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The Australian Scottish Community (Qld) Inc.

OUR AIM: "To actively participate with other Scottish and Celtic Groups to maintain, promote and advance the Scots Culture and Heritage in Australia"

Our community has around 150 financial members and consists of both home-grown expatriate Scots and Australians of Scottish descent. Our membership is also open to anyone with an interest in the Scottish culture. We hold monthly meetings on the 3rd Sunday of every month except December at “The Toowong Community Rooms” Jocelyn St Toowong from 11AM to 3PM. Socialising first and meeting begins at 1PM. At these meetings we plan our involvement in activities within the Scottish Community. We usually run a small raffle on the day”

At these events we set up a large tent with tables displaying reference material and books on Scotland, Scottish history and genealogy, and a set of tartan swatch books. With the reference material we are able to assist visitors to seek out the origins of their names no matter how obscure the name may be as long as it is of Scottish origin. Once the clan or sept is established we can then use the tartan swatch books to give them a view and feel of their tartan. It is much better than looking at a photograph. We can then show our visitors the likely areas on maps that their name is associated with. While we do not charge for the service there is a donation box which occasionally has a coin fed into it.

We also sell crafts of a Scottish nature and clan bookmarks, keyrings and Celtic styled coasters These items are made by our members to assist with our fund raising. The proceeds raised from these activities are used to help fund Tartan Day each year.

Seventeen years in 1996 ago the first Tartan Day was organized. This is the major event on our calendar. It started out as a very small affair, due to finances and location. It has grown over the intervening years. In 2000 the Clan displays and stalls were held indoors at City Hall with some activities in the square outside. We adhered strictly to holding this event on July 1. 2001 was our first venture into the big league. We held the event outdoors at the Cultural Forecourt at South Bank Parklands beside the Brisbane River, an inner city community area that, in 1988, was the scene of Expo 88. It was a fantastic success and we were overwhelmed by the crowd. The event ran from 9.00am until 4.30pm with pipe bands, highland dancing and live music all day. At our debriefing it was decided that, from then on, a Sunday event was a must to enable the maximum number of visitors to help celebrate the event. So the Sunday nearest to July 1 was decided as the date for future Tartan Day events. In 2010 due to extremely massive increases in the cost of renting and use of Southbank the Brisbane City Council kindly offered us King George Square and also helped with some of the financial costs. So 2010 saw us at King George Square being in the centre of the city and with the bagpipes playing we had a full house. Due to the proximity of two churches we were not allowed to party on the Sunday but Saturday was fine so since then it has been the first Saturday in July and it works.

The year, 2002, 30th of June was Tartan Day and what a day it was. The numbers appeared to be double those of last year. Once again the scene was the Cultural Forecourt of South Bank. Considering that five weeks before there was doubt whether our event would be able to go ahead due to difficulty in obtaining Public Liability insurance for community events. One month before the event, insurance was guaranteed and we moved into action with advertising to be organised, raffle tickets to be printed, pipe bands to be confirmed, Royal Scottish Country Dance Society to be contacted and so on.”

We were there at 7.30am on the day setting up our displays and organising all the other stalls and performers. A local Ceilidh band "Scotch on the Rocks" accompanied by singers Brian Bisset (presenter of the Scottish program on 4EB) and Warwick Jacks, who were joint MCs for the day, opened the festivities at 9.00am. From that time it was non-stop. Highland dancers, Royal Scottish Country Dance Society dancers, Gaelic Dream, ten pipe bands and other performers entertained the crowds continuously. The massed bands performed twice during the day led by "Blizzard" a Highland bull from a local breeder.

The stalls flanked the entertainment area in bright blue skies along the bank of the Brisbane River. "All things Tartan", "Highland House" and "A Touch of Tartan" were there to sell everything from kilts and scarves to Scottish bumper stickers. A genealogy stall from The Family History group was set up and was doing very good business. In one corner of the field was a family of Vikings with their Viking house and their various implements of daily use, including working tools and weapons, on display and even their children in appropriate authentic wear. There were four Imps, which were Scottish built cars of the sixties and seventies, on display. The cars generated huge interest, with many people reminiscing their younger days of ownership and some even announcing that they had worked in the factory in Paisley, Scotland in the manufacture of these cars.

Keen interest was shown in the very enthusiastic young dance troupe "Gaelic Dream" who specialise in Scottish dancing of a style that Highland dancing would have evolved from. They perform dances choreographed by themselves to suit traditional and contemporary Scottish music.  The troupe gets huge audience support because they are so vibrantly different. This family group is also a member of our Australian Scottish Community.

Three of our members are involved in the presentation of the Scottish program on our local ethnic community radio station, 4EB 98.1FM, each Thursday from 2.15pm to 4.00pm. The station is funded by its membership within the various ethnic community groups and broadcast time is allocated according to the size of the group's membership. Many of the members of the Australian Scottish Community Qld (Inc) are also members of the 4EB Scottish group. The Scottish program is gaining in popularity and membership of the Scottish group is growing steadily. The program features Scottish music and Scottish performers, a Burns recitation and a weekly recipe of Scots origin. Listeners are kept up-to-date with the latest news events from Scotland and reminded of Scottish upcoming events.

Sadly Gaelic Dream is no longer here. The family has migrated to Scotland and is the better for it.. We no longer can display the Scottish cars due to space which is also sad as they were a popular part of our display. This year the Scottish built Hillman Imp and its variants celebrate their 50th birthday in 2013 and have just been declared by Britain’s main classic car magazine “Practical Classics” as “The best small car ever built in Britain”. We could have had a great party. There will be a display of photographs instead.

President: Ian Campbell - Phone: 07 3359 8195
Vice President: Darcy Maddock 07 3855 1072
The Australian Scottish Community (Qld) Inc.
PO Box 3188,
South Brisbane Qld 4101
Web site: The Australian Scottish Community (Qld) Inc..

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