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(Updated 24 Oct, 2016)
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Branch History - 1975 through 1979

Calendar for 1975

January

4

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

February

1

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco

 

22

Valentine Ball, The Blue Dolphin

March

8

Monthly Dance, Commodor Sloat School, San Francisco [Berkeley (Fri.)]

April

5

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

May

3

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

 

31

AGM, All Souls Church, Berkeley

June

7

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

 

8

Scottish Highland Games & Branch Picnic, Dunsmuir House, Oakland

July

13

Annual Picnic

August

31

Santa Rosa Dance

September

6

Workshop with Tom Easton and Stan Hamilton, St Clements Church, Berkeley

October

4

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco

 

10-12

Columbus Day Weekend

November

1

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco

December

6

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco

Miss Milligan made a one day stop on May 6th to examine teacher candidates. She was hosted by Virginia and Eugene Bissell. Teacher's Certificates were awarded to Carol Leach, Ken McFarland, Robin Short, and Carl Wittman; preliminary passes to Barbara Bouwsma, Carolyn Harvey, David Gok, Henry Thompson and Diane Childers.

The 1975 AGM was held May 31st at All Souls Church preceded by a potluck dinner. Attendance was low, probably because there were no controversial issues.

The Branch Annual picnic was held June 8th at Dunsmuir House in Oakland in connection with the Annual Oakland Games. There was an informal `friendly' SCD competition organized by Jennifer Kelly. A list of six dances (Montgomeries' Rant, Belle of Bon Accord, Duke of Atholl's Reel, Reel of the 51st Division, and Dalkeith’s Strathspey & A Trip to Bavaria) was given to all the class teachers to be taught in their classes. Anyone wishing to participate was to give his/her name to the teacher who was to enter them in a lottery. Sets were formed by drawing names from the lottery. Fred Macondray served as adjudicator. There were four teams consisting of Bob McGowan/Jill Breslauer, Bill Irvine/Bea Watson, Paul Douglas/Robin Short & John Kelly/Laura Fremont; Jim Wictum/Martha Stafford, Joel Stafford/Kim McGarrity, Bill McConachie/Mavis Wictum & Michael Schulz/Patty Rosenmeyer; Bob McGowan/Diane Childers, Bill McConachie/Maria Corse, John Kelly/Cathy Sponseller & Paul Douglas/Kitty Lynch; & Joel Stafford/Claudia Montgomery, Michael Schulz/Maureen Snyder, Bill Irvine/Barbara B. & Jim Wictum/Jennifer Kelly.

On the afternoon of the 21st of August Jennifer Kelly organized an English-Irish workshop in San Jose at which Carl Wittman taught English Country Dances and Kathleen McAdam taught Irish. A party that evening included SCD as well as English and Irish with music for the SCD supplied by the Cabbage Band (Berkeley Scottish Players).

There were no monthly dances during the summer, and when dancing resumed on October 4th it was at Robert Louis Stevenson School on 35th Ave between Pacheco and Quintarra in San Francisco

1976

Calendar for 1976

January

3

Monthly Party, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco

February

7

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco

 

21

Valentine Ball

March

6

Monthly Party, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco

April

3

Monthly Party, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco

May

1

Monthly Party, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco

 

22

AGM, All Souls Church, Berkeley

June

5

Monthly Party, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco School

 

6

Dunsmuir Games and Branch Picnic

August

21

English/Irish Workshop, San Jose, Carl Wittman (English 12-2:30PM) & Kathleen McAdam (Irish 3-5PM), General dancing 7-10.

October

2

Monthly Party, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco School [Lafayette]

 

16

Fall Workshop, Taylor Int. School, Millbrae

November

6

Monthly Party, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco School [Berkeley]

December

4

Monthly Party, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco School [Santa Cruz & SF]

 

31

Berkeley NYE Bash, Student Union, Mills College, music by Cabbage Band

The May monthly dance was a `1950's night' run by Mark Post and using exclusively the old 78rpm records originally belonging to the Reel and Strathspey Club.

The 1976 AGM was held May 22nd in the Parish Hall of All Souls Church, Cedar and Spruce Streets, Berkeley and was preceded by a potluck supper. Nominating committee Tom Burcham, Ken McFarland, W. McConachie

Sometime during the late spring or early summer an effort was launched to produce a recording of dance music. Cabbage Records was organized financed by an investment of $100.00 each by a group of dancers (Roy Kaitner, Bob Zuparko, Vaughn Wolff, David Gok, William Griffiths, Barbara Bowsma, Dan Livramento, James Hammer, The Berkeley Class, Russell & Ellen Breslauer, Bea Watson, Eugene & Virginia Bissell, Ken Embrey, Paul Machlis, Dr H Harvey, Henry Thompson, Kim McGarrity, John & Jennifer Kelly & Claudia Montgomery). In addition contributions to the project were made by Patrick Jordan (25.00) and Cathy Sponseller (35.00). A Camp of Pleasure was recorded at Bay Records and appeared in late 1976. The contents were A Camp of Pleasure (8x32Strathspey), The Red House (8x40Reel), Monymusk (8x32Strathspey), The Merry reapers (*x24Jig), Johnny Groat's House (8x32Reel), Snow in Summer (8x40Strathspey), & Flowers of Edinburgh (8x32Reel). It sold of $5.50. By all counts it was a resounding success. The first printing sold out, and a second was ordered. By the end of 1977 the financial accounting showed sales and investments of 6410.64 and overall costs, including free records distributed shown at retail value, of 6428.03 - a loss of 17.39 which was more than made up with the second printing. The original investors were eventually paid off at 100% interest over about 3 years.

The Branch picnic was again held at Dunsmuir House in connection with the Dunsmuir Games on June 6th. The `friendly' dance competition of the preceding year was organized by Kathleen McAdam. Fred Macondray served as adjudicator. Dances from which teams selected a reel, a jig and a strathspey were: Maxwell's Rant, The Sailor, Postie's Jig, Scottish Reform, Dundee Whaler and Rakes of Glasgow.

The October minutes mention a new class having been started in San Francisco, a Branch Bookstore, and the separation of the Sacramento Class as an RSCDS Affiliated Group, all of which seem to have been initiated during the time that minutes are missing. The Houston, Texas group asked for and received support from the Branch to become an RSCDS Affiliated Group.

At the Caledonian Club Games at Santa Rosa on September 4th & 5th, the Red Thistle Dancers presented demonstrations to the music of the Berkeley Scottish Players. There was also dancing on the green and the by now annual dance in the Veterans' Memorial building across the street from the fairgrounds.

Red Thistle Dancers requested Branch Affiliate Class status, which was approved at the November 6th meeting.

Membership stood at 178 (150 Annual, 28 Life).

A teacher training class under Paul Sarvis had 4 certificate and 7 preliminary candidates. See below for results

This year's nominating committee was headed by Jack Baxter, who was assisted by Tom Izbicki, Eugene Bissell and Howard Leach. The AGM was held May 27th at All Souls Church and included a pot luck supper before and informal dancing after. Before the pot luck there was a special class on dances from the June Ball taught by Henry Thompson and one other Bay Area teacher

A picnic and informal dancing on the lawn at Dunsmuir House Sunday June 12. A formal dance was considered but abandoned because of the unavailability of Dunsmuir House or other suitable hall in the area. The June Board meeting was held there as well, but the minutes are missing.

1977

Calendar for 1977

January

8

Monthly Party, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Sa Jose]

February

5

Valentine Ball

March

5

Monthly Party, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Lafayette]

April

2

Monthly Party, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Berkeley]

May

7

Monthly Party, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Red Thistle & San Jose]

 

21

AGM, All Souls Church, Berkeley

June

4

Monthly Party, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [SF, Santa Cruz & Palo Alto]

July

23

Annual Picnic, Live Oak Park, Berkeley

September

4-5

Caledonian Games, Santa Rosa

 

17

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Red Thistle & San Jose]

 

30

Asilomar Weekend

October

8

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Berkeley]

November

5

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Lafayette]

December

3

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [same as June]

 

17

Berkeley & San Francisco Christmas Party, Star of the Sea Academy, SF

In April Miss Milligan made what was to prove to be her last visit to the Bay Area. Kathleen McAdam and Bill McConachie met her at the San Francisco airport on the evening of Wednesday, April 18th, and Kathleen and Walter saw her off as she departed for Los Angeles on the following Saturday. In between she was housed by Virginia and Eugene Bissell. She was a most delightful guest regaling her hosts with anecdotes of St Andrews and adventures of an examiner. She conducted the exams at Mills College the afternoon and evening of the 21st. Music was provided for the exams by Paul Machlis on the piano and Vaughn Wolff on violin. Miss Milligan had a quiet day on Friday during which she read the candidates' papers and made her decisions. Friday evening's party at Robert Louis Stevenson School in San Francisco, where Miss Milligan taught three dances (Lady C Bruce's Reel, Charles Stuart and Newington Assembly), was attended by a capacity crowd. Kathleen McAdam was mistress of ceremonies, and the Berkeley Scottish Players provided music for Miss Milligan’s teaching as well as part of the program. Teacher's Certificates were received by Barbara Bouwsma, David Gok, Howard Leach, and Henry Thompson, and preliminary passes by Carolyn Hunt, Wes Ludemann, Colleen McClosky, Patricia McClosky, Kim McGarrity and Robert McOwen. The above dates are from Committee Meeting minutes; the flyer announcing the events gives the dates as April 21 and 22.

The first record by the Berkeley Scottish Players, `A Camp of Pleasure', was announced in March. The record sold for $5.50 and contained seven full length Scottish Country Dances, A Camp of Pleasure, The Red House, Monymusk, The Merry Reapers, Johnny Groat's House, Snow in Summer, and Flowers of Edinburgh.

The 1977 AGM was again held at All Souls Church on May 21st. Nominating Committee: Howard Leach, Tom Izbicki, Jack Baxter and Eugene Bissell.

Since the games at Dunsmuir House were cancelled the annual picnic was held at Live Oak Park, Shattuck at Berriman in Berkeley. The date was July 23rd. There was dancing on the lawn to recorded music.

The 77/78 Board, beginning with its July meeting, met at Live Oak Park in Berkeley

There was dancing on the green at the Caledonian Games, September 4th & 5th and a demonstration by Red Thistle on the main stage both Saturday & Sunday. The post-games Ball had 137 dancers, 25 spectators and 3 children, and realized a profit of $107.84.

Monthly dances were at Robert Louis Stevenson School again this year.

1978

Calendar for 1978

January

7

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Berkeley]

February

4

Valentine Ball

March

4

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Lafayette]

April

1

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Red Thistle & Santa Cruz]

May

6

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Palo Alto & San Fran.]

June

3

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Berkeley]

10

A Summer Ball, Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley

September

16

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Berkeley]

October

6-8

Asilomar Weekend

November

4

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Lafayette & Oakland]

December

2

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Palo Alto & San Fran.]

A workshop for teachers with Stuart Smith was organized by John Kelley for the weekend of January 21st/22nd. Classes were held at St Marks Church in Palo Alto on Saturday from 9:30 to 5:00 with a potluck lunch at noon. There was a discussion session at the Kelly's home from 10:00 to 12:00 on Sunday followed by a teachers' meeting at 1:30.

A new Cabbage Band record (Heather and Yon) was announced in February. The dances included were: Side 1: Petronella (8x32Reel, Petronella, Persian Dance & Neil Gow's Farewell to Whisky), The Gentle Shepherd (4x32 Slow 6/8, The Gentle Shepherd, Mrs. Jamieson's Favorite & I'm a Young Man), The Rakes of Glasgow (8x32Strathspey, The Rakes of Glasgow, Mrs. Garden of Troup & James Murray of Abercarney), Willie Wi' His Tartan Trews (8x40Jig, Willie wi' his Tartan trews, The Haddington Assembly & Lady Charlotte Murray's Jig); Side 2: The Princess Royal (8x28Reel, The Princess Royal, Griffith Ap Cynan's Delight & Planxty Sir Festus Burke), I'll Mak' Ye Fain To Follow Me (8x32Jig, Earl of Morton's Jig, Kiss Me Fast & I hae' Laid a Herring in Saut), A Trip To Tobermory (8x24Strathspey, Tobermory Bay, Lord Lyndoch & The Laird of Macfarlane's Strathspey), The Sailor (8x32Hornpipe, Davy Hornpipe, Douglas Hornpipe & Fischer's Hornpipe). The musicians were: Caryn Palmer (flute), Barbara Bouwsma (violin), Vaughn Wolff (violin), Margo Leslie (violin), Jane Landstra (violin, hammered dulcimer & bass), Ken Embrey (violin, concertina, tenor banjo & bass), Carol Ginsburg (piccolo), Paul Machlis (piano), Robert McOwen (guitar & bass) and Roy Kaitner (snare drum).

Branch members participated in a demonstration of SCD at the annual Camellia Folk Dance Festival in the Sacramento Civic Auditorium on Sunday March 12th under the direction of Jean Patrick.

On the next weekend, March 18th, The Berkeley Scottish Players gave their first out of town performance at the Ball of the Victoria, BC Branch's St Patrick's Weekend.

Summer Ball 7:00 PM, June 10, 1978 at Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley to celebrate 200 members organized by David Gok and Marjorie Kistemaker. Stan Hamilton and His Flying Scotsmen. $10.00 members, $15.00 nonmembers, $5.00 spectators. loss $422.27

John Hutton appointed our delegate to The Society's AGM.

Nominating Committee Sheena West, David Gok and Lin Pettengill; AGM 27 May 1978 at All Souls Church.

The Branch was saddened as the word rapidly spread of Miss Milligan’s death on July 28th in Glasgow. She was fondly remembered by everyone who had had the good fortune of meeting her. Without her direct encouragement the Branch would never have come into being.

The 1978 Santa Rosa Ball showed a net gain of $25.38

The second Cabbage record, Heather And Yon, by the Berkeley Scottish Players under Barbara Bouwsma was announced in August. The price was again $5.50, and it contained full length versions of Petronella, The Gentle Shepherd, The Rakes of Glasgow, Willie Wi' His Tartan Trews, The princess Royal, I'll Mak' ye fain to Follow Me, A Trip to Tobermory and The Sailor.

In October Barbara Bouwsma and Robert McOwen moved to New York, and leadership of the Berkeley Scottish Players fell to Paul Machlis and Margo Leslie.

Teacher training classes were started under Jennifer Kelley in October for candidates in the South Bay and by Jean Patrick in November for those in the North Bay and Sacramento. The two groups got together for a weekend workshop in March at the Alpine Club, 730 Panorama Way, Mill Valley, arranged by Pop and Millie Gunn. Exams by Nancy Arnott of Kirkcaldy, Scotland were conducted May 18. Teacher's Certificates were obtained by Carolynn Harvey, Carolyn Hunt, Kim McGarrity, and Wes Ludemann. Preliminary passes went to Arlene Baxter, Dorothy Carr, Cathy Sponseller, Kay Thorne, Sheena West and Ellie Wood.

1979

Calendar for 1979

January

6

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Berkeley]

February

17

Valentine Ball

March

3

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Red Thistle & San Jose]

April

7

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Lafayette]

May

5

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco [Palo Alto & San Fran.]

June

2

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco

 

23

Picnic, Alpine Club, Mt Tamalpais

September

2

Santa Rosa Dance

 

15

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco

October

6

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco

 

26-28

Asilomar Weekend

November

3

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco

December

1

Monthly Dance, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School, San Francisco

June 23rd, 1979 Picnic at California Alpine Club, Mt Tamalpias. The facility was arranged by Pop & Millie Gunn, who were members of the Club. There was hiking in the morning for those ambitious enough. Dancing indoors on a wonderful wooden floor afternoon and evening, a potluck supper and ceilidh in the evening. Many picnickers stayed overnight in the Club's dormitory facilities. The cost was $1.00 for the day, $3.00 for overnight including breakfast Sunday morning. There was also a hike after breakfast lead by a 92-year-old member of the Alpine Club, but most of the dancers were pretty well spent by then.

Nominating committee: Pop Gunn, David Gok and Lin Pettengill. The AGM was held May 12, 1979

Report received from Jim and Isabel Fyfe, our rep to the Executive Council was received in March.

Oakland Class held a St Patrick’s Day Dance and donated $90.60 from the proceeds to the Branch general fund.

A book of dances composed by San Francisco Branch members, `The San Francisco Collection', was published with Henry Thompson as editor and Don Kennedy arraigning for printing The first printing was 100 copies. The initial price was set at $1.00 plus postage.

The Monthly party scheduled for September 15th showed promise of being one of the best ever with enthusiastic musicians, assorted sweets and savories and gallons of punch in the hands of several dozen eager dancers, but someone forgot to notify the custodian of the Robert Louis Stevenson School. Many frantic phone calls failed to turn up the key. Some of those assembled retreated to the Edinburgh Castle; others gave up and went home. The problem was straightened out by the time of the next party.

1979 Santa Rosa dance showed a net gain of $174.05. Doug McConnell was in charge.

The Livermore Class, now 2 1/2 years old became an official Branch Class in December, and the Oakland Class became an Affiliated Class.

The third record by The Berkeley Scottish Players, `None So Pretty' appeared officially in December. For $5.50 the purchaser got full length recordings of None So Pretty, Bonnie Flowers o'er the Muir, The Wild Geese, The Shetland Fiddler, Wandering Waltzes, Ye're Welcome Charlie Stewart, Adieu Mon Ami, and The Montgomeries' Rant.



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