A great contingent of Johnsonville Club members saw the New Year in at the Wellington Region Hogmanay on 31 December in Lower Hutt.
A number of Johnsonville dancers played key parts during the Hogmanay.
Organised by Chris Totton and his team, the MCs for the evening were Diane Bradshaw, our club tutor Rod Downey, Jeanette Watson and Chris.
We danced the night away to fine music from Iain Matcham on the fiddle, Jean Malcolm on the keyboard and Terry Bradshaw on the drums.
Popular dances included the old favourite Hooper’s Jig, the top-tapping reel Scott Meikle and The Kissing Bridge devised by local Romaine Butterfield.
Autumn Tidings, a jig devised by Iain Matcham and danced to tunes he composed and played, also proved a hit. Thanks to Pat Reesby for her video below.
The more experienced dancers enjoyed taking up the challenge of dancing The Cashmere Shawl devised by Iain Boyd, another local.
Just before midnight, the ceremony for welcoming in the New Year began with Johnsonville Life Members John and Aline Homes taking on the roles of Old Father Time and the Sweeper.
While they swept out the old year, the band treated us to a rendition of the haunting original version of Auld Lang Syne. Have a listen to this beautiful tune in Pat’s video.
As Vice President of the Wellington Region, Rod announced the arrival of the First Foot – the first person to come across the threshold in the new year, carrying gifts of coal for warmth, salt or money for wealth, shortbread for sustenance and whisky for good cheer.
Led by a piper, First Foot Alastair McCarthy walked a circuit around the hall before presenting the gifts to the Rod as the representative of the RSCDS (Royal Scottish Country Dance Society). The First Foot then raised a toast to the RSCDS and welcomed in 2019!
After wishing each other Happy New Year, it was time for the dancers to tackle the final three dances – the Eightsome Reel, Robertson’s Rant and Seton’s Ceilidh Band.