August 2017 (Vol. 41, Number 02)
The Banner Says…
Carrying on a legacy
This edition of the Scottish Banner may look familiar to many filled with our great contributors and the usual mix of snippets and news. However, this page is certainly a very different one. For over four decades, Valerie Cairney, has set the tone for each issue with her editorial welcoming readers with often quite personal and heartfelt columns. As months developed into years people got to know Val through the connection of words.
This month I have the task to try and take on that role and connect our readers to each edition we produce. I thought it would be best to briefly tell people of my connection to the Scottish Banner and the international Scottish community. I cannot remember a time where Scotland has not been a part of my life. I grew up around family, businesses and events that clearly identified us as “practicing Scots”
The Scottish Banner began because of our family’s strong Scottish connection and determination to keep that connection alive for others. My childhood included visits to Highland games across North America. Not many summers went by without my helping at some and getting to see Scottish culture across the continent. From Nova Scotia to California I soon learned that the Scottish community was large, active and diverse
Over 40 years ago Valerie attended the Fergus Highland Games in Canada to launch the Scottish Banner and this month, some 493 editions of the Scottish Banner later, I also will be attending the Fergus Highland Games and look forward to meeting as many of our readers and friends as possible. So if you will be attending please stop by the Scottish Banner tent and say hello
A wee paper
With today’s world of constant information and real time news it can be hard to remember a time we did not have everything at our fingertips. Back in the 1970’s when the Scottish Banner began, for some just getting a “wee paper” with bits of information from Scotland was a big deal. So much so, the paper spread its pages across Canada and United States.
In the 1990’s I went backpacking and spent quite a bit of time in Australia. Whilst there, I attended some Highland games and immediately noticed the Southern Hemisphere had no Scottish newspaper, I told this to my mother, Valerie and that soon changed, with Australia and New Zealand distribution following.
Well that “wee paper” has gone on to resonate with many Scots and those of Scottish heritage around the world, and today it is read by people across four nations who each month celebrate with us their connection to Scotland.
Much to write about
We are very fortunate to have the topic of Scotland and Scottishness as the backbone of any issue of the Scottish Banner. For such a small nation, Scotland has given us much to write about, at times brutal history, the stunning scenery and the amazing events that fill the calendar. The dynamic forward thinking nation of today and of course the passionate international Scottish Diaspora community who today continue to celebrate and innovate just what it means to be a “practicing Scot”.
Each issue we produce we often have several articles waiting for placement because so much news, ideas and accomplishments are coming to us from both Scotland and the international Scottish community.
Connecting people to Scotland
Today we have people reading this publication in its print format, on their electronic devices, and also there are thousands of people connecting with us daily on social media. The Scottish community is strong, bold and that is why the Scottish Banner continues today some 41 years later after the first issue printed.
There have been many changes to the Scottish Banner since the 1970’s. Just in the past few years alone we have introduced a new layout presentation, digital download subscriptions and new writers. However, one thing that has not changed is the “wee paper” is still connecting people to Scotland each month. You don’t have to sound Scottish to have the spirit of Scotland in you and running through your veins. Today our readers speak with many accents but they have one common love of Scottish culture.
I have great news for our American readers. From this issue on we will be available at Books-A-Million stores across the United States, and I hope to be able to share some more exciting distribution information with you soon. I am looking forward to connecting with more of the Scottish community from across North America in the coming months and discussing how we can work together.
In this issue
In this issue, we feature the First Piper Ross OC Jennings, who is connecting people to the sounds of Scotland with his bagpipes. If you are in Edinburgh this month for the Fringe Festival you may be interested in how the Army is making its Fringe debut this month. A true Scottish icon, Mary Queen of Scots, continues to captivate people from across the world and we learn why her legend is still strong. We hope you enjoy this issue and as always keep in touch with us with your opinions, ideas and stories as we continue to keep the Scottish Banner as the “wee paper” for “practicing Scots”
Please share with us your views by email, post or at www.scottishbanner.com/contact-us