Author Archives: america

AMERICAN SCOTTISH FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES GIFT OF ARCHIVAL MATERIALS OF ITS FOUNDERS

On this the 46th Anniversary of the first New York Scotland Week organized by the American Scottish Foundation in New York during November 11 – 19 1974, the Foundation proudly announces the deeding of a sizable trove of letters, photographs, manuscripts (unpublished), books, newspaper clippings, documents relating to the work of our founders Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton and his wife, Lady Natalie Douglas-Hamilton. 

The donation includes several pictures and prints and two magnificent portraits of Lord Malcolm and Lady Natalie. 

Lord and Lady Malcolm Douglas Hamilton had an immense impact on public life, both in the United States and United Kingdom. 

ASF offers special thanks to Lady Natalie’s grandchildren and her heirs, who made this possible. Decades after Lord Malcolm’s death in 1964 and seven years after Lady Natalie’s passing in 2013, their legacy literally lives on in the work of the American Scottish Foundation. 

George Mead, the Executor of the Mead Estate, and Lady Malcolm’s grandson coordinated the gift on behalf of the Estate. 

“When we started , we found books on Scottish history and culture ,which were clearly part of the early DNA of the Foundation.  

“Then, we located additional trunks filled with correspondence, photographs and writings by Lord Malcolm and my grandmother. 

“We were astounded at the amount of information which was preserved from the early days of the Foundation. It provides a great chance to see the energy, vision and dedication which was part of the early days of the organization.  

“It was only natural l these resources should be gifted to the Foundation, as part of its legacy. I and my sister, Libby Stowell and my brother Malcolm, are delighted this came together. In challenging times like these, it is easy to lose sight of the cultural foundations that are our anchor.” 

Kenneth Donnelly, the American Scottish Foundation’s Chairman notes: “The Board of the American Scottish Foundation, and the membership, are deeply grateful to the Mead family for the wonderful gift of artifacts and memorabilia describing the programs and contributions of the ASF dating back to the founding of the institution enhancing our archive collection. 

We accept this gift from Lady (Natalie) Malcolm Douglas Hamilton’s grandchildren with great pride and passion and look to conserve and share the rich history in relation to Scotland and to also her own additional involvement in international relations. 

The Foundations archive is greatly enhanced by this wonderful gift of materials which will help us in promoting the transatlantic partnership of America and Scotland.” 

If you would like to learn of ways to support the archive project and updates surrounding the collection, please see visit the initiatives page on our website here.

or email us at americanscottishfoundation@gmail.com

ASF Scots In Us Podcast CURRENT EPISODE: Monday November 21st 7PM

This week, we have have turned our focus to children and share with you the wonderful work each of our guests are undertaking: Join us as we are In conversation with David Cunningham CEO, Kids Operating Room as we learn of the work of this Scottish charity who are bring children access to life-changing and life-saving surgery from Africa to Latin America, transforming the lives of vulnerable children.

 We are joined by Virginia Radcliffe and Ruby Zajac from Glasgow based Licketyspit  Theater Company who shares with us their innovative ways they connect and engage with young people and their families using music, drama and play.

 Author Pavle Sabic joins us and introduces us to the best travelled and kindest of Otters, Walter the Wanderer.

With music from Hannah Read, Alan Frew and Iona Zajac from Lickeyspit.

You can listen to our podcast on a variety of platforms, including AnchorApple Podcasts and Spotify.

Scotland on threshold of European success. Sports report by Cameron Steer

Scotland are now one game away from the Euro 2020 Championship 

On Thursday November 12th Scotland will play Serbia in a play-off game in Serbia, the prize, entry to the European Championship Tournament.

With their recent victory against Israel Scotland now have a wonderful chance of qualifying for their first major football tournament in 22 years.

Should Scotland qualify for the tournament they would join England in their qualifying group for the tournament which would surely get Scottish football fans very excited indeed.

Scotland player Landon Dykes

It looks like the group cohesion in the Scotland squad is very strong at the moment and team spirit is high. Every player knows what’s at stake going into the game against Serbia and are keen to do their country proud. Scotland manager Steve Clarke has really done wonders since he started working with the squad, bringing in a whole new group of younger players, giving lots of debut performances to many of them and developing that hard to beat quality that Scotland have traditionally been proud of.

There are some injury concerns going into the game with James Forrest and Ryan Fraser, both exceptional wingers unable to compete however there are many good news players who are coming through the ranks. Landon Dykes has been nothing short of a revelation since he joined the Scotland squad and the return of striker Leigh Griffiths is a very welcome sign.

It’s fair to say the game against Serbia could well be regarded as Scotland’s biggest game in decades and with so much at stake the eyes of football fans everywhere will be on Scotland.

Scots In Us Podcast :

CURRENT EPISODE Monday November 9

Shetland Island Wool & Textiles Spotlight on Shetland Wool Week 

“In Conversation” with Oliver Henry from Jamieson and Smith, leading wool brokers in Shetland as we learn of the process of working in the renowned Shetland wool industry, the skills and knowledge of which have been passed down over generations. 

Janette Budge then join us, Janette is a Shetland knitwear designer and tutor with a great deal of passion for Shetland wool and textiles. Janette is involved in Shetland Wool Week, Shetland PeerieMakkers and the Shetland Guild of Spinners Knitters Weavers and Dyers.

With Music from Malachy TallackHom Bru and Filska.

Listen to our podcasts on Spotify , on Apple Podcasts and on Anchor.

The Shot Heard Around the World

Feature by ASF Sports Reporter Cameron Steer:

The Shot Heard Around the World:

When discussing the greatest moments in the history of America’s beloved sport Baseball, some popular American sporting icons may come up, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson or Joe Dimaggio for instance. What you may not expect to hear about is a guy from Glasgow who sent the baseball world into a frenzy at the time for his three run home run which won the pennant for the giants in 1951. The shot that resulted in this historical play was dubbed “the shot heard around the world”.


The Scottish born baseball star responsible for this historical moment was Bobby Thomson. Bobby was born in Townhead, in Glasgow and had six siblings who all emigrated to America with him when he was two years old, in 1925. Bobby grew up on Staten Island next to New York City and as soon as he graduated highschool, he signed a professional baseball contract for the NY Giants in 1942 but almost immediately took a hiatus for military service before being discharged in 1945, thereby returning to play semi-pro baseball. Bobby had an incredibly successful career here in America, with eight 20 home run seasons and even three all star team selections. However it was his “shot heard around the world” which overshadowed these fantastic achievements and immortalized the Scot in baseball folklore.

The series in which the shot occurred was the 1951 playoff game for the pennant to play in the world series. The Giants faced the Dodgers in a must win final game of the series, and with defeat looming, with the Giants being 4-1 down, Thomsons walk-off home run transformed despair into joy, with the Giants going on to win 5-4 and advance to the world series.

The shot was heard all around the world because at this time, sports media coverage was beginning to bloom and so many people tuned in to hear who would advance out of the Giants and Dodgers. The commentators scream and joy “the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant!” was broadcast all over, and Thomson, for his incredible game winning play was transformed into a sporting hero.Thomson bounced around baseball teams all throughoutAmerica in an illustrious career which eventually came to an end in 1963 where he played his final season of baseball, all the way in Japan for a team suitably named the Yomiuri Giants.

Though baseball isn’t too common a sport back in Scotland, it is very apparent that Bobby Thomson’s influence has been felt, leaving a fantastic legacy in a more unorthodox sport for the Scottish people, as a testament to this in 2003, scottish baseball team, the Edinburgh Diamond Devils welcomed Bobby to Edinburgh where he opened their new home, “Bobby Thomson Field”.

Bobby Thomson passed away in 2010 aged 86, as a pioneer for Scottish sport, his legacy however lives on, as does his legend in the history of baseball.

Scots In US Podcast:


CURRENT EPISODE: MONDAY 26TH OCTOBER – THE NEW NORMAL

In this episode we’ll take a look back at some of our recent podcasts and guests as well as focusing on:

Our very first ASF@Home event delivered in partnership with Mary’s Meanders. Anne Daly of Mary Meanders delivered a wonderful talk all about Mary Queen of Scots And The Men Who Influenced her life. 

We’ll hear about our recent conversation with Sean Cairney from The Scottish Banner in the Our Global Community . Sean does so much for the global community of Scots. A family business the Scottish Banner continues to be such a great asset to the Scottish community.

In September we were joined by Joni Smith, Scottish Affairs Counsellor to North America for the Scottish Government. Joni talked about the importance of the American – Scottish connection and praised the work of American – Scottish organizations in doing all that they do to support the relationship. 

We were joined in September by Gus Noble, President of the Chicago Scots and CEO of the Caledonia Senior Living and Memory Care. Gus told us about the amazing ways that the local community have been rallying together in support of the Scottish Home and how important that support has been to their community. Gus explained how this year they held a virtual highland games and celebration of their ancestry and links to Scotland, it was wonderful.

Also earlier in September we were joined by the brilliant Laura McGhee as we paid tribute to all those affected by 9/11 and her involvement in commemoration events.

With music from Laura McGhee, Mark Copeland and Starry Skies.

You can listen to our podcast on a variety of platforms, including Anchor, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Sunday October 25th: TAMFEST – Ayrshire’s celebration of Halloween and Robert Burns

Tamfest is an annual festival which takes place in Ayr, South Ayrshire in Scotland. As the birthplace of Robert Burns, the people of Ayrshire are hugely passionate about celebrating the life and legacy of Burns.

Tamfest was named after Burns legendary poem Tam O’Shanter which depicts the story of Tam O’Shanter on a night out in Ayr ending up meeting with the devil and witches on Halloween with the witches chasing him and his horse Meg all the way home!

Tamfest is an incredible event which takes place throughout October, culminating in events around Halloween, involving the whole community who come out to support the event. Local schoolchildren, artists and performers take part in celebrating both Robert Burns and Halloween and the incredible link between them. There’s usually live music performances all over the town of Ayr, a haunted house tour and an amazing ‘Dawn of the Deid’ procession which takes place with hundreds of local people, families and children taking part all dressed in spooky outfits as ghouls and ghosts!

This year Tamfest will take place online as a virtual event, live streaming from the famous Gaiety Theatre in Ayr with a brilliant program of live music, performances and a few spooky surprises thrown in. You can watch the live stream on Sunday October 25th from 10am GMT to 6PM GMT on the Tamfest YouTube Channel here.

  Video from 2017 Tamfest

Tamfest has been running since 2015 and was set up by local businesswoman and musician Meredith McCrindle. Originally from Texas and now a resident of Ayr, Meredith is passionate about the local community, the incredible heritage of Robert Burns and of Scotland itself.

Follow Tamfest on Facebook at at www.facebook.com/TamFestAyr

www.tamfest.co.uk

Scotland Finding European Success

Report by ASF Sports Ambassador and reporter Cameron Steer 10/18/20

Scotland’s European soccer fixtures got off to a fantastic start with a 5-3 semi-final win on penalties against Israel to send them through to the Euro 2020 play-off .

Steve Clarke’s men now face Serbia on November 12th in Scotland’s first chance to qualify for a major tournament for the first time in over 20 years!

Scotland vs Israel

The game was tight, nervous, and absent of end quality for the most part, going through a whole ninety minutes and half an hour of extra time without either side being able to register a goal, the closest chances for Scotland coming from set pieces, McTominay heading a chance wide and Liam Cooper then hitting the post in the final minute of extra time. Eran Zahavi missed his chance to convert the first penalty of the shootout with Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall denying Zahavi in a tense moment.

In the build up to the game, Clarke stated that “Israel have a lot of very good attacking players” and talked of the threats that this would pose to his team. In reality, the Israeli players created very few troubling chances for David Marshall, apart from one which looked to be the game winner, Elhamed whipping in a cross which Weissman failed to get on the end of.

Overcoming Adversity

Even more impressive about this result is that Clarke and his men had to rearrange tactics with last minute injuries and positive covid tests in the camp, but it wasn’t just Scotland suffering the losses, six Israel players were ruled out due to positive tests. Twenty-four hours prior to the game, Stuart Armstrong came back with his positive result, meaning that another two key players, Kieren Tierney and Ryan Christie, as close contacts had to be quarantined as well. In addition to these three key players, right-back Liam Palmer was ruled out along with centre-back Scott McKenna. In accordance to these absences, Clarke changed his starting line-up slightly with midfielders Scott McTominay and Declan Gallagher and defenders Liam Cooper coming into the fold. Clarke also tested out a new strike partnership of Sheffield United’s, Oli McBurnie and Lyndon Dykes, of QPR.

It must be noted that this wasn’t just Scotland’s first penalty shootout win at men’s international level, but also their first in general. You wouldn’t be able to tell either, with the Scots converting all five of their penalties to win the game. Clarke and his men will now face Serbia on the 12th November to battle for a place in England’s Euro 2020 group in the first play-off final game for Scotland since Holland thumped us 6-1 over two legs in the Euro 2004 qualifiers.  

Scotland vs Slovakia

Following on from victory over Israel, Scotland came out confident against a Slovakia team weakened by nine changes to their starting line-up. Lyndon Dykes’ second goal in four games extended Scotland’s unbeaten run to seven games.

Four changes to the starting lineup from the Israel game meant that Clarke came good on his word to rotate the squad for these quickfire three games. Mcgregor, Cooper, Jack and McBurnie all started on the bench for a much needed rest. In their place Fraser, McClean, Fleck and Considine started. The importance of the occasion wasn’t lost on Considine who was making his international debut for Scotland at the mature age of 33. A very well deserved debut for a veteran whose impressed services over the last decade or so in an Aberdeen shirt. Considine’s debut started off a little shaky but after ten or fifteen minutes he grew into the game, looking generally solid and working hard to preserve a clean sheet.

Previously, Clarke expressed his concern for the strange environment created for his players by an empty Hampden Park for these games, however this doesn’t look to have affected the Tartan Army too much in recent games as they now look as if they are finally getting used to the absence of fans and the noise they bring. By the same token it does seem to take a while for the players to warm into the games with no fan atmosphere, the half chances and scrappy play of the first half standing testament to that. That being said, no less than ten minutes after the second half restart, Scotland took the lead through an excellent move with Fraser setting O’Donnell for an inch perfect cross that Dykes could sink his teeth into, 54 minutes in, Scotland 1-0 Israel. The next key chance fell to Sheffield United’s Ollie McBurnie who saw his header graze the bar in the 79th minute. McBurnie has not yet opened his goal account for Scotland but seems to grow into his role as the national team’s target man with every game he’s involved in.

Scotland vs Czech Republic

Scotland held on at 1-0 for 84 minutes of the game after a sixth minute goal from Newcastle’s Ryan Fraser which capped off a nice little bit of link up play between O’Donnell and Dykes. The previous two wins for Scotland looked to have taken a toll on the players fitness wise however with the Czeck Republic dominating the game for the most part and Scotland only registering one shot on target in comparison to the Czech Republic’s six. 

It’s very surprising that Scotland left Hampden Park with a win when viewing the games statistics but this is also a testament to the new found defensive solidarity which is fast becoming a key part of Clarkes teams results based philosophy. Perhaps its that, perhaps its luck, the Czech Republic certainly had some clear cut chances to equalize throughout the game, sixteen to be exact. First chance to equalize fell to Matej Vydra who found himself open at the back post, skewing his shot wide. The shots that the Czech Republic did get on target were excellently covered by goalkeeper David Marshall, most notably his improvised save to prevent Soucek from nodding home a header. Soucek then went on to misscue a shot from less than six yards from goal leading to Scotland countering, creating a chance for Ollie McBurnie who rattled the bar with a dipping effort which was the last action of the game.

Scotland leave this international break with three straight wins to teams we have historically struggled against in the past. That makes it eight straight games unbeaten in a run which stretches back to last Autumn. It certainly seems like the pin has dropped for the Scotland National Team who seem hungrier than ever to do well at the international level. Now it’s on to Serbia in November for the European Championship Playoff Final for the chance to join England’s group.

Highland and Island Voices

The Highland and Islands of Scotland are understandably much romanticized owing to no lack of films, tv shows and books which have depicted these areas and the people who live there with a great deal of fantasy and historical intrigue.

If you’ve ever wanted to hear about what life is actually like in the Scottish Highland and Islands then there’s a brilliant platform called HI Voices which features new guest contributors every week sharing their experiences, perspectives and insights and it’s well worth checking out.

Set up as a rotational Twitter account with accompanying blog by Domhnall Macsween in 2013 HI Voices offers a glimpse into the people who live and work in the Highland and Islands and it’s a real treasure to take a look at.

Recent contributors include Eilidh Smith who describes her experiences living in Strathpeffer and spending time in Achmore on the Isle of Lewis. Currently Eilidh is working at the Gairloch Museum and in a recent post she shared this insightful comment about Highland life:

” Living and working in the Highlands and Islands, we have a canny ability to adapt, to change our plans and make the most of whatever is thrown at us. Maybe that comes from years of coping with ever-changing weather, knowing we need to change tack and adjust to fit the fronts as they move through. Maybe it’s that our communities are close and small enough that we know someone who can help, or someone who knows someone who can help… “

The feeling of community spirit and togetherness that Eilidh describes is a central theme in a lot of the contributions on HI Voices as the people who live and work in the Highland and Islands seem to be very aware of the importance of kinship, of working together in harmony with each other as well as the land itself in order to thrive and survive.

Although the Highlands and Islands are wonderful destinations for tourists, drawing visitors from all over the world, they are places where people have lived for thousands of years and where distinct culture, customs and language has managed to survive despite many challenges and the never ending march towards globalization. The people who live there are rightfully proud of their roots and their identities.

Rhoda Meek from the Isle of Tiree shares some insights: “For me, our Scottish islands and especially the one I am lucky enough to call home, are so much more than a destination. They are living breathing places with an incredibly rich cultural heritage – and I see that culture sitting on the cusp of survival.”  

HI Voices moderator Linda Ross had this to say on the project:

“With the Highlands and Islands Voices account we go beyond the mythology of the region and hear from those who make the region what it is – a diverse area that, although steeped in a remarkable heritage, is so much more than the tartan and castles in the mists for which it is often celebrated. Our weekly curators show off the area as progressive, exciting and characterised by a landscape which is for living. Through them, the area has an online presence which reflects everything from the rich cultural scene to the industrial and technological developments which have been an ever-present part of modern life in the region. Perhaps more importantly, it gives a platform to the intricacies of daily life and leaves us with a tangible record of the reality (both positive and negative) of Highlands and Islands life. It picks up on the area’s inherent diversity and pride to remind us that there is no singular voice of the region; although people come together as ‘Highlanders’, the account shows us that being ‘Highland’ means different things to different people.”

www.hivoices.wordpress.com

Scots In Us Podcast – Our Global Community October 12th

In this podcast we are joined by Sean Cairney, Director of The Scottish Banner. Based in Sydney, Australia, The Scottish Banner has been keeping our Scottish global community informed for over 40 years! Sean joins us to share insight as to the beginnings of The Scottish Banner and it’s origins. Sean tells us what the Scottish global community means to him and shares some of his favorite stories about The Scottish Banner and it’s many readers across the globe.

We’re joined for an introduction by Cameron Steer, our Sports Ambassador and Sports Reporter who will be bringing us news and updates on sport from Scotland and on leading Scottish athletes in North America.

We have music from Mark Copeland, Mara Shea and Kodak Ghosts.

Presented by Jamie McGeechan with ASF President Camilla Hellman, MBE.

Listen to our podcasts on Spotify , on Apple Podcasts and on Anchor.