N E W S F E E D S >>>
Caithness Associations Index   

                  Community Pages

Edinburgh Caithness Association

Office Bearers
President -  Linda Stuart
Secretary John Macleod

History of The Edinburgh Caithness Association

23 March 08
Edinburgh Caithness Association 1837 – 2007 - 170th Anniversary

The Edinburgh Caithness Association, which was founded in 1837 recently celebrated its 170th anniversary with a well-attended dinner and musical evening in the Macdonald Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh. Returning to where the Association celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1977, a group of 87 members and friends, many of whom had travelled from far-distant places between Orkney and Manchester, came together on 23rd November 2007 to enjoy a sumptuous dinner and drinks reception and to share many happy memories of previous get-togethers – ceilidhs, annual gatherings, literary and drama evenings that made the Association a home from home for so many Caithness exiles and their friends over the years.

From left to right: Alan Kitchen, Accompanist, Mairi Macleod, harpist,
John Lockie, former President, Anne Dunnett, Lord Lieutenant of Caithness
Alasdair Gillies, Mod Gold Medallist, Linda Stuart, President
John Macleod, Secretary

The President, Linda Stuart, welcomed everyone and invited the Association Secretary, John Macleod to say grace. After dinner, the gathering was addressed by the Lord Lieutenant of Caithness, Anne Dunnett, J.P. who brought Caithness greetings to the “exiles” and praised the Associations’s contribution to the social and educational life of Caithness people in Edinburgh. She recalled that her late father, then Provost of Wick, had been the Association’s guest speaker 45 years ago, and was delighted that she had been invited to this special event. She wished the Association well in the future and spoke positively about future social and economic prospects for the county, not least of which would be the presence of the Royal National Mod there in 2010!

John Lockie, former President and Treasurer, addressed the gathering, recalling numerous memories of Association activities – Annual Gatherings in the Assembly Rooms attended by 1000 people, dramatic activities of the John O’ Groat Literary Society, the production of Annual Magazines (some old copies of which were on display and for sale during the evening), the regular attendance of Addie Harper and the Wick Scottish Dance Band at mid-winter Annual Gatherings, meeting venues at Caithness House, York Place, Edinburgh, Royal Arch Halls, Celtic Lodge etc. and the great fellowship enjoyed with fellow Caithnesians in kindred Associations in Glasgow and elsewhere. These recollections were greatly appreciated by the audience.

Musical entertainment was provided by the well-known singer Alasdair Gillies, this year celebrating 50 years since winning the National Mod Gold Medal. He was accompanied by Alan Kitchen on keyboard. Alasdair delivered several Gaelic songs and recitations to the enjoyment of all present. Mairi Macleod, who had been present at the 1977 dinner at the tender age of 3 months, delighted the audience with her clarsach playing of slow airs and reels, having journeyed from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester for the occasion. Although the evening drew to a close, it was clear that many would have liked to have spent more time with their friends and acquaintances of former years.

In addition to the current President, we were delighted to see present nine former Edinburgh Caithness Presidents, numerous Committee members, two former Glasgow Caithness Presidents, and several recipients of Educational Bursaries that have been distributed by the Edinburgh Association since its inception. At a time when many Highland city-based social associations are in decline, it was good to celebrate this important landmark in the life of the Edinburgh Caithness Association and to look forward to further success in its contribution to the social and educational life of Caithnesians in the capital city.

John Macleod,