Editorial – The Scottish Banner Says….

December 2020 (Vol. 44, Number 06)

Gracing our front cover: Isle of Barra based Herring Girl Knitwear. Photo: Stephen Kearney/Little Day Productions.

The Banner Says…

For Auld Lang Syne

As the sunsets on 2020 I am sure many readers will be happy to see this year put to pasture. This year has seen so much physical connection lost between people, with many yearning for Auld Lang Syne.

Globally Scottish events have had to be cancelled everything from large Highland Games and Scottish festivals, Military Tattoo’s (not only in Edinburgh, but
around the world), concerts, pipe band events, Clan gatherings and so much more. In the first half of the
year I witnessed the cancellation of hundreds of events across the world and we spent many hours updating our website as each cancellation came in.

Though it may not be as apparent today, the Scottish Banner hosts the largest international Scottish events listing in the world and keeping this resource up to date was important for many members of the Scottish community.

I am seeing events slowly coming back on our website and I hope we can soon bring our events page back to each edition of the Banner as I know many miss it. I think many
of us will attend their first event with a sense of great happiness and our connection to Scotland, and each other, will only grow stronger. Things may well open at different stages in different regions but when it is safe to do so near you, make it one of your New Year
resolutions to attend a Scottish event or function, our community needs the support to bounce back.

I have heard from numerous people who had plans to travel to Scotland in 2020, all who have been forced to cancel their trips. I too was meant to be over this year and know so many had planned to visit family, friends, attend events and simply take in the country we all love so much. Scotland will of course wait for us and be there when it is safe to travel and be just as stunning as it was in 2020. As someone who travelled to Scotland annually without even thinking about it for many years, I know my next visit will be a special one and one I cherish.

In this issue

Herring Girls were the hard-working women who worked in Scotland’s fishing industry. These women worked long hours in physically demanding jobs. The women, who often worked away from home, learned a variety of unique sewing and knitting methods that
would be handed down through the generations. Now a company on the Isle of Barra is bringing this Hebridean tradition back to life and using these unique historical patterns and creating a business for the 21st century.

Four Scottish students created worldwide headlines and certainly a media storm on Christmas Day in 1950 when they broke into London’s Westminster Abbey and reclaimed
the Stone of Scone, also known as the Stone of Destiny, from beneath the British Throne. The Stone of Destiny had been used in the coronations of the Scottish kings until the end
of the 13th century. One of the key figures from that historic day, Ian Hamilton, has been a long-time supporter of the Scottish Banner and we are lucky enough to call him a previous contributor to our pages.

One of Scotland’s worst tragedies was the Glen Cinema tragedy, which took place on 31 December 1929 in Paisley. Sadly, a smoking film canister caused a panic during a packed matinee screening of a children’s film where more than 600 kids were present. Tragically
the exit doors were blocked causing a crush where 71 children died, and more than 30 were injured.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

Across the world this Hogmanay people will again sing Robert Burns’ most famous poem Auld Lang Syne. The 1788 Scots poem is one of the poet’s greatest legacies and has helped millions of people start their new year with those famous lines of ‘Should auld acquaintance be forgot…’ The phrase ‘auld lang syne’ literally translates to ‘old long since’ or ‘days gone by’ and has been recorded in Scottish song dating as far back as the 1500s.

During World War 1 Auld Lang Syne also united enemies as troops on the frontlines during
Christmas would hold a ceasefire and sing songs with each other, including the Burns standard.

As we wave goodbye to another year, and very much look to start a new one with hope and reconnection, Auld Lang Syne this year feels more relevant than ever as it calls us to remember past great times and reminds us to keep old friendships in mind. Soon we
will be able to reunite with our family, friends and the wider Scottish community at events across the world.

So, no matter where you find yourself this Hogmanay, I hope you find time for some reflection, nostalgia and hope-just as Mr Burns would have wanted.

All of us involved with the Scottish Banner wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas
and Hogmanay and may 2021 be one of health and happiness.

And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Will you be getting back to Scotland or a Scottish event when things are safe? Do you have you any comments from the content in this month’s edition? Share your story with us by email, post, social media or at: www.scottishbanner.com/contact-us

#ScottishBanner, #TheBanner

Covid-19 is having a major impact on many of our regular advertisers, with events being cancelled and businesses suffering. The Scottish Banner is more reliant than ever on our readers helping us to provide you with our unique content by buying a copy of our publication, regardless if by print or digital subscription or at a retail outlet.
We appreciate your support and hope you enjoy this edition.