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Branch History - 1965 through 1970


Calendar for 1965

July 12 Organizing Meeting, Calif. Hall, San Fran.
September 27 Fund Raiser Dance, Calif. Hall, San Fran.
October   Visit by Miss Milligan
November 1 Guy Fox Party, Calif. Hall, San Francisco
  6-7 Joint Weekend with Los Angeles Branch, Santa Maria
    Monthly Dance, Calif. Hall, San Francisco
December   Monthly Dance, Calif. Hall, San Francisco

The new Branch began to function almost immediately. The first Branch Committee meeting was held at the Edinburgh Castle in San Francisco on August 1, 1965 with Fred Macondray in the chair. In addition to all of the newly elected officers and committee members, the meeting was attended by John Dymond, Stewart Smith and Alfred Orrin. The major topic of discussion, occupying nearly three pages of closely typed minutes, was whether or not the three existing SCD groups would join the Branch (see Chapter 2 Branch Formation and Incorporation for the outcome). Branch Classes were defined, and Branch finances discussed. It was decided not to impose the $1.00 registration permitted by the constitution but to seek other fund raising opportunities. Responsibility for the upcoming weekend at Santa Maria that was being planned jointly with The Los Angeles Scottish Country Dancers was transferred from the Reel and Strathspey Club to the Branch, and Roger Stephens was appointed as local weekend chairman.

An annual ball was proposed at the second meeting on September 26th to be held in the fall of 1966. Investigation of suitable halls was initiated, but it was February, 1967 by the time a ball could be staged (see below and Chapter 10).

In October Jorge Bogart resigned both as president of the Reel and Strathspey Club and as a member of the Branch Committee because he was being transferred East. He was replaced in both posts by Alfred Peet. Dick Gotcher resigned from the Branch Committee because of the press of personal business and was replaced by John Dymond.

The first fund-raising event was a dance on September 27th, the Reel and Strathspey's regular night; and the proceeds from a Guy Fox party on November 1st were also turned over to the Branch. A $200.00 donation was also received from the Caledonia Club of San Francisco. Monthly parties were started on the fourth Monday of each month at California Hall.

Santa Maria: November 6-7; total attendance 62, 17 from the Bay Area (Olga Ivanocko, Marion Stanley, Stefni Winter, Jean Sanford, Honora Clark, Mary Frantz, Marjorie Simic, Dr & Mrs. Wm. Sink, Walter and Kathleen McAdam, Clarence Harrison, John Leavitt, Orrin Alfred, Roger Stephens, Jesse Rabinowitz, and Stewart Smith). Four class levels were presented by the teaching staff; Mary Shoolbraid, Vancouver; Stewart Smith and Kathleen McAdam, San Francisco; and Anthony Ivancich, Los Angeles. Fourteen dances were taught: Blue Bonnets, Bonnie Stronshiray, Ca' the Ewes, Corn Rigs, Gentle Sheperd, Holyrood House, Janet's Delight, Ladies' Fancy, Lady Stewart McPherson's Reel, Lenox' Love to Blantyre, Lord Barclay's Reel, Schiehallion, Triumph, and Up in the Morning.

Miss Milligan's visit in October of 1965 included one general class on Monday evening and examinations for five candidates resulted in RSCDS certification for Kathleen McAdam and Phyllis Blake and preliminary passes for Michaela Kinsey, Elsie Robertson and Patrick Jordan.

The first Teachers' Committee was organized at the December 5th Branch Committee meeting with Patrick Jordan as convener. RSCDS certificated teachers in the Branch were listed as Jean Sanford, Stewart Smith, Fred Macondray, Barbara Briggs Bradley, Kathleen McAdam, and Phyllis Blake. Kay Curl, Patrick Jordan, Michaela Kinsey and Elsie Robertson held preliminary passes.


Calendar for 1966

January 24 Monthly Dance, Calif. Hall, San Francisco
February 28 Monthly Dance, Calif. Hall, San Francisco
March 28 Monthly Dance, Calif. Hall, San Francisco
April 25 Monthly Dance, Calif. Hall, San Francisco
May 23 Monthly Dance, Calif. Hall, San Francisco
June 20 First AGM
October 31 Halloween/Guy Fox Party, Calif. Hall, SF
November 28 Monthly Dance, Calif. Hall, San Francisco
December 26 Monthly Dance, Calif. Hall, San Francisco

Class fees were set at $4.00 per month ($6.00 for couples) and monthly dance fees at $1.00, but these were soon revised to $1.50 per night per person for both classes and monthly dances.

At its February 20th, 1966 meeting the Committee decided to join the Folk Dance Federation of California as successor to the R&S Club & Stewart's Team, to appoint Marion Stanley as Branch Librarian, and to waive fees for classes and Branch monthly dances for all active Branch teachers.

The newly established Branch library under Marion Stanley consisted of books and magazines given by Phil Aldrich to the Lafayette Class to be sold at auction to raise money for the class. At the auction, the books were bought by Charles Doig of the St Andrews' Society, and the magazines by Fred Macondray. They both turned their purchases over to the Branch. The initial inventory was:

The first nominating committee chaired by Robert Lyon and including Dolly Nelson and Eugene Bissell was appointed.

In June the team lost its director for several months and several of its members permanently. Auditions were held for new members with Stewart Smith, Jean Sanford and Fred Macondray as adjudicators. Three new members joined the team as a result of the auditions.

Attendance at classes at California Hall was not sufficient to meet expenses, mainly rental, and various solutions were tried to meet the many, often conflicting, complaints. A lengthy letter was sent by Branch Chairman, Fred Macondray to all Branch members detailing the problems and possible solutions and asking for input before the upcoming first Annual General Meeting to be held on June 20th.

A combined Halloween and Guy Fox Party was held October 31 at California Hall arranged by Roger Stephens and Patrick Jordan with help from Dolly Nelson.

In November a large contingent of Branch members went to Riverside for the weekend of the 19th & 20th for an institute sponsored by the Los Angeles Branch at the Mission Inn. Teachers were Kathleen McAdam, Jean Sanford, Mary Shoolbraid and Stewart Smith. The McAdams and the Bissells spent the first night without any luggage when someone forgot to put it on the helicopter they were taking from Los Angeles International to Riverside. A few irate phone calls the next morning got the bags delivered to the Mission Inn. Two Branch dancers left their mark on the Mission Inn, Which was old at that time and closed a few years later. At the Ball Saturday evening Fred Sommer put a hole in the floor, and a short time later John Kelly made another large enough that a chair was put over it to prevent someone else from falling through. The Ball proceeded around the chair without further mishap.

In December new classes were started in Palo Alto with Michaela teaching and in San Francisco with Stewart teaching at his Studio. The Palo Alto class was on Mondays and the new San Francisco one on Tuesday. Lafayette was still going strong meeting on the second and fourth Wednesdays. A new class started at St Clement's Episcopal Church in Berkeley on the first and third Wednesdays had been abandoned. The demonstration team had also had a busy year, dancing at California Hall continued to lag.




Calendar for 1967

January 27 Party (see below)
February 18 First Valentine Ball, Marines' Memorial, SF
March 27 Monthly Dance, Calif. Hall, San Francisco
April 24 Monthly Dance, Calif. Hall, San Francisco
May 29 AGM, Calif. Hall, San Francisco
September 1 Autumn Dance, Live Oak Center, Berkeley
October 6-8 First Branch Asilomar Weekend
  24 Examinations, Calif. Hall, San Francisco
November 4 Monthly Dance, Nicholas Hall, Marines' Memorial
December 2 Monthly Dance, Nicholas Hall, Marines' Memorial.

A joint party was held on January 27th with the Younger Members Group of the English Speaking Union to introduce them to SCD and hopefully recruit a few new members. The success of the venture was not recorded.

The First Ball, Feb 18, 1967, was organized by a committee consisting of Walter McAdam, Jean Sanford, Fred Macondray, Patrick Jordan, and Roger Stevens and chaired by Walter McAdam. It was scheduled to be held in Nicoles Hall on the 4th floor of the Marine's Memorial building where we had been holding monthly dances, but the turnout was so good that the hall management agreed to move the proceedings to the eleventh floor ball room, quite an elegant venue with its excellent wooden floor and crystal chandeliers. The Ball program was printed on a neatly folded card, but a separate cue book was provided in the Reel and Strathspeyper. See Chapter 10 The Valentines Ball for more details.

A new class was started in Palo Alto on March 6th sponsored by the Palo Alto Recreation Department. It met every Monday under the direction of Michaela Kinsey at the Mayfield School, but was soon transferred to the College Terrace Library building at 2300 Wellesley.

The AGM was held May 29, 1967 at California Hall with 30 in attendance. A new Branch Committee (see listing at end) was elected, and changes in operations were discussed, i.e. raising the membership fee (to $1.75!!), moving the San Francisco class to a less expensive hall and separate bank accounts for each class.

A teacher training class was started on June 23 to meet weekly at 8 PM on Friday at the Parish Hall at St Clement's Claremont Blvd and Russell St in Berkeley. The four initial candidates were Michaela Kinsey, Elsie Robertson, Patrick Jordan, and Marion Stanley. Examinations were conducted on October 24th at California Hall by Mrs. Mina Corson for the two candidates still in the program, and a Teacher's Certificate was awarded to Patrick Jordan. She also taught a general glass at California Hall on the 23rd and a Class for the team on the 25th.

The Labor Day Weekend started on Friday September 1st with an Autumn Scottish Country Dance at Live Oak Center, Shattuck Ave at Berryman in Berkeley at which 46 dancers enjoyed music provided by the Thistle Highland Dance Band, and refreshments provided by the Lafayette Class. Tickets were $3.00.

There was also SCD (about half of the program) at the Dance on Saturday at the El Rancho Motel, Santa Rosa, sponsored by the Caledonian Club as part of their games. Music was again by the Thistle Band.

A new class started the Friday after Labor Day at the Auditorium at Rose and Walnut in Berkeley taught by C Stewart Smith.

October 6-8 marked the first Weekend at Asilomar sponsored by the Branch. For details see the Chapter 8 Asilomar Weekend.

Nearly a decade of SCD at California Hall came to an end in October when the Monday night class there was closed because of low attendance. Many of those who had danced there were now dancing at newer classes in the Bay Area, and others had left the Bay Area altogether.


Calendar for 1968

February 10 Valentine Ball, Marines' Memorial, San Fran.
March 2 Monthly Dance, Marines' Memorial, San Fran.
April 6 Monthly Dance, Marines' Memorial, San Fran.
May 4 Monthly Dance, Marines' Memorial, San Fran.
  27 AGM, St Clement's Church, Berkeley
June 1 Monthly Dance, St Clements, Berkeley
July 6 Monthly Dance, Marines' Memorial, San Fran.
  20 Branch Picnic, Mountain Theater, Mt Tam.
August 3 Monthly Dance, Marines' Memorial, San Fran.
September 7 Monthly Dance, Marines' Memorial, San Fran.
October 5 Monthly Dance, Marines' Memorial, San Fran.
  25 Masked Ball, Laurel Hall, San Francisco
November 2 Monthly Dance, Marines' Memorial, San Fran.
  22-24 Asilomar Weekend
December 7 Monthly Dance, Marines' Memorial, San Fran.

Sometime in early 1968 Board meetings were switched to Stewart's Studio for which we paid $2.50 per meeting in rent. Board meetings were being held monthly by this time. Active classes (weekly except as noted) included:

The AGM was held May 27th at St Clement's Church in Berkeley. Dues plus Branch fee were raised from $1.75 to $1.90 because Headquarters raised the annual dues. Party fees were raised to $1.50 for nonmembers but remained at $1.00 for members and students. New officers (see list at end) took over their duties at a joint meeting of the old and new Boards at the home of Walter and Kathleen McAdam.

A picnic was held July 20th at the Mountain Theater on Mt Tamalpias, 6PM to dusk with dancing on the grass.

Monthly dances were held at the Marine's Memorial with Wade Acton acting as manager. Kathleen McAdam and Jean Sanford arranged the programs up until September when a program committee consisting of Patrick Jordan, Kathleen McAdam, Jean Sanford and Stewart Smith was established. July and April refreshments were provided by the Lafayette Class, May by the Monday Class, and June by the Berkeley Class.

George Meecham visited from Scotland and taught two special classes which were very well received.

The Branch Demonstration Team directed by C Stewart Smith danced at Santa Rosa, at the St Andrews Society's 102nd Annual Banquet and Ball, and at various festivals, civic events and private parties.

The Caledonia Club invited Jack Rennie's SCD Band from Los Angeles to play for their dance at the Santa Rosa Games so the Branch seized the opportunity to have them play for a Masked Ball on Friday October 25th from 9 to 1 AM at Laurel Hall. Admission was $3.50 per person, and prizes were awarded for the most original and funniest masks. Jean Sanford compiled the program and coordinated most of the activities, and Stewart Smith was the MC. Tickets were designed by Bill St John, and the decoration committee was headed by Roger Stevens; Jennifer Kelly made many of the decorations. The Band was accommodated in Stewart's home the night of the ball. Refreshments were provided by Lafayette and Marin Classes, and a raffle was held to help defray some of the costs, but the event still produced a loss of $5.69. Spectator tickets were available at $1.00, but only 3 were sold. 48 dancers attended.

Asilomar was held on the Weekend of November 22-24 with John Kelly as chairman. All accommodations were at the Sea Galaxy Complex; cost $30.00 per person four-to-a-room, $34.00 per person two-to-a-room. Teaching staff was Mary Brandon, Paulina Barnes and Tom Cunningham. Kathleen McAdam was MC for the Friday evening welcoming dance in Nautilus Hall. The Saturday night dance, listed as "formalish", was held in the Administration Building. Stewart Smith was MC. That was the year that we shared Asilomar with 500 Catholic Youth. They were having a dance in Merrill Hall, but quite a few of them spent the evening watching us instead. On Sunday the entire group marched to the dining hall for lunch behind pipers Ted and Roni Staples and drummer Ed Grant. Miss Milligan was invited as she was expected to be in the US at about that time, but her schedule did not permit another stop. The weekend produced a loss of $56.26, but was a resounding success in every other way.

Teacher training sessions were conducted by Fred Macondray, Jean Sanford and Kathleen McAdam in preparation for examinations conducted by Mrs. Mina Corson in October. Patrick Jordan received his Certificate. Elsie Robertson received her Certificate from Miss Milligan while she was in Glasgow on a trip home.

Teacher training under Stewart Smith was set to start again at his Studio on October 20th, but because of low registration it was postponed till January. It did commence then with Eugene Bissell, Sheila Cowie, Mimi Feingold, Jennifer and John Kelly, Margaret More, and Marion Stanley as candidates.


Calendar for 1969

January 4 Monthly Dance, Marines' Memorial, San Fran.
February 8 Valentine Ball
March 1 Monthly Dance, Marines' Memorial, San Fran.
April 5 Monthly Dance, Marines' Memorial, San Fran.
May 3 AGM & Monthly Dance [All Classes]
July 12 Monthly Dance, Stewart's Studio, San Fran.
August 2 Monthly Dance, Stewart's Studio, San Fran.
September 6 Monthly Dance, Stewart's Studio, San Fran.
October 4 Monthly Dance, Stewart's Studio, San Fran.
November 1 Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco
  14-16 Asilomar Weekend
December 6 Monthly Dance, Ulysses Grant School, San Francisco

The AGM was held at Nicholas Hall in the Marines' Memorial on May 3, 1969 before the Monthly Dance. The new Committee, elected from a slate put forth by a nominating committee headed by Clifford Porter and including Roy Hayter, Michaela Kinsey and Iris Darroch, selected officers at its first meeting June 8th (see list of officers). Shortly after the AGM Nicholas Hall was closed, and Monthly Dances were held at Stewart's Studio while a search was mounted for another hall by a committee consisting of Elsie Robertson, Wade Acton and Cliff Porter. The search was successful, and beginning with November monthly dances were held at the Ulysses Grant School, 2940 Pacific St, San Francisco.

A picnic was held in July at Mountain Theater on Mt Tamalpias.

Teachers' exams were conducted at Stewart's Studio on October 28th by Miss Margaret McLaren. Preliminary passes went to Marion Stanley, Margaret More, John and Jennifer Kelly, Mimi Feingold and Eugene Bissell. There were no certificate candidates this year. Miss McLaren also taught a general class at St Clement's Church in Berkeley and a class for the demonstration team. She was housed in a hotel in San Francisco (at her request) but had ample contact with local dancers at the exams, her two classes, a dinner in her honor at Fisherman's Wharf and a desert party hosted by Elsie Robertson.

Asilomar November 14-16, 1969

In December Stewart Smith resigned as teacher of the demonstration team, and Jean Sanford became its instructor.

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