The 1999 gathering was centered in Newton Stewart, and was held on May 29 and May 30, 1999.
The Gathering this year started off with lunch as usual. The venue was Sorbie Village Hall and the Pheasant Inn provided an excellent lunch. The inn is just across the road from the hall.
It had been decided that this year after lunch a General Meeting should take place to give overseas members a chance to have their say and help out with suggestions for fund-raising, etc. The group of approximately 60 then moved on to the Tower were we had a chance to “mingle” a bit, buy Clan goods and listen to piping by Professor David and David Hannah from Northern Ireland.
The weather was beautiful (as it usually is for our weekends) and everyone had to head back all too soon to BandB’s or hotels to change into their gladrags for the Saturday evening ceilidh and dinner in the Crown Hotel, Newton Stewart.
The meal that evening was probably the best yet and was followed by dancing to music from the Doon Valley Sound, a Scottish Country dance band. As is the custom at a real ceilidh, homemade entertainment played a large part in the evening. Len Hanney from Nottingham was “fear an tigh”, man of the house – or, more commonly, Master of Ceremonies – for the night and he did a wonderful job. There was singing from Russell and Janette Hannah and Major General James Hanna (Canada) gave an enthralling rendition of “The Haggis of Private McPhee” by Robert Service. We also had a hilarious joke from Canada but unfortunately it’s too long to print here and has to be heard to be appreciated. Then we had more piping from both David’s and in between times danced the night away good style.
During the course of the evening an auction took place. Dorothea Hannah donated an etching of Sorbie Tower, a pair of coachman’s buttons bearing the clan crest and a mother of pearl and silver penknife with the name P. Hannah engraved on it. We were also given by Mrs. Aspen from Lancashire a handknitted piper doll fully rigged out in uniform in the Hannay tartan, complete with blue feathers in his cap (courtesy of Mrs. Aspen’s budgie). Bidding was quite intense and I didn’t get anything I wanted! But the funds did benefit by the sum of 112 Pounds.
We awoke to fair weather again on Sunday and many of us met for morning coffee at Kirkdale House, home of Professor David and his wife Janet. A tour of the house and gardens was made available to all.
I hope this will encourage some of you who have never attended the Gathering to try and make it some time. We like to think that ours is a bit different from the rest as we all are “family” and there is no standing on ceremony.
I look forward to meeting some of you in the future.