Two organisations I belong to are are celebrating significant anniversaries this year, although in one case we’re running a bit late.

I have been a member of the Caernarvonshire and Anglesey Caledonian Society for almost 10 years (and the chairman for about 6 years).  Until very recently we thought that this year was our 60th anniversary, although a bit of research by one of our members has now shown us that the society was actually formed in 1953 (i.e. 61 years ago), so we’ve missed the boat slightly – although arguably a 61st anniversary should be even more cause to celebrate than a 60th!

I’ve mentioned the Caledonian Society on several previous occasions (most recently here) on this blog but, in case you haven’t read those posts or have forgotten, here’s an executive summary of what we’re all about.  The group exists to promote Scottish culture and provide a meeting place for people of Scottish origin or with interest in Scotland.  For much longer than I’ve been on the scene, our main activity has been Scottish Country Dancing (not to be confused with Highland Dancing – an entirely different wee beastie), which we generally do in Bangor on Thursday nights between September and April (dr0p me a line if you want to know more).  Apart from that, our only other regular event these days is an annual Burns Night dinner (incidentally, at this year’s event, I performed a couple of Burns’ songs (on the ukulele), one of which was the song I’d quoted in my speech a couple of years ago).  I gather there used to be a wider range of activies in years gone by.

Apparently the dance classes started a few years after the society was formed (in about 1958 if my memory serves me), so we haven’t actually missed the 60th anniversary of dancing.  That’s just as well, as we’ve been working on a lovely dance called the Anniversary Reel and it will be good to get another excuse to dance it (not that we particularly need an excuse!).

The other group I’m in that’s celebrating a significant birthday this year is even older – in fact twice as old.  The Menai Bridge Brass Band started playing in 1894.  We have several things in the pipeline to celebrate our anniversary.  Perhaps the biggest one is a CD recording project, which we are aiming to complete in May.  The band is currently trying to raise money to pay for this and if you’d like to help you’re very welcome to do so. 🙂

We’re also hoping to hold at least one big concert some time this year (although the exact timing depends on things like whether we do sufficiently well in the regional band competition this weekend to get through to the national final later in the year) and possibly a series of open-air concerts in Menai Bridge during the summer, as the band used to do regularly in its early years (usually performing at least 8 complete concerts per season without ever playing the same piece twice).

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