60 Years of Scottish Country Dancing

60 Years
Scottish Country Dancing

Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club Inc

Including involvement with
Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association
Hawke’s Bay and East Coast Region

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While it was envisaged to record just the happenings of the Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club Inc., it was felt that the inclusion of the Club’s involvement with the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association and the Hawke’s Bay and East Coast Branch would be beneficial in recording those beginnings and happenings.

Jack Seton had an enormous input both with the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association, Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club and his involvement in many New Zealand Summer Schools and individual clubs.

The editorials for each publication have been included, giving an insight to dancing in New Zealand. Other snippets relevant to our 60 years have been included along with other items of interesting history of Scotland and its dances.

These first (1954-1956) editions of The New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer could well have been typed on a stencil and then printed the old fashioned way (by 2010 standards) on a duplicating machine called a Gestetner. Each page had to be ‘inked’ and printed separately and then collated (by hand) together before stapling and mailing out. Errors were corrected by ‘painting’ pink correction fluid over the mistake, wait for that to dry, hope that you have lined up correctly to retype the correction. Ink came in tubes, which was squeezed across the top of the inking material before the stencil was placed. A handle was turned manually so that the stencil was adequately covered with ink before printing took place. An automatic counter made it easier to print the correct number of copies.

From Volume 4 (1957) advertisements were placed and The New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer entered a new phase. To match this new dignity, it appeared for the first time in print.

Photos commenced appearing from 1964 and with that a ‘glossy’ cover showing a fern and thistle. Over the years covers have varied, showing the RSCDS NZ Branch emblem along with photos to enhance the look of a great magazine. Coloured photos appeared as a ‘centre-fold’ with suitable captions in later years giving a glimpse at the many tartans and activities of many dancers. May it long continue.

Compiler – Glenys Kelly
Hastings NZ 2011 (E&OE)

First Editorial:

No more auspicious date could have been found for the formation of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association of Scottish Country Dance Clubs than the year which ushered in the new Elizabethan Era, Coronation Year, 1953. Rapid and vigorous growth may well be expected to follow an initiation

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1954 – Volume 1
Editors: MM Cunningham / DC Dodd

attended by such favourable omens, and indeed, as its members will attest, our association has made great progress in its first nine months. Now it is ready to embark on a venture unusual in one so young – the publication of its own magazine.

Some there may indeed be who will consider the project premature; however, there are good reasons for this publication.

First, this magazine is designed to put on record the formation of the association and the activities of the clubs which comprise it.

Second, its purpose is to bring together in print these same clubs; to make known each to the others, both as an individual and as part of the association.

Third, and most important, it is hoped that this magazine will make known to other Scottish Country Dance Clubs in the Dominion the establishment of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association.

It is recognised that there are many groups operating independently or under the auspices of local Scottish societies (some have actually contributed to this issue).

It is hoped that these clubs will be inspired to form provincial associations similar to this one; so that it may ultimately be possible to unite all districts in a New Zealand Association of Scottish Country Dance Clubs.

To all it must be obvious that this alone will ensure for country dancing in New Zealand its best and strongest development.

It is, then with high hopes that we present this first number of the New Zealand Scottish Dancer. To those who have assisted so greatly in its production we offer grateful acknowledgement. Especially are we indebted to Eric Brown for the cover design, to Lorna Ellis for the lino-cut permitting its reproduction, to Leicester Frater for his invaluable help with paper and printing and to Allan Carlton whose generous donation of a bag for raffling provided a large part of the necessary funds.

President’s Message
Jack Seton

As President of the newly formed Association of Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Scottish Country Dance Clubs, it affords me the greatest possible pleasure, through the medium of the New Zealand Scottish Dances to convey greetings to all clubs and country dancers.

There is no country richer in songs or dances than Scotland; it is our aim, aye trust, to foster and preserve what can only be described as our sacred heritage, these lovely dances that time has added lustre to, and not dimmed like other cults. In order to give ourselves further strength to carry out our objects, our association has affiliated with the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

During the short time our association has been formed, the committees have not allowed the grass to grow under their feet. Several dances have been held at Morison’s Bush, which to the Scot in New Zealand, must rank with the country dancer as Hampden Park is to football.

Negotiations are at present being carried out to hold a Summer School at Napier, which if it eventuates, I hope will be patronised by all club officials to start with, and from the experience gained, will become an annual event similar to the Scottish School at St Andrews.

Clubs individually and collectively are giving demonstrations, thus bringing to the notice of persons in high offices, the physical and educational value of country dancing. Many schools are including it in their curriculum.

Perhaps the greatest advantage to be gained from country dancing is the friendship that develops. A set immediately becomes friends – and friendship is amongst the world’s greatest treasures. Personally I can say that during my four years in New Zealand, I have become a millionaire in friendship, and with the amount of travelling I have done to other clubs, will soon be a multi-millionaire – all through country dancing.

Our association is fortunate in having a committee, who at considerable time and expense to themselves, have worked to put into practice our aims and objects. We are also indebted to the after-mentioned for their assistance in work and publicity; Bill Fell and Joe Wallace, of Auckland and Dunedin Radio Stations and the one and only Hector Smith, Secretary of the Wellington Association of Scots Societies. To each go our warmest thanks.

While our name may convey that our work is confined territorially it is an honour and privilege to include Whakatane Club, whose members regularly attend Morison’s Bush, travelling 400 miles each way. What better proof could be had of the enjoyment and friendship derived from our dances?

I look forward to the day when other areas will form their association and eventually lead to the

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formation of an association embracing the whole of New Zealand.

Club Notes

Hastings: Our club meets on Tuesday evenings, and any visitors should contact J Seton, Courthouse, Hastings, Phone 2162.

We are fortunate that in our club we have school teachers, with the result that country dancing is practiced in Napier Boys’ High School, and Iona and Woodford colleges, Havelock North. Recently we have sent instructors to Waipukurau where the local Scots Society is now enjoying our dances.

Evenings are held frequently with the Napier Club. For the weekend of Queen’s Birthday, our club is travelling to Whakatane, where we will be guests of our friends there. They were our guests when we held a farewell to Mr Ken Shaw, who has returned to Scotland.

Whakatane and Hastings join up to travel to dances at Morison’s Bush and reside with Mr & Mrs Coe – ladies in the house, gents in the hayshed. After each dance, a most enjoyable time is had by all, singing Scottish songs. Yes! If some of our club could dance as well as they sing!

We are going to miss Ken Shaw when it comes to our next sing-song. He has an inexhaustible repertoire of songs that either make you laugh or make your feet itch to dance – spite of the fact that the pianist has often to play on the cracks. Bon Voyage Ken and haste ye back.

Our club has been approached by Greater Hastings Committee to organise a massed demonstration of Scottish country dancing at the next Highland Games (Easter 1955). Our chief trouble is accommodation which, owing to the number of competitors and spectators who attend the Games, is at a premium. The Games must be considered as among the finest in the Dominion, and I earnestly ask each club to give it thought.

Through our Journal we convey to all other clubs our best wishes and trust that at some time some of their members will join us and spend a happy evening.

Whakatane club reported that a very pleasant weekend as guests of the Napier-Hastings clubs, the members of which put on a wonderful show on the Saturday night. A good hall, a good floor, and a capable MC (Bruce Fordyce), plus Jimmy Shand. June 5th saw Whakatane Club playing host to the return visit from Napier and Hastings clubs.

Morison’s Bush

This was one of the earliest outposts in the Wairarapa, taking its name from Duncan Morison (Originally Morrison) who settled there in 1856.

At first Morison’s Bush was a most isolated place, not for ten years connected, and then most precariously, by a coach service to Wellington, over the steep mountain range of the Rimutaka’s.

And now, 100 years later, modern transport makes light of miles and mountains, and from north and south contingents of dancers gather to make Morison’s Bush famous as the venue of the first Scottish Country Dance Balls ever held in New Zealand. It is fitting that Morison’s Bush should give its name to a new country dance (Morison’s Bush, composed by Ken Shaw). All we need now is a new reel tune to make the dance all our own.


Our Gaelic dictionary attempts to translate into English the word ‘ceilidh’ as a ‘visit’, a ‘gossiping’, a ‘pilgrimage’, or a ‘sojourning’. (Considered in this light, every ball at Morison’s Bush has been a ceilidh).

However, it seems odd that the dictionary should give no hint of the invariable musical content of a ceilidh. In small communities of Scotland the ceilidh has always been an impromptu concert, a gathering of the people for song, dance and story, an eagerly sought highlight in the gloom of the long winter evenings.

In the towns taste may have been more sophisticated but in Edinburgh, for example, concerts are known to have been held from 1720 onwards, when a music

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By Bruce Fordyce
(With apologies to better poets)

There was a time when native bush
Flowed like a verdant rippling tide
O’er marshy plains of sedge and rush
Where now is seen the strathspeys glide

A wee wood Kirk, a pub, a hall
An old farmhouse, good company
We dancing folk do love them all
For they to us spell jollity

To music with a right Scots swing
We step the hours of night away
And merriment makes the rafters ring
Till early hours the next Lord’s Day

In jigs, strathspeys and reels we set
The music lifts us to our feet
From Jimmy Shand, the finest yet
Of any band we’ve yet to meet

Our blood’s astir, and, Scot or no
In kilt or trousers, skirt and sash
We’re on the floor and off we go
‘What, dinna Ken?’ ‘Then dinna fash’.

The night creeps by, the homeward track
Is calling all from far and near
They swear they’ll meet our MC Jack
In this old hall once more this year

In Whakatane, Hastings too
In Wellington and Napier
The friendships we have made with you
Gleam bright as any rapier

And though our consciences may irk
Into our minds one thought we’ll push
To spare a weekend off from work
In Country Dancing’s home – the Bush

club met at Stiels’ Tavern in the High Street.

Throughout the land, from earliest times, local repertoires were added to by travelling fiddlers and singers; it is hardly surprising that a wealth of traditional song and dance has been handed down to our own times.

Perhaps the custom of holding a ceilidh is reviving. We heard one recently in a recorded programme from the Edinburgh Festival. Wallaceville Scottish Country Dance Club adopted the title for their mid-winter celebration, which marked the club’s second birthday and in traditional style, everybody took part. There were some Hebridean songs and choruses in which the company found enjoyment as keen as that of their forebears round the peat-fire flame; there was solo dancing to delight the eye, and pipes to charm the ear; and all the favourite country dances to be danced with gaiety and satisfaction.

A New Zealand member of the club contributed a scenario depicting the character of the Highlander,

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which, vigorously enacted by other members, added considerably to the hilarity of the evening. There was a fine supper and a birthday cake and we certainly hope that the visitors, there was even one from Hastings, enjoyed our ceilidh as much as we did ourselves.

Report on a Good Evening

Time 7.30pm, Saturday April 24th
Place: Napier Boys’ High School Hall.

The occasion: a combined country dance evening and farewell to Ken Shaw. The crowds rolled in to swell the 80 of the Napier Boys’ High School Club to 160 for the night including Whakatane (10), Iona College (14) Bush (5) and the remainder from Napier and Hastings and friends. A grand gathering of whom about 130 were dancers.

The evening was arranged by the NBHS Club and held in the school hall, which was suitably decorated for the occasion with Scottish flags, thistles and the central motif of S.C.D. on the stage backdrop. Music as usual was by Jimmy Shand and a programme of 22 dances kept everyone on the floor until midnight. Highlight of the entertainment was the performance of ‘Morison’s Bush’ by the composer Ken Shaw, with a team from Whakatane.

Two demonstrations by the high school set, Dundee Reel and Tullochgorm were well applauded and towards the close of the evening, a set from the Hastings Club demonstrated a dance by Bruce Fordyce in honour of Ken Shaw ‘Ken Shaw’s Farewell’.

A delightful supper was provided by the school officer and his wife, who are very good friends of  the club. For the younger folk it was a ‘Morison’s Bush’ of their own and they certainly missed nothing of the atmosphere of the Bush dances, which many of them will look forward to attending once they leave school.

The Wellington – Hawke’s Bay Association of Scottish Country Dance Clubs was established 25 October 1953, with Napier, Napier Boys’ High School and Paraparaumu being affiliated.


The report of the formation of an association of Scottish country dance clubs in Dunedin, and the rumour of a similar happening in the Waikato, will be noted with very real interest by all those concerned with Scottish country dancing. These are significant first steps towards a New Zealand Association – a development of great importance.

Let us look back over progress with our own district. Before 1953 there were several clubs operating in virtual isolation. A few interested persons met at Morison’s Bush to arrange a dance at which the scattered clubs could meet. This dance proved so successful that similar functions are now held several times a year. At the same time the suggestion was put forward that a Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association be formed; and in October 1953 this was brought about.

The advantages are apparent to all; each member club has derived great benefit from the sharing of knowledge regarding technique, dances and dress; and all confess to a widening of horizon and enrichment of interest through new friendships.

The first Summer School at Napier probably made the greatest contribution of all, both in friendship and in the pooling of information. This school, moreover, was attended not only by Wellington- Hawke’s Bay representatives, but by dancers from all corners of the Dominion.

So impressed were these delegates by the obvious rewards of shared experience, that they formally recommended the formation of further district associations, as a preliminary to New Zealand union. In considering this step there was no thought of regimenting Scottish country dancing; emphasis was entirely on mutual help and advantage.

No one, we feel, comparing this journal with last years’ issue, can but be impressed by the Dominion-wide progress of Scottish country dancing during the year.

We would extend our congratulations to the new associations and look forward with confidence to the early establishment of The New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society.

Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association AGM of the Association 26 February 1955, at Taita Community Hall, Lower Hutt. President J Seton (Hastings) outlined the year’s activities and commented on the successful Summer School held at Napier. Mr

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1955 – Volume 2
Editors: MM Cunningham / RT Douglas

Seton was re-elected as president for the incoming year.

Affiliated clubs included Hastings, Napier, Whakatane, Wellington, Wallaceville, Lower Hutt, Raumati, Morison’s Bush and Masterton.

The Constitution of the Association was discussed and adopted, with some amendments. The meeting also considered the suggested formation of a New Zealand Association of Scottish Country Dance Clubs and resolved to support this objective.

It was decided that three Balls sponsored by the association should be held during 1955 at Morison’s Bush, in March, July and October.

A Ball in the Taita Community Centre Hall provided an enjoyable finale to the proceedings.

Around the Clubs

Hastings club meets on Wednesday evenings in the Drill Hall, Southampton Street.

At the end of last season, we were unfortunate in losing our practice hall; with the result that the club had to go into recess for a few months, during which time our members were able to accept the hospitality of their good friends, the Napier Club, taking part in demonstrations at the Hastings Highland Gathering and Concert.

Our enthusiasm was in no way diminished by the temporary lack of premises, as residents in the vicinity of Willowpark Road will attest. Members came along regularly to Jack’s back lawn and danced to the music of Jimmy Shand, at the same time saving Jack all the trouble of cutting the grass.

Now the club is in full swing again at the Drill Hall, and we extend a cordial welcome to all country dancers who may be in the district.

Morison’s Bush

The balls at Morison’s Bush continue to be deservedly popular, and dancers cover vast distances to attend them. Some travel, too, in strange conveyances; we thought the converted hearse in which some patrons travelled (and slept?) particularly ingenious. For the journey ‘over the hill’ from Wellington district we think a flight of helicopters would be most appropriate. Is there anyone enterprising enough to set up a service?

The catering at Morison’s Bush is always excellent, and long distance travellers are loud in their praise of Mr & Mrs Coe’s hospitality. But numbers are increasing so fast, that it seems probable that  Morison’s Bush  will soon be unable to hold all who wish to attend.

It was decided by the committee that a roster of clubs be drawn up, and each asked in turn to provide a ‘floor show’ for the Morison’s Bush Balls.

This suggestion was inspired by the demonstration given by Hastings at the very first ball, of the Coronation Strathspey and Reel. Subsequently, other clubs have contributed. On one occasion Wallaceville demonstrated ‘MacDonald of Sleat’, one of the four set dances collected in Canada and   published by the RSCDS, and at the July Ball this year, Lower Hutt demonstrated another of the same set, the pretty strathspey ‘Rouken Glen’.

A new dance, carefully practiced, provides both useful and interesting work for the club demonstrating and inspiration for others looking on.

Napier Club continues to prosper, and in spite of inroads made by the depredations of Mr Cupid, the membership has been well maintained. The wedding of Mary McNair and Bruce Fordyce was the occasion for a kitchen gift evening, where dancing was interspersed with fun and games and more than a little tomfoolery in which our good Hastings friend Jack Seton took his usual leading part. The date was appropriate, 1st April. Mary and Bruce have managed to find a house in Waipawa, to which, we understand, they are busy making alterations, whether or not to the strains of ‘This is no’ ma ain Hoose’ is not disclosed.

Wellington Association of SCD Clubs reported on their most successful Summer School held 27 December 1954 to 7 January 1955 at Napier Boys’ High School.

The place was ideal from every point of view, the weather was perfect and all arrangements went with the utmost smoothness, thanks to the efficiency of the committee; Bruce Fordyce, Jack Seton, Shirley Child and Nancy Baxter. From several clubs whole families attended the school and were comfortably housed in small dormitories arranged round a courtyard where the children could foregather happily and safely to play. Larger dormitories took care of the single members. Since Napier is a Boys’ High School, the order of the bath was a little complicated, but an amicable arrangement was arrived at. The serious business of the school was most comfortably carried on in the spacious hall, while the dining room and kitchen very adequately

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accommodated the 80-odd members and children for meals. And in addition there were the lovely grounds and swimming pool and tennis courts, in which to relax or dissipate any surplus energy.

Instruction in the technique of Scottish country dancing was given by Mrs Peggy Hudson of the Southern Cross Club Dunedin, and by Mr Jack Seton of Hastings. The RSCDS film loops were found to be most useful aids in illustrating the dances.

It would require more space than this magazine can afford to recall half the incidents of this most inspiring and happy holiday, but for all those who were there the words ‘Napier Summer School’ will evermore conjure up pictures:

Of Peggy floating like a piece of thistledown on her tiny size two pumps. And then the big, big voice, ‘Quiet! (Sergeant-Major style) ‘Here’s me garglin’and garglin’ and when I get home I won’t even be able to croak, ‘Hullo, Jack, wull ye be quiet?’

Of Bruce (Fordyce) rising like a naiad from the Tutaekuri, his pondweed draperies dripping;

Of Bruce in the kitchen slinging dishes into the steaming jaws of the dish-washing machine; and

Of Jack Seton’s voice in the darkness of the power failure, keeping the crowd amused with yet another pawky joke!

Odds and Ends

Request from the editors to the contributors: No more ‘enthusiasts’ please, in your copy. We are, we know it, and so are you, and long may we continue to be – but probably our readers get rather tired of the expression.

We are indebted to Jack Seton whose kind donation of two silk scarves for raffling, at the Ball of July 31 st , netted £4 towards the expenses of this magazine.


This journal owes its existence to Dr Marion Cunningham. With Marion on holiday this year, we can seize the opportunity to acknowledge our indebtedness to her for all the work she has put into it in the past two years. It has taken a committee of three to get it out this year! Even at that Marion has contributed to it and obtained contributions from overseas for it.

We would also thank all other contributors, the secretaries, club leaders and club members who have helped with its preparation and distribution. To keep the cost of publication within two shillings (20 cents), we have been forced to omit some of the material received and inflict mutilation on all club notes. For this we apologise.

The ‘Directory’ of Scottish Country Dance Clubs given in this year’s journal listing nearly 50 clubs and we know there are more, makes comment on progress during the past year largely superfluous. With the formation of the Association for New Zealand, we might indeed echo the words of a famous statesman and say that now we have reached ‘The End of the Beginning’.

Yet the next phase, the one we enter now, that of consolidation, may well prove the most difficult. It is always easier to start something than to keep it going when the first enthusiasm is over. It is perhaps worth reflecting that a few years ago the English counterpart of our organisation, a branch of the EFDS had here in New Zealand, reached approximately the same degree of integration as we have with Summer Schools, and a quarterly journal, no less. Of that very little is left. This could happen to us. One of the ways of making sure it does not will be to deliberately encourage the right type of young person to accept leadership responsibility but it is going to be very difficult to do this while the only recognised qualification for leadership is an examination conducted 12,000 miles away.

Thus there is no room for complacency. The job is not yet half done. The most exciting part could still be ahead.

Royal Scottish Country Dance Society
Jean C Milligan

Although you are all so far away, we in Scotland feel we have very special connections with New Zealand and are deeply interested in all you do, especially of course in our fellow Scots there.

It is always quite a thrill on reading our list of affiliated societies and groups to note that the largest number of these are in New Zealand. I would dearly like to visit them all and bring to them the greetings of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. It is wonderful to think how many people in New Zealand are dancing and enjoying our lovely old dances. We hope that many of you will be able to come and visit us here in Scotland. You will always get a warm welcome, especially at our Summer School at St Andrews – that is the Mecca of all Scottish Dancers.

May I, as co-founder of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, the collector of the dances and one of the senior officials of the Society, send you affectionate greetings and good wishes for happy dancing in the years to come.

Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association

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President Bill McPherson’s Message:

Ladies and Gentlemen, This year our Patron, the Rt Hon Walter Nash MP, celebrated his Golden Wedding, a great event in the lives of a truly great couple. I extend to them our greetings and best wishes.

Mr Nash is a staunch admirer of our dances and we are fortunate indeed to have his support. Soon this will have recognition in our Patron’s flag, a silken St Andrews Cross, purchased with funds started by a donation from Mr Nash. Long may we continue to have this support and he, as in the past, that of his gracious wife.

1956 – Volume 3
Editor: R T Douglas

To the members of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association I would say, I am very proud to be your President. I would like clubs and members of our Association to take full advantage of their membership. Our avowed object is to preserve and promote the ideals of Scottish country dancing. By your continued loyalty and support do give us that opportunity. Seek our help if you are in any doubt or have any problems and we will do our best for you.

To the teachers of all clubs I wish to extend the thanks of the Association. You do a great job. What too would we do without the club committees who give their time and energy so freely? Those who make the tea, who sweep the floors and the many odd jobs that have to be done and always fall to the lot of ‘The Few’. Thank you.

At the Days Bay Summer School I had the pleasure of meeting the members of clubs from all over New Zealand. I was impressed with the spirit that abounded. Everyone was so friendly and keen to help one another. To the teachers at that school must go great credit for their tact and good humour under at times, trying conditions. To Ira Cunningham, Maurice Smith and their helpers we are, too, much indebted.

At that school, our ex-president Jack Seton, was elected president of the committee to draw up a constitution for a wider, New Zealand Association which should become fact at next year’s Summer School in Wanganui. I do wish them every success and to those who attend the school, that they will make friendships there which will endure.

I have, myself, made many friends through Scottish country dancing and my outlook on life has been broadened through them. In return, if I can be of help in any way, please ask me. It will be my pleasure.

Scottish Definitions
By Les Jack

The indicator hung in front of the kilt is to let the wearer know whether he is coming or going.

The other red prominence on a Scot’s head.

A rock always carried by a true Scot in the hope of selling it to a Sassenach as a yellow diamond.

A sucking bottle or bag, manufactured from haggis skin, and used for holding whisky.

The tubes through which the whisky is sucked. So called from the sound made by the Scot, in the performance of this duty.

An inexpensive concoction, taken before meals, for the purpose of preventing over-eating. Peculiar to the Scot
(A Wellesley College (Eastbourne) contribution)

A wild animal of the hog variety, which frequents lonely Highland Glens, and Sequestered Burns Anniversary Celebrations. Very ferocious. Its bite causes hydrophobia.

Summer School
A good excuse.

Technique in Scottish Country Dancing
M Clancey (Secretary NZSCDS)

Scottish country dancing although in its infancy in New Zealand, has widespread following throughout the provinces. This was seen by the attendance at the Summer School last January. Even so there is a great number of clubs who have not yet sent

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representatives to the annual schools. It is to these clubs particularly that I wish to appeal.

What is Scottish country dancing? Dancing formations, enjoyment of music, dancing, and of meeting other people. These factors although included in Scottish country dancing, are also to be found in the dances of many other countries.

What then is so peculiarly Scottish country dancing? It is TECHNIQUE. Technique that has been handed down throughout the generations. That personal knowledge, combined with much practice, which makes the precise style of Scottish country dancing.

Technique cannot be learned from books, so that is why if you wish to say you are doing Scottish country dancing, as they do in Scotland, you should make every attempt to get, at least, your leaders to attend the Summer School where they are shown the proper technique.

You may be enjoying your dancing now, but not until you are satisfied that you are dancing properly will you feel that inner glow of pleasure which comes with participating in the beautifully executed movements of a well-performed dance.

One of the main aims of the New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society is to raise the standard of Scottish country dancing in New Zealand to that danced in Scotland, so if you have any queries or problems, get in touch with your newly-formed society.

New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society

The New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society was formed by unanimous resolution at a meeting held 12 January 1956, during the second Summer School at Wellesley College at Eastbourne. Thus was fulfilled a recommendation made some 12 months earlier from the first Summer School at Napier.

There were 19 clubs from many different parts of New Zealand represented at the inaugural meeting of the society, which elected Mr J Seton as President, Mrs Mildred Clancey (Secretary-Treasurer) and Messrs WP McPherson, MC Smith, BC Head and Dr IJ Cunningham as provisional committee.

The Committee is charged with the duty of preparing a draft constitution, circulating it to clubs for comment and bringing forward to an annual meeting at the third Summer School, a proposed constitution which meets as closely as possible the views of all the member clubs. Work on the draft is proceeding and it should be in the hands of clubs early in September.

From the President Mr Jack Seton: Through the generosity of the New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer, I extend to all participants and enthusiasts of Scottish country dancing warm greetings on behalf of the recently formed New Zealand Association of Scottish Country Dance Clubs.

When the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association held their Summer Schools, which were attended by many from out of their district, the friendly environment created, together with the friendship made, was a natural step to the formation of a Dominion-wide association.

That came into being at the last Summer School held at Wellesley College, Eastbourne. A committee was formed with me being paid the very high honour of being elected the first president, an honour that I deeply appreciate.

I compliment the members on their choice of committee. They have accepted a tryst, aye a sacred tryst, to foster and preserve the encouragement of our traditional dances. Each one has at heart a deep interest and enthusiasm that while many bridges have to be crossed in our embryo state, no difficulty is insurmountable and its success is assured.

The necessity for our association goes without saying. It is only natural, with the distance factor to be contended that interpretations could vary. Our highly competent advisory committee will be at the service of all clubs.

It is pleasing to note that other districts have followed Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association and formed similar organisations.

I have received pleasing compliments from all districts of massed displays at games and other functions. Apart from the colour and beauty it has the effect of bringing together new adherents.

Having attended many functions in Scotland, I have no hesitation in stating that we have reason to be proud of our achievements and with the progress that must follow, we can with pride, compliment ourselves that we are serving the purpose of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society in New Zealand.

To all clubs and dancers, I extend my personal greetings and trust that, with the limited time at my disposal, I shall have the pleasure of meeting you all in the happy atmosphere that goes with our dances.

Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association’s, AGM held 25 February 1956: It is noted that the resignation of J Seton and Miss S Child were accepted with regret. The association records its appreciation of the great work done by these two ‘foundation’ members in the forwarding of Scottish

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country dancing in New Zealand.

The number of clubs affiliated to the association has in the period under review, increased by three  to a total of 13. From a questionnaire sent to all affiliated clubs, the total of club members is 582, with an average weekly attendance at club nights of 448.

Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association

Affiliated Clubs include: Wellington, Napier, Hastings, Morison’s Bush, Wanganui, Lower Hutt, Whakatane, Masterton and Wallaceville.

Hastings Club reported that owing to accommodation difficulties, the club practices at Jack Seton’s home 309S Willowpark Road. Jack says visitors will be aye welcome but it would be as well to give him a ring first (5858), so that if the number grows, another room can be cleared.

Jack traces his interest in Scottish country dancing back to the Coronation of the late King George VI. As a member of the Glasgow Police Band, he saw his first demonstration in Holyrood Palace when playing before their Majesties at an evening garden party. After the war, he was one of those who took part in a massed display of country dancing in Hampden Park in front of a crowd of 100,000.

With such memories behind him, he might be excused if he thought our best efforts to date somewhat limited, but nothing of the kind.

‘Since I came to lovely New Zealand, I often wondered if I could ever capture the same thrill at a massed display. During the last Summer School, the class together with members of the Wellington and District clubs performed at Percy’s Reserve. The setting, plus the lighting which added colour to the contrast of tartan sashes and kilts against the green sward brought back the same happy feeling, a feeling which made me inwardly proud of the leaders of clubs who have brought our dances to such a high standard of perfection and a love for every member who gave of his best.’

‘Such displays’, Jack says, ‘bring out that sentimental feeling of pride of race’. There is certainly no one better qualified to express that feeling.

Enquiry from a reader: What is a skean dhu (sgiandubh)?
Answer: At home, usually understood to be a pigeon that goes to Switzerland for its holidays. In New Zealand, a ‘party at Ruapehu’.

Overheard: New member just arrived in New Zealand:
Can a hae a poond o’ sausages? ‘Swan or Kiwi?’ Auch naething fancy, beef a’ll do well enough!’

And how many have wondered why the shortage of crockery when asked ‘to bring a plate!’

A listing of North Island Clubs showing those who were members of Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association, namely Wellington, Titahi Bay Caledonian Society, Hutt Valley Scottish Society, Wallaceville, Paraparaumu Caledonian Society, Featherston, Morison‘s Bush, Masterton, Wanganui Atholl SCD, Wanganui Caledonian Society, Hastings, Napier and Whakatane.


With this issue, the New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer enters upon a new phase. Since 1954 it has been the voice of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association, and, unofficially, of other clubs throughout New Zealand. Now it has taken on added responsibility as the journal of the New Zealand Society. To match this new dignity, it appears for the first time in print.

Impressive as the magazine may seem in its new garb, we must confess to a small nostalgic pang for the past. Up till now, the ‘getting out’ of the magazine has been almost a family affair. How weighty have been the calculations of numbers of words to a line, and lines to a page, and how many the consultations over quality of paper, colour of cover, printing of cover design, etc., etc. then, when the cyclostyled pages were laid out in bundles round the largest table procurable, how valiant were the workers who walked round, and round, and round, picking up in turn page one, page two, page three, and assembling them all in turn inside a cover, 200 times the first year, 350 times, 450 times. . . ‘Well, all that is past now, but it is fitting that we pay some tribute to those who helped to produce the early numbers of the magazine, to Lorna Ellis, David Dodd, Eric Brown, Lester Frater, Terry Douglas, Don Nicholson and others of the working party the New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer offers its gratitude.

Many dancers throughout New Zealand have sent their good wishes to the magazine, and have expressed their hopes for its continued success. However, the Editor would like to point out, that good wishes, though heart-warming, are not enough. It will be obvious to readers of this issue that, of 62 clubs listed, only 19 have contributed notes. And how many have sent in articles, poems, letters – or criticisms? It is too late now to contribute to the 1957 edition, but it is not too early to send in material for 1958.

Summer School 1956 – 1957

Page 12

The third Summer School was held at Wanganui Technical College from 31 December 1956 to 12 January 1957. Accommodation was excellent and right from the start; the school ran at a high pitch of enthusiasm, energy and efficiency. There were 162 registered members from 38 different clubs and about 140 of these members were resident.

The programme was made up of: General Course, Course for Teachers and Short Courses. Evening programmes consisted of Hogmanay party, public display, formal dances, social, concert and two lectures, one on the history and development of Scottish music (NT MacKay) and ‘A Trip to Scotland and St Andrews Summer School 1956’ by Marion Cunningham. A parade in uniform at Knox Church was held on the Sunday. It was very clear that the school was a successful and enjoyable one.

The next Summer School is to be run by the NZSCDS and it is probable, at least for a period that Summer Schools will be run by that body. This, therefore, is a suitable point to acknowledge the work of those who organised the three Summer Schools run by the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association, and set the pattern and high standard of those schools.

The first school was at Napier in 1955-56. It was arranged by Bruce Fordyce, Jack Seton and Mrs Nancy Baxter. Napier Boys’ High School was made available since Bruce was at that time on the staff. Instruction in dancing was given by Peggy Hudson and Jack Seton; a concert was organised by Terry Douglas.

The second Summer School was organised by IJ Cunningham with a committee of Marion Cunningham and Maurice Smith and the help of a number of workers from Wallaceville, Lower Hutt and Wellington clubs. It was held at Wellesley College, Days Bay, near Wellington. Instruction in dancing was given by Phyllis Gale, Mildred Clancey and Jack Seton.

Highlights of the programme were: two formal dances, social evening, concert, a lecture on The History of Country Dancing by Marion Cunningham and Terry Douglas and classes on phrasing of dances and on highland steps for country dancing by Phyllis Gale.

The third Summer School has been described above. It was organised by IJ Cunningham; RG Bauld was responsible for local arrangements and he was helped by a number of members of the Wanganui Club.

The concert brought to light much hidden talent. A highly popular item was the Summer School Ballad ‘rendered (to the music of Jack’s piano accordion) by Jack Seton, Bill McPherson, Charlie Whitehill and Danny Whyte. Here are a few of the verses:

Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association
Labour Weekend Dance, Saturday 20 October 1956.

Take your Partners was the heading for this ball which was held in Masterton’s new Town Hall, whose lovely wood paneling showed off to perfection the masses of beautiful flowers artistically arranged by the Masterton Club. Nearly 300 dancers attended, representing 11 SCD clubs from Auckland to Wellington.

The ladies wore white, and the men made a brave show in kilts, and never surely, are kilt and sash displayed to better advantage than in Scottish country dancing. The Patron’s flag, a fine St Andrew’s Cross donated by the Rt. Hon. Walter Nash, flew proudly from the balcony, and on the dance floor as many as 27 sets at one time wove smoothly through the patterns of the dance.

Wallaceville club gave the demonstrations for the occasion – Flight of the Sand-Martins’, a modern dance inspired by the circular flight of these birds, incorporating beautifully flowing reels; and, by way of contrast, ‘The Graces’, an 18th century Scottish pas de trios, which was danced to the accompaniment of the piano played by Anne Smith of Lower Hutt. This dance was here performed for the first time in New Zealand; it was subsequently learned with great enthusiasm by a class of 60, maids and matrons, at the Wanganui Summer School.

Delegates to the AGM of the association which occupied the afternoon before the dance, were entertained to a most appetising meal in the charming home of Mrs Harvey, Masterton Club tutor. All those who so much enjoyed the 1956

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1957 – Volume 4
Editor: Marion M Cunningham

Labour Weekend Ball are looking forward eagerly to the associations next big Ball – on 22 October of this year.

Scottish Country Dancers at Gay Scottish Ball:

Scottish Country Dancers who formed a substantial proportion of the guests and who presented a demonstration during the evening, greatly admired the decorations at the Hutt Valley Scottish Society’s Ball held in the Town Hall, Lower Hutt in July. Among those present were Mr J Seton (President, New Zealand Society) and Mrs Seton and Mr W McPherson (President, Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association).

The AGM of the NZSCDS held at Wanganui on 3rd January 1957. President J Seton (Hastings) with committee representation from Cambridge, Wanganui, Knox (Inglewood), Lower Hutt, Wallaceville, Nelson, Christchurch, and Dunedin clubs.

A message from President Jack Seton: The response to our efforts in forming a New Zealand Society of Scottish country dancing has been very gratifying.

This is mainly due to the wonderful spirit of clubs which were in existence ‘spreading the gospel’ by giving displays and encouraging clubs to open in new districts.

As I write these words, I have in mind a young lad of my club who went into camp at Papakura to undergo military training. When he had his first Saturday off, he went into Auckland and visited a club. He was immediately warmly received and thereafter never had a dull Saturday evening. That is the family spirit I find emanates from every part where Scottish country dancing is practiced.

If it attained nothing else that would be something to be proud of.

It has brought together lovers of Scottish country dancing throughout the Dominion with the ideals of preserving and fostering our cult as practiced by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

As this will be my last opportunity of conveying my greetings and best wishes to all in the capacity of president, I extend my grateful thanks to all club committees for their wonderful work and very warm thanks for a job well done to all club teachers.

I look forward with pride to the future success of our Society.

Wellington-Hawke’s Bay and Districts Assn:

We continue to grow – four new clubs affiliated making a total of 18, total membership of affiliated clubs about 730. But does not that growth bring its problems? Generally not, because we have been fortunate to work to organise, and to do all those things that make our activities go so smoothly. One basic problem we will face soon is the need for halls with expanding walls to accommodate all the dancers who attend our two major dances of the year.

This has been a big and successful year. Apart from special club functions generously supported by other affiliated clubs, the association’s record for the year in part includes all of the following:

Summer School Wanganui;

Publication of a further edition of The Scottish Country Dancer;

Two major dances, Masterton (Labour Weekend, 300 dancers) and Featherston (May, when guests included members of the Council of the New Zealand Society);

A season of dancing (eight nights) on the lawn under floodlights at Percy Reserve, Petone between November and February;

Provision of instructors for the teaching of SCD to Girls’ Life Brigade companies, and of examiners for country dancing badge

Over 80 dancers assembled and billeted in Hastings at Easter for the Highland Games, where five separate mass displays were staged in three days; and a further mass display at the Wellington Provincial Highland Games at Lower Hutt.

Notes From the Clubs

Hastings: The club now meets on Wednesday evenings, in Jean Ballantyne’s dance studio at 207e Eastbourne Street.

We look forward to a very bright future. With the arrival of Mrs Madge Laing (certificated teacher) from Aberdeen, and Mrs Winifred Hill (also certificated) from Helensburgh due to arrive in

Page 14

November, the club will then have three certificated teachers among its members.

We welcome into membership of the Society, Waipawa Club, with whom, together with Napier Club, we have regular joint evenings.

We are greatly indebted to the member clubs of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association, and our good friends from Auckland, for putting on such a fine display of country dancing at the Hastings Highland Games. Their presence and efforts brought more praise to the committee of Greater Hastings than any other event, and also roused enthusiasm in the locals, an effect which has been reflected in the number of new members who have joined our club.

During the year we attended several dances in Wellington district. In four weeks some of our members visiting other clubs travelled a distance of roughly 1,500 miles. Next year we contemplate a visit to Auckland.

Summer School Ballad

To a Summer School we four belong
About it all we’ll tell in song
There’s lads and lasses big and small
Learning reels and jigs and all.

Skip, two, three, together now
Teachers four will show you how
Knees turned out, to step Kemsoole
Learn to dance at the Summer School

Cooks Gardens is a lovely spot
To dance in when the weather’s hot
But in the rain it lacks appeal –
Except to a performing seal

We’re learning how to wear the kilt –
It all depends on how you’re built
But build or not, we must be flash
To welcome Patron Walter Nash

There is a young man at the school
He takes no lessons, heeds no rule –
In ladies’ bedrooms he can go –
But he’s only six months old, you know

United Nations sitting now
Are settling Nasser’s Suez row:
Next question they must arbitrate
Where’ll the School be in ’58?

(Advice was received that the 1958 Summer School is to be held 30 Dec 1957 to 11 January 1958 at Knox College, Dunedin.)

Page 15

It goes without saying that a warm welcome is extended to all country dancers who may visit our city.

To all kindred clubs, best wishes from the Fruit Bowl of New Zealand.

Napier club reported a happy evening was spent one Friday night visiting Waipawa Club and were ‘pleased to have Hastings Club’s company and Jack Seton’s piano-accordion with us on the bus when 14 members visited ‘the Bush’.

Waipawa Club’s good work started by Bruce Fordyce has been carried on by John Orgias and Jessie Lee. On 14th June Waipawa entertained Napier and Hastings clubs to a formal dance.

Wallaceville were fortunate in having Jack Seton and Bill McPherson, presidents of the New Zealand Society and the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association respectively at their 5th birthday celebrations.

Summer School 1957 – 1958

Despite the rather wintry weather which appears to pass for summer in the deep south, this year’s Summer School, held from 30 December to 10 January in Knox College, Dunedin, was voted, by all the 200 dancers who took part in it, a huge success. Following the pattern laid down by its forerunners in Napier, Wellington and Wanganui, the school provided a non-stop programme of most enjoyable activity. Dunedin’s Botanical gardens afforded a pleasant setting for the opening ceremony, performed by Sir Donald Cameron on the afternoon of the 30th December as well as for the floodlit display on 8th January. Both the Hogmanay party and the Open Dance, held in the Orphans’ Hall, were most successful functions, although the hall itself did not provide really adequate space or comfort for the large assembly of dancers attending. Knox College, on the other hand, afforded most pleasant living conditions, as well as excellent accommodation for classes. The superb meals produced by Arthur Bryant and his trusty staff won the entire approval of the inmates – nobody had to be called twice, even for breakfast. Concert and social (inimitably MC’ed by Bob Bauld) were hilarious highlights in the programme;and serious work went on steadily in the classes, taken by Phyllis Gale, Peggy Hudson, Jack Seton and Margaret Laidlaw, and in teaching groups led by Phyllis Gale and Marion Cunningham.

The school was convened by L Jack, President of the NZRSCDS. Mr Jack’s message follows: Yes,Summer School has come and gone again! Have you ever tried to describe to others what Summer School was like? If you have, you will know just how difficult it is. For you, one part might be very impressive, and yet to someone else, something else might have left a very strong impression. Figures and statistics to some are very important, and yet to you they are of no importance at all. You perhaps have heard wonderful accounts of previous Summer Schools, and have said ‘Hooey!’ But are they?

Knox College! What memories does that bring to you? The college itself overlooking the valley? The beautiful view from the front windows? The dining hall that seemed to breathe the names of the past students of the college? That glorious hall where Group ‘A’ worked so strenuously? Yes, even those flights of stairs that you had sometimes to climb – oh so wearily – to fl op into your comfortable beds?

All those memories will in time fade; but will you ever forget the associations that you made there? Can you forget Phyllis Gale, Marion Cunningham, Peggy Hudson, Margaret Laidlaw, Mildred Clancey and Jack Seton? I don’t think so – you will remember the patience they showed while taking you through those dances; the care, thought and preparation that must have gone into their lessons so that they could answer your many questions; the consideration they always showed you when physically you were flagging; the gentle and kindly criticism that was given to all the ‘teachers-to-be’.

Will you forget the traditional Hogmanay, which perhaps was quite new to so many of you? Can you remember Ian’s address to the Haggis, and how that knife whistled? Yes even the Haggis itself – and nothing left of that either. If you sit down quietly, isn’t it easy to recall that social so ably controlled by Bob Bauld? How those men bounced off the balloons? How the ladies objected that they too had not been given a turn. Our concert! What do you remember best? I can visualise those ‘Maori Scots’ so easily, and the ‘United Nations’ Ballet doing the English folk dances.

As a contrast, do you remember our church parade at Knox Church? A parade which called forth so many favourable comments from members of the congregation as well as the passers-by on the street. May a church parade never be omitted from our Summer School programme.

Do you remember the Outdoor Display in the Botanical Gardens? Wasn’t it hard to try to keep the lines, especially when you were dazzled by the lights? Did not those tutors of ours view with critical eyes our steps at the Formal Dances?

How many new friends did you make? Quite a number didn’t you, friends of your own sex as well

Page 16

as friends of the opposite one? No matter where you go in New Zealand now, you will find someone from Summer School to welcome.

Can you ever forget that memorable ‘leave-taking’ on the Dunedin Station, where the express could not start until the Hebridean Weaving Lilt was concluded? Why were there so many bedewed eyes, yes and even tears falling unashamedly? THAT IS SUMMER SCHOOL! The little heartache at leaving friends and wondering ‘Will I see them again soon?’ Is this just adieu, and will they be at Summer School next year?

In conclusion, I should like to thank the Knox Council, and especially the Master, the Rev. H J Ryburn for having placed the college at our disposal, all our tutors, all the many helpers too numerous to be named individually, and last but far from being least all the residents who by the willing cooperation helped to make our Dunedin Summer School one that will be remembered for many a year.

May I just say now, ‘Here’s to a quick re-meeting, Bye now. See you at Ardmore.’

Hastings Highland Games


Many Scots who have attended Highland Games in ‘Caledonia’ will agree that there are few Highland gatherings that can compare with the Hastings Highland Games for setting and organisation.

From 9am on Saturday the competitions get underway and carry on until 5pm. In the evening a concert and country dance is held. Sunday has an open air service in the forenoon and bands, marching teams and country dancing in the afternoon, with a repeat in the evening. Monday sees a continuation of athletic Highland dancing events and various displays.

Few games present anything to compare with the official opening ceremony. A massed procession of all branches of competitors and display personnel is formed with all sections in their own group, headed by the Games Marshall carrying a Games Standard and followed by pipe bands and various sections each of whom is led by a member carrying a board indicating the section.

At the last games over 150 country dancers took part. They formed up in sets at Windsor Lodge and were led on by Dr Ira Cunningham, President of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association and North Island Vice-President of the NZSCDS, accompanied by his good lady. The dances performed were announced by W McPherson, Past President of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association. I am not throwing any bouquets when I inform you that Greater Hastings received more letters of compliment about the country dancing display than all other events. Against the rich green sward of the arena, the ladies in their white dresses and sashes and the men all in the kilt and in perfect formation (the spectators did not know that we utilised the lanes for the spring events), our display won a hearty applause from all who were fortunate to view it.

A member of the Hastings committee took a coloured film of the last games and has offered it for viewing at the Summer School.


The AGM of the New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society was held at Knox College, Dunedin on 2 January 1958.

This has been a year which has well exemplified the social sphere in which an association of this  type can operate so well. Special dances staged by the clubs, with open invitations to other member clubs, have been so numerous as to represent almost an embarrassment of hospitality.

The annual ball in Masterton last October weekend was an outstanding success and the second major

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1958 – Volume 5
Editor: Marion Cunningham

dance of the year at Featherston in April, was also much enjoyed.

Favoured by good weather, the season of outdoor dancing through the summer months attracted good attendances both of dancers and of local residents who formed an appreciative audience. The dances were run by the four clubs in the Wellington-Hutt Valley area, each in turn being responsible for one evening of dancing.

There was again a full programme of major displays headed by the five mass displays in three days at the Hastings Highland Games at Easter. Another regular display usually comprising five to seven sets is that staged at the Wellington Provincial Highland Games at Lower Hutt in February.

The association is fortunate in having in its membership a number of certificated teachers. It has also a sense of its obligation to attempt to assist its younger and smaller clubs who desire help and who cannot all take advantage of the annual Summer School. Investigations are proceeding, therefore, into the possibility of making the services of certificated teachers available for weekend schools on a club basis with the association responsible for travelling expenses and the club undertaking billeting of the teacher. There are problems to be overcome but the committee is hoping that it may be a practical proposition to the extent that the teachers are in a position to accept these extra calls on their time.

Notes From the Clubs

Hastings were pleased to report that the club’s difficulty in obtaining suitable accommodation has at last been solved – after no less than seven years.

We are now meeting in the Oddfellows’ Hall, Market Street North, on Wednesdays at 7.30pm.

During the past year we had the pleasure of the company of many visitors to the display at the Hastings Highland Games, at the conclusion of which, with our near friends and neighbours from Napier assisting us with the catering, a very enjoyable evening was spent. As many travelled to the Games on Good Friday, our club put on a special evening during which we saw several coloured slides taken at the last Summer School in Dunedin.

We continue to enjoy reciprocal evenings with Napier and Waipawa clubs when each in turn acts as hosts to the others. It may be that clubs further away would like to take part in these gatherings, and if interested a note to our secretary is all that is required.

We congratulate one of our new members, in the person of Mrs Madge Laing, who came out from Scotland less than a year ago, and lost no time in spreading the cult and started a new club at Taradale. To the new club, we extend our best wishes for the future.

We were delighted to see our president during his tour of the North Island and our thanks again due to the Napier Club in giving us an evening with the opportunity of meeting him.

As we felt that many dancers would attend the Hastings Blossom Parade on 13th September, we decided to put on a dance. Since we booked the Oddfellows’ Hall for that night, Greater Hastings decided to put on a Tattoo during which a massed display of country dancing will take place. As the venue of the Tattoo is close to our hall, it presents no difficulty. It is expected the influx of visitors to Hastings will be enormous. If clubs would notify us of the approximate number likely to attend, this information would assist us with catering.

To all clubs we extend our greetings and if any of their members are passing this way – Don’t pass. Come and spend the evening with us.

Masterton was once again responsible for the arrangements for the Labour Weekend Ball of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay and Districts Association. This event was an outstanding success and hopes are high for an even greater attendance this year.

Napier club were very happy to entertain LG Jack, Dominion President at their club night on Friday 17th May. For the occasion we invited our good friends and neighbours from Hastings and Waipawa to be present and also two young ladies from Blenheim. ‘We regret that for once we were caught out with not wearing the kilt as we had no idea that Mr Jack would be travelling in full dress. Had we been aware of this fact earlier, we certainly would have made an effort to turn out accordingly.’


This year the annual Summer School was held at Canterbury Agricultural College, Lincoln, from Monday 28 December to 9 January. It was another addition to the list of already successful schools.

It must be admitted that the work involved in organising a Summer School is long and tedious, and involves months of work before the opening

Page 18

day and weeks after the close. However, the programme followed now was set by the Days Bay School, organised by Dr Ira Cunningham and the work of the school organiser since then has been patterned on his initial efforts.

The success of the Lincoln College School was due to the hard work and cooperation of the organising committee, with an increase in committee members during the residence of the school. I would like to thank sincerely Misses Eileen Hanna, Mae Folan and Rosemary Bourne; Mesdames Bristow and McKenzie, and Messrs R Ingram, A McKenzie and C Jack, several of whom gave up their annual leave to help Scottish country dancing in New Zealand.

Perhaps an outstanding feature of the school was the fact that both Dr MM Burns and Mr JD Mackay visited us regularly. Their friendly interest was appreciated, and added to the spirit and atmosphere of the school. Mr Malins provided excellent and varied menus (they were said the best so far). We are very grateful to Mr Malins.

The school programme was an extensive and vigorous one, and fortunately the Canterbury weather was kind to us, and we did not experience a typical nor’wester. On the whole, the weather was ideal for classes and recreation. The school was opened by the Mayor of Christchurch, Mr George Manning. Mr Jack Seton welcomed the guests and

Dr John Thompson of Cambridge sang some verses of his own composing:

As I ga’ed by the Gairdens the other day or so,
I heard the strains of music, so inside I did go.
Dancing there, upon the green, wi’ agility and grace,
The lassies looked real bonny, there was mony a winsome face.
The laddies, well, they did their best and they tried hard to please,
They birled and whirled, and hooched and skirled and showed their bony knees.

It was a sicht I’ll no’ forget and I said to mysel’ ‘By Jings’,
They say it is from scenes like these Auld Scotia’s grandeur springs.
The lines they made I thocht no’ bad. I thocht that they wud do,
But yin ca’ed Jock, he looked awa’, It really made him grue.
He thocht, ‘If I am spared awhile I’ll see that they do well,
I’ll put these jokers through the hoop. I’ll really give them a hard time.

They’re taught by Phil and Mirn, and Peg and Jock are there for-by,
The teachers have their work cut out, it nearly makes them greet – cry.
But Jings we’ve nearly made a slip and that wud never do,
We forgot our ain wee Maggie for Maggie’s a teacher too.

At mealtimes it is quite a sicht, for Arthur does them well.
There’s always crowding round the door awaiting for his bell,
And when the door is opened a rugby scrum you see
Some go to grab the eatables and some to get the tea.

And when Summer School is o’er and we gang across the sea,
We’ll leave the mainland far behind and warmer we will be.
But a happy time was had by all in the south countree,
So a great big THANK to Les and Frank for a happy memorie.

Page 19

dancers. Among the invited guests were Mr and Mrs George Manning, Dr and Mrs MM Burns and Mr and Mrs JD Mackay.

One hundred and forty-eight residents registered for the school, along with 25 commuters, making the total 173, and although the numbers were lower than previously, the profit was remarkably good, being £289.13s 7d.

Among the many outstanding events were the two dances held in the Caledonian Hall, and the day spent at Diamond Harbour. Two hundred and six people attended the first dance at the Caledonian Hall on Tuesday 29 December, while the numbers swelled to some 400 odd (including dancers and spectators) for the Feature Night on Wednesday January 6th. This included demonstrations by the following classes, concluding with the Ballet ‘The Dunshi of Dunvegan’ (teachers shown in parentheses): Elementary (Mrs Margaret Laidlaw); Intermediate (Misses Cynthia Gray and Mirth Smallwood); Advanced (Mr Jack Seton); Teachers’ (Mrs Mildred Clancey); Special (Ballet) (Dr Marion Cunningham).

All the demonstrations were greatly appreciated by dancers and spectators who packed the hall and gallery of the Caledonian Hall. The New Zealand Society is indebted to the President and Directors of the Canterbury Caledonian Society for permitting us the use of their splendid hall for these two functions.

During the school, public interest in Scottish country dancing was widened owing to newspaper and broadcasting publicity. This was evidenced by the number of spectators who came along to the Feature Night in the Caledonian Hall. And now, the school at Lincoln College is history. To Jack Seton, and his school at Napier, I offer my best wishes.

(A report on the ‘Dunshi’ has returned to New Zealand from the Weekly Scotsman of 25/02/1960):

Country Dance Steps Used in NZ Ballet

A Scottish ballet has been performed in New Zealand and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ translated to Skye!

This enchanting piece of news reached me from Mrs Alison MacLeod MacGibbon, of Merivale, Christchurch. Reminding me of the pleasant time we had at Dunvegan, Mrs MacGibbon prefaces her letter by saying Scottish country dancing is becoming increasingly popular, and early this year, the New Zealand Dance Society held its third annual Summer School at the Canterbury Agricultural College.

The highlight of a feature evening held towards the end of the course was a ballet – a tale told in dance and mime using the steps and rhythms of Scottish country dancing instead of the classical movements usually associated with the term.

Named ‘the Dunshi of Dunvegan’ – a ‘Dunshi’ is a fairy hill, according to the programme – the production, says Mrs MacGibbon, was a courageous undertaking for complete amateurs and resulted in an entertainment which was ‘both graceful and pleasing to watch.’

Summer School 1960-1961 (Jack Seton organiser) will be held in the Napier Boys’ School and to those who pioneered country dancing in New Zealand the venue will recall happy memories.

The school is located in spacious grounds with six tennis courts and a salt water swimming pool and is easily reached by road, rail and air.

As accommodation is limited early application will be necessary.

Normally the weather at the beginning of the year gives the district the name of ‘Sunny Hawke’s Bay’ and light clothes are essential.

The following entertainment has been arranged: Trip to Waimarama, (famous for surf riding); Maori Concert Party in traditional songs and dances; Display of Greek Folk Dancing; Display of Dutch Folk Dancing; Display is also promised by Chinese group provided it does not interfere with the holidays.

If you have any suggestions don’t hesitate to send them to the school convenor.

For the three main dances, Opening Night, Hogmanay and Final Night the Hastings Caledonian Orchestra will be in attendance.

Enrolment forms will soon be in the hands of club secretaries, who with club tutors are asked to cooperate in the classification of their club members.

In addition to the classes listed on the enrolment form, there will be others, mainly from 3.15 to 5.30 in the afternoons, at which the dances brought from Vancouver by Dr Hugh Thurston will be taught.

Page 20

Hastings Caledonian SCD Band
Jack Seton

For the Hastings Highland Games Concert, 1959, I was requested to put on the stage a country dance band. From being a turn on the stage the services of the band have since been in great demand to play at dances.

However, running a dance band presents many problems, and as I have incurred the wrath of at least one club in turning down an engagement to play for them, I would like clubs to realise the problems.

First, few clubs have ever had to cater for an orchestra in the cost of admission and the extra cost can be substantial. All of my orchestra are members of the Musicians’ Union and legally have to comply with rates for payment. As clubs can hardly afford it, I have to get them to play for a fee less than they would get playing for an ordinary dance where they would not be required to travel.

As only piano copies of music are available, each has to do hours of work transposing for his instrument. In bringing this to your notice, please remember that there are over 200 dances.

Travelling great distances imposes a strain on everyone. To play for several hours after a long day in a car, and accept the hospitality of clubs afterwards, get little sleep and make the return journey the following day, imposes a strain that few realise

Pianos, unless properly tuned, and few are, make it impossible for the accordionist to be in tune; as a result we are forced to dispense with a pianist. Cars are not made to accommodate bass fiddles and drum kits and one of them cannot travel.

Costs for running a car and upkeep of instruments are a headache, and while country dancing is my hobby, my expenses do not matter, but in fairness to the others, it is one of great concern.

While gardening has nothing to do with country dancing, it means something to all of us. A dancer can refuse to go to a dance, without any worry or feeling that he has let anyone down. It is different with an orchestra whose services are in great demand. They also have gardens and if we had to comply with every request, our gardens would be like a wilderness.

Rehearsals and training of young instrumentalists demand many hours of patient work and are very necessary to keep up-to-date and cater for the future.

Therefore, in my endeavour to supply a long-felt want, I ask you to please consider what has to be done before an orchestra can play at a dance and if only four are engaged, please don’t consider then in relation to Jimmy Shand, who records with a full orchestra.

However, I hope you will enjoy the music of a full orchestra at the major dances at the Summer School.

The Hastings Highland Games

Three weeks before the Games the weather in Hastings was rain. Two weeks before the Games it was still raining. One week before the Games the citizens of that city were building rafts for their hens to lay their eggs. Two days before the Games there was a slight change and it is now history that glorious weather prevailed on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Since then the weather went back and it is believed that in order to get some decent weather, the citizens

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1959 – Volume 6
(Volume missing from archives)

1960 – Volume 7
Editor: Marion M Cunningham

are considering holding more Games.

The country dancers reported to W.O.II Seton dressed in his full regalia. A W.O.II is usually called a Sergeant Major. That rank is lower than an officer, but there is nothing lower than an officer.

After he had shepherded the dancers on to do their display, he was seen to relax, until the music started. For the benefit of those who have never attended these Games, the music has a habit of jumping. This time, for a change, it went half the speed and W.O. Seton was seen to run to the Secretary’s tent, passing Murray Halberg on the way. What happened in the tent and what orders the Sergeant Major gave we can only surmise. If you have never seen General Stuart done to half speed you must visualise some dancers looking like fairies and others looking like ferries.

At the conclusion of that performance we were assured by the Sergeant Major and Mr McPherson that they would attend to the recordings for the other displays.

The scene has now changed to Sunday. We heard our officials playing the recordings while the public were assembling. After that we listened to Robert Wilson singing ‘Marching through the Heather’ on a 33rpm recording. (I presume that your thoughts have got ahead of me. Yes, you are correct.) When the dancers went on someone forgot to change the speed and there we were floating in mid-air and doing our dance to slow motion. Someone announced that the park was full of McDonalds and McPhersons, but all that was wanted was one mechanic.

The second performance was done to music played by the Hastings Caledonians. What a difference. One of the pleasing features was the Cumberland Reel. At the second time of playing, Les Jack and another lady and gentleman took the Hastings Blossom Queen, the New Plymouth Festival of the Pines Queen and the Mayor of Hastings as partners. It is said that since then the Mayor has country dancing with all the city councillors prior to their meetings.

What we had looked forward to for many weeks seemed to go past very quickly. All too soon we made our adieux, fortified with the company that our landlady would have us again next year.

President Les Jack’s 1960 Perambulations

Hastings Highland Games! Oh boy, if you haven’t been, you ‘aint seen nuthin’.’ Heard about the ‘Transport Deportment’ from the announcer. Had the pleasure of dancing with the ‘Blossom Queen’, while Gary Morris danced with the ‘Queen of the Pines’. Were we envied? Outstanding – and almost unbelievable – Jack Seton’s energy and enthusiasm.

Hawke’s Bay Branch News
President Jack Seton

The Branch, now in its second year, has increased the number of clubs in membership by two. The newcomers are Waipukurau and Gisborne. The latter club has difficulty in coping with new members – their regular attendance is already five sets.

We are proud that our certificated teachers have been asked to instruct in other areas and realise how fortunate we are in having teachers of such calibre in our midst.

The highlight of our season is, of course, the Hastings Highland Games, and our thanks go to all the dancers who travelled great distances and took part in the massed display. Their presence and wonderful display always means new members to all our clubs.

The dance held on the evening of our Blossom Parade did not get the attendance anticipated. This was probably due to the fact that many had travelled overnight and had a hard and tiring day. Nevertheless, the Hastings Club considers it serves a purpose and they will run it in place of the Branch.

We appreciated the visits of President Les Jack and of Dr Hugh Thurston, and were sorry they could not stay longer with us.

This year the Summer School will be held in our district and we all look forward to renewing friendships and making new ones.

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Club Notes

Cambridge Club’s end of season ball was outstanding as we were favoured by the presence of Mr Jack Seton and his band. A real band was a new experience to most of the dancers and their appreciation and pleasure were most marked.

Gisborne Club were fortunate to secure the support of members from Hastings, Waipukurau and Waipawa clubs, who on each occasion travelled to Gisborne by rail and billeted overnight. A visit to Hastings on 25th July 1959 proved enjoyable for 30 members, who travelled down by chartered bus and were billeted by the Hastings Club. Twenty members went again by excursion train to attend the Blossom Festival.

Masterton Club reported that the special attraction this year was the attendance of Jack Seton’s orchestra for their ball held at the Masterton Town Hall during Labour Weekend. Members also visited Hastings for the Easter Highland Games.

Taradale Club has only just entered into its third year, membership is extremely high and consistent, enthusiasm abounds, and this is due in no small measure to our hardworking and very patient teacher, Mrs Madge Laing, to whom we are greatly indebted.

It is amazing to see what Mrs Laing has achieved in such a short time with the very raw material she was first confronted with. At least some of us now know our left feet from the right – just!

We have attended and thoroughly enjoyed dances and displays within Hawke’s Bay. Last October we held our first invitation dance, and, despite a last-minute change of venue due to local flooding, a highly successful evening ensued.

Two members attended the last Summer School and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Members are looking forward to this year’s school in Napier especially as it is on ‘home’ ground.

A weekend school organised by the Hawke’s Bay Branch and tutored by Mrs Laing was held in Taradale last June. Those of our members privileged to attend gained much useful information and guidance, but, oh those aching feet!

When in Hawke’s Bay, do visit us; we meet every Friday, 8pm, in the Labour Hall, no need to enquire the way, just follow the crowd. We can promise you a good evening’s dancing amongst very happy and friendly Scottish country dancing enthusiasts.

Club Directory lists Taradale, Hastings St Andrews, Waipawa and Waipukurau as a member and Gisborne as being affiliated as at 1960.

The Main Object – Happiness
Jean Milligan (forwarded by Les Jack)

Dear New Zealand Friends

When Miss Stewart and I launched the Scottish Country Dance Society, we envisaged Scotland learning and enjoying once more her lovely old national dances, but we never dreamed of our effort spreading across the world and becoming part of the life of Scots overseas. It thrills me tremendously to think of you all meeting together all these thousands of miles away to dance and enjoy the good old Scottish dances.

I should like to say one or two things to you. First of all remember that ‘happiness’ is the main object and if your dancing doesn’t give a real feeling of

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[Sheet Music – “Southern Cross”]

Page 24

social gaiety then there is something wrong.

At the same time the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society has had to set standards. If you could envisage the terrible way in which the dances were being performed when we began to revive them, you would realise how necessary these standards of technique and performance are if the dances are to live. Another reason for these standards is that should people from various parts of the world meet, they should find that they have all been taught to do the same thing and can join in with any company.

After all, we can enjoy the dances though we may not be Pavlovas; but truly, the better that you do them, the more you can enjoy them. Technique is not dancing taken by itself. We need feeling, thought for others, good phrasing and a real love for music.

May you have a lovely Summer School. I will be thinking of you with much interest and much affection.

Les Jack adds: Jean Milligan sent the message from a nursing home, where she had undergone an operation, but was recovering. It was rather interesting to read in her letter that on the day of her operation, the thing that made life sweeter for her was the fact that the surgeon who was performing the operation, was an enthusiastic Scottish Country Dancer.

Summer School – Napier 1960-1961

Letter from a New Zealander – Alex Ross

Dear Country Dancers,

I was fortunate in being able to come to my first Scottish Country Dance School in Napier at the last minute, due to the soft heart of brother Scot, Jack Seton. A hitch-hike from Hamilton to Taupo and then the bus across the wild but scenic road across the mountains got me there on Christmas Day.

On arriving at the school on Monday afternoon with the first arrivals, and by the welcome from Jack Seton and the family, plus a meeting with fellow Highlanders, and the way a meal was provided for me after-hours, I knew the school would be enjoyable and successful.

The food in plenty and the cooking would do credit to any five-star hotel, and the cooks did a very fine job, and their friendly cooperation was good to see. Even washing up could be lark, and I could claim the washing-up record for Dorm 3 men with our human washing machine Frank. While the spirit of friendliness prevailed around the dining room tables, there were one or two exceptions, when cliques got together, and to go near their reservations one met with a curt ‘that is so and so’s seat’, or a frigid silence. Bluntly this is not the spirit one expects and asks for in Scottish Country Dancers, moving around freely at table seems a good way of getting to know people.

The friendly companionship the Dorm arrangements brought about was good. One or two noisy customers (to whom noisy conduct is a way of showing off) could be seen far enough, but by the end of the school, the place became quite lonely, and one missed the close companionship.

The café was a homely place, where one could mingle and chat over the friendly cup of tea, and ever present Elsie with helpers did a grand job. Elsie was quite an expert saleswoman, as one had no option but to buy her wares. The scenic films of Scotland were good, must have brought a few memories to home Scots.

To a large extent the success of the school revolved round the tutors, and they did a wonderful job, as was evident from the results and atmosphere created, most dancers being eager to gain more knowledge of dancing technique and there must have been very few if any whose dancing did not improve.

The tutors had quite a task, as Madge will back me up, having in her class a dour Highlander with two left feet, and the determination to be in the right place at the wrong moment. I enjoyed your class Madge and was sorry when it finished.

The leaflet dances were put over very well and gave an insight into the technique of putting over new dances. It also showed team effort, and how the success of any club or social function needs the loyalty and help of all its members.

The trip to the beach which ended in the village hall was fun, even with the rain. The hall reminded me of many a Highland scene in grannery or Town Hall, where dancing usually commenced at 8pm on Friday, to an accordion band, and finished sometime after 2am next morning. In between the dances would include (2) Eightsome’s, (2) Strip the Willow, Lancers, (2) Highland Scottishe, Boston Two Step, a St Bernard’s to cool off. Also two teas (Highland fashion) that includes everything.

Back to the Soundshell at Napier, it was a colourful scene and I think most of the dancers enjoyed themselves, even if the concrete was a wee bit hot. It was lovely to dance in the cool of the evening at Hastings’ Windsor Park, I enjoyed that outing.

The little Hampden Soccer match plus a bit of All Black lineout work, proved that science has not yet found a formula for perpetual youth, judging by the crocks there and afterwards. The gym and

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swimming pool were a joy to rid of surplus energy and cool off.

Hogmanay 1961 was the best I remember in years, it was great fun to dance to Jack’s band, see out the old year and bring in the new. It was lovely to take part in the colourful Church parade on the 1st day of 1961. The last Saturday night fling when many had drifted away homeward was another enjoyable time, and I think everyone must have felt the closing ceremony when the flag was hauled down for another year.

It is easier to sum up, when the tumult and the shouting dies, I would say that the school thanks to all who took part, was a huge success. To many of us so far from home, it brought a wee bit of Scotland.

Not only was the school a success from a dancing point of view, but from a social brithers (sic) be for a’ that. In two short weeks one makes more friends than in 10,000 miles of travel. I feel now to visit many parts of New Zealand means to call on friends.

Hearing the opinions on Napier as the site of future schools for the North Island, it would be difficult to find a spot where dorms, café, assembly hall, classrooms and dining hall are so near to each other, plus gym, swimming pool, tennis courts, recreation grounds and a cooperative staff. Also Jack Seton’s Band which is super. The makings of a real family atmosphere. What more could one ask for, unless Heaven itself.

Thanks Jack, Les, committee, tutors, cooks and dancers for bringing so many together in friendship and fun. Happy dancing in 1961

Yours truly, Alex Ross

Branch News

Wellington and Districts Association: The highlight of the 1960 season was our Scottish Country Dance Ball and although the attendance was not quite as large as expected, those present had an enjoyable time. Music was provided by Jack Seton’s Band.

This was the first truly Scottish Country Dance Ball held in New Zealand and the Association has decided to hold another this year on Saturday, May 27.

Club News

Cambridge continuing on its quiet way with the Ball at the end of the year missing Jack Seton’s Band who had given so much pleasure the year before.

Gisborne enrolled a total of 75 dancing members, 16 of whom are under 16 years of age during the last 12 months. Practices held every Tuesday in the Old Folks’ Association Hall in Bright Street from 8pm, with classes for beginners, when necessary, starting at 7.30pm.

Excellent tuition is afforded by Mr JG McIvor, Society Chief and by Mr J Bauld, who attended the teachers’ class at Summer School in Napier.

We were fortunate last year in receiving a visit from Mr J Seton in May and Mrs W Hill in June, both of whom gave up their weekend of their time to instruct us in the finer points of dancing.

In July they made a trip to Hastings at the invitation of that club, our members travelling down by car and being billeted overnight.

Functions held during the year included a Hallowe’en Party, at which murals designed by Society members provided the necessary atmosphere of black magic for a truly diverting evening.

Several demonstration sets were requested towards the end of the year, our main contribution being a massed dancing display at the annual A&P Autumn Carnival, in which we were assisted by guests from clubs in the Hawke’s Bay Branch. A dance in the evening following the display gave us the opportunity of expressing our gratitude for this assistance.

Invercargill’s St Andrew’s Club looked forward to meeting Mr Jack Seton, Dominion President and organiser of the 1960 Summer School at Napier (which two of their members attended) and Jimmy Shand’s Band which we understand is visiting this country shortly and of whom we are keen fans.

Lower Hutt mentions Jack Seton’s recordings and ‘Long may that continue and prosper’.

Nelson held a special evening to celebrate the visits of Isa and Jack Seton, Dr Hugh Thurston and Les Jack.

Napier Club had another successful season and enjoyed several joint evenings with other Hawke’s Bay clubs.

At no time since the inception of the club, have we been without a ‘floating’ member and this year has been exceptional in that we welcomed back from overseas no fewer than six of our members – Mrs Harvey, Margot Paton, Naomi and Diana Mooney, Carine Jackson and Elsie Corfield. While Carine was in Scotland, she attended the St Andrew’s Summer School where she came under the tutelage of Jean Milligan herself.

Among our departures in the near future will be Pat Sammons who is sailing for the UK and Mrs Black

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and Susan Cousins who hope to maintain their associations with Scottish country dancing during a year or more in Sydney.

This year the club decided to celebrate Hallowe’en in the traditional Scottish manner complete with ‘gumshoe’ lanterns, ‘cooker’ for aisles and ‘champ it lattices’. When the time came for the ‘guises’ to perform we were surprised at the talent displayed by some of our more retiring members.

Most of our members were able to attend sessions of the 1960-61 Summer School held at the Napier Boys’ High School and the high standard of the coaching they received was greatly appreciated.

John Dive acted as Old Father Time at the School’s Hogmanay celebrations and since his services have been requested for the same role in 1960 he has gone into strict training in the hope of producing an even more realistic performance.


Famous First Words: An introductory note is an editorial prerogative which, particularly in the case of a new editor, must be put to good use. But where to start: what gems of wisdom to impart?

Realising that most people resent change forced upon them, and seeing no set purpose – unless one is permitted a minor predilection – in making drastic alterations in the style of this established organ of the New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society, we have retained the general format of previous volumes, flicking here and there with a duster without making a clean sweep. Praise and thanks, after all, must be accorded to Mrs Marion Cunningham, who has nursed the ‘Dancer’ from its birth, right through its teething stage to the present

1961 – Volume 8
Editor: Marion Cunningham

time when the baby has been placed in our lap.

She has set the standard which, it is trusted, has not been lowered in this instance.

The prime object of the magazine is obviously to impart news and views: it should also be instructive and entertaining. You will see as you browse through the pages that the foregoing aims have been kept in mind. The result is yours to judge. We make no apology.

The intention has been to keep a fine balance between the ‘serious’ and the more light-hearted material, at the same time ensuring that there is something for everybody. Just as is the case with, say, a newspaper, one does not necessarily read everything in a magazine, but you are invited here to dance your way to Scotland and England, to cross the Atlantic to Canada, reel to Australia and skip change of step back home to New Zealand. You should really enjoy it all: read as much as you can, not forgetting the advertisements, for these are not just set there to fill up space.

As you will perceive, photographs have been included for the first time. These are only a small beginning. There could be more photos and artistic items; the number of pages could be increased; and there could be less crowding of the various articles, but that depends largely on you – the reader – and to any help that can be given your editor, a lone ranger, in adding more advertisements of the type that would be of interest to all and would be profitable to our customers. There is also plenty of scope for doubling the circulation. Think on these things.

But to return to where we were – No particular feature need be specially drawn to your attention, for every article has its merit, be it on the dance, social activities or purely administrative information. (We’d like you to know, of course, that we wrote!)

However, it is not expected that all of the readers will be pleased with everything, so if you have any criticisms or suggestions to make, let us know. Better still, if you are pleased with this initial effort (it has entailed a lot of hard work), shower your paeans of praise on us, for we are most receptive; and, like yours, our ego is the better for a boost.

Summer School 1961-1962

Another Summer School has come and gone and many will be saving for next year’s school to be held at Napier. The Summer School held at Canterbury Agricultural College from 27 December to 7 January was most successful. For the New Zealand Society I would like to thank Dr Burns and his staff who again made us so welcome. The college with its trees and well-kept grounds is indeed a delightful place to have a Summer School.

The success of the school was due to the cooperation during the year of the working committee, Eileen Hanna, Geordie Lambert and Alex McKenzie, and the help at the school of Mattie Bristow and Mae Folan. To the working committee and all who offered assistance during the school, and there were many, my sincere thanks.

Classes this year were conducted by: Nan Imrie

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(Intermediate); Margaret Laidlaw (Advanced); Jack Seton (Social); Alec Hay (Technique) with Mildred Clancey and Phyllis Gale (Teachers).

Afternoon classes were enjoyed by all who attended. There were two sessions of old-time dancing conducted by Jack Seton, two sessions of Highland Steps (Alec Hay) and an innovation were the Maori stick games and action songs lead by Mrs Rennie and her Maori party. Enthusiastic photographers were active during these Maori sessions and the outcome will probably be viewed at next year’s school at Napier.

A highlight of the school was the attendance of a party of 165 at a performance of the White Heather Group at the Theatre Royal in Christchurch, and the visit of the White Heather Group to us at the college on Hogmanay.

Then, finally, the dancing to Bob Mellis and his band augmented by some of the members of the White Heather Group – Jimmy Shand, Jnr., Bernie O’Connell and Terry O’Duffy – was a welcome surprise. This experience brought back memories to the dancers who danced to the music of Jimmy Shand Snr., the late Tim Wright and others in Scotland.

Films also are a most enjoyable part of the social a programme, and this year we were fortunate to have Carl Parkes show us his trip through India, and four members of the United States Navy Operation Deep Freeze generously gave their time to show ‘Portrait of Antarctica.’ These were most appreciated.

The varied programme also included two picnics, one to Ashley Gorge and the other to Diamond Harbour, thus giving visitors to Christchurch the opportunity of seeing more of the beauty spots of Canterbury.

The many social activities fully occupied any spare moments of the members, who renewed friendships made at previous schools, as well as making new friends at the Lincoln Summer School.

Dancing With Jean

‘Miss Jean Milligan requires no introduction to Scottish Country Dancers anywhere in the world. Here she addresses the dancing fraternity of New Zealand – something to be read and inwardly digested by all.’

When Mrs Stewart of Fasnacloich and I founded the Scottish country dancing Society in 1923, we little thought that a time would come when our dances would play a great part in the social life of people all over the world. Our object then was to revive again the native Scotland the interest in those gay, friendly dances and to work for the happy mixing of all sorts and conditions of people which has always existed in Scotland

We set our standards of both technique and formations by what we learnt from old people who had been well taught in their youth and who had for years enjoyed these dances. This has always been the Scottish method of passing on tradition and it ensures a continuance of the true character of that tradition.

We have been criticised for this, as according to some people it does not agree with what they have read (or what they think the writers meant) in old books. We decided that we would be safer and surer to maintain the living tradition, and this we still try to do.

As everyone knows, the Society began in Glasgow, and then branches were formed, first in Edinburgh, then in Perth, Dundee, London, Aberdeen and so on, and how exciting it still is to hear that a new branch is being formed.

We have 90 branches, some hundreds of affiliations, and groups about to affiliate and adherents like the sands of the sea.

When the Queen visited our headquarters in June, and saw our two big maps with all our branches  etc., marked on them, and I told her of our small beginnings, she said what a real thrill this wonderful growth had been, and certainly to Mrs Stewart and to me, it has been almost unbelievable.

To maintain the standards of technique and performances, we felt we must have properly trained teachers and we instituted a Royal Scottish Country Dance Society Teacher’s Certificate. The examination for this certificate is in two parts – the preliminary examination, which shows if the candidate is a suitable one, and the full certificate examination which we are happy to say is recognised by the Scottish Education Department as a specialist qualification.

We know that some far-away places with a shortage of teachers would like to be able to grant there this certificate, but I can assure them that this would not be a good thing. Even our teachers here in Scotland need to keep continually in touch with the Society to get coaching and help, and to assure themselves that they are not straying from the standards, which mean the continued life of the dances. We insist on these standards and try to see that everyone teaches in the same way, so that anyone coming from another branch or from some far-distant place can join in with any company and find that they are doing the same thing.

The great value of this was shown when the

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RSCDS put on a large demonstration for the Queen at Murrayfield, Edinburgh, some years ago. We had invited our branches to send representatives and there were collected on the field, 600 dancers – 300 men and 300 women! We had no time for a rehearsal, but the performance went as gaily and as smoothly as if they had all come from the same class.

I spend my time mostly in visiting branches and groups who want to feel the interests of the RSCDS in their work and to get a talk and a class to stimulate and revive them. I so often feel that the real meaning of our work is missed or gets lost in an over-emphasis being put on pedantic precision of steps and formations. Dancing is not a thing of the feet or a mathematical precision of movement – no, it is a thing of the soul: the spirit, the gaiety and feeling for tradition comes from within, and this must never be forgotten. Of course, the better you dance, the more you enjoy it, but unless you remember the joy, our dances will not live.

I just wish New Zealand were not so far away, as it would be a real delight to visit a country so full of enthusiasm, and which contains more of our affiliated groups than anywhere else in the world. My love and good wishes come with this little talk, to you all, and may Scottish country dancing give you as much pleasure and happiness as it has given me.

Looking Back
Jack Seton

Now that the Society is fully established and, with the exception of one district, has branches throughout the length and breadth of New Zealand, it is difficult to realise a decade ago there was no such thing as organised Scottish country dancing in the Dominion.

For the benefit of those who simply take the Society for granted, here is how it all started. In 1952 a meeting was convened at Morison’s Bush, near Greytown, at which several organisations; some of whose names were in the list of membership of the RSCDS, were represented, and it was decided to hold a dance at Labour Weekend at Morison’s Bush Hall.

To arrange a programme was a problem. Some groups knew only a few dances (one, actually, was conversant only with the ‘Gay Gordons’, the ‘Eightsome Reel’ and the ‘Highland Schottische’). However, all the dances common to each group were included in the programme.

Bus loads, car loads, attended this first dance, which for spectacle had never been equalled in New Zealand. A profit was made, too, and what to do with this set a problem. The solution proved easy. An association, Wellington and Hawke’s Bay was formed and three dances were held annually.

Great pioneering work was done by the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association. Clubs took sets to various functions for displays, enthusiasm was terrific; and new clubs started to spring up.

Through the efforts of Mr Bruce Fordyce, then a science master at Napier Boys’ High School and now of Featherston, the Boys’ High School was granted as a venue for the first Summer School at Napier. Approximately 90 dancers attended, these coming from many parts of the country. Certificated teachers were as scarce as hens’ teeth, and it was left to Mrs Peggy Hudson, of Southern Cross Club, Dunedin, to take the whole school during the day, whilst I, after business hours, did my stint in the evening.

As a result of the numbers attending this initial effort from with the Association’s orbit, feelers were made regarding the formation of a New Zealand Society or Association. The intention was to form such an organisation, if sufficient support were given, at the following Summer School.

This Summer School was held, as planned, at Days Bay, Eastbourne, with Dr Ira Cunningham as organiser. By that time we had Miss Phyllis Gale and Mrs Mildred Clancey added to our list of teachers available. A meeting was held at the school and the Society was brought into being. A set of rules was compiled by a committee consisting of Dr Cunningham, Mr William McPherson and Mr Maurice Smith.

The following year the constitution of the Society was adopted at Wanganui, and Summer Schools, which until then had been organised by Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association, came under the jurisdiction of the Society.

Since then schools have been held at Dunedin, Ardmore, Lincoln, Napier and Lincoln again. This year we will be returning to Napier, with Dunedin to follow. An estimated 1,000 dancers have attended the schools, and of these about 20 have never missed out. More than 60 clubs have been formed within the Society’s fold, with others, we hope, yet to join us. Could you imagine what it would be like if we could get all the 1,500 to 2,000 dancers together at one gigantic ball!

And so you see from the foregoing just what has resulted, from an invitation to hold a meeting at Morison’s Bush Hall. Let’s hope that as many of those as possible who attended the first dance will be present at the 10th anniversary dance to be held

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at the same venue.

Madge Laing

We have looked back. Let us ‘Kia Toa.’ May the progress during the past 10 years be increased one hundredfold during the next.

When in doubt

Have you ever had that frustrated feeling on a club night when the instructions don’t give enough detail, or there seems to be less music than steps? The class is waiting for the Words of Wisdom and the ‘Power’ is suffering from a temporary lapse

A Napier Dancer Sends Her Impressions

There is a lady called Nancy
Who teaches us Scottish country dancing
She said with despair, as she tore at her hair
‘That dancing is really just prancing’

There is also a lassie called Nan
Who looks after our books and our jam
She collects it all in, puts it straight in the tin
And doles it all out as per plan

Helen looks after our thrift pence
Writes it all down with great neatness
She says with a grin, as she gathers it in
‘I might let you have it at Christmas’.

Our Margaret is one of the lasses
Usually there at our classes
She leads us all round, and then up and down
She’s one of our cleverest dancers

Now when it comes to our Mary
She dances just like a fairy
She turns with a whirl, as she tosses a curl
Does this airy like fairy called Mary?

Mrs Black looks after our cuppa
We’d have nothing to drink without her
She lets us all earn, our tea in each turn
We must have our cuppa for supper

Now that is the end of my ditty
If you didn’t like it that’s a great pity
But you should just see, how happy are we
At Orange Hall Napier City

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1962 – Volume 9
Editor: Harry Bruce

in transmission! (Thinks.) ‘How can they go down the middle and up, cross over and cast off to corners all in eight bars?’ (Aloud.) ‘Oh, blow! Let’s try another dance, I must write to the R.T.C. for advice.’

1. What is the R.T.C.? You ask. Well, its been called many names in its time (eg Rheumatic Tutors’ Club) but although it has such a high-faluting title, it really consists of down-to-earth fully certificated teaching members of the Society who are prepared to advise on the music, technique and dress of Scottish country dancing.

2. How can they do this when their members are scattered from one end of New Zealand to the other? It’s easy! All queries are sent to the Secretary in Palmerston North and then it’s over to the postman. Poor Man! He has to run to Hastings, to Auckland, to Christchurch and back again to Hastings, where the opinions are collated, sifted, sorted, deciphered. However, the majority rules, as in all democracies, and then finally gives you an answer.

3. How often do the R.T.C. meet in person? About twice a year. Once, when classes are being arranged for Summer School, and again at the school itself. You ought to hear them go when it’s time to answer queries. They are so keen to do the best by everyone that although opinions vary quite considerably at times, they usually manage to effect some satisfactory compromise. After these reverberations, cogitations, deliberations and felicitations (Hail, Caledonia!) the R.T.C. anxiously await the next query. And despite all this, they still manage to remain friends!

4. What happens if they just cannot see eye to eye? They seek the advice of the RSCDS or the composer of the dance. For example, as many will know, the instructions in the ‘Ship of Grace’ are not very clear in bars 25-32, so having written to Jean McAdam the composer, the solution was provided by her. She also enlightened us as to how two versions had arisen. Seemingly, Bobby Watson, a TV personality at Home, had substituted his interpretation of how ‘waves’ should look, while dancing with a team on television, and so it came about that both versions are being used in the UK, but the composer never meant it to be other than how we in New Zealand dance it. Naturally, the R.T.C. stuck to her instructions.

If you would like some little (or big) query answered, do write to R.T.C. (which really means Reference Technical Committee), c/o Secretary of the Society.

Club Notes

Hastings Club: The opening night for the 1962 season was on Wednesday March 7, and was quite well attended. Among those present were a few who were members when the club commenced activities some years ago, and who, following a spell for a season or two, have expressed a desire to rejoin. Jack Seton, our very capable tutor had a busy time preparing members for the Highland Games in April.

On Wednesday, March 21, the first portion of the evening was confined to the Annual Meeting business. The meeting was quite successful with Mrs D Campbell, our Patron in the chair. Mrs  Campbell is a very keen supporter in our club activities.

In his report the President Mr J Seton, said that the past season had been, socially, a very successful one. There had been a noticeable dropping off of attendances towards the end of the season, but there had been a number of resignations due to people leaving the district, and during the hotter period towards the end of the year it was noticed that the attendances were smaller. The financial statement showed a loss for the year but could be accounted for by the falling off of membership.

The new season has started off very well, with a number of enrolments and there appears to be prospects of a good season. It would be a great advantage to the club if a few more men could be persuaded to interest themselves in Scottish country dancing.

The club is fortunate to have in its ranks the very able secretary of the Hawke’s Bay Branch of the New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society, Ynys Cater. She has been of great assistance to the club tutor during the past season and her services are very much appreciated.

In conclusion, it should be noted that the club night is on Wednesday of each week, in the Oddfellows Hall, Market Street North, Hastings, and visitors on any of these club nights are very welcome.

Taradale Club: Had another very enjoyable and successful season of dancing for old and new members. During the year we tried the experiment

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of lowering the age limit to eleven and found the youngsters very enthusiastic. With Madge’s help they soon picked up steps and movements.

At the end of the year our treasurer, Francie Henderson left us for Dunedin. We shall miss her on club nights and send her our best wishes for some happy dancing down there.

Our grand finale was a Hallowe’en fancy dress party for which we combined with the Hastings Club. The costumes were weird and wonderful and contributed to the evening’s hilarity. Jack Seton was our MC and kept the party going in his usual fashion. It was indeed a night to remember, especially Jack’s face when he was presented with a rotten fish.

We meet every Friday in the Labour Hall at 8pm and extend a warm invitation to any dancers visiting Taradale to come along and join us.

Balclutha Club: The highlight of the year was our visit to Burns Club, when Mr Jack Seton was present. It was indeed thrilling for us to meet Mr Seton

Bluebell Club (Palmerston North): Undoubtedly the highlight of our short season was the formal dance held on October 7. We were delighted to welcome 120 dancers, representing 21 clubs from as far afield as Christchurch, Auckland and Gisborne. Our guests of honour were Mr and Mrs Jack Seton and the members of the Reference Technical Committee.

Geraldine Club: A visit from Jack Seton last year was much appreciated.

Marlborough Club: The Queen’s Birthday Weekend School organised by the Marlborough Club, at which we were fortunate in having Mrs Molly McArthur and Mr Jack Seton as tutors, was enjoyed by all who attended.

Palmerston Club: During the season membership slowly increased to the point where most club nights saw at least three sets take the floor, and occasionally even four, as was the case when Jack Seton delighted the club members with a personal visit.

St Andrew’s Club (Invercargill): The main attraction during our dancing season was a visit from our Dominion President, Mr Jack Seton, on our open night held in August. In a bright and breezy manner, he capably put us through some dances new to us. Unfortunately, this big night clashed with important occasions of clubs farther afield, and visitors from northern clubs were fewer than usual. Nevertheless, this was a grand occasion and no doubt a boost to our club.


PRESSING ON, REGARDFUL: This volume of ‘The Dancer’ marks an important anniversary: the magazine has reached its 10th year. Those veterans of the Society who have read our publication for a decade could best inform us of its unifying effect on Scottish country dancing in the Dominion. With the present vastly increased number of dancers the link is more vital and increasing circulation leads us to believe that this could be appreciated.

It would have been fitting to publish a special bumper edition on this occasion, but with native caution your editor decided to ‘ca’ canny’. Nevertheless, this will prove to be the most expensive production ever, but when one thinks of the possible interest and pleasure it will bring to old-timers of all ages and to the new generation of dancers which has sprung up, a few extra bawbees should not go amiss.

It was regretted that owing to a miscalculation of the numbers likely to place late orders many were unable to obtain copies of the last magazine, and it is trusted that, without erring too much on the other side, this will not recur. Naturally, we were tremendously bucked by the warm reception accorded our first essay from the editorial chair – many dancers offering encouraging words of praise. If there were any brickbats flying about – and there could well be – none reached ‘Dunblane Castle’.

You were promised more photographs in this edition: you have these. As regards the line drawing relating to Jimmy Shand, this was forwarded by President Bill McPherson – the term ‘King Jimmy’ is that frequently used by Vice-President Jack Seton when referring to the maestro of Scottish country dance music.

An editor has many problems, not least of these being selection of suitable copy – if there is sufficient from which to select. Fortunately, in this instance there was no lack of material to work on, but, considering the size of our organisation, it is surprising how few dancers avail themselves of the opportunity of seeing their brain-child appear in print in our magazine. Why not give it a go?

All right, all right, we know that articles must be forwarded when dancing is just getting into its stride and the average dancer is more concerned in converting that beginning-of-the-season two-beat pas de basque into a three-beater than in writing erudite (or otherwise) contributions. But really the reason for the early deadline for copy is because of a general desire to get ‘The Dancer’ circulating before the season is too far gone.

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Once again our advertisers have rallied round us, and we are grateful for their support. Please remember to mention your reading of the advertisement in these pages, should you make personal or written contact with them.

There now, you have been in the editor’s sanctum long enough. Escape over the page and become immersed in the magazine proper.

Good reading and happy dancing to you all.

Napier Summer School
Jack Seton

Summer School is an event looked forward to by many dancers all over the Dominion, and there is no reason to believe that Napier was an exception.

As each dancer arrived, reported and got his or her name-tag, followed by little ‘get-togethers’ before bedtime, Summer School was safely launched on its way. As that old sage, Charlie Whitehill, aptly describes the atmosphere, ‘it is something ye canna buy, and there’s naething like it elsewhere in the world’.

The opening ceremony, so ably carried out by our President, Miss Phyllis Gale; the unfurling of the Society Flag by Mr Duncan MacIntyre, MP for Hastings; and the opening display of dancing all added to the charm that is Summer School

Meals were efficiently cooked by the school staff, and seating was for 10 at a table. One could thus sit down at a table and possibly make nine new friends.

Sports Day had a sparkle unexcelled even at the Olympic Games. The stupidity of the referee, President Bill McPherson, in the ladies’ soccer match nearly caused a riot. He gave a foul against one player who had simply made a good, clean rugby tackle. Both teams took exception to his ruling and he made a dash for safety, hotly pursued. Sack races, three-legged races and lolly scrambles all helped add up to a happy afternoon.

The picnic at Waimarama showed us all in our true form. Dancing knee deep in water certainly calls for stamina rather than for technique.

The gala at the school swimming pool brought

Personality Parade

COULD IT BE “Glasgow Highlanders”? Leading is Alec, son of Mrs Hay of Angus, with Nan Imrie on his right and Phyllis Gale to the left. Keekin’ over Alec’s shoulder is smiling Douglas Jenkinson, and the man behind is none other than jovial Jack Seton. The figure of Margaret Laidlaw is clearly visible although her face is hidden by the arm of Phyllis.

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forth times in events that took some swallowing. There was polo without any set rules, teams or goal posts – well, what are rules at Summer School? The massed Oslo Waltz in the pool danced to pipe music proved conclusively that the tune does not make the dance.

The dance and the ceremony of bringing in the New Year must rank as one of the most emotion-stirring events in the Society’s calendar. The community singing terminated with a beautiful rendering of ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd.’

The concert had everything to make it one to remember – singing, dancing and comedy acts. It brought home the fact that we are rich in talent.

However, to go on referring to so many items makes me forget what we’re at Napier for. Our classes brought out an improvement in every dancer, and if all have gone back to their clubs and passed on the knowledge gained, then the School was worthwhile.

The way in which dancers cooperated in dealing with the various chores, their spontaneous response to calls for volunteers, the speed in which they formed up, whether it was for a game or a display, made me feel very humble: humble in the knowledge that it was a privilege to be part of such a wonderful family. As Charlie says, ’Ye canna buy it.’

Bless you all.

Kangaroo Looks at the Kiwis
Excerpt from Madeline Streamer of Brisbane

It was while in the Hawke’s Bay district that I really met the people of New Zealand, and it is of a mere four days that I have my happiest and most vivid memories. Theirs was the finest example of hospitality I have ever met. They accepted each other and myself with unquestioned trust and friendship. They came from many walks of life, but each had a common bond, Scottish country dancing – a bond that joined these folk together for work, pleasure, cares, and conviviality. They shared all chores with a light-hearted willingness, but they soon seriously rallied when one needed care or comfort through illness or mishap – 150 wonderful people who helped me celebrate one of the gayest New Years’ Eve I have ever experienced.

These folk had a really enthusiastic interest in their dancing. I was greatly impressed by the conscientiousness of their dancing, and the humble acceptance of their tutors’ opinions and directions for the duration of the Summer School. They were all ready and eager for each session, be it a daytime class or an evening’s social or dance.

I came home with many notions to introduce into our dancing here. We have been in the habit of having the MC to invite men to take partners and form sets, with the result that we were constantly being baulked by a shortage of men. I liked the way you folks were invited to form two lines, and these were later counted off in sets. This overcomes the difficulty very neatly. I liked the general acceptance that everyone will dance, too – maybe we can blame the weather for our habit of ‘sitting this one out!’

Whatever the reason, the dancers I met at Napier definitely displayed a keener love of dancing than is general here. It was very interesting to note that you still commence proceedings with a Grand March. I think that this is rarely seen here and it is a great pity. It looked very impressive at the opening dance of the Summer School, although it was the Oslo Waltz that did more in establishing and renewing acquaintances. As a ‘pipe-opener’ that and the Waltz Country Dance are hard to beat.

I loved the way your fun revolved around country dancing at the socials. I am looking forward with some amusement to the fun we will have introducing some of these ‘nonsense acts’ ourselves. You seem to have developed a serious recognition of good dancing along with an informal gaiety. I witnessed some very neat footwork during some of the dancing; in fact some very good colour slides of opening day bear witness to this – one in particular shows a trim line of girls displaying a lovely arch as they point their toes. (There is also a slide of a rather ‘gallant’ fellow giving a lonely Aussie girl a warm welcome.)

Your farewell to me, when I left, very reluctantly, to continue my travels, left me absolutely speechless. I was so very conscious of the honour bestowed upon me by Phyllis Gale’s presentation of your Society’s badge. By the time the car drove off I’ll admit to a genuine lump in the throat. It was an experience for which the words ‘thank you’ are entirely inadequate. Rather would I say, “God bless each and everyone one of you,’ and may you continue to dance with enthusiasm and gather at one-another’s clubs and at Summer Schools in goodwill and fellowship to foster this worthwhile pastime.

Jay Ess

As the Quartermaster for Napier School, I wonder how many of you who attended ever gave thought to the amount of food consumed.

The following is all in round figures. That does not mean that it went into round figures:

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Milk (420 gallons, excluding cream); fruit drinks (120 gallons); Tea (70lbs (10,000 cups)). Added up there is enough to make the ‘River Cree’.

Potatoes: Praties, spuds or tatties, whatever you call them; 22 sugar bags. If you were in the army and doing fatigues, there would have been a pile consisting of 6,000 with the sightless eyes staring at you like ‘Bennachie’.

Biscuits: if I did not know you better, I would swear that I fed your families on them. Eighteen tins, with approximately 500 biscuits to a tin. If they had all been piled on top of each other, or made into building bricks, we could have built ‘Hamilton House.’

Bread: Who was it that said, ‘If you want to slim don’t eat bread?’ Who wants to slim? We went through only 571 loaves. Now if each loaf makes 16 slices and King Alfred toasted them, do you realise that he would have been so long in that cottage that no historian would have believed the story about burning? Maybe that is where we got ‘Fight about the Fireside’.

Eggs: Every day we went through 15 dozen. Admittedly some of the hens did not strain themselves. If one hen had to supply the whole lot, its tongue would be hanging out and it would ‘pech’ like a Labrador dog and be glad of the rest between the third and fourth beat of the bar in the pas-de-basque. Some of the boys had their girls’ rations. It’s no wonder we had some ‘Yellow-Haired Laddies’.

Meat: If we took the rear part of a cow, and left the udder half, we would be looking at the source of supply of our lunches. To give us our dinners, we’d have to ‘Ca the Ewes tae the Knowes’ and do ‘Lamb Skinnet’ on the first eight. (Even sheep are in sets.)

Taken all in (which it was) we have a programme of: ‘River Cree’, ‘Bennachie’, ‘Hamilton House’, ‘Fight about the Fireside’, ‘Yellow-haired Laddies’ and Ca’ the Ewes tae the Knowes’.

Now to get the weight off for Dunedin.

Letters to the Eediot
Dxar Mr Xditor,
I havx just bought a sxcond-hand typxwritxr and I dxcidxd to sxnd an articlx to your magazinx. Onx of thx kxys is not working propxrly and it has xffxct on thx wholx lxttxr. Likxwisx in a dancx club if any kxy pxrson is not doing his utmost to hxlp thx club, thxn hx stands out likx a sorx thumb. Xvxry mxmbxr of a club can bx comparxd to a lxttxr of thx alphabxt. Alonx thxy arx mxaninglxss. Thxy must takx thxir placx in an organisxd sxtting.
Wishing thx magazinx xvxry succxss,
Ian Sxton

(then several pages after…)

Dezr Hzrry,
I hzve just got my typewriter bzck from the repzirers. It is zs good zs new.
Regzrds Izn

Branch News

Hawke’s Bay and East Coast: We seem to have a fairly full year up here in sunny Hawke’s Bay. The Highland Games are our main function. The 1962 Games were highly successful, thanks to the support of our many friends outside the Branch. Our special thanks must go to the Auckland people who again provided a busload of dancers. We appreciate their continued support very much and the games would not be the same if they stopped coming. Keep it up, Auckland.

A team of dancers representing the Branch, danced with the Kenneth McKellar Show during their four-night stay in the Bay. How we enjoyed that time – the audience enjoyed it as much as the dancers.

During August we ran a weekend school with two well-known teachers taking an advanced and an intermediate class. Although the numbers who attended this school were not so great as we had hoped, a most profitable weekend was enjoyed by all. We were most fortunate in obtaining, at the last moment, the use of the Heretaunga Intermediate School, which is the most up-to-date school in Hastings. Our surroundings could not have been bettered. Funds received a slight boost from this weekend too.

Quite a number of Branch members were present at the Society’s Summer School at Napier – quite a few were rather deeply involved! We hope that those who attended the school will have helped their local clubs to get off to a good start for the 1963 season.

During the Royal visit (Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh) to Napier, several sets of dancers from the Branch entertained the crowd on the Marine Parade. This display was very much appreciated by the bystanders, and we have had several compliments from here and there. Even the crew of the ‘Britannia’ were quite impressed!

May we wish all other branches in the country a happy and successful season’s dancing, and if you should be in our sunny Bay, do come and see us.

Wellington Districts: reported that their Branch is composed of eight clubs, scattered from Wallaceville to Levin. Quite a distance between clubs, but what’s a few miles to country dancers?

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We remember when Ken Shaw brought a party from Whakatane to Morison’s Bush, 343 miles each way. That was at the beginning of things when the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association was formed.

Club Notes

Hastings Club held their AGM on March 20th ,which was well attended. President Jack Seton welcomed Mrs Duncan Campbell (Patroness) and invited her to chair the meeting. A warm welcome was also accorded to the two Vice-Presidents, Mrs P Priest and Mr Duncan Campbell.

President Jack Seton reported a quite successful year, despite small attendances early in the season. He said he was delighted about the number of new members, among whom were quite a few young ones who were all showing great promise. The financial report showed the club to be in a healthy position.

The club was most indebted to Miss Ynys Cater who on occasions when Mr Seton was unable to be present, very ably conducted the classes.

The annual dance during the 1962 season was a most unfortunate one, in as much as that the weather on the night was atrocious and many coming from a distance were unable to get through. Nevertheless, the gaiety among those present and a delightful supper made the evening a very enjoyable one.

Napier Club had a most enjoyable and successful 1962, especially encouraging has been the number of young members who joined.

Our thanks go to our retiring President, Mr Durie who has been associated with our club since its inception some eight years ago and has helped us tremendously during those years. Our new President is Mr Black, who is well known in Scottish circles throughout the district and has always taken a keen interest in our club.

Some of our members made trips to other clubs for their annual dances which were greatly enjoyed. Most notable was the reunion at Morison’s Bush, but then you always enjoy yourselves at ‘the Bush’. Nearer home, we spent a very pleasant evening at the Taradale Club. This has become an annual outing and this year we took a bus load out.

One of the highlights of the year was the visit of Kenneth McKellar Show. For two of our members, Margaret Passmore and Carine Jackson, it was a special thrill as they were members of the demonstration set.

It is always nice to see old members who have left the district. Jean Tanner, now of Motueka, called on us during the year, also Mrs Black, now of Sydney. We also farewelled Anne Fraser to Dunedin.

We meet each Friday at 8pm at the Orange Hall, Carlyle Street, so if you are in Napier, do call on us.

Eastbourne Club had a successful mid-year dance with the added excitement of a visit from Mr Jack Seton himself.


That Man Again: Leap Year once more, and long ere this determined ladies of our fraternity wishing to take advantage of the doubtful privilege of proposing marriage to shy gentlemen will have taken courage, popped the question and received the answer. Provided that the successful wooers do

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1963 – Volume 10
Editor: Harry Bruce

not permit romance to interfere with their Scottish country dancing activities, they have our blessing.

Now what’s new to report on the ‘Dancer?’ First of all it can be denied most emphatically that any takeover bids have been made by foreign combines, although overseas readers are becoming even more interested in our publications. So it would appear also are Scottish country dancers in New Zealand. The circulation graph went soaring last year, making Volume 10 a best-seller, and for the present edition more than enough contributions were received.

This has called for selection of suitable material, including photographs, and the condensing of many articles. From an editorial viewpoint this was a gratifying situation, although some may be disappointed that their journalistic effort or their rather special photograph has not been printed. As you will see, the magazine has more pages than ever before (the bill for it will be higher!) so that an endeavour to include as much as possible has been made.

Volume 11, were it able to speak, could say in the words of a well-known professional sportsman – more renowned for brawn than brain – ‘Ise de greatest.’ That, of course, means the biggest, as far as the magazine is concerned: the quality is for you to judge. Is it what you want? – If not, let’s know, for this is your magazine. Naturally, individuals cannot be catered for (we are a big and growing family), but the editor’s door is always open to those with bright ideas.

Criticisms have been almost negligible, although these have been absorbed and acted upon where necessary. However, there is one complaint that calls for an answer, lest there be others who agree with the critic. It has been suggested that there is too much back-patting in the magazine.

Our short answer to that is how much is too much? The longer reply would take up a full page. Faced then with curtailment of space, one more sentence, please: Effusive thanks or praise can be embarrassing and even boring to the recipient, but where better to publicise gratitude for services rendered to the Society, the Branch the club or to S.D.C. generally than in this official organ of NZSCDS? Here’s tae us!

Included with other new features, it will be noted, pleasurably or otherwise, that our front cover has received a face-lift. The new design is one of two submitted by a Scottish artist, who, with our tame Kiwi cartoonist, is thanked for gratuitous professional services.

And that’s enough from us. There’s more halesome fare over the pages. May you enjoy it.

Summer School – Knox II
Les Jack (Organiser)

How do you describe Summer School? To those who were there come hundreds of memories, one crowding upon the other. To those who were unfortunate not to live-in or attend; I’m afraid they will not be able to visualise what took place no matter how able the scribe.

I visited the college when all had departed. Comparison; a mausoleum! I left quickly with that strange lump that comes to people’s throats. The shades of two Summer Schools were there – all very close.

Those who live-in somehow or other seemed to manage to gather themselves into a little group which occupies one little spot in that Memorial Dining Hall at Knox; arrange themselves in a little group in the Common Room, before and after the evening programme; enjoy their dancing together; happy in going for little jaunts when the free time appeared. Real friendships must spring up this way – friendships that last.

But what are the thoughts of the organiser while at the school. The little things that are not quite so obvious to those who are so busy with their dancing? My greatest impact of this School is that surely the accent was upon Youth – something for which we must feel truly thankful as the strength of your Society is not in the hands of our older dancers, no matter how we should like to delude ourselves. Yes, we can advise and assist; but there we must try to gracefully retire to the sidelines, where we shall be able to criticise constructively their attempts. I shall not forget the concentrated efforts that went into the preparations for the ‘vice-versa’ night and the fancy dress evening. The whole college seemed to be humming with enthusiasm. I’m afraid had it been left wholly to the ‘older ones’ those evenings would not have been the success they undoubtedly were.

How well the younger generation controlled so the many of the functions. While we have the potential leaders like them, there will be no hesitancy from some of us to step down to let them take the reins. How willingly they accepted responsibilities. No persuasive powers were required. The Laidlaw boys, young Hugh Thomson, ‘wee’ Eric Churton,

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Dave Favel, who took over at short notice the concert production and the newly-formed Junior Council to give to the New Zealand Council some of the views of the younger generation of dancers. I feel we are on the right track.

I cannot see that the character of our Summer School will ever lose its New Zealand flavour; that the traditions we have built will be just thrown aside to fade into obscurity. Hang on to our community sing. I have no fears that someone will appear to take over when Jack Seton feels he wants his well-earned rest. Hold tight to our Hogmanay celebration which this year was broadcast by Station 4YA and for which the station had many compliments paid. Don’t let us lose our afternoon sports meeting, where fun is rally rampant. Above all hold fast to our church parade, this year in the First Church of Otago. There too, I should like to see Youth helping by taking the lessons.

Did we have any classes at all in Scottish country dancing at this Summer School of ours? I do not think we have many worries while we have the staff of teachers there are in New Zealand. New teachers came to us in Mima Clanachan, Elspeth Allan and Rachel Robertson, a visitor from overseas who so willingly stepped into the breach. Thank you teachers for your efforts; I’m sure they will bear fruits when your pupils return to their own clubs.

I do appreciate the opportunity of here being able to publicly thank so many who helped me throughout – helped me to overcome so many of those nagging little difficulties that will occur no matter where our School is held. But who worries over these little difficulties, when we can get that grand atmosphere that pervaded at Knox?

First may I thank Avis, my wife, for all her help, especially with the treasury during the School, giving a service to you that was, I know, greatly appreciated. To Jack Seton our Number One MC, thank you Jack – I know I leaned heavily at times. To the willing band of volunteers headed by Dave Favel, who arranged the college beforehand, decorated the hall so tastefully, and cleared the ruins – my grateful thanks. To the Master of Knox, the Rev. HJ Ryburn, thank you for again placing Knox College at our disposal. To Ed Wilkie, Chef Number One – thanks a million.

Finally to all the residents, who by their willing cooperation made my duties so pleasurable, and

In this group taken at Napier Summer School are:
Seated, from left: Flora Thomson, Isa Seton, Jack Seton (N.I. Vice-president), Jean McPherson, Bill McPherson (President), Phyllis Gale (Past-president), Les Jack, Mildred Clancy (Secretary).
Standing: Dr Thomson, Harry Bruce (Editor), Ed Wilkie, Bob Thomas (S.I. Vice-president), Douglas Jenkinson, Win Clancey.

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made Knox Summer School II such a success – well, you were a grand bunch! Will those who wrote so many letters of thanks, take this to themselves as my personal reply.

Thank you all!

The Answer
Phyllis Nurser

It is almost five years ago since I first learned of the Summer Schools conducted by the NZSCDS. At the beginning of each year since then it has been one of my New Year’s resolutions to visit New Zealand and, while about it, to attend one of these wonderful schools I had heard so much about. Unfortunately, something always seemed to turn up to prevent the carrying out of the intention.

However, one with whom I am closely associated, Madeline Streamer, had the same idea and, as many of you know, she spent some time at the 1962 school at Napier. When she learned last year that I was definitely making the trip, Madeline set about compiling a list of names and addresses of folks she had met in New Zealand, with instructions that I try to meet as many of them as possible.

The first person I contacted was the one and only Jack Seton. His readiness to accept me as one of your own and his eager helpfulness made me realise that I was not to be a stranger in a strange land.

He told me about the schools and that there was something about them that could not be easily expressed in words. As I went farther south meeting folks like Mirth Smallwood, Harry Bruce and Les Jack, to mention a few, they also spoke in the same terms without really clarifying the matter. As a visitor to your country and one who was enabled to attend Knox College, perhaps I may be permitted to give my views.

To me it appeared that New Zealand dancers were most fortunate in having a wonderful few souls who were thrown together by some strange force that gave them a goal that could not be left unachieved. Thus, for example, you have the schools. These folks, with their drive, have also set the spirit which seems to have grown stronger and stronger.

Miss Jean Milligan says the character of Scottish gatherings is the friendly social spirit, and that is just what Summer School has. As a ‘foreigner’ I knew very few people when I arrived at Knox, but by departure time it seemed as though I’d known everyone for years.

A nice thing about a school is that there are so many like yourself having a strong interest in Scottish country dancing, who pull their weight in various ways and receive added pleasure from a joint effort. Apart from the opportunity of being able to concentrate on Scottish country dancing for a fortnight, there is also that holiday feeling which everyone likes to enjoy. An important feature, too, is that one meets people from all over New Zealand, and, of course, they have so much to tell each other of activities and achievements in the previous 12 months.

I could write on and on about Summer School as I saw it, but will conclude with the following: My holiday was made complete only by getting to know the Scottish country dancers of New Zealand. I will do my utmost to see all of you again, possibly accompanied by other Brisbane dancers, so that they too may enjoy the wonderful experience of getting to know you.

Not a Club Night
Jack Seton

With an increase in the number of leaflet dances there has lately been a tendency, in some parts of the country, to turn a dance into another club night by someone calling out the figures, whilst most of the sets walk through it and silence reigns. Surely we go to a dance to meet people, and to be halted in our conversation is virtually to stop what we went for.

At the recent Summer School the first night’s dancing was carried through with ‘Take your partners for’. The dances went with a swing, and by the simple process of a new dancer asking another couple to go first, the formations were solved.

Now compare that with an MC standing on a platform with a book in his hand reading out the instructions for a dance. First of all, he is creating the impression that he himself does not know the dance, otherwise he would not require to read it. Secondly, as MC he has duties to perform, apart from being a caller of dances.

He should mix with the company, find out why some are not dancing and, if they are new dancers, ascertain what dances they know and put these on. If it is their first dance, they should be introduced to the company. The newcomers to a dance are the ones who do the most talking, and a favourable impression gets a club or organisation a good name.

There are groups or cliques who invariably dance together and shun strangers in their set. An efficient MC will notice this and at the first opportunity put on a dance with, say, ‘this side of the hall dance with that side’, or ‘during all the reels and jigs prior to supper no person will dance with a fellow-member of the club’. By this means and others an

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MC can get groups to mix and to dance as it was intended in Scottish country dancing.

The greatest bugbear at a dance is to have a person who knows little or nothing about the dances in charge of the gramophone. An MC who is on the ball will have an experienced person play the recordings and he will delegate members of the club or organisation to number off the dancers, or get the first man in each row to number them. If it is necessary to give a short resume of a particular dance, a hall of dancers should not be kept waiting by a shout for one or more couples to complete sets. It is better that the dance be described straight off, and by the time this has been done the sets should have made up their numbers. If not, the five-couple sets can be formed and the dance started without any further undue delay.

Should you be MC, try the following:
1. Get typed abridged versions of dances hung on wall as programme.
2. If you have to call a dance, tell it – do not read it like a sermon.
3. Converse with those sitting out and enquire the reason why.
4. Have persons assigned to number-off sets.
5. Have experienced person in charge of music.
6. Introduce guests.

Preserve us from making a dance another club night.

Branch Lines

Hawke’s Bay and East Coast: 1964 is well away to a good start with the highly successful Highland

Soapy Sam

Now cleanliness is always next
To godliness when in the text
The one you get with faith and hope –
The other you only get with soap.

It was on a summer’s evening
And Jack, his work now done,
Had eaten toasted cheese for tea
And was sitting in the sun
He was feeling overloaded,
His stomach felt like lead,
So to is little wife called Isa
He said, ‘I think I’ll go to bed’

He lay first upon his left side
And then upon his right,
He thought about the Summer School
Far on into the night
At last he drifted off to sleep
To be awakened by a roar,
For it seemed that all the Summer School
Were coming in the door

They told him as an organiser
He had been very lax
He made them dance for hours and hours
Till the sweat ran down their backs
A nice warm shower was in demand
To get it out their hair,
A real scrub down was just the thing
But the soap just was not there

Poor Jack at first turned ‘Windsor’ white
And then he shook, poor fellow;
His colour changed, he shook again
And he went a ‘Sunlight’ yellow.
He looked for help from his dorm pals
From bearded Col and Bill and Ed.
Alas he looked and looked in vain,
They all were fast asleep in bed.

He tried to run, it was no use,
They held him like a vice;
The job was started with much ‘Vim’
They were not very nice.
With ‘Lifebuoy’, ‘Lux’, and ‘Ajax’ too,
They scrubbed him where he stood;
From top to bottom they did the work,
For he was in the nude.

Where are the boys of the Old Brigade,
Charge Butler charge, on Clancey on,
‘Rescue’, ‘A moi’, ‘A Bruce’, he cried
Like the gallant Marmion.
In vain he cried, nine times he cried,
The cry became a howl;
He felt like the poor pussy cat
That was drowned in the goldfish bowl.

So that was the dream of Hastings’ Jack
And from it will be seen
If they did not make him godly
At least they made him clean.

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games at Easter. A set at the Saturday display was filmed for television and was shown on WNTV1 on the news on Easter Monday.

Country dancing must be more strenuous than we imagine. After taking part in the ‘Cumberland Reel’ on Sunday afternoon, Hastings’ Mayor, Mr Ron Giorgi, had to be revived with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by Jack Seton and supported off the field in the arms of Messrs Seton and Bill McPherson.

Our thanks must go to all the visitors whose continued enthusiastic support does much towards the success of the games, we appreciate their attendance.

In 1963 the clubs of the Branch supplied a team of dancers for the Andy Stewart Show during the company’s visit to the Bay. The display was enjoyed by participants and audiences alike.

Clubs exchanged visits on their annual dance nights throughout the Bay and although we were not very fortunate with the weather on some of these occasions, the evenings were very successful.

(There was no individual report from the Hastings Club in this 1964 edition of the Scottish Country Dancer magazine.)

Around the Clubs

Taradale Club: Following Madge’s resignation as Club Tutor, we commenced our 1963 season under the tutorship of Mrs Win Hill, and a very happy and instructive year ensued. Our club night was changed from Friday to Tuesday, and this proved a good move, as it has brought in many new members. We found the new ‘blood’ was just the ‘transfusion’ the club needed, and we all benefited greatly by starting from scratch again.

Our 6th birthday party was held in June, with members from our neighbouring clubs and many ex-members of Taradale Club turning out in force to help us celebrate.

A club weekend school was held at Labour Weekend and Win certainly put us through our paces, and a weary lot we were by the time the school had finished.

We are now into our 1964 season and hope that if you happen to be in our area you will drop in one Tuesday and give us the opportunity of saying ‘hello’ and enjoying your company for a wee while. With a big thank you to Win for her services, we conclude by wishing you all a happy year of dancing.


HEAR YE, HERE YE: Hullo, everyone! With a grand year of Scottish country dancing behind us and bright hopes for the season that is now in full swing, we present the annual introduction to your magazine confident that you will enjoy reading it – the magazine, not the introduction – as much as your editor has enjoyed gathering in the material and supplying the dots and dashes.

We are pleased to inform you that circulation again expanded last year and expectations are that this trend will continue. Why then a slight increase in price? Those who were not at the Wanganui AGM may not have the answer to that, and a short explanation is tendered them.

The ‘Dancer’ was never intended as a money-making venture: it is a service – a first class service – to Scottish country dancers. However, costs of production, including mailing, have progressively risen and the quality of the magazine has been improved (better paper, introduction of photographs, etc.), so it was felt that you, the ‘customer’ should help share the load, thus reducing, even ending, the small subsidy the Society makes. By the time decimal currency arrives and bobs and bawbees go out of favour and dollars and cents are printed and minted, the price could be cut because profits are too high – if the circulation graph continues upwards.

But, come, our column must not develop into a dry report; or you will be skipping over the page before reaching the sample of our outstanding calligraphy at the end. That will never do.

Particularly gratifying has been the response by club secretaries to a circular sent them requesting they forward notes for publication. A New Zealand record has been set in this feature. We include secretaries in our acknowledgment of thanks to all contributors, Mrs Florence Lesslie was cornered at Summer School and willingly answered questions; Dr Thurston in far-off Canada, who has written articles for us in the past, immediately set to again; and Mr William Brown of Dunedin, and Mr PF Stranack Fife, of Tasmania, both busy men, acceded promptly to requests for ‘something’. Then, of course, there were all the other folks, members of the Society, some (like ourselves) writing under pen names, who helped fill the pages that lie ahead for your education, edification and entertainment.

Sorry, money cannot be refunded to those who find this volume dull and uninteresting. After all, ‘tis a far, far greater ‘Dancer’ than it has ever been before, and some may feel, we hope, that it is also the best.

In the process of cutting and squeezing, many contributions had to be omitted, despite the fact

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that these had been set up in type. We apologise to the ‘committees’ and trust that they will understand and also that they will come again. A perusal of the jam-packed pages will give evidence that the plan was (yes, there was a plan!) to give much in little. With more artistic lay-out, making use of white space, the magazine could have expanded considerably without additional articles. Just one of the many editorial problems, what?

You may have noted above the editors new address: that’s where you should now send your complaints or your suggestions in the future. Owing to Dunblane Castle falling into dilapidation, we have been forced to remove to our townhouse – a wee but an’ ben, where you may ascend and perceive us sometime if you are in the Edinburgh of the South.

Our President:

An important milestone in the history of our Society was passed at Wanganui Summer School when candidates were examined for the Preliminary Certificate of the RSCDS. The percentage of passes was most encouraging. Just ahead lies another milestone: next School marks the 10th birthday of the NZSCDS.

Looking back over the years, we have every reason to be proud of our achievements, competing as we have done against many other social and sporting attractions. Much credit for our progress must go to club tutors, that loyal band of enthusiasts who have carried on, often with fluctuating membership.

If each of you could introduce one new member to your club this year, we could round off our first decade with a record number of Scottish country dancers. How about it?

As your President, it will give me great pleasure to present your compliments to members of kindred organisations that I shall meet in Canada, America, Australia, and, of course, Bonnie Scotland, where my wife and I shall be when you read this message.

1964 – Volume 11
Editor: Harry Bruce

Letter From Scotland:
A Scottish country dancer writes, ‘New Zealand must be a happy place in which to dance’. We agree, sir, and it is also a happy place to live in and have one’s being. However, not to gild the lily too brightly, we do have our disputes and schisms, just as in family, social, business and political life the world o’er, but we survive these and keep stepping world o’er, but we survive these and keep stepping gaily.

Wanganui Summer School:
The evening opening formal dance started the school off in the spirit which lasted throughout the 12 days. It was good both to be dancing with our old friends as well as meeting newcomers from clubs of which we had scarcely heard. Jack Seton kept us all going as only Jack can, and I know there were several renewing mental notes of how to MC competently and how to make an evening a first-rate success.

Throughout the school, there were several highlights which made Wanganui just that little bit different; for instance the Bar BQ at Castlecliff. It was called ‘Bar BQ’ because of the noises which came out of the dark, first when the fire went out – ‘Bah, Bah . . . Bah B’; and then, calling those who braved the shower of rain – ‘Q.Q. Queue here for sandy, sooty sauses’. Many thanks to Jack and Douglas for leading the community singing, beachcomber style – ‘Give me the key and I’ll sing in anybody’s flat’.

Questions and Answers
Mrs Florence Lesslie

The ‘Dancer’ was privileged to have the opportunity of interviewing Mrs Florence Lesslie at Summer School. With 101 questions that could have been
asked of her, only six diverse points were put. These and the fulsome answers, which it felt are of great interest to all who follow the dance, lie before you. Here goes:

Have you noted any outstanding differences in the New Zealand interpretation of S.C.D. as compared with that in Scotland.

No. You are most fortunate in having certificated teachers who are striving to maintain a standard of dancing which they know to be good. I have also found that, despite their knowledge and experience, they are still keen to learn. This means that Scottish country dancing will continue to flourish in New Zealand.

Most of the dancers I have met here could join a set anywhere, in any country, confident in the knowledge that they dance correctly. They might find slight variations in style and interpretation, but there would be no great difference. The RSCDS has tried to standardise steps and figures for this very reason, and the average dancer should be able

Page 42

to enjoy a programme in any country he or she may visit.

Whilst it is realised that for demonstration purposes all dancers must adhere to the same instructions for particular dances, this uniformity is not always applied at club and formal level. Should steps be taken to correct these variations.

We should never take liberties with traditional dances, but there are slight modifications that are permissible and certain variations that do not alter the pattern of the dance in any way. The teacher must decide what is most suitable for the class concerned. For example, take the figure ‘set to corner, set to partner’, etc (as in ‘General Stuart’s Reel). Originally this figure was danced with the 1st couple always visible within the lines of the set, and the whole figure was easy and graceful. Personally, I have always taught it like this, and still think it is much more natural and graceful than the newer way of leaping into the sidelines and back again to the centre. Comparatively few dancers can do this with any elegance at all, and I can think of nothing in its favour. But this is a matter of opinion, and, to repeat, the teacher must make the decision, telling her class, I suggest, that there are two versions and giving reasons for the choice.

Another example is giving of hands in crossing over to change places. There is no definite rule about this, but it is generally accepted that to give hands in crossing looks better and is helpful. This also applies to setting in line by two or more couples. Recently it has become fashionable to join hands whilst ‘moving up’. This I do not like, but must emphasise that it is again a personal opinion.

Slight modifications are allowable with older or with very young classes, of course. For example, turning with one hand or with both, whichever may be the easier. Likewise, turning 11/2 times or just a 1⁄2 turn at the end of a dance – choose the easier way with the not-so-good dancers. It is better to be in the right place after a 1⁄2 turn than in the wrong attempting to turn 11⁄2 times.

I find the slight variations – and there are many of them – very interesting. You will discover that the simplest version is usually the best. Remember always, if you visit another group or club, dance their version. Do not insist upon your own, for theirs is probably equally correct.

At formals, ladies are expected to wear white frocks with tartan sashes, whether or not white becomes them. How does this compare with practice at Home?

There is no official uniform for S.C.D. For most demonstrations and at Balls, when the men wear full Highland dress, the ladies usually appear in long, white evening dresses with tartan sashes. White is the perfect foil for the colourful kilt worn by the men, against which the ladies cannot compete! However, at Balls the ladies may wear coloured dresses should they choose to do so, but in that case tartan sashes are not usually worn. For informal dances at Home the men wear kilt and shirt with tie and the ladies any pretty frock they may choose, but again no sash.

Strictly speaking sashes should be worn only with full evening dress, but it is quite understandable that, far from Home, you take great pride and pleasure in wearing your tartan. It is natural that you should do so. Is there a definite rule here that ladies must wear white, or has it just become an acceptable fashion? Perhaps those who prefer to wear colour should be permitted to do so, except of course, on special occasions when it may be desirable for all to be alike.

I cannot give a definite answer to all this: you must be left to make your own decisions. However, to repeat, it is generally agreed that a tartan sash is worn with a white evening dress, and that there is no official dress for ordinary dancing.

There is a never-ceasing flow of leaflet dances, some of which become very popular. What effect do you feel this will have on the future of S.C.D.?

The tremendous interest in the composition of new dances certainly shows that S.C.D. is very much alive. At the same time, it would be a disaster if the old traditional dances were lost in the flood. However, there is no doubt that the best of the modern dances will live, as the best of the traditional ones have done, and the poorer ones will disappear. This is already happening, as we all know: a new dance is very popular for a while and then it vanishes.

On this subject, it must be remembered that the RSCDS is a collecting Society, and therefore all dances, as these are discovered, must be preserved – good or bad. I would appeal to all compilers of dance programmes to hold the balance between old and new, thereby doing a real service to S.C.D. as a whole.

There are many dancers today who know all the complicated leaflet dances, but who may never have danced ‘Corn Rigs’ and ‘Petronella’. This is a sad state of affairs, for you cannot be a good country dancer unless you know the simple, old traditional dances too.

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I am told that club dance programmes are often to blame, for visiting clubs have to spend so much time learning the complicated dances on the programme that there is no time to teach the simpler ones that everyone should know. Surely this is all wrong.

A Scottish country dance function should, before anything else, be a social affair. Therefore the programme should consist of dances which can be enjoyed without undue mental strain by the majmessage.ority of dancers present. To put obscure or very difficult dances on a programme shows a singular lack of consideration for visitors, who come hoping to have an enjoyable evening. Keep the complicated dances for your own club nights.

Remember, an average dancer coming in unexpectedly should be able to enjoy most of the programme without feverish reference to little books of notes. There is something wrong with your programme if people have to sit out often because they don’t know the dances. Choose a good mixture of old and new, easy and a little more difficult.

Enjoy the dances, but don’t forget the old ones which are part of our national heritage.

We often hear rumours of changes in technique. Are these at times correct, and is our teaching lagging behind?

Periodically one finds changes in fashion creeping in. Sometimes these changes are good, but nearly always they are passing trends that can well be ignored. The fundamental steps and formations have not changed. Any exaggeration or affectation should be avoided. You will generally find that the simple form is the correct one.

Sometimes instructions are misinterpreted, or some detail is overemphasised, and a misunderstanding arises. This may account for the occasional rumour of a change in technique, but any such rumour can almost certainly be discounted. I repeat: the basic technique does not change.

Having attended Summer School at Wanganui, what is your opinion of the programme carried out?

The arrangement of classes is excellent and the system of grading gives every dancer the opportunity of learning according to ability. The popularity of the classes for prospective teachers, who in time may be encouraged to sit the certificate examinations, augurs well for the future of S.C.D. in the Dominion. Teaching is the most important part of the examinations, and it is often difficult to get enough practice with clubs or other groups, so the chance to teach and to receive criticism in these classes must prove invaluable to prospective candidates – whether or not they already have experience in teaching.

This was, of course, the first year of the Preliminary Test, and I should like to say that the training given to the candidates was most thorough and well planned. The result of this first examination was very good indeed, and most encouraging for all concerned.

As to the social side of the programme – this was full of variety and interest and very well organised. Summer School is a very lively affair indeed, and I am not at all surprised that it is such a very popular occasion in the S.C.D. year. One could hardly call it a restful holiday, but it was a most enjoyable experience and I have many memories of it.

Several times I was asked how it compared with St Andrews! You just can’t compare them. Both are excellent, most enjoyable and quite, quite different from each other: both equally memorable and enthusiastically attended. Indeed I would find it very difficult to decide which of the two I would prefer to visit again, given the opportunity.

Ask Uncle Horace:
‘Dear Uncle Horace, What is the dance ‘Schiehallion’ called after?’

It is a pleasure to get at least one suitable sensible question. Schiehallion is a mountain overlooking among other places, Braemar. It takes 169 bars to climb this peak and 48 to descend. There are no bars at the summit.

Branch Lines

Hawke’s Bay and East Coast: Easter weekend once again attracted friends from near and far. Although the numbers of dancers in the massed display are diminishing, they proved to be very popular with the spectators and were well applauded. The organisers were again confronted with the problem of having to change the display programme at the last minute due to a group of visitors who were full of enthusiasm but did not know of the listed dances. We appeal to the various club tutors to have a revision of the listed dances in order that those taking part have a reasonable knowledge of the display.

To many of us the Kenneth McKellar Show was the highlight of the year. Mrs Laing got a team into shape again and the cheers in the audience were worth all the nights of practice.

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As the club formal dances are falling off due to lack of numbers attending, this year each club will run an informal dance on its usual club night and the Branch shall run an annual formal dance. The dates will, of course, be forwarded to the newsletter.

Around the Clubs

Hastings Club: had a quiet but successful year under the able tuition of Madge Laing. Having changed our place of meeting to the Oddfellow’s Hall in Ellison Road, we are hoping new life will be brought to the club.

Our dance in the Old Folks’ Hall went with a swing and was most enjoyable both for our members and for the numerous visitors.

We offer a warm invitation to any dancers visiting Hastings to join us on Wednesday at 7.30pm. You will enjoy a night out with us, make it a date.

Christchurch Club: Queen’s Birthday Weekend 1964 with Jack Seton as MC, also heralded the 10th annual visit of the Southern Cross, Dunedin to Christchurch. To add to the celebrations, a birthday cake was cut by Phyllis Gale and Peggy Hudson, and what a ‘pretty’ picture they made trying to blow out the ten candles. We know, we have seen some of the photographs! Sorry, they are not for official publication – they won’t get past the censor!

Gisborne Club: The first dance class for 1964, held on the first Tuesday in March in the Old Folks’ Hall, Bright Street, attracted a good attendance of members, both old and new. Under the able guidance of our teacher, Mr John Bauld, members commenced their dancing with enthusiasm.

During the last year, 16 new members joined the Society, making a total of 75 adult and seven junior members. In addition to the weekly dance class, an occasional Saturday night class, which usually took the form of an advanced class, proved popular.

On the third Saturday of each month we held an Ingleside, with country dancing interspersed with items and Old-Time dances. A few simple dances were included for the children, the ‘Cumberland Reel’ being their special favourite.

Our open dance took place in May and visiting dancers from Napier, Hastings and St Andrew’s clubs were very welcome. A number of our members returned the visits and attended the various open dances in Hawke’s Bay. One or two members also visited Hastings for their Highland Games.

One of the highlights of the season’s activities was the one-day school held in July, when we enjoyed the expert tuition of Mrs Madge Laing.

The main social event of the year was our 10th annual dinner, which was attended by 120. Preceding the dinner, members and guests mingled at a cocktail party. The guest speaker was Mr Ian Seton, who delighted his listeners with his description of a tour of the Scot Country, to Edinburgh and on to Glasgow. Mr Seton spoke of the fame of the Scots scientists and of the industry in Glasgow and on the Clyde.

Our party on Hallowe’en was well attended, and dimmed lights lent an eerie atmosphere to the hall, which was appropriately decorated with black cats, witches on broomsticks, ghosts and pumpkins. Members arrived in costumes ranging from traditional witches and fairies to a space woman.

In November the City of Napier Highland Pipe Band visited Gisborne to attend the Caledonian Society’s Ingleside. Members of the band gave piping items and accompanied several dances.

The Society combined with the Piping and Dancing Association to organise a St Andrew’s concert. A demonstration set of dancers was included in the programme. Demonstration sets were also in demand at various local functions during the year.

The dance class regretfully concluded at the end of November. Members took the opportunity to make a small presentation to Mr JG McIvor, Chief of the Society, and Mr J Bauld, Senior Chieftain and dancing tutor.

The final event of the year was the children’s Christmas party. Following the ‘party tea’, the children enjoyed games until the arrival of Father Christmas, when each child was presented with a gift from the Christmas tree.

Several of our members travelled to Wanganui for Summer School, where their dancing techniques were polished and many friends made with fellow dancers.

Lower Hutt Club ran two formal dances during the year, and the club members are grateful to the members of the committee and the social committee for their efforts on both occasions. The second of these is worthy of special mention, when we were hosts to Mrs Lesslie, of the RSCDS, who was examiner at Summer School for those wishing to sit the Preliminary examination for Teacher’s Certificate.

Also present were Miss Phyllis Gale (New Zealand President) and Mr Jack Seton, (North Island Vice-President) and the teachers from the clubs throughout New Zealand who were attending a refresher course in Wellington. They were much impressed with our efforts to entertain them, and

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commented on our tasteful decorations.

Napier Club had a very successful and happy dancing year in 1964 with a number of new members to swell our ranks.

Mrs Nancy Baxter, our tutor since the club was formed eleven years ago, gave up her position during the year, and we thank her for all the enjoyable times we have had during the time. Since then, the club has been taken by Margaret Passmore and Carine Jackson.

We made our usual visit to Taradale, which is always enjoyable, and this year had a surprise visit from Hastings Club.

A set was invited to give a demonstration at a social gathering of the St John Ambulance Association, and this was of particular interest as two of the set were members of St John.

Once again the Kenneth McKellar/Jimmy Shand shows were enjoyed by everyone who attended and especially by our three members who were in the demonstration team. It was a great thrill for the members of this team, who especially enjoyed the tuition beforehand from Mrs Madge Laing.

Just recently, our former club president, Mr and Mrs Durie, who were founder members of the club, left on a trip to Scotland, and to them go our best wishes for a very happy holiday.

We still meet each Friday night at the Orange Hall, Carlyle Street, and any visitors to Napier will be made most welcome.

Hastings Club’s President’s Report :

1965 – Volume 12
Editor: Harry Bruce

(Mr RJ (Bob) Trevor)

1966 has been another successful year for the club. With very little being required for the club this year the bank balance shows a healthy increase for future needs.

The children’s group, started this year, has proved most successful. Thank you, Dorothy (McFadyen) for your work with the children.

Inter-club visits were continued and enjoyed by all those participating. Numbers were down for the Annual Dance, but this did not detract from the enjoyment of the evening.

I would like to express my thanks to our Tutor, Miss Romaine Butterfield, our Secretary, Mrs Iris McFadyen, and our hard working efficient committee. My thanks to you all for a good job well done.

I should like to extend a welcome to new members and assure them that they will enjoy their dancing with us and to older members, my thanks for your continued support.

May 1967 be as successful as 1966.

Dollars and Sense:

Decimal currency is almost upon us, and shortly we will be juggling with the intricacies of the new system and learning the conversion values of goods and services we formerly paid for in pounds, shillings and pence (£.s.d.). It was hoped that by the time the dollar ($) era arrived, the price of the ‘Dancer’ could be reduced, given that circulation had increased sufficiently to merit this. Make no mistake, our sales figures have continued upward, but so, unfortunately, have costs of production, and this trend will continue.

How then are we to evaluate the magazine in cents? Remember it is not intended to be profit-making, but a responsible editor given carte blanche still must strike a reasonable balance between income and expenditure. This is going to become increasingly difficult, and we could be forced to revert to a subsidy, or . . . Think about it.

Having served that warning notice, what of Volume 13? It was the biggest and most popular edition to date and it is regretted that the surge of new readers exceeded expectations and many would-be purchasers were disappointed that copies were not available. But, after all, estimated circulation can be based only on orders made by the deadline date.

We were very happy that so many people wrote us stating how much they enjoyed the magazine. It has been editorial policy to popularise the ‘Dancer’ by making it readable for all members of our Society, be they in small groups or large clubs, be they advanced dancers or beginners.

You will note that our advertisers continue to support us, a good pointer to the efficiency of our nationwide publicity. Nevertheless, it is as well when you deal with these advertisers at home or in Scotland to mention the ‘Dancer’, and not simply leave them to guess the medium which brought your custom. Included in new advertisements are two from branches of the Society. Our space rates are reasonably low, and will be forwarded to any branch, club, or individual on request.

This year we are privileged to have among our

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contributors Miss Florence Adams, chairman of the RSCDS, and we welcome again Mr Hugh Foss and Dr Hugh Thurston. All other items have been submitted by our fellow dancers in Australasia.

By request, we have included a new feature on cookery. Some recipes may be universal and not new to New Zealand, but all are from Scots or Scottish sources. You are invited to send in recipes for inclusion in the magazine. Should there be a deluge, then a selection will be taken. We would that more dancers write for us, for there is infinite scope for articles or paragraphs, even if only within the narrow compass of S.C.D.

Although there have been more club notes in recent years, it is puzzling why so many clubs still do not avail themselves of this opportunity to tell the world about their activities. It is certainly not because of not being invited to do so, for circulars and newsletters are sent out early in the year, and lack of cooperation in this and other matters relating to your magazine has been expressed periodically at meetings and in the pages of the ‘Dancer’.

We know that hundreds of dancers both here and overseas are interested in ‘Around the Clubs’, and many, like the editor and his (di) staff, Cathie the Bruce, read from cover to cover. How refreshing it was to receive a typical comment from the Otatara Club, which they kindly made in the last paragraph of their notes. Have a look at it.

All of which reads more like a dry report than a brief introduction to this year’s edition, but where better to get over the message to all readers than here?

Now, shall we join the dance? Happy dancing to Scottish country dancers EVERYWHERE.

President’s Report
Phyllis Gale

Thank you for electing me as your President for 1967. I shall endeavour to continue the good work of the Immediate Past-President, Mr Jack Seton, who has richly contributed to the popularity of Scottish country dancing in New Zealand.

We are very fortunate Mrs Lesslie chose to live in our country, for with authority being granted to her by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society to conduct examinations for Preliminary and Full certificates, the training for these must improve the standard of dancing.

Undoubtedly a large number of people have derived much enjoyment from dancing over the years and therefore, in gratitude to the Royal Society, it is my earnest wish that dancers throughout New Zealand will become members of the RSCDS by end of 1967. I understand the membership in this country has already increased considerably.

I am indeed grieved to record the untimely death of Mr Joe Constable, a member of Council for the past seven years, and a staunch follower of the New Zealand Society and Summer Schools. He will be missed by many members of Scottish country dancing. I offer my deepest sympathy to his family.

It will give me great pleasure to visit as many clubs as possible in the North and South islands during this year, and I look forward to meeting with friends I have made through Scottish country dancing.

With sincere good wishes to you all.

Editor’s Postbag

Memorable Holiday – Dunedin Summer School
Excerpt from Margaret Stanley, Ipswich, Queensland

To Madge Laing and my classmates, I wish to extend my greetings and sincere thanks. The hours we spent together were, for me, extremely profitable ones, as, by discussion and constructive criticism, my personal knowledge of the art of Scottish country dancing was greatly extended, and I owe my success in obtaining my Preliminary Certificate to the knowledge acquired thereby.

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Out of the Album

Dear Harry,

The article ‘The First Decade’, published in last year’s Dancer’, aroused nostalgic memories for me and I have unearthed a photograph of the office-bearers and committee of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association of Scottish Country Dance Clubs, which, I believe, was the SCD Association in New Zealand.

My association with dancing in Wellington has included being chairman of the Branch for the first four years and being president of the Branch as it has altered from Wellington-Hawke’s Bay, Wellington-Wairarapa and finally Wellington, and I have been president of Lower Hutt Club since its inception.

I could quote lots of anecdotes, but one event really sticks in my mind. This was the time at Morison’s Bush when half of the dancers had to sit and leave room for the other half to dance, then on to Les Coe’s farm for singsong and a cuppa. We got stuck in pouring rain on the ‘Hill’ at 4.30am and arrived home at 7.30 on Sunday morning.

As Charlie Whitehill used to say, ‘Ye canna buy it’ I would like to live it all over again.

Bill McPherson.

Branch Lines

Hawke’s Bay and East Coast: (President HS Forster). Sunny Hawke’s Bay lived up to its reputation at the 1966 Easter Highland Games at Hastings. The weather was perfect for the weekend, and many dancers from Auckland to Wellington, even some from the South Island, joined with the Branch members for the massed dancing in the Oval. It is most encouraging for the Branch, and the organisers of the Games to have such a lovely display of dancing.

A successful weekend school was held at the Heretaunga Intermediate School. Dancers from Gisborne joined the local clubs and all gained greatly from the concentrated tuition.

During the year Branch evenings of advanced dancing proved so popular, it is hoped these will continue. The object of such evenings is to enable those attending to learn and enjoy the more complicated dances denied them on an ordinary club night, when beginners and intermediates have to be catered for.

At the end of August a set from the Branch danced at the Jimmy Shand Show in Napier. This was very much enjoyed by the dancers who appreciated dancing to Jimmy’s band, and from the toe-tapping and applause of the audience they enjoyed it also.

A very happy night’s dancing at the Branch dance in September brought the year’s activities to a close. It was especially pleasant for the ladies; caterers were engaged for the supper arrangements.

Around the Clubs

Hastings Club’s President’s Report:
Mr RJ (Bob) Trevor)

As the balance sheet shows, 1967 has been another successful year for the club. Of greater importance, to my mind, it has been a great success from the social angle, with the advanced dancing nights and interchange of club visits contributing to our dancing enjoyment.

We had a change of secretary during the year and our thanks are due to Bill Eddy for taking over the secretary’s duties at short notice. I regret to inform you that our patron, Mr Archie Morris, has not enjoyed the best of health, but is now on the mend.

I would like to express my personal thanks to the committee and our club tutor, Romaine, for a good year’s work.

Gisborne Caledonian: Greetings to all fellow dancers and best wishes for many happy hours’ dancing this season.

We opened dancing for 1966 on Tuesday, March 1, in the Old Folks’ Association Hall, Bright Street, with Mr Eric Churton as instructor. During the year we welcomed several new members, both dancers and non-dancers, making a total of 94 members – 45 non-dancers, 33 seniors and 16 juniors.

On the third Saturday in every month Inglesides are well attended with the added attraction of Old-Time dancing. The Society held a Saturday school in conjunction with an open dance at the Ilminster Intermediate School on July 29, with Mrs Win Hill as tutor.

Annual dinner was held as usual and a cocktail party prior to the dinner, with Mr Jack Seton of Hastings as guest speaker. He also proposed the toast, ‘Scotland’.

Mr Churton trained the juniors and seniors for several demonstrations for various organisations around the city. Our Hallowe’en dance was well attended, with the theme for costumes ‘Nursery Rhymes’.

The AGM was held in November, with the unanimous vote for Mr JG McIvor as Chief for the coming year.

At the children’s Christmas Party held in December, the arrival of Father Christmas was the great event for the children.

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We closed the year with a Hogmanay dance. During the evening the City of Gisborne Highland Pipe Band arrived and gave an item, which certainly helped give a real Scottish flavour to the programme.

Wishing you all the best for 1967 and God bless you all.

Owairaka Club were pleased to welcome Mr J Seton on his presidential perambulations, his visit coinciding with one of our regular monthly social meetings.

Whangarei Club: Were honoured by a visit from President Jack Seton.


Royal Scottish Country Dance Society – what a proud title we now bear. This privilege has been granted us after many years of hard work and endeavour by dedicated administrators, who welded our clubs first into provincial groups then into an association of these groups, which we knew as the NZSCDS. Now a well organised branch of the parent body, let us salute those who made this possible.

You might reasonably think that a golden opportunity for marking our new status has been missed by not producing a special bumper edition of the ‘Dancer’, and rightly so. But we must qualify that by stating for the benefit of those who did not attend the AGM that we outline their economic considerations relative to production of our normal size of magazine this year – an overstated case, no doubt, which brought no reaction. We have compromised with a mini-bumper.

In this our first publication as a branch of the RSCDS, it has been necessary to think in terms of ‘society, branch, regions’, when referring to the present and future, and in most cases ‘society’ (for NZSCDS) and ‘branches’ (now regions) for the old order and the immediate past. It is hoped this will not lead to confusion in this initial year. There are borderline cases, of course, and there is always a gremlin on the editor’s desk, but no doubt the reader will understand which society or branch is referred to, taking the word in its context.

Even the correct name of the Branch was in doubt in the beginning, for no sooner was the ink on the first newsletter of our secretary dry than it was questioned whether we are RSCDS., New Zealand Branch or New Zealand Branch RSCDS. Elementary, you may think; we are both. Loosely speaking, that is correct for ordinary usage, but officially there can be only one title. What is it then? It would appear that the parent body comes first and that we are RSCDS NZB, as printed on the Branch cheques by the Bank of New Zealand! This will be the order also on our new badge.

You could be interested in the chain of events leading up to the publication of a rather special item from Associate Professor George Emmerson. Within a week of your editor receiving a copy of this writer’s latest book from his editor for Press review, the author’s address was delivered from Vice-President Mary Ronnie. She had received this for passing on to us from our old friend, Hugh Foss, who suggested here was a possible contributor for the ‘Dancer’. An airmail letter to Canada brought a return-of-post reply with an excerpt from Mr Emmerson’s next book, which is due to be published later this year. We acknowledge with thanks the help of all concerned in this RSCDS cooperative.

We are also pleased to have an article by Miss Molly Elliott. In case any may wonder if she is the Molly Elliott, an Auckland free-lance journalist, whose work frequently appears in national journals and the Press, the answer is ‘yes’.

This is not a contents page, and you will discover for yourself various features old and new, but with a message from Miss Milligan and articles by Miss Adams and Mrs Lesslie, we are well served indeed. The cartoons are not ‘out of the editor’s head’ and executed by an artist on his behalf; these are the original work of an Australian dancer, and another lass from across the Tasman gives her impressions of New Zealand Summer School and some of the people she met.

And noo tae the Dance, Where wi’ joy unfeigned Brothers and sisters meet, and each for other’s welfare.

Kindly spiers Harry the Bruce.

President Phyllis Gale:

Greetings to you all at the commencement of the new dancing season.

As we are now a Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society all members of Council, I know, hope all New Zealand Scottish country dancers will join the New Zealand Branch as members of the parent body. There are privileges available to us as members, one being the fact that we are able to be examined for the certificates of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society in New Zealand.

During the dancing season I hope, as in the past, to meet as many of you as possible. A happy and successful social dancing year in 1968.

Miss Jean C Milligan,

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Co-founder and Vice President of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society:

It is with much pleasure that I have heard that the various classes and associations in New Zealand have decided to form a Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. This decision will be greeted with much pleasure by the members of the parent body here in Scotland. No other Commonwealth country holds quite the same warm affection of the Scottish people as does New Zealand, and one of my real regrets is that I have never had the pleasure of visiting that beautiful country and ‘our ain folks’ there.

May I wish this new Branch every success and much happy dancing.

Editor’s Postbag:

‘Reunion Suggestion’: by Jack Seton

Dear Harry,
With the next Summer School at Massey University being the first held as a branch of RSCDS, my thoughts return to the first school held in New Zealand at Napier under the auspices of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association. Three years later, at Knox College, there was held the first school under the NZSCDS.

These early schools laid the foundation of the now New Zealand Branch of the RSCDS.

I am sure there are many who attended the earlier schools at times let their thoughts go back to the friends they made then and the many joyous incidents. How nice it would be all to meet again and recall these happy days.

Most organisations have a reunion. Why not one for the old-timers of Scottish country dancing?

I suggest we hold one on Saturday, January 11, 1969, and attend the Summer School dance that evening.

If those who would like to attend would notify me before the end of November, I would arrange dinner at reasonable cost, and I am sure Bill Jacob, the organiser of the school, would arrange his programme to accommodate us at the dance.

I would also like to suggest that those hoping to attend should keep in contact with their old clubs and through the newsletter, which I am sure the club secretaries will permit them to read, keep up to date with arrangements as to meeting-place, availability of accommodation and, finally, cost per head.

Trusting that so many will want to attend we will outnumber the present dancers, and with best wishes to all wherever they may be.

Deil Tak’ The Hindmost
Excerpt (signed: Young Nick; Approved: The Old Man)

‘I feel the New Zealand Branch now have strained relations with the Club after publishing a leaflet dance, ‘The Deil’s Awa’.’ How would you like it if an outsider published a dance to celebrate your instructor’s departure? Better not answer that one, maybe.

Another way in which doubts as to our good intentions may have been created is the manner in which an ex-president of the Branch has often impersonated this Tutor – an accomplishment he seems to find remarkably easy. This ex-president is openly boastful of the similarity of names. Although his name is said to be taken from the battle-cry ‘Set on’, I feel the original of the title was merely trying to get dancers on the floor with this cry.

This gentleman’s favourite greeting is, ‘May you be 100 years in heaven before the Deil knows you’re there’, which seems to me like professional jealousy. Some people just can’t play second fiddle even to their best cobber. Perhaps we’re between the Devil and the deep blue Seton.

Then there’s the instance of the Wellington instructor who appeared on the school concert platform

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playing a harp, later changing into witch’s attire. Some people just can’t make up their minds.

Well there you are. A final thought: have you ever visited this club? No? Next time you’re at Wairakei, drop in. You can be sure of a hot reception.

Down and Around

Missing from the list of names of those registered for Lincoln was that of Jack Seton, the man – or should I say gentleman?, who with our secretary, Mildred Clancey, jointly held the record of having attended every Summer School. It came, therefore, as a pleasant surprise to learn that Jack, who with his wife Isa is now resident in Tauranga, had been prevailed upon to make an appearance at school, inclusive of the Hogmanay ceremony, which he compèred with his usual dash, injecting the proceedings with a spirit of gaiety.

Regional Report

1967 saw the Hawke’s Bay and East Coast Branch grow as we welcomed the White Heather Club, Gisborne as a member.

At the Highland Games at Easter, we had a number of visitors from other parts of New Zealand. Next year we have decided to confine our display to Sunday only, as it is difficult for members to participate on the three days. The Sunday dancing in 1967 at the new housing area of Flaxmere drew a very appreciative audience, and many joined us in the Oslo Waltz at the conclusion of the display.

A day school was held in May, capably run by our technical advisor, Romaine Butterfield, and was well supported by all clubs.

The advanced evenings again proved very popular. These are held each six weeks with Hastings, Taradale and Napier clubs in turn acting as hosts. These are run for advanced dancers and have been very well attended. Our tutors were Romaine Butterfield and Win Forster, and we thank them for those most enjoyable and informative evenings. If we have enough beginners interested next year we hope to be able to have a class for them on these nights also.

We held our annual Branch dance at Taradale in October, and this proved a very enjoyable evening. We were delighted to have visitors from Palmerston North, Gisborne and Waipukurau.

To our retiring president and secretary, Harry Forster and Jean May, we offer our sincere thanks for their efforts for the Branch in the past two years.

Around the Clubs

Tauranga: Our Queen’s Birthday Weekend School was again very enjoyable and well patronised. A big ‘thank-you’ goes to the teachers, Madge Laing, Margaret Laidlaw and Flora Thomson.


Publication of this edition of your magazine is doubly gratifying to your editor – first, it means that he has now been in the editorial chair for half the lifetime of the ‘Dancer’; secondly, re-election this year was passed in his unavoidable absence from the AGM. This continuing trust over the years is greatly appreciated by HIM.

As you should know, our organisation is a non-profit-making service to Scottish country dancers, but this does not mean budgeting for a loss, and, in light of rising costs of production, consideration in the future must be given to increasing the price per copy, if we would retain the standards of which we are so justly proud. Sorry, but it will have to come.

Another new name faces us – Annual Associate Members are now known as Branch Associates. It was so convenient to use the initials AAM, which were quite distinctive, but BA lends itself to various interpretations, including Bachelor of Arts. Whether or not a dancer has attained BA academically, it requires an annual subscription of $1.20 to become a BA of the NZBRSCDS.

Congratulations to one of our smaller Regions, Wairarapa, on their excellent, well-designed membership card, including a tear-off tab which is both an advertisement and an order form for the ‘Dancer’. Other Regions could well follow Wairarapa’s lead and, come to think of it, the Branch might consider issuing membership cards (sans tear-off tabs) to BAs in place of a mere receipt.

We are fortunate in having received a dance from Roy Clowes, of Maghull, near Liverpool, for publication. He offered a choice from four of his new dances, including a demonstration dance, but we opted for a strathspey/reel medley within the compass of all grades of dancers – ‘advanced’ or ‘retarded’. The three volumes of Roy’s ‘Ormskirk Scottish Country Dances’ are obtainable, of course, from our Bookshop.

You will meet many old friends and some new ones in the pages which follow, and we are particularly happy to introduce contributor Essie Summers. A dinkum Kiwi but proud of her British ancestry, Essie has written many novels with a New Zealand background, some having reached paper-back status and also been translated into German. She imparts infectious enthusiasm into the article written especially for the ‘Dancer’ as we join her

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in Scotland

Mention of that wee country far across the sea reminds us that we are featuring a message from the Hon. Sir Herbert Brechin, Lord Provost of Edinburgh; an itinerary and other plans for chartered flights to the capital city for the Commonwealth Games next year; and further information relative to a suggested shorter tour Australia. Be in, you lucky people!

Obtaining copy for your magazine can be a problem, keeping in mind that writers, perforce, feel confined to such subjects as SCD, Scotland and her people, and Scoto-New Zealandia. Many of our contributors are not resident in New Zealand – eg this year two of them are Canadian-domiciled and others hail from Scotland, England and places farther south such as Australia. Perhaps that is as it should be, proving we are an international and not merely a parochial unit.

Nonetheless, more could be written on a variety of topics by members of the Branch, without their having to be pleaded with or prodded on. After all,you are all invited annually to contribute through a circular sent to your club secretary and by a message in the Branch Newsletter.

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on; nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall move it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

Harry the Bruce

1966 – Volume 13
Editor: Harry Bruce

(Volume missing from archives)

Regional Report

The main event of our 1968 dancing year, the display on Easter Sunday at the Hastings Highland Games, was unfortunately cancelled due to wet weather. However, our visiting dancers were entertained by an impromptu afternoon’s dancing indoors which was greatly enjoyed by all.

Our Region dance, held in October, was not as well attended as hoped, possibly due to a late change in date. However, we plan to hold it earlier this year.

In November we were all saddened by the death of Mrs Rita Tobin, who for many years was associated with Scottish country dancing and old-time dancing in Hastings. She was tutor of St Andrew’s SCD Club and, in recent years, was assistant tutor of Hastings Club. She will be greatly missed by her many friends in the district

Our advanced evenings, although a little late in starting, were once again very popular. These are held each five weeks, alternately at the three clubs.

Romaine Butterfield left the district early in the year and Hastings Club since then has been taken by Madge Laing. Win Forster retired as tutor of Taradale Club at the end of the year and we would like to thank them for the help they have given the Region.

Our special thanks to Madge for our advanced dancing evenings. They were eagerly awaited and thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.

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1967 – Volume 14
Editor: Harry Bruce


Out of the swinging 60s and into a new decade, let us pause for a moment and reflect on what the past 10 years have meant for organised Scottish country dancing in our country.

Clubs have risen, others have gone into recess; club memberships have fluctuated, in some instances increasing markedly, in others dwindling disappointingly; but on the whole there has been steady advancement, particularly it would appear, in junior sections – our hope for the future.

The outstanding forward move of the period under review was undoubtedly our joining the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. The desire to do so had always been there in the minds of those who had the interests of organised Scottish country dancing at heart, but it took years of discussion to convince all that our future lay within the parent body, whose standards were our aim.

We were trebly fortunate when Mrs Lesslie arrived on our shores, for her presence has had a decided impact on our dancing. She is at once a teacher of high merit, a resident examiner for RSCDS teachers’ certificate and a wise counsellor. Let us be grateful for what she has done and is still doing for us.

And what of the wonderful Summer Schools we have enjoyed? Unlike the RSCDS who hold their annual schools at St Andrews, we, for geographical reasons, alternate our venues between North and South Islands. Napier, Wanganui, Palmerston North, Lincoln and Dunedin are names which conjure up happy dancing memories. We are properly into the 70s with Wellington this year, where it is expected the slight decline in numbers attending the past two schools will not only be arrested but reversed.

Finally, and it must not be misconstrued as the editor patting his own back, we have seen the rise of the ‘Dancer’ to its present stature. If it is not the biggest and best Scottish country dance magazine in the world(!), would some kind person show us a better one? Although we have almost doubled our circulation in the past ten years, however, there is every reason to believe that more could be sold both here and overseas.

Soon, many of our members will be on the high seas or taking to the air en route for the countries of Home. We wish them pleasant journeys, and happy landings or landfalls.

Most are likely to visit ‘mine own romantic town’ for the Commonwealth Games in July, or Edinburgh’s cultural festival in August/September, when we trust they will find opportunity for dancing. Mr WJE Aitken, a director Rae, MacIntosh Ltd., of George Street, an old friend of the ‘Dancer’, extends an invitation to our travellers to call in to meet him, so do pop-in in the passing and say hullo from New Zealand.

One need not be too observant to note the alteration in the ‘Dancer’s’ cover in this edition. Only a  minor operation was involved – the making of a reverse block of the previous design, with a cut-out  for the year. It is hoped the change will meet with general approval, but if not, we can revert to blue on white.

Our thanks, as ever, go to correspondents, advertisers and well-wishers. The cooperation of Crown Print and Mr E Burgess is acknowledged. He has suffered our editorial and typographical  sorties for nine adventurous years. And now, Fare thee weel.

For the good are always merry, Save by an evil chance, And the merry love of the fiddle, And the merry love to dance.

Happy Lincoln
Excerpt from Summer School: Eanruig

Being a freelance, I was enabled to view the various classes in action. It was particularly pleasing to watch Bob Thomas’ tutoring of the children; he got good results. Bob, with a Welsh name, is a Kiwi. Next we had the lilt of Aberdeen from Madge Laing teaching an advanced class, and in another room in Hudson Hall, could be seen and heard Glaswegian Mima Clanachan guiding social dancers.

On Probation

There is no truth in the rumour emanating from Bay of Plenty, it is believed, that the Justice Department Probation Service is now housed next door to the RSCDS New Zealand Branch colony at 420 Moray Place, Dunedin, to be closer to some of its clients. South Island Vice President Mary Ronnie (who is also Branch Bookshop Keeper)

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and Otago-Southland Region rep. Cath Bruce have led blameless lives, whilst Editor Harry Bruce has yet to be found out.

However, it is worthy of note that the District Probation Officer is Mr Duncan McD. Clark, well known in Scottish and New Zealand athletics circles as a former champion swinger of the lead or, to save any misunderstanding, thrower of the hammer.

Duncan, in his time, has been Scottish, British Police and New Zealand champion in this field event, and it is only three years since he retired from active participation in competitive sport.

Coming to Auckland in 1950 as captain of the Scottish team competing in the Empire (now Commonwealth) Games, he won the hammer throwing event, and later in the same year broke the New Zealand All-comers’ record at Christchurch with a throw of 180 feet. This record stood until 1969. He was also a Scottish record holder, and his British Police record still stands at 178 feet.

Duncan held the rank of detective-sergeant and it was as a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary that he competed in police sports. One of our dancers, Jack Seton, of Tauranga (ever heard of him?), who was an organiser of the Glasgow Police Sports, frequently invited Duncan across the Irish Sea to compete in what is one of the premier sports events of the Scottish athletics calendar. He was also a well-known figure at amateur Highland games such as the Cowal Gathering.

Attracted to New Zealand after his earlier sporting visit, he returned to this country with his family in 1952 and has lived here ever since. Duncan was born in Greenock, pronounced with a double, not a single, ‘e’.

Regional Report

The highlight of our 1969 dancing year was the

[Advertisement – Labour Weekend School and Grand Anniversary Ball]

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display at the Hastings Highland Games on Easter Sunday. The afternoon was brilliantly fine and our six sets of dancers, including some visitors from clubs outside the district, were well received by the large crowd.

Another successful Region dance was held in July when more than 90 dancers attended. We had visitors from Palmerston North and Auckland, and a most enjoyable night was had by all.

Three advanced dancing evenings were held during the year. These were enjoyed by those attending, and our thanks once again go to Madge Laing for her tuition, assisted by Carine Jackson.

Unfortunately, White Heather Club, Gisborne, has gone into recess and therefore withdrawn membership of the Region. However, we hope it will not be too long before we welcome them back.

Taradale Senior Club is also in recess, but their Junior Club is flourishing, having a membership of over 50. Mary Frame and Francie Henderson are doing a grand job here, and we were especially pleased to have some of the juniors join us in the Highland Games display.

At our AGM in November, Bob Trevor did not seek re-election as president and we would like to thank him for his able leadership during the past two years.

Wellington Club: Early in May 54 dancers enjoyed a beginners’ day school. Our teachers were Mrs Madge Laing (Hastings) and Peter Quinn (Masterton). The Wellington Club organised the event on behalf of the Region. In the evening of the same day, a record crowd attended the Regional dance run most successfully by the Lower Hutt Club.


As you can see, it is that man again in the editorial chair, in spite of the statement that he was retiring. For no reason at all, I am reminded of Mark Twain’s remark when his death had been misreported that it had been an exaggeration. In my case, the report was genuine, as I felt the time was ripe, when the ‘Dancer’ was in such good health, for a change of

Back Row: W McPherson (Vice President); H Dodd, A Douglas, Bruce Fordyce, Ken Shaw, Maurie Colbourne.
Seated: Shirley Child (Secretary-Treasurer), Marion Cunningham (first editor of the ‘Dancer’), Jack Seton (President), A N Other, Nora Sharp.

Photograph taken at the second dance at Morison’s Bush.

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editor. After all, it had been my privilege to be entrusted with production of your magazine for nine editions (this will be the glorious 10th). However, yielding to the subtle of friends of the ‘Dancer’, I withdrew my resignation. You now appear to be saddled with an entrenched editor, or one who is in the job for life or until fault. But enough of me.

Let us turn to other people – to the writers of the main articles in this edition. The two Hugh’s (I generally link them) have again favoured us, and we should be particularly grateful for their continued support. Mr Hugh Foss has not been too well, and it is trusted that with the return of warmer weather to Castle Douglas he will be out and around once more. Dr Hugh Thurston, of Vancouver, who with his wife Nina has returned from an extended sojourn overseas, talks turkey by request.

Tom Flett and Les Cummings are new contributors to our columns. Les has an introductory panel at head of his straight-from-the-shoulder article: Dr Flett is, of course, the co-author with his wife of, among other works, ‘Traditional Dancing in Scotland’. Now resident in the Midlands, he made the deadline date by commendably expediting dispatch of his copy immediately the British postal strike was lifted.

Then we have another ‘foreigner’ in our columns – Ian Thompson, of Melbourne. You will find it a refreshing departure from the normal to have Summer School fulsomely described by an Australian. ‘Kitty Brewster’, by the way, cloaks the identity of a veteran member of our Branch.

The quality of contributions tendered by our own members was very good: the quantity was an embarrassment. (I certainly asked for it – and got it.) May I repeat the apology to those budding writers whose articles, etc., do not appear. There simply wasn’t room for everything. And, for goodness’ sake, do not imagine there is always a super-abundance of copy. Keep these flowing in – your magazine needs them.

There is a bumper crop of club notes this year, and some of these had to be trimmed down to size owing to the big squeeze already mentioned. Most will agree that the notes are a main feature of our magazine, although many club secretaries do not appear to subscribe to this view or forget to forward news of their clubs. Where better to feel the pulse of Scottish country dancing in New Zealand than in ‘Around the Clubs’.

In the main, clubs appear to be doing well, but there are those who are finding difficulty in keeping going owing to falling membership. ‘Twas ever thus in SCD circles. New clubs start off with a burst of enthusiasm followed by a levelling off, which must be watched lest it become a decline leading to recess. Older clubs must keep seeking fresh members or they find themselves with a dwindling, ‘ageing’ group. If every dancer could attract one beginner to his club this year, those clubs feeling the pinch could rise again with new strength. How about at least some of you giving it a go?

By and large, all goes well with the dance and we are still a happy, lively Branch. Summer School at Wellington showed the strength of our association, with numbers attending worthy of the hard work put in by organisers and teachers. Admittedly, the capital city has the advantage of being relatively central and that may have aided its popularity as a venue, but we have enjoyed like numbers at schools in the South Island in the past, so can look forward hopefully to a full house this year.

Hoping to see you at Dunedin, but whether or not, happy dancing to all

(The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society New Zealand Branch: Council has just learned with much regret the sad passing of our Editor, Harry Bruce, who passed away on 31st May 1971, after a period of illness. It is typical of Harry that he completed his final edition on time and up to his usual standard. The condolences of the New Zealand Branch have been conveyed to his family.)

Scotland and Return
Isa Seton

July 2, 1970, is a date that at least 20 Scottish country Dancers will always remember. It was on that day that we all met, many of us for the first time. I admit to having known only two of them.

Here we were in Auckland together, all set for a world encircling flight. We were thrilled when President Dan Sharpe and his daughter, Elspeth, arrived at the airport to see us off. It made us all  feel we were part of a wonderful family.

Dalgety Travel arranged our tour, and while we were their guests for supper, the announcement came over the intercom: ‘Would the Scottish country dancers report immediately’. This caused a stir at the airport. I am not sure if the people at the terminal expected a group of small children dressed in the kilt, but, at any rate, when they saw the not-so-young assembly, there was some laughter! It was a heart-warming moment, and there were lumps in throats and tears in eyes as an

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1968 – Volume 15
Editor: Harry Bruce

Australian dancer, Anne Bawden of Melbourne, piped us off.

Tahiti was our first stop, where we were presented with leis of real flowers and entertained by a group of Tahitian dancers and singers. Los Angeles was next and I was pleased to find that our overnight accommodation was at a hotel where I had stayed on a previous trip. The management feted me as an ‘old customer’. Before leaving LA we were allowed on to the tarmac to have a group photograph taken in front of our plane, a Boeing 747 jet, better known as a Jumbo jet. It carried 364 passengers – that is more than 45 sets!

We were permitted to roam the liner with its spacious passageways and luxurious comforts, masking us feel travellers of the future. And so on to lil ole New York. This was on the 4th of July, with festivities going on into the wee sma’ ‘oors. Quite spectacular it was to see the place all lit up. Next morning we spent shopping, and in the afternoon went for a crsuise round Manhattan.

Soon we were crossing the Atlantic. From the time we left New Zealand it was summer gear all round. However, when we arrived at Prestwick it was to be greeted by cold rain. But the atmosphere was warmed almost immediately by the welcome we received from friends and relations. We then went our separate ways until September 11.

A highlight of my visit was the British Commonwealth Games at Edinburgh. There I had a dual nationality, applauding New Zealand and Scotland. The closing ceremony will always live in my memory, with Her Majesty the Queen, Princess Anne and the British Prime Minister present. The finale was outstanding, with all competitors and spectators joining in singsing ‘Auld Lang Syne’. Emotion reached its peak as the Royal Party departed to ‘Will Ye No Come Back Again?’ followed by ‘See you in Christchurch, New Zealand 1974’ set out in electric lights. I am not ashamed to admit to giving way to tears of pride and joy that I had witnessed such a wonderful occasion.

Everyone has heard or read about the Tattoo, so there is no need to dwell on something that has become a part of Scotland. I will therefore pass on to ‘An Edinburgh Fancy’ – a miscellany of Scottish country dancing, music, song and verse performed annually in the old Royal High School Hall. This was the 17th time the Edinburgh Branch of the RSCDS had presented their contribution to the Edinburgh Festival.

The programme was divided into four groups. The first section, ‘Scotia’s Shores’, was a tour of Scotland. Secondly came ‘The Gentlefolk’, mirroring a more elegant age in the early part of last century. After the interval our love of the super-natural came to the fore in ‘Tae Gar Ye Loup’, which, translated, is ‘To make you jump’. The final group, ‘The Kilt is My Delight’, covered the whole spectrum of Scottish culture – Highland, Lowland, old and new. No-one could have failed to be warmed and entertained by this magnificent show.

All too soon the time came for us to depart on our homeward journey. Strict security measures were in force, and we were searched and had to account for all our baggage and handbags as planes were being hijacked and one had been blown up. Fortunately, there were no incidents and we arrived safely in Athens for an overnight stay, residing in what must be one of the finest hotels in the world. We enjoyed a tour of the ancient city whose every stone breathed history.

And so on to Colombo, where we had time only to walk around the airport before taking off for Singapore and the last of our duty-free shopping en masse. There was time at Sydney to catch up on forgotten goods at the duty-free shop, then into the air for the flight over the Tasman to Auckland, which we reached tired but happy, and filled with memories of a trip that had taken us round the world.

In conclusion, I must pay tribute to Dalgety Travel for the arrangements they made on our behalf. First, we were presented with an overnight bag with the ‘New Zealand Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society’ in white letters against the Douglas tartan. At each airport we were met by a representative and conveyed to town in a private bus, tours were arranged and generally

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we were treated like VIPs. They are the only travel company who has advertised in the ‘Dancer’ and, like the magazine their services are second to none. I would have no hesitation in recommending Dalgety’s to anyone contemplating a tour in 1972 to include the Olympic Games.

To those who made the trip last year, I hope we will all meet again in the near future.

Wellington Summer School
1970 – 1971
Excerpt: The Thoughts of Ian Thompson

A school is not a school without classes and although I did not see another class, because I was too busy hiding my inability to dance a reverse skip change from Mima or admiring Win’s beautiful strathspey with the rest of the class, I suspect that all the classes reflect their teachers’ idiosyncrasies.

Mima, for example, slashes records to ribbons (her records) and laments that she never brought along her one-man band.

Madge’s ‘thing’ is courtesy, etiquette and social grace.

Romaine’s demonstrations are beautifully precise, and she plays up a chilling formality to maintain student attention.

Florence runs a military parade, where her teaching wit is delivered with sabre-like slashes that contrasts with Gary Morris’ cockiness and Edith’s delightful fuss.

I would have liked to see other teachers’ performances. It’s not necessary to talk about competence, for we all recognise that: it’s the delivery that is remarkable.

Madge Laing once told me that all she can do is

Photo – Members of the Council grouped here are, from left
Standing: Doris Smith (South Canterbury), Bevin Shaw (Junior Committee Chairman), Edna Smith (Auckland), Anne Johnson (Wairarapa), Bill Jacob (Rangitikei), Peggy Hudson (Otago-Southland), Gary Morris (Wellington formerly Hastings), Mima Clanachan (Christchurch).
Seated: Editor, Harry Bruce; Secretary-Treasurer, Mildred Clancey; N.I. Vice-President, Alan Russell; President, Phyllis Gale; S.I. Vice-President, Mary Ronnie; R.S.C.D.S. Representative, Florence Lesslie.

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notice that individuals improve. It is enjoyable because one can sit and watch Anne Bawden and Madge Laing work at ‘Flora Macdonald’s Fancy’. It is stimulating to sit at a table with Madge and Mima Clanachan and talk about the nature of the Scots sense of humour, and argue that the Border Ballads are better poetry than Burns. This is the stuff of Summer Schools; meeting people and talking and finding out points of common interest light-heartedly and keenly.

Regional Notes

Our Region – comprising Hastings and Napier clubs and Taradale Junior Club and further afield in Gisborne, the Caledonian Society Club, together with our friends from the Waipukurau Reel Club – has kept things going for Scottish country dancing on the East Coast. Though our numbers are not large, with the very successful junior club operating in Taradale under the guidance of Mary Frame, Francie Henderson and Joan Hatwell, we have future senior dancers in the making.

The Highland Games display on Easter Sunday attracted five sets in 1970, two of which comprised visiting dancers. It was a beautiful day and our display was well received.

Our Region dance, held in July, was again successful. A happy night’s dancing was had and we were pleased to welcome two friends from Rotorua.

In October we participated in a rather unique gathering ‘Cultural Dances of the World Quest, 1970’. This was organised by Rev. T Tawhera on behalf of the Maori Culture and Welfare Organisation in Hawke’s Bay. Groups were invited to present their particular country’s culture through song and dance, and a panel of judges representative of these countries officiated. Mrs Madge Laing represented the Scottish section. The Taradale, Hastings and Napier clubs presented items and, although we were unplaced in the final judging, we felt, once again, we had ‘kept the flag flying’.

Our dancing year finished with an invitation to dance at the Labour Day Sports at Clive in late October. We were only able to arrange one set, but this was well received.

Nelson-Marlborough Club: Mrs Madge Laing was one of the guest tutors for a Queen’s Birthday weekend school.


It gives me much pleasure in presenting to you Volume 19 of the ‘Dancer’. I have tried to emulate the high standard set by the two previous editors, Marion and Harry, but, in doing so, I’ve become increasingly aware that this is your magazine and its standard will be set by your contributions. That is why helpful hints from Mirth Smallwood, Cath Bruce, Mary Ronnie, Peg Hutchison, Marie Malcolm, Don Nicholson and others aided me in drafting a programme and sending letters far and wide. Now this ‘international’ edition is the result.

Contributions have come from all parts, from Winnipeg to Singapore and from Paris to Dunedin. Letters of introduction seem unnecessary either in New Zealand or abroad, provided we can discover the local night for Scottish country dancing. My grateful thanks to all contributors. I am sorry that some photographs forwarded to me are not sharp enough for reproduction.

I am most grateful to all advertisers for their great courtesy in answering my letters promptly and for their willingness to support our magazine. Don Nicholson happily helped me in the reading of proofs.

It is with deep regret we have to record the passing of four of those who have done so much for dancing. There was Harry Bruce, whose 10th edition of the ‘Dancer’ was finished just before his death a year ago, and his great friend, Harry Cooper, who did so much to popularise dancing in the Waikato. Hugh Foss, internationally known for his large collection of dances, encouraged many Scots and English at his weekend schools in Galloway. Ira Cunningham, whom I knew personally for over 30 years and respected for his scholarship, his humility and his pawky sense of humour, helped to lay the foundation of our society. Arthritis curtailed his dancing but, in his own field, he worked right to the end, helping the New Zealand economy with his research and, after he retired, working to aid those less fortunate countries of S.E. Asia. We are proud to have been associated with these four great men. To all relatives of these old friends we send our very deepest sympathy.

My best wishes to you all for a happy year of dancing.

Flashback (excerpts) by Don Nicholson)
The scene; Hutt Recreation Ground and the occasion is the Hutt Highland Games of 1959 where a large assembly of country dancers and prominent people named included Jack Seton. Dances included ‘MacDonald of Sleat’ by the young Lower Hutt Club Demonstration Group.

Among those noted on the film record of the Church Parade on the Sunday were Jack and Isa Seton. Notable memories at this School were

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the fine impressions made on the Senior Class by teacher Madge Laing.

Finally to the Hastings Highland Games, Easter 1963, in Peter Snell’s heyday (Peter won both the mile and the half-mile in fast times), the piece de resistance for us was Ewen McCann dancing the Highland Fling and the Sword Dance and what a pleasure it was to see once again one of New Zealand’s finest Highland dancers in action, even if only on film.

Record Review
Madge Laing

In this part of the world it is something of an event to have a record especially made for the requirements of Scottish country dancing and I would congratulate Kiwi Records for venturing into this field via John MacDonald’s latest release – recorded in Australia.

I am enthusiastic about the talent of this young accordionist and would endorse the remark on the  tasteful cover that he plays with brilliant technique and artistry. More important to the dancer, his enthusiasm for his native music conveys itself, making one want to join in and become part of the performance.

The practicalities of tempo and phrasing make for good dancing, but in the Reels and Jigs, my ear would prefer less domination from the drums.

The original music for four of the dances has been unobtainable on record for many years and is of special interest to those studying the examination dances.

The choice of alternative tunes gives us delightful and proved favourites; but these have been recorded

1969 – Volume 16
Editor: Mr Harry Bruce

many times elsewhere, so it would be a joy to hear some of the less well known melodies. Perhaps on his next venture for Scottish Country Dancers John MacDonald might be persuaded to give us this pleasure. Meanwhile, we have a most useful addition to all club record libraries.

Regional Notes

Our dancing year began with a display at the Presbyterian Church 50th Anniversary Celebrations. This was held outdoors and our set was well received.

The display at the Hastings Highland games at Easter attracted four sets with visitors coming from as far afield as Whangarei to Wellington.

An evening was held in Hastings to commemorate the Sir Walter Scott Bi-Centenary [1971] and a set of dancers was invited to dance, this being well received.

Our Region Dance in June, although it was small in numbers, was a most memorable evening.

In August we farewelled Madge Laing who was leaving the district. This was both a sad and happy occasion. After so many years in Hastings, we were all very sad to see Madge go, and this was reflected in the number of ex-dancers who attended the evening. We all enjoyed renewing acquaintances after so many years and a most enjoyable evening’s dancing was had by all. A presentation was made to Madge, Andy and Barbara as a note of our esteem felt for them.

To our President for the last two years, Bill Eddy, we give thanks for his help and guidance.

Hamilton Scottish: The Wednesday night classes were well attended and our tutor, Di. McNally put a lot of time into the teaching of the young and old, with very good results. Also, much help was given to the juniors by Mrs Hilda Smith, who took over this class in the latter part of the year. Mrs Madge Laing on several occasions gave advice and instruction on some dances, and her help was much appreciated. Unfortunately, Madge has returned to Hastings to live.

Richmond Club: Our club got underway with fewer dancers than usual but as the year progressed, we were back to our old number. We do not boast of a successful year insofar as numbers go and we were short of a teacher also. However, with the help of our neighbour’s teacher, Colin Barker, we had a good year. Colin is our permanent tutor now and we are a bunch of happy dancers.


We are proud that this year’s ‘Dancer’ marks the end of our second decade of publication and also coincides with the jubilee of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. We must report not only our activities during the last year and our plans for the future but outline the growth of the RSCDS here and in Scotland and honour those who have done so much during the last half century.

It has been necessary to hold over till next year those articles that did not fit in to this scheme. My grateful thanks to all advertisers and contributors, especially to Mrs Lesslie, who was able to supply some old photographs.

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Among the legions of folks who have helped to keep alive our dancing heritage, there are many notables. The small original committee, including Mrs Stewart of Fasnacloich, Miss Jean Milligan and Lord James Stewart-Murray, later the Duke of Atholl, launched our movement, and because of her dynamic personality, Miss Milligan has continued to help organise, control and guide the growth of the society. Three of our members, elsewhere in the magazine, give personal recollections of her. But there have been many others who have played important parts in the teaching, researching and sometimes composing of the dances and, by no means least, the playing and composing of the music. Miss Hadden was secretary of the society for years and, as such, seemed indispensable. Miss Allie Anderson of Edinburgh, along with the late JM Duthie of Galashiels, wrote the excellent ‘Complete Guide to Scottish country dancing’. Miss Allie Anderson and Mrs Florence Lesslie, who was secretary of the Edinburgh Branch for years, composed the ‘Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh’ and ‘Prince Charles of Edinburgh’. The late Ion CB Jamieson did much early research and later compiled ‘The Border Book’. The music for this book was arranged by Mrs Annie Shand of Aberdeen. She was one of the earliest and one of the finest pianists, referred to always with great affection. Mrs Nan Main of Aberdeen, Miss Kitty MacLauchlan of Arbroath, Miss Susan Inglis of Edinburgh and Mrs Rae of Castle Douglas followed in her footsteps and are still playing for classes at St Andrew’s. The late Mr John Reid of Newtyle taught Highland steps at St Andrew’s and played the fiddle as he taught. The late Mr Tim Wright and his band played first class SCD music and for several years packed his dance hall in Edinburgh twice weekly for great nights of Scottish country dancing. Since these early days many bands have given us live or recorded music to dance to and many of us have had the pleasure here in New Zealand of dancing to Jimmy Shand and his band.

We are most grateful to these and many other pioneers who have laid a firm foundation on which our Society must grow. We cannot help but be amazed at the vast progress made in only 50 years. Our traditional dancing has been rescued from passing into oblivion. It is up to us to keep it going from strength to strength.

Those Were the Days
(Excerpt) Nancy Baxter

Perhaps my greatest memories are of coming to New Zealand and starting the Napier Club 20 years ago. It was an uphill climb to get everything we needed, hall, members and music, but once we got established the highlight of those early years was travelling down to Morison’s Bush, dancing till midnight and sitting round the fire at Jessie Coe’s singing till 4am. A few of us even made up a song, with a verse for each one of the gang who stayed at Coe’s and it was sung to the tune of ‘The Wild Colonial Boy’.

Sometimes we had transport problems and on one occasion we travelled down to the Bush in what

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[Trip to Scotland itinerary, 1970]

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[Australian tour information, 1970]

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1970 – Volume 17
Editor: Mr Harry Bruce

was called a nine-seater service car, but nothing could disguise the fact that it was a converted hearse. We certainly were a lot jollier than its former passengers.

At one of the early meetings in the Thistle Hall, Wellington, to establish a Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Society, I represented the Napier Club and the names of some of the other delegates come rushing into my head: Jack Seton, Dr and Mrs Cunningham Mr & Mrs Head, Mr & Mrs McPherson, Mr & Mrs Smith, Mr & Mrs Douglas and others whose faces I picture but names escape me.

However, we had to break away from Wellington as the distance for meetings had become quite a problem, and so in November 1958, the Hawke’s Bay Branch was formed.

Rathkeale in Retrospect

The Sound of Revelry by Night: Let’s start with Hogmanay and the Stadium display. A reasonable turnout of the Masterton citizens, some of whom were persuaded to have a go, a mutually satisfying experience. Amongst the items the flashing brilliance of the Celtic Brooch stood out, and the royal welcome the Aussies received, Noeline O’Connor’s Irish magic and of course a 32-some of a standard which satisfied most of us and stirred all. Notable on the floor and in the audience were some great names from the recent past: the Seton’s, McPherson’s, Whitehill’s, Coe’s and others. Back at Rathkeale more dancing, then singing conducted by Jack Seton. Mary Ronnie and Jimmy Miller between then succeeded in admitting the First Foot in the ‘sufficiently dark and sufficiently handsome’ person of David Cordiner. In the general melee that followed, sporadically controlled by Win Clancey, a spasm of pain was seen on Mildred Clancey’s face, after taking a mouthful of what should have been sherry, but was undeniably whisky, and Scotch at that (‘I’ve never touched the hard stuff before, your honour’).

What went on after all that depended on where you were. We never did find out all that happened. We found ourselves in the middle of a big roundabout at the north end of town; there was a piper and an accordion and a bit of brisk dancing for a while. Some of the passersby were so hypnotised they circumnavigated us several times before taking off.

Summer School Revisted [Revisited] Jack Seton

Returning to Summer School, after an absence of a few years, brings back the same feeling that an exile has when he sets foot once again on his native heath – the feeling of being back home.

It was my pleasure last Hogmanay to bring in Ne’erday at the Summer School accompanied by friends that I met in the early days of organising country dancing. There were Jean and Bill McPherson, Charlie and Dora Whitehill, Les and Jessie Coe (who at the very first country dance held in New Zealand put up 54 dancers) and, of course, Isa my wife.

To reach the Hall where the dance was held and hear the strains of Jimmy Shand and his band and then to enter and see the happy faces Bill, Charlie and myself just looked at each other and in unison said ‘Money canna buy it’. We were home!

My first impression was that in this modern age the sleeping accommodation must be vastly superior to that of yesteryear. Perhaps the modern generation like their sleep!! Many a previous school proved how long the human frame could go without a decent sleep. That came about through a ‘then’ student bringing statistics to prove the number of people who died in their bed far exceeded those on the move. Few in the dorms I was in took any risks. I conjured in my mind those who made ceremonies that are still carried on.

When it came to supper time it was with difficulty that I managed to swallow without talking with my mouth full.

It was just Summer School. Did anyone ask my greatest thrill? It was to see at least two young ladies who, years ago, I accepted through the Loop as Miss New Year. No names given as they would blush if they were reminded of how I held them.

To those who have been at Summer School for years, I can assure you that if and when you return you will repeat what you said at the first one you attended: ‘This is Summer School’. See you at Christchurch!

Miss Milligan
Personal Recollections: Madge Laing

Punctuality was a strong point with Miss Milligan. One recollection which makes me chuckle is of St Andrews, in 1956. We were all assembled, shoes changed and ready, standing in the doorway of the hall where a class was due at 2pm.

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We watched the hands of the grandfather clock creep on to the appointed hour. Just as it gave the first of its two b-o-i-n-g-s Miss Milligan appeared, gave the clock her full glare and said to it, ‘Never let it be said that I was late for class.’

Here is another little story on punctuality or the lack of it

At St Andrew’s, all meals were served ‘on the dot’ and everyone was expected to consider the dining-room staff and be seated on time.

My friend and I had overslept. The unusual peace in the wash room gave us the first clue. We threw ourselves into clothes, flew downstairs and panted into the dining-room to find every seat taken – ah – except three at the end of a table. We had made it before it was too noticeable that we were late. A quick look round and we were relieved to see Miss Milligan had not arrived.

After three deep breaths, we had gathered ourselves sufficiently to exchange ‘good mornings’ with our nearest neighbour at the long table. She knew we were agitated by our late arrival and also that we were ‘new faces’. This lady asked our names and where we came from. We told her, then I piped up, ‘And what is your name?’ She replied, ‘Miss Hadden’. I felt such a fool as along with Miss Milligan, this lady was known by everybody and here we were, new, raw and ignorant showing our ignorance.

However this self-effacing, kind and charming person soon put us at our ease and we had just got over that faux pas when I said, ‘Thank goodness Miss Milligan didn’t see that we were late. I wonder where she is’. Miss Hadden replied, ‘Miss Milligan has breakfast in her room. She usually sits in that chair next to yours!!!’

For me, attending her class was always preceded by a feeling of anticipation, of excitement, knowing it would stimulate and extend my previous efforts.

She had the ability to bring out the very best one had to give, to make one respond to and absorb her instruction, so that years later, one finds her words still in one’s head while teaching a class thousands of miles from the original source of learning.

One of the highlights of my visit to Scotland in 1965 was to ‘drop in’ at Summer School in St Andrew’s.

A class was in session and with bated breath I gradually opened the squeaking door afraid that it would attract attention.

When the class had finished my great moment had arrived. I went to Miss Milligan who was accompanied by Miss Hadden, and said ‘As President of the New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society may I present you with our badge?’

weI pinned the brooch on her lapel and at the same time told her that in my sojourn through Canada and America I had visited clubs at each city where I had stopped and although a member of another worldwide organisation found there was nothing on this earth to compare with the friendliness and hospitality found among Scottish country dancers. Here was I in the presence of the lady who helped to found it all.

What a family. What a gracious lady.


During the last two months copy has come from all sides for this, our 21st birthday issue. It is a very pleasanwet surprise for an editor to see so many members, and friends of members, taking an active part by writing about their experiences and opinions. I feel the ‘Dancer’ has come of age by becoming more and more a magazine by the members. That is how it ought to be. Therefore, there was no need to print any extraneous material.

One of my visitors wrote to a friend in Paris and a contribution came from her. Ginete Dallere is president of Le Chardon d’Ecosse, where Barbara Kent danced when she was in Paris. Then Gordon Stott has written two articles for the ‘Rant’ and the ‘Dancer’ has permission to reprint them. Several of our members have been overseas, and three of them tell us of their experiences. One went to St Andrew’s and two were lucky enough to attend the jubilee celebrations in Glasgow. I’m delighted to hear from ‘Kitty Brewster’, who worked so hard for the Society in earlier days.

To all contributors, my grateful thanks, and my sincere apologies to many others whose articles I could not include as there was no space left. Some of these will be held over till next year.

I was exceedingly pleased to have far more than the usual number of club notes and to have the majority in so punctually.

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1971 – Volume 18
Editor: Mr Harry Bruce

To all our advertisers I extend our thanks for their willingness to help the ‘Dancer’, and I hope most of our members remember to support them.

We are pleased to hear of the proposed visit to New Zealand in August and September of Miss Jean Milligan and we trust that as many members as possible will be able to meet her.

We are very sad at the passing of three old friends Flora Thompson, who never missed any of the early Summer Schools and whose hospitality and work in the Waikato will long be remembered; Jean MacDonald, who gave much service willingly in establishing clubs in the Nelson-Marlborough area; Mildred Clancey, our cheerful, talented, efficient secretary-treasurer since the New Zealand Country Dance Society was formed and later became the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, New Zealand Branch. Mildred’s work for the branch continued to the last month of her life. Even in January, when she was far from fit, she explored the possibilities of a venue for a future Summer School in Wanganui, Marton and New Plymouth. Tributes by others are found elsewhere in the magazine. To all relatives and friends of those who have passed from our ranks, we express our very deepest sympathy.

Best wishes to you all for a happy year of dancing.

Two Tributes
Jack Seton

Mildred Margaret Clancey: Our beloved and talented secretary passed away on 13 May 1974, after a long and painful illness. With her cheerful smile and bright personality, she hid from others what pain she suffered.

I first met Mildred at Days Bay Summer School – the second Summer School held in New Zealand. She had come to New Zealand a few months previously as a young bride and was immediately involved in Scottish country dancing. At that school (under the management of Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association) a meeting was held to consider the formation of a national organisation, and the following year, at Wanganui, the New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society was formed with myself as president. When I asked for nominations for secretary, there was none. Appeals met with no response. Finally, I saw Mildred and Win whispering, and I pleaded with Win to get Mildred to say ‘I will’ for the second time. Although she had never done secretarial work, she agreed.  Presidents come and go but secretaries go on and on, and in Mildred we had an archstone that carried an organisation that stretched throughout the length and breadth of the land.

When her husband was promoted from Nelson to Palmerston North, a new club was formed. Again, when Win was promoted to Hokitika another club came into being. By the time promotion led to Wellington, those in the know were aware that something was wrong. However, she still danced, and gave advice and instruction when sasked for.

During her years as secretary, she was hostess to more country dancers than possibly any home in New Zealand. Her charm did much to make the Society, and latterly the Branch, one big family, and that is why every home in New Zealand shares the sorrow of her husband and three daughters.

I know that in her heavenly home she would not want us to mourn and the greatest tribute we can pay her is to keep alive the culture she adored, Scottish country dancing.

It was an honour and privilege to know her.s

Flora Thomson: it is with regret that we record the passing of Flora Thomson last November.

Flora was one of the original ‘Pioneers’ from various parts of the country who attended the early Mecca of country dancing at Morison’s Bush sponsored by the then Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association.

Having danced in Scotland prior to emigrating, her knowledge, experience and power of administration were valuable assets when the New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society was formed.

Being one of the leaders in the Waikato district and residing in Cambridge, approximately 100 miles from Auckland, she gave dancers going to and from Auckland a welcome stop at her home. After the visitors had been well nourished, the rafters echoed to the songs that were sung and accompanied by Flora on her accordion. Each visit was a memorable one.

Her passing has left a void in many people’s lives. Our deepest sympathy goes to her husband, Jack, and family.

Regional Notes

Hawke’s Bay & East Coast: Our 1973 season began with bi-weekly displays in the Botanical Gardens in Napier, which were well received. Club’s membership was up and an air of enthusiasm

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prevailed throughout the year.

Members travelled widely, attending weekend schools and formal dances outside our district and a busload of dancers spent a most enjoyable and colourful evening at the Wellington Jubilee Ball.

The highlight of our year was the Region Reunion Ball to celebrate the Jubilee Year. Many ex-members joined us and, with a programme compiled of old, old favourites and the hall appropriately decorated for the occasion, it was a night to remember. Our thanks to Jack Seton, who did a grand job as our MC. The season ended with a combined clubs’ family Hallowe’en Party at Hastings. A happy year to reflect on and one well worth our combined efforts.

Reports From the Clubs

Hastings: it has been a quiet but busy year. Although members were low during the year, our exchange visits with Napier Club were most popular and helped swell the numbers of both our clubs. Thanks to our tutor, Margaret Mildenhall, for all the time and energy she devoted to our club.

In conjunction with Napier Club, we journeyed to a day school run by Gisborne Club, with a dance in the evening, very enjoyable with Mrs Lesslie as tutor, but oh!, the aching muscles the next day. Less strenuous, but equally enjoyable, were the combined bus trips to the Wellington Regional Ball and the Bluebell Club’s open night. Our thanks to the kind people in Wellington for billeting our members.

Club members enjoyed participating in Region activities, advanced nights, the Ball in September and a demonstration as part of Napier Centennial celebrations in February of this year.

To wind up the year’s activities, the club held a Hallowe’en party, inviting both the young in age and the young in heart. It was great the way everyone joined in.

We enjoyed welcoming and making friends with our visitors during the past year and we look forward to seeing any who may be in Hastings on a Wednesday night.

Editorial :

It gives me great pleasure to present to you this 22nd edition of the ‘Dancer’ in which some of last year’s exciting events are recorded.

The usual round of activity was intensified by the

They Were There
Back row, from left: Mr C Whitehill (Carterton), Mr R A White (Auckland), Mr A S Luxon (Oamaru), Mrs C Whitehill (Carterton), Mrs J M Luxon (Oamaru), Mr C Cartney (Oamaru), Mrs C Cartney (Oamaru), Mr J Jamieson (Masterton), Mrs M Bolwell (Oamaru), Mrs E Hanbury (Oamaru).
Front row, from left: Miss A Gordon (Hamilton), Mrs M Fox (Cambridge), Mrs M Jamieson (Masterton), Mrs R A White (Auckland), Mrs I Seton (Tauranga), Miss J Tuffery (Invercargill), Mrs M Neisham (Rotorua), Mrs H K Greenhalgh (Cambridge), Mrs A Gallacher (Auckland).

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arrival of Miss Jean Milligan in late August and the social events that followed in the succeeding three weeks. Mirth Smallwood and Pam Draffin describe the highlights of that memorable time. The Dunedin dancers give a short resume of the very successful Nelson Summer School while Gwyneth Fox writes her appreciation from Australia. Peg Hutchison has clarified the purpose of the Branch’s ‘Memorial Book’. We are very proud of the Wellington President, Gary Morris, who went as a member of the Scottish team of dancers to South Africa to a Folk Dance Festival. He tells us about some of his experiences during a most happy but busy month.

Mary Ronnie reviews another book by George Emmerson, Michael Laidlaw did one in 1972, and shows why we ought not to be too dogmatic about the origin of our dances. We appreciate the Scottish love of reels and jigs when we read Elspeth Allan’s tour in Scotland in a cold January. Gordon Stott gives his definitions of some Scottish Country Dance terms. Rose Jacob’s article ought to make us reassess our club and region. Pam Draffin has some comments on the thorny topic ‘Grading’. The letter from Peggy Hudson reminds us again of our choice of programme for open dances. It would be interesting to know what you think of Tauranga’s analysis of ball programmes in the northern half of the North Island. My personal thanks go to the writers of the other letters.

The loyalty of our advertisers is much appreciated. However, I do hope that dancers consult Helean, McPhee, Sydney Eady or, if visiting Edinburgh, John Morrison for their country dance regalia, look for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Chocolate and the Hundred Pipers when in festive mood, buy Philip’s musical equipment to listen to Scotland’s dances and have a word with Dalgety’s nearest branch when planning next year’s holiday.

To all advertisers and contributors, I give my sincere thanks for making this a varied and interesting magazine.

Miss Milligan in New Zealand: Noted that on the Friday night ‘Meet the Teachers’ session in Wellington was a huge success as many came from across Cook Strait as well as from as far afield as Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu and Wairarapa.

Regional Notes and Report from the Clubs

(Relevant copy cut out from the magazine. No other magazine copy has been found to date to replace.)


As we write we are aware of the presence of two guiding spirits encouraging, gently scolding, chuckling, and, we hope, in the end satisfied. Who are they but Susan and Bill Turner, erstwhile Editor and Printer of the magazine! We knew that the Branch owed them much. We are beginning to realise how much. We feel we express the wishes of our members when we say a heartfelt THANK YOU to them for their years of service.

Next year someone else will edit the magazine. It has been pleasant to contact old friends, interesting to make new ones through their letters and intriguing to become aware of the many facets of character underlying the contributions. One or two of these have caught and brilliantly reflected the true spirit of Scottish country dancing.

The dominant theme of 1975 was predictably ‘Come Alive’. It seems that this year, for the magazine, it is ‘Stay Alive’. Rising costs, especially of paper and postage, have forced us to increase the price and reduce the size of this issue.

It is pleasing to note the upsurge of enthusiasm and increase in membership recorded by many clubs. We suspect that some hold dances to counteract the effect of the magnificent meals provided! The easy hospitality and friendliness characteristic of Open Nights are the products of a happy combination of New Zealand and Scotland. Travellers come and go and come again to tell their tales. You will find offers of more opportunities to travel in this issue.

It is sad to record the deaths of old friends and people who have given distinguished service to the Society. Mrs Winchester, Mrs Frame, Charles Whitehill, George McRae and Daniel Whyte. Sadness is mitigated by pride in their achievements and comfort in the knowledge that they are remembered by many over whom their influence still falls.

We take pride in the worthy attainments of all our members. In particular we wish to acclaim the appointment of Mary Ronnie as National Librarian. We reproduce the delightful interview which appeared in the Herald. The following week there was an article describing the conditions under which she works. She won’t be idle! For the first time we have a review of a record of Scottish country dancing. It is ‘Down South’ by Charlie Jemmett and his band, with notes on dances by Mary Ronnie. Charlie should count the number of times his name appears in this issue!

We thank those who have supported the magazine by contributing notes, articles, letters, and by placing advertisements. We owe special thanks for the efficient secretarial help received and for the  useful advice offered by so many.

Good wishes are sent to all Scottish Country

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Dancers for a happy year of dancing.

Another Summer School
By ‘Doreen’

Has it all been written before? By first-timers? Many timers? Organisers? Certificate contenders? Aussies? Other foreigners? Children? (Perhaps not children).

Can something new be added? Can it all be written once again?

It was proved the same songs can be sung – ‘How many legs on a haggis?’

Same familiar dances, ‘Circassian Circle again!!’

Repeated salutations, ‘Happy New Year.’

Oft’ spoken comment, ‘It is left shoulder – (isn’t it?).’

Regularly repeated question, ‘How’s y’ feet?’

Bellowed instructions, ‘LIFT, one, two, three!’

Even if it has all been done and said before, does that make it any less pleasurable for those just experiencing; the ones still learning and the old faithful? Madge lilts, ‘Each school is different.’ ‘Great!,’ says an Australian lass, ‘except for the weather!’ Without certificate classes Arthur says he’s disorientated. Cousin Jim smiles, ‘I’m not organising next year,’ and Ed comments that folk eat more during cooler weather!

End of Prologue

Tauranga Revisited
Excerpt from Roger Schofield

Once again the chance of a three-day-weekend, eating, dancing and sleeping Scottish country dancing drew an ever-increasing number of keen Auckland dancers southwards on Queen’s Birthday Weekend. Having been subject to an intensive workout the previous year, we really knew what we were in for.

The Sunday night’s Ceilidh at a country hall proved immensely popular with assorted items and live dance music. Tauranga’s Leonard Bernstein (Jack Seton) drew a faultless performance from an assorted range of ducks, sheep, cows and pigs. Today Tauranga, tomorrow the Sydney Opera House?

Monday lunchtime, dancers started drifting away to the sound of accordions and bagpipes, at a lunchtime concert. Roll on Hamilton, 1976.


Mary Frame passed away 3 February 1976. Mary and Charlie came to New Zealand from Falkirk, Scotland, 26 years ago and settled in the Hawke’s Bay area. In 1958 the Taradale Senior Dancing Club started and Mary was one of the founders. She was appointed secretary in 1964 and continued as a valued member of the club until it went into recess in 1967.

In 1968 she took over the Taradale Children’s class. 1975 was the most successful year the children’s class had and the most enjoyable year she had tutored and how anxious she was to recommence in 1976.

In 1974 she was appointed Secretary to the Hawke’s Bay & East Coast Region, a position she filled conscientiously and capably until her death.

Charles Whitehill: The passing of ‘Charlie’ was a

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1972 – Volume 19
Editor: Mrs Susan Turner

loss that many who attended the earlier schools felt deeply.

He was a pioneer who travelled many miles to spread the cult among groups who found it difficult to come to town. His reward – friendship.

No evening or gathering where Charlie was present could finish without a song. His sweet voice, together with his vast repertoire of songs, especially those of his native land, made every evening to remember.

When dancing he beamed happiness. At Summer School his smile was infectious, that with his presence, and several others, social evenings were assured of success. His energy was inexhaustible and with his circle of friends few realised, during the school, how little time was spent in bed.

Describing these gatherings he coined a phrase: ‘Money could not buy it’. What a true description of Summer School!

He met his wife at country dancing and it must be a great comfort to her that her sorrow is shared by so many.

Jack Seton

Review – You Can’t Afford to Miss This One
Ruary Laidlaw

Lack of live music has been a major disadvantage of Scottish country dancing in this country in its 20-odd years of history. As Jack Seton reminded us in 1960, it takes time, energy, perseverance and talent to create a successful band that will compare with those overseas. Charlie Jemmett and his band have achieved this status. His latest record, ‘Down South – With Music for Scottish Country Dance’, produced by Reed Pacific Records Ltd, proves the point. Tracks include ‘The Jubilee Jig’, ‘The Hollin Buss’, ‘West’s Hornpipe’, ‘the Frisky’, ‘The Lea Rig’, ‘Galloway House’, ‘The Flowers of Edinburgh’, and the ‘Garry Strathspey’.

Each dance has a note showing the number of bars, the number of times it is played through, the book in which the dance is published and its source! This information is most useful, especially to club tutors, and is too often omitted.

Regional Reports

Hawke’s Bay & East Coast: – (Relevant data cut out of the book.)

Reports From the Clubs

Hastings: it could be said that Hastings Club really did ‘Come Alive’ in the year 1975, if enthusiasm and energy output be the criteria.

The club made several happy outings and weekend visits, notably to Wairoa, Gisborne and Wanganui. Members supported Formal Nights in Palmerston North, Hamilton, Wairoa, Gisborne and Wanganui, as well as friendly exchange visits with Napier Club each month.

The Region Weekend School, held in June, was much enjoyed by all.

During the summer break, clubs in the local area joined in barbecue picnics, a weekend trip to Wairoa’s Christmas Party and an outdoor dancing evening at the Napier Soundshell.

Our thanks must go to our tutor Margaret Mildenhall, for her encouragement and patience during the year.

With a change of hall in 1976 we expect to increase our membership and also add a junior class to the club.

Remember, if you are in Hastings, come and see us on Wednesdays at 7.30pm at the Havelock North Primary School Hall in Campbell Street.

Wellington Club: Thanks are due to our Past-President, Gary Morris, for all his hard work as President of the Region. Although he has held this office for six years it does not seem like it as things have always gone so smoothly. We are pleased that he will still be around and on our Region Committee.


If one meticulously reads all the reports the word ‘successful’ appears repeatedly. Can we assume that regions and clubs have had, to quote the Concise Oxford Dictionary, ‘a favourable issue, an accomplishment of end aimed at’ or from Roget’s Thesaurus, ‘a fortunate, prosperous, triumphant, effect, in the ascendant’ year? It is very pleasing to have news from 67 clubs, a record!

With regard to the reports: where scribes have included day, time and meeting place of clubs, this was omitted. Firstly to conserve space, and secondly; because this information is already listed in the directory at the end of the magazine.

Again we are grateful to our advertisers. This year we have some new clients as well and I urge you to patronise them all whenever possible.

The passing of Alex McKenzie, Alex Pollard and Eddie Jones are recorded. Their absence will be felt by many dancers and friends and we exteg nd

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our sincere sympathy to their families.

Many thanks to contributors of articles and notes; thank you to all who loaned photographs.

This is our 24th edition and we are pleased to have Jack and Colin looking back and Hilda and Brian viewing from the sidelines. Tommy’s road signs take a look from a different direction; we have a new dance through the courtesy of Iain; many happenings recorded; several photographs plus more reading for your information and enlightenment.

Producing ‘The Dancer’ is an experience that can be likened to learning a new dance. At first sight it appears disjointed and confusing. But, clearly and steadily, step by step, the tutor (last year’s editor) coaches and instructs, carefully taking a phrase at a time.

Slowly it takes shape as the sets (New Zealand dancers) contribute and enthuse. Tactfully encouraging and assisting, the teacher (predecessor) offers advice when required. The music (imminent deadline) increases the tempo, stimulates the performers. A rhythm is established, the pattern forming, then, a pause, as (the printer takes over) the band tunes and spectators settle.

Acknowledge your partner (open the cover), tutor, audience council, readers, will their attention be held? Will they smile or frown as the final chord closes the last page?

New Zealand Beginnings Jack Seton

When I arrived in 1950, I settled in Hastings where two pipe bands had amalgamated. To assist in bringing them together in harmony I started a Scottish Country Dance club which brought in the wives and girlfriends.

The annual report of the RSCDS gave the names of Scots’ Societies in New Zealand affiliated to the Society. I learned that they did not know any Scottish Country Dances apart from The Gay Gordon’s and Eightsome Reel. When news got around that there was a Hastings club we were invited to give displays. One society invited us twice. The third time I refused, pointing out that we went to foster these dances and not as performers. That district soon had a club which is still going strong.

My club demonstrated at an Ingleside in Masterton and, afterwards, Mrs Jessie Coe of Morison’s Bush suggested holding a dance. I explained that a venue there would entail finding accommodation which, together with the 200-mile journey, might have an adverse effect on attendance. (In Scotland they would have thought I was crazy if I had said I was attending a dance that far away!) I shall never forget Jessie’s reply, ‘We have a farmhouse. You can all stay there’. We charged 2/6d (25cents) for that dance and I was MC. One could not have wished to find a finer crowd. All were associated with clubs that had recently taken up SCD. One had a list of eight dances. Others had fewer. I had had a letter from Ken Shaw, ex-Scottish

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1973 – Volume 20
Editor: Mrs Susan Turner

heavyweight boxing champion, then living in Whakatane, to say he was bringing three carloads! We arranged a rendezvous so that all would go in procession to the farmhouse. There were ten cars flying flags that were later used in the Grand March. Piper Bruce Fordyce was in the lead. Robert the Bruce and Bonnie Prince Charlie never felt more proud! Buses came over the Rimutaka Hill from Wellington and round about. After the Grand March, the spectators had to agree that nothing like it had ever been seen in New Zealand before. Those who were staying the night will never forget the sing-song after the dance. Ken Shaw and his sister Nora knew every Scottish song imaginable (all the verses and not just the choruses) and the praises of Scotland were sung until milking time. With the shed washed down, we danced until it was time to make our way back, agreeing that it was worth every mile travelled.

Soon after, a meeting was held in Wellington with the object of forming an association. At the next dance, 54 people from Hamilton, Cambridge, Whakatane, Napier and Hastings were accommodated at the Coe farm; ladies in the house, men in the hayshed and all meals supplied. Only Les and Jessie could have had the patience and interest to do such a job. They sure made Morison’s Bush the St Andrew’s of New Zealand. Without their enthusiasm I am sure the formation of our organisation would have been put back a year or two.

Bruce Fordyce wanted to know why we could not have a Summer School in New Zealand and my first reaction was ‘Where?’ Being a teacher at the Napier Boys’ High School, he was able to book it.

At the meeting which brought into being the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association (of which I was the first president), it was agreed to hold the Summer School. As the first dance at Morison’s Bush was an experiment, so was the Napier school. Among the 80 members was Peggy Hudson who had taken the first part of the Teacher’s Certificate in Scotland. It may be of interest to know that the cost per head was £7.10s for the fortnight. All took turns in the kitchen.

The next school was held at Days Bay. Here, a steering committee was formed to draw up a constitution to be presented at the next Summer School.

The following year, at Wanganui, the New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society was formed with branches throughout the country. Leaders of the Girl Guide movement became interested, resulting in the establishment of a Girl Guide Badge in SCD.

Our organisation was blessed by having people dedicated to fostering our dances. I remember chairing one annual meeting at which Sam Moran was forcible in his orations. We were chatting afterwards when a member remarked that he was surprised that we were still talking to each other. In a way that I wish all who attend meetings would adopt, Sam replied ‘The meeting is finished and though Jack and I did not see eye to eye with each other on some matters, that does not, and never will, affect our friendship.’

However, it was not all a bed of roses. The committee applied to Scotland for permission to issue certificates but this was refused. A happier memory was Sam’s reply when I asked the new society if we were to hold an annual school and if it was to include New Year; a Scottish family occasion, ‘Mr President, how often have you said we are a family?’

When I left Scotland some queried my wisdom. I had had a recurrence of rheumatic fever and was advised to live in a better climate. In New Zealand through Scottish dancing I have become a millionaire in friendship and health. I treasure the reference to me as ‘The father of New Zealand Scottish country dancing’. I think you are a wonderful family! Keep going!

Cambridge 21st Ball
Excerpt Dianne Murdoch

The Grand March, led by Jack Seton and Mrs Jean Home (the first secretary) was directed by Hugh Thomson. A fine sight it was, the men in the kilt swinging to the lilt of the pipes as they gallantly escorted their partners, most of whom wore their tartan.

The candle and cake cutting ceremony was performed by President Hugh Thomson and his sister, Jean Home. Hugh and Jean are the offspring of the co-founders Dr and the late Mrs JM Thomson. The ceremony was so short that we missed out on a photograph.

At Hugh’s request, a small circle of folk who had attended the first ball in Cambridge (we used the same programme by the way), gathered in the centre. Among those recognised were Jack Seton, Archie McAuslan, Fiona and Peter Paton, Alan Dagg, Nola and Charlie West and Jean Home.

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Apologies to names missed.

‘‘Through a Glass Darkly’’
Brian McMurtry

To have the opportunity to comment on dancing from the ‘outside looking in’ should be a vantage point in which to revel. However, I fear one may become a dreadful bore, or sound pompous. In consciously trying to avoid this, it is possible other cardinal sins will be committed!

An early question asked of me when learning to dance was, ‘What makes you want to dance?’ The answer of course was ‘The music.’

How many people really hear the music? Precious few at times. The result is that dancing can develop into something of a riot and that particular dance loses all its character. Choice of music and tempo are also most important. Can you imagine dancing ‘Red House’ to any other tune?

When I think about teachers, the ones whose instruction I really enjoy are those who make full use of the music. My early teachers were Mildred Clancey, Phyllis Gale, Madge Laing, Mirth Smallwood and Jack Seton. From them a common comment was ‘Listen to the music!’ They set a wonderful standard. Are we following in their footsteps regarding both teaching and dancing?

Regrettably from my observation post the answer is ‘Not always.’ Are you guilty of spouting forth 32 bars of dance instructions without even a hint of music to break the monotony? As a dancer have you developed a feel for the music and the dance?

Often people complain that they don’t like strathspeys. The short answer to that is ‘That is because they can’t dance them!’ Anybody who can dance loves strathspeys, and the better the dancer the greater their enjoyment.

A lot depends on the teacher in developing the feel for dances. It is important to give enough detail without over-drilling. Concentrating on teaching points, joining formations and combining with good music, a dance takes on a magical quality of its own.

Happy dancing and ‘Listen to the music!’

Regional Nores [Notes]

Hawke’s Bay & East Coast:
Dancing in our region continues to blossom and flourish regardless of season or weather. While we are sorry to lose some dancers to other areas, we are pleased to welcome newcomers full of enthusiasm for our particular recreation.

May 1st, 1976, stands out like a beacon. On this fine Saturday, large numbers of dancers, young and old, converged on Taradale Intermediate School and Bledisloe Primary for fun, fellowship and fearsome effort. As the arrivals registered, the organising committee renewed its scurrying behind the scenes while the tutors wondered how they’d cope. The fine band in the kitchen never faltered, dealing superbly with our ‘inner men’. Our tutors, Carine Jackson, Ngaire Hunnego and Roy Hamilton, are to be congratulated on their sterling efforts to get feet and bodies correctly positioned. A tremendously successful region day school was the unanimous conclusion.

Regional meetings on Saturday afternoons have been well attended, followed as they are, by a shared meal and an hour or two of dancing before parting. The greater warmth of ‘regional-togetherness’ is a direct result of these occasions and has been due in no small measure, to our retiring president, Roy Hamilton.

A second beacon in regional affairs was lit on February 24th 1977, when our dancers participated in the ‘Come Alive’ activities arranged for the Queen and Prince Philip at Tomoana Showgrounds, Hastings. We were honoured with quite a long unscheduled stop and Prince Philip’s comment ‘you seem a bit short of men’. Needless to say, he was unable to accept our invitation to join although he approved the dance, ‘The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh’.

We are set for another year of happy dancing, and wish you all an enjoyable dancing season.

Reports From the Clubs

Hastings Club: The 1976 season started with a very heartening intake of new members, most of whom are still with us. It being generally reported by them that they had heard of our activities largely by accident. It was decided to form a demonstration set that would show sash and kilt to the public at intervals.

The second appearance at a company annual ball left us chastened as the intoxicated hubbub that filled the rather large hall completely drowned the music from the club amplifier and made set members feel somewhat lost. This resulted in a decision to somehow acquire equipment powerful enough to cope, even out of doors and, although present cost seemed prohibitive, a raffle was launched and concluded very successfully. Small donations added considerably to the fund and we soon had enough to encourage us to approach the Region for a loan to complete the sum needed for a cash purchase. This request being given the most generous and friendly support of the Wairoa and Gisborne delegates, we were able to acquire very

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good reproducing equipment on cash terms. We now face public occasions with confidence.

A junior club was also started, initially with an enrolment of eight, which before the season’s end grew to 42 with an attendance most club nights of four sets of children. Three senior club members, Mary Fordyce, Jean Crowe and Kirsten Fordyce, undertook the coaching of the juniors. The benefit to the club has been great in the eagerness and joy the children convey and the enthusiasm this re-engenders in the rest of us. And not the least in the contribution, their modest fee makes to the club’s financial stability. So well advanced had they become within a few weeks, that two sets were able to support the adult display team at the Cultural Centre during Family Week in Hastings.

Later in the year the whole club on three successive Wednesdays danced under floodlights at Windsor Park as their contribution to the Spring Festival.

Many visits were made (and returned, bless ‘em) to our Wairoa, Palmerston, Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland clubs and, despite the increasing cost of travel, determination is there to continue these happy occasions in the 1977 year.

(The junior branch was formed in March 1976 catering for children from 8-13 years. It went into recess in March 1979.)


Twenty-five years ago the very first copy of this magazine was produced. Much has been written, printed, read, absorbed and probably forgotten. A query. Is the magazine promoting the clubs, which will encourage the growth of the NZ Branch and the Society; or is it elevating the Branch and the Society in the hope that clubs will respond? Are club members, committees and teachers responding to the encouragement, requests and advice of the Branch and the RSCDS? I draw your attention to two paragraphs in the 1977 RSCDS Bulletin. One on page seven, ‘Scottish country dancing in Class’ and the other on page 65, ‘Scottish country dancing in the Ballroom’.

In the hope of having the magazine out earlier in the season, we asked for material and questionnaires a month sooner. This has probably been difficult for some folk, particularly where clubs have not had their annual meetings. We apologise and hope that having this sooner will compensate. This year the questionnaires will be sent out before the end of the year.

Again thank you to contributors and advertisers. Our sincere condolences to families and friends of bereaved.

We have in this edition a little of Scotland, some history (of the tartan), club news, more than ever photographs, however enough rambling!

Read on, and I hope you gain as much pleasure from your readings as you do from dancing. Best wishes to all.

‘Jubilee Jigs’
Paddy Crowe

On Saturday evening 19 November 1977, the Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club celebrated its 25th birthday with a party.

It was a family occasion attended by the wives, husbands and children of members and a large handful of foundation members. Mr Jack Seton travelled from Tauranga to see how his child was behaving, (‘No’ bad’, he said!) and Mr Bruce Fordyce, who has been acting headmaster at

Miss Milligan and Gary Morris
Photo taken 1962

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1974 – Volume 21
Editor: Mrs Susan Turner

Karamu High School for the past year, despite it being the busiest of times for him, found time to come and appeared in the dance as though the 25 years had never been and he was ready to set out for Morison’s Bush on the morrow! Mr and Mrs A Baxter (Nancy was the founder of the Napier Club) came from Napier to be with us and enlivened the evening with happy reminiscences of dancing times past.

Some of our good friends from Napier Club joined us, their President Brian Cottle, the exemplar of assistance when it is needed, helping to keep our evening buoyant.

Pressed to speak to us, Mr Seton recalled the number of ‘firsts’ of which Hastings could be proud. The Summer School mounted at Napier Boys’ High School at the instigation of Bruce Fordyce: Mr Gary Morris, then a Hastings member becoming the first New Zealand teacher to gain his certificate in Scotland; and now we have the good fortune in having with us one of the first two New Zealand examiners in the person of our dear Madge Laing (who on nights when she can take us for a dance and we behave daftly, makes us hop more ways than one!)

This happy evening, with countless others during the past quarter century, we owe to those bright enthusiasts everywhere whose efforts, skill and perseverance has inspired a love of the dance throughout the world. We closed the evening with the promise to be together for just such another to celebrate our Golden Anniversary in 2002! Won’t you join the dance odyssey?

(It would appear that the 25th was held in the 26th year as the 50th  Anniversary was held in 2001 and the 60th  in 2011.)

Regional Notes

Our newly elected president, Mrs Ngaire Hunnego, remained in office for approximately two weeks! But where her husband goes, so also must Ngaire, and our dancers were sorry to lose her. Another election, properly constituted of course, and Peter became our Region president.

The ANZAC weekend school has been our main regional activity this season. This was well attended and a very happy occasion. Friendships were renewed and those dancing feet ‘licked’ into shape. Our thanks to the hard working tutors. Sunday afternoon’s car rally, very ably organised by Brian Cottle, of Napier, while not designed to lead any visitors astray, certainly led them out into the countryside for an enjoyable two-hours motoring. Only one couple managed to misread the clues and therefore, lose themselves! Intentionally???

Ray Maldern, whose loss had so recently been felt by Wairoa club members, accepted our invitation to return and organise Sunday evening’s ceilidh. We were delighted to see Norin and Ray and thank him most sincerely for such an enjoyable evening.

Throughout the year, our dancers have travelled to Wairoa, Rotorua, Auckland, Palmerston North and Upper Hutt and have thoroughly enjoyed many hours of dancing and friendship.

Reports From the Clubs

Hastings: Always on the last club night the season appears to have been too short. However, at tea-break, we consoled ourselves with the thought that during the summer we would be having a few get-together barbecue dances.

In retrospect the season did not fulfill the expectation with which we started. Although we had a large enrolment, illness, and the commitments that claim many of us and the accidents (!?), such as engagements and births, that befall, led at times to thin attendance. Despite that, the utterly remarkable constancy of ‘our’ dear Margaret Mildenhall in being there to tutor us whatever the weather, ensured a hilarious evening that always contained something to stretch both our mind and our toes.

Our area had the pleasure of the Region’s ANZAC weekend school at the Hastings Boys’ High School where we renewed acquaintance with many old friends and also many new ones.

Shortly afterwards our demonstration set, joined by Napier’s and also by a children’s set from Mary and Jean’s Hastings children’s class, danced on Sunday at the Highland Games and were very well received. A ladies demonstration set also was formed this season which gave great pleasure to the guests of the St Aiden’s Church annual dinner party.

Our own formal was well attended despite the chilly weather and we were especially grateful for the large number of bodies, which helped keep the school hall warm when, either through ill-judgement or some misunderstanding the central heating was turned off too soon and we had no way of re-starting it. Those responsible apologise here once more to all who suffered discomfort because of that.


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Mary Fordyce and Jean Crowe have had such a good response and progress in the children’s class that the improved elder children will next year join the senior club for the early part of the evening. Because of the eagerness of the children, many parents propose accompanying them, so a happy and substantial increase in club numbers is looked for. In 1978 too we may hope to have join us, when school hours permit, two sets of boys from Hereworth School where Edward Hutchison, one of our members, is a teacher and has started Saturday dancing classes as a recreational activity. We naturally, can think of no-one better.

Our best news of the season was that in which we heard of the appointment of ‘our’ Mrs Madge Laing as one of the two New Zealand examiners. Her gifts as a teacher are known throughout the two islands and our continual regret is that her ties in business limit what time she may give us here at club. We know all her numberless frig ends throughout New Zealand will be as delighted as ourselves.

Many of us had the pleasure of visits to the Napier, Ashhurst, Palmerston North, Levin, Wairoa, Upper and Lower Hutt, Auckland, Hamilton and Rotorua formals and look forward to repeating the experience next year.

See you at the Hastings Easter Highland Games!

The original Paddy-Bath – Hastings Club – Summer School – Lincoln College 1978-79
Sung to music from the Mikado – (The Lord High Executioner etc)
Words: Paddy Crowe Piano: Miss Kitty McLauchlan.

Behold a Scottish Country Dancer
Whose parts are breaking down and need repairing
A very hopeful soul when coming here
But is of learning ought now quite despairing
Who cares, who dares, be a Scottish Country Dancer?
Who cares, who dares, to be broken down to a weary clown –

A Scottish Country Dancer

Lying in this old bath tub
Surely never could a male
Weary Scottish Country Dancer
Favoured by such circumstances
Giving aching joints a rub
So ig no min iously fail
For he can no longer stand, Sir!
To learn these simple dances?

Drafted by Miss Phyllis Gale
Drafted by Miss Phyllis Gale
To this school in Canterbury
To this school in Canterbury
Starting in his class quite hale
Surely never could a male
Weary no and sick with worry
So ignominiously fail

When sometimes it does happen that a victim must be found
They’ve got their little lists, they’ve got their little lists


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Of dancers who’ve offended, and might well be underground
And who never would be missed
And who never would be missed

There’s the reelers who go up not down and knock you out quite flat
And do not rest content until upon your head they’ve sat
All those who doing rights and lefts give hands to you like that
And when it comes to turning you they land you on the mat
And all third couples who on sleeping often will insist
They’ll none of them be missed
They’ll none of them be missed

They’ve got them on the list
They’ve got them on the list
And they’ll none of them be missed
They’ll none of them be missed.


This year we have received a wealth of material. We only wish that we could have simply increased the size of the magazine to include more contributions and photographs. Printing costs have increased again, but the price of this magazine to you remains at only $1.50 per copy. The New Zealand Branch absorbs the extra costs.

It was a pleasant surprise to have many poems forwarded this year. Articles are very varied in content and we do indeed have something for everyone.

1975 – Volume 22
Editor: Mrs Susan Turner

To families and friends of bereaved, we offer sincere condolences. We are pleased to have most of our regular advertisers plus a new account from Christchurch.

You will find letters from beginners in this edition. For obvious reasons they are anonymous. If you feel that any are referring to you or your club, we suggest you take a look at yourselves! Beginners, (can’t we change that word, perhaps to ‘new members’?) help keep clubs growing and thriving. We need them. Let us all try to make their lot a happy one, and not only for the first few weeks.

Many thanks to all contributors, and very best wishes to everyone.

Branch Finance
Paddy Crowe

Dear Editor,

At the AGM Lincoln much time was given to discussion of Branch finance. This came from a motion submitted by Council on which clubs are now to vote. The motion was based on remits received, one from Waikato-Bay of Plenty Region, and the other from the Hastings Club. Both these were, in essence the same, and were drafted in response to a request at the previous (Hamilton) AGM for advice from clubs on the equitable financing of the Branch.

These reasons may contain an element of pessimism but I think only in that degree present in insurance of any sort. Most of us in youth think extinction unlikely this side of eternity, yet often insure against it.

Many of these who started and fostered the dance in New Zealand are still with us after 2 ½ decades. Their enthusiasm and drive and skills they have given over most of that time, helped and sustained by early converts who forgathered with them in the now almost legendary Morison’s Bush.

Their spirit still shows everywhere. In the dedication of tutors who arrive at club whatever the weather, programme ready, to teach the many or the few there. Or those tutors who travel to weekend schools and pretend to know nothing of fatigue. Their efforts have resulted in the present splendid structure of the New Zealand Branch, the benefits of which extend to all.

Behind these benefits lies a rescue operation of magnitude. Old Scottish country dancing was nearly dead. Now after 60 years of searching, collecting old dances, encouraging the composition of new, training teachers and establishing an ideal to be aimed for, Scottish country dancing is something to be proud of.

A secure centre to the Branch here in New Zealand would ensure that no fragmentation of the Dance, such as occurred before Miss Milligan’s rescue, could again happen. My feeling is that it should have an untouchable central fund invested at a secure interest rate. The interest would underwrite the expenses of the Annual Summer School, and back any projects for encouraging contacts with dancers throughout the world. Such projects being decided at the AGM. The sum involved need not be extravagant. But it must be sufficient to allow NZSCD to function in a way worthy of its position

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1976 – Volume 23
Editor: Mrs D Laidlaw

in the total scene of the Dance.

The five point motion before clubs, will, if affirmed, help it toward that position. The benefits to the Dance in the near and distant future will be out of all proportion to the small sums involved at club level. By strengthening the heart all the limbs will be made that much stronger in themselves; and the body of SCD, so pleasant to look on today will really be something to be admired.

Jack Thomson remembered by Jack Seton

Over 25 years ago, from the time Dr Jack Thomson and family arrived in Cambridge, from West Kilbride in Scotland; they took up Scottish country dancing where they had left off. Sponsoring it in many places in the Waikato.

Jack attended Summer Schools where his professional qualifications made many calls on his ‘free time’. This was very noticeable when a flu epidemic broke out at the Ardmore School. Several dancers were laid low necessitating round the clock attention. We were fortunate that among the dancers were nurses who took on shift duty. Bless them. At other schools, dancers had to be admitted to hospital to undergo treatment and operations, yet never dieveryone.d he charge a fee.

Every school concert or party night had an item from Jack. The outstanding one for which he was awarded a Cascara (he admitted it was his most moving experience) depicted a consulting room with patients who had two left feet or instead of seeing spots, saw double triangles. The ‘cures’ for the various ailments were hilarious.

As a regular member of my social class, he was chairman of the committee to decide if any new applicant was bad enough to be admitted.

As a Judge in the Court of Justice, he prescribed appropriate penalties in the same jocular manner as he bandaged up dancers. His wise judgement was a family trait; his brother was Lord Chief Justice of Scotland.

Over six years ago he attended his last function. Ironically it was his club night. In an endeavour to tie a loose lace, he realised there was something wrong and managed to make his way home without alarming anyone. His wife brought in another doctor who had him removed to hospital then later to a geriatric hospital. Notwithstanding a gradual deterioration of leg and vocal power, he kept that smile and retained his mental alertness which made him an avid reader and worthy opponent at Bridge and Scrabble. In the latter he was a genius.

The death of his wife was another blow to his already shattered body all of which he bore stoically.

My wife and I visited him in July in hospital. The welcome he gave us with his condition made us ashamed we had not visited him more often. I think there is a moral in his whole life.

As his life was devoted to helping others and spreading ease and laughter, the thought of his passing brings a sadness he in his heavenly home, would not condone. On behalf of those who knew him, I salute his memory.

A Dialogue

Between two Scottish gentlemen; with the help of a couple of typewriters and Ed.

Introducing Dan Sharpe and Jack Seton.

Dan:   For Scottish Country Dancers there is only one thing better than a weekend of dancing and that is two weekends of dancing.
Jack:   Few journeys can be more sentimental than one down memory lane. Such was the experience at the 25th anniversary of the formation of the first organisation to foster Scottish country dancing (Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association) held at Hastings at Easter and Wellington at Labour Weekend.
Dan:   It provided us with two occasions which will be long remembered.
Jack:   Hastings Highland Games was utilised by the Hawke’s Bay section for their celebrations where the highlight was a massed display by 24 sets (the previous record was 168 dancers).
Dan:   Dancers from many parts of New Zealand had joined together and this was probably the biggest display of dancing I have ever taken part in. By reason of its size and the standard of the dancing it must have thrilled the founder members who were present. The dances were introduced by Jack Seton, past President of the New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society and it was of interest to have the relevant historical facts related before each dance. It has been said that the teaching of SCD should be a history lesson, and it does provide background to a display of this

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Jack:   On the Saturday evening dinner was followed by a ball. Dancing to the music of Peter Elmes and his band brought together several dancers who had not danced for some years and were envious of the unlimited energy of many who were not born when the now seniors were dancing.
Dan:   Sunday night at the Soundshell in Napier brought SCD with a difference.
Jack:   My memory went back to the display there when the first ever Summer School was held in Napier.
Dan:   I have never objected to something new, provided the ‘spirit’ of the dancing is maintained and on this occasion it was, eight times over. The ‘spirits’ of Wallaceville showed us some very ‘light-footed’ dancing. The dancers, eight ghostly robed figures, had lights on their hands and feet and also one light shining towards their heads. This, performed in the pitch darkness of the dancing area was a most impressive show.
Jack:   The MC must be complimented for the way in which he kept the spectators interested, the need does not arise from country dancers!
Dan:   There were several items, interspersed with general dancing. I thought that the final dance was the end of the evening’s entertainment, but we were surprised in a most pleasant way once more. Out of the darkness beyond the Soundshell, came the sound of pipes. As they came closer and into the light we were treated to a selection of music by Ramsay McArthur and the band, most of whom were not dancers, but had given up their time for us. It was a most moving display and much appreciated.
Jack:   The final display at the Games on Monday left many dancers with the wonderful feeling that they would continue the celebrations in Wellington.
Dan:   But I would like to say a big thank you to our hosts. The catering and billeting arrangements were of the top order, and shows what can be achieved when the spirit of cooperation prevails.

And so to Wellington.

Jack:   At Labour Weekend Wellington welcomed us with its famous weather! However, from the moment one entered the Thistle Hall on Saturday afternoon, all thoughts of the weather were dispelled, when one saw faces that were still wearing the same smiles as 20 and more years previous. Photos around the hall brought back nostalgic memories. This was augmented by a slide show. I am not ashamed to state that some caused a lump in my throat.
Dan:   The school on this occasion was along the more conventional lines with which most of us are familiar, and I am sure that all present (from many parts of New Zealand) derived great benefit from the excellent teaching, and much pleasure from the social contacts.
Jack:   The ball on the Saturday evening at the Upper Hutt Civic Centre will never be forgotten by the close to 400 present.
Dan:   A highlight was the outstanding demonstration. This was thoughtfully contrived to convey to the audience the theme of the celebration and at the same time it brought in a wide variety of dancers.
Jack:   The Sunday evening ceilidh held at Naenae College will never be forgotten by the 500 present, four circles for the Oslo Waltz!
Dan:   Dancers were easily outnumbered by non-dancers, which shows a tremendous interest and spirit of cooperation and enthusiasm.
Jack:   There were many dancers of yesteryear whose lack of dancing made it impossible for them to get into their kilt. I myself never thought that my leather belt for my Montrose Doublet would shrink so much as to make it necessary to go without it! It was amazing to see ladies who had kept looking so young for such a long time. Through them one could recognise their husbands!
The items presented by clubs and invited artists made an evening that the London Palladium never bettered. They were fantastic, a pity that they could not go on tour. The wonderful feeling and the friendships renewed, made many return on Monday for the farewell lunch.
Dan:   Altogether it was a weekend to look back on and I am glad I was there.
Jack:   As the rain clouds gathered and the wind started to cause a draught, we made our fond adieus with the hope that some excuse can be made to have similar gatherings in

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less time than a quarter of a century.
Dan:   The most notable feature for me, and I am sure all others, was the warmth of our welcome and the hospitality extended to us all. It gave the feeling of looking ahead to a bright future in which everyone would contribute their own particular talents for the good of Scottish country dancing.
Jack:   From Hastings to Wellington everything showed par excellence, organisation and administration. It is pleasing to us oldies to see that Scottish country dancing is flourishing. To those responsible we (the originals) bow and curtsey to you. See you in 2003.

Your New Zealand Branch Councilors [Councillors]

Madge Laing comes from Aberdeen and gained her RSCDS Teacher’s Certificate in Scotland. She started the Taradale SCD Club when she first came to this country. Madge lives in Hastings and with her husband runs a very busy dairy known as the Bluebell. When she had some spare time Madge enjoyed a game of golf and a tune on the piano. Her three children have homes of their own and she has three grandchildren.

1977 – Volume 24
Editor: Doreen Blundell

Paddy Crowe was born in Belfast in 1919 and is a confectioner by trade. He is the Domestic Supervisor at Hereworth School in Havelock North. The following is the account he gives of himself.

1935:   Belfast. In the sectarian troubles of that year turfed out of home at gunpoint on two minutes’ notice.
1935:   Lived in London near Wimbledon Common, hence Wombley nature.
1941:   Fell in love with England and most things English, and is not yet disillusioned.
1941:   Mostly at sea though longish intervals ashore from time to time.
1955:   Went seeking Captain Kidd’s Treasure, got shipwrecked instead.
1955:   Found seaman Crowe’s Treasure, lived happily ever after!
1970:   Went to see dream world of Ancient Greece and other parts of Europe. Not disappointed.
1971   Imitated the Inimitable Jeeves a while in London, fairly successfully.
1974:   Discovered the Treasure of SCD. Tried to be a dancer, not very successfully.
1979:   Broken down. SCD almost out to grass!

News From the Regions

Hawke’s Bay & East Coast:

What a momentous year 1978 has been for the HB&EC Scottish Country Dancers!

Our Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association (although defunct for years) wished to honour the early initiators of country dancing in this area, Jack Seton, Nancy Baxter and Bruce Fordyce to name a few, in this its 25th Jubilee Year. These celebrations began in March with our participation in the Hastings Easter Highland Games programme. Dancers were rostered to demonstrate throughout the day, but the highlight was undoubtedly the spectacular massed displays in the arena both Saturday and Sunday. There 200 dancers certainly showed that dancing flourishes in New Zealand.

Saturday’s Ball at which Bruce piped in the birthday cake and Sunday’s ceilidh, followed the Games’ events and dining together. The novelty event on Sunday was a car rally run by our president and his helpers. Our regional committee extends its thanks to all who gave their support.

The usual pattern of dancing activities kept us busy over the next six months, club functions, attending formals in Napier, Palmerston North and Wairoa; a day school in Wairoa; and Queen’s Birthday Weekend school at Cambridge.

What more fitting way could we end this season, than by participating in more 25th Jubilee celebrations in Wellington over Labour Weekend. We renewed

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friendships over delicious meals and during functions and kept ourselves in trim at classes on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The live music of Peter Elmes adds to our ball memories but surely the highlight of the weekend was the magnificent Sunday evening ceilidh.

Although this season’s dancing is over, our club members keep in touch during the summer, by meeting at barbecues and outdoor dancing.

Wellington (excerpt only): The 25th Anniversary Celebrations of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association was our highlight. At Easter Wellingtonians joined Hawke’s Bay dancers at Hastings Highland Games, 19 sets taking part in the mass display, Wellington was host at Labour Weekend and details of the happenings are given elsewhere. It was most gratifying to see the large number of ‘old’ faces at the Saturday afternoon get-together. The demonstration at the Ball featured an expanded version of the Scots Ball with the reference to the Jubilee and giving everyone the opportunity to see the high standard of today’s dancers. A weekend school was held in conjunction with the celebrations involving much hard work. However, the greatest thrill of all was the Sunday evening ceilidh attended by about 500 people of all ages. It was a wonderful night with a great family atmosphere.

The Region produced its first book of dances to mark the occasion appropriately entitled ‘The Morison’s Bush Collection’. Copies of this can be obtained for $2.00 (or $2.20 postage).

You will agree that this has been a truly vintage year.

Club Notes

Hastings Club: With a sense of surprise our dancing season ended and found some of us wondering how it came to be so short.

The reason probably lay in the fact that we all had been occupied throughout the year with the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Scottish Country Dance Association’s 25 th Anniversary.

That too is behind us but not the picture of all the happy people who joined us in Hawke’s Bay to celebrate. It will stay long in our memory.

Those of our club fortunate enough to be able to attend Wellington Region’s Labour weekend celebration of the event agreed unanimously that it put a perfect seal on a year of memorable dancing.

Regrettably it must be recorded that despite the tremendous fun, circumstance worked, as the weeks passed, to thin the club, either through marriage, pressure of work or removal to a distance, so that there were nights when barely two sets assembled. Though we continue to have fun, concern is natural and we must work and hope for an intake of enthusiastic new members next season.

As for many seasons past, Margaret each week, whatever the weather, travels from Taradale with something fresh to test and interest us and who guides us through innumerable blunderings with inimitable patience.

In this anniversary year it is appropriate to remember how singularly fortunate our club has been, in having had to care for it, people of the caliber of Jack Seton, Bruce Fordyce and of his wife Mary, who is still so very much of us and forever central (and unobtrusive) in club functioning, and Madge Laing who nursed the club in its infancy and still corrects the awkwardness of our adolescence.

To test ourselves for maturity the club proposes next year to hold a day school followed by a formal dance on Saturday 5th May. We trust our many friends will remember the date and give us the pleasure of their company once more. Tutors will be Madge Laing and Betty Sharpe.

From the Prospective Teachers Class 1979

Jeannie Crowe said, ‘Taking hands
Is something no one understands
But mine you cannot hope to take
For never do they cease to shake
(Jean Crowe); and

Three hours, three tutors and Lynette
Went to make a ladies chain
‘Now’ she said when the class met
I’ll wind it round you with disdain’!
(Lynette Kawan)

Reports From the Clubs

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Hastings Club: Dear Survivors, it is a red-letter day that finds so many of us together still at the end of the season.

It has, I think we must confess, been a disappointing one in that the hoped for new recruits haven’t come and many of our former stalwarts have moved or are moving beyond reach of club. One of these our former president Roy, recently moved to Wellington to do some work for the SIS and I’m sure we hope he leads THEM a merry dance. Our farewell party to him at Hereworth was a very happy affair, reflecting much of the good times he had helped to bring into being.

Edward of the frolicsome feet is allowing them to carry himself and wife Janet to Scotland in the New Year. I am sure in their tripping they will carry our happy good wishes.

However, despite all the absences it has been an exceptionally happy season partly because being reduced to atomic size, we have whizzed through club nights with extra mirth and energy though kept as always in proper orbit by our primary forces Margaret and Madge.

In spite of the seeming shortness of the season on looking back quite a few highlights shine. Our projected day-school at the beginning of May would have been abandoned owing to the introduction of the carless day if Wairoa had not expressed such disappointment. The substituted ‘get-together’ at St Luke’s proved after all to be an altogether happy affair, establishing a pattern which we hope to continue.

The visit of two members of the celebrated Berkley Players brought home to us how wide-spread Scottish country dancing has become. A letter came from the lady on her return home saying what happy memories she retained of their visit to us, so it would seem on that particular night we were on our best behaviour.

Many of us had a very happy bus trip to Wairoa for their day school and dance. The company as always made the journey almost non-existent and the welcome there and the exciting programme would have been worth thrice the mileage.

We had our usual exchange visits with Napier, not quite as well attended as sometimes in the past. I suspect some part of the cause of this could be found in the unsettled climate of the times – Muldoomishess perhaps we should call it. Let’s hope that by next season it will have passed.

Though this is a formal occasion I must, we all being to each other what we are, just say to ‘our  Margaret’ on behalf of all of us, ‘Bless you for the hours of happy dancing’, and likewise to Jess, who balances the books to this most well balanced of Scottish country dance clubs.

With honourable mention too of Madge, the irrepressible who tries year after year to give shape to our awkward clay and shows little sign of disappointment when the result of the fire of her teaching is a certain crazed look!! Long may we inhabit this potty never-never land!

Palmerston North Bluebell Club: We have accepted, with regret, the resignation of our Tutor, Colin

Barker, who has gone to Hastings on promotion.

25th Anniversary Celebrations
Labour Weekend 1978
It is 25 years since the founding of the then Wellington and East Coast Association of Scottish Country Dancing in New Zealand
The Wellington Region is to celebrate this commemoration at labour Weekend, 1978. To complement them the Hawkes Bay and East Coast Region would like to invite all clubs to join with them at the Hastings Easter Highland Games to demonstrate how the dance has grown since then
It is suggested that each club send one or more display teams to demonstrate their favourite dances and to join all others present for a massed display of dances selected for the occasion
A ball will be held Saturday evening – A Ceilidh on Sunday
Full details are with club secretaries, or may be obtained from:
PATRICK CROWE   P.O. Box 804 Hastings
Easter re-union
Former dancers of the Wellington and East Coast Association interested in the celebration please contact:
CARINE JACKSON   14 Mason Avenue, Napier

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We are very grateful to Colin for his patient and skilled teaching over the last few years. He will be hard to replace.

Certified Teachers at January 1980

Hastings Club: Mr Colin Barker, Mrs Madge Laing; Tauranga: Mr Jack Seton

‘The Dancer Awards of 1980’

The Best Family Record: Rotorua’s Mum, Dad and five children.
The Most Social: ‘Bring a friend social’ at Nelson.
The Craziest: Lochiel Club swimming under an umbrella in the rain.
The Highest Honour:   Whangarei Club members dancing for Royalty.
The First Club Questionnaire in:   Nelson/Marlborough
The Last Questionnaire in:   We won’t embarrass them.
The Most Dampening:   The Highland dancer who got his sporran wet and couldn’t do a fling with it.
The Most Liberated Statement:   That time and tide does not wait for a woman any more than it does for a man.
The Most Profound Thought:   That old Scottish country dancers never die, they just fall to the bottom of the set (S.T.)
The Most Grateful:   The Los Angeles’ dancers for hospitality received.
The Most Cooperative:   Nelson’s weather during Summer School
The Only Scottish Magazine in New Zealand:   The Dancer

Articles Donated to New Zealand Branch

‘The Silver Trays’: The branch has two handsome trays, the largest of these was donated to the branch in memory of Mildred Clancey, by the candidates in her last full certificate class, namely Trish McAuslan, Gwen Peters, Monica Thomas, Hilda Smith, Jean Miller, Flora Smith and Marj Lhonneux.

The smaller tray is described by Peg Hutchison as

Photo captions –

Madge Laing

From left: Mr and Mrs Dagg, Jean Home and Jack Seton

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being about the size one would use for a morning cup of tea in bed.

It was presented by Bruce Fordyce at the Summer School in Wellington to mark the fact that this was the 25th anniversary of the first Summer School to be held in New Zealand.

The very first school was held in Napier Boys’ High School in 1954-1955 and Bruce was the organiser. He does not dance personally these days, but his wife and daughter are active in Hawke’s Bay.

News and Views from the Regions and Clubs

Hawke’s Bay and East Coast Region: The 1980 dancing season is now a series of happy memories – weekend schools, day schools, picnics, formals, club nights, visits, displays and so on. Each club has continued its activities, although memberships have not flourished. The steady influx of new members is (more than) balanced by ‘old hands’ fading from the scene.

The Region Formal was hosted by Hastings club. Dancers from every corner of our region were present and visitors from further afield still, were welcomed. Napier is to host the next region formal – rumour has it that it’s to be a Hallowe’en night. In mid-January 1981 the visit of eleven tourists from the USA will be remembered (by those able to entertain them) for a long time to come. Starting with a buffet tea at Lynette Kawan’s for visitors and hosts, then the next day, a tractor ride along the beach to visit the gannets. (The tractor ride is to be remembered as much as the gannets!) Informal dancing in the evening run by Madge Laing, added up to two nights and a day of enjoyment for all concerned.

Charlotte Cottle, of Napier and husband Brian visited Waipukurau regularly each fortnight to re-start dancing there. Thanks to their efforts a small group of interested people have maintained Scottish country dancing in that area. Jessie Lee, a local ex-dancer took the class in term three. To wind up the year, a day school with Colin Barker from Hastings tutoring was held and dancers from as far as Manawatu attended.

The clubs have maintained their usual programmes. Napier club’s ANZAC weekend school was most successful with over a 100 dancers attending. Updating their stereo equipment has helped the music side of Napier’s activities, the fulfilment of years of saving. A club feature is members’ nights, where the tutor has a night off and members take a dance or two.

A highlight of Wairoa club’s year was having live music at their annual formal. An accordion and drum duo kept everyone on their toes. It added an extra ‘something’ to a pleasant evening. The club hopes to try a new approach this year to recruit new members. (Let us know how it turns out, Ed.) A day school in August will be held again as all were pleased with its success.

In Hastings Lynette Kawan commenced children’s and adult’s classes in Flaxmere. Numbers continued well for the children, but the adult’s class was discontinued after May. Hastings Club Day School in May was again successful and all enjoyed the dancing and evening which followed. A change of president saw Paddy Crowe step down and Elizabeth Curtis take up the reins. The club members thank Paddy for his cheerful leadership and encouragement.

In conclusion the HB&EC region members look forward to 1981’s dancing, plus meeting friends old and new.

Down Memory Lane
Jack Seton

Once upon a time, when technique was at a low ebb, a candidate for the teacher’s certificate finding to retain all that he was taught devised a machine that not only assisted but made its wearer obtain a pointed foot, kept the knees out, kept the torso erect and last, but by no means least, made interrupting the teacher well-nigh impossible.

Unfortunately, through an error, it landed in the War Department Museum and it is hoped that when  a patent is granted it will be returned to the Branch to start a museum of its own.

Meantime a picture has been obtained and the efficacy of the machine is proved by the success of its first wearer.

As is the custom when anything unusual happened, a dance was made in its honour. This was no exception and so the dance ‘Hell! Win’s Fairy Glen’, came into being. The participants did not enter the hall to the usual skip change of step. It was to the rhythm ‘Go to Hades’.

The participants were all teachers and they all lived happily ever after.

‘Dancer Awards 1981’

The Most Efficient:   Secretary of the Lincoln Club who folded the questionnaire to fit a window envelope.

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The Most Stimulating:   Balmoral, Oamaru Club who received an extra fillip when they splashed out and imported some new records.
The First Club Questionnaire in:   Hastings.
The Last Questionnaire in:   Hasn’t come yet.
The Most Competent:   South Canterbury secretary who headed the region notes exactly as required for printing.

Mayors Office
Telephone 65059   Private Bag   Hastings NZ
March 9, 1977

Mr Pat Crow,
Hastings Scottish Country Dancing Club
c/o Hereworth School
Havelock North

Dear Mr Crow

ROYAL VISIT – 24th February 1977

I am taking this opportunity of writing to you personally to thank you most sincerely for your Club’s involvement and assistance in the recent Carnival Evening at Tomoana Show grounds in honour of the visit of Her Majesty the Queen and H.R.H The Duke of Edinburgh

As you are no doubt aware, the evening was a tremendous success, which would not have been possible without your assistance.

Please pass on my sincere thanks to members of your group who helped to present such a wonderful Hawkes Bay welcome to the Royal Visitors

Yours most sincerely


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1978 – Volume 25
Editor: Doreen Blundell

The Best Object:   See article ‘Happiness’ reprinted this year from Dancer 1961.
The Best Advertising:   Every ad’ in this magazine, please read them.
The First Region to have Notes in:   Wellington.
The Friendliest Get Together:   Summer School, Hamilton.
The Most Honoured Guest(s):   Margaret Anderson and Kitty McLauchlan.
The Most Congratulations:   To Full Certificate attainers.
A Good Question:   Read J Thomson’s contribution reprinted from 1959 Dancer.
The Region with Most Dancers at Summer School:   Wellington.

We gratefully acknowledge the use of material from the book ‘TARTANS’, and also from ‘The Scots Magazine’.

Letter of Thanks
(Mr Les Jack)

Dear Editor, On behalf of my wife Avis, Jack Seton and myself, three Life Members of the NZRSCDS, I should like to say thank you for the wonderful reception we received at Hamilton Summer School, especially from Mirth for forgoing her afternoon tea for us.

It did bring back many memories of the schools we have organised, the many we have attended, plus meeting again so many of our old friends. It is grand to know that you are still remembered, especially pleasing to meet many, whom we immediately felt were friends.

Marjorie I must mention, for keeping an eye on us, perhaps she had been warned! Anyway, she is a ‘braw lass’. Raynor, your treasurer, don’t let her go. For anyone who could wheedle a donation from two deep-dyed Scots like Jack and myself, is worth having!

May you all have many more ‘fun’ (Jean Milligan’s advice) Summer Schools.

Down Memory Lane with Jack Seton

Many people complain about television repeats but seldom do with radio repetitions.

One of the finest radio repeats must surely be the New Year Ceremony at Knox College in Dunedin 1955-1956. It came about as follows:

Les Jack, the organiser of the school that year, had been broadcasting over the Dunedin station and invited a reporter to the school to make a programme of the Hogmanay proceedings, which was to be broadcast on New Year’s Day. When the reporter saw and heard our ceremony, she phoned her station boss and said that words alone would not do justice. She suggested that we repeat the whole programme in the morning at eleven, and this could be taped and broadcast in the afternoon.

The request was put to the school members and it was unanimously agreed to repeat the Hogmanay ceremony and that all would dress formally to add to the atmosphere.

So it came about that at approximately 11.30am. Old Father Time followed by the sweeper, staggered out into the hall to the soft fading strains of Auld Lang Syne.

A mighty roar of farewell to the old year was followed by a welcoming one to 1956. Then the First Foot, the toast and singing of A Guid New Year (THIS time we had the words written on a blackboard!)

The whole school was present at the afternoon tea

Photo caption – Paddy and Jean Crowe and Rosemary Hall

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to listen to Bringing in the New Year with the New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society.

The aftermath was that several telephone calls were received with compliments about the programme. This had a great bearing on deciding that it could be continued in future years. If only cassette recorders had been in frequent use in those days!

News and Views from the Regions and Clubs

Hawke’s Bay & East Coast:
Scottish country dancing maintained its presence in Hawke’s Bay throughout 1981, perhaps not with much pomp and ceremony, but certainly with some dedicated tutors running weekly classes and a core of members attending regularly. New members were welcomed.

Both Wairoa and Hastings clubs ran separate classes for beginners. Wairoa had a half-hour session before club time, whereas Hastings had separate classes for experienced dancers on the one hand and intermediates and beginners on the other. These classes lasted one hour and then the groups combined for the rest of the evening. Reports on both these ventures were favourable.

Day schools (or rather afternoon classes followed by an evening’s dancing) were held (big coincidence) by Wairoa and Hastings clubs. These were most pleasing. Special thanks to guest tutor Ngaire Hunnego of Marton at Wairoa’s dance. A feature at each of these events was the catering for the evening meal.

Under the Region auspices an advanced class was held in late April but only Napier and Hastings members were able to benefit, a fact of life owing to the extended nature of our region.

Napier and Hastings clubs have changed venues of the weekly club nights. Napier has used Colenso High School for some time, but Hastings start in 1982 at their new venue, Hereworth School, Havelock North.

A regular of Napier Club left in 1981 for Taupo and as the club there is recently reformed, we wish them all the best. Napier members also report that their new equipment is functioning well and invite others to visit and enjoy it as well.

The Region’s Annual Dance, hosted by Napier was organised to coincide with Hallowe’en. Most dancers arrived suitably dressed and a programme of dances to suit the occasion was run by Madge Laing. Some clubs provided items and it was obvious that much preparation had been put into them, judging from the costumes and standard of performance.

The Gisborne end of our region is nobly represented by the Churton family at our functions. It is sad to mention that not many folk are able to travel from one end of the region to the other to enjoy each other’s hospitality. Gisborne Club reports that they have been able to provide several demonstrations.

Unfortunately, despite efforts in 1980 to sustain interest, we have to report that dancing has not survived at Waipukurau and Flaxmere.

To finish on a high note, mention must be made of Kitty McLauchlan’s visit near the end of January. Hastings Club acted as hosts for the Region and every effort was made to give her a weekend to be remembered (even though transport arrangements within the region suffered a mysterious breakdown), those who were able to attend will remember with pleasure the Saturday evening’s dancing, items, Kitty’s playing and Madge acting as MC and raconteur, for a very long time.

Finally the Region offers hearty congratulations to Retta Airey (Napier) and Margaret Mildenhall (Hastings) who both passed their teacher’s certificates at Hamilton Summer School.

Hastings Club President Elizabeth Curtis’ 1981 Report: The close of the 1980 season was marked by three functions; the Region Ball held in Hastings Methodist Church Hall Oct 4th, at which our club was the host; a performance at the St Luke’s Parish Garden Party (Oct 18th) and on Oct 29th members of the Napier Club joined us.

At the Garden Party, eight ladies, J Crowe, E Curtis, M Dixon, J Ingram, Lyn & Lee Kawan, J Patterson and J Wright danced two brackets: ‘White Heather Jig’, ‘Dandy Dinmont’, ‘Round Reel of Eight’, ‘The Happy Potter’, ‘Madge Wildfire’s Strathspey’ and ‘Janet’s Delight’. Our grateful thanks to Jean Crowe and Margaret Mildenhall for choosing and organising this programme, to Jean again for taping the music and to Madge Laing for coaching the demonstration set.

During the evening when we entertained Napier, flowers were presented to our tutor Margaret Mildenhall and secretary Jess Ingram as a small token of the vast esteem in which both ladies are held by club members, whom they have served so faithfully and well for so long.

As usual, in January, a barbecue was held at Hereworth School to mark the beginning of a new year. Although the Napier Club was again invited, support from both clubs was very disappointing and throws open to question the need of this function.

March 18th, 1981 was the opening of the season. For the first term, two classes were held. Margaret took beginners in the main hall and a roster of teachers,

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Madge Laing, Colin Barker, Lyn Kawan and Jean Crowe took more experienced dancers in the school room. These divided classes were held for the first hour, and at 8.30pm all combined. This experiment was highly successful. Learners benefited from their excellent tuition at the elementary level and the more experienced dancers enjoyed classes in which dances suitable for demonstrations were presented. Our thanks to Colin Barker for his efficient organising of the roster for the latter class and to Jean Crowe for organising the music.

A class for advanced dancers from Napier and Hastings clubs was held on April 24th. This evening was a most enjoyable one for the three to four sets of dancers, all of whom appreciated the opportunity to learn more under Madge’s expert tuition.

May 25th was our club’s Day-school and dance. As usual this was a most successful and happy time of dancing and fellowship. However, attendances were low and it was realised that this date, the last Saturday of the May school holidays is definitely not a good one. A special word of thanks goes to Jean and Paddy Crowe who offered to cater for this function. Without their immense skill and experience, and their willingness to prepare such a succulent meal, the function would have been a sad one indeed.

The period from June to the present, has seen numbers fluctuating somewhat alarmingly. What are the reasons? Winter weather, pressure of work, families on school vacation, skiing trips. All of these, and more. Of necessity, the occasional club night has been cancelled because of the few dancers available.

It is sad to contemplate the possibility that our club may flounder through lack of adequate support. Our new dancers are progressing well; we hope they have enjoyed their first year with us and will return in 1982, and so, in turn, help a new band of beginners. The more you dance the better dancers you will be. The better you dance, the greater your enjoyment, and the greater asset you become to the other dancers in your set.

Dancing is to do with people, with friendships and the sharing of a common social activity. We cannot dance alone. Let us look closely at our club, and our commitments to it for the coming season. We need you all; we need each other.


Just a note from me to you. This is our 30th volume of the NZ Dancer. When reading through back copies it is evident that there has been considerable change, both in growth and management. You will all be aware that 60 years have passed since Miss Milligan and Mrs Stewart took on their mammoth task. We can work towards the hope that dancing participation continues to grow, and at the same time keep within the original guidelines. There is a feeling that as our lifestyle changes to include more exercise, SCD membership will increase dramatically. Will you be ready to welcome these new members?

Upper Hutt Club had the first ever picnic, combined with dancing at Morison’s Bush.

The first questionnaire in this year was from the Manawatu Club. Best wishes to all.

Letters to the Editor

25 Jun 1982 Tauranga.

I am sorry for being late in expressing my admiration for your latest achievement. I thought that I would manage to clear my correspondence before the World Cup started!

Never go on strike or you’ll leave a vacuum in the Branch. More power to your pen. Yours aye, Jack Seton.

Down Memory Lane with Jack Seton

I am sure that everyone was thrilled with the ceremony at the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.

When the Scottish Country Dancers appeared led by Phyllis South (née Nurser), my thoughts dashed off down ‘Memory Lane’ again.

Phyllis was the first Australian to complete a full term at a school held in Dunedin and I’ll never forget her heart-broken appearance at the concluding ceremony she promised to come back the following year. This promise she kept and was accompanied by about a dozen others plus another whose presence was not known until the party took part in the concert. She was a large doll dressed as a female country dancer and made her debut in a square dance done to the music of Jimmy Shand. The way these Aussies

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1979 – Volume 26
Editor: Doreen Blundell

twisted her, threw her, passed her from one to the other, without missing a beat, won the hearts of all. By this time you will have guessed we christened her ‘Matilda’.

A special performance was arranged in order that the item be filmed. The performances excelled themselves and Matilda executed contortions never envisaged.

However, the performance had its repercussions. Every member of the set appeared before the Court of Injustice charged with ill-treating Matilda. They were all found ‘Guilty’ and Mr Justice (Doc) Thomson, admonished them all on condition that they, or their friends, attend future Summer Schools.

With the passage of time Matilda showed signs of wear and tear, so that she had to be put down. As she was consigned to the flames, I had the same feeling as, at the conclusion of the Games, when Matilda left the arena for the last time.

The photo left, shows Matilda and myself. Matilda is the one on the right.

News and Views from the Region and Clubs.

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast: Dancing still flourishes in our Region with the four clubs maintaining their activities. It still seems hard to attract, and hold new members and all the clubs are continually trying out various ways of doing so. Clubs appreciate dancers travelling to their activities and the steady number of visitors from other areas for one or two club nights, or for formals is greatly appreciated.

Miss Kitty McLachlan’s visit early in the year was enjoyed by those able to come to the evening social, hosted by Hastings.

The Region had two day schools held during the year. Hastings in May and Wairoa in August. These were well attended and the efforts of the host clubs were greatly appreciated by those attending. The standard of catering at the evening meals is something to be experienced! Tartan nights or members’ night are held periodically and the change from routine on the club nights involved, is enjoyed. Dancers from other clubs help the enjoyment and the making of new friends.

Have you held a Fish and Chip night? Gisborne did, and it proved very successful. Parents and children having a lot of fun, games and dancing. Two overseas visitors, from the USA and Australia helped swell Gisborne’s numbers during the winter. Two of our clubs have experienced a change of venue for club nights, which are proving successful.

Napier had two weddings among members, Carine Jackson and Alan Mayhew and Joy Schieb and Bob Tracey. Our best wishes go to these people.

Hastings reports that its policy of one annual charge, for door fees and subscriptions proved effective, acceptable and worth recommending. Hastings also has the benefit of a real live pianist among its members, and the pleasures of dancing (and tutoring) to the piano are becoming apparent.

In conclusion the HB&EC Region wish all other Regions a happy year’s dancing.

‘The Dancer Awards’

Request:   The return of ‘The Dancer Awards’.
Oldest Dancer:   Bill Tait, 90, of Mosgiel Club.
Coincidence:   Willy Tait is a dancer in Melbourne, younger though.
Further Coincidence:   Your editor’s maiden name was Tait.
Perseverance:   Peggy Hudson tutoring Southern Cross Club for 30 years.
Cutest:   Two-month-old Kathryn Corry being coached to point her toes.
Hairiest:   Les Jack likening the kilt to sheep.
Unforgettable:   Ron Mitchell of Dargaville stabbing the unbreakable haggis supporting plate – it  broke!
Most Appreciated:   Dr Alistair MacFadyen’s visit.
Second Most Appreciated:   Wellington’s weather during Summer School.
Equally Appreciated:   The increase in male dancers; in young dancers and in NZ Branch Membership.

Down Memory Lane with Jack Seton

It is always a pleasure to meet old friends but when one resides in a place off the beaten track and they make a special trip to call on you to quote an old phrase, ‘Money canna buy it’.

Recently I have had visits from at least two who could go into our Book of Records.

The first was Joyce Boswell of the Wellington Club. Joyce got her name into the book for being the first dancer to collapse at a Summer School

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and removed to hospital where she underwent an operation for appendicitis. The concern for her welfare was such she had regular visitors who kept her in stitches telling of the goings on at the School.

The next was Morna Lorder (née Clancey). Morna was the first baby to go through the hoop representing the birth of a new year. I won’t state how many years ago that was as she is now married. On that occasion she wore a diaper and a sash!

The last baby I held was Fiona Campbell. Fiona got her name in The Book as the first (possibly the only one) to be baptised at the Church Service. At each function she goo-gooed to the laughter of all present.

Maybe incidents like the above, like old photographs, should be kept. If so, what would you call the Book?

Present day dancers have stamina and energy that I wish that I had had. In mid-January I was hailed in a Tauranga street by a handsome couple both wearing sun glasses. My first impression was that it was our secretary and husband. At the same time, my thoughts went back to the days when I was very involved in Summer Schools. I would not have managed to travel over 500 miles in such a short time. The lady took off her glasses. It was our Branch Secretary. What stamina and energy!!

Obituary: Diana Bimler died in June 1983 after an illness that began last year. We remember with great affection her sweet good nature, her ready smile, her warm friendliness and her loyal membership of the Hastings Club over many years.

Diana thoroughly enjoyed her dancing as we have enjoyed knowing her.

(Jean Crowe)

News and Views from the Region and Clubs.

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast: Those members of our Region who attended Lincoln Summer School 1982-1983 all thoroughly enjoyed themselves, as those of us who have been to other schools would have predicted.

Hastings Club commenced their year with their ‘traditional’ barbeque at Lynette Kawan’s home. A typical fine sunny day helped this occasion along.

The Region organised a most successful ANZAC Weekend School. A hard working committee, headed by Carine Mayhew, and composed of ‘volunteers’ from Napier and Hastings clubs, had their efforts rewarded in large numbers attending, bumper classes, and many comments of congratulation. Although wet weather seemed to have set in, it did clear in time for folk to get to classes dry, and to move back and forth to meals. At the ceilidh on Sunday night, a series of items was enjoyed.

Hastings Club members were saddened by the death of a member of many years standing, Diane [Diana] Bimler, after a few months illness.

Gisborne City held a Sunrise Festival early in May and the Gisborne Club organised dances during the day and ran a social dance in the evening. ! Unfortunately not many people attended.

Another highlight of the year was the visit of Dr MacFadyen to our Region. We were fortunate to have him with us for two days and nights. Those of us able to attend his teaching night on the Wednesday have surely benefited from his fine teaching. He made everyone feel at ease with his relaxed teaching manner. On the Thursday evening after an informal ‘bring-a-plate’ dinner, Dr MacFadyen gave a talk on the history of Scottish country dancing. We were able to hear an expert dancer and an expert historian talk about the two things he loves most. Some of the anecdotes describing how he tracks down original manuscripts and writings were quite enthralling. We were indebted to Hastings and Napier clubs for his hospitality for these two nights.

Wairoa Club’s day school in August was the next event, which was its usual smooth running success, followed by a dance in the evening. The changes for the new (and older) dancers to get concentrated teaching for several hours by tutors from outside the Region, needs to be fostered and encouraged as this can only be of benefit to us all.

Napier Club’s formal night proved a great success, with folk coming from near and far (a bus-load from Tauranga). A real crush on the dance floor.

The final Region function was organised by Gisborne, where the Region’s AGM, followed by evening social was held. Unfortunately for Gisborne not many folk travelled the distance nvolved, so their efforts were not appreciated by many. Still those who did attend had a memorable time.

Perhaps the note to finish on is a plea to dancers to realise the benefits, both given and received, to individuals and to clubs, in travelling to functions organised by other clubs. This is where Scottish country dancing is fully appreciated, in meeting old friends and making new ones.

Hastings Club President’s Report: Elizabeth Curtis.

The close of the 1982 year was shared with the Napier Club as guests on November 3rd when we

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had the opportunity to thank our roster teachers for their work on our behalf. We are indeed grateful to Madge Laing, Margaret Mildenhall, Lynette Kawan and Colin Barker who have taught us this year. Each one of them brings a unique approach to the task and I believe the club is the richer for the variety of both teaching method and of personality that is presented to us week by week.

Our January picnic and barbecue at Lyn Kawan’s home on January 30th proved a very popular function. It was good to see so many of our newer members and their families.

Club reopened on March 23rd. Most of the Hastings Club members attended the Region School at ANZAC weekend where our ceilidh item ‘The Hastings Humpty’ was well received. Thank you to Jean and Paddy Crowe who played so prominent a role in the catering for that school.

That ceilidh was the last Scottish country dancing function attended by Diana Bimler. Diana died in June after an illness that began last year. We remember with great affection her sweet good nature, her ready smile, her warm friendliness and her loyal membership of our club over many years. Diana thoroughly enjoyed her dancing as we have enjoyed knowing her.

It was decided to hold a formal dance this year on June 18th instead of our customary Day School in May, which would have followed too closely on the heels of the ANZAC weekend school. Unfortunately that very day it snowed on the East Coast and roads from Gisborne and Wairoa were closed. However, although attendance was small and the night very cold it was a very successful function. A demonstration of the new strathspey ‘Madge Laing of Hastings’ marked the Diamond Jubilee of the Royal Society.

In July our region hosted Dr Alister MacFadyen. Our members attended a class in Napier tutored by him on July 20th and the following night he and the Napier Club members were our guests at a dinner at Lyn Kawan’s home. We all enjoyed both Dr MacFadyen’s teaching and his informal humourous and interesting after-dinner talk. He was presented with a Kauri platter on behalf of the Region.

There were several new members this year all of whom are coping extremely well. As usual in the winter term the numbers attending club nights dwindled to less than two sets at times. Nevertheless our club seems to thrive perhaps because of our dedicated core of dancers and the general friendliness of the Hastings members that is reflected in our warm and chatty supper times. Our thanks again to Mary Dixon who has continued to organise these suppers.

My personal thanks to Jean Crowe, our very efficient secretary/treasurer, without whose work this club would scarcely function.

I end my report wishing you all a happy close to the 1982 season.

Hastings Centennial Celebrations: Held at Tomoana Showgrounds 4th February. Dances included: ‘The Montgomeries Rant’, ‘Monymusk’, ‘Round Reel of Eight’, ‘Duke of Atholl’s Reel’, ‘Robertson Rant’, ‘Hoopers Jig’, ‘Posties Jig’, ‘Glasgow Highlanders’ and the ‘Eightsome Reel’. (Noted in minutes of March 14th 1984 ‘This occasion was felt to be not particularly worthwhile’.)

‘The Dancer Awards’

Unique:   New Plymouth Club’s Hallowe’en night with the Morris Dancers.
Heaviest:   Braemar’s ‘half-brick’ to secure their bell.
Record?   Milford Club’s 60 all RSCDS members.
Strangest:   Jack Seton’s arthritis causing his kilt to shrink.
Most Presumptuous:   Appropriating the baby’s oil for one’s pumps when floors are slippery.
Most Interesting:   In the far South they are known as ‘Tartan Nights’; Mid-South Island, ‘Open Nights’; Centre North Island ‘Formals’; Further North and also Nelson/Marlborough these special nights are known as ‘Balls’.

A Final Note from the Editor:   This is my last year as your editor. I have very much enjoyed editing and compiling the magazine for the last nine years. One most notable change over that period has been the inclusion of considerable photographs. People are taking more photos and readers like a selection of pictures.

Club and Region reports have been reduced in page content and this over the years has permitted more articles, poems and comments from a wider range of contributors.

Another editor will be at the helm next year, whom I wish every success. I am sure that subsequent ‘Dancers’ will continue to inspire, amuse, inform, sometimes aggravate but hopefully never bore New Zealand dancers.

My thanks to everyone who has been so helpful and interested and my best wishes and regards to all.

Down Memory Lane with Jack Seton

One can get a lot of pleasure from writing something

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for ‘Down Memory Lane’ but it is nothing to compare with actually travelling down it.

Some in October 1983, while members of the Milton Club of Brisbane were travelling back from a function, the secretary asked the club tutor how long she had been associated with SCD. She got a reply which indicated that in mid-1984 she would have been dancing for 25 years.

Unbeknown to her (Mrs Phyllis South, probably better known here as Phyllis Nurser) the committee decided to honour the occasion. Meetings and a special dance were held in secret.

In January 1984 I received a phone call, the speaker stating he was Jim South of Brisbane. I invited him to come to my place not realising he was phoning from Brisbane. He asked if I could be free to take part in ‘This Is Your Life’ on 30th June with all expenses paid, also an invitation to stay for a few days.

The club secretary, a native of Glasgow, wrote confirming the arrangements and the secrecy about it all. Eventually my wife and I arrived at Brisbane, with myself waving my tartan tie, which was our method of recognition. We were taken to accommodation by a young lady who came from Motherwell.

The following evening we were taken to a hotel and secreted in the bridal suite until the appropriate time. Through a chink in the door, we saw Phyllis with a look of surprise on her face as she was piped in and taken to the head table.

I must point out at this juncture, that the MC was Jim South. Phyllis had left him at home in his working clothes. Her son and two daughters were also there dressed in their highland dress after having been bid goodnight in their pyjamas!

Jim explained how the evening had come about and also how much Phyllis had been indebted to SC dancers in New Zealand, and then introduced her to two people who she had not seen for 20 years, my wife and myself. I’ll never forget the expression on her face. All of us getting a smile to hide the tears of joy.

Speeches were interspersed with dances. Here I had the pleasure of playing on drums specially hired for the occasion, along with David South, who without a doubt is the making of another Jimmy Shand.

Letters of congratulations were read from our New Zealand Branch secretary, Mirth, our own Mirth, and Misses Barrett, who if the ‘Lane’ is not too misty, I believe came from Motueka.

Also there, our own Dorothy Wilson (Nelson/Marlborough Region), who happened to be in Brisbane at the time and had intended going onto Melbourne that day but put it off so that she could be present. It was lovely to see her, and so fit, she never missed a dance.

As the evening drew to a close, I was informed that the photographer who had been busy all evening was a club member and was recording most of the proceedings on video. Although a different set from my video, she agreed to get me a copy for my Beta.

All too soon the evening came to a close with us all following David round the room as he played on the accordion the Edinburgh Tattoo finale tune, The Black Bear.

Phyllis and Jim took us on a visit of Toowoomba to see some of their friends who used to dance with Avis and Les Jack at the Mosgiel Club. The warmth of the welcome made up for the weather which broke all records for cold bitter winds which brought snow, never seen before by some residents.

On our last night Phyllis and Jim put on an evening for us and after showing slides of yesteryear I was asked to take over and run a night such as the ones we had at Summer Schools. When it came to singing Auld Lang Syne I could understand how Phyllis felt at the conclusion of her first Summer School. She had become the first overseas person

Photo caption – Jack Seton at Upper Hutt Civic Theatre

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to gain her teacher’s certificate from Mrs Lesslie. She brought a stowaway to Napier School who was twisted, thrown, somersaulted and tossed in the air without a murmur of protest. Her name was Matilda. It was good to see that the men who ill-treated Matilda were prosecuted at the Summer School Court of Injustice! (Matilda was a life-sized rag doll.)

When I addressed the function on June 30th, I started off with a favourite quotation from Robbie Burn’s The Cottar’s Saturday Night. When I left, I quoted another with a slight variation, ‘In Heaven itself I’d ask no more than just a Queensland welcome’. Personally we wish to thank everyone for their hospitality and the Milton Club for making it possible.

Not only can we relive this wonderful visit with the video, but look forward to doing so again when the South family tours New Zealand in the near future. They will be looking for places to park their motor-caravan!

A few footnotes: Two girls and a boy in the South family. David an accomplished accordionist and pianist. Both girls Highland dancers. They kept the secret about the forthcoming function from their mother for nearly six months!!

Jim South is a taxi driver and has a contract to drive workers to the docks. In this capacity he has his own bus which is used by the club when travelling to functions.

The club meets Mondays with a special learners’ class on Friday. The former had five sets when I attended, the latter from two to three sets.

Due to arthritis I’ve not worn my kilt for many months. Anyone know of a cure to stop a kilt shrinking?

Region and Club Reports

Hawke’s Bay & East Coast: 1984 was a quiet year as far as activities were concerned, though not necessarily in as far as any one activity was concerned.

Both Napier and Hastings clubs arranged social summer activities which were immensely enjoyable. There was no great increase in club membership; nevertheless a full programme of club nights and formals was undertaken. There does seem to be a tendency for fewer people to travel to other club functions, which is a pity as the enjoyment of dancing does depend on a good number being present.

Those members, who were able to travel to functions away from the region, brought back reports of good times, good dancing and many new friendships. Not many were able to attend Summer School, perhaps next time.

Hastings Club held their ’traditional’ day school on the first Saturday of the May school holidays. Fine weather greatly added to the occasion, the innovation of dancing classes in halls on the opposite sides of the road also helped. The venue of club nights was changed from Hereworth School to the Wesley Church Hall. The move prompted by the wooden floor at the Church Hall. This has helped dancing and a very keen group of new dancers has an hourly session before club night on technique. Look out, members of longer standing!

Napier Club gave six demonstrations during the year, thus proving that there are still some discerning members of the public. Dare I say that one demo’ was to get the Hastings Club out of trouble (?)

Thirty-eight members enjoyed the annual dinner and evening’s company. A gratifying increase in the number of male dancers may entice more

Wellington – Labour Weekend

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dancers to visit! The tutor is helped out each night by a committee member taking a dance.

Gisborne Club has struggled with numbers most of the year, being at one end of the region does not help either. The enthusiasm of the faithful few is all the more to be commended.

Wairoa Club geared themselves up to a superb celebration on their 10th anniversary in August. The Memorial Hall had some magnificent decorations (courtesy of the local Jaycees) which considerably added to the atmosphere. The dinner beforehand saw about 80 people tucking into a delicious meal. A very elegant evening.

May we finish with the offer of a warm welcome to any member of the dancing fraternity who finds themselves in our Region.

Hastings Club President’s Report (Elizabeth Curtis) for 1984 AGM: This has been a year of change and upheaval for our club but I am delighted that the club has come through with flying colours, and continues to thrive. Our keen group of new dancers has been partly responsible for giving us a ‘shot- in-the-arm’ with their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn. Our old hands are also to be commended for their continued loyalty and support of the club over many years.

Dancing has been a major leisure activity in my life for nearly seven years. As I resign my presidency, I want to thank most sincerely the friends I have in this room for their warmth and their friendship, for their patience with me as a beginner dancer in 1978 and the years that followed, for their excellent teaching that has enabled me to count Scottish country dancing as an accomplishment of which I am proud. Not that I feel I am particularly accomplished but I do now feel reasonably confident in some dances and in most formal situations.

I thank you also, for your support for me as president and the kind of warmth you show as a club to me and to all who dance with us. This was reflected particularly and typically on the night of my farewell before my overseas trip in June.

Now to our activities, this year. Our final night for 1983 was, as usual shared with our guests from Napier Club and we were able to thank those who had taught and supported and worked for us through the season.

Lynette Kawan again hosted our January barbecue, an enjoyable family occasion to mark the New Year

Although we had decided that the roster system of tutors would continue in 1984, slight adjustments were made to this idea as dancing got underway in March. As a result, Margaret Mildenhall accepted the role of teacher with the opportunity for relief by our other roster teachers, Madge, Lynette and Colin.

In May our Day School was held and proved as usual very popular. It was greatly enjoyed by all who attended and was a financial success as well.

Soon after this came a request from our new dancers for more specific basic teaching for them as a group. In response to this request, Madge Laing kindly offered to teach a special class from 6.30  – 7.30pm each Wednesday. This has been a great

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1980 – Volume 27
Editor: Doreen Blundell

[The Dancer Awards of 1979]

success and I must say at this point how pleased I was to notice how these new dancers have grown in confidence as well as expertise during my three months absence.

The beginning of this early class coincided with a change in venue. For many months enquiries had been made in a search for a wooden floor on which to dance. This was found at the Methodist Church in Hastings and the club moved away from Hereworth at the end of June 1983.

In concluding my report may I wish the incoming president a very happy term of office and I hope our club may continue to thrive as well in the future as it has in the past. (Elizabeth Curtis, 13 Oct 1984).

Poem from the Bulletin:

Read by Madge Laing at the conclusion of a committee meeting, 13th March 1985:

‘When the great ones arise and depart for their dinner,
The secretary remains getting thinner and thinner,
Racking her brains to record and report,
What she thinks that they think they ought to have thought’. (How apt is that!)

10th September 1985: Suggested that the existing nine dances already taped be brushed up against the time request for demonstration set and the following dances also be recorded: ‘Autumn in Appin’, ‘The Laird of Milton’s Daughter’ and ‘Round Reel of Eight’.


Dear Country Dancers, At long last, the 1986 issue of your magazine. Thank you for your patience.

To all of you who contributed and sent your material by my deadline, thank you. It certainly helped. In the end it turned out to be an embarrassment of

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riches. Fortunately, my budget has been such that I have been able to increase the size of the magazine this year and include more than I had originally expected.

I wish to thank my wife, Noeline, in particular for her considerable assistance and patience.

Some of you will be aware of the analysis I have been making of our formal dance programmes. Your contributions have been such that I am not able to include it in the magazine as I had intended. However, the analysis will be available, on request, later in the year.

Finally, a word to those of you considering sending photographs. Ideally, these should be as sharply in focus as possible and fill the print completely as possible. But, more importantly, please write the details about the subject and your address on the back and include the negatives in case I need to get an enlargement. Happy Dancing.

Region and Club Reports

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast: We have continued to uphold Scottish country dancing in this part of the country with pride and dignity and enjoyment for all. There was no great influx of new dancers around the clubs but membership stayed fairly constant. Few from the Region were able to attend Summer School and participate in its excitements.

Napier: It has been a good year with an average of four sets each night. The club ran a very successful weekend school at Easter, attracting dancers from near and far. The school was voted a success in all ways, gastronomically, economically, numerically, physically and socially. We also hosted the Region Ball this year. The club found time to provide a number of demonstrations; members enjoy presenting Scottish country dancing to the public in this way.

Gisborne: A small core of experienced and dedicated members, along with a pleasing number of new dancers, have kept the club going. We appreciate the faithful support of the Wairoa Club, from ‘just down the line’ at socials. Without the presence of dancers from other clubs some of our social occasions would not have been so enjoyable.

Wairoa: The club continued the tradition of holding a school on the day of our Formal Dance. The classes and the evening’s socialising were much appreciated by everyone. The whole day was enhanced by our practice of having a catered

1981 – Volume 28
Editor: Doreen Blundell

dinner before the evening’s dancing, nothing like good food and drink to set the tone for the coming enjoyment!

Hastings began the year with the traditional barbecue at Lynette Kawan’s, summer among the apple trees. Our regular Day School in May was again well attended and the participants greatly appreciated the efforts of the visiting tutors. Several members made the trip to Lower Hutt to sample the delights of the Wellington Region’s Ball. Members were pleased to learn that our Tutor, Margaret Mildenhall, would be teaching at Summer School. Unfortunately, no-one was able to go and keep an eye on her.

Editorial: Notes for Contributors:
1.   All articles and club notes must be in the hands of the Editor by the 15th February unless prior arrangements have been made to send them in later.
2.   If possible, all contributions should be typed, preferably double spaced.
3.   All photographs must be accompanied by the negatives so that, if necessary, more suitable prints can be obtained for publication. Each photograph must have a return address and a description of the subject or occasion clearly written on the back with the full names of individuals (if that is applicable). All photographs and negatives will be returned after the magazine has been published unless they have been offered to the Branch for its archives.

President Brian McMurtry:

Dear Country Dancers,

Dancers attending the Lincoln Summer School commented on the feeling of warmth and well-being at the School. I believe that this feeling stemmed, in part, from a general recognition by dancers of the

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[Notice of Canterbury Region Weekend School & Dance, 1981]

contribution made by so many people within the Branch.

It is to be hoped that the appreciation shown is infectious so that, wherever you may be, you will continue to support those who help to make our dancing so enjoyable. Whether they are examiners, teachers, musicians or administrators, they give generously of their time.

Attendance at Region General Meetings is one way of showing support. This year, for the first time, you, as a Royal Scottish Country Dance Society member, may vote as an individual at such meetings.

Our magazine too contains something of interest for everyone. It is not just a record of Branch, Region and Club events. Take the trouble to read the articles and encourage dancers who are not Royal Society members to read them, also. Maybe the combination of the written word and your persuasive ways will enable them to ‘see the light’ and join the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

By the time you receive ‘The Dancer’ your dancing season will be underway. I hope it started well and gets better and better week by week.


Jack Seton, d. 7th June 1986
Obituary: Bruce Fordyce

Jack Seton, with his wife Isa and son Ian, emigrated to New Zealand in 1950 and settled in Hastings. He became a bailiff and, later, a probation officer in the Justice Department attached to the Hastings Magistrate’s Court. His 25 years in the Glasgow Police certainly stood him in good stead.

He was soon in great demand by local societies as a percussionist and was teaching drumming to pipe bandsmen both locally and nationally. A deep love of the culture of his homeland led to his membership of the Hastings and District Scots Society, the City of Hastings Pipe Band and the Pipes and Drums of the Hawke’s Bay Regiment.

In 1951 he formed and became the first tutor of the Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club. Jack became involved with the establishment of the Hastings Highland Games, the largest Scottish gathering in New Zealand, and still a premier event on the country’s Scottish calendar. For several years he led the grand parade and organised massed displays of Scottish country dancing. At these times his home became ‘open house’ to bandsmen and dancers from throughout the country.

By 1952 he had travelled the length and breadth of New Zealand seeking out groups of Scottish country dancers. As a consequence a district association of groups in the Hawke’s Bay and Wellington area was formed in 1953 and elected Jack their first president. Other local associations were established and less than three years later, in January 1956, a New Zealand Society was formed. Once again Jack Seton was the first president. He held this office for five out of the next ten years and that of Immediate Past President or North Island Vice-President for the intervening years until 1963. His association with Scottish country dancing in

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New Zealand has spanned a full 36 years.

Jack, with a small committee of three, organised the first Summer School in Napier over December-January 1954-1955. From this small beginning, and retaining the friendliness and family participation of the first school, Summer Schools in New Zealand have developed with unbroken continuity right up to the present. Jack attended many Summer Schools and club dances throughout New Zealand, as well as Australia. He had an enviable attribute, a warm and friendly manner which rapidly put people at ease. This, along with his great sense of humour, made him the most outstanding Master of Ceremonies I have ever met.

Jack was an extremely talented drummer and tympanist and in 1960 formed a small Scottish country dance band, another first in New Zealand. This became the inspiration for the dance Seton’s Ceilidh Band, currently very popular in Great Britain. His band performed at many Scottish country dance socials and balls during the 1960s and went on to make the first recordings for Scottish country dancing in New Zealand.

On his election as President of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association of Scottish Country Dance Clubs, Jack wrote a message to all country dancers. Two statements epitomise his philosophy in so far as Scottish country dancing was concerned.

Firstly, ‘During my four years in New Zealand, I have become a millionaire in friendship and … will soon become a multi-millionaire, all through Scottish country dancing.’ Everyone who met him will agree with this sentiment and will never forget the reciprocity implicit in his friendship. As he was fond of saying, ‘Ye canna buy it’.

Secondly, ‘There is no country richer in songs and dances than Scotland. It is our aim, aye our trust, to foster and preserve what can only be described as our sacred heritage, those lovely dances that time has added luster to and not dimmed like other cults.’

Jack Seton was an outstanding ‘son of Scotland’. He did indeed regard his Scottish heritage as a sacred trust and spent his days in his adopted country fostering the culture of Scotland with dedication, vigour and amazing success. At his funeral service it was said of him in the words of St Paul, ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.’

How true! He was an inspiration to us all, a friend without peer and a man of stature whom I was greatly privileged to have known. No one man deserves more fully the accolade. ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant.’

Region and Club Reports

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast: The distances between clubs make frequent visits difficult, but there are a few members, not always the same, who are able to dance at another club’s formal. Alastair Aitkenhead’s and Kitty McLauchlan’s visit was a

Fairies: Chrystal Marshall, Mirth Smallwood, Phyllis Gale, Mildred Clancey, Madge Laing and Mima Clanachan.
The De’il, Jack Seton, who asks, ‘Will the fairy who cast the spell over me, please lift it so that I can get my hat on?!’

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N.Z Branch RSCDS Council taken at Nelson summer school.

Back: Roy Everall, Brian McMurtry, John Stowell, Dan Sharpe.
Middle: Raynor Stratford, Nona Craig, Joan Tuffery, Min Jaegar, Doreen Blundell, Dorothy Wilson, Rayleine Peattie, Beryl Roxburgh, Davie McFarlane
Front: Madge Laing, Lorna Keane, Elspeth Allan, David Hollman, Peg Hutchinson, Bob Thomas.
Absent: Mima Clanachan, Paddy Crowe

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1982 – Volume 29
Editor: Doreen Blundell

highlight and the Region is grateful to the Hastings Club for hosting them for two nights. The teaching night, although held mid-week, was attended by over 60 dancers who all enjoyed Alastair’s teaching and Kitty’s playing. Prior to the class a number of members enjoyed a casual meal with our visitors.

Gisborne: Numbers have been a problem on club nights throughout the year and we have considered ourselves fortunate to get one full set. If anyone has any good ideas for attracting members, we would be glad to hear of them. We were pleased to welcome all the visitors to our formal dance.

Hastings continued with largely the same keen dancers during most of the year. Our usual day school in May was cancelled so that it did not clash with Alastair’s and Kitty’s visit. For variety, we held a ‘pot luck’ tea before one of our tartan nights.

Napier: Attendance was good throughout the year. A well-attended beginner’s class was held over the first few months and a pleasing number have stayed with the club. Charlotte Cottle and Joy Tracey have continued to share the teaching. We are very pleased to congratulate Joy on gaining her preliminary certificate during the year. The long established Taradale children’s class has been forced to close, the remaining members now dance with us. A successful day school was held in July and was followed by an evening dance organised by the children from the Taradale class.

Wairoa: A newspaper story with photos got us off to a good start this year. Our tutors, Betty and Heather, take turns month about while the experienced dancers each take turns to brief a dance on tartan nights. Several members enjoyed the weekend school at Otorohanga.

President’s Message:

Dear Country Dancers, As this is our 21st year as a Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, it is timely to review our progress to date and look forward to the future.

The New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society formed in the mid-1950s, was based on club membership. Many of the dancers were not RSCDS members. As a consequence the transition to becoming a Branch was not easy. We were fortunate that Mrs Lesslie, a former Vice-Chairman of the Society and our first examiner, was resident in New Zealand at the time. Her influence made the change to Branch status easier, in spite of our unusual and inequitable voting system.

Mrs Lesslie’s kindly assistance as both examiner and teacher will be remembered by many. She taught us the value of teaching ’Technique by Stealth!’

The appointment of Madge Laing and Phyllis Gale as examiners upon Mrs Lesslie’s retirement ensured the good work of examining candidates continued. New Zealand has been particularly well served by its examiners.

As with our examiners, so it has been with our administrators. They have approached quite daunting tasks with perseverance and humour. Special thanks should go to Marjorie Crawford and Raynor Stratford who have borne the brunt of the recent change to individual voting at Region level. The Branch’s size means we must rely on Region delegates at the Branch AGM. Whilst we may be able to clearly define some issues at Region level that is not always the case. It may be better, therefore, for Regions to allow their delegates some voting discretion at Branch level, remembering that the minority voice should be allowed to be heard.

It is certain that the New Zealand Branch membership will continue to grow. If we wish to continue as one Branch, and most Regions do, it is important that the five large Regions do not swamp the six smaller Regions with block voting power. The need for allowing delegates some voting discretion becomes apparent.

As the Society and Branch have continued to grow, visits from overseas examiners, teachers and pianists have increased and have been of immense value.

Our own pianists and other musicians have also contributed greatly and should be encouraged.

Finally, all these efforts are really directed towards full enjoyment of our wonderfully social pastime of Scottish country dancing.

May you all have a joyful dancing season.

Won’t You Join the Dance
(Bruce Fordyce’s contribution was originally written for the June issue of the ‘The New Zealand Pipebandsman’.)

The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society had its origin 65 years ago in 1923, and now embraces hundreds of clubs catering for over 26,000 members from nations all over the world who have adopted Scottish country dancing as a form of social expression and enjoyment.

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To assist those learning and teaching these delightful national dances, uniquely preserved in Scotland where they were danced by everyone in the community from the Chief of the Clan to its humblest member, the late Miss Jean Milligan produced a small but comprehensive booklet on the RSCDS and Scottish country dances, and I have purloined its title for the head of this article.

The welcome explicit therein is no less appropriate today, and the enjoyment and sheer delight of dancing is still as profound as it was in the days when these dances were a feature of every Ball and Ceilidh.

One 18th century manuscript is recorded as saying ‘The effect which these national dances have, and the partiality which many nations discover for them, is certainly a matter of great surprise to the stranger.’ Whets your interest, doesn’t it?

Moreover, when you read that ‘the boy who appeared to be about 12 years of age, had a variety of well-chosen steps, and executed them with so much justness and ease, as if to set criticism at defiance’ (Francis Peacock, 1805), you see the breadth of appeal and can sense the personal possibilities.

The origins of many dances is lost in the mists of antiquity, whilst the living spirit of the Scottish country dance is shown in the number of ‘modern’ dances, many with their own theme tunes, which have been composed in recent years. New Zealand is not lacking in numerous examples, the ‘Morison’s Bush Collection’ published by the Wellington Region of the New Zealand Branch of the RSCDS containing such material. These dances are usually composed to celebrate an important event or to highlight an item or incident, and in this respect they follow tradition as surely as they also do in their technical composition.

In the earliest times, dances were danced to pipe music or to peurt-a-beul (mouth music), so today many of the tunes played for Scottish country dances are easily recognised by a piper: ‘Atholl Highlanders’, ‘Monymusk’, ‘High Road to Linton’, ‘De’il Amang the Tailors’, ‘Sleepy Maggie’, ‘Bonnie Dundee’, and many more. Some of these are traditionally associated with a particular dance, eg ‘Atholl Highlanders’ with ‘The Duke of Atholl’s Reel’; but many are used to provide variety in the music, with the dance’s theme tune played at the beginning and the end of the dance. The theme tune is so inherently a part of the tradition, that the more popular dances are instantly recognisable the moment the tune is played, and sets are often on the floor before the MC has time to announce the dance.

When the pipes were banned after Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Forty-Five, dances were done to the fiddle, and tunes composed for this instrument show the flexibility of the greater range of notes available. The piano and the latter-day accordion bands, both of which enhance the music by use of greater scale variations, permit the wider use of musical devices and techniques in composition with the consequence that the number of tunes composed for Scottish country dancing is legion.

And where does the piper feature in all of this? If we adhere strictly to tradition, he should always play for such dances as the ‘Foursome’ and ‘Eightsome’ reels, and the derivative ‘Sixteensome’ and ‘Thirty-twosome’ reels; but there are many other country dances which can be danced to a medley of 6/8s, strathspeys, reels or jigs, provided tunes are chosen to fit the number of bars of music required by the dance.

However, there are two other ways in which a piper can become part of the Scottish country dancing scene.

First, I would suggest a study of the history, form and music of the dances. In itself, this can be stimulating  mental exercise, and a fascinating browse through

Photo caption – Up before the Mock Court is Mirth Smallwood with

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Scotland’s social and musical history. I can highly recommend that excellently researched book ‘Scotland’s Dances’ by Hugh Thurston which covers the subject in depth. Tradition seems to link the piper with the usual Highland dances, most of which are ofbasically display performances, and it is not unusual for a piper to confine his interest to these. However, technical interest and a greater depth of understanding of Scottish dances in general can be promoted by a study of Scottish country dances which are correctly described as the ‘National Dances of Scotland’, and which indeed have been jealously regarded as a sacred heritage for hundreds of years. In the past, handed down by word of mouth and personal tuition, they are now freely available as publications of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and are accompanied by traditional music. Danced usually in ‘sets’ of four couples, these are above all social dances, embodying the traditional verve and spirit of Scotland.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I would recommend that pipers become active participants. There is certainly a local club within reasonable travelling distance of you in New Zealand, where weekly practical classes are held under expert tuition. Formal dances or Balls, with visitors from far afield, also occur regularly, and these are happy, colourful events full of grace and beauty, spirit and enjoyment. Why not go along, if not to dance, then just to see. Your ability as a piper may well be most welcome. But be warned! You are most likely to be enslaved for evermore!

Whilst it is not uncommon for pipers to be exponents of Highland Dancing too, I venture to suggest that most pipers cannot perform the dances for which they play, nor could they argue knowledgeably on matters of tempo, technique, or tradition. This is their loss, for, with the performance of a dance comes a subtle feeling for the flow of the movements which translates into the playing of the music to the benefit of both piper and dancer. I am not saying that a piper who does not dance cannot play properly for dancing; merely that the wider experience enables a greater understanding, and a more sympathetic rendition of the music, enhancing the performance of a piper like that peat reek flavours the whisky, imparting that wee ‘something’ which promotes excellence.

The steps of Highland dances demand a technique as rigorous as ballet and may be too intricate or vigorous to entice you into performance. Not so the steps of Scottish country dancing! Although these dances depend on technique, and indeed can be ruined by lack of it, they also depend on the spirit of the dancers and the music to provide the overall effect.

We find people of ALL ages, literally from 5 to 95, performing these dances with ease, grace and elegance. From personal experience, I can testify to the wonderful sense of spontaneity and ‘joie de vivre’ experienced in these dances; the thrill of execution; the social grace; and the traditional Scottish spirit and friendliness.

Here is a form of dancing in which all the family may share … indeed the annual Summer Schools run by the RSCDS and its New Zealand Branch are firmly, and traditionally, ‘family affairs’.

In giving participation in Scottish country dancing my wholehearted endorsement, as one piper to another, ‘I’ll say no more than simply, WON’T YOU JOIN THE DANCE/

‘Won’t You Join the Dance’ Jean C Milligan, Paterson’s Publications.
‘Scotland’s Dances’ Hugh Thurston, Bell & Sons, 1954, reprinted by the Teachers’ Association (Canada), 1984
‘The Bulletin’ No 64, The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society

Thanks for the Memory

The Scottish country dancing group of the Hutt Valley Scottish Society was very new and many of the committee had their own ideas as to how the group should be run. Oh the intrigue! We did not have a certificated teacher (they were almost non-existent in New Zealand in 1947-1953) and everyone wanted to do the dances ‘their way’! We were invited, by the late Jack Seton, to joiofn other dancers for an evening of dancing at Morison’s Bush, near Featherston. There were about 20 of us, and although we hardly knew an allemande from a poussette, we were a very keen group, so decided to accept the invitation. We got the programme and decided we would just have to have a practice or two as most of the dances were just names to us. We had two weeks before the ‘big night’. Oh boy, were we tired after all our exertions and all the new things we had to remember! We were lucky to have a couple on a visit from Scotland who had attended country dance classes at home (I think their name was Stables). Poor man, he had never

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1983 – Volume 30
Editor: Doreen Blundell

met anything like us, he became so frustrated at our unbelievable mistakes and all our ‘left feet’. Still, up to Morison’s Bush we were going!

Saturday came at last, and we collected all our passengers (six of them in our car) and set off at 5pm. Unfortunately, one of our group got very car sick so we had to stop often. During these stops, we practiced our pas-de-basque and got some very funny looks from the occupants of passing cars. At last we arrived at Morison’s Bush and were greeted very warmly by Jack Seton. We decided to have a practice on our own before the dance started at 7pm. We felt very pleased with ourselves as we entered the ballroom (sorry, it was really a large earthen floored barn loaned by a local farmer). We had a wonderful time. Then came supper and a chance to sit down. What a spread, we ate till we were full to over-flowing. The strains of “The Reel of the 51st Division’ drew us back into the hall where we danced till 1am. Most of the dancers had headed for home and bed by this time, but not our hardy little group. We danced on till exhausted. Jack rustled up some bacon and eggs from somewhere and plied us with lots of sweet coffee then saw us on our way back to Lower Hutt at 4.30am.

This was my first ‘open night’ here in New Zealand and it still brings a rush of nostalgic joy and happiness whenever I hear the music for ‘The Reel of the 51st Division’. To all who have grown old along with me, I say, ‘Thanks for the memory’.

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast: 1987 was a quiet year for the Region. For two members the highlight of the year was the Australian Winter School in Brisbane, enjoying the fellowship that this occasion engendered. Although clubs are quite some distance apart, several members managed to travel to the different formals in the area.

Gisborne started the year with an appreciated influx of new members. Although quiet the rest of the year was most enjoyable. Visitors from the United Kingdom were welcomed to several club nights.

Hastings: Although small in numbers, had quite a busy year. The season began with a barbecue at Hereworth School. We danced in the Rose Gardens at Frimley Park in November and combined with the Napier Club to dance at the Highland games earlier in the year. In December we were delighted to provide a set for Johan Gillies’ wedding dance.

Napier: 1987 was a busy year during which we performed a number of demonstrations including one with the Hastings Club for the Highland Games. Club nights were well attended with four sets most evenings. One of our members completed a history of the Club during the year.

Wairoa had a fairly quiet year. Other commitments meant that many members did not attend regularly. One of our members was fortunate to travel to Brisbane for the 12th Australian Winter School and a couple were able to attend the weekend school in Rotorua.

President’s Message

Dear Country Dancers,

The New Year ushered in more than the peal of bells on the 1st January at the AGM in Dunedin. No less than six changes of personnel on Council show that there is a healthy interest in our countrywide Branch with new people prepared to give time and effort to its administration.

I wonder if the change to individual membership has created this deeper interest in the working of the Branch and the Society generally. I hope so, because the two very important positions of Branch Secretary and Branch Treasurer will become vacant at our next AGM in Hamilton, and we need two members bursting with enthusiasm

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and capability and willing to contribute to the well-being of our ‘celestial recreation!’ If you are considering offering your services, our secretary and treasurer will be delighted to hear from you and supply you with a full ‘job description’.

Three highlights will distinguish our 1989 calendar. The first has already taken place at the Dunedin Summer School, when we were privileged to have Miss Lesley Martin (Aberdeen) teaching and examining. Miss Martin is Convenor of the RSCDS Examinations Committee. Not only did we learn much in her classes, but we were captivated by the warmth of her personality and her wholehearted participation in the very full programme of other events at the school.

Every three years the Society sends a representative to Australasia on a teaching tour and to conduct examinations. Undoubtedly, our second highlight will be the official visit in August of Dr Alastair MacFadyen, who is the Immediate Past Chairman of the RSCDS. On this occasion he will be accompanied by a pianist, who is assured of an appreciative reception in all regions. Dr. MacFadyen is already well-known and esteemed in New Zealand from his previous tour in 1983, when we benefited not only from his teaching ability but also his expertise as an historian. As well as visiting regions, Dr MacFadyen will be teaching a daily class at the Winter School in Blenheim.

Looking ahead to Hamilton Summer School for our third highlight, we will have Miss Dorothy Leurs (Edinburgh) as our overseas guest teacher. We first met Miss Leurs when she spent three days at the Wanganui Summer School on her way home to Scotland, after visiting friends in Australia. She kindly taught an afternoon class for us, and those who attended that class are looking forward to enjoying many more during her daily sessions at Hamilton.

As RCSDS members we are grateful for the opportunity of meeting and learning from these first-class teachers who visit us and who never fail to renew our enthusiasm and further stimulate our efforts in the practical and social side of dancing. However, we realise that there is another side to be supported, the financial side, which entails the ‘give’ as distinct from the ‘take’. Our Branch appreciates the growing number of dancers who realise that, by becoming members of the RSCDS, benefits flow in both directions.

Cynthia and Eric Churton (HB and EC Region President) and daughters.

“Down on the farm” during Waikato Region’s Queen’s Birthday week-end school.

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1984 – Volume 31
Editor: Doreen Blundell

To sum up all: be merry, I advise: And as we’re merry, may we still be wise’. (Burns).

A Note from the Editor:
(Muriel Holland)

In this my first issue of ‘The Dancer’ as Editor, I feel I should introduce myself to those who had never heard of me until my nomination last year.

I was born in England, where I learned to dance, ballet first and Scottish country dancing later. I came to New Zealand in 1957, immediately after being called to the Bar. I danced in Wellington for some years while working for broadcasting in the legal field and even taught the Wellington Club for a season.

I married a New Zealander and have three children. While they were young, I danced very little, but became a voluntary Braille transcriber. After moving to Christchurch I regained all my old enthusiasm for dancing and have served as Region Secretary and passed the preliminary test for the teaching certificate. Braille is still my other great interest and I have worked for both Christchurch and Wellington Visual Resource Centres. I have transcribed material from early readers to university texts and wish I could remember all the information contained in them!

Although I have had a great deal to do with the written word, this is my first opportunity to wield the blue pencil. I hope you enjoy the end product of our collaboration.

The Club That Jack Built
Some notes on the origin of the Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club

AB (Bruce) Fordyce

Should 1990 or 1991 be regarded as the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club? There seems to be no consensus about the exact date, even amongst those who were in the club at it’s inception, but it is appropriate to set down something of the early years of the club as I knew it between 1951 when I was first involved, and 1956 when I left the district.

It will come as no surprise to those who knew Jack Seton to learn that he was the founder of this club. Jack, his wife Isa and son Ian, arrived in New Zealand in 1950, and he was soon involved with the local pipe band, Scots Society, and military and cultural pursuits where his outstanding talents as drummer and percussionist were in demand. He acted as MC at numerous balls, taught drumming to bandsmen and either in late 1950 or early 1951 started a country dance group drawn from pipe bandsmen, their wives and girlfriends. This soon developed into regular weekly meetings of two to three sets each Tuesday evening in a local tearoom, and in those early days Jack often dipped into his own pocket to provide the rent and keep things running.

About this time, I was commandeered to play the pipes for the ‘Eightsome’ and ‘Sixteensome’ reels for which Jack had no record of sufficient length, and having discharged this duty was put on the floor to fill a vacancy in a set. A promise was made to give me some tuition in steps the following weekend, but due to the misdemeanours of one of his clients, (Jack was the local probation officer), I was given a copy of Jean Milligan’s book ‘Won’t You Join The Dance’ with the exhortation to read it thoroughly and being a schoolteacher, I should not find the steps too difficult to pick up. Such was my introduction to the delights of Scottish country dancing.

Our gathering place in those days was the Pasadena Tearooms in Heretaunga Street, upstairs and with a balcony. This was ideal in the hot weather for cooling off between dances, and we danced all the year round except for the Christmas holidays when the departure of several school teachers in the club and the loss of their transport, forced a seasonal break. I can also remember dancing in Jack and Isa’s front room in Willowpark Road South, but this was a temporary situation and far too cramped to be a suitable venue. The local drill hall was also used by the club for a time.

Names which spring to mind from those early days are Jack Seton, son Ian, sisters Jean Brackenridge and Annie Shaw, the Tobin family, Bruce and Rita with sons Ken and John, the elderly and diminutive Mr & Mrs Guthrie, Joey Bruce, Bill and Les Tucker (Jack called these two the Perthshire Highlanders), Mary McNair, Bruce Fordyce, Maurice Colbourne, Jean Bramley, the Lowry twins, Josephine and Elizabeth, Dick Wilson, Dorothy Spooner (md. Dick Wilson and returned to the club in later years), Nancy Baxter, Vera Henderson, Elizabeth Sutherland, and Eric and Sandy Lowe, and Rose?, I have forgotten her surname.

I remember only too well the call ‘Feet on the flair’, which often came before normal breathing was fully re-established after the previous dance,

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the old wind-up gramophone which often needed a swift wind by the first couple going down the centre, the displays given at Scots Society balls and later at the Hastings Highland Games, massed displays of eight to a hundred dancers, trips to Whakatane with all the attendant perils of the Taupo Road, the converted hearse that Maurie Colbourne borrowed to take a group to Morison’s Bush, the Bush dances and the men in the hayshed, and the first Summer School in New Zealand largely organised by three members of the Hastings Club in 1954.

We had tremendous enthusiasm in those days, and an avid thirst for Scottish country dancing. Records by Jimmy Shand were all 78rpm, extremely scarce and eagerly sought after, and the dances in every new book from the RSCDS were worked through as they were published, frequently with the top couple dancing with the book in one hand while Jack shouted his interpretation for the rest of the set over the noise of the music.

Life membership of the RSCDS was sought by one member and at least three marriages resulted from romances which developed between members in those first few years. Our club travelled as we met new friends located by Jack during his exploratory holidays throughout the North Island and later the whole country, to Morison’s Bush, Wallaceville, Wellington, Napier, Whakatane and Waipukurau. The hospitality of all the clubs was so generous, the dancing so vigorous and stimulating, and the Scottish atmosphere unbelievable authentic. We were drenched in Scottish culture and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. We sang Scottish songs, played traditional games, and performed at our own miniature ceilidhs held after the evening’s dancing was over, way into the ‘wee sma’ oors’.

Jack Seton was a devoted advocate of Scottish country dancing and a staunch upholder of Scottish culture and custom. He taught us properly, always allowing for personal inability but nonetheless I am sure often despairing, and yet encouraging everyone to enjoy the dances above all. Jack was a superb MC and had the facility to keep everyone happy, so our club was a very happy and fulfilling one.

In 1954 I moved to Waipawa and shortly afterwards married Hastings Club member Mary McNair.  We continued to attend the club but less frequently after the birth of our daughter Alison. However, in Waipawa I taught a demonstration team in the local district high school, and was able to form a club for adults in 1955-56. When we shifted to Lincoln in August 1956 I left this club in the capable hands of Mrs Jessie Lee, and at Lincoln once again had a demonstration team in the local high school.

I look back on the time spent in the Hastings Club as the highlight of my involvement in ‘things Scottish’, and recognise that without the drive and dedication of Jack Seton, all those wonderful experiences may well have never occurred. We all owe him such a debt of gratitude.

Full Marks Otago
Excerpt from the Summer School in Dunedin

The theme of a more leisurely, elegant yesteryear was carried through to the President’s Ball. The two VIPs, President Madge Laing, and visiting teacher/examiner Lesley Martin, together with their escorts drove to the Ball in great style in an open carriage.

Region and Club Reports

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast:
Gisborne: Cyclone Bola started the year off (1988) with a bang. In the weeks that followed I had letters and phone calls from around the country enquiring how we fared. It is wonderful to know that dancers around the country were thinking about us. Last year we only had one set but we hope that this coming season, with the weekend school, our numbers will increase. Although we  had only a few dancers, we have had a wonderful  time on club nights.

Hastings Club has had a very successful year, starting off with the news that the hall we dance in had been broken into and our record cabinet had been damaged but, luckily, not the equipment. The club has had a few demonstrations; one at Trenilloe [Trelinnoe] Gardens was very successful, a group of handicapped people in the audience joined in, which made their day. We have a number of social events including ‘La Traviata’, a pot-luck tea, a ‘talent’ evening with everybody participating and ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ was well attended by our members. Hastings Club had a display in the National Bank promoting Scottish country dancing. Three of our members travelled overseas, Mary Fordyce (Scotland), Margaret Mildenhall (Canada) and Joan Wilcox (Australia.)

Napier started the year with four to five sets, which we maintained most nights. Right from our first committee meeting we started making arrangements for our 35th anniversary celebration to take place on 17th September (our Formal Dance). A very successful meat raffle and an enjoyable club dinner at May Brooker’s home were held to help with expenses for our anniversary. Mrs Carine Mayhew agreed to coordinate the arrangements for the day. Sixty past members were able to attend the get-together dinner and the evening dance.

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We had two afternoon classes, one tutored by Ian Simmonds (Wellington), with his wife Merren at the piano, and the other by Nona Craig (Rotorua). We hired ‘The Scotsmen’ led by Peter Elmes to provide live music and one of our members, Bill Wright, played the pipes for the Grand March, followed by at least 14 sets of dancers. During the winter, nine members attended a Tutors’ course run by Madge Laing in Hastings, which proved very beneficial. Various sets of dancers have taken part in a number of demonstrations.

Wairoa Club felt the effect of Cyclone Bola last year as the town was split by the loss of the bridge. It meant that our country members had quite an extra distance to travel every week. This was emphasised when numbers dropped off and we were lucky to get a set. We had to adopt a system whereby members gave our tutor an indication of numbers likely to turn up before a decision was made whether dancing was ‘on or off’. Country members could then be advised, thus saving them a lot of unnecessary travelling. However, our membership has now increased slightly, which is very heartening. After the footbridge opened, members drove to the bridge, walked over and were picked up by other members and taken to the hall. Three Hastings Club members walked the bridge before it was officially opened on the night of the Wairoa Dance. We had one demonstration in November during the ‘Pride of Wairoa Week’.


A not unusual comment I have heard from middle-aged dancers in their first year of dancing is, ‘I wish I had known about Scottish country dancing when I was younger’. This is ironic when those of us who have been dancing since we were in our salad

1985 – Volume 32
Editor: Doreen Blundell

days are deploring the lack of young people on the dancing scene. Why do we not attract the young? Is it because the social pastime does not appeal or is it because we do not promote it in the right way? There seems to be a large number of dancers who are content to just dance, they are not interested in promoting SCD but just wish to enjoy themselves. I think the time has come for us to think seriously about the future of not only the New Zealand Branch of the RSCDS, but of Scottish country dancing in New Zealand. We must do more to make dancing attractive to newcomers and especially to young people.

It is no use extolling the ‘social’ aspect of Scottish country dancing to young people when the average age of club members is over 40. Anyway, those young people who might be interested in our kind of dancing will be looking for more than the social side of things, after all, most dancing is done in a social setting (we are not talking about ‘social’ in the specialised way Miss Milligan used the term), so should we not be emphasising what makes Scottish country dancing unique? Television is boring many people and it seems that the only place for young people to dance is in the hotels, surely there are many who do not really like this kind of entertainment and are looking for something more stimulating?

There was a time when you could walk into any record shop and buy a disc of SCD music. Now, the popular bands record for listening rather than dancing. There is a message in that, even in Scotland people are being passive rather than joining in, and the commercial world knows this. If we want to change this state of affairs, we must all do our best to promote not just the social aspects but the special fascination and joy of Scottish country dancing done to the best of one’s ability. We are not just friendly people; we like to spend our leisure time using our heads as well as our feet, and don’t forget the wonderful music!

President’s Message

Dear Country Dancers,

This ‘Year of Celebration’ in New Zealand started out well when the very successful Summer School held in Hamilton led the way to further memorable events to mark the 150th Anniversary of New Zealand becoming a British Colony in 1840.

Three weeks later, the Commonwealth Games produced a brilliant Opening Ceremony which included a contingent of Auckland Scottish Country Dancers. We watchers of the TV screen at home were disappointed at the lack of coverage of their particular segment, but the dancers enjoyed a live audience of thousands plus the memory of being part of this historic occasion.

Generously contributing to our special year, Mr John Drewry has devised two new dances especially for the members of the New Zealand Branch. The Strathspey is more likely to suit a demonstration situation while the Reel should have wide appeal on a general programme. Our combined thanks will surely ring in Mr Drewry’s ears as we try out his dances when the new season starts.

As nostalgia is in the air at this time, we should acknowledge the pioneering work done since the beginning of organised Scottish country dancing

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in New Zealand. A whole host of people has shared, firstly the love of the dance, the friendship made through it, and then the desire to share their enjoyment with others. Over the years, with the contribution of their talent, time and enthusiasm, the growth of this delightful recreation established itself as a Branch of the RSCDS.

But a most significant aspect is the recognition of the combined efforts of a large team from the present day as well as from the past. With warmest regards

Madge Laing

Hall of Memories

With the decision to write the history of Scottish country dancing in New Zealand we have become conscious that dancing in NZ has more than come of age and that we have in fact got history. It is therefore even more sad to report the passing of an old hall which could have stood as a monument to the fellowship of dancers which sprang up in the early days. In the early hours of the morning of October 15, 1989, the hall at Morison’s Bush was burnt to the ground. Peg Hutchison of Wellington, a past president of the NZ Branch, tells us about the significance of the old hall and brings back memories for those who were there.

In the 1950s Morison’s Bush was a magic name for dancers in Hawke’s Bay and Wellington. The Scottish country dancing movement in New Zealand was young and fragmented. Dancers in Christchurch were just discovering dancers in Dunedin and thinking of setting up the annual interchange of visits that continues today and Mr and Mrs L J Coe who farmed in the Martinborough area were getting in touch with dancers in Hawke’s Bay and Wellington. There was, they said, a nice hall down the road, at Morison’s Bush where everyone could get together and dance.

So dancers from Wellington, Lower Hutt and Wallaceville clubs filled their cars with passengers and petrol and set off for the Wairarapa while Jack Seton enthusiastically arranged dancers from Hastings and Napier to come south and local Wairarapa dancers joined in. After the dance the locals went home, Wellingtonians set off over the hill and arrived home about 3am and the Bay contingent retired to Coe’s farm where the women slept in the house and the men slept in the hay barn-that is if Jack didn’t keep them awake telling stories all night!

The hall itself was small by the standards of today, but it had a wooden floor. It had been built during the war. (I was never completely sure which war and whether it was related to my father’s stories of 1917-1918, which all began, ‘When I was in Featherston Camp’.) It had certainly been used during the war. The ladies cloakroom was labelled ‘Officers’, the men used the one marked ‘Other Ranks’ and on the door of the supper room, it read ‘Chaplain’. As we left after a strenuous evening’s dancing, we would find a notice on the inside of the door which read: ‘Persons using this hall do so at their own risk’! We risked it two or three times a year for several years.

Morison’s Bush became a symbol of the increasing growth of the Scottish country dancing movement in New Zealand. The inter-club friendships fostered there helped to encourage the founding

Photo caption –

Hogmanay Night (Dunedin 1964)
Dancing Lord McLay’s Reel are:
Back row: Rachael Roberston (Australia), Les Jack (Dunedin), Frances Lyman (U.S.A.), Jack Seton (Hastings)
Front row: Doreen Chong (North Borneo), Brian McMurtry (Motueka), Phyllis Nurser (Brisbane), Bill McPherson (Lower Hutt)

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of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association which ran the first three Summer Schools at Napier, Days Bay and Wanganui, out of which grew the original New Zealand Society. When it was decided to give up dancing at Morison’s Bush it was not because of the risk but because the dances had become too popular and the hall was too small. Dancing then moved to Featherston, then Masterton and eventually clubs grew stronger and started holding their own open nights, more dancing was available closer to home and long distance travelling became less popular.

In the 1908s [1980s] the Masterton Club decided to hold a dance at Morison’s Bush again. They had some problems getting the hall into shape for dancing as it had been used for storing wool and hay. A daughter of Mr and Mrs Coe came to greet the dancers and there on the inside of the door was the same notice. Some dancers went outside during the evening and found that all the cows in the paddock across the road were standing by the fence looking in the direction of the strange music! The next year the local council had made an effort with a coat of paint and the Masterton Club had its dance there again.

(According to a press report, the hall was built as the mess-room for Featherston Camp and purchased and moved to Morison’s Bush in the early 1920s. Ed.)

Region and Club Reports

For the Region as a whole, the highlight of the year was the visit of Dr Alastair MacFadyen and Miss Jean Sim. All the clubs in the Region took part in numerous demonstrations during the year and some members from each club attended the first Branch Winter School in Blenheim.

Gisborne hosted a very successful Easter Weekend School with over 90 dancers attending from throughout New Zealand.

Hastings had the pleasure of hosting two overseas dancers this year, one from England and one from Canada. We bought new equipment and are looking forward to celebrating 40 years as a club in 1991. We are very proud of Madge Laing, a Hastings member, at present President of the New Zealand Branch.

Napier midwinter’s theme night this year was ‘holidays’. People got into the swing of things by dressing in suitable holiday attire including shorts, tramping gear and sunhats.

Wairoa’s opening of the new Wairoa Bridge was perhaps the event of the year. A set of dancers danced on the bridge to mark the occasion. Another highlight was the World Day of Dance, when dancers from other parts travelled to Wairoa to take part.


At a Region meeting I attended last year, the phrase ‘promoting Scottish country dancing’ was bandied around a great deal. It seemed that the majority of speakers thought that this means gathering as many people into their clubs as possible. Is this really promoting Scottish country dancing and is this what the founders of the RSCDS intended? I don’t think so.

The Society was founded to promote traditional dancing in a friendly social atmosphere, our clubs are tending to put the social aspect first and the dancing second, and some of them equate numbers with excellence, the bigger a club is the better it is!

Yes, our numbers are declining and yes, we want to encourage as many people as possible to discover and enjoy Scottish country dancing, but not at all costs and certainly not if it means lowering those standards set by the founders of the Society and, in fact, doing what the Society was formed to prevent, debasing part of Scotland’s cultural heritage. I can understand those club members who refuse to join the RSCDS, ignoring these higher aims, but it seems to me that anyone who has joined the RSCDS should have the preservation of the dance in its traditional form at heart.

President’s Message
Min Jaeger

1991 is the beginning of a new decade. This is a good time for taking stock of ‘old ways’ and looking forward – perhaps to new beginnings; perhaps with confidence to continue as before, firm in the belief that this way is right and beneficial to you and the dancer, to Scottish country dancing in general and to the Branch in particular.

1991 is certainly the year for new beginnings at Branch level. Our President of 1989 and 1990, Madge Laing has retired from office. We are all most appreciative of the hard work she did on those two years. The Branch has benefited tremendously from Madge’s dedication and from her depth of knowledge of Scottish country dancing.

Our secretary, Marjorie Crawford, and our treasurer,

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Raynor Stratford have also retired from office after ten years of commitment to the Branch. During that time they have worked tirelessly and we have all come to rely on these two ladies a great deal. We wish them well in their new careers as teachers and ‘ordinary’ Scottish country dancers.

However, we must look ahead to those ‘new beginnings’. I look forward to working for the Branch as President and also to working with Bev Young of Auckland, our new secretary and Ivan Roxburgh, our new treasurer.

Those of you who attended Lincoln Summer School will, I am sure agree that it was an enjoyable, happy, friendly school. That is what Scottish country dancing is all about. As we strive for perfection, whether at individual, regional or branch level, let us not lose the pleasure of dancing, the enjoyment that comes from extending the hand of friendship and understanding to others. If we all make this our main aim then we can all truly say that ‘Scottish country dancing is happiness’

The Hogmanay Ceremony in New Zealand
Mirth Smallwood

Our Hogmanay ceremony was devised by Jack Seton as the highlight of a Hogmanay Dance, when Scottish country dance Summer Schools were only just beginning in New Zealand. It is unique to New Zealand and is not performed, as such, in Scotland. As a tribute to Jack Seton, we in Wellington dance ‘Seton’s Ceilidh Band’ as the dance immediately preceding the ceremony. Jack formed the first Scottish country dance band in New Zealand, making several 45rpm records, and played for many of the dances in the old Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Region. All four couples are involved in the dance, making it an appropriate one for the occasion.

The ceremony starts with the community singing of Scottish songs to remind us of our heritage. The singing of the 23rd Psalm gives us a moment to reflect on the year just finishing. Auld Lang Syne brings us to the end of that year, Old Father Time being swept clean out of the door on the first stroke of twelve. As the chiming finishes, Miss New Year springs through the hoop, bringing new life and hope to the New Year.

The entry of the ‘First Foot’, a dark man, reminds us of the days when Scotland was often invaded by the fair-haired Scandinavians and all visitors were carefully examined before being allowed to enter. The First Foot brings to the house symbols of health, wealth and happiness, some greenery, some money and some whisky! A toast is drunk by the MC to all present, the First Foot and his piper, and a second toast to all Scottish country dancers throughout the world for a happy dancing year.

Hail and Farewell – Branch AGM 1991
Excerpt from Muriel Holland

AGMs are not usually memorable unless they are exceptionally lengthy or there is a violent clash of opinions or both, but the AGM at Lincoln this year was noteworthy because we voted for the first time in ten years for a new Branch secretary and treasurer as well as a new president.

Before we got down to the business of electing the Branch officers, Madge Laing, the retiring president, paid tribute to the work and dedication of the retiring secretary Marjorie Crawford and treasurer, Raynor Stratford. They were presented with gifts from the Branch – a silver tray for Marjorie, suitably inscribed, and for Raynor, who collects crystal animals, a revolving mirror turntable on which to display them. Surprisingly this also had been engraved.

Region and Club Reports – 1990

Gisborne club has had a struggle to keep going, though they have managed to have at least one set most nights and occasionally two. However, they are enjoying their dancing despite small numbers and they had a successful annual dance.

Hastings in contrast, has had an increase in numbers and now has three to four sets each week. At the start of the dancing year, the club was fortunate to be tutored by their own ‘living treasure’, Madge Laing, whose knowledge and enthusiasm they found inspiring. Colin Barker is their regular tutor but Margaret Mildenhall ably deputises for him on ‘stamp night’.

Napier club had eight members visiting the UK, while others holidayed in Australia. Those at home at Queen’s Birthday Weekend, took part in a ‘Royal Occasion’. The costumes varied from very formal to Beatrice complete with headscarf, kilt, brogues and a Corgi! A real treat for their annual dance was the live music of Peter Elmes’ band, they wish to say thanks again to Peter, Merren and John. The club was saddened by the death of Noel Brooker, the husband of one of their tutors. They also extend their sympathy to Ina Williamson who lost two children in a light plane crash. On a happier note, the club congratulated Nancy and Stuart Valentine on their Golden Wedding. In September the club moved to Aquinas Hall, St Patrick’s School; an older style hall with a non-slip wooden floor.

Wairoa club also had a slight rise in membership.

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1986 – Volume 33
Editor: Iain Boyd

This was due mainly to a ‘personal invitation’ sent at the beginning of the year to ex-dancers and interested persons. The club took part in only a few demonstrations during the season.


If I have a regret about giving up my job as Editor, it is that this, my last issue of the magazine, is volume 39, not 40. In some ways, I feel, the 40th issue of the ‘NZ Scottish Country Dancer’ is more significant than the Branch’s 25th anniversary celebrated in the same year.

Twenty-five years is just a milestone in the Branch’s history but I find it remarkable that a magazine, which started life as a typewritten publication of a newly formed association of a small number of local (Wellington-Hawke’s Bay) clubs, should have been published regularly for almost 40 years.

The aims of the first magazine are interesting. The Editor, Marion Cunningham, says in her editorial of the third aim, ‘and most important it is hoped that this magazine will make known to other clubs in the Dominion the establishment of the Wellington- Hawke’s Bay Association. It is recognised that there are many groups operating independently or under the auspices of local Scottish societies. It is hoped that these clubs will be inspired to form provincial associations similar to this one; so that it may ultimately be possible to unite all districts in a New Zealand Association of Scottish Country Dance Clubs. To all it must be obvious that this alone will ensure for country dancing in New

Summer School Teachers

Standing: Mima Clanachan, Maureen Hollman, Maureen Robson, Geordie Lambert, Betty Sharpe, Barbara Gill, Margaret Mildenhall
Sitting: Phyllis Gale, June Shore (Canada), Mary Murray (Canada), Madge Laing

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[Scotch Menu to Henry Lauder, 1908]

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Zealand its best and strongest development.’

That aim was realised soon afterwards with the formation of a New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society, which eventually became the New Zealand Branch of the RSCDS.

The magazine did have a narrow escape four years ago, when a postal ballot was taken to decide whether it should be continued. The threat of increased fees makes me fearful that cessation of publication may be mooted again. The magazine is not responsible for increased fees and in this, signing off, I make a plea for its continuation as long as the New Zealand Branch, itself, continues.

As a postscript, I urge all who have not already done so, to have a look at the bound back copies of the magazine, when they are on display at Summer School. The people and events may not interest you, if you are comparatively new to dancing, but there are some very informative articles to be found in them.

President’s Message
Min Jaeger

At the New Zealand Branch AGM this year, it was my very great pleasure, on behalf of Council, to recommend that life membership be bestowed on three of our Branch Members, namely Madge Laing (Hawke’s Bay), Phyllis Gale (Canterbury) and Mima Clanachan (Canterbury). This news was most warmly received by the meeting and the motion was carried by acclamation. Madge, Phyllis and Mima have all given many years of service to the Branch and are most deserving of the highest honour that the Branch can give to its members.

We have in our Branch, a great many dancers who, although they may never reach Life Membership status, nevertheless work tirelessly for the branch. Our New Zealand Branch prospers only because we have so many loyal, dedicated dancers who, with no apparent recognition, work very hard, often at great sacrifice to themselves and their families.

I would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to convey the Branch’s appreciation and gratitude to these folk. This combined effort is what makes New Zealand a strong branch.

Forty Years On (1951 – 1991)

In the past four years 30th and 35th anniversaries have cropped up in club notes quite frequently but this is the first for a 40th and we have two! (Hastings and Hamilton). Congratulations to both clubs, they may or may not have been the first, but they have proved to be the most durable.

Hastings Club’s 40th Anniversary

The New Zealand Branch, The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society Council

Back Row: Ian Alexander, Marjorie Lhonneux, Mima Clanachan, Jan Idour, Min Jaegar, Roy Everall
Middle Row: Iain Boyd, David Macfarlane, Murray Corps, Nona Craig, Phyllis Gale, Dorothy Wilson, Eric Churton
Front Row: Raynor Stratford, Brian McMurtry, Peg Hutchison, Madge Laing, Marjorie Crawford
Absent: Elspeth Allan

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1987 – Volume 34
Editor: Ian Boyd
President: Val Mitchell

What an action packed year we have had! Our dancing year began on a very high note. This was the year we celebrated 40 years of Scottish country dancing in Hastings. In order to celebrate in fine style, a committee was formed and festivities planned. It is pleasing to report the success of the Easter Weekend School, one of the highlights being our afternoon tea on Easter Sunday, where members performed a dance especially devised for us by Mr Gary Morris, one of our members from some time ago. This dance commemorated Mr Jack Seton our founder. Club members danced with red balloons on their heads, much to the delight and amusement of the onlookers. This signified blazing candles on the cake. The club’s history was told to the assembled guests by Mr Bruce Fordyce, a member of those early days and the deviser of the very popular Seton’s Ceilidh Band, which is danced and enjoyed by many. The magnificent birthday cake was made and iced by our Patron Mr Paddy Crowe, and cut for us by Mrs Isa Seton, who wished the club well.

Many other activities were undertaken, classes enthusiastically attended, evening functions gave the opportunity to renew old acquaintances and make new friends and afternoon outings proved very successful. We danced at the Hastings Highland Games, which, as luck would have it, were being held at the adjoining Lindisfarne College. Through the generosity of Mary and Bruce Fordyce, we have a video of the weekend, which brings back wonderful memories.

Sincerest thanks to the convenor, Jean Hantler, and the 1991 committee for their very hard work and dedication to the task. If you have been involved with something similar, you will appreciate the work required to make such an event a success. It is most pleasing to see the Hastings Club is in such good heart and looking forward to the next 40 years.

(Quote from club notes in the first edition (1954) of this magazine:

HASTINGS: ‘We are fortunate that in our club we have school teachers, with the result that country dancing is practised in Napier Boys’ High School,  Iona and Woodford girls’ colleges, Havelock North.)

Hastings Easter Weekend School
Heather Begg (Burnside Club, Canterbury)

The weekend commenced with a social dance on the Friday evening, and a time to catch up with friends. Most of Saturday, early Sunday afternoon and Monday morning was spent in class, the advanced class tutored by Gary Morris. These classes were excellent, Gary is a marvellous teacher.

Hogmany [Hogmanay] Toast – Lincoln Summer School

Piper, South Island President (Brian McMurtry), President (Peg Hutchison), North Island Vice President (Madge Laing), First Foot (Ivan Roxburgh)

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[Black Bun Recipe]

A tour round Napier and Hastings was organised for Saturday afternoon and for the bus-load of dancers who seized the opportunity to see some of the sights it was worth it. Our last port of call was the Te Mata Estate Winery in Havelock North to learn a little about the processes involved in producing wine and a chance to sample their wares.

On Saturday evening, approximately 200 dancers filled the school hall for the ball, dancing to the music of Peter Elmes’ band. Sunday morning saw five sets take part in a mass display at the Highland Games.

Sunday afternoon was the highlight of the weekend as the Hastings Club celebrated its 40th anniversary by cutting the cake and demonstrating a dance written especially for the club by Gary Morris, ‘The Ruby Reel of Hastings’. For those who have not danced it, it is a lovely dance and one well worth trying.

Sunday evening was one for inspiration. The ceilidh had as its theme the letter ‘B’. It is truly amazing to see dancers’ imaginations come to the fore as they certainly did on this occasion. From a bride to a Black and White Minstrel, Blondie to Beatle, box to bulb, you name it and it was probably there.

Monday lunchtime came all too quickly and with it the end of the school. What a marvellous weekend it had been; the friendliness of fellow dancers, the fun and excitement shared by all and yes, even the weather was wonderful, true Hawke’s Bay weather, sunshine, sunshine and more sunshine. I must mention the wonderful meals enjoyed whilst at the school during the day, good dancing food!

I cannot finish this report without congratulating and thanking most sincerely the organising committee and the Hastings Club for their hard work and dedication given to making the weekend a successful and enjoyable one. They proved that, if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well, and this they most certainly did. The school left this dancer feeling very proud to have been part of the Hastings Easter Weekend School.

Club and Region Reports – 1991

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast regional clubs had mixed fortunes in 1991.

Hastings reports a ‘fantastic year’. They celebrated 40 years of dancing with an Easter Weekend School, the response to which was ‘quite overwhelming’ and thank the convenor Jean Hantler, and her committee for their long hours of work. The club’s numbers increased again.

Napier also had a successful year with four or five sets a night and are pleased with their move to another hall. They had a very full programme

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of demonstrations before a wide range of people (still continuing after the end of the season) and the year was marred only by the passing of their tutor’s husband.

Wairoa club had a struggle to get a set each week, their numbers being well down. Their tutor was assisted by Christine Wiseman this season.

Gisborne is a small club but welcomed new members who are very enthusiastic even though one of them tore her Achilles tendon at their ceilidh.

Members of all clubs attended advanced classes held by the Region and travelled to formals both inside and outside the Region. Some attended the Queen’s Birthday Weekend School at Hamilton.

President’s Message
Min Jaeger

1993 is an important year for us as it marks 25 years since the New Zealand Branch was formed. Regions have come up with some interesting, enjoyable, unique ideas for celebrating. I hope they will tell us about their activities, through our magazine or newsletter.

The New Zealand Branch owes its very existence to the hard work and determination of our pioneers This goes back a long way, beginning in fact, when we were the New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society.

Do we want to waste all the hard work these early dancers did to build up our Branch? Or do we wish to continue to grow for the next 25 years (and more!)? If the latter is our wish, it is my opinion that we need to address two main areas.

Firstly, we need to pull together, to work as a whole. (Many people do.) I remember when I was a beginning dancer how impressed I was when I discovered that to belong to Scottish country dancing was to be part of a very large, happy family. Thirty years later I am dismayed at the rifts that have developed. There are many reasons for this frustration: misunderstandings, lack of effective communication, unfulfilled ambition, etc. I urge dancers to resolve their differences and work together for dancing as a whole. We need unity in the Branch if we are to continue to grow.

Secondly, we need to find ways to attract more people into Scottish country dancing. I know of many regions who are taking positive steps and are running very successful children’s classes. This is commendable and we must continue to do so.

How many of these children do we keep when they reach adulthood, though? We recognise that it is a normal stage of development for teenagers to stop many of their childhood interests as they explore new ones. However, it is still well worth all the hard work done by our dedicated tutors if these people come back to dancing a decade or so later. But do they?

I have asked a number of people who danced as children in the past why they no longer dance. The replies surprised and rather shocked me. ‘There’s too much tension, too many squabbles’; ‘There’s no fun at dancing and too much criticism’; ‘There are no other dancers our age any more’; ‘I grew up listening to my family and their dancing friends always pulling other dancers or clubs or tutors or the Branch to pieces’.

These comments don’t make Scottish country dancing sound very attractive do they? But they show what messages some people have received from our example. So many of us have formed deep friendships and have enhanced our lives by joining Scottish country dancing, that it seems incredible that we might portray a different picture to others, (especially young, impressionable persons) by the tendency of a minority to criticise others. These sorts of comments reiterate my fears at the lack of unity. There is much dissension at times, not enough display of positively working together for the good of all. Are we losing members because of it?

I feel we should be promoting Scottish country dancing to everybody, but especially to folk in their 20s or 30s, enticing them to join a group, then keeping them by example of real friendship, harmony and deep enjoyment.

I look on 1993 as a real challenge. I hope you will too.

Region Notes

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast: 1992 has been a very successful year for the Region. Highlights include a visit from the ‘two Jeans’ from Scotland. This was hosted by the Hastings Club and well supported by the Region, with some nine sets attending the combined class.

We are extremely proud of our Madge Laing who has been awarded the Society Scroll, an honour she well deserves. Congratulations, Madge.

Gisborne had a mixed year, with average attendance of one to two sets per night. The then Regional President, Greta Harris, attended Winter School  before travelling overseas for two months. The club farewelled Eric Churton and presented him with a gift. Eric leaves for Wellington after many years of service, both at the Gisborne Club and the Hawke’s Bay Region. Best wishes Eric, you will be missed.

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The New Zealand Branch, The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society Council

Back Row: Ian Simmonds, Dorothy Wilson, Jan Idour, Ian Alexander
Middle Row: Debbie Roxburgh (proxy for Murray Corps), Elspeth Allan, Min Jaegar, Marjorie Lhonneux, Marjorie Crawford, Raynor Stratford
Front Row: Phyllis Gale, Brenda Roxbrugh, Brian McMurtry, Madge Laing, Peg Hutchison, Mima Clanachan
Absent: Genny Hall, Iain Boyd

1988 – Volume 35
Editor: Iain Boyd

Wairoa found 1992 a very quiet year, averaging only six to eight dancers each club night. Dances were attended within the Region and also outside with a small group travelling to Tokoroa for Queen’s Birthday Weekend. One demonstration was given at a Variety Concert which was well received. The club plans to deliver advertising leaflets prior to the commencement of the 1993 season, hoping to gain new dancers.

Hastings’ membership remained stable. Four members attended Winter School in Whangarei and one member the weekend school in Tokoroa. The Annual Dance was well supported by Region members. Madge Laing was elected Honorary Life Member of the club in recognition of her sterling services. The club fostered a group for mid-week demonstrations and meet regularly for practices. They have demonstrated at Rest Homes, Women’s Clubs and Inglesides and at an Irish Evening at the Baptist Church and are proving excellent ambassadors.

Napier’s year began on a high note during the summer holidays with dancing at their Soundshell. This was good promotion for the club which continues to prosper. The Family Nights held during school holidays have continued in popularity, as have the member’s Nights. A successful Half-Day School in June was followed by a Pot Luck Tea and Social Dancing. Thanks to the tutors, Madge and Joy. A surprise 80th birthday party for our Patron, Nancy Baxter, took place in August and a set danced three of her favourite dances, which included ‘The Glasgow Highlanders’. Dancers have also entertained at various senior citizens’ functions, kindergartens, school galas and a ceilidh on St Andrew’s night. Plans are underway for both the Napier Club’s and the Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region’s 40th Anniversary in 1993.

May we extend our best wishes to you all for a happy year of dancing.

Madge Laing – RSCDS Scroll

For newcomers to Scottish country dancing, a very brief account is given on Madge’s background in Scottish country dancing.

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Madge emigrated from Aberdeen with her husband Andy and family in 1957 and they settled in Hastings. Madge was soon a member of the then NZSCDS Reference Technical Committee and in demand as a teacher at summer and weekend schools.

When examinations began here after Mrs Lesslie came to New Zealand, Madge trained many of the candidates over a number of years and in 1976 she was appointed one of the first two New Zealand examiners, along with Phyllis Gale.

In the 1980s Madge turned her talents to the more administrative tasks of the Branch, and was North Island Vice-President and then New Zealand Branch President.

Madge’s Acceptance Speech
(Dunedin Summer School, 1 January 1992)

Madam President, Mr Ireland, Ladies and Gentlemen

When I was advised last night of when the presentation would take place, I was assured that there was no hidden message in the fact that it would be ‘after the obituaries’.

In acknowledging the honour I have received today, my mind goes into reverse to when it all began, 40 years ago when I first joined the Society in Aberdeen.

I have always been grateful that I was lucky enough to come under the influence of dedicated teachers there, who were not only capable but also unforgettable characters who had, from the earliest days of the Society, contributed to its growth.

Having lived and breathed Scottish country dancing as my main recreation, I thought I had to say goodbye to it when I left Scotland in 1957. Little did I think then that 35 years later I would still be involved.

During that time, New Zealand has been very kind, giving me the opportunity to travel to the four compass points of the country; the opportunity to teach; and the opportunity to make lasting friendships, which I treasure.

Last month I had a lovely surprise when a beautiful Commemorative Plate arrived from Headquarters. Made of fine bone china, it shows a likeness of Miss Milligan in the centre. I had no idea such a generous gift was given with the Scroll, and feel it is the icing on the cake to have this memento to enjoy.

Although my name is on the Scroll, I am quite sure that it is also a recognition by the Society for the work and loyalty of the New Zealand Branch, therefore I am delighted to accept and share this honour with ALL members.


Last year’s issue was the 40th publication of this magazine, but it is in this issue, the 41st, that accounts of all the 40th celebrations, and any number of other worthwhile events, are to be found. Scottish country dancing in New Zealand is firmly established, and while there are many of the more experienced dancers remaining in the organisation to give us the benefit of their knowledge, it is pleasing to see the number of new people coming in with their enthusiasm and new ideas.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me, particularly as I read through the Region Notes, is the variety of different ways which clubs and regions find to celebrate, and many of them don’t seem to need much of a reason to celebrate!

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region
Jubilee Weekend
Carine Mayhew

1993 was an important year for Scottish country dancing in New Zealand. It was 40 years since the forming of the first Association of Scottish Country Dance Clubs.

In 1953 the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association was formed from clubs in Wellington, Lower Hutt, Wallaceville, Hastings, and Whakatane, with affiliated clubs in Napier, Napier Boys’ High School, and Paraparaumu. Also it was the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the New Zealand Branch of the RSCDS.

What better reasons could we have to celebrate? On the weekend of 8th to 10th October 1993, dancers from Hamilton to Christchurch gathered in Napier to do just that. From the Friday night social get-together, arranged by Madge Laing, to the Sunday Combined Classes and final lunch everyone appeared to have a happy and enjoyable time, which was the Region’s aim.

Some 120 dancers from 25 clubs attended. Classes were held on the Saturday with Dianne Murdoch taking the Intermediate Class and Gary Morris the Advanced Class, and on the Sunday morning, each took a Combined Class. The fact that eight sets were on the floor at 9.00am to commence the first class was an indication of the enjoyment and enthusiasm.

On the Sunday afternoon, four sets of dancers from the Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region gave a display at the ‘Charity Tattoo in the Spirit of Hawke’s Bay’ at McLean Park, which was organised and hosted by the Napier Caledonian Society and the Napier

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City Council. The dancers performed ‘The Reel of the Royal Scots’, ‘The Robertson Rant’, and the ‘Thirty-twosome Reel’, which were well received.

However, the highlight was to have the special guests with us who were involved in the forming of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association 40 years ago. These were Marion Cunningham of the then Wallaceville Club (now Upper Hutt), Bruce Fordyce (Hastings Club), Nancy Baxter (Napier Club) and Jessie and Les Coe of Morison’s Bush, who arranged the first Scottish Country Dance Ball in New Zealand and hosted the ‘travellers’ at their farmhouse or the barn, wherever there was space to ‘put a body’!

Maurice Colbourne, originally from the Hastings Club, was to have attended, but unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute. We were delighted to have our Branch President, Min Jaeger, with us for the weekend, and also Ian Seton, from Tauranga, Jack Seton’s son. Jack, who will be remembered by many, was the prime instigator of the original Association, and who will forget his enthusiasm and wonderful organising abilities. Alma Secker was there too, as she was at the first Summer School which was held in Napier in 1953.

Our Guest Speaker at the Dinner on the Saturday night was Bruce Fordyce, who spoke vividly of those early days. May Brooker, President of the Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region, and Carol Smith, President of the Wellington Region, spoke on behalf of their respective Regions.

Bruce also piped for the Grand March, playing a tune called ‘Dancing Years’ which he had composed especially for the gathering. The evening was a happy affair, with the MC duties shared between Joy Tracy and Gary Morris, continuing the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay theme. Our Anniversary cake, which was made and iced by local dancers Val Darragh and Margaret Vas, was cut by Min after she had given a delightful speech.

40 years may have rolled on, but the enthusiasm is still there, as commented on by our special guests. We have much for which to thank them. They introduced us to a wonderful interest and the opportunity of making lasting friendships. Long may we retain these happy associations!

Memories are Made of This ……

Text of the speech given by Guest Speaker Bruce Fordyce at the Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region 40th Anniversary Dinner held in Napier on Saturday 9th October 1993.

Thank you for the privilege of speaking tonight and the honour of representing those who were instrumental in establishing the Wellington- Hawke’s Bay Association of Scottish Country Dance Clubs 40 years ago.

If we go back to the beginning, we find the Association was formed on 25th October 1953, at a meeting held at Morison’s Bush in the South Wairarapa. The foundation executive members were: Jack Seton (President); Shirley Child (Secretary/Treasurer) and representing the Hastings, Lower Hutt, Wallaceville, Whakatane and Wellington clubs, Maurice Colbourne and Bruce Fordyce, Alec Douglas and Jim McLellan, Marion Cunningham and David Dodd, Joyce Lynds and Nora Sharp, and Elizabeth Grimmond and George Walker respectively. The first move made by the Association was to affiliate with the RSCDS.

Inside two years, two more associations were formed: Otago/Southland with 12 clubs and Waikato with six. Wellington-Hawke’s Bay had increased to 14 clubs. There were 47 clubs in existence, 16 in the South Island and 31 in the North, and several of these had over 50 regular members.

In the third year, steps were taken to link all known clubs under one society. On 12th January 1956, during the second Summer School at Days Bay, representatives of 19 clubs passed a resolution bringing into being the New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society, and also elected a steering committee to draft a constitution for ratification at the next Summer School. Jack Seton as President and Mildred Clancey as Secretary/Treasurer, along with Bill McPherson, Maurice Smith, Basil Head and Dr Ira Cunningham made a thorough and effective job of establishing the NZSCDS, the fore-runner of the NZ Branch of the RSCDS. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their dedication and foresight, their efficiency and their expert guidance during the formative years of this fledgling society.

Now why was the movement so successful? Undoubtedly a major part of the success must be attributed to Jack Seton, the man who has been appropriately called ‘the father of New Zealand Scottish country dancing’. Jack was the catalyst needed to spark off the reaction. His spontaneous, friendly and extrovert personality made him an ideal ambassador for Scotland and Scottish country dancing. Emigrating to New Zealand in 1950, Jack soon started a club in Hastings and travelled widely throughout the land preaching the ‘Gospel according to Jean Milligan’, linking together expatriate Scots and Kiwis alike, under the umbrella of Scottish country dancing. He was

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an excellent MC. Men were rarely allowed to sit a dance out if there were lassies wanting to dance, and responding to his catch-cry of ‘feet on the floor’, we danced almost non-stop right throughout the evening.

And then there was everyone’s tremendous enthusiasm. Who will ever forget the Coe’s of Morison’s Bush and their elastic farmhouse, and their elastic beds too, I am told. I wouldn’t know about that because, like the other men, I slept on hay-bales in the hayshed. Who can forget Nora and Andy Sharp, Ken Shaw and others from Whakatane, who travelled 800 miles to dances at the Bush; and Maurice Colbourne, the man who borrowed a hearse to take the Hastings dancers to the Bush.

Do you remember Marion Head’s beautiful dancing and Charlie Whitehill’s beautiful smile? At Bush dances, which started in 1952 and were held three times a year, we forged friendships that have lasted a lifetime.

I think Nora and Andy Sharp and Ken Shaw knew every Scottish song ever written, and at the ceilidhs which went on in the Coe’s’ farmhouse into the ‘wee sma’ hoors’, we must have sung them all.

Who will ever forget those Bush dances, sets crammed into the hall like sardines in a tin, so ‘down the centre and back’ for the set nearest the door meant out into the night and back again, and it has been known for half the hall to be told to sit out the first time through a dance to make enough room for the sets to perform in some degree of comfort.

And those suppers, in true country fashion almost a three-course meal. The fruit salad was made in a cream can with all the bananas at the bottom to stop them going brown, and just before serving, Les Coe would rinse his arm and plunge it in over the elbow to give it all a good stir and mix up the bananas. The Health Department today would have a fit, but we all survived.

Enthusiasm overcame all obstacles. Just two months after the Association was formed, we were running the first Summer School of Scottish country dancing ever held in New Zealand and, as far as I am aware, in the southern hemisphere. This arose out of conversations I had with Jack Seton about the schools at St Andrew’s, and lacking the opportunity to attend these, I asked ‘Why can’t we run our own schools out here?’ So from 27th December 1953 to 7th January 1954 at the Napier Boys’ High School we did just that. Jack Seton, Nancy Baxter, Shirley Child and I were the organising committee, and Jack and Peggy Hudson were the tutors.

Imagine a group of single persons, couples, children and adults in family groups, all domiciled in a spartan open-air establishment devoted to make rugged males out of teenage boys, and you will have some idea of what we put up with. I still remember heaving coke into the furnace at midnight to provide hot water for ablutions in the morning, and hosing out the bathroom, yes, there was only the one, during the first teaching session of the day. Everyone was rostered to wash dishes,

Region and Club Reports

Scottish country dancing is a world unto its own
People from all walks of life, the country and the town
When the music starts a-playing and the dancing then begins
All cares and woes are blown away, contentment reigns within

Jackie Wilkes, Cambridge

clean dorms, and generally keep the place tidy, and everyone pitched in.

We did demonstrations in the Napier Soundshell and at Hastings, swam in the Tutaekuri, toured the school farm, and celebrated the New Year in true Scots fashion, complete with a haggis made by an old Scots lady from Port Ahuriri. Des Britten of gastronomic fame was a pupil at the school at that time and gave us an hilarious rendering of Selwyn Toogood’s ‘In the Bag’ show at our New Year’s Eve concert. Nancy Baxter’s two-year old daughter Jennifer saw her father choose a bag and much to the delight of the audience, called out ‘Drop that bag, Archie’.

The editorial in the 1955 issue of the ‘New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer’ recorded that the first  Summer School was attended by dancers from ‘all over the Dominion’ and mentioned the benefits of association, ‘sharing of knowledge regarding technique, dances and dress, a widening of horizons,and enrichment of interests through friendship’. It went on to say that ‘the first Summer School at Napier probably made the greatest contribution of all, both in friendship and in the pooling of information’.

It is gratifying to me, and I am sure to others at this gathering to find that what we established in 1953-1954 has continued in an unbroken line for 40 years, still following the basic format we laid down all those years ago. Sure, the numbers have swelled, the organisation is so much more sophisticated, and the costs astronomical, but I wonder if any

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subsequent school was able to refund 10/- per head as we did in 1954. Underlying it all, is still the same enthusiasm for Scottish country dancing and Scottish tradition, and the same friendliness that we knew then. I hope these things never die, for

1989 – Volume 36
Editor: Muriel Holland

it they do, Scottish country dancing as we knew it will just as surely die too.

Summer Schools were not our only activity. Hastings and Napier club members travelled to dances at the Bush, Wallaceville, Whakatane, Lower Hutt and Wellington, and it would take too long to tell you of all the incidents involved in those trips. Massed demonstrations were given at the Hastings Highland Games with dancers from all over the region (24 sets was the record I believe). Clubs demonstrated locally, and at concerts by visiting artists like Jimmy Shand, to whose records we danced almost exclusively. New dances were devised, stimulated by some notable event of the period, demonstrated and later published in the ‘New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer’. Here you find dances such as Marion Cunningham’s ‘Southern Cross Quadrilles’ and ‘Hugh’s Welcome’; Edna Smith’s ‘Owairaka Rant’; Jim Lean’s ‘Govandale Reel’; Ken Shaw’s ‘Morison’s Bush’; Peg Hutchison’s ‘Marion’s Welcome Home’ and ‘Ken Shaw’s Farewell’ by yours truly. ‘Seton’s Ceilidh Band’ came a few years later after Jack Seton had established his wee band in answer to a demand for live music.

The ‘New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer’ is as old as the movement itself. It is the imaginative literary creation of a lady sitting in your midst tonight. I give you Dr Marion Cunningham founder and first editor of the ‘New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer’. Marion and her helpers made a wonderful job of this magazine right from the first issue in 1954. It was the medium through which clubs reported progress and the podium from which the President and others exhorted the troops, but it also contained historical data, poems, humour, quizzes, the odd cartoon, and items of general interest. For instance, did you know that a sporran is the indicator hung in front of the kilt to let the wearer know whether he is coming or going; or that a cairngorm is a rock always carried by a true Scot in the hope of selling it to a Sassenach as a yellow diamond?

Marion’s forethought and enthusiasm has left us a legacy of inestimable value, for in the early issues of the ‘Dancer’ you will find a record of the birth of Scottish country dancing in New Zealand. Of course it is not all there. Marion had neither the time nor the financial resources to record everything, but what is in print is the only record of what happened, written at the time when it happened, and that makes it so much more worthwhile and valuable.

In 1954, Jack Seton wrote ‘There is no country richer in songs or dances than Scotland; it is our, aim, aye trust, to foster and preserve what can only be described as our sacred heritage, those lovely dances that time has added luster to, and not dimmed like other cults.’

Undoubtedly it was a love of Scotland’s dances, combined with friendliness, enthusiasm, and that pioneering spirit and initiative which early dancers and administrators possessed in abundance that contributed in great measure to the success of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association and its successors. We had a vision, and striving to achieve this was an immensely pleasurable and rewarding task. Forty years on, it gives us great pleasure to see our early goals achieved, to find Scottish, country dancing in New Zealand in good heart, and to know that today’s dancers are looking forward to the future and getting the same satisfaction and pleasure that we derived 40 years ago. (end of p21 and p22 commences): eminent attribute. Charlie Whitehill was certainly right when he said ‘Ye canna buy it’, and I’m sure you would all agree with Jack Seton who wrote 50 years ago ‘Perhaps the greatest advantage to be gained from country dancing is the friendship it develops, and friendship is among the world’s greatest treasures’. And that,

Madge Laing

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ladies and gentlemen, is what it is all about.

I cannot finish without commending and thanking everyone who has been involved in organising this reunion and celebration. It is so wonderful to meet again, old friends of 40 years ago. On behalf of us all, thank you so much for all you have done to make this possible.

Hawkes Bay/East Coast Region Notes

My, what a memorable year 1993 has been for Scottish country dancing. Not only have Gisborne and Napier celebrated 40 years of dancing, but also it is 40 years since the founding of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Region, and 25 years since the formation of the NZ Branch, all of which have called for great celebrations. We have been honoured by the presence of our New Zealand President, Min Jaeger at our 40th jubilee, and also our old friend and current NZ Vice-President, Eric Churton, to both Gisborne and Napier’s 40th birthdays. Napier was privileged to host Dorothy Leurs’ touring party from the UK in April. What a wonderful evening that was, with many spectators and dancers.

Two of the Region’s clubs have on occasions struggled to maintain one to two sets of dancers on club nights, but the ‘spirit’ is very much alive, and must be relayed to friends to enable numbers to swell. Scotland’s heritage is too precious to lose.

Gisborne club has averaged nine to ten members. All credit must surely go to Greta Harris for keeping the club together and to those tutors from Hawke’s Bay who have assisted throughout the year. Although small in numbers, the club organised a grand 40th birthday dance, which was well supported by the Region.

Wairoa club has had a fairly quiet year, with numbers dwindling to an average of just one set. Two members attended Queen’s Birthday Weekend School in Te Puke, and several at Napier’s weekend school in October. Some were also involved in the 32-some practices and the display at McLean Park, a great experience. The club ball in September was a joyous occasion, once again well supported by Region members. Dancing for the year concluded with an Ingleside evening as part of the ‘Pride in Wairoa Week’ events.

Hastings club continues to flourish. Member’s nights have been introduced. This year the club took the initiative to meet during the week to practice dances for the purpose of entertaining at old people’s homes, Hohepa and at club occasions. A demonstration was also given at the Combined Scottish Societies Ceilidh held in Hastings on St Andrew’s Night. The club has reciprocal visits with the Napier Club throughout the year. The formal dance held in June was a thoroughly enjoyable social evening.

Napier club had so much to celebrate during a wonderful year. Firstly overseas visit; then celebrating the New Zealand Branch’s 25th anniversary and in August the club 40th birthday, which was a truly memorable occasion. The theme for the latter was ‘The Formal Fifties’ and it was pleasing to see so many past members in attendance at both the dinner and the ball, not forgetting the many distinguished guests. The Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region Jubilee held in October was a huge success, made so by the hard work of the organiser Carine Mayhew, and all those who supported the event in any capacity. There have been many favourable comments concerning the dancing display at the ‘Charity Tattoo’ held at McLean Park, and credit must be given to Madge Laing, our loyal and dedicated tutor. Throughout the year the club has been called upon to give displays to various organisations, the final one being at the St Andrew’s Night Ceilidh in Hastings.

Best wishes to one and all, and may joy be in your step in 1994.

Editor’s Inaugural Awards:

First Region Notes received:   Southland
Best edited Region Notes:   Auckland
Best word:   Shared by Eastbourne Club (‘piratey’) and Cambridge Club (‘accoutrements’)
Best weather commentary:   Featherston – ‘It always rains on a Wednesday’
Most original theme for a dance:   Seatoun’s centennials: please note that this is not indicative of the dancers’ ages
Most unusual class:   Upper Hutt’s ‘polishing up’ class
Best outreach:   Nelson Club, for teaching SCD to two Brazilian lassies
Best name droppers:   Balmoral (Oamaru) who were invited to a function with Dame Catherine Tizard
Most adventurous:   Lochiel Club, who tried Alaskan dancing
Most evocative phrase AND obviously best qualified tutor:   Southern Cross Club’s: ‘patient, perspicacious, perdurable, persevering, perspicuous, plaited personality, Peggy’
Best descriptive article:   Aline Gee’s ‘Through the cobwebbed door and into the shadowy hall came witches and warlocks, gypsies, ghosts and demons…’

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Most enthusiastic recruiters: Mt Maunganui, who numbered amongst their new arrivals ‘one set of triplets, two sets of twins, and several single births’

Editor’s challenge to readers: find an article (excluding obituaries and advertisements) that does not contain a reference to food.

Hawkes Bay/East Coast Region Notes 1994

Gisborne Club was pleased to welcome new dancers to our membership this year, and we were also encouraged by a class with a visiting tutor, financed by the Region. Club members were involved in the city’s Scottish Opera Week, in which we took part in a parade and danced outside the theatre near the river bank. A challenge was to teach Scottish country dancing to 24 Girls’ Brigades participants.

Hastings commenced the 1994 season with ten new members, four of those being in their 20s. Unfortunately they faded away before we had a chance to convince them that SCD was their future, for at least the next 40 years. Later we discovered they were working at the orchards. We provided demonstrations for a St Andrew’s night celebration, a Scottish concert, and a variety of social gatherings. A number of our members were away at different times on trips both far and near, and we were pleased to welcome others making a visit to our club one of the experiences of their trip.

After a very busy year in 1993, Napier club has had time to catch its breath with a less hectic programme of events in 1994. Attendance at club nights was affected by members travelling overseas and by a nasty flu virus. Five ‘Members’ nights were held during the year giving five different pairs of dances. In July a very successful theme night was held when dancers dressed to represent the name of a dance. Before our club year began there were two very enjoyable nights of dancing at the Soundshell.

During the year we provided demonstrations for rest homes, the Red Cross, church groups, and the Caledonian Society. Members attended the Ashhurst Day School, the Wellington Anzac Weekend School and two region advanced nights. We were grateful to Carine Mayhew who stepped in as president while Doris Jensen was recovering from a hip operation. We were saddened by the death of dancer Barbara Flowers, and a number of members attended her funeral.

This has been a quiet year for Wairoa due mainly to the fact that four of our members were overseas for 2-3 months of the dancing season. However, the few dancers who were still in residence remained as enthusiastic as ever and kept things going in their absence. Christine Wiseman has put a lot of time into taping records so we can make use of the tape-deck our club has purchased this year. This was made possible by funds received from the Wairoa District Arts Council and Trust Bank. Two of our members travelled to Cambridge for the Queen’s Birthday Weekend School, which was most enjoyable. One of our members did some dancing while holidaying in Brisbane and even took part in a demonstration. Another member attended dances at St Andrew’s, Linlithgow and Hopetoun House while visiting Scotland. An evening of dancing was held as part of Pride in Wairoa Week. We plan an advertising campaign for 1995.

Recipe for a Party
Ian Seton

Book a hall and arrange to borrow your club’s record player etc.

Invite all clubs in your district and beyond, with everyone to bring a plate and clubs to donate raffle prizes with all proceeds to Cancer Society. Men should be prepared to tell a joke.

For the overture nothing beats Andy Stewart’s ‘Come In, Come In’ to give a party atmosphere and

Dancers parading at the Hastings Highland Games 1959.

The Editor and Tom Thornton at centre. Jack Seton was in charge of the dancing.

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Madge Laing (now Branch President) and Nancy Baxter.

[Notice for Winter School, Blenheim, 1989]

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The MC welcomes everyone and invites them to form a large circle. The host then starts ‘follow the leader’ by shaking hands with everyone in a clockwise direction and everyone follows on so that everyone meets everyone else.

Then on with the programme, which should comprise your favourite dances plus ‘Oslo Waltz’, ‘Waltz

The Grand March at the President’s Ball
Madge Laing front left.

The Teachers
Back: Ian Simmonds, Joan Tuffrey, Marie Malcolm, Gary Morris
Front: Mina Clanachan, Lesley Martin, Romaine Butterfield, Betty Redfern

“Can I do yer now sir?”
Madge Laing with unknown male.

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Country Dance’, ‘Good Hearted Glasgow’ etc for the non-regular dancers. For sheer laughter include a three-legged race.

I as MC only announced the dances and various others did the briefing. This not only saved my voice, but enhanced the briefing as each person had to concentrate on only two dances.

A favourite of yesteryear, ‘The Palais Glide’, was a pleasant reminder of the good old days. The modern waltz and quickstep with Joe Loss’ records took me back to the 1950s at the Plaza Ballroom in Glasgow.

There are no prizes for guessing the final country dance, and Jack Seton and his band were all there in spirit.

As the party started with Andy Stewart, it was appropriate that the last waltz was Andy’s ‘Haste Ye Back’.

The Cancer Society benefited by $250 from the raffles.

If I had known we would have had such an enjoyable night, I would have been 60 ten years ago!

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region Notes

Napier Club began the year with two nights of social dancing at the Napier Soundshell, where they were joined by Hastings and Ahuriri club members. The Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region Easter Weekend School was organised by Napier Club and catered for 60 dancers from around the country. A very happy atmosphere pervaded the whole weekend.

The club has had three sets dancing on most club nights. Club tutoring has been shared by Carine Mayhew and May Brooker, with Colin Barker from Hastings being our guest tutor for two nights in September. Family nights were held in May and August school holidays with good numbers of children attending. Member’s nights gave our regular tutors some respite in June, July and October. A ‘Fun Night’ with members parading in funny hats, provided some light relief and surprising creations. Club members have attended other club balls in the region, and have provided demonstrations for a number of organisations. The club ball in September was a happy and successful event.

Wairoa Club started a children’s group in 1995 which was reasonably successful, with those who attended regularly achieving quite a few basic dances. The adult section of our club has been fairly consistent, but numbers dropped off during winter. Members attended the Queen’s Birthday Weekend School in Tauranga and also many balls in other areas. Although our club is small, enthusiasm is as strong now as it was 21 years ago when the club was formed. Our 21st  anniversary was celebrated with a dinner and ball, which was attended by many special guests including our honorary Life Member, Mrs Jess Gray.

Hastings club held new members’ classes in 1995 and these were well patronised. With the retention of new members from 1994 the vital ingredient for the club’s well-being was more than maintained. Four club members (Colin Barker, Margaret Brougham, Glenys Kelly and Dorothy Wilson) attended the Winter School in Sydney and enjoyed the music of Muriel Johnstone and the teaching of Muriel’s husband, Bill Zobel. Members enjoyed a video evening, with dessert and coffee at Jess Ingram’s residence. Four members’ nights were held, with club members drawing up and teaching a programme of dances, which gave them valuable teaching experience. The club, encouraged by Pauline Griffiths, entered a float in the annual Blossom Parade. Our formal dance was successful and well supported, and those who attended enjoyed the supper, decorations and festive atmosphere. The club demonstration team danced at the Easter Highland Games and other venues,

Wairoa – footbridge in foreground with temporary water pipe in background and the “Onenui Ferry” now in use.

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1990 – Volume 37
Editor: Muriel Holland

and the ‘Morning Group’ provided demonstrations for several charitable institutions.

Top Honour for Scottish Dancer

This article and photograph reproduced by kind permission of ‘The Hawke’s Bay Herald Tribune’.

Jess Ingram has been dancing reels and jigs and strathspeys for close to 30 years. It’s an interest which developed from being brought up in a ‘very Scottish family’. Jess’ parents emigrated to New Zealand from Scotland. Her father belonged to a Gaelic club in Wellington which held regular ceilidhs and it was there that Jess got her introduction to Scottish country dancing. Wanting to do something different with the last of her five children well settled at school, Jess joined the Hastings Club of the New Zealand Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society in 1967. ‘A friend and I turned up one evening and said we’d like to dance. We were made very welcome by members and just went from there’. In recognition of the work she has done for the Hastings Club over the years, Jess was recently made an honorary life member, the third person in the club to be given this honour. First elected to the committee in 1970, Jess has given 14 years’ service as a committee member, and was vice president of the club for two years and secretary for nine.

Interested in helping others to enjoy Scottish country dancing, she tutors new members and started up a group which meets in the daytime to ‘brush up on the dances’ as well as entertaining at functions, homes for the elderly and the like. ‘Scottish country dancing is a great way to meet people’, says Jess. ‘Mostly done in groups of eight, it includes reels, jigs and strathspeys (slow dances) and partners are changed after every dance. It is very energetic and is good fun’, she says.

Ian Seton (d. August 1996)

Ian’s father, Jack, was a prime mover in promoting Scottish country dancing in New Zealand and he also formed Seton’s Ceilidh Band. Ian inherited his father’s love for dancing and loved others to share this enjoyment. He was always ready to invite a nervous beginner to dance and his easy manner would soon put them at ease. He attended many Balls throughout the North Island and rarely missed an opportunity to whisk a lady around the floor in the supper waltz. Many dancers turned out to provide a guard of honour at his funeral and Jake Kliskey of the Mt Maunganui Club has written a fitting tribute, a dance called ‘Ian Seton’s Strathspey’.

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region

Hastings had a year of very happy Wednesday evenings with three and sometimes four sets on the floor. Experienced dancers have participated in many entertainment spots including the Easter Highland Games. The Morning Group is still in demand from rest homes and individual groups. Social occasions have proved popular, including a fancy dress night – the theme being ‘A’ for August; a most successful formal dance; and a float in the Hastings Blossom Festival. At the final night for 1997, there was both joy and sadness. Joy in that we were able to grant to Mary Fordyce Honorary Life Membership; and sadness at thanking Colin Barker, retiring after eleven years of tutoring. Our club is indeed fortunate to have Mrs Madge Laing as a member. We were also fortunate to have gained ten new regular members in the last couple of years. One is a video camera whizz, and we have many shots of both the lighter and more serious sides of 1997s activities, including a special dance performed one evening by eight new members.

Napier finished the 1996 dancing year with an ‘Olympic Sports’ night which was great fun, and included medal presentations and a Grand Parade of Athletes. Dancing on the lawn at Napier Soundshell in January and February drew a good crowd of dancers, and some visiting spectators took part. Four evenings for advanced dancers during February were enjoyable and taxing. The 1997 club year began in March with special classes for our five beginners. Average attendance throughout the year was three sets. Members have supported both club and region events throughout the year. The club held five ‘members’ nights during the year, which gave our tutors a break and enabled some members to gain experience in front of a class, and to realise how much patience is needed! The death of Marion Struthers in June stunned all of us. Impressive tributes were paid to Marion, and her funeral was attended by many dancers.

Wairoa children’s group was well attended in 1997, with some new dancers joining us just in time for our annual dance. A very enthusiastic group, they are keen to learn as much as possible. Unfortunately, adult attendance dropped off as usual during the

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Council of the N.Z. Branch with Miss Dorothy Leurs at Hamilton.

Back Row: Murray Corps, Bruce Ferguson, Dave Favel, Eric Churton, George Lambert
Middle: Muriel Holland, Brian McMurtry, Genny Hall, Marjorie Crawford, Rhoda Tanner, Raynor Stratford, Dorothy Wilson, Peg Hutchison (proxy for Ian Simmonds), Robyn Ferguson, Yvonne Plant
Seated: Dorothy Leurs, Madge Laing, Min Jaeger, Nona Craig
Absent: Elspeth Allan

Brian McMurtry receives his life membership badge from Madge Laing.

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Madge Laing and Bruce Ferguson


– EASTER 1991 –

Former members will be especially welcome.

Margaret Mildenhall,
32 Tom Parker Avenue,

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winter months, but we managed to dance most weeks. Two adults and one junior dancer attended the Queen’s Birthday Weekend School in Tokoroa and were asked to join in the Hamilton Scottish groups’ ceilidh item – great fun!

Dancing a Passion

Photograph and text reproduced by kind permission of ‘The Daily Telegraph’, Napier (1998)

Mary Fordyce of Havelock North oozes an unaffected air of elegance. She has a warm and friendly aura which sits comfortably on her shoulders.

This could be the result of Mary’s long time association with her elegant pastime of Scottish country dancing, a passion which has resulted in her receiving Honorary Life Membership from the Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club.

Mary received Life Membership after 33 years’ association with the club, doing everything from supporting committee projects and participating at many dancing schools, to taking youth dance classes and baking shortbread biscuits for most of the social occasions.

Mary was born in Scotland, but moved to New Zealand with her family when she was only two years old. Raised in a traditional Scots family, it was only when she became an adult, that she was introduced to Scottish country dancing. ‘I went into Baird’s shop in Hastings to buy a coat, and a Scots lady encouraged me to go along to a local dance club meeting. She was the wife of Jack Seton, the instigator of organised Scottish country dancing throughout the North Island’.

That was in 1952 and Mary has been associated with dancing ever since. She started dancing at Hastings club, then moved (with teacher husband, Bruce) throughout New Zealand.

Everywhere they went, Mary and Bruce would take part or teach Scottish country dancing. On their arrival back in Hawke’s Bay in 1969, Mary returned to the Hastings Club. As well as attending regular club evenings, Mary is also a member of a sub-group which meets on Mondays to entertain at hospitals, rest homes and at various social functions.

‘I love spending my time dancing. Bruce and I have formed many lifetime friendships through the club. I cannot imagine life with [out] the dance or my friends,’ Mary says.

Marion Struthers: d. 03 June 1997
(Jean Hantler, President)

Members of the Hastings Club were saddened by the sudden death of Marion. She had been a loyal, hard-working club member for almost 15 years, many of which she served on the committee. Club members formed a guard of honour at Marion’s funeral and Scottish country dance music filled the church as all her many friends and loved ones filed out.

Editorial :

An ‘odd’ place (I hear you say) to

Photo captions –

Morison’s Bush Hall, March 1981

Morison’s Bush Hall after the fire, October 1989

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place an editorial. The truth is, the sheer amount of information received was quite overwhelming, and I had actually ‘paginated’ the entire booklet before realising that, as Editor, I had prepared no comment whatsoever!

So, what does one include in an Editorial?

A comment about the low number of attendees at some club evenings? Cause for concern, surely. The word ‘merger’ springs to mind (especially in ‘urban’ areas) – but I can just feel the hackles rise as you read this ‘outrageous’ suggestion.

Congratulations? This goes to Waikanae – the first club to send in its Questionnaire; and to Southland Region – the first Region to send in not only all of the club questionnaires from the Region, but the Region Questionnaire as well!!

I must convey my appreciation, first, to those who contributed to this year’s issue; secondly to those who took out advertising space; and, thirdly, to my husband, Jim, who proof-read the entire magazine (and found a few errors which others had ‘missed’). Any ‘surviving’ errors are mine alone!!

To those whose contributions were not included, I extend my apologies. Some articles required permission from newspaper publishers in Scotland, and clearance had not been received by ‘deadline’.

If you, as members, use the services of our advertisers, please be sure to tell them that you saw their advertisement in the 1998 ‘Dancer’.

Editor: Marjorie M Crawford


Another year has passed – where has the time gone, I wonder?

Contributions this year outweighed the space available, a happy situation for any editor to be in, but a difficult task to select what had to be omitted. I do apologise to those contributors whose articles have not been included.

This year heralds the ‘change’ in publication date for the magazine; and some of the items/notes may appear to be a little out-of-date. However, the magazine is intended to be a ‘potted history’ of what has occurred since the previous issue, and it is important to include such news.

I will be working with Standing Committee to fine-tune deadlines, so that next year’s edition reflects the revised date of publication.

As members, you will be kept informed via Kiwi News, but I urge you to start thinking now about items for next year’s ‘Dancer’. If you hold a special club or region function, do ask someone to draft-up an article as soon as possible after the event. It is much easier to ‘finalise’ an article rather than write it from scratch several months later.

Sincerest thanks are due: first to everyone who contributed to this year’s edition; secondly, to those who tookout advertising space; and, finally, to those members who very kindly proofread the articles. If you use the services of our advertisers, please tell them that you saw their advertisement in ‘The Dancer’.

Obituaries :
(Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region)
Nancy Baxter (d. May 1999)

Photo captions –

Glenys Kelly on ‘Holiday’

New Wairoa bridge.

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1991 Volume 38
Editor: Muriel Holland

It is with sadness that Napier Club records the death of its Founder and Patron, Nancy Baxter, in May 1999. Nancy came to Napier with her husband and family in 1953. A keen dancer in Scotland, Nancy’s enthusiasm was such that she soon found enough dancers to form a club in Napier, in August 1953. Nancy was an excellent teacher and set a very high standard, but she also loved to laugh, so club nights, besides being hard work, were also fun. Her bubbling personality enlivened many trips away to other clubs, including Whakatane and Morison’s Bush. Health problems forced Nancy to give up teaching, but the club, thanks to her, was flourishing.

When her health improved, Nancy formed a small group at Port Ahuriri with members of the Country Women’s Institute. The group became known as ‘Ahuriri Ladies’ who, although now a small group, still enjoy their dancing. As Patron, Nancy took a keen interest in Napier club’s activities, and was generous in donating raffle prizes, often her own handwork. Those of us who knew Nancy personally feel the loss of a friend, and owe her a debt of gratitude for introducing us to Scottish country dancing, and the many hours of pleasure it has given us.

Gisborne Club sadly reports the passing of Lucy Taylor (d. 07 Nov 1998). She was a Founding Member and Life Member of the Gisborne Caledonian Society.

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region

Hastings: With no permanent tutor for 1998 (Joy Tracey having moved to Wellington to take up a new job), Hastings Club, nevertheless, had a most enjoyable year. The club enjoyed several ‘members’ nights’ with Madge Laing and Margaret Mildenhall assisting on occasions. The club’s annual ball was well-supported, both by local clubs and by a most welcome contingent from Palmerston North. Glenys Kelly and her band of helpers sowed the seeds of enthusiasm at Camberley School, and her pupils gave most competent displays on both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

The club’s ‘Monday Entertainment Group’ had a very busy year, dancing out and about on some fourteen occasions.

The club was delighted to learn of Val Mitchell’s success in passing the Preliminary Test at St Andrew’s and hopes that Hastings Club is now some way towards solving the tutor problem. A ceilidh (celebrating the Society’s 75th Jubilee) ended a year in which many members worked hard, succeeding in keeping interest and enthusiasm alive in the club.

Napier Club is in good heart, and had much to celebrate in 1998. Two nights of dancing at the Soundshell attracted many visitors and prospective members. Those attending the two advanced classes in February found them most rewarding, despite the intense heat! Branch President Dorothy Wilson made a most welcome visit to the club in April.

To celebrate the Society’s 75th Anniversary, the club held a half-day school in September, followed by a pot-luck tea and ball. The club was very lucky to have Dianne Murdoch (Cambridge) as tutor of the Advanced Social Class; and local tutor Colin Barker in charge of the elementary/intermediate class.


I have enjoyed, very much, putting this year’s magazine together (although I did have some anxious moments in deciding on what was to ‘be included’ or ‘left out’, not an easy decision!)

My thanks are due: to those who contributed articles; to the advertisers; to the kind people who

Madge Laing looks a winner.

Page 132

took the time to proofread articles (and generally did not mind when I rang/faxed them at the most ‘outrageous’ hour to check on details.)

Additional thanks are due to Jan Idour of Dunedin who designed the front cover, which is stunning; and to Murray Corps (Wanganui) who updated the directory on his computer.

Once again, contributions received this year outweighed the space available. To those kind people who sent me ‘fillers, please bear with me, I intend to hold onto them until next year.

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region

Hastings club started 1999 in similar mode to past years, with dancing on the grass at Ebbett Park. We were joined by friends from the Port Ahuriri and Napier clubs; and we also joined Napier, dancing at the Soundshell. The year ‘slip-stepped’ past very rapidly and we are now into the new millennium, wondering what that might bring both for ourselves and for Scottish country dancing. The morning entertainment group, ably led by Jess Ingram, had a very busy year. This group gives pleasure and enjoyment to many who are now unable to ‘take the floor’, and several such visits have already taken place in 2000.

Members who attended the Region Dance in 1999 were pleased to meet the Branch President, Howard McNally. For those unable to attend Summer School, it was an excellent opportunity to meet Howard.

Our annual dance was well attended, and it was pleasing to see so many people enjoying themselves. We attempted some ‘old time’ dancing during the year, under the guidance of Dave Kellett. This was highly successful and we intend to hold further evenings during 2000. Teaching at Hastings is done mainly by Val Mitchell and Glenys Kelly. Once again, Glenys undertook the task of teaching some local school children. We do hope that these young people, together with those taught by Glenys in 1998, might form the nucleus of a JAM group.

Napier club continues to flourish, with three to

Council of the New Zealand Branch 1991
Back: Manly Bowater, Ivan Roxburgh, Dave Favel, Eric Churton, Gordon McIvor, Murray Corps, Brian McMurtry
Centre: Muriel Holland, Elspeth Allan, Rhoda Tanner, Yvonne Plant, Betty Redfearn, Mima Clanachan, Raynor Stratford
Front: Phyllis Gale, Nona Craig, Min Jaeger, Peggy Hudson, Madge Laing
Absent: Beverley Young

Page 133

four sets attending regularly. Many visitors were welcomed during the year, and we have also enjoyed the company of some Hastings Club members on a regular basis. Special classes for the newer dancers were continued, and these have proved to be well worthwhile. Social evenings were held once a month and we held a Family Night in September. It was wonderful to see so many children attending, and everyone enjoyed the dances from Book 40.

Our annual dance was held in September, with five sets attending, good dancing and good food too!! The club had an extremely busy year demonstration-wise.

Ngaire Hunnego:
(Excerpt from Katharine Hoskyn).

Ngaire’s life as a Scottish country dancer is a life of service spanning over 30 years, including Wellington, Hawke’s Bay, Rangitikei and Auckland regions. Ngaire was Wellington Regional Secretary from the late 1960s to 1970; President of the Hawke’s Bay & East Coast Region for a short time (1977); and tutor of the Marton Club (Rangitikei Region) from 1982/85. On moving to Auckland, she was a member of the Milford Club and also served as a committee member. For the last three years of her life, Ngaire was Secretary of the Auckland Region.


Another magazine safely ‘rolled off the production line’, by the agreed deadline, thank goodness!!

As I have said in recent ‘Editorials’, I have enjoyed editing the magazine, but this year’s task has proved to be somewhat more difficult for me than in the past. By the time you read this issue, I will have finished working on a three-month contract, working full-time for the first time in nine years. Those who ‘know me well’, will appreciate how difficult it is for this ‘Night Owl’ to leap out of bed by 6.30am in order to be at her desk by 7.45am!!

Region notes continue to be a problem, in my opinion. At Dunedin Summer School, Council agreed (a) that Club Notes be replaced by Region-based reports; and (b) that clubs submit their reports to their local region. I have attempted, via Kiwi News, to encourage this, as has our Branch President. With the support of all of the ‘Regional’ Councillors, we have done all we can to ensure that this year’s reports would be ‘region based’ and ‘up-to-date’. Not to put too fine a point on it, this, on the whole, did not happen. Whilst many regions did ‘come to the party’ and provided a well-written, cohesive, report, I received correspondence from other region/clubs which could only be described as ‘thoughts from local clubs’ stapled together, and it was indeed difficult to ‘work’ these into any order. Many of the notes, too, repeated news which was included in last year’s magazine. Please, let me encourage regions to appoint someone with ‘the

Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club members enjoy themselves around president Val Mitchell (centre) and club tutor Colin Barker.
Others, from left, are Mary Fordyce, Margaret Mildenhall, Mary Dixon, Jess Ingram and Beth Dennison

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1992 – Volume 39
Editor Muriel Holland

gift of the gab’ who can write an interesting article on the region’s activities; whilst ensuring that the person appointed does read the previous magazine, or two??

The Branch has had wonderful support from advertisers in this year’s magazine. Many ‘well-known’ advertisers have supported the Branch for some years; but other advertisers are ‘new’. As members of the Branch, do please, remember to tell these good people, when you shop/talk with them, that you saw their ad in ‘The Dancer’.

My thanks are due to many people. To Jan Idour, who, once again, has produced a ‘stunning’ front cover; to Murray Corps who has met my ‘often unreasonable’ demands regarding the Branch Directory; to my husband, Jim, who took the time to proofread the magazine, and found several errors (any remaining errors are mine alone!!); and to those who found time to ‘pen’ items.

In closing, I must tell you that it’s time for you to find a new Branch Editor. This is the fourth Branch Magazine I have produced, and it’s time to ‘lay down my pen’ as they say. I have accepted nomination to continue as your Editor for the 2002 magazine, but after that, the Editorship is in your hands.

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region

Both of the clubs in the region had a busy and enjoyable dancing year in 2000. Several ‘special’ events were held, including an afternoon of dancing for beginners; an end-of-year function with a Christmas theme (complete with the odd reindeer and several fairies who had obviously escaped from the top of the Christmas trees!); ‘member’ nights where non-teaching members have the opportunity to experience tutoring; and numerous demonstrations at rest homes, clubs and church gatherings.

Hastings’ 2001 dancing season is now well underway, and the year began with outdoor dancing on a beautiful summer’s evening. Many members attended the region’s very successful Art Deco dance in March, the suggestion to dress in the appropriate style was very popular and made for a most attractive sight indeed! The club celebrated its 50th Anniversary in May, an extremely successful and enjoyable event. The ‘Morning Group’ has been out and about as usual, entertaining rest home residents.

Napier club has welcomed at least six new members in 2001, and May Brooker has been taking special classes for these new dancers (and some of the ‘older’ members who join in). Our first ‘Members’ night for the year was great fun, and further evenings are planned for later in the year. Demonstrations have taken place at the Hawke’s Bay Marching Competitions, the Highland Games and at a local Ingleside.

Scottish Dance
(As reported in Hawke’s Bay Today, 3 Oct 2001)

The Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club recently celebrated its 50th birthday – a milestone for any club.

Founded by the late Jack Seton in 1951 the Hastings club is one of the oldest in New Zealand. The club held an afternoon tea for past/present members, a dinner and a dance.

The dance in the evening was the highlight for many as Peter Elmes’ Band from Wellington provided the music. To have live music is a rarity in the provinces of New Zealand.

Former members attended from all over New Zealand and Australia. One of the founding members Bruce Fordyce (of Havelock North) devised a dance especially for the occasion and this was presented to the club and danced by a team of eight dancers.

A display of old photographs and 78rpm records created a great deal of interest among those present.

Jack teamed up with Bruce Fordyce and together they organised the inaugural New Zealand Summer School traditionally held during Christmas/New Year period.

The first Summer School was held at the Napier Boys’ High School and this year it returns to Taradale where dancers from all over New Zealand and also from overseas will participate with much enthusiasm.

Scottish country dancing is enjoyed world-wide and language is no barrier as the dance movements remain the same.

Page 135

The Japanese are very keen Scottish country dancers and there will be several attending the New Zealand Summer School along with participants from England, Scotland, Australia and China.


My final magazine safely ‘rolled off the production line’, by the agreed deadline, thank goodness!! As I have said in past Editorials, I have enjoyed editing the magazine, but now ‘the time has come, this (sic) Walrus said …’ to pass the Editorship on to another.

I hope you will find much of interest in this year’s edition. My sincere appreciation to those who have contributed articles; and my apologies to those contributors whose articles were not included this year.

One matter on which I must admit defeat as I leave Office, is the vexing, on-going, dilemma of local reporting. For three years now, I have attempted to convince clubs and regions to ‘communicate with each other’ so that a good punchy, informative and interesting report from each region is included in the magazine. Let me say, up front, that many regions do this, but even this year, I still received notes directly from some clubs and had to refer them on directly from some clubs and had to refer them on to the region concerned. Forwarding the notes is not a problem in itself; but surely, clubs and regions must be aware by now that the reports are to be region-based. Quite simply, this means having someone in your region take the responsibility of collating the notes from the local clubs and then put together an article which is of interest to all of the readers of the magazine.

Once again, the Branch has had great response from advertisers. Many well-known advertisers have continued their wonderful support; and recent ‘new’ advertisers have also agreed to continue their support, which is great. As members of the Branch, do, please, remember to tell these good people, when you shop/talk with them, that you saw their advertisement in ‘The Dancer’.

My thanks are due to many people who have assisted me over my years as Editor. To Jan Idour, who, once again, has produced a ‘stunning’ front cover; to Murray Corps for his support in preparing and updating the Branch Directory during my time in Office; to my husband Jim, who took the time to ‘proofread’ the magazine each year; and, most importantly, to those who took the time to ‘pen’ the most interesting items. Particular thanks must go to those who sent their contributions to me as an email attachment this year. You saved me days of work!!

In closing, I wish the new Editor every success in his/her endeavours. The Editor’s job can be onerous to say the least. It’s difficult to please ‘all of the people all of the time’, but I know that you will support the new Editor, particularly with region reports!!

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region

Photo captions –

Mrs Isa Seton and Madge Laing

Hastings Club Committee
L to R: Joan Wilcox, Madge Laing, Margaret Mildenhall, Barbara Morris, Mary Dixon, Phylis Jane, Marion Struthers, Val Mitchell, Jess Ingram, Colin Jane, Jean Hantler, Colin Barker

Page 136

The Council of the N.Z. Branch 1992
Back row: Brian McMurtry, Manly Bowater, Murray Corps, Eric Churton, Ivan Roxburgh, John Martin, Gordon McIvor
Middle row: Madge Laing, Beverley Young, Genny Hall, Rayleine Peattie, Peg Stringer, Debbie Roxburgh
Front row: Elspeth Allan, Muriel Holland, Peggy Hudson, Min Jaeger, Ann Corry, Betty Redfearn

Both of the clubs in the region had a busy and enjoyable dancing year in 2001. Several ‘special’ events were held, including an Art Deco Dance; member nights (where non-teaching members had the opportunity to experience teaching); numerous demonstrations at rest homes, clubs and church gatherings; and an end-of-year function with a Christmas theme.

Hastings club’s year began with outdoor dancing on the most beautiful summer’s evening. The club held ‘theme’ evenings on a monthly basis. Ever tried dancing in ‘sneakers’, or masks and funny hats?? Two evenings of advanced dances were also held, which sorely tested the ‘little grey cells’!!

To celebrate 50 years of dancing, the club held an afternoon tea, followed by a dinner and an excellent evening dance, where the highlight was the wonderful music provided by Peter Elmes and his band. To commemorate the event, Bruce Fordyce devised an old-time ‘Celebration Waltz’.

Napier club held several family nights during the year, and members brought along their grandchildren, nieces and nephews. The club’s annual dance (which had a pre-school theme) saw visitors from Rangitikei Region join in the fun. Towards the end of the season, a demonstration was performed at the St Andrew’s Night Ceilidh in November. Final night for 2001 took the form of a ‘pot luck’ tea followed by dancing.


When I realised that this year’s publication of ‘The Dancer’ was the 50th issue, I wondered just what I had let myself in for, but thanks to the assistance and support of Marjorie, Peg, Murray and Michael, I am pleased to present for your edification this Anniversary issue. I have included an historical segment covering the last 50 years by decades that I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed researching it.

Over the years it was interesting to note how many times the discontinuation of the publishing of ‘The Dancer’ was discussed. If you ever have the opportunity to dip into the bound copies of

Demonstrating at the Highland Games

Page 137

the magazine from the last five decades, please do so. For me it was a trip down memory lane as my parents started dancing with the Nelson Club in 1953 and I was fortunate to be able to attend a junior class there from 1956.

While they may not be a complete historical record of the evolution of Scottish country dancing in New Zealand as we know it, they never-the-less do contain a record of significant events and the people involved.

Former editors were able to put all this into words much more succinctly than I, ‘The longer it goes on the stronger the motivation to keep it going!’ However, ‘The magazine is only ever as good as the material provided for it.’

Therefore Dancers everywhere I give you the toast ‘To the New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer, to all who have danced through the years with her and to the next fifty years – Slainte Mhath!’

Wellington Hawke’s Bay Association Of Scottish Country Dance Clubs

This year is the 50th Anniversary of the formation of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association. Nine months after its inception the first issue of the New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer was published followed in a few short months by the first Summer School in Napier. As this is the 50th issue of the ‘Dancer’ it is pleasing to report on the events held to celebrate this auspicious occasion.

The Wellington Region held a weekend school at ANZAC weekend and the Ball on the Saturday night celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association of Scottish Country Dance Clubs. It was a grand occasion and with 24 sets on the floor, leaving little room between the sets for dancing, there was a great atmosphere.

From the Grand March to the last dance the hall seemed to be buzzing and although a formal night it was also great fun. The New Zealand Branch President, Jenny Kuttel, the Region President, Chris Kelly, along with many other Branch and Region executive members and Bruce and Mary Fordyce, from Hastings, led the Grand March. Bruce is the only member of the original Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association still dancing.

Peter Elmes, Lynne Scott and John Smith, provided great music and it just seemed that the dancers and the band sparked off each, responding to each other’s enthusiasm. Peg Hutchison, Bruce Fordyce

1993 – Volume 40
Editor Janet Vaughan

and Gary Morris shared the cutting of the lovely cake, prepared by Jane Hansen, celebrating the 50th anniversary.

In June, Hastings club also held a Ball to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Association. Dancers attended from as far afield as Hamilton, Wanganui and Waikanae, reminiscent of the early days of the Association when dancers regularly travelled from Whakatane, Napier, Hastings and Wellington to Balls held in Morison’s Bush in the Wairarapa. The theme of the evening was nostalgia from the programme that included old favourites such as ‘Petronella’, ‘Golden Pheasant’, ‘Duke of Perth’ and ‘Campbell’s Frolic’ to an entertaining item performed by the Hastings Club Players, called ‘The Ballad of Morison’s Bush’ to the tune ‘Wild Colonial Boy’.

Discovering Havelock North’s Nessie
(As reported in ‘The Havelock North Village Press, 4 Sep 2003)

We have discovered the secret! The Loch Ness monster has not been sighted in Scotland over the last year or so, because she has been holidaying at the Fordyce’s place in Havelock North!

We dropped in on Bruce and Mary Fordyce and their colleague Basil Wheatley recently and discovered that they, along with other members of the Hastings Scottish country dancing Club have been caring for the affectionate monster. They have convinced her than she can make a reappearance at this weekend’s Blossom Parade, just as she did last year, but they hint that there will also be a little surprise development for parade watchers to look out for. ‘Well, a big little surprise actually’, Bruce told us enigmatically.

The Hastings Scottish country dancing Club was formed in 1951. (There are two other local clubs, in Napier and Ahuriri). Currently more than 40 members enjoy meeting each week in Hastings to learn new dances and practice those already known. There is little danger of being bored. ‘There are around 10,000 Scottish country dances’, Bruce explained. ‘There are three main types, Jigs and Reels which are quick, and the Strathspey, a slowish dance. Hornpipes are very similar to reels.

‘Originally, everyone from the laird down would dance these set pieces together. When the courtly dances such as the Quadrille swept through what is now the UK from Europe, Scottish Lairds resisted the fashion. They would often retain their own fiddler, and later button accordion players’.

[Pages 138 to 157 deleted as text is repeated on later pages]

Page 158

Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club

50th Celebrations June 2001

[Pages 159 to 163 deleted as text is repeated on later pages]

Page 164

Item for 28th June 2003
Re-creation of ‘Morison’s Bush’ 50 Years on.

Cast:   6 Women:   Jessie Coe, Nancy Baxter, Granny Coe, Mary McNair, Shirley Coe, Coyla Coe   Dorothy Wilson, Jean Hantler, Jess Ingram, Mary Fordyce
4 Men:   Les Coe, Jack Seton, Maurie Colbourne, Bruce Fordyce   Bruce Fordyce
Dress:   Women   1st scene: Long dressing gowns and slippers over normal ball wear (for easy change)
2nd scene:   Normal ball wear
Men 1st scene:   Shirts and slacks (or kilt) worn inside sleeping bag
1st & 2nd scene:   Bruce Fordyce: shorts, tartan shirt, gumboots
Announcer:  Val Mitchell


Announcer: Introduction:

‘Our Hastings Club has been involved in many ways in the Scottish country dancing Movement in New Zealand since its inception. Tonight we will bring to you in two scenes, a small vignette of those early days, so let us set scene one at ‘Four Oaks’, the Coe’s farm in Wards Line at Morison’s Bush, near Greytown in the Wairarapa.

The date is the 16th August 1953, and the time, somewhere about 6.30am. Dancers have assembled for a ball at The Bush.’

** Previously taped: (Offstage noises: milking machine, clank of buckets, mooing of cows, sounds of cleaning up – sucking of teat cups, broom sweeping etc)

BRUCE   ‘Well Les, that’s the lot. I’d better go and rouse the boys out of the sack in time for breakfast.’
LES   ‘Hey Brucey, do you know what the girls are up to? They’ve been up half the night practising a song Nancy Baxter has written, and they’re going to sing it after breakfast. You jokers had better not be late or you’ll miss the show.’
BRUCE   ‘Oh, all right then. I’ll get a move on.’ [enters and moves left stage]

** end of taped section

Page 165

BRUCE   ‘Hey you blokes, wakey, wakey, rise and shine. I’ve been up since ten past five. The cows are done, the pigs are fed and it’s a nice sunny day outside with only 5 degrees of frost. By the smell of it, Jessie’s doing bacon and eggs this morning and the girls are going to sing us a song after breakfast, so rattle your dags or you’ll miss out on the entertainment.’
[Men walk, jump behind hay bales and emerge fully clothed.
All move to centre stage to meet the ladies]
BRUCE   ‘Good morning you lot. You look as if you haven’t slept a wink! Morning Jessie, morning Granny.’
[Men greet Nancy, Shirley, Coyla, Mary likewise]
One of the Men   ‘What’s this we hear about a song you’ve been making up?’
NANCY (Scottish accent)   ‘Well we do have a wee song if you’re interested.’
MEN [variously]   ‘Ok then, let’s hear it. Let her rip!’
All women sing

To tune ‘Wild Colonial Boy’

1.   At Morison’s Bush in the Wairarapa, at odd times of the year,
A host of Country Da-an-cers from everywhere appear,
They stay at a friendly farmhouse, and are treated very well,
And of the things that happen here, we now propose to tell.

2.   Now Leslie Coe he is the lad who lives down on the farm
And every day he milks the cows and never comes to harm.
The cows go _ _ _ _ _ against the wall for all the world to see,
But Leslie says, ‘It matters not, so long as it’s not on me.’

3.   Now Jessie is the farmer’s wife, she works so busily,
And all her guests she does revive, with countless cups of tea.
And in between her daily chores, you’ll see her dance and sing,
Her spec-i-al-i-ty of course, is the bonnie Highland Fling.

4.   Jack Seton went one winter’s day to stay with Leslie Coe,
And there he donned his kilt so gay, and to the dance did go.
He danced a strathspey and a reel and gave his kilt a whirl,
And as he danced he stole away the heart of every girl.

5.   Young Bruce Fordyce was once so slim with waist of twenty-three,
Upon the bonnet of the car he’d pipe so merrily.
But now alas his weight is such that he must walk to slim,
For if upon the car he sat, ‘twould buckle under him.

6.   Now when we come down to the Bush we dance the night away,
And never get a wink of sleep, whose fault we cannot say.
But in the night a vision walked with pot and candle too,
‘Twas someone we know very well, just guess, can you? Can you?

7.   Next time we go down to the Bush, we’ll have a big surprise,
No more we’ll trot out through the yard to the place beside the sties.
We’ll have a brand new sit-me-down, with chain and water flow,
But measurements we refuse to give, not even to Granny ‘Coe’.

8.   And though you’ll scarce believe our tale, yet every word is true,
And if you want to join our fun, next time you must come too.
By bicycle, on foot, by car, in anything that goes,
And join the Country Dancers, at the Ritz Hotel of Coe’s.

Page 166

MEN (and audience)   [Clap and utter sounds of approval]
MEN [variously]   ‘Good Show! Beaut! Good on you Nance, that’s great.’



‘Fifty years have passed since those days way back in 1953. Scottish country dancing in New Zealand has come a long way from its humble beginnings, and the days when a ball at Morison’s Bush drew dancers, like a magnet, from as far afield as Wellington, Hastings, Napier, Gisborne, Whakatane, Wanganui and even Hamilton.

Let us now take a nostalgic look at the scene you have just seen, 50 years on in time. A group of today’s dancers, and one or two who were there 50 years ago, are investigating the old farm buildings at what was once, Coe’s’ farm.

And to make a small part of this scene intelligible to you, ‘Officer’s and Other ranks’ refers to the two cloakrooms in the Morison’s Bush Hall. This was a relic of the army occupation of the hall during World War Two.

But this was not the only peculiarity. There was also a notice, which said ‘Persons entering this building do so at their own risk,’ but this was inside the hall and placed so it could only be read on the way out. The old hall was certainly quaint and full of character, as those of you who knew it, will remember.’

(Opens on same scene draped in cobwebs)

(Women move about the stage exclaiming about items they seem to recognise. Two women (the singers) pick up a sheet of paper from the top of the hay bales.)

LYNNE   ‘Oh look! Here’s an old accordion. I wonder if it still goes.’
[Tries out a few notes, but is interrupted by first woman]
FIRST WOMAN   (Glenys Kelly) ‘I can’t believe it! After all these years someone has written a sequel to the ‘Ballad of Morison’s Bush. It must have been one of the men.’
SECOND WOMAN   (Jean Hantler) ‘And as usual, they chickened out and never sang it to us. What have they been doing all these years?’
THIRD WOMAN   (Val DARRAGH) ‘Dying, I suppose.’
SECOND WOMAN   (Jean Hantler) ‘Huh! Chickening out again, as usual.’
‘But some of them had lovely bathroom baritones.’
‘Anyway! Let’s have a go at this marvel of musical composition.’ ‘Lynne, can you play ‘The Wild Colonial Boy’ for us?’
(1st & 2nd woman moving left stage, sing the first verse of the sequel and stand apart, looking anxiously at each other.

Page 167

‘The BALLAD of MORISON’S BUSH – The Sequel
To tune ‘Wild Colonial Boy’

1.   Now fifty years have come and gone, ‘The Bush’ it is no more,
The hall burned down some years ago, back in the days of yore,
And Les and Jessie Coe have gone to a home up in the sky,
So all that’s left, is nos-tal-gia, and you, and me,

[Bruce draped in cobwebs rises from somewhere in the hay bales to join them singing]
BRUCE   ‘Hello ladies! Surprise, Surprise. What’s that you’ve got there?’
SECOND WOMAN (Jean Hantler)   ‘Oh, just a wee ditty someone has written as a sequel to ‘The Ballad of Morison’s Bush.’
BRUCE   ‘Oh! Can I have a look at it please? [Looks] ‘I’ll help you sing the rest of it if you like. Brings back a few memories eh!’
First & Second woman, & Bruce   [Sing the remaining verses]

2.   Jack Seton, he will always be renowned throughout the land
As the man who started all of this, and Seton’s Ceilidh Band;
He was the ‘Father of Country Dance’ out here in old NZ,
And all the rest of us all did was to follow where he led.

3.   Our Hastings Club was started up way back in ‘fifty-one.
We stayed at Coe’s as the ditty goes, the same as everyone,
But unlike all the rest you know, defamed or famed in verse,
We are the only club who can say, they went to ‘The Bush’ in a hearse.

4.   Now we have other claims to fame, for history books to store,
For Jack and Bruce from Hastings Club, ran back in ‘fifty-four,
A Summer School of SCD, the first they’d had round here,
Not only in NZ, but in the Southern Hemisphere

5.   Now Bruce you’ve heard was once so young with a waist of twenty-three,

Glenys:   ‘Don’t you believe it, he had an elastic tape measure’
Bruce   ‘After that rude and uncalled-for interruption, we will start again’
Now Bruce you’ve heard was once so young with a waist of ___?
Bruce   looks accusingly at the girls, who say
Glenys   ‘Thirty-three?’
Bruce   ‘NO!’
All ladies   ‘Forty-three?’
Bruce   ‘NO!’
Glenys   ‘Oh’ all right then!   Twenty-three!’
Bruce   ‘‘Thank you!’   [Bows}

Page 168

Now Bruce you’ve heard was once so young with a waist of twenty-three,
He came back to the Hastings club, you know quite recently,
Lost so much weight with dancing that he’s now quite fit and trim
He’ll pipe on the bonnet of your car if you like, it’ll no’ buckle under him.

6.   We never will visit ‘The Bush’ again, or [pause] ‘Officers’ and ‘Other Ranks’.
Only ghosts now tread those boards, or play, at Coe’s, their merry pranks;
But we down Memory Lane can roam whenever we feel free,
With the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association dancing SCD.

[The three singers take hands as in ‘Triumph’]

7.   ‘So gie’s a hand my trusty fiere,’ and millionaires we’ll be
In friendship, Country Dancing’s boon, to all it’s given quite free;
Let’s dance strathspeys, or jigs, or reels with pleasure not one whit less
Than when we danced fifty years ago, at “the Bush’. Goodbye! [pause] God Bless!


ANNOUNCER   ‘In the annals of our Club’s history, and among the mists of nostalgia, Morison’s Bush and the Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club will be forever linked with the Coe’s, the Cunningham’s, Bill McPherson, Nancy Baxter, Charlie Whitehill, Maurie Colbourne, Ken Shaw, Nora Sharp and a host of other dancers, from Wellington, Hawke’s Bay and Whakatane, who together formed the Wellington-Hawke’s Bay Association of Scottish Country Dance Clubs in 1953. This became the cradle of organised Scottish country dancing in New Zealand, and it was under the auspices of this association that Jack Seton, Bruce Fordyce, Nancy Baxter and Shirley Child, organised and ran the first Summer School of Scottish country dancing in Napier in 1954.

It is these events and all the people involved that we are remembering and celebrating tonight. May we never lose sight of our roots and may the memories of past achievements never be forgotten.

HASTINGS JUBILEE (To the tune ‘Wild Colonial Boy)

Dancers came from many parts towards the end of June
And Peter, John and Lynne were there to give them all a tune
Though older now and greyer still they came to join their peers
And all the celebrations set for Hastings fifty years.

They danced The Duke of Atholl’s Reel as in the days of yore
And Petronella, Monymusk and very many more
Like Cadgers in the Canongate of which they had no fear
For they had done them all before in Hastings fifty years.

They talked a lot about ‘the Bush’ (that’s Morison’s you know)
How dancers came frae a’ the airts to sleep in Hayshed Coe
And how the hall has now burnt down – a cause for many tears –
And that is how they celebrated Hastings fifty years.

Mary made a luscious cake for Alison to ice
And on the icing was a crest of Bruce’s own device
Then Mary, Shirley, Bruce and Peg cut it amid great cheers
And that is how they celebrated Hastings fifty years.


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Region Reports

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast:

Hastings Club continued dancing until just before Christmas and then resumed mid-January for those keen types. We sprang about on the lawn at Ebbett Park at the end of January with an excellent turnout and superb weathers. ‘Summer Dancing’ continued until the club began ‘officially’ at the beginning of March.

We have some new members attending and also go to Iona College to teach four sets of girls. We hope that these pupils will become JAMs and in due course attempt the bronze medal test.

Our Day School held for beginners early April was not as well attended as we had hoped. However, those who did take the opportunity to participate really enjoyed themselves. The dance in the evening at Karamu High School was greatly enjoyed by those who attended and we had Peter Elmes Band playing for us. The teachers of the Beginners class (over 14 years) and the Social class really relished the opportunity to work with the musicians and for the dancers it was ideal chance to experience ‘real’ music. The children who attended the evening dance requested the band to play for a dance that they had learned during the day and the band were delighted to oblige. The band also played Fisherman’s Reel and Polharrow Burn and these two impromptu dances were greatly enjoyed.

The year promises to be a busy one with the Morning Group already out and about entertaining at rest-homes.

The club now has a magnificent new badge and they have been selling very well. They are available to anyone who wishes to buy one.

Dalriada played for us on Wednesday 16th April and those who were able to do so greeted them at Hawke’s Bay Airport where they were piped in by Bruce Fordyce.

Napier Club began the season with its traditional outdoor dancing at the Soundshell on Napier’s Marine Parade where it attracted a lot of attention. A new venue at Anderson Park was also tried and enjoyed by those who attended.

The season commenced in March with a good turnout of dancers. We said farewell to Betty Mahy who has moved to Te Puke. Betty has had a long association with our area and will be missed by everyone having had a long and active association with the Napier Club and the HB&EC Region.

Napier Club will be celebrating its 50th Birthday on Saturday 23rd August this year with a dinner and ball, dancing to the music of Peter Elmes and his Band. To also recognise the 50th Anniversary of the forming of the Wellington/Hawke’s Bay Association, we will be organising a bus trip ‘down memory lane’.


It is 50 years since the first Summer School was held at Napier. At the time the Editorial recorded that the advantages were apparent to all from the sharing of knowledge regarding technique, dances and dress to the enrichment of interest through new friendships and the pooling of information. The teachers at the school were Peggy Hudson and Jack Seton and dancers attended from ‘all corners of the

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2004 – Volume 51
Editor Elaine Laidlaw


Now 50 years on, we have dancers attending from ‘all over the world’ and the New Zealand Branch ushered in a new era of Summer Schools with the running of the first musician’s course. I felt privileged to have been there and experienced the results (albeit from the sidelines) of this venture and I know from the articles contributed to this publication that both tutors and pupils felt it very worthwhile.

Where will Scottish country dancing and Summer Schools be in 50 years? Imagine dancing on the moon – JAMs would need to be handicapped (carry extra weight) while the older dancers would find it much less stressful on the joints achieving that ‘lift’.

This issue of the Scottish Country Dancer enters a new era with colour photographs on the two centre pages. I would like to thank all those who contributed articles, photographs, Region notes and advertisements to this issue. Thanks also to Marjorie, Murray and Michael for their assistance and support. A special thank you goes to the printer for his patience in dealing with my requests and queries.

New Life Member of the RSCDS
New Zealand Branch

Gary Morris started dancing in Hastings in the early 1950s and has danced continuously since.

It was not long before Gary showed his talent and dedication to the dancing, passing his Teachers’ Certificate at St Andrew’s in 1962 at the age of 23.

His profession took him to Wellington to live and he was very quickly involved in the Wellington Region both as a teacher and in an administrative role. He has taught at several clubs in the region; Wellington, Lower Hutt and Ngaio to name a few. He taught innumerable day schools and region classes, and his popularity saw him travelling all over New Zealand as well as Australia, Canada, USA and UK, teaching all levels of classes. Gary has always been willing to share his knowledge and enjoyment of dancing with fellow dancers.

He became involved with the Wellington Region Committee in the 1960s and over a long period of time was vice president and president of the Wellington Region and the regional representative to the New Zealand Branch Council. He was North Island vice president for the New Zealand Branch in 1976 and 1977.

Gary tutored many groups of teachers both in New Zealand and Australia for their Preliminary Test and Teacher’s Certificate. He was appointed as an examiner of the Society in 1991 and since then has conducted examinations in New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

He served on the New Zealand Branch Reference Technical Committee for over 30 years and became an ex-officio member of this committee from 1991 until the committee disbanded in 1999. This committee was replaced by a Teacher’s Panel and Gary served on this panel becoming Convenor in 2001.

In 1978 he convened the Wellington Region sub-committee which arranged publication of the Morison’s Bush Collection and later the Branch’s book Aotearoa Collection. He was also responsible for the Branch’s 25th Anniversary book, Silver Threads. Gary has devised several dances, the best known of these being the ‘Reverend John MacFarlane’ published by the Society in Book 37.

Gary’s knowledge and expertise as a dancer and teacher, and in later years as an examiner has been invaluable to the dancers and teachers of New Zealand and in particular to the New Zealand branch.

Marjorie Crawford, Gary Morris (originally from Hastings) and Dorothy Wilson were awarded life membership of the RSCDS New Zealand Branch.
Gary was also the recipient of the RSCDS Scroll of Honour.

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Andrew Bruce FORDYCE 1925-2004

Many dancers knew Bruce as devisor of the movements and music of the much-loved dance, now danced worldwide, ‘Seton’s Ceilidh Band’. Members of the Hastings Club also knew him as ‘Mary’s husband’, an enthusiastic and competent dancer, instigator of many novel ideas and skits for dancing events, and as devisor of music and dances to mark many special occasions. Much of New Zealand’s Scottish country dancing history is now recorded in Bruce’s music and dances.

Bruce’s involvement with Scottish country dancing began in the early 1950s when, as a young piper, he was asked by Jack Seton to play at Hastings dances. With Jack, Nancy Baxter and Shirley Child, Bruce organised and ran New Zealand’s first Summer School at Napier Boys’ High School in 1954-55. He joined the RSCDS early in his involvement in dancing, and was a life member. It was at Scottish country dancing that he met (and later married) Mary McNair, and we often heard tell of the many activities of those early days – dancing at Morison’s Bush, trips to Wallaceville, Wellington and Whakatane, and massed dancing at the Highland Games.

Bruce was born in Auckland, and from the age of 12 was educated at St Andrew’s College in Christchurch. Later his teaching career took him to Napier and Waipawa, and then with his family to Lincoln, Featherston and Havelock North where he retired.

Bruce was a talented man with unbound enthusiasm for everything in which he became involved. After many years pursuing other interests including tramping and model engineering, he returned to Scottish country dancing in 2001. He was a dedicated committee member, supporting the Hastings Club in every way possible, and his contribution was much appreciated. He was instrumental in the club becoming incorporated, and he designed our attractive emblem. He and Mary danced up to four times a week, attended the last three Summer Schools and often drove hours to and from other club’s formal evenings (‘you can’t expect visitors to come to ours if we don’t go to theirs’ was often heard). Hastings dancers spent many hours testing his new dances and enjoying the trials, tribulations and fellowship involved in the process.

How to publicise Scottish country dancing provided a challenge for Bruce and resulted in ‘Nessie’ the Loch Ness monster appearing and winning prizes in Hastings Blossom Parades. This clever project gave Bruce’s engineering skills and his organisational and creative abilities full flight.

Bruce passed away in April 2004, shortly after his 49th wedding anniversary, which he and Mary celebrated with family and fellow Scottish Country Dancers at a ceilidh he had organised.

Bruce, you were one of a kind, few and far between, who gave so much in such a short time. Our thanks to Mary for allowing us the privilege of sharing that time.

Region Reports

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast

Hastings: The first part of 2004 has been one of goodbyes for the club. In January we all joined in a barbeque at the home of Mary and Bruce Fordyce to farewell Glenys and Jim Kelly who were off to start a new life in Australia and we all wished them well. Glenys had been our secretary for several years.

Later in January we joined Napier Club at Anderson Park and the Soundshell for their outdoor dancing evenings and they joined us at our outdoor evening at Ebbett Park, all were enjoyable events.

The beginning of the year was marred by the failing health of Bruce Fordyce, who, having been selected as the club’s vice president, had to resign a short time after and the whole club was thrown into a state of gloom. Bruce insisted that we continue as usual and organised a Sunday afternoon ceilidh at which we celebrated Mary and Bruce’s 49th wedding anniversary. Despite the fragile state of

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his health, we celebrated in a very joyous way and it was just what Bruce wanted. He passed away on the 10th April 2004. We had been asked by Bruce earlier if we would dance his special dance ‘Seton’s Ceilidh Band’ as part of the church service celebrating his life. Never has there been a more difficult task.

Now we face the year ahead with more optimism having held a successful Tartan Night and we look forward to our Annual Ball on the 26th June.

We have a beginners’ class that is held on a Tuesday evening attended by very enthusiastic dancers who try their very best and their progress has been excellent.

Napier Club started the year in good heart with three sets dancing every Monday night. An informal group also dances on the first Friday night of each month at the Senior Citizens Hall in Taradale. The year’s calendar includes three nights taken by club members as well as Family Nights where members can bring along sons, daughters, nieces and nephews to do a selection of appropriate dances. A ‘Saints and Sinners’ night is also planned for 1st November 2004.

In August 2003 Napier celebrated its 50th Birthday – little did Nancy Baxter, our first tutor envisage that the club she started in 1953 would still be flourishing 50 years later. She and her husband Archie, and two daughters Aline and Jennifer, came to Napier from Lanarkshire and to help Nancy settle, her cousins Agnes and John Durie, gathered some friends together to form a class for Nancy to teach. Previously Nancy and Agnes were attending Hastings Club tutored by Jack Seton and after a few months, decided to form a group in Napier.

Saturday 23rd August dawned threatening rain – and it did! But our spirits were not dampened – far from it! We had an overwhelming response to our invitation to join us for this special celebration and we were delighted to welcome dancers and friends from throughout the North Island.

The celebrations began with a bus tour between Napier and Hastings – particularly for those who had danced so many years at the Hastings Highland Games – because this was also a commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the forming of the Wellington/Hawke’s Bay Association. Our hosts were Carine Mayhew and Bruce Fordyce – who incidentally was the organiser of the first New Zealand Summer School held in Napier 1954-55. We visited Napier Boys’ High School where it was held and Windsor Park, Hastings, the scene of massed displays at the Highland Games.

On Saturday evening after a social hour at St Stephen’s Church, we adjourned to the Hall that was decorated in blue, white and gold, for the dinner. Carine, Convenor of the Jubilee Committee, welcomed the 140 present and in particular past members including Maria Weston, who was in her 91st year, and Joy Tracey, a past tutor. A special welcome was given to Jenny Kuttel, President of the New Zealand Branch, Nancy and Archie Baxter’s daughters, Aline and Jennifer, Agnes and John Durie’s daughter, Mairi, and Jessie and Les Coe’s daughter, Coyla. It was at the Coe’s farmhouse that many stayed after the Morison’s Bush dances in the 1950s.

After a delicious meal, Bruce spoke of the beginnings of the Wellington/Hawke’s Bay Association and as a special surprise, presented a book he had compiled on the Napier Club, to the President, Drew Kefalas. Our three life members, May Brooker, Dorothy Claypole and Carine Mayhew, cut the birthday cake that had been made and iced by two of our members, Rosemary Stocker and Pam Metcalfe.

Because of the overwhelming numbers, we had to move to the nearby Wycliffe School Hall, so with umbrellas aloft, we all made a hasty transfer for the Ball, commencing with a Grand March led by piper Bruce Fordyce. Our MCs for the evening were our tutors, Jane McIlroy and Colin Barker, and we welcomed ‘back to the Bay’, Peter Elmes, Lynne Scott and John Smith who provided wonderful music for our programme of ‘old favourites’ which was thoroughly enjoyed by approximately 150 dancers. During the evening a set from our sister club, Hastings, danced ‘Sgeul an de an Diugh’ (pronounced Skay-il un je un joo) (The Story of Yesterday and Today) devised by Bruce and dedicated to Napier Club’s Birthday. In their colourful dresses the dancers received loud applause for their beautiful item.

And so we danced the night away, ending with the singing of ‘We’re No Awa’ tae Bide Awa’’ – a perfect ending to a wonderful celebration.

Sadly Maria Weston and Bruce Fordyce have passed away since our birthday. We are very grateful for the assistance Bruce gave us with his knowledge of the early days of the Napier Club and of the Wellington/Hawke’s Bay Association. We were so pleased Mary and he were able to be with us.


It is interesting to read in the Region Notes that there are clubs in all areas that are struggling with numbers. I am sure this is not a problem that is unique to New Zealand. With the increasing

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range of activities available it is a challenge to keep Scottish country dancing not only alive but also growing. A letter from a New Zealand dancer suggesting a change in direction for attracting new members was discussed at the Open Forum at the Nelson Summer School. The Wairarapa dancers had already had similar discussions and ideas that they will be implementing early in 2005. Further news on the success (or otherwise) of this exercise to not only attract new members, but also retain them will be reported in the Kiwi News later in the year.

Have you some success stories to share?

Do read the Region Notes in this magazine as there are reports from clubs of successful membership drives and also ideas that have helped to retain these new members.

While clubs always need new members, what happens to the dancers who are no longer physically able to actively participate? Are they encouraged to retain an interest in the club’s activities or even the Regions? I know my parents and Michael’s mother maintained their interest behind the scenes long after they had ceased dancing.

We do have a branch of our New Zealand dancing scene that is definitely growing – musicians. Musicians’ classes have been successfully held at the two last Summer Schools and once again there is an article from the course tutors in the magazine. This year an abridged version has been printed in this magazine but if you would be interested in a copy of the full article, please contact me (see the address in the directory). I would like to emphasise here the last sentence in Duncan’s article: The more they (the musician’s) play, the better they’ll get, so give them a chance to put their talents to work for you and, keep them playing!

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor
Enclosed is an extract from the latest copy of The Reel, the London Branch Magazine. It was taken from a 1960s issue and raises a subject, which is very dear to my heart, which shoulder to pass in the middle of the ½ reels of four in Mairi’s Wedding.

When I came to live in New Zealand in 1998, I

Extreme Back: Mary Dixon, Val Mitchell
Middle: Val Darragh, Margaret Brougham, Diane Brogden
Front: Pauline Griffiths, Brenda Wheatley, Jess Ingram, Glenys Kelly, Bruce Fordyce
On Stage: Lynne Scott, John Smith

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2005 – Volume 52
Editor Elaine Laidlaw

was surprised to find that the right shoulder was given. I taught my classes the correct way (Left shoulder, as written by the devisor, James Cosh), but this causes problems when they go to dances and crash into dancers who insist on passing right shoulder in the middle.

As James Cosh says, there is only one shoulder to pass in the middle reel of four and that is LEFT!

Hopefully publishing the extract in the New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer might help to solve this problem.

Regards, Pam Perkins.

Mairi’s Wedding

It would be sad if this most happy event were to be marred by discord: and to avoid any such possibility, we recommend to our readers’ attention the letters printed below.

To the Editor of ‘The Reel’

Dear Sir
There appears to be some difference of opinion concerning the shoulder in ‘Mairi’s Wedding’. I can only say that there can be only one shoulder and that most definitely is the LEFT shoulder in any reel of four.

I cannot agree that there is any more pleasure in passing right shoulder in the centre and I had many letters supporting this view and deprecating any alteration from the original intention of the dance.

I am,
Yours faithfully,
James B Cosh.

12 Struan Avenue

Dear Sir

Some time ago I had a somewhat embarrassing experience during the performance of this lovely dance. I had obtained from the devisor of the dance, Mr Cosh, a supply of copies of his booklet and distributed them among members of a group with whom I have for over a year been practising Scottish country dances. When some of us joined in a dance at another centre we found ourselves colliding with other dancers who had apparently been instructed to pass, in the centre, by the right shoulder, contrary to the instructions in Mr Cosh’s book. I was almost rudely told that I was doing the dance wrongly. I wrote at the time to Mr Cosh and his reply not only made it clear that he had definitely intended the dancing couple to pass in the centre by the LEFT shoulder but had emphasised the instructions by having it printed in italics in the booklet.

Yours faithfully, (Dr) Charles Forrester.

Published in ‘The Spurtle
Volume 29 (2005)

Heather Byers of Melbourne Branch wrote:

‘When Mairi’s Wedding first appeared in the 1960s we were all impressed as the half diagonal reels had not been in any dance we knew. There was no question in our minds about ‘which shoulder’ as it was clearly stated in the instructions – left.

Obviously, there were people who went their own way then – as now – because I came across the following two letters (as above) published in ‘The Reel’ – the newsletter of the London Branch which is celebrating its 75th Anniversary. The original letters were published in ‘The Reel’ in the 1960s.

I have noticed that right shoulder passes are appearing in some of the new dances and, of course, shall dance them as written. However, I will continue to dance and teach ‘Mairi’s Wedding’ passing by the Left. I hope others will do the same.

Region Notes

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast: 2004 saw both Hastings and Napier clubs off to a flying start with outdoor dancing enjoyed by all on several occasions during January and February.

Monthly dances held to explore ‘interesting’ dances are still continuing in Taradale attended by members of both Hastings and Napier clubs.

Hastings’ Morning Group again visited rest-homes providing entertainment to residents. Their efforts are greatly appreciated and sincere thanks to all involved. Napier Club visit rest-homes in their area and provide similar entertainment.

April proved a very sad month for our Region with the passing of Bruce Fordyce. In early April we were delighted to share with Bruce and Mary

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the celebration of their 49th wedding anniversary, an afternoon to remember and treasure. Bruce honoured the Hastings Club by inviting a set to dance Seton’s Ceilidh Band’ during his funeral service. It was one of the most difficult things any dancers had undertaken, but we did it with great pride. We all extend to the Fordyce family our sympathy and support in the years ahead. Bruce was a very strong personality within our Region and his input will be greatly missed by all dancers.

The visit by Anne Kennedy was well attended and enjoyed by all participants. We appreciate the efforts of the New Zealand Branch in organising these events.

Hastings and Napier clubs combined this year to appear in the local Blossom Festival with ‘Baby Nessie’ skillfully driven by Basil Wheatley and greatly enjoyed by the crowd and thankfully we had fine weather.

Formal dances were well attended especially the Napier formal where we all had the pleasure of dancing to Peter Elmes Group.

Dancers at the Port Ahuriri group are led by Mary Mills and they all enjoy the time they spend together. While in the mature age group, it proves to be no barrier to the fun and fellowship that is Scottish country dancing.

We have two certificated teachers, Colin Barker and Val Mitchell in our Region, and consider ourselves very fortunate to have them. We congratulate Val who was invited to teach at the TAC Summer School in Canada again in 2004.

Leading the Napier Club is Drew Kefalas and in Hastings the club is led by Jess Ingram, the Region is led by Brenda Wheatley.

Efforts to recruit new dancers take many forms and in Hastings the club is holding beginners’ classes. Clubs still advertise in the local newspapers and radio and of course word of mouth is often the most effective means of recruiting new members. Val has commenced a monthly radio broadcast in the hopes that this may also attract potential dancers when they hear our wonderful music.

We congratulate the New Zealand Branch on providing the Headquarters AGM with an excellent dance programme that was very well received.

We look forward to a new dancing year with enthusiasm and hope to visit many places and renew many friendships during 2005.

[Instructions for “Mairi’s Wedding”]

‘Mairi’s Wedding’ as published in ‘Twenty-Two Scottish Dances’ by James B Cosh and Two Others.

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Why do some devise new dances for us to enjoy while others record and compose music? Hopefully some of these questions will be answered in this issue.

Roy Goldring whose dances we all enjoy has provided an insight into his world starting with ‘The Cuillins of Skye’ and including ‘The Barmkin’ and ‘The Minister on the Loch’ and also his association with a number of Scottish musicians.

George Meikle of the Lothian Scottish Dance Band, who recorded the CD for Book 45, has written two articles for this magazine. The first deals with the recording of the CD and the second with the compiling of a book containing the ‘original tunes’ for over 700 dances.

I do hope you enjoy reading these and the many other articles and poems contained in this issue of ‘The Dancer’.

News From the Regions

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast

Hastings and Napier clubs ended the 2004 year on a high note with Christmas break-ups and demonstrations at the St Andrew’s Night Ceilidh. Once again ‘outdoor dancing’ proved popular with both clubs joining together during the summer break

This year Hastings Club ran a beginners class on a separate night to club night and it was very beneficial to the new dancers, giving them a lot more confidence before joining in with the club members.

Unfortunately due to inclement weather (most unusual for Hawke’s Bay) dancing at the Highland Games was cancelled.

The ‘Morning Group’ who regularly entertain residents of rest-homes found themselves very busy, including a trip to Bulls where they entertained residents of a rest-home. Both clubs entertain at rest-homes on a regular basis and they also participate in fund raising events for Child Cancer and Cranford Hospice.

The formal dances this year were enjoyed by all who attended and many of our dancers supported annual dances in Feilding, Ashhurst and Carterton. Three dancers from our Region (Margaret Brougham, Brenda Wheatley, Dorothy Wilson) participated in the 30th Australian Winter School (Dookie, Victoria), which they enjoyed.

The Blossom Festival saw a decorated truck carrying dancers and some of their grandchildren parade through the streets of Hastings where they were very well received. Basil Wheatley drove our ‘Baby Nessie’ and drew many admiring comments.

The Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Group were an absolute delight. The concert/dance was very well attended by country dancers and members of the two Scots societies.

Val Mitchell has been running a programme of Scottish Country Dance music and news on the local access radio station each month and it is proving very popular and a good way to advertise dancing.

Twice a month on a Friday evening Drew and Glenys Kefalas invite dancers to attempt the intricate dances not usually seen at club evenings.

Beryl Stucki (Napier) and David Whyte (Hastings) both passed away in June and both will be missed by their dancing friends.

We now look forward to our Region Weekend School in April and much more dancing in 2006.


While it is interesting to read the news from the Regions and the printing of these reports in this publication provides an ongoing history of Scottish

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2006 – Volume 53
Editor Elaine Laidlaw

country dancing in New Zealand, as editor it is always pleasing to receive contributions from other sources.

I would like to thank Fiona Selwyn for permitting me to reproduce in this issue an article written by Alan Mair for St Andrews in Focus. Alan also provided the photographs that accompany the article. An unusual source this year is the article on the First Ever South Pole Highland Games and Clan Gathering provided by Craig Bell and Robert Melville. (New Zealand is after all the nearest branch to the South Pole.)

A special thank you to all the photographers for their visual contributions; especially McRobie Photographics Ltd Dunedin who were the official photographers at the Dunedin Summer School.

In each issue I have included a photograph of the Management Committee, but this time I am including some of the other Branch ‘office bearers’.

Madge Cruickshank Laing d. 2006.

Madge began her dancing career in her native Aberdeen. In 1957 Madge and her family emigrated to New Zealand travelling by boat, the longest six weeks she had ever experienced. Madge once told me it took her 40 years to consider New Zealand her home, she enjoyed her life in Hastings although the summers at times were a little too warm.

Madge had a great passion for Scottish country dancing and the knowledge she imparted was excellent. She inspired many and any who found the time for discussions about SCD would learn something new. She was the best mentor a dancer could have with her in-depth knowledge of both dance and music and her practical approach to any challenge.

Madge served the New Zealand Branch by holding several offices over the years and was awarded the RSCDS Scroll for Meritorious Service in 1992.

She had been the New Zealand Branch President, North Island Vice President, New Zealand Examiner, Member of Technical Committee, Hawke’s Bay/East Coast Region Representative, Hastings Club Tutor and the first tutor of a Scottish country dance group in Taradale, this shortly after she had arrived from Aberdeen. She upheld the Society’s objectives faithfully during a dancing career that spanned well over 60 years and set an outstanding example for dancers throughout New Zealand as she taught at Day, Weekend and Summer Schools. Her classes were well attended and her teaching skills were unequalled.

Madge had many stories she could relate when teaching a dance, one in particular involved ‘The Montgomeries Rant’. She was attempting to gain a place in a demonstration team in Aberdeen and had been asked to partner a gentleman wearing a beautiful shirt adorned with lace, she was so fascinated by it as they crossed giving left hands that instead of casting up, she cast down and so that was the end of her chance to be part of the demonstration team. She said ‘he was fair dripping wi’ lace I was mesmerized.’

Madge will be greatly missed by all members of the Hastings Club and indeed by many dancers throughout New Zealand. Madge gave much of her life to dancing and we are the richer for it – thank you for sharing it with us.

Dancers owe a debt of gratitude to Madge’s family for the time she spent away from them especially during the Christmas/New Year as she prepared for Summer Schools when examinations were held.

(The following was the closing of the eulogy presented by Madge Laing’s family at her funeral.)

Daughter Barbara found these words that her mum had given her some time ago – we leave you with them…

When you’re feeling rather glum,
And all your skies look grey,

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2007 – Volume 54
Editor Elaine Laidlaw

Just snap your fingers, swing your kilt,
And dance your cares away,

Isabelle, Alan and Barbara.


Hawke’s Bay/East Coast

Our Region had a very busy year; both Hastings and Napier clubs have been well supported by their  members at the functions held during the year and on club nights.

The Region ran a very successful Weekend School in April, despite very wet weather (which is not usual for Hawke’s Bay). Dancers came from several areas which was very gratifying for the organisers and we were fortunate to have Murray and Deanne Corps bring the James Senior shoes for us to see and purchase. Ken Weeks was in attendance and it was a great opportunity for local dancers to see ‘in person’ what was available.

We discovered a group of local musicians who were prepared to learn our music and we duly had a practice night with them. They worked very hard to learn as many tunes as possible and played for the Hastings, Napier and Region formal dances. We are very keen to encourage these people and hope they will be able to attend a Summer School music course next year.

Like most Regions, we have had a lot of dancers visiting from overseas and it’s always a pleasure to welcome them. Many dancers from our Region travelled overseas, several drawn to Scotland.

We also suffered losses during the year. Mary Wright from Ahuriri Club passed away and we were deeply shocked and saddened to lose Madge Laing suddenly. Madge’s knowledge and expertise will be greatly missed and we feel privileged to have shared a great deal of time with her. We extend our sympathy to her family.

We have enjoyed travelling to other regions and joining in with their dancers. The exciting thing about SCD is that no matter where you go you are always made to feel welcome.

Hastings Club once again took part in the local Blossom Parade, this year it celebrated Hastings – 50 years a city – so participants all wore gold sashes to mark the occasion. An excellent crowd attended in excess of 20,000 on a fine warm day (usual weather for HB). We also took part in the opening concert at our magnificently refurbished Opera House with four sets on stage dancing. It was an excellent event that gave us the opportunity to be seen and to communicate with potential new members.

Napier Club began the year with outdoor dancing in front of the Soundshell on the Marine Parade and this attracted the attention of many onlookers – again great publicity for Scottish country dancing.

Clubs have maintained their memberships this year with the addition of some new members and we are constantly looking for ways of attracting more members to our clubs.

Now we look forward to Summer School and the new dancing year in 2007.

The New Threesome ‘Real’

Did you know Hawke’s Bay boasts Scottish country dancing triplets – born in Napier, on the same day, same year, yet no blood relation?

Yes, Hastings Club member Basil Wheatley, and Napier Club members, Carine Mayhew and Colin Barker were born in Napier on 18th November, all in different nursing homes, and it is only in recent years that this phenomenon has been revealed.

2004 was a very special birthday for us – our 70th – and to celebrate a special evening had been organised for us by Brenda, Basil’s wife, Carol Smith (Wellington) and May Brooker (Napier). And what a wonderful occasion it was!

There were several visitors from ‘out of town’, including Betty and Ross from Te Puke but now of Tokoroa. Carol was our MC and the evening commenced with Betty, suitably dressed in 1934 style clothing, pushing a dolls pram containing three dolls – the triplets – and Ross, playing the bagpipes leading the procession. Carol had a varied programme for us including novelty dances, a quiz, a competition for ‘choirs’ and for the occasion, she had devised a strathspey, ‘The Triumphant Trio’ in our honour.

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It was a wonderful way to ‘launch’ us into the ‘Super Seventies’ and, although rather belated, we would like to thank you so much Carol, and all our Scottish country dancing friends for such a wonderful ‘evening to remember’.


Is the keeping of historical records for an organisation such as ours important? I think it is. This is the 55th issue of this magazine and within the pages of each annual edition are recorded the highlights and sometimes the challenges of our dancing year.

A number of clubs and regions have reached significant milestones since I became editor. Only last year Summer School in Dunedin celebrated with a ‘Touch of Gold’. This year, when I hand over to a new editor, I hope that this publication will continue to record the history of the New Zealand Branch, Regions and Clubs. This does however require input from the members  YOU!

Each year I wonder if I will have the articles to produce an interesting and informative magazine and each year I am surprised with the items offered. This year Damon Collin reminisces on schools he has attended, Bruce and Valerie Frazer share their experiences at ‘Scottish Week’ and Angus Henry has written an article on the latest trends with music for classes.

Photographs are always important and this issue is no exception thanks to Chris Ward (official Summer School photographer), Alan Robson, Duncan and Miriam Laidlaw and Katharine Hoskyn (who never fails to submit a good selection.)

Finally my thanks to Marjorie Crawford, proofreader extraordinaire, and to Murray Corps for his tireless support each year.

Region Reports

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast

Hastings Club has had a busy year with most club nights being attended by at least three sets and we welcomed dancers from other parts of the country.

Many members have travelled to dance fixtures in various areas in the North Island, and two dancers attended Summer School in Dunedin.

Special fixture nights have included a ‘Tartan Night’, a ‘Red and Purple’ night (quite a clashy occasion), with matching purple and red food and ‘Hallowe’en Night’ with the usual witches and novel scary attachments and our potluck teas have been very enjoyable. Our annual dance was enjoyed by all dancers who attended and we are always grateful to those dancers who travel from other places to share our evening.

The demonstration set has been out and about, entertaining at many fixtures included a fundraiser for the Cancer Society at Glen Etive Restaurant instantly attracting a new member. The Monday Morning Group has also done some daytime displays when most other members are at their various jobs. Our tutor Val Mitchell keeps us ever on our toes and is always challenging us. We were delighted that Val has been invited to be one of the three core teachers at TAC 2008 Summer School, Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada.

End of year events are now in full swing with demonstrations at a church service, St Andrew’s Night Ceilidh and the Scots Society Ingleside. Our annual Christmas dinner is enjoyed by all members and gives us all time to socialise.

Napier Club had another enjoyable year of dancing which included members’ nights and a mid-year potluck tea. We finished the year with a club dinner at the RSA.

During the year we danced out at rest-homes, the local Ingleside and on St Andrew’s Day. The Friday class for the more experienced dancers is going well with support from Hastings dancers. Our summer programme was as popular as ever with our picnic dances, public dancing at the Soundshell and the New Year dance.

We are looking forward to celebrating our 55th birthday in August 2008.

News as recorded in Hawke’s Bay Today dated 6 August 2008:

Dance instructor heads to Canada.

Valerie Mitchell of Hastings is about to embark on a journey of which few New Zealanders have had the honour.

The certified Scottish Country Dance instructor is the first Kiwi in more than 30 years to be invited to teach overseas at the Scottish Country Dance Summer School being held in Canada.

‘For a Kiwi to be invited is quite a rare occurrence’, Val says. ‘Over the past few years I have been one of their guest teachers; however, never in my wildest dreams did I expect to receive an invitation to be a ‘core’ teacher.’

Val first found her love of Scottish Country Music at a young age. Originally a fan of highland dancing, Val used to practice with make-shift costumes and props in her bedroom as a young girl before shifting her focus to Scottish country dancing due to her love of the music involved.

The Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club instructor completed her preliminary Scottish dancing exam in 1998 before receiving her Scottish

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Country Dance certificate in 2000 (both completed in Scotland), though she can hardly contain her nerves and excitement as she leaves for Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, today.

‘I have been dancing for many years and am motivated by the great music and interesting dances. The look of satisfaction on a dancer’s face when they achieve a particular formation or dance is a great reward.’

Val, who is accustomed to teaching with the aid of pre-recorded music, says teaching with the accompaniment of a live band will be a high point

‘The Triplets’, Basil Wheatley, Carine Mayhew, Colin Barker.

2008 – Volume 55
Editor Elaine Laidlaw

of her teaching career.

‘Canada has some of the best Scottish musicians in the world,’ she says. ‘It’s an absolute treat to work with legends and a real honour.’

Two years ago, as Valerie was guest teaching at the same event in Canada, her close friend, mentor and teacher, Madge Laing, sadly passed away.

‘Madge was the person who taught me everything I know about Scottish country dancing. I learned something from her every time she opened her mouth,’ Val says. ‘When I leave, she’ll be right behind me’

The Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club couldn’t be more proud of the gifted instructor as she represents the club overseas.

‘We’re just so proud of Val,’ says club member Brenda Wheatley, ‘but hardly surprised.’


I was fortunate in 2008 to have the opportunity to spend a few days touring Scotland – my first visit. Apart from the amazing scenery and the atmospheric weather, it seemed we also managed to ‘dance’ our way round the country. As we crossed from England into Scotland, we paused to pay a ‘Tribute to the Borders’.

In Edinburgh we had accommodation on Princes Street opposite the Scott Monument with a magnificent view of Edinburgh Castle. The tour of Edinburgh included a drive up to ‘Arthur’s Seat’ with a view onto Duddingston Loch and ‘Holyrood House’. The bus stopped on the esplanade and we reeled our way up through ‘The Edinburgh Castle’. Later that day Michael and I walked over ‘The Dean Bridge’ and later visited the National Gallery to view ‘The Minister on the Loch’.

From Edinburgh we drove north over the ‘Forth Bridge’ and up to St Andrews. The stopover was brief but we did see the Abbey ruins and the fairways of the Royal & Ancient. On to Braemar for a lunch stop beside the Dee followed by a visit to the Glenlivet distillery for an interesting and ‘satisfying’ visit (especially the free samples).

The misty weather suited the bleakness of Culloden Moor as we sped on our way to Skye. A brief stop for the ‘Inverness Reel’ to view the castle that is now the seat of local government and the sheriff’s court. Over the Caledonia Canal and down the side of Loch Ness (not a glimpse of Nessie!!) Inland to Eilean Donan Castle and on to the Bridge of Skye and there in the distance were the ‘Cuillins of Skye’.

After a lunch break at Malaig we were on the road again driving past the ‘Sands of Morar’! A brief stop at Glenfinnan to view the memorial to the site where Bonnie Prince Charlie arrived accompanied by seven supporters (‘The Eight Men of Moidart’). An added attraction at Glenfinnan was a sighting of the ‘Hogwarts Express’ crossing the viaduct.

We arrived in Oban late afternoon and there on the

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skyline was ‘McCaig’s Tower’. The sun shone and the sky was blue for the day trip to Mull and Iona.

A brief stop at ‘Inverary’ where we could see the effect of ‘The Wind on Loch Fyne’. We stopped on ‘Rest and be Thankful’ for a group photo then on to Glasgow. Two hours to see Glasgow but how small the world is! There walking along Buchanan Street was Helen Frame who had been a teacher at Wellington Summer School earlier in the year.

The rest of our journey around Scotland was by car. A quick trip to Stirling to visit friends then back to Ayr. Fortunately some ‘Merry Lads of Ayr’ came to our assistance when we couldn’t find the road out of the town centre.

On the road to Ettrick we stopped to photograph the Grey Mare’s Tale and St Mary’s Loch. After finding the James Hogg Memorial (Ettrick Shepherd) we searched for ‘The Gair’ then travelled on to Jedburgh.

One more day in Scotland! We travelled to ‘Kelso’, Coldstream, Berwick on Tweed, Eyemouth and St Abbs.

Region Reports

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast

Due to the printed report in this year’s Volume 56 being repeated from Volume 55, the following has been taken from the Hawke’s Bay/East Coast President’s report:

‘I take pleasure in presenting the Hawke’s Bay/ East Coast Region report for 2008. Once more we have had an interesting year of dancing with much activity between the two clubs and further afield.

The first Regional event for the year was ‘Dancing at the Napier Soundshell’. This took place on the evening of 22nd January with Val Mitchell and Colin Barker sharing the tutoring. It was a happy occasion which attracted many tourists and locals, some joining in with the dancing.

Throughout the year we held four advanced technique classes at the Senior Citizen’s Hall in Taradale, again with Val and Colin tutoring (two nights each). Some dances they chose were quite a challenge!

Our ‘Annual Dance’ held on Sunday afternoon 27th July at St Paul’s Church Hall in Napier proved to be another great success. Our thanks go to our two tutors again, and all the happy dancers, especially those who had travelled some distance for the occasion.

I would like to thank our Secretary Jeannie Wright, Treasurer Brenda Wheatley and Auditor Jack Chapman for their service throughout the year.

I have enjoyed my two year term in office and I take this opportunity to thank you all for your support. My best wishes to the incoming committee. (May Brooker)

Likewise from the Hastings Club 2008 AGM report:

During the year a new variable Coomber was purchased, which should be beneficial to all who either use tapes or CDs or dance to it. Beginners classes in January 2008 were taken by Val with valuable assistance by six of our members.

Many members travelled to other club functions in the North Island, four ladies went on the ‘Whanganui River Cruise’ and five attended Summer School in Christchurch.

Social events included Pot Luck Tea (April), Tartan Night (May), special night for Jess Ingram’s ‘Big O’ (June) and the ‘D’ night in August where everything from ‘dishwashers’ to ‘dominoes; was in evidence. The Hastings Blossom Parade heralded Spring with two diligent fairies was a successful way to show our flag and we even ‘danced in the street’

The year ended with a Christmas dinner at a local club where we were thoroughly entertained by the ‘Costumed Demonstration Set’. As we dined on the dance floor there was ample room later for us to dance.

2008 season for the Morning Group has been most

Brenda Wheatley, Val Mitchell, Pauline Griffiths

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enjoyable. Numbers vary from week to week, but there are always enough people to make it a great dancing morning.

Visits to various organisations continue, some new to us and other ‘old faithfuls’ have been appreciated by all. Donations received from our visits have been used this year by the Club Demonstration Team to help provide costumes for events during the year.

With the help of two of our members, the time was

2009 – Volume 56
Editor Elaine Laidlaw

taken to tackle quite ambitious dances, usually with success.

It has been great to welcome visitors from other clubs and repeat visits from overseas dancers especially those from Norwich.

With the change of hall, the Morning Group had a change of day (Monday to Friday) which resulted in losing some of our regulars, which we regret, but the new hall is proving to be very comfortable and we appreciate the help of the friendly staff.

The club demonstrates to promote Scottish country dancing as well as new members. Venues included Hastings Highland Games, St Andrew’s Day, Caledonian Scots Society and the Scots Society.

We lost a much-loved long-standing member early in July. Margaret Mildenhall was a valuable club member and tutor in past days.

Excerpt of a Display as recorded in Hawke’s Bay Today dated 12 Jan 2009:

‘Then we watched eight graceful ladies and one gentleman from the Hastings Scottish country dancing Club doing their fancy steps. The gentleman with a guitar sang old Scottish songs. He asked us to join in the lilt of popular Scottish tunes. Then we were asked to dance! Oh well, off with the shoes and we tried to be as graceful as our partners. Later the ladies paraded their plaids and told us which clan they represented. A very pleasant hour. They stayed and had a well-deserved cup of afternoon tea.


Another dancing year has reeled, jigged and strathspeyed by and in spite of writing in my editorial in the 2008 issue of the New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer that I would be handing over to a NEW editor, I still find myself acting as editor for the New Zealand Branch magazine and newsletter.

In the 50th issue I quoted former editors – ’the longer it (the magazine) goes on the stronger the motivation to keep it going!’ It is this thought that motivates me to ‘keep going’ in the position of editor.

However, every organisation benefits from fresh ideas and viewpoints and Scottish country dancing and especially the New Zealand Branch is no exception. As dancers we all enjoy the challenges of new dances and formations, so be challenged in another area – step forward (skip-change preferably) and accept a position on the Branch Management Committee, or as Custodian, or as Bookshop Keeper or as the Editor.

My thanks as always goes to the coordinators of the Region reports and to those who have provided photographs for this issue, Jill Huszak, Miriam Laidlaw and Lois McEwan.

Region Reports 2009

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast

Hastings began the year by changing venues. We now dance in the Age Concern Hall in Heretaunga Street. As well as dancing at the Napier Soundshell, we have enjoyed social dancing at Ebbett Park and at the home of Gillian and Nick Lusk.

We began with a strong beginners’ class, but they did not seem to be so enthusiastic about joining the main group on Wednesday evenings. In April we danced at Duart House to celebrate the 90th birthday of Paddy Crowe. He and his wife Jean have been great members and supporters of our club in the past.

Napier retained strong support from its members during the year with two to three sets each Monday night. 2009 began with members joining Hastings at the Napier Soundshell in January as part of the Hawke’s Bay East Coast Region programme. Members have also travelled to other regions for their annual dances and have been supported by them in return. Our annual dance was a great success, enjoyed by members and visitors. Members have danced in the community at rest-homes, social clubs and a Scottish themed afternoon at the Napier RSA.

Both clubs assisted with running the region’s ANZAC Weekend School. The organising committee worked hard and the tutors ran excellent programmes. People came from Wanganui, Taupo, Palmerston North and Wairarapa. Thank you for your support.

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2010 – Volume 57
Editor Elaine Laidlaw

Page 185

2011 – Volume 58
Editor Elaine Laidlaw

Every year when I’m planning the magazine I know there are the regular items to be included such as the Region Reports and I’m grateful to the advertisers who continue to support the New Zealand Branch – Heleans, James Senior in Australasia, Ken Weeks Scottish Imports and Coomber Portable Sound Systems, but it is the ‘unknown’ or ‘unexpected’ that makes the job of Editor so interesting.

In the past I have sought articles from visitors such as George Meikle, Judith Muir and Ann Dix, but this year the articles were offered to me and three of them are from New Zealand branch members and have a similar theme – ‘The OE’.

Maureen Robson has shared her experiences dancing in the United Kingdom. Lynne Scott, Mary and Duncan McDonald attended a Scottish Country Dancing music course at the Cuckoo’s Nest in Germany then journeyed on to meet Anne-Marie Forsyth at a Scottish Castle for another week of tutoring by two Scottish fiddlers.

Katharine Hoskyn has written an article on the story behind the dance ‘Best Set in the Hall’ devised by Helen Greenwood.

Photographs for this issue of the magazine have come from many sources – the cover photograph provided by Joel Ogden, a member of the public, is a bird’s eye view of the dancing in the Dunedin Botanical Gardens one afternoon during Summer School. Other photographs have been published by kind permission of McRobie Studio, Liz Douglas, Katharine Hoskyn, Bill Douglas, Keith Hawkins, Maureen Robson, Lynne Scott and various club members.

Region Reports

Hawke’s Bay/East Coast: The Region has had another excellent year. Both Napier and Hastings clubs are in good heart led by tutors Colin Barker and Val Mitchell. The two clubs support each other by attending club dances, special events such as dancing in the Napier Soundshell, street parades in Napier and the Hastings Blossom Festival.

The Region Dance is held on a Sunday afternoon in winter and this proves to be popular. Both clubs give demonstrations at various venues and we join together for advanced classes.

We hope that a club will form in Wairoa in the near future and they will receive the Region’s full support.

The Hastings Club will celebrate its 60th Anniversary at Easter in 2011, so we hope to have many visitors to make this a great occasion.

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AGM Year(s)   President   Committee
1953   Jack Seton   Bruce Fordyce
1954   Jack Seton   Bruce Fordyce
1955   Jack Seton   2 representatives from each affiliated club.
Secretary:  Mrs Shirley Child
1956   W. (Bill) McPherson   Secretary/Treasurer: Mr & Mrs MC Smith
1957   Dr IJ Cunningham   Secretary/Treasurer: Mr & Mrs MC Smith
1958 – 1st Oct   Noted in Minutes: Hastings SCD Club discussed the forming of the Hawke’s Bay Association – agreed.
Noted that Hastings SCDC agreed on resigning from the Wellington – Hawke’s Bay Association


SC Dancer Magazine Year(s)   President & Past President (PP)   Nth Is Vice-President   RSDS Representative   RTC Chair/Convenor   HB Rep/Branch Rep (Chairperson)   HB Branch/Region Secretary
1956   Inaugural   Jack Seton
1957    Jack Seton   B. Bauld (Wanganui)
1958    Jack Seton (PP)   Charlie Whitehill (Carterton) & W. (Bill) McPherson (Lower Hutt)   M. Smith
1959   Jack Seton   Jeanette Crawford

5 Nov 1960 AGM (Minutes)   Kack SetonMadge Laing   Isa Seton   Jeanette Crawford
1961   Jack Seton (PP)    Madge Laing   Isa Seton   Jeanette Crawford
1962    Jack Seton    Madge Laing   Isa Seton   Ynys Cater
1963    Jack Seton    Madge Laing   Ynys Cater   Ynys Cater
1964    Jack Seton    Madge Laing   Helen Duncan    Helen Duncan
1965    Jack Seton    Madge Laing   Ian Seton   Ian Seton
1965   28 July 1965: Special General Meeting of Hastings SCDC: Motion carried to resign from the HB & EC Branch (1 dissension) (Explained that if club withdrew from the Branch, club would automatically be withdrawn from the NZ Society)
1966   16 March 1966:  Special General Meeting of Hastings SCDC: The meeting was to discuss the decision of the club to withdraw from the HB & EC Branch and there [fore]  from the Society. This was fully discussed and in view of the changes that have taken place within the Branch, it was moved by Mr Morris, seconded by Mr Tobin that the motion of the Special General Meeting of 28th July be rescinded. Carried unanimously.

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SC Dancer Magazine Year(s)   President & Past President (PP)   Nth Is Vice-President   RSDS Representative   RTC Chair/Convenor   HB Rep/Branch Rep (Chairperson)   HB Branch/Region Secretary
1966   1966 copy of ‘The Dancer’ missing (copies exceeded supply)
1966   HS Forster Jack Seton(PP)   Jean May   Jean May
1968   RJ (Bob) Trevor   Madge Laing   (no name listed)   Carine Jackson
1969    RJ (Bob) Trevor    Madge Laing    Madge Laing   Carine Jackson
1970   Bill Eddy   Madge Laing   Madge Laing   Carine Jackson
1971    Bill Eddy   Madge Laing   Carine Jackson
1972   Kevin Mortensen   Carine Jackson   Carine Jackson
1973   Roy Hamilton   Madge Laing   Carine Jackson
1974   Roy Hamilton    Madge Laing   Mary Frame
1975   Data cut from magazine   Madge Laing   Mary Frame
1976   Peter Williamson   Gary Morris (Wgtn)   Pages missing from magazine   Madge Laing    Jan Paterson
1977   Ngaire Hunnego   Peter Williamson   Madge Laing   Pages 19 & 20 missing from magazine Madge Laing    Jan Paterson
1978   Peter Williamson    Madge Laing    Gary Morris   Paddy Crowe   Jan Patterson
1979   Brian Cottle    Madge Laing    Madge Laing    Paddy Crowe   Jan Patterson
1980   Brian Cottle    Madge Laing    Madge Laing    Paddy Crowe   Jan Patterson
1981   Brian Cottle    Madge Laing    Paddy Crowe   Colin Barker
1982   Brian Cottle   Madge Laing    Jean Crowe   Colin Barker
1983   Eric Churton   Madge Laing  Jean Crowe   Colin Barker
1984   Eric Churton   Madge Laing   Jean Crowe   Colin Barker
1985   Brian Cottle    Madge Laing    Madge Laing    Jean Crowe   Colin Barker
1986   Madge Laing   Eric Churton   Colin Barker
1987   Madge Laing    Madge Laing    Colin Barker
1988   Madge Laing    Madge Laing    Mary Dixon
1989   Madge Laing    Eric Churton    Mary Dixon
1990   Madge Laing    Eric Churton    Mary Dixon
1991   Madge Laing (PP)   Eric Churton    Mary Dixon
1992   Eric Churton Gis    Madge Laing   Mary Dixon
1993   Eric Churton Wgtn   Betty Mahy   Mary Dixon
1994   Eric Churton Wgtn   Betty Mahy   Mary Dixon
1995   Eric Churton Wgtn    Betty Mahy    Duncan McNeill
1996   Eric Churton Wgtn    Betty Mahy    Duncan McNeill
1997    Betty Mahy    Val Darragh

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Year(s)   Pres; Past (PP))   Nth Is Vice-President   RSDS Representative   RTC Chair/Convenor   HB Rep/Branch Rep (Chairperson)   HB Branch/Region Secretary

1998   Val Mitchell   Val Darragh
1999   Val Mitchell    Val Darragh
2000   Val Mitchell   Val Darragh
2001   Val Mitchell   Val Darragh
2002  Val Mitchell   Val Darragh
2003   Colin Barker   Val Mitchell
2004   Brenda Wheatley   Val Mitchell
2005   Brenda Wheatley   Val Mitchell
2006   Brenda Wheatley   Val Mitchell
2007   May Brooker    Val Mitchell
2008   May Brooker   Jeannie Wright
2009   Barbara Laing   Jeannie Wright
2010   Barbara Laing    Jeannie Wright
2011   Alan Twort    Jeannie Wright


AGM   Minutes   President   Secretary   Tutor/Assistant Tutors   Treasurer   Venue
1954   Jack Seton   Jack Seton   Hall then at Seton’s Home
1955   Jack Seton   Army Drill Hall   Southampton Street
1956   Jack Seton   Miss A. Seton    Jack Seton   309s Willowpark Rd (Seton’s); 207E Eastbourne St (J. Ballantyne)
1957   Jack Seton   Miss A. Seton   Jack Seton      Army Drill Hall Southampton Street
1 Oct 1958   A.E. Morris   Anne Seton   Jack Seton    Anne Seton   Army Drill Hall Southampton Street
6 May 1959   Jack Seton   Anne Seton    Jack Seton     Anne Seton   Oddfellow’s Hall, Market St
3 May 1960   Jack Seton   Miss C. Watson    Jack Seton   Miss C. Watson    Oddfellow’s Hall, Market St
4 May 1961   Jack Seton   A. E. Morris   Jack Seton   A. E. Morris    Oddfellow’s Hall, Market St
21 Mar 1962   Jack Seton   A. E. Morris   Jack Seton    A. E. Morris    Oddfellow’s Hall, Market St
20 Mar 1963   Jack Seton   A.E. Morris   Jack Seton/ Monica Crawley Madge Laing (assisting)   A. E. Morris    Oddfellow’s Hall, Market St
18 Mar 1964   Jack Seton   Iris McFadyen   Jack Seton   Madge Laing (from March 1964)   Iris McFadyen    Oddfellow’s Hall, Ellison Rd (from 12 Aug 1964)
21 Apr 1965   R. J. (Bob) Trevor   Iris McFadyen     (in abeyance) Romaine Butterfield   Iris McFadyen    Oddfellow’s Hall, Ellison Rd
16 Jun 1966   R. J. (Bob) Trevor   Iris McFadyen   R. Butterfield/Rita Tobin   Iris McFadyen    Oddfellow’s Hall, Ellison Rd
17 May 1967   R. J. (Bob) Trevor   Iris McFadyen   R. Butterfield/ Rita Tobin   Dot McFadyen (juniors)   Iris McFadyen    Oddfellow’s Hall, Ellison Rd
1 May 1968   R. J. (Bob) Trevor   S. Bill Eddy    Madge Laing/Rita Tobin    S. Bill Eddy    Oddfellow’s Hall, Ellison Rd
23 May 1969   R. J. (Bob) Trevor   S. Bill Eddy    Madge Laing    S. Bill Eddy    Oddfellow’s Hall, Ellison Rd
23 May 1970   Madge Laing   S. Bill Eddy    Madge Laing    S. Bill Eddy    Oddfellow’s Hall, Ellison Rd
28 Apr 1971   Madge Laing   S. Bill Eddy   Margaret Mildenhall     S. Bill Eddy    Oddfellow’s Hall, Ellison Rd

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AGM   Minutes   President   Secretary   Tutor/Assistant Tutors   Treasurer   Venue
29 Mar 1972   Karen Mortenson   S. Bill Eddy   Margaret Mildenhall    S. Bill Eddy    Oddfellow’s Hall, Ellison Rd
28 Mar 1973   Roy A. Hamilton   S. Bill Eddy   Margaret Mildenhall    S. Bill Eddy    Oddfellow’s Hall, Ellison Rd
3 Apr 1974    Roy A. Hamilton   S. Bill Eddy   Margaret Mildenhall    S. Bill Eddy    Oddfellow’s Hall, Ellison Rd
26 Mar 1975    Roy A. Hamilton   Jess Ingram    Margaret Mildenhall   Jess Ingram    Oddfellow’s Hall, Ellison Rd
14 Apr 1976   Paddy Crowe   Jess Ingram   Margaret Mildenhall    Jess Ingram   Havelock North Primary School
9 Mar 1977   Paddy Crowe   Jess Ingram    Margaret Mildenhall    Jess Ingram   Havelock North Primary School
5 Apr 1978   Paddy Crowe   Jess Ingram   Margaret Mildenhall     Jess Ingram   St Luke’s Church Hall, Havelock Nth
14 Mar 1979   Paddy Crowe   Jess Ingram   Margaret Mildenhall    Jess Ingram   St Luke’s Church Hall, Havelock Nth
26 Mar 1980   Paddy Crowe   Jess Ingram    Margaret Mildenhall    Jess Ingram   St Luke’s Church Hall, Havelock Nth
1 Oct 1980   Elizabeth Curtis   Jean Crowe    Margaret Mildenhall     Jess Ingram   St Luke’s Church Hall, Havelock Nth
30 Sep 1981   Elizabeth Curtis   Jess Ingram   M. Mildenhall (1st hour beginners); 2nd hour roster: Colin Barker, Madge Laing; Lynnette Kawan, Jean
Crowe; Jan Patterson     Jess Ingram and Colin Barker   St Luke’s Church Hall, Havelock Nth
29 Sep 1982   Elizabeth Curtis   Jean Crowe   Lynnette Kawan (1st hour advanced dancers); Margaret Mildenhall (co-ordinator of the roster system)    Jean Crowe   Hereworth  School Havelock Nth
12 Oct 1983   Elizabeth Curtis    Jean Crowe   Madge Laing/ Margaret Mildenhall Lynnette Kawan/ Colin Barker (roster)   Jean Crowe    Hereworth  School Havelock Nth
3 Oct 1984    Jan Patterson   Jean Crowe    Madge Laing/ Margaret Mildenhall   Jean Crowe   Wesley Church Hall, Hastings St (after 13 Jun 84)
9 Oct 1985   Jan Patterson   Johan Gillies    Madge Laing/ Margaret Mildenhall    Wesley Church Hall
8 Oct 1986   Jan Patterson Joan Wilcox (mid yr) Jean Crowe    Madge Laing/ Margaret Mildenhall Colin Barker   Michelle Hunt    Wesley Church Hall
7 Oct 1987    Joan Wilcox   Jean Crowe   Colin Barker   Michelle Hunt    Wesley Church Hall
5 Oct 1988    Joan Wilcox   Jess Ingram    Colin Barker   Michelle Hunt    Wesley Church Hall
4 Oct 1989   Val Mitchell   Jess Ingram    Colin Barker   Michelle Hunt    Wesley Church Hall
3 Oct 1990   Val Mitchell   Jess Ingram    Colin Barker   Michelle Hunt    Wesley Church Hall
9 Oct 1991   Val Mitchell   Rena Cooney    Colin Barker   Michelle Hunt     Wesley Church Hall
7 Oct 1992   Val Mitchell   Colin Beck    Colin Barker    Beth Lowe    Wesley Church Hall
13 Oct 1993   Joan Wilcox   Colin Beck    Colin Barker   Brenda McCormick     Wesley Church Hall
1994   Dorothy Wilson   Colin Beck    Colin Barker    Brenda McCormick     Wesley Church Hall
29 Mar 1995    Dorothy Wilson   Colin Beck    Colin Barker    Brenda McCormick     Wesley Church Hall
27 Mar 1996   Jean Hantler   Glenys Kelly    Colin Barker    Brenda McCormick     Wesley Church Hall
25 Mar 1997   Jean Hantler   Glenys Kelly    Colin Barker/ Glenys Kelly (Camberley School) Brenda McCormick     Wesley Church Hall

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AGM   Minutes   President   Secretary   Tutor/Assistant Tutors   Treasurer   Venue
25 Mar 1998   Val Mitchell   Glenys Kelly   Joy Tracey (Mar-May) roster of club members incl Val Mitchell, Glenys Kelly, Dave Kellett    Brenda McCormick   Wesley Church Hall
24 Mar 1999   Val Mitchell   Glenys Kelly   Val Mitchell / Glenys Kelly (Camberley School)    Brenda McCormick   Wesley Church Hall
22 Mar 2000   Val Mitchell    Glenys Kelly   Val Mitchell / Glenys Kelly (Camberley School)    Brenda McCormick   Wesley Church Hall
28 Mar 2001   Val Mitchell   Glenys Kelly   Val Mitchell / Glenys Kelly (Camberley School)    Brenda McCormick   Wesley Church Hall
20 Mar 2002   Val Mitchell   Glenys Kelly   Val Mitchell / Glenys Kelly (Camberley School)    Brenda Wheatley    Wesley Church Hall
26 Mar 2003   Val Mitchell   Glenys Kelly   Val Mitchell / Glenys Kelly (School Beginners)   Brenda Wheatley    Wesley Church Hall
23 Mar 2004    Val Mitchell    Diane Brogden   Val Mitchell   Brenda Wheatley    Wesley Church Hall
2 Mar 2005   Jess Ingram   Diane Brogden    Val Mitchell    Brenda Wheatley    Wesley Church Hall
1 Mar 2006   Jess Ingram   Val Darragh   Val Mitchell    Brenda Wheatley    Wesley Church Hall
28 Mar 2007   Jean Hantler   Val Darragh   Val Mitchell    Brenda Wheatley    Wesley Church Hall
19 Mar 2008   Jean Hantler   Val Darragh   Val Mitchell    Brenda Wheatley    Wesley Church Hall
18 Mar 2009    Jean Hantler (four Months) Val Mitchell   Val Darragh   Val Mitchell   Brenda Wheatley    Age Concern Hall
24 Mar 2010   Val Mitchell    Glenys Kelly   Val Mitchell Glenys Kelly   (Camberley School Beginners)   Brenda Wheatley    Age Concern Hall
21 Mar 2011   Val Mitchell    Glenys Kelly    Val Mitchell Glenys Kelly   (Camberley School Beginners)    Brenda Wheatley    Age Concern Hall

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Hastings Members involved in other Clubs:

Magazine Book Year(s)    Name    Position   Club
1956   Bruce Fordyce   Tutor    Waipawa
1957, 59   Madge Laing    Tutor    Taradale
5 Aug 1969   Gary Morris   Transferred to Taihape
1969 – 1974   Wellington Region Representative
1971 – 75   Wellington President
1976 – 77 North Island Vice-President
1978   Technical Committee Convenor
1980   Certificated Teacher List
1986 – 1995 Tutor    Ngaio
2006    President     Carterton
1964 – 1967, 1969 – 1971   Colin Barker   Secretary    Richmond
1972 – 1974   Tutor    Richmond
1973    President   Nelson/Marlborough    Region President
1975 – 1979      Tutor    Bluebell, Palmerston North
1987 – 1997   Tutor    Hastings
2002    Tutor    Napier
1964    Helen Duncan    Secretary   HB Branch
1973    Secretary    Auckland Region
1972     Romaine Butterfield   Wairarapa Regional President; Summer School Organiser
1975 – 1978    Tutor    Tawa
1980    Certified Teacher List
1989 – 1990   Tutor    Island Bay
1999 – 2001   Secretary     Island Bay
2008 – 2009    Tutor    Island Bay
1979    Roy Hamilton   Transferred to Wellington
1997 – 1999    President     Lower Hutt
1992 – 1993    Eric Churton   North Island Vice-President
1992 – 1997    Council New Zealand Branch
1994 – 1996   NZ President
2004 – 2009    Glenys Kelly    Teacher (rostered)    East Keilor Group Melbourne

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Names in book –

Miss Florence Adams, Retta Airey, Mr WJE Aitken, Alastair Aitkenhead, Elspeth Allan, Miss Allie Anderson, Margaret Anderson, Colin Barker, RG Bauld, Mr John Bauld, Anne Bawden, Bob Bauld, Nancy Baxter, Archie Baxter, Aline Baxter, Jennifer Baxter, Colin Beck, Diana Bimler, Mrs Black, Doreen Blundell, Rosemary Bourne, Manly Bowater, Jean Brackenridge, Jean Bramley, Hon. Sir Herbert Brechin, Kitty Brewster, Mrs Mattie Bristow, Diane Brogden, May Brooker, Noel Brooker, Margaret Brougham, Eric Brown, William Brown, Harry Bruce, Cath Bruce, Dr MM Burns, Arthur Bryant, Mr E Burgess, Miss Romaine Butterfield, Mrs Duncan Campbell, Fiona Campbell, Sir Donald Cameron, Allan Carlton, Ynys Cater, Bruce Cawood, Jack Chapman, Shirley Child, Mr Eric Churton, Mima Clanachan, Roy Clowes, Mrs Mildred Clancey, Win Clancey, Mr Duncan McD. Clark, Dorothy Claypole, Mr Les Coe, Jessie Coe, Granny Coe, Shirley Coe, Coyla Coe, Maurie Colbourne, Damon Collin, Mr Joe Constable, Harry Cooper, David Cordiner, Elsie Corfield, Murray Corps, Deanne Corps, Brian Cottle, Charlotte Cottle, Susan Cousins, Marjorie Crawford, Jean Crowe, Paddy Crowe (Patrick), Dr Marion Cunningham, Ira Cunningham, Dr IJ Cunningham, MM Cunningham, Elizabeth Curtis, Alan Dagg, Ginete Dallere, Val Darragh, Beth Dennison, Mary Dixon, David H Dodd, C Dodd, Alec Douglas, Bill Douglas, R T Douglas, Terry Douglas, Liz Douglas, Pam Draffin, John Drewry, Helen Duncan, Angus Durie, Mrs Nancy Durie, Mairi Durie, Jessie Durie, JM Duthie, Sydney Eady, Bill Eddy, Miss Molly Elliott, Lorna Ellis, Peter Elmes, George Emmerson, Jay Ess, Mrs Stewart of Fasnacloich, Dave Favel, Janet Favel, Bill Fell, Dr Flett, Barbara Flowers, Mae Folan, Bruce Fordyce, Mary Fordyce, (nee McNair), Kirsten Fordyce, HS Forster, Harry Forster, Win Forster, Anne-Marie Forsyth, Mr Hugh Foss, Mary Frame, Charlie Frame, Anne Fraser, Leicester Frater, Bruce  Frazer, Valerie Frazer, Phyllis Gale, Aline Gee, Johan Gillies, Ron Giorgi, Cynthia Gray, Mrs Jess Gray, Helen Greenwood, Pauline Griffiths, Elizabeth Grimmond, Mr & Mrs Guthrie, Miss Hadden, Greta Harris, Roy Hamilton, Eileen Hanna, Jane Hansen, Jean Hantler, Joan Hatwell, Mrs Harvey, Keith Hawkins, Alec Hay, BC Head, Mrs Head, Marion Head, Francie Henderson, Vera Henderson, Angus Henry, Mrs Winifred Hill, Muriel Holland, Jim Holland, Mrs Jean Home, Katharine Hoskyn, Mrs Peggy Hudson, Jack Hudson, Ngaire Hunnego, Michelle Hunt, Peg Hutchison, Jill Huszak, Jan Idour, Nan Imrie, Miss Susan Inglis, R Ingram, Jess Ingram, C Jack, Les Jack, LG Jack, Carine Jackson, Bill Jacob, Rose Jacob, Min Jaeger, Ion CB Jamieson  Anne-Marie Forsyth, Mrs M Jamieson, Mr J Jamieson, Phylis Jane, Colin Jane, Charlie Jemmett, Doris Jensen, Douglas Jenkinson, Eddie Jones, Lynette Kawan, Lee Kawan, Drew Kefalas, Glenys Kefalas, Dave Kellett, Glenys Kelly, Jim Kelly, Barbara Kent, John Kent, Elaine Laidlaw, Margaret Laidlaw, Michael Laidlaw, Ruary Laidlaw, Miriam Laidlaw, George Lambert, Mrs D Laidlaw, Madge Cruickshank Laing, Geordie Lambert, George Lambert, Jim Lean, Mr Lesslie, Florence Lesslie, Jessie Lee, Marj Lhonneux, Morna Lorder (née Clancey), Eric Lowe, Beth Lowe, Sandy Lowe, Josephine Lowry, Elizabeth Lowry, Gillian Lusk, Nick Lusk, Joyce Lynd, Jean McAdam, Mrs Molly McArthur, Archie McAuslan, Trish McAuslan, Ewen McCann, Norma McCormick, Brenda McCormick, John MacDonald, Jean MacDonald, Mary McDonald, Duncan McDonald, Mr & Mrs Douglas, Lois McEwan, Mrs Iris McFadyen, Dorothy (McFadyen), MacGibbon, Jane McIlroy, Rae MacIntosh, Mr JG McIvor, Mr Duncan MacIntyre, Kenneth McKellar, Alex McKenzie, NT MacKay), Miss Kitty MacLauchlan, Jim McLellan, Mrs Alison MacLeod, Mr JD Mackay, Brian McMurtry, Di. McNally, Howard McNally, Jean Miller, Mary McNair, Helean McPhee, Bill McPherson, Jean McPherson, WP McPherson (Bill), George McRae, Betty Mahy, Mrs Nan Main, Alan Mair, Marie Malcolm, Ray Maldern, Mr Malins, Mr George Manning, Chrystal Marshall, Lesley Martin, Alan Mayhew, Carine Mayhew, Bob Mellis, Pam Metcalfe, Margaret Mildenhall, Jimmy Miller, Jean Miller, Mary Mills, Miss Jean C Milligan, Val Mitchell, Diana Mooney, Naomi Mooney, Sam Moran, Mr Archie Morris, Gary Morris, Barbara Morris, Dianne Murdoch, Rt. Hon. Walter Nash, Don Nicholson, Phyllis Nurser, John Orgias, Bernie O’Connell, Noeline O’Connor, Terry O’Duffy, Margaret Passmore, Jan Patterson, Margot Paton, Peter Paton, Carl Parkes, Rayleine Peattie, Gwen Peters, Alex Pollard, Mrs P Priest, Peter Quinn, Mrs Rae, Trevor Rayner, Betty Redfern, Mr John Reid, Mrs Rennie, Rachel Robertson, Alan Robson, Maureen Robson, Mary Ronnie, Alex Ross, Mary Ronnie, Brenda Roxburgh, Ivan Roxburgh, Debbie Roxburgh, Alan Russell, Rev. H J Ryburn, Pat Sammons, Joy Schieb, Roger Schofield, Lynne Scott, Alma Secker, Fiona Selwyn, Jack Seton, Isa Seton, Ian Seton, Anne Seton, Jimmy Shand, Annie Shand, Nora Sharp, Andy Sharp, Dan Sharpe, Elspeth Sharpe, Annie Shaw, Bevin Shaw, Ken Shaw, Nora Shaw, Ian Simmonds, Mirth Smallwood, Hector Smith, Doris Smith, John Smith, Mrs Hilda Smith, Maurice Smith, Edna Smith, Flora Smith, Anne Smith, Carol Smith, Phyllis South (née Nurser), Jim South, David South, Dorothy Spooner, Rosemary Stocker, Raynor Stratford, Madeline Streamer, Mrs Stewart, Lord James Stewart-Murray, Gordon Stott, Peg Stringer, Marion Struthers, Beryl Stucki, Essie Summers, Elizabeth Sutherland, Bill Tait, Jean Tanner, Rev. T. Tawhera, Lucy Taylor, Bob Thomas, Monica Thomas, Dr John Thompson (Jack) (Thomson), Ian Thompson, Flora Thompson (Flora Thomson), Hugh Thomson, Tom Thornton, Dr Hugh Thurston, Mrs Rita Tobin, Bruce Tobin, Ken Tobin, John Tobin, Bob Tracey, Joy Tracey, Joan Tuffrey, Mr RJ (Bob) Trevor, Joan Tuffrey, Susan and Bill Turner, Bill  Tucker, Les Tucker, Alan Twort, Nancy Valentine, Stuart Valentine, Margaret Vas, Janet Vaughan, George Walker, Joe Wallace, Chris Ward, Miss C Watson, Ken Weeks, Nola and Charlie West, Maria Weston, Basil Wheatley, Brenda Wheatley, Charlie Whitehill, Dora Whitehill, Danny Whyte (Daniel), David Whyte, Joan Wilcox, Ed Wilkie, Ina Williamson, Dick Wilson, Robert Wilson, Dorothy Wilson, Mrs Winchester, Christine Wiseman, Christine Woodward, Bill Wright, Tim Wright, Mary Wright, Jeannie Wright, Beverley Young, Bill Zobel

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Hastings Scottish Country Dance Club Inc

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