, flight attendant, juice & cookies too!!  All in all a most enjoyable time.   I will have to stock up on Fernie Brewing Compnay’s beer for the next Ceilidh dance in September.


John Logie Baird (1888-1946)

Invented Television

Born in Helensburgh, he produced the first TV picture in October 1925. Sent the first images across the Atlantic in 1928. Started first TV station with broadcasts for BBC. Also involved in fibre-optics, radio direction finding and infra-red night viewing.


COMING EVENTS IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS – see www.vancouverceilidh.org for a complete list.

May 6-11 Scottish Dance Masters Conference
More information from Nora Sutherland – 905-276-2602 Irene Paterson – 425-438-8977
May  7 Burnaby Spring session 7:30 — 9:30 p.m. Edmonds Community Centre, 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby – $5 drop in.   Marie Disiewicz will be teaching a programme of Derek Haynes dances.
May 11 Delta Police Pipe Band concert — www.deltapolicepipeband.com South Delta Baptist Church — Tickets $25 (group of 15 or more $20 each) — volunteers needed call Bill 604-580-6876 or e-mail cathbill@telus.net — volunteers get free admission!!
May 12 Bellingham monthly dance YMCA, 1026 North Forest Street — 7:30 p.m. $10
May 14 Burnaby Spring session 7:30 — 9:30 p.m. Edmonds Community Centre, 7282 Kingsway, Burnaby – $5 drop in.   This week featuring teacher Katherine Shearman.
May 27 Fort Langley Whisky Tea Dance at 2 p.m. in Fort Langley Community Hall, 9167 Glover Road, Fort Langley with music by Lisa Scott and Ryan McKasson — Tickets $15
Jun 3- 10 Celtic Music Cruise Alaska  see www.CelticMusicCruise for info. 
Jun  4 & 11 Two Danish Les Lanciers classes at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.  7:30 — 9:30 p.m. – $15 for both classes — info ccdmarie@telus.net and www.heartlanddancevancouver.org
Jun  6 First practice for the “Mass Dancing” performance at the Highland Games.   Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver — 7:30 — 9:00 p.m.   Join in the fun and be part of a great display of Scottish Country Dancing stepping through a programme devised by Mary Murray.   All levels welcome and you get a discounted entry to the Games.   Contact Jean for info — 604-464-8103 tac@rscdsvancouver.org
Jun  9 Inverglen Scottish Dancers present “A Celtic Journey” at 2 p.m. Magee Secondary Theatre, 6360 Maple Street, Vancouver.  All seats $14 — Scottish Country and Highland Dancing wuth piper Kevin Watsyk
Jun 11 Dancing in Stanley Park 7 — 9 p.m. hosted by Deep Cove
Jun 13 Second practice for the “Mass Dancing” performance at the Highland Games.   Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver — 7:30 — 9:00 p.m.   Join in the fun and be part of a great display of Scottish Country Dancing stepping through a programme devised by Mary Murray.   All levels welcome and you get a discounted entry to the Games.   Contact Jean for info — 604-464-8103 tac@rscdsvancouver.org
Jun 15-17 Simply Scottish on Salt Spring II, Salt Spring Island BC Canada We’re excited to welcome great teachers Elaine Brunken, Mary Murray, and Geoffrey Selling, and fabulous musicians John Taylor, David Mostardi, and Mary Ross.  Details later at www.saltspringscottishdancers.org
Jun 18 Dancing in Stanley Park 7 — 9 p.m. hosted by the Branch — this is the Official Opening night with a Pipe Band and the Branch Demonstration Team
Jun 20 Final practice for the “Mass Dancing” performance at the Highland Games.   Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver — 7:30 — 9:00 p.m.   Join in the fun and be part of a great display of Scottish Country Dancing stepping through a programme devised by Mary Murray.   All levels welcome and you get a discounted entry to the Games.   Contact Jean for info — 604-464-8103 tac@rscdsvancouver.org

 See website www.vancouverceilidh.org for a more complete list.



Two elderly women were out driving in a large car–both could barely see over the dashboard.  As they were cruising along, they came to an intersection. The stoplight was red, but they just went on through.

The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself ‘I must be losing it.  I could have sworn we just went through a red light.’  After a few more minutes, they came to another intersection and the light was red.  Again, they went right through.  The woman in the passenger seat was almost sure that the light had been red but was really concerned that she was losing it.  She was getting nervous.  At the next intersection, sure enough, the light was red and they went on through.  So, she turned to the other woman and said, “Mildred, did you know that we just ran through three red lights in a row?  You could have killed us both!”

Mildred turned to her and said, “Oh, crap, am I driving?”


A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

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

A snail can sleep for three years.

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


The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, September 28, 2012 – that is the last Friday of the month. There will be, however,  the annual Ceilidh in the Park on Monday, August 6, 2012 near 2nd Beach in Stanley Park from 7 – 9 p.m. – free of charge!!!
See website www.vancouverceilidh.org  Coming Events listing for all Dancing in the Park dates etc.

Please help spread the word about all the Ceilidh Dances as that is the best (and cheapest) form of advertising. Here is a link where you can watch a short video of a Ceilidh Dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MvUwZnY9Ms

The format for all of the regular monthly Ceilidh Dances will be the same with the class from 7 — 8 p.m. and the dance from 8 — 11 p.m. and all dances will be walked and talked through. The price is only – $10 or $8 for students which, for what you get is a super bargain — everyone is welcome. No partner is required and you should wear FLAT, comfy shoes and loose clothing. Children are also welcome but should be prepared to dance with other people as some of the dances require a change of partner. Don’t forget to bring a few extra $$$$ to help defray the cost of the refreshments which are otherwise free.



For those who enjoy listening to Scottish music, song, banter etc. try www.andysceilidh.co.uk/ this is a radio programme that you can get sent to you and listen any time you want.

Pitmedden Gardens

The Branch has opened a Facebook Page at “RSCDS-Vancouver” – check it out there are some good pictures etc. www.facebook.com/rscdsvancouver. There is a link on both our website www.vancouverceilidh.org and the Branch website www.rscdsvancouver.org

It really is never too late to come along and join in one of many Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes and NOW is a great time to do it. You will be made very welcome. Many classes have a policy that the first night is FREE! Plan to come along to try out a class next week. There are classes all around and on different nights so


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 get the basics learnt 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 also are Branches in Victoria and 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

Also the Inverary Step Dance class on Wednesdays in the French School, 1555 West 7th Ave., Vancouver- info b_campbell@dccnet.com


Riddles (answer next week)

Last week’s answer:

Nothing. Nothing is greater than God, nothing is more evil than the devil, the poor have nothing, the rich need nothing and if you eat nothing you’ll die.

This week’s:

It walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three legs in the evening. What is it?

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 28, 2012 in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, (73rd & Hudson which is between Oak & Granville), Vancouver, BUT. there is a Ceilidh Night in the Park on Monday, August 1st – see www.vancouverceilidh.org for info. We need everyone to help us get as many new comers (as well as former Ceilidh Dancers) as possible to come and join us. WE Really NEED YOUR HELP to advertise the Ceilidh Dances!!!! What a nice thoughtful gift it could be if you gave your friends admission to the Ceilidh Dance. They don’t need to know it only costs $10 – 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 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.

The cost is still the amazingly low price of $10 or $8 for students and we provide refreshments although we do ask for your donations towards their cost. We always need your support both by coming along and by helping us to advertise these dances by whatever means you use to communicate with your friends be it e-mail, Face-Book, Twitter, Text or even telephone! 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 on 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 2012/13 season shapes up as follows:
All on Fridays of course —

September 28
October 26
November 30
January 4
February 1
February 22
March 29
April 26

Come along and get some great exercise while also having lots of fun. We are still working on improving the strength of the smile muscles as well as the bows and curtsies! Please do your best to assist us in letting as many people know as possible. Use Face-book, e-mail, telephone or even word of mouth and tell everyone you know what a fun night it is. We need to attract students from UBC, SFU and all the other colleges and universities. 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.


Bob Hill and his new wife Betty were vacationing in Europe….as it happens, near Transylvania . They were driving in a rental car along a rather deserted highway. It was late and raining very hard. Bob could barely see the road in front of the car. Suddenly, the car skids out of control! Bob attempts to control the car, but to no avail! The car swerves and smashes into a tree.

Moments later, Bob shakes his head to clear the fog. Dazed, he looks over at the passenger seat and sees his wife unconscious, with her head bleeding! Despite the rain and unfamiliar countryside, Bob knows he has to get her medical assistance.

Bob carefully picks his wife up and begins trudging down the road. After a short while, he sees a light. He heads towards the light, which is coming from a large, old house. He approaches the door and knocks.

A minute passes. A small, hunched man opens the door. Bob immediately blurts, “Hello, my name is Bob Hill, and this is my wife Betty. We’ve been in a terrible accident, and my wife has been seriously hurt. Can I please use your phone?”

“I’m sorry,” replied the hunchback, “but we don’t have a phone. My master is a doctor; come in, and I will get him!”
Bob brings his wife in.

An older man comes down the stairs. “I’m afraid my assistant may have misled you. I am not a medical doctor; I am a scientist.. However, it is many miles to the nearest clinic, and I have had a basic medical training. I will see what I can do. Igor, bring them down to the laboratory.”

With that, Igor picks up Betty and carries her downstairs, with Bob following closely.. Igor places Betty on a table in the lab. Bob collapses from exhaustion and his own injuries, so Igor places Bob on an adjoining table.

After a brief examination, Igor’s master looks worried. “Things are serious, Igor. Prepare a transfusion.”  Igor and his master work feverishly, but to no avail. Bob and Betty Hill are no more.

The Hills’ deaths upset Igor’s master greatly. Wearily, he climbs the steps to his conservatory, which houses his grand piano. For it is here that he has always found solace. He begins to play, and a stirring, almost haunting melody fills the house.

Meanwhile, Igor is still in the lab tidying up. His eyes catch movement, and he notices the fingers on Betty’s hand twitch, keeping time to the haunting piano music. Stunned, he watches as Bob’s arm begins to rise, marking the beat! He is further amazed as Betty and Bob both sit up straight!

Unable to contain himself, he dashes up the stairs to the conservatory.

He bursts in and shouts to his master:

“Master, Master!…..The Hills are alive with the sound of music!”
(I am soooooo sorry…..but you really should’ve seen that one coming!!)
You might even consider changing your e-mail address now!!!!


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 367 subscribers (up another 1!) 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. Note- I normally compose the newsletters on Sundays.


Thanks hope to see you at a Highland Games practice, Dancing in the Park, the Highland Games or somewhere nice. Enjoy yourselves – come Scottish Country Dancing – for you never know you just might …..!

Duncan ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org