SCS Reporter: Annual Meeting

The SCS Annual January Meeting will take place on JANUARY 19, 2023

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SCS Annual Meeting

Join us at The Chateau Restaurant, 195 School Street, Waltham, Mass., from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, and hear from our guest speaker, Linda McJannet, President of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

Linda is also a Professor of English and Media Studies at Bentley University and Co-founder and co-director of the Shakespeare and  Dance  Project.

Dinner selections for the meeting are:

  • Fish & chips with french fries and cole slaw
  • Chicken Parmigiana
  • Marinated sirloin tips & chicken with oven-roasted potatoes and vegetables

Please make every effort to attend.

PLEASE RSVP BELOW IF YOU ARE ATTENDING (or check your inbox and reply to Wayne’s all-member email)

Happy Hogmanay to all!

Hogmanay, the Scots word for the last day of the year, is typically a time to welcome friends and strangers with warm hospitality into your home. Its origins reach back to the winter solstice celebration among the Vikings with wild parties in late December.

Since ancient times, households across Scotland have welcomed strangers through their doors to bring good fortune for the year ahead. This tradition, called “first footing,” stems from the Gaelic practice of “qualtagh.” Traditionally, the first footer should be someone who was not already in the house when midnight struck – hence a Scottish party tradition of having one guest leave just before the bells so they can knock on the door as the new year begins. They usually come bearing gifts; per tradition, they would arrive loaded with a coin, bread, salt, a lump of coal, and whisky – gifts representing all the things the new year would hopefully bring, such as prosperity, food, warmth, and good cheer.

As the clock strikes midnight, many across the globe cap the night by singing Auld Lang Syne by Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns (who we will be celebrating on Burns Night, Wednesday, January 25).

Looking ahead, we are excited to continue our efforts as Scots helping Scots and send our best wishes to you and your families. Happy Hogmanay!

Burns Supper 2023

Interested in attending a Burns Supper this year? Below are several options available throughout New England!

Are you an SCS member? Send photos of you/your party celebrating Robert Burns in 2023 to ScotsCharitableBoston@gmail.com to share on our website and social media channels. $10 Dunkin Donut gift card to each member who submits a photo we can share.

Scots’ Charitable Presents: Day on the Ice

Thank you to all who registered for our curling event. The event is now Sold Out! Stay tuned for updates, and for those who registered, we look forward to seeing you on February 4th 2-5pm at Broomstones Curling Club.

St. Andrew’s Day

Saint Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland, is celebrated today, November 30th. Who is Saint Andrew? He was a Galilean fisherman and one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, believed to have been born between 5AD and 10AD. But, funny enough, despite being Scotland’s Patron Saint, he was never believed to have stepped foot in Scotland!

There are many legends as to why St. Andrew became the Patron Saint of Scotland, but one tale is that in the 9th Century, as King Angus was preparing to battle the English, the king dreamt St. Andrew visited him and promised him victory. On the day of the battle an X, the symbol of St. Andrew, appeared in the sky, assuring King Angus that he would win the battle. This X went on to become a part of the Scottish flag.

Stained glass window of St Andrew in St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. Photo by Lawrence OP

Traditionally, St. Andrew’s day is celebrated with a ceilidh and feast, but this year things look a little different for many Scots and those of Scottish descent. Instead, many of us will stay home and prepare a traditional meal, or order one from our favorite Scottish pubs and toast to St. Andrew.

To learn more about St. Andrew, click here!

And if you want to try to prepare your own feast, a few favorite recipes can be found linked below!

Cullen Skink – Smoked haddock chowder
Roast Scottish Lemon Sole on the Bone
And of course, don’t forget a wee dram of your favorite Scotch!

Also, a quick reminder to our members, if you haven’t done so recently please check your e-mail for a special St. Andrew’s message!

Giving Tuesday: How to Support Scots’ Charitable

This Giving Tuesday, please consider donating to the Scots’ Charitable Society. Below, please find our annual appeal letter from our Treasurer, Jeffrey J. Barr.


Dear Friends and Members of the Scots’ Charitable Society:

The Scots’ Charitable Society has been helping prospective students of Scottish descent attend college for over 30 years. We started with modest grants to a handful of students to twenty-six students receiving collectively in excess of $95,000 this past summer. I received a scholarship from the Society in 1970. College tuition back then was quite a bit less than it is today. The scholarship was a big help for me even though I was working while also being a full-time student. The cost of college has risen so dramatically that it is unaffordable for many students and families; this concerns me.

The Scots’ Charitable Society has been part of my family for three generations. Both of my grandfathers (one used to play football for the old Glasgow Rangers in the late 1910s), my father (who was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland), and me. I became a member sometime around 1980, and I was elected Treasurer in 1981. I held that position for 15 years until my personal and business life began to take over. After spending 40+ years working in corporate finance, I retired in 2019. In January 2022, I was again elected Treasurer, following Fred Hoffman’s retirement from that position. For me, it is a way of giving back to the Society and carrying on the tradition set by my father and grandfathers of “Scots helping Scots.”

Over the last 365 years, the Society has cared for the sick and indigent, buried the dead, housed the poor, and helped Scots attend college. I recently came across an interesting statistic that I wanted to share with you: the Scots’ Charitable Society has given out close to $1.1 million in scholarship awards over the last 10 years, which is a great achievement! As we try to position the Society for the next generation, your help is needed more than ever.

Your tax-deductible gift of $25, $50, $75, or an amount you are comfortable with will make a difference in the lives of prospective college students, and your donation will also help us to continue our mission of helping other Scots in need of help.

Thank you,

Jeffrey J. Barr
Treasurer
Scots’ Charitable Society

How the Scots Invented the Modern World

What do pneumatic tires, ATMs, toasters, disposable contact lenses, and the telephone have in common?

All were invented by Scots!

How about penicillin, the television, and the MRI machine?   Yup, Scots invented them as well.

In addition to these more modern items, Scots have been at the forefront of radical change in the arts, philosophy, architecture, politics, and religion for almost as long as recorded history.

In the 2007 publication, “How the Scots Invented the Modern World”, Dr. Arthur Herman delves into  Scotland’s complicated history and how it shaped the modern world.

Do yourself a favor and pick up this fantastic book!

Amazon.com Review

“I am a Scotsman,” Sir Walter Scott famously wrote, “therefore I had to fight my way into the world.” So did any number of his compatriots over a period of just a few centuries, leaving their native country and traveling to every continent, carving out livelihoods and bringing ideas of freedom, self-reliance, moral discipline, and technological mastery with them, among other key assumptions of what historian Arthur Herman calls the “Scottish mentality.”

It is only natural, Herman suggests, that a country that once ranked among Europe’s poorest, if most literate, would prize the ideal of progress, measured “by how far we have come from where we once were.” Forged in the Scottish Enlightenment, that ideal would inform the political theories of Francis Hutcheson, Adam Smith, David Hume, and other Scottish thinkers who viewed “man as a product of history,” and whose collective enterprise involved “nothing less than a massive reordering of human knowledge” (yielding, among other things, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, first published in Edinburgh in 1768, and the Declaration of Independence, published in Philadelphia just a few years later). On a more immediately practical front, but no less bound to that notion of progress, Scotland also fielded inventors, warriors, administrators, and diplomats such as Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, Simon MacTavish, and Charles James Napier, who created empires and great fortunes, extending Scotland’s reach into every corner of the world.

Herman examines the lives and work of these and many more eminent Scots, capably defending his thesis and arguing, with both skill and good cheer, that the Scots “have by and large made the world a better place rather than a worse place.” –Gregory McNamee

A Brief History of Highland Games

According to Wikipedia; “Highland games are events held in spring and summer in Scotland and other countries with a large Scottish diaspora, as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture, especially that of the Scottish Highlands”.

One would think that the largest of these events would be held in Scotland, but you would be incorrect.

The largest three events in the world, in terms of attendance, are The Grandfather Mountain Games in North Carolina (30,000), The New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival (35,000), and the Pleasanton, California Highland Games (40,000+).

The Scots’ Charitable Society is not only a participating group at the New Hampshire Games, but we sponsor the annual trophy for the Adaptive Highland Athletics, held for participants with physical limitations. 

For more info about the New Hampshire Games, follow this link.

For more information about Highland Games, follow this link.

Hope to see you in New Hampshire September 16 – 18!

Save the Date: Scots’ Charitable Annual Golf Outing

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Tee off

The Scots’ Charitable Annual Golf Outing RETURNS on August 28th, 12:30pm at Black Swan Country Club in Georgetown, MA.

To see photos from the 2021 Golf Outing, click here.

The Scottish Game

Beginning July 10, 2022, the 150th Open Championship returns to the “Home of Golf,” The Old Course at St. Andrew’s in Scotland.

Sometimes referred to as the “British Open,” it was first held on October 17, 1860, making it the oldest golf tournament in the world.

The history of golf goes back much further than 1860, however, with the original rights to play on the links being granted to the townspeople of St. Andrew’s by Archbishop John Hamilton in 1552!

To this day, the St. Andrew’s Links, which encompasses seven golf courses, remains in a public trust owned by local authorities.

The courses are open to the public for golf seven days a week, with the exception of the Old Course, which gets a day of rest each Sunday.  On those days it is not uncommon to see locals walking their dogs on the course. Can you imagine someone walking their dog at Augusta National or Pebble Beach?!

For more information about the history of St. Andrew’s, we encourage you to click these links:

Old Course
Wikipedia Page
The History of Golf

By Dennis Napier