THE SUMMER months are traditionally quiet for the Arbroath branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland as folk enjoy the warm, sunny days by the beach or barbecue in the garden.
Mother Nature tends not to comply with tradition but despite the poor showing for a summer, the Legion has been busy. On Friday, as part of the ‘Wings for Victory’ celebrations, Harry Simpson, Annie Ogilvy and the Red Lichtie Spitfire Group team organised an outstanding 1940s theme dance in the main hall, Helen Street.
There was a superb atmosphere generated by over 100 1940’s revelers who filed into the ‘Smokerloo Station Bomb Shelter’. Many of the partygoers dressed to theme which added to the occasion. The wonderful singing of Alan Mowatt and Doug Ford transported everyone into the 1940s with their wide selection of music. An excellent night was had by all and the evening raised over £720 for the Rosendael Veterans’ Home.
Skipping 70 years, the branch was fortunate to host the Lord Selkirk Boys’ Pipe Band on Saturday as they concluded their tour of Scotland before returning home to Winnipeg, Canada.
The Band was founded in 1957 by the late Pipe Major Robert Fraser, who sadly died this year. When he moved out to Canada, Pipe Major Fraser, an Arbroathian, introduced Scotland’s musical heritage to generations of young pipers and drummers and made it available to everyone wishing to learn. At home, the Lord Selkirk Boys’ Pipe Band competes and plays in concerts and cultural events throughout the year and was over to tour Scotland and compete in the World Championships in Glasgow. They came a very creditable 12th in the Grade 4 youth band section.
On Saturday afternoon they met up with the Arbroath Pipe Band in the pedestrian precinct and marched up to the Abbey where both bands entertained a sizeable crowd to some excellent pipes and drums in a superb setting.
The branch Pipe Band was also at the World Championships, making the finals of the Grade 4 Senior Bands and came 11th out of over 40 bands. This was an outstanding result especially as they were the third Scottish Band in their grade and it was a wonderful experience for all involved.
Finally, all good things must come to an end and having kept the annual subscription the same for the last few years, the Legion has been directed by headquarters to increase the annual fees by about £3 to £4 for next year. Unfortunately this is unavoidable but the club will continue to provide excellent service and facilities, which are second to none in the area.
Chairman Arbroath branch