2011-04-06 Tartan Day Dance

Once again we have enjoyed an evening of fun and fellowship, thanks to the inspiration and hard work of Heather and Andrew, and a new date appears on the Cape Town annual calendar.

The history of Tartan Day goes back to 6 April 1320, when the Declaration of Arbroath was signed at Arbroath Abbey proclaiming Scotland as an independent country, the responsibility of the people and not the King. This is believed to be the origin of democracy and the inspiration for the American Declaration of Independence and in 2008, George Bush signed a Presidential Proclamation making April 6th National Tartan Day in US. In the 1980's, it began to be celebrated in other countries, like Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and now, thanks to the Hodgson's efforts, in South Africa.

With the current official extinction of past history, I guess few remembered April 6th as the day of the landing of Jan van Riebeeck, come from Holland in his ship Drommedaris to establish a refreshment station for the ships of the VOC trading in the East.

Our thanks go to hosts Lynfrae Scottish Country Dance Club and all who helped make Wednesday 6th, the inaugural Tartan Day in Cape Town, such a success. Also to the mini band of the Cape Field Artillery who are always willing to give up time to provide live pipes and drums for us - they led the Grand March. Always lovely to have the pipes and drums. The program was a really good one, and all who attended must have had a great, feel-good evening. We really enjoyed ourselves. Some of us proudly wore our Tartan to daily activities such as Bootcamp, gym etc.

We in Cape Town are so lucky to have people like our enthusiastic new teachers to lead Scottish Dancing to new heights, and we thank Heather and Andrew for their time and trouble given so happily.

Pat Alston