Moscow Caledonian Club was founded in the end of 1994. Caley Clubs, of
course, have long existed all over the world, but we have the honour to
be the first such institution not only in modern Russia, but on the
entire expanse of the former USSR (CIS plus Baltics) or, for that
matter, the old Russian Empire. From the very start the Club is headed
by President Vitaly Mironov whose dedicated leadership is appreciated by
all who know him. We are based in the Russian capital, but have many
members all over the country and beyond, including Scotland. Membership
is open to all those truly interested in Scotland and her heritage as
well as to descendants of Scots in Russia. Although our history is very
young, in many respects we have led the way. Burns suppers and St.
Andrews Day ceilidhs are a must, but there is a whole lot more!
In 1997 the Club launched the first
Russo-Scottish Folk Festival and Russia's maiden Highland
Games. Both were a huge success and became traditional in the
years to come. One of the highlights was the debut of pipes and drums in
Red Square! In 1998 there followed the Scottish Folk & Whisky
Festival, sponsored by "The Famous Grouse" and "Whyte
& Mackay", which brought together some fine musicians from both
sides. Predictably, whisky-tasting proved a great attraction! In August
of the same year our Club accomplished the first-ever Russian
participation in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The Central Band and
Dancers of the Russian Navy stole the show and set the attendance record
(a near sell-out even despite the wettest Scottish summer for years!).
In 1999 our new project took shape, the
regular Seasons of Russian Culture in Scotland. In May, its first
event was held in Lochaber with the support of the Highland Council.
Russian folk music was played by the Grenada band. As a sequel, in 2000
the traditional Highland Festival featured the Moscow Chamber Orchestra
"The Seasons", conducted by V. Bulakhov. Their tour was also
arranged by our Club.
The study and commemoration of historical
links between Russia and Scotland is another priority with us. In 1995
the Club assisted in unveiling the monument to Charles Gascoigne
(1737-1806), originally director of the famous Carron Works, then
reformer of Russian industry and founder of the Ukrainian city of
Lugansk, where the ceremony took place. We have also designed and
presented to Scotland memorial tablets to General Patrick Gordon of
Auchleuchries (1635-1699), chief advisor of Tsar Peter the Great, and to
Admiral Samuel Greig (1735-1788), commander of Russias Baltic Fleet;
the first was erected in Aberdeens Roman Catholic Cathedral of St.
Mary, the second on the wall of Greigs house in his native burgh of
Inverkeithing. These men and their remarkable achievements belong to
both Scotland and Russia, and we cherish their memory.
Extensive research on different aspects
of our links is carried out by several Club members: Dr Dmitry Fedosov,
Alexey Gromov-Colley, Vsevolod Sindeyev, Irene and Olga Leslies and
others. Dr Fedosov has produced a preliminary list of hundreds of Scots
in Russia and Russians in Scotland (The Caledonian Connection:
Scotland-Russia Ties. Middle Ages to Early Twentieth Century. Aberdeen,
1996). He is currently translating into Russian the six surviving
volumes of Patrick Gordons Diary, of which Volume I was published in
2000. Work is also under way on an anthology "Scottish Voices in
In a word, the Moscow Caledonian Club
already has a formidable record. Our events are regularly announced and
covered by Russian and British media, including major newspapers, radio
stations and TV channels. In the 1990s a series of TV programs on
Scotland was produced by Alexey Denisov and other Club members. We are
proud to take Russo-Scottish links to new heights and to involve
thousands (via the media, millions) of people in the exciting process of
mutual acquaintance and appreciation.
1994, December. Moscow
Caledonian Club founded.
1995-1997 Exchange of
visits between MCC members and University of Aberdeen students.
1-3 February. Russo-Scottish Folk
Festival in Moscow. Participants: Grenada Folk Band, Kalinka Dancers,
Vladimir Lazersons Band, Si Mhor, Bedlam Howe (Turriff) etc.
22 June. Moscow Highland Games held at
Znamensky Stadium Participants:Russian athletes headed by Olympic and
World shot put champion Svetlana Kryveleva, Bruce Sheppard and other
Scottish athletes, Nairn Pipe Band, Dufftown Highland Dancers. Games
opened by British Ambassador Sir Andrew Wood and filmed by BBC and
12 August. Memorial tablet to Patrick
Gordon of Auchleuchries presented to St.Marys Roman Catholic
22 August. MCC takes part in Fyvie Folk
20-29 June. II Festival of Scottish
Culture and Highland Games in Moscow. Scottish guests included
Grantown-on-Spey Pipe Band, Dufftown Cultural Group, craftsmen from
Lochaber, Bedlam Howe and Daimh folk bands and Ronnie Browne - over 100
August . Russias debut at the
Edinburgh Military Tattoo - Central Band of the Russian Navy conducted
by Captain A. S. Danilchenko.
12 August. Memorial tablet to Admiral
Samuel Greig unveiled in Inverkeithing by MCC and Fife Council.
30 November 10 December. I Scottish
Folk & Whisky Festival in Moscow. Sponsored by The Famous Grouse and
Whyte & Mackay. Featured musicians from Elgin, Buckie, Fochabers
1-9 April. Scottish Folk Festival in
Moscow featuring Brian Miller, Gordeanna McCulloch and Handsel.
25 May-5 June. I Season of Russian
Culture in Scotland. Concerts by Moscow Family band in the Highlands,
including Fort William, Nairn, Mallaig and Inverey.
17-25 July. III Festival of Scottish
Culture and Games in Moscow. Russian athletes headed by European shot
put champion Oleg Lyakhov. Folk bands included Si Mhor, Wolves &
Sheep, Grenada and Beggars Row.
27 November-11 December. II Scottish Folk
and Whisky Festival. Sponsored by Johnnie Walker. Concerts by Beggars
13-24 April. The Scottish Stepdance
Company (Isle of Skye) in Moscow.
27 May-14 June. II Season of Russian
Culture in Scotland. Part of International Highland Festival. Concerts
by Grenada and Moscow Chamber Orchestra "The Seasons" in
Inverness, Aviemore, Portree, Ullapool and Inverey.
1-17 July. IV Festival of Scottish
Culture and Games in Moscow. Held, as usual, in Sokolniki district.
Scots contingent included Dumbarton Pipe Band, The Hebrideans,
Beggars Row and members of the Highland Council. Attended by nearly
40,000 people and broadcast by all main Russian TV channels with an
audience of over 200 million.
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