News & Features

Chieftains’ Chatter – February 2019

Chieftain, Alan Wallace
Dear all,

A warm, if slightly belated, welcome to 2019.

Burns Supper

Our first event of the year, the Burns Supper, took place on January 26th, and once again, those who attended were treated to a fantastic evening of entertainment. The whole evening was devoted to celebrating the life and works of our most famous bard, Rabbie Burns.

Whilst enjoying a traditional Scottish dinner including, of course, haggis, neeps and tatties, we enjoyed some wonderful poetry, music, toasts and speeches.

Students from The Alice Smith School recited a number of Burns’ poems, with great confidence, I should say, and as a token of appreciation, were presented with a memento of their evening.

Alison Beck then treated us to some beautiful singing. What an amazing voice! I’m sure we will all look forward to enjoying more of Alison’s talent at our future events.

Of course, no Scottish event would be complete without the sound of the bagpipes, and we were rewarded with a selection of traditional favourites to get the hairs standing on the back of our necks. From welcoming the guests at the start of the evening, to piping in the haggis, and culminating in a full performance towards the end of the evening, everyone was suitably impressed. Then, showing their versatility, the St. John’s Alumni pipe band surprised everyone by playing a more unusual set of “old skool” hits, made famous by the late great Freddie Mercury and Queen. I’m sure that some would have drawn comparisons to both Rabbie and Freddie, who in their own ways, and despite being a few centuries apart, were extremely talented, flamboyant, controversial and lived their short lives to the max.

Our toast to the lassies this year, was proposed by Philip Taylor, who, before doing so, provided his take on the differences and similarities between us men and our better halves. Replying on behalf of the lassies was Amanda McIver, who, as expected, picked up on a few “inaccuracies” and tried her best to paint a picture of reality. Needless to say, the take away from both of these excellent speeches was that behind every good man, there’s a great woman, shouting out instructions!

The Immortal Memory was our final speech of the evening, and it was no surprise that one of our past Chieftains, Paul Henderson, would provide us with such a detailed bio of Rabbie Burns; sometimes serious, but certainly a very entertaining tribute.

KL Highland Games

Hot on the heels of the Burns Supper, we have our 6th KL Highland Games. Please check out our Events page for details of this fantastic day out for all the family. We will be showcasing many traditional activities which take place at a typical Scottish Highland Games, and this is your only opportunity to see these in Asia. It really is a big fun day out, and this year, we will be including, for the first time, an evening concert, immediately following the daytime activities. Local bands, popular around the KL music scene, will be entertaining us.

As you can see, the Society and, in particular, the committee, are committed to delivering these high quality events. If you’re interested in supporting us by joining the committee, or by sponsoring our events, please contact me. We’d love to have you on the team.

For Society members, we rely on your support and attendance at our events, and to spread the word, and be Society Ambassadors. Despite having a healthy membership, it was noted that of those who attended the recent Burn’s Supper, 90% were non-members. I would very much appreciate feedback and ideas on how we can change this statistic, for future events.

Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing you all at the KL Highland Games on February 23rd 2019.

Yours Aye,
Alan Wallace
128th Chieftain of the Selangor St Andrew’s Society

Chieftains’ Chatter – November 2018

Chieftain, Alan Wallace

Dear all,

It’s been an active first few months since taking over as Chieftain back in July. Preparations have been finalized for our next event; the St. Andrew’s Ball, on the 1st December 2018 at the Impiana Hotel, in KLCC. This is traditionally, a formal event, where we will celebrate all that’s good about our homeland, with a sumptuous menu including, of course, haggis, complimented with whisky. We will have a guest singer, Alison Beck, to entertain us during the meal.

Of course, the theme of the evening will be based around Scotland’s patron saint. For those who were not already aware, St Andrew has been celebrated in Scotland for over a thousand years, with feasts being held in his honour as far back as the year 1000 AD. However, it wasn’t until 1320, when Scotland’s independence was declared with the signing of The Declaration of Arbroath, that he officially became Scotland’s patron saint.

After dinner, more music and dancing will follow, led by the talented “Clappy Doo’ all the way from Scotland. There are still a few tickets left for this event, so please click on the event ticket tab on this website, to reserve yours.

Lest We Forget

Last weekend my wife Carol, and I, attended the 100-year commemorative Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph in KL. Accompanied by fellow Society members, and together with many war veterans, their families and descendants, dignitaries, Ambassadors and military leaders, we witnessed a very emotional event, which culminated with the sounding of the “Last Post” and laying of wreaths. The poignant words, “Lest We Forget” are a reminder of the sacrifices made by those in both world wars and the Malayan Emergency. It was a very humbling experience, and certainly made you reflect on how the past has shaped the world in which we live in today.

After the festive break, we’re straight into the Burns Supper on the 26th January 2019, and then, earlier than usual, on 23rd February 2019, we’re once again putting on the KL Highland Games. But more on these events in my next edition of Chieftains Chatter.

Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the St Andrew’s Ball in a couple of weeks’ time, and if you’re unable to attend, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas, and best wishes for the New Year

Yours Aye,
Alan Wallace
128th Chieftain of the Selangor St Andrew’s Society


Chieftains’ Chatter – August 2018

Chieftain, Jamie Graham

Dear all,

It’s been an eventful 3 months since my last Chieftain’s Chatter when I updated you on our May Concert and 5th Kuala Lumpur Highland Games. Indeed, it was a great weekend of activities, with “Big Vern ‘n’ the Shootahs’ kicking off proceedings with their highly entertaining musical performance at the Hilton Double Tree. The Highland Games the following day, at the Kuala Lumpur Equestrian and Country Resort, once again, proved very popular, and the large crowd enjoyed a typically Scottish selection of events, with piping and traditional heavyweight competitions being the star attractions. Also present was a cavalcade of Harley Davidson motorcycles, and, in line with recent tradition, I, as Chieftain, rode in on the back of the lead bike, prior to officially opening the Games. With rugby and tug ‘o’ war tournaments, sponsors tents, the kid’s village and a wide range of food and beverage outlets taking part then there was certainly something for everyone to enjoy.

Change of Chieftains

I mentioned earlier that it’s been an eventful 3 months, and this is because I have taken up a new assignment in Papua New Guinea and will be relocating to Port Moresby. I have therefore handed over the roles and responsibilities of Chieftain of the Selangor St. Andrews Society to my Vice-Chieftain, Alan Wallace.

I appreciated the support from the rest of the committee members and very much enjoyed the social interaction which comes from being a member of the Society. As I head off to my new challenge, I would ask that you support the Society as much as possible, by continuing to support our committee, and the events they put on during the year. For those of you who are interested to know more about becoming a committee member, or would like to play a more involved role, the Society are always ready to give you a warm welcome. Your support is essential in ensuring the Selangor St Andrews Society continues to thrive. Alan, over to you……

Yours Aye,
Jamie Graham
127th Chieftain of the Selangor St Andrew’s Society

Chieftain, Alan Wallace

Hello everyone, and thanks Jamie for your words of support and encouragement. I’ve spent several years in KL, and in this time, I have been involved in the Selangor St. Andrews Society as a member, and then on the committee. I have seen the dedication, commitment and passion of past and present committees over the course of these 8 years, and more recently, how everyone has pulled together during times of economic downturn. The last few years have been particularly difficult, with a significant number of our membership transferring out of Malaysia.

For those members still in country, it’s more important than ever, as Jamie stated, that we can rely on your continued support, both in terms of attending our events and by encouraging your friends and colleagues to join us. Some would say that the economic tide has turned, and with it, a gradual increase in the number of expats coming into Malaysia. Whilst this is, of course, encouraging, we still have a long way to go before we can get back to these golden years when our events sold out in double quick time, and we had long waiting lists.

From a personal point of view, I’ve stepped up from my Vice-Chieftain’s role sooner than expected, and I’m looking forward to continuing the great work Jamie and his predecessors have put in over the years. Supporting me will be Vice-Chieftain, Kenny Ross. Within our committee, there are 3 past Chieftains, Paul Henderson, Ali King and Hector Ingram, so plenty of experience to call upon when needed.

Alice Smith School award presentation

One of my first duties was to present the Society- sponsored award for the top Humanities student at the Alice Smith School’s award ceremony. The Society are trustees of the school, and it was a privilege to attend and share in such a happy occasion for staff and students alike, as their academic year of hard work came to a close.

Our next event will be the St. Andrews Ball, on December 1st at the Impiana Hotel, when we will celebrate all that’s good about our homeland, with a 3-course dinner with wine and, of course, a dram or two. The evening will culminate with music and dancing led by the talented “Clappy Doo’ ceilidh band. Tickets are on sale now. After the festive break, we’re straight into Burns Night on the 26th January 2019, and then, earlier than normal, on 17th February 2019, the KL Highland Games. But more on these events in my next edition of Chieftains Chatter.

Yours Aye,
Alan Wallace
128th Chieftain of the Selangor St Andrew’s Society


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