On a warm Wellington evening, dancers from around the Region (including a great contingent from Johnsonville) and from further afield welcomed in the New Year at the Wellington Region Hogmanay on 31 December in Lower Hutt.
Thanks to Elaine and Michael Laidlaw and their team for organising this great social event after another challenging year with dancing constantly disrupted by Covid lockdowns and restrictions. There was a general feeling of relief that we could celebrate Hogmanay together when others around the world are, yet again, subject to restraints due to the latest Covid variant.
We welcomed RSCDS New Zealand Branch President Linda Glavin, Vice President Debbie Roxburgh with Paul, Communication and Publicity and Membership Coordinator Sue Lindsay and Youth Coordinator Nicole Trewavas. Others from outside the Region included Sue and Ian Pearson from Whanganui along with Doug Mills and Lynda Aitchison from Marlborough.
Thank you to MC Damon Collin for leading us through the dances during the evening—and for sharing points about some of the more unusual dance origins or names such as Ecclefechan Feline!
We danced the night away to lively music from the band led by Aileen Logie on the accordion with Jason Morris (keyboard), Hilary Ferral (fiddle) and Terry Bradshaw (drums).
One toe-tapping tune that particularly appealed to the dancers was The Magic of Merrill (The Reel of Seven) played for The Amateur Epidemiologist which was devised by Wellingtonian Andrew Oliver. This dance is included in the Wellington Region Covid-19 Collection
Popular dances included Scott Meikle, The Water of Leith and Violynne (devised by Johnsonville tutor Rod Downey). The more experienced dancers took up the challenge of dancing The Flower of Glasgow and The Aviator.
A highlight of the evening was Linda Glavin presenting Debbie Roxburgh with a RSCDS New Zealand Branch Life Membership.
Congratulations Debbie for receiving this award—well-deserved after her many years of contributions to Scottish Country Dancing.
With Moggie Grayson (her 75th, congratulations Moggie) and Jason Morris having birthdays on the night, we celebrated with them by singing Happy Birthday to rousing music from the band.
Before midnight, Damon led a singalong of Scottish songs. Last year we’d moved to the 21st century with the words being projected on to a screen. Unfortunately, the hall’s projector had been stolen so we reverted to the old way of using printed copies!
The ceremony for welcoming in the New Year began with the Old Year and the Sweeper sweeping out the old year while we sang Auld Lang Syne.
As President of the Wellington Region, Ann Oliver 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.
Followed by piper Nicole Trewavas, First Foot Jason Morris walked a circuit around the hall before presenting the gifts to Ann.
The First Foot then raised a toast to the RSCDS Wellington Region and we welcomed in the new year of 2022.
After wishing each other Happy New Year, it was time for dancers to tackle the final three popular dances—the Eightsome Reel, Culla Bay and De’il Amang the Tailors. A fitting start to a new year of dancing!
2 January 2022