A Letter from the Chairman

Adapted from the Letter in Standfast Magazine Issue MK54- November 2019
Greetings to you all
Fiona at Duthil Drinks Party
Fiona at the Duthil Drinks Party

I had hoped to be able to tell you that all the details of the 2020 programme are all now neatly in place, however the ‘best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley’ to quote Robert Burns or in my case, things don’t turn out the way we originally planned them.  The important bits are sorted as you will see from the updated draft programme, but there are still quite a lot of bits and pieces to get in place.

Clan Dinner and Ceilidh
This will not take place at Aultmore as we had originally planned, but will be at the Macdonald Resort Aviemore in the Peregrine Suite beneath the Hill of Craigellachie – so in Grant Country.  I am due to pay them a visit in the new year; it looks very nice; has excellent facilities and they have given us a very competitive price.  We have hired coaches to take us to / from Grantown and Nethybridge so there will be no problem getting there after a dram or two.

Monarch of the Glen tour 2020
This is likely to be a very popular outing, but I am afraid that we will only have the maximum of 50 places on offer.  Tim and I are trying to work out the fairest way of distributing these places and have not come up with a solution quite yet, but we are working on it.

Rest of Programme
As I said above I have not been able to get all the exact details of all the programme in place as it has not been possible yet to tie people down to exact dates etc, but the basic outline is in place – that is we have a programme from Friday 7th August until the evening of Thursday 13th August, so worry not.  Rather than leaving everything until the summer edition of Standfast which would be too late – we plan to send you an update in the spring. This will only mean that we have done a bit of tweaking of the programme that I outlined in the first place and will not affect the overall plan. This leads me on to a request which is:

Numbers Please
We have not asked you to book anything yet, but given that we need to give the coach companies, who are driving us to the clan dinner, the numbers by April 2020, We would be MOST grateful if you could start letting us know how many of you are planning to come to 2020, even if you have already booked for Aultmore.  We need to get names and numbers of people so we can get a clear idea of what we are trying to cater for.  I am afraid that we will have to make cut off dates – April 2020 seems reasonable to us – as it will get more and more difficult to book anything in August as this is the busiest time of year for visitors in Scotland.

Payment Cut Off Date
The 2020 Committee had quite a discussion about whether or not to charge an administration fee for the event and it was decided in the end that if we did, it would penalise those of you who are not planning to join in all the events.  However, we did agree that payment in full for everything must be made by 31st May 2020. 

Ceilidh Band Monadh Ruadh from Feis Spe
A part of our community involvement is that this year we were very happy to welcome again the young players from Feis Spe who are now a year older and that much more confident as musicians – it was lovely to see them again – they did a wonderful job.  They were accompanied by no less than Charlie McKerron the fiddler from the famous Gaelic Band, Capercaillie.  This was a great honour and you will be glad to hear that we have booked the band for 2020, where I am sure they will do us proud.

It just remains for me: To wish you all the best for Christmas and New Year from the Elves who are still working their magic for 2020!