ASF Past 2017 News

The American Scottish Foundation News Archive

News Archive 2017

Anne Robertson Kennedy
Scottish Coalition USA
National Tartan Day Awardee 2017

At the annual Tartan Day Reception on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC on April 5th, the Scottish Coalition, USA once again presented it’s Annual Tartan Day Award to a worthy recipient from the Scottish-American Community. This year the award was presented to Ms. Anne Robertson Kennedy, President of the Living Legacy of Scotland, Inc., a nonprofit charitable and educational organization, which is one of the seven component member organizations of the Scottish Coalition, USA.

Ms. Kennedy is also a member of COSCA and of the Clan Donnachaidh and Clan Kennedy Societies. She has long been active in the Scottish American Community, since emigrating to the USA from Scotland back in the 1970s. Congratulations, Anne!

Below is the text of Anne Kennedy’s remarks to the assembled guests at the award ceremony:

I would like to thank Members of Congress and the Scottish Coalition, USA, Honored Guests, ladies and gentlemen, for presenting to me this prestigious Award.

I was recruited in Scotland in 1971 to work at The World Bank, a job which I greatly enjoyed. I arrived in this country in June 1971. I have been involved in Scottish affairs since I arrived in this country. Early on, I attended meetings in Sarasota at the invitation of the Caledonian Foundation. Shortly thereafter, the Scottish Coalition was formed under the excellent leadership of Mr. Alan Bain and Ms. Duncan MacDonald.

I joined the Arts Club of Washington in 1976. It is the historic home of Scottish-American President James Monroe, fifth President of the United States, and is on the Historic Register. Two years later I was elected to the Board of the Arts Club. Then I was appointed Secretary/Treasurer of its Endowment.

In 1988, I retired from the World Bank and decided to go round the World, which took three months. I arrived in Bangkok, and saw parts of Malaysia, then flew to Australia, and went all round Australia, then on to New Zealand and took a bus tour round that country, then went to Fiji, Hawaii, San Francisco and finally back to Washington, DC.

I was then invited to join the Circumnavigators Club. This is a Club for people who have circumnavigated the globe. The Club’s purpose is to encourage global fellowship and understanding of all cultures.

In 2000, I decided to start an organization called The Living Legacy of Scotland, that would promote and educate people in the USA about all the Scots who have made great contributions, including many inventions which we use to this day. For example:

• John Logie Baird transmitted the first television picture from London to Glasgow, and then from London to New York.
• Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.
• Adam Smith, economist, philosopher, and author of The Wealth of Nations, shaped modern economic thinking.
• John Muir, Scottish-born American naturalist, was father of the modern conservation movement and the National Park Service; he was also founder of the Sierra Club.
• Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-born Industrialist and philanthropist, funded some 3,000 local libraries in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
• Gilbert Stewart, famous 18th century portrait painter, gave us the single most famous portrait of our first president, George Washington.

But I think the greatest of all was Alexander Fleming, the man who discovered Penicillin --when one realizes the all the lives he saved. When I was in London, I was invited to St. Mary’s hospital to see his laboratory, and the hospital kept it exactly as it was when Fleming made his discovery. The Hospital gave the Laboratory a title “The Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum.”

The Living Legacy of Scotland, the nonprofit charitable organization I founded, is a membership organization. We hold events each year, open to the public, to celebrate these great Scots and Scottish Americans by holding events to celebrate their contributions to humanity. We have had a number of great speakers over the years, and partner with other Scottish heritage groups to offer speakers and programs. The Living Legacy joined the Scottish Coalition, USA, a number of years ago; we were involved in bringing Sean Connery to Washington, DC for Tartan Day.

I am a member of Clan Donnachaidh, which includes, the Duncans and Robertsons. And I am a member of the Kennedy Society of America. I am a member of the Tartan Day Committee, and also a member of The English Speaking Union and COSCA. In 2011, I was honored by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland by giving me the title of FSA Scot.

Again, my sincere thanks to all for presenting me with this prestigious award.

Anne Robertson Kennedy

New York Tartan Week Parade 2017

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Edinburgh was well represented in New York at The 19th Tartan Week parade down Sixth Avenue on Saturday. The day dawned beautifully sunny with clear blue skies, all adding to the sense of anticipation from the minute we arrived at Bryant Park for the reading of the Declaration of Arbroath.

Near the front of the parade TV personality Phil MacHugh had managed to find a seat in the back of the official Barbour Range Rover waving to the crowds along the route.

Barbour was the Platinum presenting sponsor of the parade and the Barbour Scottie and West dog pack.

Howie Nicolsby 21st Century Kilts

At the back of the line Howie Nicolsby of 21st Century Kilts was accompanied by wife Charlie and his two small sons. Howie was the Grand Marshal a few years back and is well known in the city where he has been fitting kilts in the St Andrews Bar for the last week and more.

Actor Tommy Flanagan known for his big break in Braveheart

He had dressed this year’s Grand Marshal Tommy Flanagan who had flown in from LA to head up the procession.

Although a little too busy to talk to The Edinburgh Reporter Flanagan who got his big break in Braveheart, did manage to sneak a look at our latest newspaper outside the Algonquin Hotel where those taking part mustered!

Accompanying the wonderful Gordon Millar from Scot Street Style was model Simone Murphy sporting her tartan trews from Stewart Christie on Queen Street and the Kilted Yogis, Tristan Cameron-Harper and Finlay Wilson.

In the parade there was political representation by the SNP with Joanna Cherry QC MP, Tasmina Sheikh MP, Corrie Wilson MP and Paul Monaghan MP all marching together.

Edinburgh Napier University led by Leigh Dilks was one of a number of Scottish universities represented.

Beforehand in Bryant Park, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament Ken Macintosh hit the nail on the head  when he said he thought he was in Scotland with all the pipe bands he could hear, but then realised the weather was too good! It was a perfect day for the march with blue skies and lots of spectators lining the route.

Sergeant Chris Murphy NYPD

The NYPD turned out in force complete with smiles and good humour to keep everyone safe. But the route is so wide that there was plenty of room for the highland dancers, the pipe bands and of course the Kilted Yogis to perform.

In 1998 the U.S. Senate declared 6 April as National Tartan Day when they would recognise the contribution made by those of Scottish descent to the USA. In 1999, two pipe bands and a small group of Scottish Americans marched from the British Consulate to the UN—the first Parade! 

The event is organised by the Committee formed from three groups of volunteers , the St. Andrew’s Society of the State of New York, the New York Caledonian Club, and the American-Scottish Foundation. This was a precisely organised procession, beginning at 42nd and Sixth Avenue and ending at 55th where VIPs on top of the Barbour Bus were ready to cheer those taking part. With stops along the way to allow the highland dancers and others to perform for the crowds, it took about an hour and a half to pass by.

Our photos are all on Facebook here but here are a selection!

NYC Tartan Week 2017

Click on the image to sample a foretaste of things to come in 2017, as published in Celtic Life.