2015 Clan Dinner

HIGHLIGHTS – 2015 Clan Dinner – April 11th, 2015 

On Saturday, April 11th 2015 at the Harrisville School of Arts Hall more than 120 of your fellow Clansmen and women along with their invited guests enjoyed both Piped music, vigorous Scottish Country Dancing and other entertainment, that “shook the rafters” of the Harrisville School of Arts Hall.

They were also treated to a fine meal and and the chance to catch up family and old friends.

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The Harrisville School of Arts Hall. Cnr Queen & Hall St Harrisville – Built 1912

100th Anniversary World War One

 

This year we commemorated the 100th Anniversary of the landings on the Gallipoli Peninsular, which included members of the Australian New Zealand  Army Corps (ANZAC). This force was drawn from towns and country communities across our nation and included a number of our forebears served and sacrificed.

While serving in the front lines, they were not alone in their sacrifice, as also both members of their own families and their communities, back in Australia, also continued make their own sacrifices and contributions to this national effort. It is in remembrance of all of these efforts, that our 2015 Clan Dinner will be dedicated and themed.

The commemoration of our forbears contribution to this important anniversary. 

During the Great War of 1914-1918 almost every branch of our local Forsyth families were represented by at least one family member who served in this conflict. We were fortunate enough to have our resident historian and genealogist Mrs Lyndall Hill prepare fore us a static display that illustrated the various contributions made by our ancestors , so that dinner guest could trace their direct family connections.

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“Forsyths at War” Static Display

 

In addition Lyndall also made a detailed presentation during the evening to our assembled dinner guest regarding the various roles played by family members. She also provided us with some background on the events of the 1915 landings based upon her two recent trips, to that famed peninsular.

 

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Our resident Clan Historian & Genealogist delivers her presentation of “Forsyths at War”.

 


 

Addressing the Haggis Ceremony

 

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From left to right, Val Ashton, Bruce Mitchell, Rhonda Noe and Alwyn Clarke Piper

 

The evening officially commenced with the addressing of the Haggis which was performed by piper Mr Alwyn Clarke; Mrs Val Ashton as Haggis Bearer: Bruce Mitchell Haggis Addressor and Mrs Rhonda Now as Assistant.

More Youth Members Involved.

This years dinner was an opportunity for a greater number of our younger members to be involved with the proceedings. In a some what of a break from tradition, The ANZAC Grace was delivered by one of our younger Clan Members, Miss Annie-Rose Forsyth (Annie).

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Annie Forsyth recites “The Anzac Grace”

 

  CLICK HERE To Download the ANZAC Dinner Grace Delivered at the 2015 Dinner – [PDF adobe-27964_640 File – 306K ]

Youth members this years, also participated in the demonstration Scottish Country Dancing, as well as announcing the Table Quiz answers and results from the podium.  

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… and now for the answers to “Val’s Quizz”


Royal Toast

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In commemoration of all who took the “Imperial Oath of Allegiance” in World War I

Given the nature of the theme of the evening the Royal Toast also contained a short oration, in order to be in keeping with the occasion and to commemorate the “Imperial Oaths of Allegance” taken by ALL who served with Commonwealth forces, in this conflict. The Oration and accompanying Toast was delivery by Mr Len Forsyth as Mater of Ceremonies for the Dinner.

Should you wish you can download  a copy of this Royal Toast below:

CLICK HERE to Download ANZAC Dinner – Royal Toast– [PDF adobe-27964_640 File – 176K ]


A Special Birthday Announcement

In the course of the evening we even had time to celebrate an 80th Birthday as we acknowledged Jean Forsyth’s 80th Year. It was in fact in the same street in which the hall where we held our dinner (Hall Street), that almost eighty years ago, that Ellen Jean Schulz came into the world at the Harrisville Hospital in 1935.

This location again held further family significance, as it was in this hospital some 20 or so years later the Jean, now working as an enrolled nurse at the same hospital where she was born, treated a young man from nearby Peak Crossing, who presented to the emergency department with a large splinter in his foot.

His name was Max Forsyth. and according to Jean her initial impressions were not favourable, however with the passage of time; five children; fourteen grand children and one great grandchild, we can only assume that her initial opinion, may have altered at some stage.

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Jean Forsyth with three of her children prepares to cut her 80th Birthday Cake

Max and Jean Forsyth have been ever present members of Clan Forsyth Queensland extending back since it’s earliest days. They recall that they joined back when the annual picnic was first held in Queens Park Ipswich in about 1980.


Traditional Food, Entertainment and Good Company

All those both young and old who came and joined, us once again had the opportunity to only enjoy the Dinners famous traditional country food and  great entertainment but they also had a chance to catch up with kith and kin.

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Taking the time to share a meal and just catch up with family and friends.

 

 


 

 Fassifern Highland Gathering

We were were also please to have with us for the evening Mr Cameron Stewart, who spake to us about the big weekend that his organizing committee had planned for the last weekend in May 2015. In his short presentation he outlined the integral part that Scottish migrants in the 1800’s had made to the surrounding area and the intended celebration of this later this year.

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Address from Cameron Stewart regarding the calling of the Clans at the upcoming Fassifern Highland Gathering.

 

 

Further details may be obtained of this event by visiting the  Fassifern Highland Gathering page on this web site or by downloading the PDF file of the event.

CLICK HERE To download Fassifern Highland Gathering Weekend – [PDF adobe-27964_640 File – 306K ]

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An address from the whole Stewart family, on the upcoming Fassifern Highland Gathering.

 


 

Scottish Country Dancer Taught Dinner how to Dance.

Eight intrepid dancers were piped onto the dance floor to provided us with a demonstration of fine Scottish County Dancing.

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Demonstration Dance by Scottish Country Dancing Troupe

 

The Audience shortly after invited to join in and both young and old filed onto the dance floor, to join these bold and the brave instructors.

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Despite dance being one of those universal languages, many of us including some of the instructor, appeared blissfully unaware of a Scottish City named “Nutbush” or even that it had “City Limits”.

Other dancing forms also remained unnamed , as presumably none of the assembled participants or audience, knew not exactly how to pronounce “Chicken” in gaelic. Many were later surprised to learn that the Scottish-English translation, may have just been, “The Funky Chicken” all along.

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How DO you say “Chicken Dance” in Gaelic ?

 

 

Traditional Ballroom Dancing

However many of more classical versions of dance were more easily recognized.

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Later when asked, “What was Victor Ashton’s (Husband of Val and a Committee member) secret to his dancing prowess ?”

He admitted that he was able to keep fit, through regular bouts of washing up, after such functions.


  A MESSAGE TO THE CLAN FORSYTH QUEENSLAND DINNER 2015

FROM CLAN FORSYTH CHIEFTAIN – ALISTAIR FORSYTH of that ilk

 

Extract of Message to Clan Forsyth Queensland 2015 ANZAC Dinner Guests

When I first came to Queensland as Chief in 1979 it was not my first visit for I arrived in Brisbane in 1963 as a new migrant together with my wife Ann and two sons.   What a different city it was, my maternal Uncle was Harbourmaster and I joined an import/export firm based in Newstead as their new Queensland Manager.

It was a really exciting assignment for a young man whose previous experience had been as a Tea Broker in Calcutta.   What a different City it was,  then, Surfers Paradise was just a golden beach with one small hotel , we might travel at the weekend to the “Boolarong” restaurant on Maloolabah beach for huge tiger prawns or to Mt Tamborine to touch the oldest tree in Australia and enjoy the cool sea breeze.

Living in an old “Stumpy” overlooking the  Ascot  Racecourse it was an idyllic life and I have the fondest memories of your wonderful homeland.    All too soon promotion carried me off to Sydney but the memories remain.   When I returned in 1979 I went to Peak Crossing and up the Fassifern Valley past Forsyth Settlement homes, Brisbane had changed , the old buildings with their timber overhangs shielding the fierce sun, like the fans had gone, replaced by air conditioning in modern tower blocks, life had changed and so I realised the Clan Forsyth must also.

Incidentally, many in Queensland descend from Ulstermen and Alexander Forsyth, whose father was the last Laird of Nydie and who went bankrupt in 1610, is thought to have joined the Plantation, for his close friend and  neighbour  was Alexander Ramsay brother of Thomas of Balmonth who took up a 2000 estate in Ulster in 1619.

I am really sorry not to have been with you this evening but I will be there in spirit, do have a good evening and I look forward to reading about it in your newsletter.

Alistair Forsyth of that ilk


 A full copy of the Clan Chief’s message to Queensland Members can be downloaded from the link below:


In Closing Commemoration

Our 2015 Clan Dinner commemorated of the 100th Anniversary of the landings on the Gallipoli Peninsular, which included members of the Australian New Zealand  Army Corps (ANZAC). This force was drawn from many towns and country communities similar to where this evenings function is being held. In 1915 and all through the Great War, across our nation and here in Harrisville a number of our forebears served and sacrificed.

While serving in the front lines, they were not alone in their sacrifice, as also both members of their own families and their communities, back in Australia, also continued make their own sacrifices and contributions to this national effort. It is in remembrance of all of these efforts, that our 2015 Clan Dinner will be dedicated and themed.

The commemoration of our forbears contribution to this important anniversary. 

During the Great War of 1914-1918 almost every branch of our local Forsyth families were represented by at least one family member who served in this conflict.

In tribute to their memory please find below the piped lament and lyrics of “Sargent MacKenzie’s Lament” , which is written and sung by Joe Kilna Mackenzie son of Maria McCabe and the late Alex McCabe of Provost Christie Drive, Rothes.

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“Sargent MacKenzie’s Lament”

Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun
Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun

When they come a wull staun ma groon
Staun ma groon al nae be afraid

Thoughts awe hame tak awa ma fear
Sweat an bluid hide ma veil awe tears

Ains a year say a prayer faur me
Close yir een an remember me

Nair mair shall a see the sun
For a fell tae a Germans gun

Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun
Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun

By Joe Kilna

 – LEST WE FORGET – 


A SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL WHO ATTENDED AND

ARE YOU READY FOR NEXT YEAR’S DINNER?

Especially to get you ready for the 2016 dinner and for those who may also wish to enter into the spirit of next years evening and already possess a fluent command of the gaelic tongue, then below you can find the words to that immortal Robert Burns Scottish ballad of 1787 – “Address to a Haggis”

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Robert Burns’ Address To A Haggis presented by David Sibbald from his CD “The Greatest Poems in the World” (available at http://www.robertburns.plus.com/CD.htm). Edited by Peggy Edwards (AKA Peigi McCann). Photos from Peggy Edwards, David Sibbald, Freefoto.com and Wikimedia Commons

 

FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE WORDS TO …

ADDRESS TO A HAGGIS

2012BURNS-Haggis (1)


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The Moreton Boarder News provided  excellent press coverage post the event to the local community  in their April 17th 2015 edition.

 

The report of this story was Kaye Martin.

 

 


WE’LL BE IN TOUCH!

… so practise well and we’ll hope to see you ALL again in 2016.

 

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