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Newsletter for 27th August 2021

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  • Newsletter for 27th August 2021

    For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:

    Electric Scotland News

    I was pleased to see that Canada is now recording Covid cases by vaccination, one dose and two doses and none and it's increasingly obvious that it's by far the not vaccinated (none) that are bring most counted as new infections. Then of course the one dose vaccinated. This must surely convince people for the need to get vaccinated and with both doses.

    I'm also seeing that there is an increasing call for vaccine passports if you wish to travel or visit a restaurant, etc. I am personally happy to see this move taking place. People not vaccinated should not be allowed to go into places where they could infect others.
    The Pfizer–BioNTech and Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the highly infectious Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — but their protection drops away over time, a study of infections in the United Kingdom has concluded.

    Researchers at the University of Oxford, UK, and the country’s Office for National Statistics analysed a vast data set comprising the results of 2,580,021 PCR tests to check for SARS-CoV-2 from 384,543 UK adults between 1 December 2020 and 16 May 2021 — when the Alpha variant was dominant — and 811,624 test results from 358,983 people between 17 May and 1 August 2021, when the Delta variant was more prevalent.

    The results, published in a preprint on 19 August, suggest that both vaccines are effective against Delta after two doses, but that the protection they offer wanes with time. The vaccine made by Pfizer in New York City and BioNTech in Mainz, Germany, was 92% effective at keeping people from developing a high viral load — a high concentration of the virus in their test samples — 14 days after the second dose. But the vaccine’s effectiveness fell to 90%, 85% and 78% after 30, 60 and 90 days, respectively.

    The vaccine developed by Oxford and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in Cambridge, UK, was 69% effective against a high viral load 14 days after the second dose, falling to 61% by 90 days.

    The drop in effectiveness shouldn’t be cause for alarm, says Sarah Walker, a medical statistician at the University of Oxford who led the study. For “both of these vaccines, two doses are still doing really well against Delta”, she says.

    The study shows that vaccinated people who become infected with the Delta variant carry high peak levels of virus. When the Alpha variant was dominant in the United Kingdom, vaccinated people who became infected had much lower peak viral loads.

    The implications of this aren’t clear, Walker says. “Most of our tests are monthly; we can’t really say very much at all about how long people are infectious for and particularly whether that’s different with Delta,” she says. “Anyone who thinks that if they get infected having been vaccinated, they can’t transmit — that isn’t likely to be true.”

    The data also suggest that the time between doses of vaccine doesn’t affect vaccine effectiveness, and that people who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 as well as receiving two vaccine doses have the best protection against future infection.

    The analysis focused on the 18–64 age group and didn’t look at hospitalizations or fatalities, points out Dvir Aran, a biomedical data scientist at Technion — Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. “This study is about infection, not severe disease,” he says. The results back up observations from Israel, which vaccinated its population very early in the pandemic, he says. “We are seeing high levels of breakthrough [infections] in the population that was vaccinated early, and on the other hand, we are seeing robust protection in those vaccinated recently — especially in 12–15-year-olds.”

    The results raise questions about whether it could be more effective to have doses of different vaccines, rather than multiple doses of the same one, especially if a third, booster dose is to be considered. Georg Behrens, an immunologist at Hanover Medical School in Germany, says that mixing vaccines could increase their effectiveness. The immune system reacts differently to different types of vaccine — and this could be exploited to trigger a better overall response. “Using a vector-based one first and then something that has no vector, but the same antigen, absolutely makes sense,” says Behrens.

    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
    Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland and world news stories that can affect Scotland and as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines it becomes a good resource. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time.

    How free university is pricing Scottish students out of a world-class education
    Free tuition sounds great - but only if you're lucky enough to get a place

    Read more at:

    ScotRail plans to cut 300 train services
    ScotRail has published a plan to cut 300 rail services per day from its timetable. The rail operator's "Fit for the Future" document sets out proposals for public transport as the country emerges from the Covid pandemic.

    Read more at:

    BBC audience questions why English taxpayer has to pay for Sturgeon's crisis
    A LIVE BBC crowd erupted in applause after an audience member questioned why English taxpayers had to foot the bill to pay for "reckless" SNP spending.

    Read more at:

    Billy Connolly: Challenges of Parkinson's getting worse
    Legendary Scottish comedian Billy Connolly has said the medical challenges he faces while filming for television are getting worse.

    Read more at:

    Teenage songwriter from Lanarkshire gets soundtrack break after grandfather meets The Last Bus director
    The songs were written in her bedroom but, thanks to her grandad’s chance encounter with a movie-maker, Caitlin Agnew’s tunes will soon be heard in cinemas across Britain.

    Read more at:

    NICOLA Sturgeon's approval ratings have plunged to a record low as she hinted at the return of COVID-19 restrictions across Scotland.
    A political poll found that 28 percent of people approved of the Scottish First Minister, with 38 percent disapproving. Ms Sturgeon's score fell by five points in a week to -10, meaning Ms Sturgeon is now below Tory rival Boris Johnson (-6).

    Read more at:

    EU project torn to shreds as NAFTA branded more successful than customs union
    THE EU project was put to shame by a commentator on Commonwealth trade issues, who argued the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and its successor NAFTA, resulted in the most successful bilateral relationship of the global economy.

    Read more at:

    Australia’s Covid fortress has become a jail
    Australians have a reputation for rugged individualism, grit and competence. But when it comes to the pandemic, we have seen another side to my country: insecure, anxious and frozen by the fear of death from Covid. A recent global poll found that Australians more worried about the virus than any other western country. They have been scared witless by the hysteria of politicians, chief medical officers and the media.

    Read more at:

    GERS 2021 - So What?
    Every year the Scottish Government's Chief Statistician provides an updated analysis of the state of Scotland's public sector finances by publishing the GERS report

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    Thoughts on a Sunday morning - the 22nd day of August 2021
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:

    Baptists and First Peoples of Canada 1846-1976
    A History by the Rev. JodiLynn Spargur MDiv., Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, Presented to: Baptist Heritage and Identity Commission, Baptist World Alliance, Annual Meetings, Vancouver, BC, July 7, 2016

    You can read this at:

    Evolving Canadian Federalism
    By A. R. M. Lower, F. R. Scott, et al. (1938) (pdf)

    An interesting account which you can read at:

    The Canadian Bureaucracy
    A study of Canadian Civil Servants and other Public Employees 1939-1947 by Taylor Cole (1949) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Video Talks
    Beth has another video for you for August 25th 2021 - Southern Gaelic number three

    You can watch this at:

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    Got in the September issue 1 which you can read at:

    Hi Everyone. I hope everyone has a cool place to enjoy during all this hot weather. Fall will soon be here!

    As always, I hope you enjoy the attached publication. I get a kick out of doing it.

    This time, Tom wrote about growing up with his grandparents in celebration of Grandparents Day on 10 September. His mother told me that he is very much like his father and both of his grandparents. I think you will enjoy reading it.

    Life gets interesting around here. Since I last wrote to everyone I tried to set our house on fire. I was making hummingbird feed and THOUGHT I had turned the little pot off to cool. Obviously, I did not as, a few minutes later, the fire alarms went off. I "flew" to the kitchen from my office and just put the sugar/water combination that had turned to black stuff with fire coming out of the top in the sink and turned the water on. That put out the fire. The only victim was the little copper-bottomed pot I had used. Whew. Yes, lesson learned.

    Yesterday, when we woke up we could not find Harry (Harold Reginald Cat Freeman) anywhere. I looked under everything I could upstairs and downstairs. Tom's old friend and cat person, Steve, came all the way from Seneca, SC to help me go over the whole house again - he even brought knee pads! He was not anywhere - and we checked inside and outside. About 5 PM, Steve had to go home and I just sat down at the kitchen counter to cry. After a few minutes of that, I looked up, and here came Harry, sauntering down the hallway. He was fine. I lectured him on scaring both me and Tom to death. I don't think he paid any attention, but he did enjoy his Greenies when I took him downstairs to Tom.

    Tom is doing well with his pressure ulcer. At this moment, he has been taken by ambulance to the Wound Care Center to change the dressing on his Wound Vacuum. After that appointment, the ambulance will take him to the hospital for an X-ray to be sure there is no involvement with any bone. The doctor said everything looked healthy, but they wanted to make sure. Amen.

    The reason I am not with him is that this is the only time I can change the linens on our bed!

    We both really prefer uninteresting days, I think.

    Please remember to send me your changes in your email address. Remember to send Flowers of the Forest and genealogical queries to

    Everyone take care. The virus news is still scary.



    Caledonian Canaan
    The Scotch-American Company of Farmers (SACF) and Scottish Cultural Identity in Colonial New England by Melodee Beals (pdf)

    You can read this interesting article under our Rygate page at:

    New Scotch Steamer
    From the Scientific American

    A small account which you can read at:

    Oatmeal Brose
    A great recipe and some historical information on oat meal which you can read at:

    Scotch Whisky: History, Heritage and the Stock Cycle
    By Julie Bower, Independent Scholar (2016) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Manufacture of Scotch Whiskey
    Added a wee story about the distillation at the foot of our whisky page at:

    Scottish Arms
    By Alexander McMillan Welch

    You can read this article at:

    The North British Review
    November - February 1866-6. Scottish Education. This is an interesting selection of articles but some pages are not readable nevertheless is worth a read. (pdf)

    You can read most of the pages at:

    Added three audio accounts of Scots in Hawaii
    Toward the foot our our Princess of Hawaii page.

    You can listen to these at:

    Caledonian Society of Hawaii
    Learn more about them at:

    Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow
    Added volumes 1 and 2 of their proceedings which you can read at:


    The Scotch Coast, Hawaii

    Answering a recruiting call from Hawai‘i for teachers, Marsue McGinnis McShane arrived at Laupahoehoe School in September of 1945. … “We were invited to all the parties and they gave a big party for us, the plantation.”

    “We went up to the [plantation] manager’s house. They were expecting us and we had tea and everything. [The area] was called the Scotch Coast, [because] a lot of the people were real Scotsmen.”

    “And there were these Scotsmen and I remember they put on their kilts for us and did the dances. One guy, the one who was head of the sugar processing, the raw sugar, played the bagpipes.” (McShane)

    “It has been said that ‘Scotland’s greatest export product is Scotsmen’ and many of them turned up in Hawaii beginning with the two Scots aboard Capt. James Cook’s Resolution when he discovered Hawaii for the West.” (LA Times)

    “One well-known Scotsman was Capt. Alexander Adams, a wide-ranging navigator and friend of Hawaii’s first monarch King Kamehameha I.”

    “In the 19th century a Scot, Robert Crichton Wyllie of Ayeshire, was Minister of Foreign Affairs under Kings Kamehameha III and IV.”

    “From Edinburgh came Archibald Scott Cleghorn, who became governor of Oahu and husband of Princess Likelike. He was also father of a famous beauty, Princess Kaiulani, to whom another Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, dedicated a poem.”

    “The Hawaiian island that drew the most Scots was the Big Island of Hawaii. Some Scots undoubtedly found pleasure in settling in the island’s Waimea-Kohala area because its cool, misty upland climate reminded them of their own misty isles.” (LA Times)

    “Unlike other large ethnic groups, the Scots never came in large groups or by the shipload. And in a society where ethnicity was easily identified, the Scots were simply part of the ‘haoles’”. (Orange County Register)

    “The Scots came for various reasons. Some came for the pleasure of Hawaii. Others followed kinsmen already in Hawaii when economic conditions became poor in Scotland.”

    “The Scottish emigrants came mostly from rural areas of Scotland and settled in country areas of Hawaii, particularly on the sugar plantations.”

    “Eventually, so many Scots settled on the plantations along the Hamakua Coast that the area became known as the ‘Scotch Coast.’”

    “On Saturday nights the Scots came into Hilo, the island’s main city, and congregated at the end of the railroad line at the corner of Kamehameha Street and Waianuenue Avenue. It was eventually known as the ‘Scotsmen’s corner.’” (LA Times)

    “The Scots kept their ties to the mother country by letter, and by occasionally recruiting kinsmen to come to the islands to join them. They kept their traditional foods, as did other ethnic groups, and scones, oatmeal and shortbread were common on the island.”

    “But the Scots also were canny enough to assimilate, or at least acculturate. An observer of the Scots in Hawaii, George Mair, described what a new Scot did when he arrived on the Island of Hawaii.

    “‘He would get outfitted, learn about cane, learn pidgin.’ Only a few Scots maintained their British citizenship and most quickly worked at becoming American citizens.” (Orange County Register)

    “A period of intense emigration was 1880 to 1930, when many of the Scots on the island sent back to Scotland for friends and relatives.”

    “Most came from eastern Scotland – Kirriemuir, Aberdeen, Portknockie, Inverness, Angus and Perth. A few came from the Highlands.” (LA Times) “On the plantations the Scots worked quickly into managerial positions.” (Orange Coast Register)

    “The calibre of these men were recorded by others, in particular the plantation owners. John T Moir said, ‘They were reliable men and whenever they were given a job to do, they saw it through. There was no slacking.’”

    “At one time there were 26 sugar plantations along the ‘Scotch Coast’ and every one had Scots at some managerial level.” (LA Times)

    “Over the Big Island, with Hawaiian Air Lines – ‘You’re now flying over the Hamakua coast, better known as the Scotch coast,’ said our purser. ‘Below us is the most productive soil in the world. As much as 300,000 pounds of sugar cane have been grown per acre on these plantations.’”

    “He could have added that from an 180-mile square area, slightly larger than that of New York City, Hawaii produces over a 1,000,000 tons of sugar, manufactured in the US,’ pointed out my fellow passenger, Roy Leffingwell, of the Hawaii Sugar Plantations association. ‘It’s Hawaii’s main industry ….’” (Burns; Medford Mail Tribune)

    Large coastal sugar promoter Theo H Davies hired as manager a Scotch engineer then operating a small Hilo foundry. The new manager was Alexander Young with whom Davies joined forces to organize Waiakea Mill Company.

    Years later Davies was a stockholder with Young in the organization of von Hamm-Young Company, forerunner of The Hawaii Corporation. Principals were Young’s son Archibald, and Conrad C. von Hamm. An early project was the Alexander Young Hotel. (Greaney)


    And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend.


  • #2
    Thanks for the Story re: the Scotch Coast of Hawaii Alastair. It's a little known story in North America but quite fascinating. My great-grandmother's sister from Forfarshire (now Angus) and her husband were among the sugar aristocracy on the big island and I spent a marvelous week in Hilo a few years ago, researching their histories. The Homelani cemetery in Hilo is a Scottish history lesson.


    • #3
      Any stories or pictures you can share Rick?