The club’s Tartan and Final Night on Monday 29 November, was a lot of fun for the almost five sets of dancers who could be there on the night. With Rod at the helm, and the music of Airs and Graces, everyone danced their hearts out.
Good things are possible
As with many events these days, it was a celebration of the possible. Due to Covid restrictions, it was not possible to hold our Annual Dance, or our planned Saturday night end of year dance at Ngaio Town Hall. But it was possible to instead shift to Khandallah Town Hall, in our usual Monday slot.
We were very fortunate to have this option as a backup, and many thanks go to musicians Lynne Scott, Mary McDonald and Glenice Saunders who held themselves available for whichever date and venue became necessary. Live music adds so much to our Scottish Country Dancing experience, making our toes tap, and our spirits lift.
Rod devised this year’s final night programme as a celebration of Johnsonville’s members, in recognition of their dedication, and their positive response to the many changes and disruptions this year.
Members have had to adjust to Khandallah Town Hall as our new club night venue, have bounced back from lockdowns, and also adapted to dancing again at Johnsonville Bowling Club for a period, when that was our only option. And we’re still smiling.
Dances on the programme included some from our original shared Annual Dance with Capital City, recognising the work of tutors Rod and Jeanette in putting the programme together, and teaching the dances to members of both clubs. (City of Wisteria was definitely one that we all worked very hard on learning.)
The full-length programme planned for a final night at Ngaio Town Hall on the Saturday, was necessarily shortened to accommodate dancing instead on Monday night at Khandallah Town Hall.
We retained the theme of Celebrating our Members, with six of the easier dances written for members on the final Monday programme (the first five devised by Rod):
- Allison Kay (Allison is the current club treasurer)
- The Durian Rant (for our Singaporean & Malaysian members – Prisilla Conroy, Moira Broughton, Nancy Tay, and now also Isabelle Joseph)
- John Markham’s Rant (John is a current committee member, and one of only four members who’ve been dancing at Johnsonville since the 1980s)
- Jeanette’s Hornpipe (Jeanette Watson is a Johnsonville member and relief tutor, and Capital City club tutor)
- The Kitchen Faerie (Elizabeth Ngan is the club’s long-standing supper co-ordinator)
- At the End of the Rainbow (Loralee Hyde is a former club president, and current webmaster and photographer) devised by Iain Boyd, no link available.
We can dance with just an MC, a programme, and music. But all the extras really do make a difference, especially when they’re tartan!
Members were up and down ladders, the club’s tartan bunting was tacked up and (in a last-minute flash of inspiration) suspended from the balcony, and a Saltire and Lions Rampant made a colourful backdrop for the band.
Tartan rugs and programme posters decorated the walls, and swinging kilts and flying sashes, cheerful tartan ribbons, and plaid shirts and skirts enlivened the dance floor. Amongst them was the tartan ribbon that once belonged to Isla Norris, and is now worn by Mandy Clark, a lovely reminder of times and people past.
Our tartan tablecloths added that extra bit of celebratory colour at supper time, when we enjoyed our first shared supper since lockdown. The hall was buzzing, and the chance to socialise over good food, and a cup of tea meant supper became quite extended … and Den O’ Mains was dropped from the programme.
The end of the year is when we formally thank Rod as tutor, for all the hard work he puts in. Kristin as President, presented him with a card signed by club members, in appreciation of all he’s done to keep us dancing despite the year’s many difficulties.
On behalf of the Tuesday afternoon dancing group, Maureen presented the club with a box of Favourites chocolates in thanks for the loan of a Johnsonville Club coomber. As she said, this has saved the group from having to buy one of their own.
Thanks to all
The club continues to run smoothly due to the efforts of all our members, and final night was no exception.
Thanks to the set-up crew who swooped in to deck out the hall, set up the seating etc, to the supper team who were back in action, and to the pack-up team who returned the hall to order at the end of the night. Much appreciated.
Thanks also to the many visitors from other clubs who made the night more special, and nice to have Shelley from Hamilton as a repeat visitor.
It was a good night to finish what really was a good year, despite disruptions. And so ended our first year of dancing at Khandallah Town Hall.
Click on the gallery below to see all of Loralee’s photos
Click on the links below to watch Pat Reesby’s videos
2 December 2021