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(Updated 24 Oct, 2016)
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Branch History - 1970 through 1974

1970

Calendar for 1970

January

3

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

February

7

Valentine Ball

March

7

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

April

4

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

May

9

AGM & Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

June

6

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

July

4

Picnic, Crow Canyon Park

August

1

Monthly Dance, Stewart's Studio, San Fran.

September

12

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

October

3

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

November

1

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

 

13-15

Asilomar Weekend

December

5

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

AGM May 9, 1970, 7:30PM at the Ulysses Grant School. Nominating committee John Kelly, chair; Zeo Dellinger and Hillis Newcomb. Refreshments were provided by the men. The monthly dance followed the meeting.

New officers elected June 14, 1970.

A Branch picnic was held this year at Crow Canyon Park on July 18th from 10AM to 7PM. There was an outdoor dance floor that we were asked to share with another group using the park, but they didn't come around, so we danced all afternoon. Admission was $1.00 for adults and $0.50 for children under 4.

The August monthly dance was held at Stewart's Studio, and beginning in September the dances were transferred to the Ulysses S Grant School in San Francisco

1971

Calendar for 1971

January

9

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

February

6

Valentine Ball

March

6

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

April

4

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

May

1

AGM & Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

June

5

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

August

8

Picnic, Crow Canyon Park

September

11

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

October

2

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

November

6

Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

 

26-28

Asilomar Weekend

December

4

Monthly Dance, Trinity Methodist Church, San Francisco

Jan 1971 minutes report fees as follows (oh, for the good old days!): Annual membership 6 shillings ($2.00 including the Branch fee), Life memberships 6 pounds ($14.40 at the then existing exchange rate). The Branch fee for new life members was set at $0.60, so a new Life membership with the first year's Branch fee came to $l5.00. Continuing Life members paid a Branch fee of $1.00. The membership was 125 annual, 35 Life. Long Term memberships had not yet been introduced.

Older members of the Branch were saddened by the passing on February 13th of Phil Aldrich, one of the founding members and for many years dance director of the Reel and Strathspey Club. Although he had retired from active participation by the time the Branch was formed, and many of the newer members had never met him, all owed him and his wife, Juanita, a very large debt for his untiring efforts in behalf of Scottish country dancing in the Bay Area.

A nominating committee chaired by Walter McAdam, with Hilda Gotcher, Fred Macondray and Ken McFarland as members, was appointed. As usual they had a hard time getting candidates, coming up with only 4 of the 8 needed by the March Board meeting

A Teachers' meeting was held January 31st at the home of the Secretary, 1257 44th Ave, San Francisco mainly to arrange programs for the Saturday night dances.

C Stewart Smith was appointed as teacher trainer.

Beginning in March Board meetings were held the third Sunday of each month at the Edinburgh Castle.

The Annual General meeting was held at the Ulysses S Grant School in San Francisco on May 1, l971 preceding the regular Saturday night dance. Discussion of incorporation was commenced.

AGM minutes are missing, but the election evidently was held; the new committee took office at the June meeting held in Greenbrae. Annual fees were increased to $2.00. Life memberships were going for $15.00.

The Sacramento Class was officially recognized as a Branch class at the June 6th Board meeting.

The June monthly dance was scheduled to be at the Pacific Heights School, 2340 Jackson St in San Francisco, but when we arrived the school was locked and dark. No one appeared to let us in. While Cliff was off trying to contact someone to open up, one of the dancers found a rear window open, got in and opened the front doors. Everyone trooped in; someone found the light switches; the auditorium was cleared of chairs, and the floor was swept. By this time Cliff was back, and a quick conference was held. It was decided that breaking-and-entering really wasn't such a good idea even though we did hold a permit to use the hall, and Cliff had found out the Stewart's Studio was available. Chairs were set up again, lights turned off, doors locked, and everyone retreated to the Studio where a good time was had by all. We never did find out whether the school authorities realized what had happened or not. Beginning with July the location was changed to Trinity Methodist Church.

The Picnic was again held at Crow Canyon Park, this year on August 8th. Jean Patrick arranged a dance program. Admission was the same as last year.

A new publicity leaflet was created by Publicity Chairman Patricia Leslie with information and contacts for the various classes in the Branch. 2000 copies were ordered at a cost of $50.00 for general use and for distribution at Santa Rosa. Publicity was also received for a time on the weekly KBRG Highland Holiday program.

Beginning with the September 11th dance the monthly dances were shifted to Trinity Methodist Church, 16th and Market streets in San Francisco.

Miss Milligan visited the Branch September 26 & 27 to teach a general class and examine teacher candidates. She was met at the airport by Stewart Smith on Sunday the 26th, conducted exams on Sunday and Monday evenings at the Trinity Methodist Church in San Francisco.

1972

Calendar for 1972

January

15

Monthly Dance, Trinity Methodist Church, San Francisco

February

19

Valentine Ball

March

4

Monthly Dance, Trinity Methodist Church, San Francisco

April

7

Monthly Dance, Trinity Methodist Church, San Francisco

May

5

Monthly Dance, Trinity Methodist Church, San Francisco

June

2

Monthly Dance, Trinity Methodist Church, San Francisco

July

1

Monthly Dance, Trinity Methodist Church, San Francisco

August

12

Picnic, Tourist Club, Mt Tamalpais

September

9

Monthly Dance, Trinity Methodist Church, San Francisco [San Francisco Tues]

October

7

Monthly Dance, Trinity Methodist Church, San Francisco [Sacramento Class]

November

4

Monthly Dance, Trinity Methodist Church, San Francisco [San Jose]

 

24-26

Asilomar Weekend

December

2

Monthly Dance, Trinity Methodist Church, San Francisco [Berkeley Mon]

The Ball was held February 19, 1972 at the California Club.

In February an advanced class was slated to meet once a month at St Clement's Church in Berkeley to be taught by all of the Branch teachers in rotation with Fred Macondray as coordinating teacher and Walter McAdam as class manager. The first class didn't get under way until April 21, taught by Jean Patrick.

Joel Stafford was appointed to organize a Branch bookstore in May, but he left soon after on an extended trip and Rosemary Thorne was appointed in July in his stead.

Branch picnic August 12th at the Tourist Club, Mt Tamalpias, arranged for by Paul Sarvis. Cost $1.00 ($0.50 for children). There was dancing on the deck until dark with live music by `The Ceilidh Band'.

Membership 128 Annual, 44 Life.

The AGM was held at 7:00PM on May 6, 1972 at Trinity Methodist Church preceding the monthly dance. Nominating Committee: David Sarvis, Rosemary Thorne, Bill Wakeman & George Patrick.

Fred Macondray was appointed as teacher trainer with Patrick Jordan as assistant.

The Branch bought its own ditto machine and attempted to publish the Reel and Strathspeyper itself to save on printing costs, but the results left much to be desired, and after a half dozen or so issues, the effort was abandoned. The machine quietly disappeared - a boat anchor perhaps?

1973

Calendar for 1973

January

6

Monthly Dance, Trinity Methodist Church, San Francisco [Marin Class]

February

9

Valentine Ball

March

3

Monthly Dance, Trinity Methodist Church, San Francisco [Demonstration Team]

April

7

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco

May

5

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco

 

19

AGM, All Souls Church, Berkeley

June

2

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco

July

7

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco

August

4

Picnic, Tourist Club, Mt Tamalpais

September

8

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco

October

6-8

Asilomar Weekend

 

13

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco

November

3

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco

December

1

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco

January, 1973 Mark Post was appointed teacher for the "Team" as Stewart had resigned this post. By April the "Team" had disbanded, replaced by "ad hoc" teams.

A new class was started in Berkeley on Friday nights taught by Paul Sarvis and Lynda Long. It must have gotten a good start as it is still going.

The move to incorporate the Branch as a nonprofit corporation continued to move ahead. During 1972 Hillis Newcomb obtained and completed the form required by the federal government and George Patrick did the same for the State. Tom Burcham, who was a corporation lawyer, was brought in to assist and did much of the selling to the Branch membership. The move was not universally accepted at the outset, and much discussion ensued. Tom visited many of the classes to present arguments in favor, and a meeting for Class Managers was held at the Burcham home 24th February, 1973.

Monthly dances were moved to Commodore Sloat School, 19th Ave at Ocean Blvd in San Francisco beginning in April. The rental cost was $29.50 per month. Beginning May 5th the time was changed to 7:30 to 11:00 PM. The first discussion of live music by the Ceilidh Band was had at this time, but the Band was not available on a regular basis.

Membership 137 Annual, 51 Life.

Nominating committee: Fred Macondray, Mavis Wictum & Carol Leach.

The Annual General Meeting was a pot luck supper held on May 19th, at All Souls Church, Cedar and Spruce Streets in Berkeley, separate from the regular monthly dance because of the large number of items of business that required discussion, especially the incorporation and needed increases in dues. The new Board was elected, and Articles of Incorporation and new Bylaws were adopted, but dues increases were put off to another special meeting. This one didn't adjourn until 1:26 AM as it was. Incorporation was completed August 21, 1973. At the Special Meeting held at All Souls Church on June 9th the new Branch registration fee was set at $2.50 ($2.00 for ages 16-21 and over 65). The Reel and Strathspeyper reported these figures as $4.00 & $2.00 respectively. Prior to the AGM the Board imposed, on the recommendation of the class managers, a "head tax" of $0.25 on each participant of each class to be collected by the class manager. A letter was sent on March 18, 1973 from the Chairman, Jean Patrick, to each member of the Branch, but Branch Committee minutes suggest that only a few of the classes ever paid. The tax was rescinded effective May 30, 1973

The Branch picnic, August 4th was again held at the Tourist Club on Mt Tamalpias

ID cards for Life members in the Branch were approved. The supply printed is still in use and will probably last well into the next century.

June 15th found Branch members participating in the 1st Gathering and Games at Dunsmuir House & Gardens in Oakland.

June 1973 the Mill Valley Class withdrew from the Branch largely over a misunderstanding of the intent of the Board in regards to property held by the classes. The new Bylaws made all property of the classes property of the Branch, but there was never any intent to interfere with class operations or to take over any class property unless the class ceased operations.

The Branch picnic was again held at the Tourist Club on Mt Tamalpias on August 4th. Monthly dances were now being held at Commodore Sloat School, Old Junipero Serra at Ocean Ave in San Francisco.

Santa Rosa games; Kathleen McAdam was appointed to coordinate general dancing. The Lafayette Class donated $25.00 for a trophy for the best national dancer age 13 and under to be given under the Branch's name. Demonstrations were performed Saturday, Saturday night, and Sunday. The Branch received $150 for these but about $80.00 of it was absorbed by expenses incurred.

A Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Stewart Smith for his work in assisting the Branch and in Promoting Scottish Country Dancing in general. The occasion was Stewart's departure for Houston, Texas where he had accepted a full time position teaching Highland dancing at St Thomas's Episcopal School

Because of Stewart's leaving the August and subsequent Board meetings were transferred once again to the Edinburgh Castle. September we appointed our first permanent representative to the Executive Council of the Society in the person of Dr John Dymond, who had been a dancer in the Bay area in the early days of the Branch.

Ken McFarland succeeded Louise Heallie as Branch representative to the British Commonwealth Association.

Examinations: Mrs. Mina Corson arrived from Vancouver September 28th, held examinations all day Saturday the 29th at All Souls Church in Berkeley and left for Los Angeles on the 30th. The candidates did their own dancing in the morning, were given lunch by Tom and Julie Burcham at their home and taught in the afternoon. The teaching part of the exams was open to all Branch members. The candidates had to deal with four sets of dancers, an entirely new experience for many of them. A party MC'd by Kathleen McAdam finished off the evening. Successful candidates this year, including some who had passed the exams at St Andrews, were Full: Eugene Bissell, Lynda Long and Paul Sarvis; and Preliminary: Carol Leach, Ken McFarland, Tanya McKnight, Robin Short, Jim Wictum, Mavis Wictum and Carl Whitman.

At the October meeting the Branch committee set a subscription rate for nonmember subscribers to the Reel and Strathspeyper of $2.00 per issue year, approved Branch registration cards for Life members who have paid their Branch registration fee (these cards are still in use), informed its subcommittee on class operations that it would not approve any changes in the operations of existing classes without the class's agreement, and appointed Kathleen McAdam to call a meeting of teachers to form a teachers' committee, the old committee having become moribund. The New Committee was organized November 11th with Lynda Long as its first chairman. The Committee is still very much an active part of Branch operations.

Lafayette and Berkeley Classes were officially granted `Branch Class' status, although the Lafayette Class had been operating as a Branch class since the inception of the Branch in 1965. San Jose class was just getting started. They had a hall and teachers but were without funds. The Board voted to cover up to $15.00 per week of costs not covered by class fees. A similar arrangement was adopted for the Larkspur Class at the Dec 2 meeting.

At its November 4th meeting the committee adopted standards for classes, a procedure for forming new classes, rules covering demonstration team(s), and guidelines for a Teachers Committee and a Branch Managers Committee.

Berkeley class held a Christmas dinner-dance December 15th with live music, and Lafayette Class produced its first 'Tween Party December 29th contributing $50.00 to the Asilomar scholarship fund from the proceeds.

There were classes in Berkeley, Lafayette, Mill Valley, Monterey, Palo Alto, Sacramento, San Jose, and San Francisco

1974

Calendar for 1974

January

5

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco

February

9

Valentine Ball

March

2

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco [Lafayette

April

6

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco [San Francisco]

May

4

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco [San Jose]

 

11

AGM, All Souls Church, Berkeley

June

2

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco [Berkeley]

July

14

Picnic

September

1

First Santa Rosa Dance

 

7

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco [Larkspur]

October

5

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco [Berkeley Adv]

 

12-13

Skyline Institute

November

2

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco [Sacramento]

December

7

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco [Palo Alto]

Jan 6, 1974 the Larkspur, Sacramento and San Jose Classes were granted Branch Class status. A campaign to collect Blue Chip stamps provided new coffee pots and picnic baskets for the Larkspur, San Francisco and San Jose Classes.

Walter McAdam was appointed nominating committee chairman with additional committee members to be appointed from among the class managers (they were Julie Burcham, Michaela Kinsey, Robin Short, Kay Thorne and Mavis Wictum).

In February The Branch was granted tax exempt status by both the Internal revenue Service and the California Franchise Tax Board, The publication of the Reel and Strathspeyper was converted from mimeograph to offset printing, and a bulk rate permit was obtained. Recommended standard teachers' fees were established at $10.00 per night for Certificated teachers and $7.50 per night for prelims. Palo Alto Class was accepted as an Affiliated Class, and The Scottish Country Dancers of Fresno were recognized as an Affiliated Group of the RSCDS (but not connected with the Branch). A recruiting brochure was prepared by Bob and Jane McCord and Tom Burcham.

AGM 11 May 1974 at All Souls Church parish hall, spruce and Cedar Streets, Berkeley 6:30 potluck followed by the meeting.

Membership for the year stood at 34 Life and 114 annual.

Mark Post was appointed Teacher Trainer with classes to start October 19 at All Souls Church. The Exams were expected to be in April or May.

June 9th again found Branch members at Dunsmuir House in Oakland for a Gathering and Games. There was SCD on the lawn this year, but it lasted only about 45 minutes because the Games organizers asked if they might borrow our amplifier and speaker. It seems their system for the main field had gone out, and the vice-mayor of Oakland had already been kept waiting for a half hour. We rescued them, but that meant no more dancing as they used our system for the rest of the afternoon. We made sure that that wouldn't happen again the next year by using live music.

The first Country Dance Ball in connection with the Santa Rosa Games was arranged for Sunday 1 September 1974 with the Thistle Band from Los Angeles. A loss of $124.00 was incurred, but the event was otherwise considered a success. See the chapter on Santa Rosa for more details.

The annual weekend at Asilomar was announced for October 11-13 as usual, but after all the arrangements were completed and the announcements out, Asilomar informed the weekend chairman, Jean Patrick that they had scheduled us for a different weekend. The weekend was, therefore, held at Skyline High School rather than change the dates. It took some doing to get everything rearranged, but it was done, and the weekend was a complete success.

Dr John Dymond, a former member of the Branch now living in Glasgow, was appointed the Branch's delegate to the RSCDS AGM.

The Branch contributed $100.00 towards the cost for Barbara Bousma (now McOwen) to attend a Weekend Musicians Workshop in Boston taught by Angus McKinnon. This was the Branch's first concrete support towards developing local musicians, an effort that has paid off handsomely indeed.

1975



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