Frae the Chair
It has been a very busy month and I am pleased to bring you news of our recent activities. I would like to welcome new members; The Murray Clan Society and Taylors Tartans from New Brunswick. We are excited to have you join our Scottish family.
On Saturday April 8, CASSOC hosted a very successful Tartan Day Dinner in Mississauga. There was a wonderful mix of all ages and representation from several different Scottish groups. The food was delicious and we were entertained by a several dancers from the Guthrie School of Music. Music was provided by a live band, The Quinns (we will forgive their Irish roots) and there was ceilidh dancing to round off the evening. It was amusing to see some of youth that attended try to keep up with our caller’s directions. Fun was had by all and I thank all those who supported this event.
On April 30th, CASSOC held its Delegates’ Assembly Meeting in Toronto and we were very honoured to have our new Patron, Charles Edward Bruce, Lord Bruce, (heir to the Chief of the Name of Bruce) attend. It is not every day that nobility from Scotland is able to join us! Lord Bruce is a most gracious and welcoming man and I am thrilled to be able to tell my high-school students that I had met him.
As the weather continues to improve here in southern Ontario, I look forward to a busy summer. I hope many of you across the country are able to get out to some of your local Highland Games. For many of us, the Games provide an opportunity to advertise our groups and recruit new membership, but they also provide an important and vital backbone to the Games themselves. CASSOC members such as the Cobourg Highland Games, the Kincardine Scottish Festival and the Fergus Scottish Festival appreciate your support through your participation in creating and maintaining an Avenue of the Clans. I applaud all clan volunteers who spend many of their summer weekends travelling to various games and sitting in a tent all day to showcase your unique histories and activities.
In August, CASSOC will host the Scottish North American Leadership Conference, to be held at the University of Guelph from August 10 - 12. Focussing on the theme of youth engagement, this conference will draw together members from a variety of Scottish groups from across Canada and the United States in order to share ideas and help to create a collaborative plan of action to strengthen our individual groups for the future. Many of our Scottish associations have struggled with the trend of an aging membership over the last few decades. This conference is an opportunity for all to feel more optimistic about our shared future.
In that vein, I am also asking for any volunteers who would like to join our CASSOC executive. We have several positions available. Much of our work throughout the year is done by email and we are looking for enthusiastic people to add their voice to our discussions. CASSOC draws its strength from the participation of our members. While our individual clan histories may contradict the notion of togetherness, I will steal the motto of Clan Cameron and put out this call “Aonaibh Ri Chéile” (Let Us Unite). Please email me if you are interested in any of the positions available. I look forward to seeing some of you over the summer.
Karen Macleod McCrimmon
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