Congress 2016 was held from the 7 to 9 October at Cedars of Sandton, Woodmead, Johannesburg hosted by societies of the Highland provinces.
The Meet and greet took place on Friday in the breakfast verandah where committee members were waiting with a warm welcome, together with all day tea, coffee juice and biscuits for all delegates, friends and fellow Caledonians. Rooms were assigned around 2.30pm and most folks with their “Goodie bags”, retired to their rooms for a rest before the Ceilidh.
The Ceilidh was held on Friday evening and great entertainment by Celtic Rhythm, who gave an interpretation of Riverdance, Tom Coulter, honorary pipers, Eric and Daniel and friends, Tommy Soutar with the Ode to the Federation Chief and John Bell with a story or two was enjoyed by all. An Extra Special surprise was in store when Glenmorangie Brand provided Welcome drinks and a whisky tasting for everyone.
Saturday morning after breakfast, was taken up with the opening of Congress. All formalities duly observed, with honorary piper Eric piping in the Past Chiefs, Past Lady Presidents, Consorts and badges. With Emily Craven doing the Piping honours for Federation Chief Patrick and Lady President Norma. The Congress convener, Jane Dyer welcomed all present and Patrick called on the Chaplin, Glenys Kelly to Bless the meeting, after which the roll was called. The necessary quorum being present the Federation Chief declared Congress 2016 properly constituted and open to proceed with business. After the usual protocols being observed, motions of loyalty and reports given, and the incoming Officials for the ensuing year announced. Patrick, in his last act as Federation Chief conferred Honorary Life Membership of the Federation on Past Federation Chief, Margaret Gardener.
After the customary tea break, the delegates and officials welcomed in the Incoming Federation Chief Fred Brokenshire, with his provincial Chieftains. The incoming officials were badged and the outgoing Officials received their badges to commemorate their year in office. Fred gave his inaugural address, then the Chairman of Central Council called the business session to order, during which a very interactive and lively session ensued.
At the conclusion of business, officials, delegates and observers were invited to the Kirking O’ the Chief by Chaplin, Glenys Kelly. The collection taken amounted to R947.00 which the Federation Chief has donated to CANSA. It was then time for the group photo.
Saturday afternoon was a quite time for delegates, while the committee took the opportunity to prepare for the Congress Ball, which was held in the ‘Serengeti’ room.
Welcome drinks were served at 1800 and Federation Chief and provincial Chieftains and Lady Presidents were duly piped in. Entertainment commenced. The Celtic Rhythm dancers were once again on hand with another delightful display of highland dancing, this was followed by African Skye Band providing an entertaining musical interlude.
This was also a special evening for one 10 year old boy, Breagan, who was thrilled that Eric was there to pipe in his birthday cake and to also play the Stars War theme just for him. Everyone joining in to sing Happy birthday.
Supper was then served and the evening continued with much general dancing, piping, more dancing, dessert and birthday cake and party dances, the dance floor was constantly full, everyone enjoying themselves. It was then time for the raffle, where most of the prizes were won by our “Out of Town” guests Then it was time for Audl Lang Syne, although I have to say there was still dancing afterwards.
Sunday morning at breakfast, everyone was presented with a copy of the group photograph. A copy of the CD with all of the photos taken at the business session and ball was given to each Society for the enjoyment of their members. Hopefully, seeing the fun that was had may encourage more Caledonians to come to our next Congress. We then took our leave of all our friends, wishing them Safe Travels.
We take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for making the weekend the success that it was.
FEDERATION OFFICIALS FOR THE 2016 / 2017 YEAR ARE AS FOLLOWS :
Federation Chief Fred Brokenshire – St Andrew’s Scottish Society
Provincial Chieftains and Lady Presidents :
Cape Province : Andrew & Claude MacDonnell – East London
Natal Province : Noel & Molly Gould – Durban
OFS/N.Cape Province : Brian & Jenny Viljoen – Bloemfontein
Highland Province : Gavin & Cornelia Johnson – St Andrew’s