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Thread: Newsletter 17th August 2012

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    Newsletter 17th August 2012


    Electric Scotland News
    Electric Canadian
    The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point, Lake Erie
    US - Canada Economic Relations
    Reminiscences of North Sydenham
    The Flag in the Wind
    Electric Scotland
    The Bards of Bon Accord 1375 - 1860
    Northern Notes and Queries
    Kirkintilloch Town and Parish
    Shetland: Descriptive and Historical
    Robert Burns Lives!
    Clan Buchanan
    'Tween the Gloamin' and The Mirk
    Thomas White Ogilvie, 1901

    Electric Scotland News
    Steve has just informed me that in the next month he's locating to a new home and hence our servers will be moving with him. That also has implications for our service in that in the new location we will be getting new modems meaning that this will save us around $150.00 a month. Also, as we will be on the high speed fiber feed from Comcast it will also double our bandwidth at no extra cost which should mean a faster service. However, I would point out, that the way the Internet works the speed is determined by the slowest speed on the network. So if we have the capability to deliver say 20Mb of download speed but your bit of the network can only handle 5Mb then that's the highest speed you would get.


    We also lost a long time advertiser and so while I now look to finding a new advertiser(s) to replace them I've re-implemented the InfoLinks advertising. That is where you will now see the double green underline under words and phrases when you read pages on our site. This used to deliver some good income for us but on the whole I'd prefer not to use this method of advertising but we need the money.

    Just to remind you that the double green underline doesn't actually impact the readability of the page but if you were to rest your cursor over the double green underline a wee advertising box comes up. Only if you then click on that box would you be sent to the advertisers web site. Also note that this is all based on key words so some of these adverts may have nothing at all to do with what you are reading although the longer the advertising is effective the more relevant the advertising should become over time.
    I will be working hard to find some new advertisers and if I can find them will likely remove this form of advertising on the site. I don't actually require a lot of income thanks to already receiving one personal annuity and a new advertiser I got compensated me for taking off this type of advertising so hopefully I will be able to do this again if I can find new sources of income.


    I've also been asked if I could do a news feed for Scottish news that would be of interest to the Scots Diaspora. While I'd be perfectly happy to do that the problem I see is that I don't actually get in much news and I doubt that enough people or organisations would be willing to send me news stories. The suggestion is that I would re-work my site index page to remove all the links from the body of the page and instead put up a news feed. To do that I'd need to create an RSS feed where I'd then embed the last 10 news stories. With that in place any other web site could embed a java script code on a page on their web site that would automatically display the feed which of course would be updated automatically any time the page was viewed. It's actually a very good idea but as I say the major hurdle is getting in news and I don't really have the time to visit lots of sites to find the news stories.

    And so the only way this could happen is if Scottish organisations would put me on their mailing list or make a point of sending me the news by email. Any St Andrews Society in the world could then send me stories and also any Highland Games or other Scottish organisations. I'd also really need to get news from Scotland that would be of interest to the Scots Diaspora. I'd need to arrange to get news from the Scottish Caucus in the USA and other meaningful organisations like the SDI in Scotland. I do intend to visit the Scottish North American Leadership Conference which is in Michigan in October to meet with folk that might be able to help. So.. we'll see if anything will come of this.


    Just an observation but some time ago I subscribed to Obama's list just to see how he was progressing. Over the past several weeks I've been bombarded with emails asking me to donate money to their campaign. I have to say that given the sheer volume of emails asking for money they must be in serious straits. I used to get perhaps one email a month but now I get them every other day.

    I personally find it obscene that the American elections should be held over such a long period and that billions are being spent on the campaign. It's my personal view that the election should take place over 30 days and that a cap of 100 million should be made on campaign funds. With the extensive time it takes to select a Presidential candidate I'm not surprised that nothing gets done in Washington.

    There just has to be a better way to run the country and as the USA is the superpower they have an undue influence on the world so what they do and don't do affects us all.

    Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do check out the site for the full versions. You can always find the link in our "What's New" section in our site menu and at:
    * and also
    We try not to point to a pdf file and instead send you to page where the pdf can be downloaded.

    Electric Canadian

    The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point, Lake Erie

    We continue to add more chapters from this book and in the past week we've added...

    Chapter XXII. The Preaching of the Gospel.
    Chapter XXIII. Marriage.
    Chapter XXIV. Funerals.
    Chapter XXV. List of U. E. Loyalists who Settled at Long Point.
    Chapter XXVI. Dedrick.
    Chapter XXVII. Maby (Mabee).
    Chapter XXVIII. Secord.

    Here is how the chapter on Marriage starts...

    There were but few clergymen in Upper Canada in the early years of the century. Mr. Addison, of Niagara, was the nearest minister to Long Point. Consequently almost any person who held any public position whatsoever was often called upon to perform the ceremony; as, for example, the captain of a regiment, a colonel, adjutant, magistrate, or sheriff.

    In a letter of Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe to Dundas (November 6th, 1792), he calls attention to the necessity for a bill to make valid marriages contracted in Upper Canada, and to provide for them in the future, and he encloses a bill for the purpose framed by Chief Justice Osgoode, and a report on the same subject submitted by Mr. Cartwright. (“Dominion Archives,” Q. 279, p. 77).

    (“Canadian Archives,” Series Q. 279-1, p. 174-)

    “Report on the subject of Marriages and the State of the Church of England in the Province of Upper Canada, humbly submitted to His Excellency Governor Simcoe.

    “The Country now Upper Canada was not settled or cultivated in any part except the settlement of Detroit, till the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four, when the several Provincial Corps doing Duty in the Province of Quebec were reduced, and, together with many Loyalists from New York, established in different Parts of this Province, chiefly along the River St. Lawrence and the Bay of Quenti. In the meanwhile from the year 1777 many families of the Loyalists belonging to Butler’s Rangere, the Royal Yorkers, Indian Department and other Corps doing Duty at the Upper Posts, had from Time to Time come into the country, and many young women of these families were contracted in Marriage which could not be regularly solemnized, there being no Clergyman at the Posts, nor in the whole country between them and Montreal. The practice in such cases usually was to go before the Officer Commanding the Post who publickly read to the parties the Matrimonial Service in the Book of Common Prayer, using the Ring and observing the other forms there prescribed, or if he declined it, as was sometimes the case, it was done by the Adjutants of the Regiment. After the settlements were formed in 1784 the Justices of the Peace used to perform the Marriage Ceremony till the establishment of Clergymen in the Country, when this practice adopted only from necessity hath been discontinued in the Districts where Clergymen reside.

    You can read the rest of this at

    The other chapters can be read at

    Reminiscences of North Sydenham
    A retrospective sketch of the villages of Leith and Annan Grey County, Ontario by Alan Henderson Ross (1924).

    We've now completed all 13 chapters of this book.

    You can read this book at

    US - Canada Economic Relations
    This is a report from the US Embassy in Ottawa.

    This is a one page graphic which provides the high points of our relationship with the US and makes very interesting reading. Just click on the graphic to get a larger copy to read at

    The Flag in the Wind

    This issue was Compiled by Garry Knox. It is pretty well all revolving around the Olympics. There are of course a nice wee range of articles in the Synopsis.

    You can read this issue at

    Electric Scotland

    The Bards of Bon Accord 1375 - 1860
    By William Walker

    Added John Milne, William Scott and John Mitchell

    You can read these at

    Northern Notes and Queries
    Note: In the pdf version of the newsletter I am placing a graphic of the Contents page so you can see what is included in each issue. Note that from the 1894 edition we are using a new source to bring you other issues of this quarterly magazine.

    1894 Volume Notes 504 to 524

    This issue can be viewed at

    Kirkintilloch Town and Parish
    By Thomas Watson (1894)

    This week we've added...

    The Grays of Oxgang
    The Old Aisle
    Union Church, Lenzie

    The chapter on Lenzie starts...

    The town of Lenzie has a remarkable and unique history; and is a prominent object lesson to all railway companies, as showing what benefits a railway may confer upon a neighbourhood—and at the same time upon itself— when conducted on liberal commercial principles.

    When the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway was opened for traffic, 8th February, 1842, the name “Lenzie” had not been given to th^e locality. Gamgabber was the nearest station for the people of Kirkintilloch and the then sparsely populated district around.

    When the branch railway to Lennoxtown was opened in 1851, the junction on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway was called “Campsie Junction,” and the station was removed there.

    The whole district was then very uninviting—cold, bare, and barren—so much so that a respected relative of ours who knew it well, used to speak of it in contempt:— "Campsie Junction! a laverock would hardly licht on’t.” There were then but few houses—possibly half-a-dozen altogether, which had been built before the Campsie branch was made. Fortunately for the locality, however, the late Mr. J. B. Thomson, passenger superintendent of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, took a fancy to live there, in a cottage on the road to Kirkintilloch. He got a telegraph wire from the station to his house for purposes of his own ; although rumour said that its primary one was to wire from Glasgow whether he wished steaks or chops for dinner. He did better than that, though, for he got a sufficient number of trains to stop regularly at the station. By and by three cottages were built “on spec.” on the south side of the station by the late Mr. M‘Callum, grocer, George Square, Glasgow, but they turned out badly, and could neither be let nor sold. They were well built and substantial, but the proper time for them had not yet come.

    The Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Company, however, soon after set the ball a-rolling.

    They gave out that any one building a villa, at a cost of not less than ^500; should travel to and from Glasgow free, for five years; and for every ^100 over ^500 ; a year would be added to the privilege—thus, a man who spent ^1,000 on his house, travelled free for ten years—and if as much as ^2,000 was spent, this gave the right for two free tickets for ten years.

    This liberal and attractive policy soon bore fruit. People were tempted by the advantages of the short journey to Glasgow, the frequent trains, and the charm of travelling from five to ten years without a copper to pay—they began to think that it was not such a barren place after all. Just like Marion in the song, when she is half resolved to marry old Donald, and says, “I thocht ye’d beert aulder than threescore and twa.” First one built a villa, then another, and another, and so on. Mr. M'Callum’s three cottages were snapped up, good shops were opened, then whole squares of houses as well as villas were built, and Lenzie is now quite a large place, with all the comforts and appliances of civilisation. In fact, it is more advanced than some places with greater pretensions, for it has no hotel nor public-house, and no prison; and jogs along quite well without them.

    You can read the rest of this chapter at

    The other chapters can be read at

    Shetland: Descriptive and Historical
    By Robert Cowie (1874)

    We're now completed Part I of this book and made a start at Part II with the first chapter about The Fair Isle and hers is how it starts...

    Naval Action—Shipwreck of an Admiral of Spanish Armada— His return to Spain, &c.—Fishings, &c.—Fair Isle skiffs— Beacons in ancient times—Earls Paul and Ronald—Parochial statistics.

    THE voyager in the North Seas, having passed the Orcades, naturally falls into the sombre mood of the poet, who describes the land whence he is bound as “ the naked, melancholy isles of farthest Thule.” Fair Isle, the first island of the archipelago, rather serves to maintain those sentiments of gloom and solicitude; for, although there are spots in it, which, basking in the summer sun, look blythe and bonnie enough, yet its very name is associated with storm and shipwreck and desolation. Off its shores was fought, in 1703, a naval action between the French and the Dutch. The former mustered six ships of war, and the latter four. Victory declared itself for the stronger fleet. The Dutch admiral’s ship was sunk, and the remaining three contrived to escape.

    But the Fair Isle is associated with an event of far greater national importance. As mentioned in another connection, it was here Admiral Juan Gomez di Medina, after the “Invincible” Armada had been dispersed by the combined artillery of the skies and the English fleet, was wrecked in 1588, when endeavouring to return to Spain, by sailing round the west of the British Isles. Their galleon was driven into a creek on the east side of the island, and Juan Gomez, with two hundred men, effected a landing in the boats with considerable difficulty. During his stay in Fair Isle, the Spanish commander behaved most chivalrously, and ordered his men to pay handsomely for all the provisions they required from the natives. But the Spaniards tarried too long at the scene of their shipwreck, apparently from apprehensions lest they should not be well received in Shetland, which was under the sway of the Protestant King of Scotland, who stood in the most friendly relations to Queen Elizabeth. The dastardly way in which the barbarous Fair Islanders requited the generosity of their distinguished visitor, when his men began to suffer from famine, has been already mentioned, as illustrative of the low state of morals at that period. All the meagre stock of provisions failing, famine raged, and it became necessary, at whatever hazard, the Spaniards should leave the Isle. A boat was, therefore, despatched to Andrew Umphray, of Berrie, who is said at that time to have farmed the Fair Isle, requesting his speedy assistance. This gentleman forthwith despatched a vessel, which soon carried the foreigners away from the scene of their sufferings. Attired in the splendid costtime of a Spanish nobleman of that period, the admiral landed at Quendale, where he was hospitably received by Malcolm Sinclair, laird of the place. In order to ascertain if his haughty mien and gorgeous dress had sufficiently impressed the simple islanders amongst whom he was thrown, the vain Spaniard is said to have caused the interpreter to inquire if his new host had ever seen a person of his rank before Whereupon the sturdy Scottish Protestant replied, “Farcie in that face'; I have seen many prettier men hanging [Farcie in Scotch signifies unrighteous] on the Borough Muir.” Juan Gomez di Medina is said to have remained for some time the guest of Malcolm Sinclair, while his followers encamped in the neighbourhood of Quendale. Meantime Andrew Umphray was preparing a vessel, which conveyed the party safely to Dunkirk, in France, calling, however, at Anstruther, in Fifeshire, on its way southwards.

    You can read the rest of this chapter at

    You can read the other chapters at

    Robert Burns Lives!
    Edited by Frank Shaw

    At the suggestion and permission of Johnny Rodger and Mitch Miller, editors of The Drouth (where the following article first appeared), we are delighted to have Clark McGinn back with us again. A good friend and staunch supporter of Robert Burns Lives!, Clark is Managing Director of CHC Leasing (Ireland) Limited, a company that provides “unmatched helicopter services that enable customers to go further, do more, and come home safely”.

    With him having already contributed many articles to our website, with an introduction by me on each one, I found myself wondering what I could say about Clark that has not already been said. The only new thing I could mention is that we both serve on the Business Board at Glasgow University’s Robert Burns Centre. So I took an idea from Ian Duncan, Professor at the University of California, Berkeley and contacted Clark about using some of his website material in my introduction. His clever and humorous reply was:


    Dear Frank

    Of course! And old friend like you can help himself to anything whether in the fridge or on the website!


    Here, then, is a wee bit about Clark from

    My life with Burns is truly a journey (and not the reality TV cliché!) in the last seven years travelling 166,000 miles (6.7 times round the globe) with 100 speeches in 26 different cities in 13 countries! Each time has been a great occasion: from major Corporate Hospitality events in some of the most stunning locations in the world (like the Sydney Opera House!) to the prestigious Society of Scots Lawyers in London Burns Supper or The Burns Club of London: to Ayrshire Burns Clubs and private functions; across the US, the UK and Europe; audiences ranging from 50 to over 700 people have enjoyed my trademark style of combining humour, poetry, history and an ability to tailor a message from Burns and his work which touches that particular group of men and women in that particular evening’s audience – every speech I give is unique.

    Can you imagine going around the globe 6.7 times speaking about Burns? With countless years yet to go, there is no telling how many more times Clark will circle our globe. If you check out his website mentioned above, you’ll be in for a real treat. I say again in closing that one of my dreams is to have him speak at the Burns Club of Atlanta which has met the first Wednesday of each month since its inception in 1896 and in the Burns Cottage since 1911.

    Like Johnny Rodger said about Clark’s article, “it’s great stuff”.

    Welcome home, Clark! (FRS: 8:15.12)

    You can read this article, Robert Burns and The Invention of the Haggis By Clark McGinn at:

    Other articles in this series can be read at

    Clan Buchanan
    Found a pdf file of a book published in 1723 with information on the name Buchanan and also some information on other Scottish clans. It also discusses Scottish Surnames and all in all makes an interesting read.

    You can view this book at

    'Tween the Gloamin' and The Mirk
    By Cecile Ann MacNeill (Sword) Thomson

    Here is one of her poems...


    It's weel tae ha'e some siller,
    And there's something in a name,
    But the best o' earthly blessings
    Is a guid and happy hame.
    It's no in rank nor siller,
    For, whatever be oor lot,Oor ain Auld House.
    Hame aye is hame,
    Be it castle, ha', or cot;
    Sae the Duke may prize his palace,
    And the Laird his manor hoose,
    But gi'e me the cosy comforts
    O' oor ain Auld Hoose.

    Weel theekit is the riggin',
    And weel steekit is the door;
    The fireside is clean,
    And, though carpetless the floor,
    It's trim and canty baith,
    And better than its braw,
    For hame's aye hame,
    Be it castle, cot, or ha';
    Sae tae me there's no anither
    That I think sae snug and douce
    As the clay-biggit wa's
    O' oor ain Auld Hoose.

    The wark has tae be dune,
    But there's willin' hands to work,
    And love lichtens labour
    Frae the morning till the murk.
    When weary wi' your toilin',
    A' the sweeter comes the rest;
    Often strangers treat ye kindly,
    Yet ane's ain hame is best;
    At least, I ken mysel',
    I'm ne'er sae blythe and croose
    As when sittin' by the ingle,
    In oor ain Auld Hoose.

    This is an enjoyable read and the book can be read at

    Thomas White Ogilvie, 1901
    We found a book of his poems which also gives a memoir of him. We already have his book "The Book of Saint Fittick" so thought we'd add this to that page at

    For the golfers amongst you here is one of his poems...

    by Thomas White Ogilvie M.B., C.M. (1861-1908) of Aberdeen, Scotland*
    [This ballad first appeared in Brown's Book-Stall, Aberdeen, in April, 1899.]

    Jim Jolly was sound in both body and mind,
    But his friends have their doubts if he still is;
    Some subtle infection, 'tis perfectly plain.
    Has scattered the germs in his blood or his brain
    Of the Golfi-gum-gutty Bacillus.

    Jim J. is a townsman of credit and weight,
    Quite a model of sensible bearing,
    But now when he's mentioned there's noddings and winks
    Since this direful zymotic he caught on the Links,
    And is bent on the red jacket wearing.

    One Saturday morning, quite innocentlie,
    Jim went down to see what the game was,
    He saw a white ball on the tip of a "tee,"
    Then a swing and a swish and afar o'er the lea
    Like the flight of a swallow the same was.

    Away over bent and away over sand,
    Over hazard and whinbush and bunker,
    Jim followed that ball over acres of land
    As it skimmed, skipped, or soared from a lofting shot grand.
    And he reckoned the game was a clinker.

    Then Encyclopedias of sport having got.
    And a " Badminton " sought for to borrow.
    He longed for the morning to practise the shot,
    Resolving at daybreak to be on the spot—
    But it rained cats and dogs on the morrow.

    Of expense quite regardless he gathered the tools
    In a slender bag brand-new and brown.
    And the weather still raining he read up each rule.
    Too proud he to go with a caddy to school.
    And he spoke golf all over the town.

    He learnedly talked of his mashie and cleek,
    He knew all the points of a putter,
    Where the niblick was strong, where the driver was weak.
    And the best build and brand of a brassie to seek,
    And all technical terms he could utter.

    But day after day the barometer fell.
    And the weather got wetter and wetter.
    Till Jim wished the clerk of the weather in ----well ;
    He was dying to golf, could you honestly tell
    That your words had been wiser or better?

    But Jim J. must die of this fever or "swing,"
    So he cleared out the chairs and the table,
    And into the parlour his driver did bring.
    And he tethered a ball to a bundle and string,
    And hit it as hard as he's able.

    When that curious game on the carpet was done,
    Of the holes made he rarely has spoken ;
    His first in the mirror he got with a "one,"
    Then two in the window he had with a run.
    And a bust with this record was broken.

    Mistress Jolly thought golf such a beautiful game,
    No sport she was sure could be finer;
    But withering sarcastic she spoke all the same,
    When she said that if often to such " tees " he came,
    He would make some good holes in her china.

    Next morning at daybreak Jim went to the green
    At the back, where his wife dries and bleaches,
    With the ball and the bundle all smiling serene,
    The rummiest golfer that ever was seen,
    In a smoking-cap, braces, and breeches.

    Just over the way on a neighbouring feu
    A tenement mansion was rising.
    And up and down ladders there went one or two
    Of the workmen with bricks on their heads, quite a few.
    All balanced with skill most surprising.

    Jim studied his grip and he practised the swing,
    Oft foosled the ball, sometimes hit it,
    When the gutty would fly to the end of its string,
    And Jim with the air of a golfer would sing
    As he strode up the green to get it.

    Replaced on the tip of a conical tee,
    Jim touched his left ear with the whipping.
    Then swinging his driver right vigorouslie,
    Got the ball by a fluke just as clean as could be,
    Broke the string, and away it went skipping.

    Like a ball from the mouth of a musket it sped,
    As it passed on its path parabolic.
    But a blind hazard came in the shape of a head
    With bricks on the top, and with hair just as red.
    And a tongue with a speech diabolic.

    Like a hundred of bricks that dozen came down.
    Some language was mixed with the clatter,
    And that bricklayer's face wore a terrible frown.
    As he clenched up a ponderous fist hard and brown,
    While blandly Jim asked "What's the matter?"

    There were compliments passed which I will not repeat,
    In that conference over the wall,
    But a modus vivendi was found in a treat
    For the mason consisting of whisky and meat.
    And for Jim—he recovered his ball.

    And finally...

    As Old As You Look

    Two women in their fifties were queuing at a Glasgow cinema when the box office chap said:
    "Is it two adults?"
    One of the women preened herself and told him:
    "Yes - unless you think we could pass for teenagers?"
    Her mood was spoiled by her pal pointing out:
    "Ya eedjit - he's wonnering if we qualify fur the pensioners' discount."

    And that's all for now and hope you all have a great weekend.

    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. Thanks Rick, FriedaKateM, miolchu thanked for this post.

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