Amersham and District Scottish Association

President’s Report 2016/2017

It has been a great honour to be your president. My job has been made very easy because of the hard work and commitment of our committee.

The year started with the AGM on 6 May 2016 when we had a talk from the Thames Valley Air Ambulance Association and learnt about the new developments including night flying in Association with another Air Ambulance.

The golf day followed on Friday 29 June at Oakland Park, which seems to have been enjoyed by those who attended. !7 golfers were joined by 14 others for the supper. Thanks to Jim Anderson for organising this event.

The social walk took place on 6 August in very warm weather and ably led by John Peplow assisted by Linda and their son Alexander. It was thoroughly enjoyed by the walkers. We were joined at lunch by four non-walkers which was very pleasant. The Hit and Miss menu provided us with a great choice of items, and approximately 25 of us enjoyed eating a welcome lunch outside in the sunshine. Our thanks go to John Peplow who has organised these walks for the past 3 years!

The afternoon tea party took place on Saturday 20 August at Ann and Bill Wright’s house. As usual there was a treasure hunt or, to be more accurate, a hunt for items that wouldn’t have been expected to be in the places where they were found! In all, 40 people (including 2 guests) attended and we are very grateful to Ann and Bill for hosting this event.

The Association’s first main event of the autumn season, the Autumn Supper, took place on Saturday 8 October. It was held again at Amersham Free Church hall and 41 people attended. The Supper was greatly enjoyed, with a feast prepared by the committee, quizzes by courtesy of Andrew Swann and a free raffle. Again, many thanks are due to our committee for organising this event and preparing the food and drink. We also enjoyed Andrew’s quizzes which kept us on our toes and were a talking point amongst the guests.

It has always been intended by the committee that the afternoon tea party and the Autumn Supper could be opportunities for members to introduce guests who might be interested in joining the Association. Sadly, however, the number of members is gradually falling and we would welcome some thoughts on how best the Association might attract more members.

Our main fundraising event, the Bridge Drive, was held on Wednesday 2 November. We had 13 tables and those who attended enjoyed the afternoon. A surplus of £492 was achieved which will go some way towards our charitable donations. Our thanks must go to Gillian Munro for organising the bridge and to the committee and helpers and members who provided the tea and raffle prizes and helped to set up the hall and clear up afterwards.

St Andrew’s Dinner Dance was held at the now regular venue of Harewood Downs Golf Club where we were well looked after by the staff. 62 members and guests attended; well up on the previous year largely thanks to John Munro, who brought several of his friends along. The dancing was lively and Anne and Dorothy had some welcome support from Andrew with the dance instruction. A surplus of £400 was made.

The highlight of the year was the Burns Night Dinner. Again it was held at Harewood Downs Golf Club. 86 members and guests had a thoroughly good time with an enjoyable meal and lively speeches. On these occasions it is a delight to see the talent amongst our own members. Alan Rouse, our long-serving honorary piper, welcomed members and guests at the door and, as usual, piped in the haggis which was addressed by Andrew Swann in his usual energetic manner! David Cunningham gave us a very interesting and thought provoking Immortal Memory, ably supported by the Toast to the Lasses from Eddie Galloway replied to by Eileen Aitchison. John Dolman proposed the Toast to the Association and Linda Peplow, supported by Norma Jenns, gave a recitation of “To a Louse”. Tim Venner sang a selection of Burns’ songs, accompanied by his wife Rosemary.

In January Archie and I took up an offer from Scannappeal to represent the Association at a reception to see the new hearing equipment at Amersham Hospital, which the Association had helped to purchase with its charitable donations. The equipment should help considerably to make diagnosis quicker and more accurate and the hearing specialists were very pleased with it.

A most successful Ceilidh followed on 11 March, with 9 members volunteering to perform “turns”. It is a delight to find such diversity and enthusiasm amongst our members. Alan Rouse played a selection of tunes on his electronic bagpipes and has suggested that he would enjoy playing again at the Ceilidh next year. We also had the usual brain-stretching quizzes provided by Andrew Swann which are an added interest on these occasions. As usual, the committee provided the popular haggis pie, ham and salmon along with salad and interesting sweets and considerable effort was made to decorate the Drake Hall.

The president’s lunch took place at Chartridge Park Golf Club. 29 people attended the function. Chartridge provided us with the very satisfactory meal in a pleasant location with views over Pednor Vale.

Archie and I visited the Scottish Dancers on Wednesday 5th April. The club is in good hands with Anne Wright and Dorothy Rae and an enjoyable time was had by all.

Finally I would like to thank the members and guests for supporting our events this year. None of this would be possible without the hard work of the committee. It has been a pleasure to work with the committee this year.

Rosemary McNair

President’s Report 2016-17