Thursday, October 02, 2014

Nairn Commonwealth Ceilidh - a truly international event held in the Legion back in June - video

Thanks to Elena Reid of the Highland-Russia Connection Charity for the above video of the Commonwealth Ceilidh held back in June in the Legion. A truly international event. Elena also provided us with some details:

On Saturday, 21st June, Nairn celebrated the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with a free Commonwealth Ceilidh in Nairn British Legion Highland Hall, as part of a world-wide event, with 65 ceilidhs being held in several countries on the same date, co-ordinated by Get Scotland Dancing and the RSCDS (Royal Scottish Country Dance Society) In the run-up to the ceilidh, we held several dance workshops thanks to Kate McArdle and Megan Fraser, to teach the newly commissioned dances for this event. Both the workshops and the Ceilidh were funded by Celebrate Lottery Fund, and were attended by a number of people of all ages, who then attended the ceilidh and joined in the programme. This was a unique event in Nairn, and was an opportunity for members of several nationalities to get together,including Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, South African, South Korean, Australian, Morrocan, Chinese, Brazilian, Irish, English, Ukrainian, Russian, French, Polish and, of course, Scottish backgrounds. The event was compered by Elena Reid, Chairperson of the Highland-Russia Connection Charity, who said on the night that in the 15 years she has been in Nairn, this is the first time she has known of anything like this happening.
The Charity is very grateful to Celebrate Lottery Fund, English based company" Debbie and Andrews" and Ashers Bakery, who supported the event by funding and provisions. Everyone enjoyed the food, barbecued sausages from Debbie and Andrews, in rolls provided by award-winning Nairn-based Ashers Bakery. The money from the lottery fund allowed us to provide a selection of Indian food from the Al Raj restaurant and Chinese and Malaysian dishes from Mr Tan. The raffle was also well supported by the provision of vouchers from Ashers, Al Raj and Mr Tan as well as Provost of Nairn Laurie Fraser , who donated a bottle of whisky. 
The Raymond Chuchuk Scottish Dance Band provided the music for dancing, and everyone admired their excellent performance. There was also a varied programme of entertainment. The night was opened by Elizabeth Reid on the bagpipes, followed by African Djembe Drums and Singing by Sean and Carol Mason Corkery, traditional Indian dancing by Anna Leo, singing by Wendy Strath, John Urquhhart, Iain Bruce and Morag Bannington, and Gaelic song from Amy Young and Wendy Strath. Kirsty Reid, Anna Reid, Iona Reid and Megan Fraser performed a Highland Fling. After the interval, the entertainment continued with special guests the Australian Tumbarumba Pipe Band. The band members come from the Tumbarumba area, from the towns Wangaratta, Tangambalanga, Wagga Wagga, Yarroweyah, Leeton, Khancoban in Victoria and from Berry in New South Wales. Deepa Venkatraman from India was so inspired by the varied performances that she decided to entertain us with an Indian song, followed by Kate McArdle's Scottish Country Dancers, and Annam Ali with a traditional Pakistani dance. The evening was rounded off by a rendition of Auld Lang Syne. As a parting gift, guests took home a slice of the beautiful Commonwealth Cake, supplied by Ashers Bakery. We would like to thank the President Lt Col Bob Towns and staff of the Nairn Royal British Legion, who were very accommodating in the newly refurbished Highland Hall, and the barbecue in the garden was a perfect setting for our event.

Attached are some of the comments received and some photographs of the event.
" Thanks for a great night everyone enjoyed it. Tumbarumba Pipe Band, Australia"

"Andy and I very much enjoyed the Commonwealth Ceilidh held in Nairn on the 21st June. We loved all the different Nationalities doing there bit to entertain us, from young to not so young. We also liked our own Scottish Dancing and entertainment by the young people. We also thoroughly enjoyed getting up and joining in the various dances with those who were entertaining us. The music for dancing was superb, the 3 choices of food was just perfect, also the entertainment by the Australian Band was the icing on the cake for me, although I thoroughly enjoyed every second of the evening. A thousand thanks to all who organised the evening."

" The evening was very well run, and most enjoyable "

" We had a great time and we really enjoyed it. It was lovely seeing all the different performances!! And everyone being together and enjoying such a multicultural event. It was fantastic!"

" It was different, and great to see so many other cultural performances included"
" Great to see so many children involved and enjoying themselves "
" The entertainment was different and excellent "

"Just to say how much we enjoyed the Ceilidh - truly it was one of the happiest times we've had out in a long time - everyone was so friendly and what a delight to be among people from so many cultures - it's the one thing I miss up here from when we lived in the east end of London. The FOOD was great and I can't remember the last time I ate Malaysian Nasi Goreng - I think it was in Winnipeg Canada back in 1975!!!!!"

This whole event was only made possible by Celebrate Lottery Fund, who provided the majority of the funding for the project, as well as the other funders and providers mentioned already.The project manager Elena Reid would like to thank the volunteers for their effort and the entertainers who did so well on the night. Video producer, Brian Anderson, will produce a film of the event, and many photographs were taken by Iain Fairweather. These were also funded by Celebrate Lottery Fund. Both the film and photographs will be available in due time on the Highland-Russia Connection Charity Facebook page and on the charity's website. 

Our Charity was given the chance to enter a competition for all the projects across Scotland funded by Celebrate Lottery Fund, with a presentation on our project. This was done by Elizabeth Reid (14 yrs old), and thanks to her efforts we were one of the winning entries. There were only a total of 50 tickets to be won in total, and 5 of them for the closing ceremony came to Nairn. These are some of the Legacy Tickets allocated by the Scottish Government to people and projects contributing to the legacy of the Commonwealth Games. As part of the Commonwealth Games Legacy Ticket Initiative, our Charity also received free tickets for the Rugby Sevens match at Ibrox Stadium in the ballot, so there are a lot of very happy Nairn folk heading to Glasgow in the next few weeks! The videos filmed at our Commonwealth project in Nairn will be transmitted on live screens at the Glasgow Green and Kelvingrove bandstand. On the 3rd of August as part of the Commonwealth celebrations in Glasgow, Anna Reid & Megan Fraser have been invited to perform some Highland dancing and Elizabeth Reid will play bagpipes at a venue in the city. 

Many thanks,
Elena Reid

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