The Saint Andrew’s Society of San Francisco

:: 01 February 2015 ::

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Past Events 2012

Membership Meeting - October 15, 2012, 7:30 p.m.

Commander Francis McVey the Western Commander of the Scottish American Military Society

Fran joined the Naval Reserve while still attending Rincon High School in Tucson, Arizona.  Through additional training each summer, he advanced to Quartermaster Second Class by the time of his graduation from the University of Arizona in 1968.  Fran went to Aviation OCS in Pensacola, Florida and received his  Naval Flight Officer’s wings in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1969.  He served two overseas tours, including Vietnam in P-3 Orion’s with Patrol Squadron 50.  Upon returning to the Naval Reserve, he continued to fly for 11 years with Patrol Squadron 91.  He later qualified as a Command and Control Watch Officer in the ASWOC Intelligence Community.  His  last operational assignment was Executive Officer of the Reserve Patrol Wing at Moffett Field.  Fran qualified as Tactical Coordinator/Mission Commander, amassing some 3,000 hours flight time, including 300 hours of Market Time in Vietnam.  He has qualified as both Navigator and TACCO in P-3 Alphas, P-3 Bravos, P-3 Bravo Mods, and P-3 Charlies.  Fran retired with the rank of Commander in 1995.

Membership Meeting - November 19, 2012, 7:30 p.m.

Susan Worland

Fiddler Susan Worland loves Scottish music, from the stately strathspeys of Scotland's great 18th century past to the rollicking jigs and reels of the present day.  She has recently released an album called "Hello & Goodbye," Scottish music for listening and dancing, and has appeared on several CDs of country dance music.  With her bodhran player husband Michael Bentley, she can be heard on "Bayside and Benside," a recording that features several of the great Scottish musicians of the Bay Area.  Her other musical lives include being a violinst with the Santa Cruz Symphony, being band leader for the prestigious Stockton Folk Dance Camp and teaching at Starland Music in Alameda


Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance - November 11, 2012, 3:00 p.m.

Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

New Year's Eve Hogmaney Celebration 2012

December 31st 2012 from 2 - 4 PM

At the clubhouse.


The roots of Hogmanay reach back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Norse, as well as incorporating customs from the Gaelic New Year's celebration of Samhain.  There are many customs, both national and local, associated with the occasion.  The most widespread national custom is "first-footing' which starts immediately after midnight (and may continue until the early hours of the morning and well into the next day!).  This involves being the first person to cross a friend or neighbors' threshold and often involves giving of symbolic gifts such as salt (although less common today, coal, shortbread, whisky and black bun (a rich fruit cake), intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder.  Food and drink are then given to guests.  The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year, so it is important that a suitable person does the job.  A tall, handsome, and dark-haired man bearing a gift is strongly preferred.  According to popular folklore, a man with dark hair was welcomed because he was assumed to be a fellow Scotsman; a blond or red-haired stranger was assumed to be an unwelcome Norseman. (Except in the case of us Clan Gunn members)

Different areas of Scotland developed their own particular Hogmanay rituals.  In the east coast fishing communities and Dundee, first-footers would carry a decorated herring.  Bakers in St. Andrews would bake special cakes for their Hogmanay celebration (known as "Cake Day") and distribute them to local children.  In Stonehaven (a fishing village just below Aberdeen) fireballs are swung about revelers' heads!

It could be said that Hogmanay and Ne'erday (New Year's Day) are associated with as much celebration as Christmas in Scotland.  Traditional Scottish Presbyterianism frowned upon the celebration of Christmas as a remnant of pre-Reformation practices.

As a result Christmas Day was a normal working day in Scotland until the 1960s and even into the 1970s in some areas.  The gift-giving, public holidays and feasting associated with mid-winter were held between 31 December and 2 January rather than between 24 December and 26 December.  Today, the first and second of January are still public holidays in Scotland.

Auld Lang Syne has become an international anthem.  The traditional poem reinterpreted by Robert Burns and later set to music is sung in a circle of linked arms that are crossed over one another as the clock strikes midnight for New Year's Day, although in Scotland the traditional practice is to cross arms only for the last verse.