March 2009 Newsletter 2
Honour for Edinburgh's Poet
The Gathering 2009 team would like to offer our congratulations to Ron Butlin on becoming the first Honorary Writing Fellow of the University of Edinburgh. Ron, the Edinburgh City Makar, is one of the judges for The Gathering 2009 poetry competition, alongside best-selling author Alexander McCall-Smith.
Ron was created a Fellow at a ceremony in the capital’s Playfair Library yesterday, as was another acclaimed writer, Ian Rankin. The aim of the new fellowship scheme, supported by the Scottish Arts Council and the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, is to honour creative writers who have past connections with the university and who will broaden the base of writers involved in the tuition of Creative Writing at Edinburgh.
Speaking about his Fellowship, Ron told us: “I am really surprised - and truly delighted to receive this unexpected honour! It's a long time since I was a student at Edinburgh University, so I'm very pleased to feel part of that community once more.”
The Gathering 2009 poetry competition, in association with The Scotsman newspaper and the Scottish Poetry Library is open to all ages, full details can be found by clicking here.
The closing date for entries is May 1st 2009 - we look forward to reading your poems!
Updates on The Gathering 2009
We will shortly be publishing the full programme of events on our website but in the meantime to help with your planning, the timings of The Gathering 2009 are as follows:
The Highland Games/Scottish Festival
This will be open from 9am until 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
The Clan Parade
We shall be asking visitors participating in the parade to muster from 7.15pm and further details will be announced through the newsletter and online regarding meeting points.
The Historic Pageant
This will begin at 10pm and finish at 11pm.
Family Tree DNA
We are pleased to announce that Family Tree DNA will be a part of the large genealogy area within Holyrood Park. Family Tree DNA is the world leader in Genetic Genealogy, developing the science that enables genealogists around the world to advance their family's research since 2000. They work in association with a scientific advisory board and the University of Arizona Research Laboratories led by Dr. Michael Hammer, one of the world's leading authorities in the field of Genetics.
We are also delighted to confirm we shall be holding a kitchen piping competition on the Saturday of The Gathering 2009, in addition to our invitational solo piping competition and Pipe Idol on Sunday.
Kitchen piping is a freeform fun style of piping where the pipers will bring out everything in their armoury to entertain the audience and grab the loudest cheer and applause for their performance. Expect the unexpected!
The kitchen piping competition is being organised in association with the National Piping Centre who are currently looking for competitors who will wow the audience.
Win a Gathering MemoryKeeper Pendant
Just a reminder that you have until the 30th April 2009 to enter the competition to win a Gathering Memorykeeper Pendant. To see full details of the competition and to enter please go to MemoryKeeper Pendant Competition. The winners will be announced in our May newsletter.
We will finish this newsletter with a few words by Terry Myles from Canada who is coming to The Gathering with his wife. Terry’s grandmother left Scotland to look after her late sister’s four children in Canada in 1922. She stayed in Toronto longer than anticipated, throughout the depression, and ended up marrying and having three children of her own, the youngest of whom was Terry’s father.
Looking ahead to The Gathering 2009, Terry told us:
“I am really looking forward to going "home ". I am very proud of my Scottish heritage and can't wait to walk the Royal Mile with my wife where so many people in history have walked before me. I still have a newspaper article from Ayr in 1954, with a picture of my great grandfather & great grandmother celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary; it gave a brief history of their lives and he led quite a full one from fighting in the Boer War to coal mining to having 13 children. There is so much more I could write about them, but I guess everyone has a story to tell . Both my grandparents are gone now, but the stories and the people in them will stay with me forever.”