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.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Christmas Party and Carol Singalong
Please join us at noon on Friday, December 11 when Stuart Bennett will be our Master of Ceremonies at this year's Annual Christmas Party and Carol Singalong.
Born in Scotland, Stewart came to Canada when he was 9 years old. The love of his homeland is deep in his blood. He grew up in Winnipeg and moved to Ontario in 1979, but he’s Scottish through and through. His four daughters are highland dancers, which meant attending Highland Games across Canada and the United States. He was on the committee to create the Highland Games in Uxbridge and was active in that role for 13 years. Stewart is a dancer himself withthe Highlands of Durham Scottish Country Dancers in Port Perry. And along with three other singers, Stewart shares the music of Scotland in a group called Claidhmor, performing throughout Ontario. For some great Scottish music, check out their CDs.
Stewart opened The Wee Tartan Shop in Port Perry in 1999 and it’s truly his passion. He’s certainly brought a little bit of Scotland, in fact of the British Isles to Port Perry. In 2009, he added a second shop in Bobcaygeon Ontario. His mission is simply “When only the best of the British Isles will do.” There’s no question it’s been a formula for success -- a passionate, strong-willed, talented Scot running a shop that deals with all things British. You feel like you’re in Scotland.
Stewart regularly goes to Britain to visit vendors and choose just the right items for the shop. He also leads tours to Scotland. He’s a master tour director -- his love of his homeland is evident in how he describes the country, shares the history of the Scottish people and with what he shows you while in Scotland. Yes, there’s a distillery or two on the list. No surprise there, eh? He knows the country, the castles, and the small towns to visit. He knows where to take his guests to have the most memorable vacations they’ll ever have.
When it comes to British traditions, Stewart and his staff help brides and grooms from enagagement to wedding day. Rings, gifts for the bridal party and the bride and groom, and kilt rental for your entire bridal party -- no matter their size -- Stewart and his staff, can, and do make it happen.Pipers, Scottish food, Scottish décor;just ask Stewart or his staff; they know weddings.
The shop carries products from Wales, Ireland and England. It’s where you go to get your Coronation Street or Guinness fix. From fine jewellery to Heinz beans, Flake bars, Shortbread, to Roast Chicken potato crisps you can find just about any British food you’re looking for at The Wee Tartan Shop. And don’t forget clan items. You can even look up your surname and find out what clan you belong to and the tartan for that clan.
Fáilte means welcome and that’s exactly how you’ll feel when you visit the shop. The staff is warm, welcoming, and knowledgeable. And whether you want to shop online or come into the shop, you’ll have access to the best that the British Isles offers in beautiful downtown Port Perry.
The Oor Club gathering begins at about 11.30am and usually ends by 2pm. Cost of admission is $5.00 so come along, enjoy a pub lunch and mix and mingle with friendly people. Everyone is welcome and you do not have to be Scottish to attend.
For more information you can telephone Pearl Grieve-Nixon at 416-926-7233. or you can email the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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"