Flodden Field: 500 Years Commemoration at Ford Castle

Flodden Field: 500 Years Commemoration at Ford Castle We are writing to enquire whether any members of your group would be interested in staying at Ford Castle to attend the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden.
This took place at Flodden Field near the village of Branxton on the Scottish-English border on September 9th 1513. Scottish King James IV led his troops against the forces of King Henry VIII, led by the Earl of Surrey and after 3 hours of extremely bloody combat, 14,000 men lay dead. This was the last time a King of Scots led a united Scots army into battle and the result had a significant influence on the future of Scotland.
King James captured Ford Castle on September 1st and he spent the days before the battle in residence there. It was rumoured that he had ‘assignations’ with Elizabeth, Lady Heron with a ‘secret staircase’ linking their rooms. He slept in the ‘King James Room’ before losing his life on the battlefield along with many brave men on both sides. The battle secured Henry’s position on his northern border but left Scotland questioning the wisdom of the ‘Auld Alliance’ with France. In part it contributed to the ‘Union of the Crowns’ of Scotland and England under James VI of Scotland in 1603. The site of the battle is marked by a granite cross on the summit of Pipers Hill and engraved with the words ‘To the brave of both nations’. Ford Castle stands to this day although with a number of Victorian changes. The King James room and ‘secret staircase’ however remain unchanged. The castle is now a residential centre for educational holidays for groups of young students who also take part in a range of challenging activities. They are all inspired by staying in this fantastic, historic building as indeed would any visiting group.
We believe that the Castle should play a major role in the Flodden 500 commemorations by providing a very special visit for our guests. It is planned to use the Great Hall to stage a number of illustrated lectures by experts on the battle itself and the events leading to and following on from this bloody encounter. We will be holding an ‘eve of battle’ commemoration dinner on the night of September 8th and a guided walk along ‘The Battlefield Trail’ on September 9th, the anniversary date. There will also be several organised excursions with expert guides to local areas of historical interest including the majestic city of Edinburgh. We are able to offer a special Flodden package for interested groups for the week of Saturday, September 7th – Saturday, September 14th 2013. The package will include full board accommodation at the castle, a guided tour of the Castle and the battlefield, several excursions including Edinburgh, plus guest lectures. There will be a magnificent commemorative dinner, with all beverages included throughout the stay. The package will also include transfers to and from Edinburgh airport. If your group would prefer other excursions and/or presentations these can be discussed and incorporated into an itinerary tailored to your requirements. If you are interested in taking advantage of this historic opportunity could you please let us know as soon as possible as places are limited. The cost of the package will be dependent on the group size and exact requirements and will be discussed and agreed with groups on receiving an expression of interest. We look forward to hearing from you.
Yours truly, Ben Wire
PS Photos of the Castle can be seen on our website at: www.ford-castle.co.uk

“ To all of Scottish blood I bring, the message, Fear God , Honour King.”

MAY 21, 2012, Saint John, N.B.—Thousands gathered to see the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive in Saint John, home of Canada’s oldest Saint Andrew’s Society founded in 1798.  As the royal couple arrived at Saint Andrew’s Square on a bright and sunny Victoria Day before their walkabout, they were greeted by the Premiere of New Brunswick David Alward, Mayor Ivan Court and many others.

Their Royal Highnesses were escorted to a waiting table covered with the City of Saint John Tartan to be seated and sign the city’s guest book.  His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales was not seated in just any chair however, he was seated in the Preses’ Chair.

In the summer of 1907 famous N.B. woodcarver John Rogerson was sent to Scotland to gather rare and historic pieces of oak and holly to carve a chair for the Saint Andrew’s Society president to enjoy at the Society’s functions.  This chair was presented to the Society in March of 1908 on the occasion of its 110th anniversary.  The chair I still in use today at dinners and was offered for use in the Square that bears the Society’s name.

There are 26 different pieces of wood from 6 different regions in Scotland, including some 800 year old black oak from the castle site where Robert the Bruce was born which forms the scroll work and celtic knot work surrounding the back panel.  It also has a small piece of holly tree that was cut down from Robert Burns original grave site in the St. Michaels churchyard.  That small holly tree was cut into 3 pieces, 2 remain in Scotland as gavels at Freemason lodges and the 3rd was given to John Rogerson and he used it to carve the Lion Rampant in the Bruce Shield at the top of the chair.

John Rogerson has work scattered all over the City of Saint John, including one of his ships’ figureheads at the N.B. Museum.  His work is very collectable.  He always considered this chair one of his finest works.

David Nickerson, current president of the Society, stood nearby and was honoured to meet their Royal Highnesses,  The Prince enjoyed the chair and the Duchess remarked on his sporran and wondered if the weather was always so nice in Saint John.  As they wandered down Prince William St. on their walkabout, David Nickerson aided by young Harrison Hossack grandson to the incoming president and many of the Society members returned the Preses’ chair to safety after its brief outing.

It should be noted that although Charles the Prince of Wales is not yet King he may well be in line for the job and the Society felt it only fitting that the future King have a proper N.B. treasure to sit in.  In fact inscribed on the back of the chair above the names of those members who sponsored John’s trip in 1907 is a poem containing the line  “  To all of Scottish blood I bring, the message, Fear God , Honour King.”

For any further information on the Society or our Preses’ chair , please contact, David Nickerson, 506-847-9343, 506-647-9343


Tartan Day

THE SAINT ANDREW’S SOCIETY OF SAINT JOHN Founded 1798 www.sassj.ca FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Members of the Saint Andrew’s Society of Saint will join His Worship Mayor Ivan Court and council at 10:00 am on Thursday April 5th, on the front steps of City Hall to raise the Saltire as part of Tartan Day celebrations. Tartan Day is the annual celebration of the signing of the declaration of Arbroath in 1320 celebrated by Scots around the world. “For as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule” As well as being proclaimed both nationally last year by the Hon. James Moore, and provincially by the Hon. Georgie Day a number of years ago it has also been declared Tartan Day locally by City Council at its March 26th meeting this year in the following proclamation by His Worship Mayor Ivan Court: PROCLAMATION WHEREAS: the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, announced that the Government of Canada will now officially recognize April 6th as Tartan Day; and WHEREAS: many Canadian provinces and other countries already celebrate Tartan Day. As well, through Tartan Day, Canadians will have an opportunity to learn more about the various cultures that comprise Canadian society; and WHEREAS: we encourage Canadians all across the country to celebrate the contributions that over four million Canadians of Scottish heritage continue to make to the foundation of our country; and WHEREAS: in Canada, Tartan Day is celebrated on April 5th, the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish declaration of independence, Tartan Day celebrations typically include parades of pipe bands, Highland dancing and sports, and other Scottish-theme events; and NOW THEREFORE: I, Mayor Ivan Court, of Saint John do hereby proclaim April 5th, 2012 as Tartan Day, the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish declaration of independence in the City of Saint John. In witness whereof I have set my hand and affixed the official seal of the Mayor of the City of Saint John. As Scots around the world celebrate Tartan Day, we will retire after the flag raising for a more informal celebration at Pete’s Pub in the Shoppes of City Hall for some hearty Scottish fair and fellowship. David Nickerson, President. 647-9343 John Buchanan 19 Crestwood Drive Rothesay, NB E2E 5H3 CANADA (506) 847-8512 (Home) (506) 636-2186 (Cell)

8th Annual Saint Andrew’s Society Whisky Nosing and Tasting Workshop

Hope this note finds you all well, cheerful and most likely longing for spring after a long winters repast. This note serves as a reminder that its but a few days more than two weeks till our annual “Whisky Tasting Workshop” will take place and since more than a few of you folks expressed an interest in attending quite some time ago I thought it prudent to contact you at this time to ensure you’re interest is secure and to suggest you mark your calendars that you might not forget this highlight of the year.

            Many of you have attended our workshops in the past but there are always a few new faces each year and this year is no different, therefore if you will bear with me for the benefit of the new folks joining us this year, I’ll explain and pass along some information on what you may expect when attending our tasting …

Frank Scott and his wife Jackie are our hosts each year and will take us so skillfully through all the facets of whisky from its earliest beginnings to how best to enjoy the “Nectar of the Gods” we hold in a glass today  … Frank Scott is considered and recognized as an expert in malt whiskey, his and Jackie’s bar  “The Lunar Rogue” in Fredericton is rated by Whisky Magazine as one of the world’s best whisky bars. Frank has a wonderfully smooth and clear way of expressing himself with regard to whisky and I would wager there would be very few questions that could be asked of him that he could not answer completely and in a manner so clearly understandable, you will be pleasantly surprised with his knowledge of whisky, he’s a great teacher and you should learn a lot from Frank …

Our workshop this year will feature “Classic Distillers Editions” all can be purchased in New Brunswick (if not sold out) and I’ve noted the cost of each … The lineup is noted below:

•        Coal Ila Distillers Edition …            $99.99

•        Lagavulin …                                    $119.99

•        Cragganmore …                               $79.99

•        Dalwhinnie …                                 $89.99

•        Oban …                                           $109.99

•        Talisker Isle of Skye …                   $82.98

 Our tastings are held each year in a wonderful venue, St. Andrew’s lounge of the St. John & St. Stephen Nursing home on University Avenue, this year’s date is Friday March 30th at 7:00PM … Cost is $50.00 per person … We limit the number of guests attending our workshops to (35) max. if possible … A couple of free gift draws and “heel” auction is held after the tasting  … We also provide a nice light lunch of sandwiches, cheese, tea and coffee before you go on your way at the close of the evening … And of course a “Wee Dram” or two of another nice malt is offered as we gather together for fellowship after the tasting …

It’s our belief we put on a class tasting and feel very confident you’ll not be disappointed … Hoping to see you all there on the 30th . Also I’ve heard from some of you already and appreciate your continued interest, those I’ve not heard from for quite some time I ask that you please contact me as soon as possible of your interest, we do have a waiting list and if you are unable to make it I could offer your seat to another. Also some of you have provided names of friends etc. that this note will not reach, if that is the case please consider this and either pass the note along or otherwise contact each of them to ensure they are aware of our upcoming tasting that they might not miss out on this great event.

 Yours Aye

John Watson

Society treasurer






Many of you may not know that this is the first Big Fundraising event for the Humanities Program at our new Dalhousie Medical School here in Saint John.

We are hoping people may make up tables – Call or Sue King for tickets 847-1758.

Robert Burns night celebration! Come and have fun! Pull out your kilts and tartans for a truly Scottish event !!!

A fun-filled evening of entertainment, interactive activities, Scottish Country dancing and a silent auction!

All proceeds to the Dalhousie Medicine NB Humanities program.

This program provides students in all health disciplines the opportunity to experience the arts and music as part of their training.

Featuring: The Sounds of THE C- The choir led by Director JANET KIDD

THE C Band- The Ceilidh band under direction of Doctor Wendy Stewart The AussieScots Duo-Dr. Wendy Stewart and Sue King Saturday January 28th, 2012 At 7pm,

Simonds Lions Club, Loch Lomond Road, Saint John Tickets: $25 Available from DMNB at 636-6000, choir and band members. Includes traditional Scottish morsels /snacks Wear Scottish attire if you choose! Great Silent Auction items ! Only a limited number are available – get yours now!!!

Slainte mhor agus a h-uile beannachd duibh!

(Good health and every good blessing to you!)


Events for 2012



Burns Supper

Friday, 20 January 2012

Our Annual Burns Supper to be held at Riverside Country Club. Refreshment 6:30 PM, supper served 7:30PM, More details soon.


Quarterly Meeting

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Our first Quarterly meeting of the year.

Meetings are held at St. Andrew’s lounge of the St. John & St. Stephen Nursing home on University Avenue, 7:00PM.

Great fellowship, lunch and fine Whisky following meeting.

Please make every effort to attend…..and Wear your KILT!

Annual Whisky Tasting

Friday, 30 March 2012

Annual Whisky Tasting to be held at St. Andrew’s lounge of the St. John & St. Stephen Nursing home on University Avenue, 7:00PM.

Celebrated Whisky expert Mr. Frank Scott of Fredericton explains and teaches the finer points of (5) of the finest single malt Whiskies. A wonderful and most successful event in our Society’s calendar….Limited Seating available, book early.


Tartan Day

Friday, 6 April 2012

Tartan Day Celebrations….Kilted Scotsmen in vast numbers gather on the steps of City hall on King Street at 11:00AM with the Mayor and other dignitaries for a short ceremony to hoist The Saltire up the flag pole to have it fly for all to see it fly over the city. And what Tartan day would be complete without the “Gathering” at “Pete’s Pub” located in the shops of City hall.

Quartely Meeting

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Quarterly meeting to be held in the St. Andrew’s Lounge of the Church of St. John and St. Stephen Nursing Home on University Avenue.Please make every effort to attend and whenever possible WEAR YOUR KILT!


Loyal Company Ball

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Loyal Company Ball, Held at the Delta Hotel. More details to come.

Annual Fredericton Highland Games

July 27-29, 2012

Fredericton Highland games..Held on the grounds of Old Government House in Fredericton, a great venue and most wonderful Scottish festival we can all be proud of…Our Society is a large contributor of funds to the games and is the supplier of the Wallace P. MacMurray Trophy presented to the best amateur piper of the games.

Quarterly Meeting

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Our third Quarterly meeting of the year. Held at the St. Andrew’s Lounge of the St. John & St. Stephen nursing home on university Avenue. 7:00PM… Lunch, great gathering of members and friends, and of course a sampling of fine whisky follow each meeting…...WEAR YOUR KILT!

Annual Meeting

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Annual Meeting and election of 2011 Officers. Held at the St. Andrew’s Lounge of the St. John & St. Stephen nursing home on university Avenue. 7:00PM… Lunch, great gathering of members and friends, and of course a sampling of fine Whisky follow each meeting…...WEAR YOUR KILT!

For more information about any of these events please call 657-3760.

History in the making September 10th.



Founded 1798


August 25, 2011 – Fredericton

 Tickets for Burns Statue Re-Unveiling Dinner On Sale Now

On 10 September 2011, the last chapter in the restoration story of the statue of Robbie Burns, which has stood on the Fredericton Green since 1906, will finally be closed, when the refurbished statue will be re-unveiled in a special ceremony featuring a keynote address by the Hon. Graydon Nicholas, Lieutenant-Governor of NB. Starting off the ceremony will be a parade of pipers and drummers along Queen Street from City Hall to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. The parade will kick off at 2:30pm, and the official ceremony will begin at 3:00pm.

The organizing committee is chaired by Llewellyn Smith, President and CEO of the New Brunswick Scottish-Cultural Association, and contains representatives from the same four Scottish Societies which funded the casting and erection of the statue more than a century ago: the Fredericton Society of St. Andrew, the Highland Society of NB at Miramichi, the Saint Andrew’s Society of Saint John, and the Caledonian Society of Restigouche.

This poignant ceremony, made possible by a dedicated push to have the statue returned to its former glory by New Brunswickers from across the province, and by the generosity of J.K. and Jean Irving (who will unveil the statue), will be followed by a formal dinner at 6:00pm celebrating the re-unveiling at the Fredericton Convention Centre.

The organizers are inviting the public to make plans to attend this very special dinner, which will feature a three-course meal, including haggis and all the trimmings. Participants will be treated to traditional Scottish entertainment, including Highland Dancing, a Gaelic Choir, “SONAS,” and performances by Pipe and Drum bands from across New Brunswick. A special keynote address will be offered by Rev. Ivan Gregan, a charming and humourous United Church clergyman with Miramichi roots. Other features will include the piping in of the haggis.

The weekend will be rounded off on Sunday morning at 11:00am with a special church service at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 512 Charlotte Street.

This series of events will constitute the premiere Scottish cultural event of 2011 in New Brunswick. Supporters of the Celtic culture will be attending from all parts of the province to take part in this exciting celebration.

Tickets are available at outlets in Miramichi (Scotts Pharmasave and Dickison’s Pharmasave); Saint John (Pete’s Pub – Shoppes of City Hall); and Fredericton (Lunar Rogue). If you don’t live close to one of these cities, tickets may also be purchased by contacting the NBSCA at membership@nbscots.com.


The New Brunswick Scottish Cultural Association (www.nbscots.com) was founded in 1980, and represents the provinces Scottish cultural communities and organizations, acting as both an information resource and promoter/defender of the Scots and their descendants who have contributed to New Brunswick’s economic, social, political, and cultural development. The Fredericton Society of St. Andrew, the Highland Society of NB at Miramichi, the Saint Andrew’s Society of Saint John, and the Caledonian Society of Restigouche, all have rich histories of promoting the Scottish culture, as well as helping fellow New Brunswickers in need through, collectively,  centuries worth of community projects and charitable works.

Barry R. MacKenzie

Media Contact: Barry R. MacKenzie


New Brunswick Scottish Cultural Association


1-506-454-9589(h) or 1-506-238-1039(c)


David Nickerson, President, Saint Andrew’s Society of Saint John

506-8479343 or 506-647-9343


Robert Burns Re-unveiling Celebration

Decication Service

The Gentlemen of the Saint Andrew’s Society invite you to attend at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, July 21st a very special event at FERNHILL CEMETERY by the City of Saint John and the Saint Andrew’s Society of Saint John.

On June 16, 2010 Mayor Court received a letter from Mrs. Nan Hagan Gorman, wife of the long serving mayor of Hazard, Kentucky. Mrs. Gorman advised that her great, great grandfather, Lauchlan Donaldson, was twice Mayor of Saint John, 1829-1833 and 1843-1847. He was born in Elgin Scotland in 1786, came to Saint John at an early age, became a successful merchant and took an active part in community affairs .He died in 1873.

He introduced the water supply in Saint John while in office as Mayor. Mrs. Gorman and her husband visited Saint John and Sam Davis showed them around and gave them a tour of City Hall.

At Fern Hill they found the tombstone of Laughlan’s wife, Alexandrina Sophia Gilbert Donaldson. Lauchlan’s stone had been destroyed by a fallen tree during a storm in the 1950s. In a letter of last year she sought a local organization to assist in getting the stone replaced. She mentioned that her ancestor had been very active in the Saint Andrew’s Society of Saint John, hence the letter was passed on to the Society, who happily agreed to look after this project for Mrs. Gorman. This has now been accomplished. Mrs. Gorman’s husband passed away last fall after serving as Mayor of Hazard for 32 years. She was elected mayor as a write in candidate. Mayor Nan Gorman will be arriving in Saint John with her daughter and ten year old grandson; her brother, his wife and their daughter on July 20th.

The City of Saint John and the Saint Andrew’s Society have organized a DEDICATION SERVICE jointly sponsored by the two organizations. We trust that there will be a good turnout to recognize Mayor Gorman and her family and the Mayor who initiated the City’s water system.

We expect a good turnout of members of the Saint Andrew’s Society.

This advance notice was prepared by Jim McKenzie, immediate past president of the Saint Andrew’s Society.

For more information please contact:

Jim McKenzie Past President Saint Andrew’s Society of Saint John, 832-5334

Laurie Hossack VP Saint Andrew’s Society of Saint John, 847-4420

David Nickerson Current President Saint Andrew’s Society of Saint John, 847-9343