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The Scottish Studies "Oor Club" is held each month at noon at the Duke of York pub in Toronto (steps from the St. George subway station). Guest speakers give presentations on a variety of topics of interest to members of the Scottish Studies Foundation and others interested in the things that Scots in Canada and overseas are getting up to. The presentations usually lasts about an hour (pronounced "oor" in Scots), hence the name. Everyone is invited to attend as the meetings are open to all.

The idea came from Scottish folk singer and artist Enoch Kent who now resides in the Toronto area. The original Oor Club was one where people met in two old tenement houses next door to one another in Duke Street in Glasgow back in the 1700s. The wall between the two tenements was knocked down with one house forming the speakers' room and the other the bar. Notable speakers were invited to speak on a topic on which they had expertise, with a set time limit of no more than one hour. Legend has it that Robert Burns paid a visit to the original club.

The cost to attend Oor Club is $5 which is donated to the Scottish Studies Foundation. Wide selections of pub lunches are available, typically costing between $5 and $15.


John McDermott

The next meeting of “Oor Club” will be on Friday, April 3, 2015 at 12 noon at the “Duke of York” pub on Prince Arthur Avenue, steps from the St.George Subway and we are delighted to have John McDermott as our guest speaker.

John was born in Scotland, the ninth of 12 children from a traditional Glasgow Irish family who emigrated from Scotland to Canada in the 1960s. John's musical roots are equal parts Scottish and Irish. He was discovered quite by chance when, as a circulation sales representative for the Toronto Sun, he gave an impromptu rendition of "Danny Boy" at a company party. That catapulted him into a musical career in which he has recorded more than 25 albums, three of which have gone platinum while another has reached double platinum status and yet another achieved a triple platinum ranking.

John's success has provided him with the ability to express his commitment to veterans' causes, which have always occupied a central place in his life. A current project close to John's heart is his drive to raise $3.6 million to enhance and expand the Palliative Care unit at Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital.

We are delighted to have John as our guest speaker at our April meeting of the “Oor Club.” He was our Scot of the Year in 2004 and we look forward to hearing more about his career and his support of many worthy causes.

For more information please contact Pearl Grieve-Nixon, 416-926-7233 or Mary Vigrow, 416-485-4853 (email: mvigrow@rogers.com).

The Duke of York is located at 39 Prince Arthur Avenue, just steps from the
St. George subway station (Bedford Road exit) in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Map showing the location of the "Duke of York"