Volume 21 #6
The Scottish Country Dancer
May/June 2005

Articles in This Issue
Manager's Message Class Starts May 4th!
Membership Renewal Time Gentlemen Only... Ladies Forbidden (Gasp!)
More Fun with Gaelic Calendar of Events
SCD Comes to Lewis & Clark International Fair
Manager's Message
by Tom Halpenny

Hello Scottish Country Dancers!

This is just a reminder that the Annual General Meeting of the Vancouver-USA Scottish Country Dancers Association will be held Wednesday, May 25, 2005, from 9:15-9:30pm, at the Oak/Elm Room of the Marshall Center, immediately following the dance class.

The agenda of the meeting is (per Article VI of the Association bylaws):

  • Elect Committee of Management members.
  • Collect next year's dues. Please see Van's email from 4/2/05 (reproduced below).
  • Receive reports.
  • Address any other business that may arise.

Regarding the first agenda item, I am the "nominating committee" who will present candidates for office at the AGM. I would like to ask all of you who have an interest in serving the Association by organizing the SCD activities in the coming year to contact me with your interest.

Article IV of the bylaws provides for election of the Manager, Vice-Manager, and Secretary-Treasurer at the AGM. The Secretary-Treasurer position can be handled by two people if there is sufficient interest. Currently, I am the Manager, Linda Mae Dennis is the Secretary, and Van Meter Hord is the Treasurer. There is no Vice-Manager.

The bylaws also provide for a Teacher Representative who is appointed by the Panel of Instructors. Marge van Nus is serving in this role.

There are also publicity, membership, newsletter/website, and historian committee chairs, appointed by the Manager.

The new Manager will also appoint a number of committee chairpersons to coordinate several activities that we have planned for the coming year:

  • October: Ghost Stories
  • October: Fall Dance
  • January: Burns Night
  • February: Dinner Dance
  • April: Spring Dance
  • June: Summer Picnic

All of the elected positions are available. I have served as Manager for the past three years, Linda Mae has served as Secretary for one year, and Van has served as Secretary-Treasurer or Treasurer for 8 years! Our Association will be healthier if we can bring in new people who have new ideas and are trained to organize the activities. Don't be afraid to volunteer for a position because you think you lack the skills. There will be lots of training and advising available.

I would like to thank our mentors, Marge and Fred, for being our guides to many successful SCD events for over 20 years!

I would also like to thank the four teacher candidates, Linda Mae Dennis, Liza Halpenny, John Shaw, and Geri Stuart, who have spent a lot of time preparing for our dances and community demos and have also been very active in organizing the other activities.

Finally, I would like to thank all of you members for volunteering for various activities during the past year. Your talents and time have made it possible for us to realize significant accomplishments.

Please contact me with your interest or with any questions.

I look forward to seeing you at this year's AGM.

Membership Renewal Time
by Van Meter Hord

Hi, Dancers ~ Believe it or not, it's almost time to renew your memberships in RSCDS and our local dance group.

With the exchange rate for the US dollar, the new membership fees for the combination membership will be $25 per person. In the past there has been a problem with getting the booklets, etc. in a timely manner. To help avoid that problem, I will need to tell Portland SCDS how many of our members are going to join RSCDS by the middle of May. I'll also need to know what second choice book is wanted by those couples where both are members of the RSCDS.

I will not need the money yet nor any forms filled out, but please let me know by May 15th if you are planning to renew your memberships.

Thanks so much for your help.

More Fun with Gaelic
by Martin MacKenzie

Tha an sgeulachd an seo:

Do you know that there were large GÓidhlig speaking communities here in the United States? Did you know that Flora MacDonald -- of the Skye Boat song and Bonnie Prince Charlie fame -- lived for a time in North Carolina in Anson county with her husband Allan who was a tackman for the chief of Clanranald?

Many Highland Scots settled in the area around them in the Cape Fear area and in what is now called Fayetteville, North Carolina, in response to the pressures of what was called Am Fuasgladh nan Gaidheal (The Highland Clearances). GÓidhlig was so entrenched there that it was a requirement for people who wanted to work in the postal system to be fluent in GÓidhlig. The African slaves owned by these Highland settlers only knew GÓidhlig besides their birth languages. Many descendants of these original immigrants still living there have Highland surnames and bear their heritage and history proudly to this day.

Ok ma tha (Ok then,) Let's explore a little bit more GÓidhlig. Here is a bit of vocabulary to build that learning around:

  • tha: is, are, am, a verb (pronounced a bit like "hah" but a bit less forcefully.)
  • mi: I, a personal pronoun (pronounced like the English "me".)
  • toilichte: happy, an adjective (a little bit more difficult, pronounced something like "tallihcha".)

The structure of a basic English sentence is subject, verb, then the object. However, the basic GÓidhlig sentence goes verb, subject, object, and extensions of the verb (adverbs). Here is a parallel English/GÓidhlig example:

  • English: I am happy.
  • GÓidhlig: Tha mi toilichte ("hah me tallihcha")

Here are a couple of new words we will add to this basic sentence to give it some color:

  • le: with, a prepositional pronoun. (Pronounced "lay.")
  • dannsadh: dancing, a masculine noun. (Pronounced something like "downsugh.")
  • a bhith: to be, a verbal phrase of intent. (Pronounced like "a vee.")

Here is the parallel example with the new words added:

  • English: I am happy to be dancing.
  • GÓidhlig: Tha mi toilichte a bhith a' dannsadh. ("hah me tallihcha a vee a downsugh")

Well, until next time I'll leave everyone with a bit of a mystery: Nuair a rinn Dia ¨ine, Rinn E gu le˛ir.

MÓrtainn MacCoinnich.

SCD Comes to Lewis & Clark International Fair
by Tom Halpenny

Scottish Country Dancing made its debut in the 40th annual International Fair with the theme "Post Mark the World" at the Lewis & Clark College Agnes Flanagan Chapel on Saturday, March 5, 2005. Folk Dance club students performed the "Turkey Trot", a 32-bar jig for 3 couples in a 4 couple set.

front: Angela, Liza, Alina, Naomi, Emily; back: Tom, Beka, Kristin, Rebecca, Katie, Christine

A fashion show of exotic costumes began the program, followed by the performance of dances from sixteen countries. The all-women set of Scottish Country dancers were: Naomi Pryde, Alina Dumitrasc, Rebecca Ortenberg, Kristin Godwin, Beka Feathers, Angela Pickard, Christine Miller, and Katie Rewick. The group joined other dancers Emily McCartan, Shannon Brady, and Sarah Calvert to perform an Irish folk dance and the "Salam" Israeli folk dance. The program also included performances of dances from Russia, China, Philippines, India, Spain, South Korea, France, Hawaii, Nepal, Japan, Mexico, Chile, and Tahiti.

Dancer Naomi Pryde is the only Lewis & Clark student from Scotland. Visiting from Edinburgh, the junior is completing a year of study at the Lewis & Clark Law School. Naomi especially enjoyed learning and performing at the International Fair dance because Scottish Country Dancing is not prevalent in the big cities of Scotland where she spends the majority of her time. SCD is not perceived as being "cool". However, SCD is taught in many schools further north where preservation of the Scottish culture is valued. Ten years ago, Naomi's family stayed with a friend's aunt in Ullapool and she attended a one-week workshop where she was taught SCD and Gaelic (the Irish and Scottish national language) and how to play Scottish music on the violin. Highland dancing is reasonably popular in Naomi's home city. Her younger sister was a talented highland dancer, and continued with this interest until she discovered boys!

Thanks to International Fair organizers Brian Federico and Alina Dumitrasc for recruiting the Scottish Country dancers for the performance. Liza Halpenny taught the dance to student members of the Folk Dance club whose leaders are Beka Feathers and Emily McCartan. A DVD of this year's L&C International Fair performances is available. Liza and Tom enjoyed meeting L&C students and introducing them to SCD. Scottish Country Dancing will hopefully become an annual presence in the International Fair.

Class Starts May 4th!

Be sure to sign up for class at the Marshall Center. The new term starts May 4th. (Yes, it caught me by surprise, too.)

You can register on-line, at http://www.ci.vancouver.wa.us/parks-recreation, or call the Marshall Center at 696-8236, Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:30 pm. The course number for the Beginning session is 28073; and the number for the Intermediate session is 28074.

See you there!

Gentlemen Only... Ladies Forbidden (Gasp!)

Is it true? Could it be that the name of the Scottish game of golf is actually an acronym for "Gentlemen only, ladies forbidden"?

Perusing my favorite encyclopedia (aka "google"), I ran across this web page, http://golf.about.com/cs/historyofgolf/a/hist_golfword.htm, with this explanation:

Golf History FAQ: Where Did the Word "Golf" Come From?

Did the word "golf" originate as an acronym for "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden"? That's a common old wives' tale. Or, in this case, more likely an old husband's tale.

No, "golf" is not an acronym for "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden." If you've ever heard that, forget it immediately. Better yet, find the person who told you and let them know it's not true.

Like most modern words, the word "golf" derives from older languages and dialects. In this case, the languages in question are medieval Dutch and old Scots.

The medieval Dutch word "kolf" or "kolve" meant "club." It is believed that word passed to the Scots, whose old Scots dialect transformed the word into "golve," "gowl" or "gouf."

By the 16th Century, the word "golf" had emerged.

Sources: British Golf Museum, USGA Library


Calendar of Events

May 7: Vancouver USA SCD Spring Dance
Marshall Community Center, Oak/Elm Rooms
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver, WA, 8-11pm
The program:
    Blue Bonnets        (J) Bk 3
    Wisp of Thistle     (S) Bk 37
    Circassian Circle   (R) Bk 1

    Airyhall Delight    (J) Bk 40
    Wind on Loch Fyne   (S) Dunedin
    Brechin Lassies     (R) MMM I

    White Heather Jig   (J) Cosh
    Death by Chocolate  (S) unpublished
    The Blue Bell Reel  (R) Cameo Coll. Bk 15

    Postie's Jig           (J) Ormskirk Bk 5
    Green Grow the Rashes  (S) Bk 12
    The Montgomeries' Rant (R) Bk 10
May 14: Portland SCD Dance Party
7:30 pm, Tigard Grange 13770 SW Pacific Hwy., Tigard. $4 per person.
The Program:
    Fair Jenny's Jig          BJ
    Autumn In Appin           IS
    Maxwell's Rant            BR
    Bauldy Bain's Fiddle      IJ
    Smoke Rings In The Night  BS The Seven Year Itch (Glasspool)
    Irish Rover               IR 22+2 (Cosh)
    The Bees of Maggienockiter    IJ The Canadian Book (Drewry)
    Rob Roy Macgregor             BS Book 26
    Polharrow Burn                IR
    Just As I Was In The Morning  BJ Book 19
    1314                          IM
    Mairi's Wedding               BIR 22+2 (Cosh)
May 21, 22: Pomeroy Herb Festival
Pomeroy Living History Farm
20902 NE Lucia Falls Road
Yacolt, WA.
10am - 5pm, Sat; 1-5pm, Sun.

See their website: www.pomeroyfarm.org
May 25: Vancouver USA SCD AGM
The Annual General Meeting will be held after class. It is open to all attending class.
June 11: Vancouver USA SCD Summer Picnic
Lewisville Park (north of Battle Ground), at the Oak site.
Anytime after 11am. Lunch at 1pm. Dancing after lunch.

What to Bring:
  Your family!
  a potluck dish to share
  $2.00 per car entrance fee (carpooling suggested)
Water provided, grills available.

For info call: Tom or Liza (360) 887-1888; or Fred or Marge (360) 892-4366
July 16: Portland Highland Games
Sep 16-18: Flowers of Scotland, Fort Worden 2005
Musicians: Elke Baker (fiddle), Calum MacKinnon (fiddle), Muriel Johnstone (piano), Ralph Gordon (cello, base)
Teachers: John Middleton (Hamilton, ON), Marian Stroh (Reno, NV), Margaret Zadworny (Winnipeg, MB)
Classes: SCD classes, plus alternative classes in Old Time Sequence Dances, Medleys, and Step.
Watch for the Fort Worden application in April, or check their website for an online form: www.rscds-seattle.org

A lodger in a Scottish guest house was on his way to the bathroom when the landlady stopped him and asked, "Have you got a good memory for faces?" "Yes," he replied. "That's just as well," she said, "because there's no mirror in the bathroom."

  Do you have an item of Celtic interest you would like to see in print?  
  You can contact me in any of the following ways:  
  By mail:  
  John Shaw
  PO Box 2438
  Battle Ground, WA 98604
  By email:  
  The Scottish Country Dancer is a bi-monthly publication of the Vancouver USA Scottish Country Dancers, a non-profit educational organization. For changes of address, please contact John Shaw, PO Box 2438 Battle Ground, WA 98604, . The editor reserves the right to alter or edit any material submitted for publication for reasons of taste, style, or clarity. All materials for publication should be sent by email to the editor at the address above, preferably in straight text. Deadline is one week before the end of the month prior to publication date. Editors of other newsletters may use or adapt any materials in the Scottish Country Dancer unless a specific copyright notice is included. Please credit author and original source.
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