Editorial – The Scottish Banner Says….

Gracing our front cover: Geoff Allan-Scotland’s premier bothy expert.

July 2017 (Vol. 41, Number 01)

The Banner Says…

Seeing out four decades

As we hit the press this month we close our 40th anniversary year and welcome in 41 years of the Scottish Banner. During our 40th anniversary we had a busy year launching our new layout in North America, our very own tartan to mark this milestone, a new look web site, welcoming new writers (and still enjoying our long time favourites!) and celebrating with our recently launched digital download subscription service-giving our readers around the world a choice in how they read their Scottish Banner.

Humble beginnings

Looking back four decades it is amazing to see all the change that has transpired at the Scottish Banner. From its humble beginnings in rural Ontario in Canada to a paper that is read across both North America and Australasia (as well as Scotland itself!). Starting a paper back then was so very different with the technology we have today and things like internet, social media and smart phones not even a thought on people minds. Getting news from home back then, as it is today, was so important and connected us no matter where we lived.

I never knew how the Scottish Banner would be received and for how long. I never thought it would be available in the places it now is and I would writing an editorial 40 years later. We have some incredibly loyal readers, writers and advertisers who we simply could not publish without.

Today we have kept a place in this modern world we live and now connect with global Scots with each edition printed or downloaded and through social media daily.  For my 40 plus years doing the Scottish Banner I have seen a great deal of change but one thing that remains is that Scots, regardless of how far back that goes back, have a passion for being Scottish and celebrating that passion. We see it with our readers who never miss an issue, those who attend Highland Games, play in pipe bands, spend hours researching their roots and those travel back to Scotland’s shores (regardless of how long that flight can be) to connect quite literally with the land of their ancestors.


I have been able to see some great parts of the world with the Scottish Banner attending Scottish events across North America, Scotland and Australasia. The love for Scotland and people’s Scottishness have not really changed since the 1970’s to today, whether they be in Auckland, Toronto, San Francisco or Sydney. This has been such a great privilege to witness this across the world and see that in 2017 being Scottish is still so important to so many.

Keeping up with all the changes of modern day publishing can certainly be a challenge. Each issue we produce takes many hours to compile and complete and once one issue has “gone to bed”, another is already being planned. I have loved this exciting journey that the Banner has given me all these years, however now I am ready to start another, albeit slower, journey and that includes stepping back from my duties at the Scottish Banner.

The Scottish Banner family

The paper has been part of our family for now over four decades and I am glad to advise it is staying in the family with my son Sean taking over for me.  I hope the Banner is also considered part of your family and you continue to enjoy our pages for many years to come as he and his team of writers from around the world bring you a monthly dose of Scotland.

The Scottish Banner family is a global one and one that that involves a variety of ages, back grounds, interests and locations-however it one that unites many people for many different reasons to Scotland. Our readers have been so special to me and given all of us here a sense of “doing each issue better”. For over 40 years this publication has been my job, lifestyle, pride and passion, I have enjoyed every minute – well most. And I thank you for being most patient with me at times. I will never be far away, and I thank you for all the experience you have given me.

Excited to see where it goes next

I have many different reasons for stepping away from the Banner but do so with pride of where I leave it and am excited to see where it goes next.  After this issue my son Sean will be taking over the publication. He has been doing this for so many years now that he is probably better than me for what he does, and I wish him luck with everything he does.

May Scotland continue to reach out and give the world its own brand of Scottish colour, charm and history. I have been proud nurture and develop the Banner all these years and now am proud to release it to Sean. Good luck Scotland and Sean- may you always be winners.

If you have any comments about this month’s editorial or wish to send Valerie a message please share with us your views by email, post or at www.scottishbanner.com/contact-us

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