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The 2014 Ceilidh

September 02, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Ready, steady, ceilidh! It was a chance for the whole family to get up, dance and learn the secret of Scotland’s most famous shindig at the College’s annual Ceilidh at the weekend. For those who gathered in Elliot Hall, all were prepared to be thrilled and exhausted at the traditional Gaelic social gathering.

Now in its 19th consecutive year, the evening is a chance for our Saint Kentigern community to come together and recognise our heritage and links to Scotland. It is also an opportunity to fundraise for our Pipes and Drums Band who will be making their pilgrimage to Scotland in 2016.

After guests had mingled over pre-dinner cocktails, the foyer of Elliot Hall rang out to the sound of Scotland’s national instruments as the Pipes and Drums band made their entrance into the foyer. MC and Head of Middle School, Mr Duncan McQueen officially welcomed all guests, many of whom are frequent guests at the celebratory evening. Arm in arm, the guests followed the band in the Grand March into the hall which had been magnificently laid out in a medieval style.

Again this year, Wee Jock’s Ceilidh Band provided the folk music for the dancing, accompanied by two Middle School music students, Jason Seto and Ryan Tong on the violin. Introducing the country dances was Bev Young, whose expertise walked the guests through the dance steps before the music began and the hall came alive with joyous stomping, laughing, twirling and keen partnered footwork.

Over the course of the evening, the audience was treated to a display of impressive and entertaining acts. The Drum Corps of the Pipes and Drums came to the fore to play their crisp and strident snare drums, Year 13 student Sarah McQueen’s presented a nimble and energetic sword dance and Highland dance routine and Eden Hawkin’s sang an enchanting solo.

For the ‘main event’ of the evening, the guests were all upstanding and their glasses charged as the haggis was piped in, addressed, toasted and piped out. This year, Ode Maker to the haggis was Pipe Major, Andre Mason who recited a wonderfully dramatic Ode to the Haggis using his best Scottish accent impersonation. Trust Board General Manager and true Scot, Mr Eric Shiels then gave thanks for the buffet meal with the Selkirk Grace – Scottish accent impersonation not necessary!

The evening continued with more entertainment and surprises in the door prize, silent auctions and lucky dip where $20 gave you the luck of the draw either way. The live auctions then picked up the pace as bidders pitted against each other for generously donated goods and services on offer. Included in these items was an original art work of the Glasgow Badge which depicts the symbols of the bird, the tree, the bell and the fish that embody the story of Saint Kentigern.

As the night drew to a close, the guests were called up into their sets for their final dances, many now mastering the combinations of the fast tempos, quick movements and lively feel! All stood to enjoy a sing along of Scottish patriotic songs, led by the Pipes and Drums band singers at the front of the stage and then joined in a circle and held hands for a spirited ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

In the final act for the evening, four pipers stood on the terrace above the Scottish flags to perform a soul stirring ‘Amazing Grace’ to a motionless and silent crowd.  

The 2014 Ceilidh once again had a fantastic party atmosphere, boundless energy and plenty of folk music and dancing. We give our grateful thanks to those who donated and bid for the items offered in both the live and silent auctions. The generosity of our community is greatly appreciated by the Pipes and Drums in their efforts to raise funds for their trip to Scotland in 2016.

Special thanks to the committee who have made this evening such a success:
Kim Walker, Meghann Stewart, Lee-Anne Lindsay, Jocelyn Eaddy, Georgina Sawyer, Shanlee Milner, Jo Jackson, Jean McQueen, Pat Baird, Andrew Lightfoot, Anne Clifford , the Maintenance Staff, the Lighting & Sound Team and our Old Collegians behind the bar.

We also give our thanks to those who provided their generous support and provision of the live and silent auction items: The Heritage Hotel, Graham Yan, Mark Davis, Yu Chen, McKenzie Family, Rod Milner Motors, Parents and Friends, Mungos, Jackson Family, Icon Fitness, Baird Family, Milner Family and the Pipes and Drums community members.

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