St Andrew's Day

A day of Scottish life and culture

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martin bristow

Piper Martin Bristow

On Saturday, November 28, 2009, the club held its sixth annual celebration of St Andrew's Day which is held on the last Saturday in November and has become recognised as Perth's major celebration of the November 30 anniversary of Scotland's patron saint. Club president Donald Macgregor gave the opening welcome at both the afternoon and evening events.


[left to right] Kenneth Steven, Bill Dawson, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, President Donald Macgregor, Jess Smith, Angus Whitson, Harry Reid.

Following a piping welcome from Martin Bristow, the event commenced at 1pm with an afternoon seminar featuring a group of distinguished Scottish literary personalities who each gave 40-minute lectures on varied aspects of Scottish Life and Culture.

An opening address was delivered by Michael Russell MSP, Minister of Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution who congratulated Perth Burns club on their initiative in organising this annual event. He said "St Andrew's Day is the perfect time to reflect on Scotland's contributions to the world � our culture, our heritage, our innovations and our people. The Year of Homecoming has been a true celebration, inspiring people at home and abroad to experience all that is great about Scotland". Also in attendance was Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Minister for the Environment.

Speakers and performers


Evening compere George MacDiarmid and John Napier's Fiddle Group.

Dr Harry Reid [former editor of The Herald] spoke on The Legacy of The Reformation. This was a very interesting and relatively deep factual talk on the influences of the Reformation in changing Scottish society which laid the foundations for Scottish education to be possibly the best in the world. This led to a select band of people headed up by John Knox which changed the Scottish people and their religious beliefs to a predominantly Protestant religion.

Mr Angus Whitson, writer of the weekly "Man with Two Dogs" column in The Courier, gave a Powerpoint presentation with light hearted stories gleaned from a lifetime in the country with his Tales of the Scottish Countryside.

lauri malloch

Singer Lauri Malloch.

Mrs Jess Smith's talk on Scotland's Travelling People was totally riveting. She went into some depth to try and trace the origins of the tinker and came up with a supported theory that they originally came from Egypt and came to Scotland as armourers to the Romans and later to Scottish armies.

joe aitken

Folk singer Joe Aitken.

Mr Kenneth Steven, the well-known Perthshire author and poet, spoke on The Poetry of Perthshire with vivid pictures of the Perthshire countryside. Another enthralling talk which captivated the audience with its clear and distinctive delivery.

The seminar was chaired by Mr Bill Dawson, a past president of the club who is also the immediate past president of The Robert Burns World Federation, who also proposed the vote of thanks.

Tea and coffee was served at the interval and there were lively question and answer sessions at the end of each lecture.

In the evening the celebrations continued with an excellent Scottish Concert which featured music from John Napier's fiddle group.

Singer Lauri Malloch and folk singer Joe Aitken delighted the audience and the show was compered by George MacDiarmid with his inimitable style of fun and story telling.