Brief History

by Audrey Saunders

The WA Branch was founded in 1976, following a visit to Western Australia by Miss Milligan, co-founder of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.  Hops started immediately to encourage dancers from the social clubs to join. 

The Postie's Jig also started that same year.  Membership increased quickly.

A number of interesting events were organised including annual river trips, fund-raising fashion shows and residential weekend schools as well as dinner dances.

A 1979 highlight was dancing at the Searchlight Spectacular with the Scots Guards for WA's 150th celebration. 

1979 - visit of the Scots Guards to Perth

Another particular occasion was holding up the traffic in St George's Terrace as we marched with our new banner to St Andrew's Church with the Scottish Heritage Society.

1992 - Kirkin the Tartan, St George's Terrace, Perth

In 1980, weekly classes began and gradually increased from beginners to advanced as more teachers arrived or gained their certificates.  An enthusiastic demonstration team danced regularly at fetes, festivals, highland games etc. 

1984 - dancing at the Festival of Perth

We were fortunate to have Ian Powrie, the well-loved fiddle player, living here and he was able to play for our balls and parties. 

Iain Powrie - fiddle player

In 1986, David Gordon's band "Scottish Fare" was formed.  Regular "live music" at last!

David Gordon's band 'Scottish Fare'

In 1984 we held our first Winter School.  Others followed in rotation with the other Australian branches in 1992, 1999, 2006, 2013 and 2022.  All were very successful.

1992 Winter School publicity photo  -  Aquinas College, Perth

Over the years we've had official visits from several Society Chairmen, interstate and overseas teachers and musicians who have conducted classes, socials and examinations of our new teachers.

1994  -  Outdoor Hop

So here we are in 2016 and it's our 40th Anniversary!  What a great celebration it has been with a fun weekend school in August at the Swan Valley Adventure Centre with teachers John and Ruby Wilkinson from Scotland...

2016  -  Weekend School, Swan Valley Adventure Centre, Swan Valley

 . . . and THE Ball in September when we were very fortunate to have visiting Scottish musicians, Marian Anderson and Max Ketchin, at the Perth Town Hall.

2016  - 40th Anniversary Ball, Perth Town Hall

Here's to the next 40 years of dancing.

Audrey Saunders

Spring 2016