Bergen Scottish Society


Copyright: Kenneth Rivenes

Here is an overview of the Society's events in 2007. Links to photos from some of these events can be found on the menu to the left.

• Curling
Wednesday 28th November, 2007 - Iskanten

Following the opening of Bergen’s first curling rink, the Society decided to partake in one of Scotland’s oldest sports. 26 members and friends received tuition from the helpful staff at Iskanten and then the competitive spirits came to the fore as group was divided into a number of teams and the rest of the evening was given over playing curling for real. A fun and popular evening definitely to be repeated.

• Autumn Ceilidh
Saturday 27th October, 2007 - Terminus Hall, Grand Hotel Terminus

Building on the success of the 2006 Autumn Ceilidh, the Society arranged another large ceilidh. The evening’s star performers were Edinburgh ceilidh band Hugh McDiarmid’s Haircut, led by Gary West presenter of BBC Radio Scotland’s Pipeline programme. The band’s unusual line up was fronted by Gary on bagpipes, with Marcos Watt on drums Stan Wilson on Bass and Colin Mathieson on guitar and keyboard. The dance floor was packed all night, with over 120 people attending.

Bergen Pipeband opened the evening and put on a display of piping and drumming. The pipe band was joined by special guests Colin Pryde (Pipe major at Loretto School), Brian Alexander (Senior Drum Major in the British Army), Bill Carr from Oslo and Kenneth Jones from Stavanger. After Dark quartet and friends also joined the evening’s bill of entertainment singing a selection of Scottish songs, providing a breather from the dancing. All in all it was another tremendous evening.

• Guided Historical Walk
Wednesday 12th September, 2007

Around 20 members and friends met at the Witches monument by the Bergen Aquarium for the first historical walk organised by the society. The walk was guided by Christopher Harris and was highly informative. For over an hour the walk led back along the Nordnes peninsular through areas once well populated by Scottish merchant families. The route led via Skottegaten and Skottesalen before finishing the walk for drinks at Nøsteboden. A very interesting time was had by all.

• Summer Barbeque
Saturday 9th June, 2007

Society members Matt Chamberlain and Iren Haugen and family kindly hosted the first society barbeque at their home on Lærebakken. Around 15 members and family attended and enjoyed a very well prepared event.

• Norwegian Constitution Day Parade
Thursday 17th May, 2007

Once again the Society took part in the Constitution Day parade in Bergen. This year Bergen Pipeband was pride of place at the front of the Society. Their version of Nystemten proved a winning combination, and the band did an excellent job keeping their puff going as people in the crowd shouted out for more.

• Spring Ceilidh
Saturday 21st April, 2007

The Ian Hutson Scottish Dance Band returned to Bergen to play at the Spring Ceilidh after the success of their performance at the Autumn Ceilidh. As is now traditional, Bergen Pipeband welcomed guests to the ceilidh in rousing style. A light supper was served once all the guests had arrived. The hall was soon jumping to the sound of Ian Hutson and the boys as the dishes were cleared and the dancing began. Few people remained seated for the evening as the dancing continued into the wee small hours.

• Annual General Meeting
Wednesday 21st March, 2007 - Kalfarveien

The Societies second annual general meeting was held at Kalfarveien. A review of 2006 was presented, the committee was re-elected and an election committee was established. Coffee and cakes were on hand for some after meeting socialising.

• Whisky Tasting
Wednesday 28th February, 2007 - Nøsteboden

Whisky expert Chris Maile, organiser of the Oslo Malt Whisky Festival, gave a presentation on single malt whiskies and the blending of whisky at the Society’s first whisky tasting. The theme for the night was “A Round of Bells”, and Chris used six of the key ingredients in Bells whisky to explains how the different characteristics of single malt whiskies are skilfully blended together with grain whisky to produce the desired flavour. At the end of there evening every table group was challenged to take the whisky samples on their table and to produce their own blend that was as close to Bells as possible. After much tasting and deep consideration, a winning team was chosen and all members received nosing glasses.

Musical entertainment was provided by Bergen Pipeband and by After Dark quartet, who sang three traditional songs including one in gaelic. After the whisky tasting and musical entertainment everyone retired to the bar in Nøsteboden.

• Burns Supper
Saturday 27th January, 2007 - Reksten Samlingen

The Society started off 2007 by embarking on a new venture. Having been saved in 2006 by Portobello butcher Joe Findlay’s haggis mercy mission, the Society decided to invite him back again in 2007 as guest of honour. Our friends in the Bergen branch of Norsk Malt Whisky Lag (NMWL) heard about our success in getting haggis to Bergen in 2006 and asked us to help supply their Burns Supper with haggis as well. It quickly became clear that Joe’s suitcase wouldn’t be big enough to bring in enough haggis for two Burns Suppers, so he kindly offered to make haggis in Bergen.

After a couple of phone calls, Solheim Kjøtt agreed to buy in the essential raw ingredients and to let Joe use his premises to make genuine haggis in Bergen. News quickly spread and orders flowed in from other Burns Suppers across Norway. In the end Joe produced over 100kg of haggis! The event caused some excitement in the local media and Joe became overnight Bergen’s “Haggis King”.

With the main ingredient secure, the Burns Supper itself was held at Reksten Samlingen. The snow fell deep and crisp and even before and during the event, but despite this 90 guests and speakers made their way through the snow drifts for the night. The evening was opened by Bergen Pipeband playing a rendition of Highland Cathedral and a medley of other traditional Scottish pipe tunes.

Society Chairman and Master of Ceremonies James Hosea opened the evening, and Bergen Pipeband leader Chris Jones piped in Joe and one of his Chieftain haggii. Willie Dawson gave the address to the haggis, and the Immortal Memory was delivered by Tom Hunter. After the main course Joe entertained the guests with tales of his haggis farm outside of Edinburgh.

Deputy Mayor of Hordaland Tom-Christer Nilsen toasted the lassies in fine style, and then received as good as he gave from Helenka Dinessen in her reply from the lassies! The Society was very fortunate in that Johannes Gjerdåker read a number of his eloquent translations of Burns in Nynorsk. Grendakoret followed up with a trilogy of Burns songs, and then it was time to clear away the tables and dance away the rest of the night to the sound of Ally MacKenzie on accordion and Iain “Stretch” McFadyen on drums.