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History of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, San Francisco Branch

Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, San Francisco Branch milestones:

The branch's first chairman was Fred Macondray.

A newsletter, The Reel and Strathspeyper, was started under the editorship of Alice Macondray.

The first Valentine's Ball was held at the Marines' Memorial Building in San Francisco on February 18, 1967 chaired by Walter McAdam with music supplied by Jack Rennie's band from Los Angeles.

The first weekend workshop was a joint undertaking with the Los Angeles Scottish Country Dancers held at Santa Maria with Roger Stephens as local chairman.

The first workshop at Asilomar was organized by John Kelly, Will Kinsey, and Fred Sommer on the weekend of October 6-8, 1967. Teachers were Pauline Barnes, Mary Brandon, and C. Stewart Smith. Music for the formal Ball in Nautilus Hall was supplied by Jack Rennie's Thistle Highland Dance Band.

The other major annual event, the Caledonian Club Gathering and Games on Labor Day, had SCD participation since the days of the Reel and Strathspey Club with demonstrations by the team. This was later augmented with dancing on the green, a post games dance and now adjudications.

The Reel and Strathspey Club was the precurser to the San Francisco Branch. Gene Bissell has collected a history of the branch and the portion on the Reel and Strathspey club which is available below.

A number of years ago Don Kennedy and Frank Orme led an Oral History project for the San Francisco branch. The articles which were published in the Reel and Strathspeyper are available below.

The following are sections from the history provided by Gene Bissell as well as the Oral History.

This page was last updated in January 2018 If you have questions, contact
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The tartan displayed in the background is the RSCDS Tartan designed by David Normand-Harris,
past member of the RSCDS Executive Committee and the San Francisco Branch.