Congress 2014

Congress 2014 was held at the Blue Waters Hotel, Durban on the weekend of 10th to 12th October 2014.

Whilst the weather on arrival Friday in Durban was cold and windy, the welcome extended to all attending was warm, friendly and enthusiastic. It was so nice to “meet & greet” not only the Durban Caledonian Society Committee members, but also old friends.
The Ceilidh on Friday evening was very well attended, over 70 of us meeting in the Pool Deck to enjoy not only great company and fellowship, but the wonderful buffet supplied by the hotel.

The entertainment was “top class”, with the Pipes & Drums of the combined Natal Mounted Rifles (with Gordon Capper) and Durban Regiment band (with Pipe Major Ken Mustard). Exceptional dancing from twin sisters, Samantha and Melissa of the Bronwyn Parker school of Celtic Dance, who danced very modern renditions of the Sailors Hornpipe and the Highland fling amongst other dancing displays. A real pleasure to watch, and their costumes whilst quite minamilist, were stunning. Beautiful musical renditions and songs from a group called “Friends of note”. With more songs from Ian Lamb. Yet more songs, poems, jokes recitals etc., from a variety of members including John Bell, Tommy Soutar, Eddie & Anne Stevenson and Margaret Gardener to name a few. A thoroughly enjoyable evening and a great time was had by all. The game of “coin nearest the bottle’ to win the bottle of Johnny Walker had most folks participating and the winner was Andrew Kelly of St. Andrew’s Scottish Society.

The Business Session on Saturday got underway after everyone had enjoyed an excellent breakfast, and, thankfully had been moved inside rather than on the sun deck due to the inclement weather. We would all have been blown away otherwise.

All of the Past Federation Chief’s, Lady Presidents and Consorts were piped in, in order of precedence, and, once seated at the main table the Convenor welcomed everyone, the Chaplain blessed the meeting and the Federation Secretary read the notice convening Congress. The Federation Chief declared the meeting in order and opened Congress 2014. The Federation Chief and Provincial Chieftains read their reports for the year as did the Webmaster, the Chairman of Central Council and the Federation Secretary. All were informative and well received. The business session continued in an orderly fashion and all items on the agenda were dealt with expeditiously.

The Federation Chief announced that she was awarding Honorary Membership of the Federation to a non-member of the Federation for meritorious service to highland music and the promotion of the Scottish culture of many years. As the recipient was not present this award would be presented at a later date in the form of a certificate, which was duly signed by both the Federation Chief and the chairman of central council.

Before adjourning for tea the Federation Chief announced her successor, Mrs Lynn Chasomeris of the Durban Caledonian Society, who has previously served as chief of this society and Provincial Chieftain of Natal province. The incoming provincial Chieftains are, Michael Jackson for the Natal Province who was not present due to being in hospital. Lynnette Johnstone and Linda Goodlet of Bloemfontein society for the Free State. Stuart and Jacinta Munro of Cape Town Society for the Cape and Robin (George) and Glenys Kelly for the Highland Province. After tea, all of the incoming Federation Officials were piped in. The incoming Federation Chief was “badged” by the outgoing Fed. Chief, Sandra Rankin. The incoming Fed chief, in turn presented Sandra with her Past federation Chiefs’ badge, then, in turn badged the new provincials who were present. Sandra then badged her outgoing Provincials. David and Maureen Rankin of the Cape. Billy and Debbie Bell of the Free State. Charles Carr of Natal and Tommy & Lovie Soutar of the Highland Province.

Once the badging had been completed, the Incoming Federation chief gave her inaugural speech and the balance of the business session continued. All matters on the agenda were addressed, including the awards for the most increased % in members and the highest number of new members. These were presented to the delegates for Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth Societies respectively, to loud applause. The session concluded at 12.30, the last order of business being the announcement of Congress 2015 to be held in Welkom in October 2015, venue and dates to be advised. The group photograph was then taken and everyone adjourned for lunch and the afternoon at their leisure.

The Grand Ball was held in the evening. Everyone in their finery, and whilst no formalities were observed, the excellent company, food and music ensured that all 60 + of us had a superb evening. Quite a few being the lucky recipients of raffle prizes. Many of us only retiring to bed after midnight.

Sunday was a glorious day – of course – most of us were heading home !. Another excellent breakfast then off to the “Kirkin O’ the Chief”, again held in the hotel.

After the new Federation Officials were piped in a very nice service conducted by Dr Val Waldeck was held. The new Federation Chief and her consort, together with the Provincial Chieftains from the Free State and the Highland Province( The Cape provincials having had to leave early for their return flight home), duly swore their allegiance to the Federation and promised to carry out their responsibilities to the best of their abilities in the coming year. The collection raised in excess of R800.00 which is to be donated to the Stella pre-primary school as requested by Federation Chief, Lynn Chasomeris.

At the conclusion of the service, for most of us, it was off to change into travelling clothes and finish packing in order to travel home, having said our goodbyes to friends old and new.

Durban Caledonian Society provided a wonderful venue, excellent entertainment and the opportunity to meet old friends, and make new ones. A huge thanks to all on their committee for all of their hard work in making Congress 2014 a resounding success.

Jean Kelly
Federated Caledonian Society of SA

P.0. BOX 602, Rosettenville, 2190

Mobile 084 438 2024
Emailgannyone47@yahoo. com


Notice is hereby given that the 90th Annual Congress of the Federated Caledonian Society of Southern Africa will be held at the Blue Waters Hotel, Durban under the auspices of the Durban Caledonian Society, from the 10th to the 12th October 2014 (Commencing times to be advised) for the purpose of Installing the Federation Chief and Provincial Chieftains for the ensuing year and to approve, the Statement of Accounts and to conduct any other competent business of which due notice, has been given in terms of Article 24 of the Constitution.

Jean Kelly
Federation Secretary

Download the Agenda for Congress 2014  

Congress 20140001


Chief Alistair Mackenzie 031-312 0772;
P.O. Box 51164, Musgrave Road 4062;
Secretary: Elspeth Gray
Treasurer: Margaret Gardner at


90th Annual Congress of the Federated Caledonian Societies of Southern Africa to be held at the Blue Waters Hotel, 175 Snell Parade, Durban from Friday 10th October to Sunday, 12th October 2014.

The Durban Society is proud to host this event and the convening committee hopes that it will be an enjoyable few days.

A booking form is attached and it would be appreciated if this could be returned to Margaret Gardner as soon as possible. If you wish to pay by instalments, please contact Margaret.

The Blue Waters Hotel also offers 3 person or 4 person rooms. Please contact Margaret for prices.

There is a shuttle bus service from the King Shaka Airport, Durban to the hotel, which departs every 30 minutes. The current cost is R80 per person one way. From Blue Waters back to the airport must be booked a full day beforehand.

Alistair MacKenzie
Convenor , Durban Caledonian Society.

6 April 2014

Congress 2014 Booking Form