25th anniversary of the Moscow Caledonian Club
In June 1997 our Club staged the first Scottish Games ever held in Russia or the former USSR (we chose not to call them "Highland" officially, so as not to slight the Lowlanders!). This event took place at the Znamensky Brothers Stadium in Moscow, bringing together dozens of musicians, athletes and dancers from Scotland (especially Nairn and Dufftown) and Russia. At the opening ceremony the Flower of Scotland was sung by none other than Ronnie Browne. In later years the Games came back to Moscow several times, with growing success.
On 20 August 1997 our Club presented to the City of Aberdeen and Scotland at large a memorial tablet in honour of General Patrick Gordon of Auchleuchries (1635-1699), principal advisor to Tsar Peter the Great. Since Gordon had been the founder of Russia's first permanent Roman Catholic church, the tablet was installed in Aberdeen's Cathedral of St. Mary, with support and blessing of Most Reverend Mario Conti, Roman Catholic Bishop of Aberdeen.
MСC members proposed and, in August 1998, pulled off the first-ever Russian participation in the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, founded in 1949. The Central Band of the Russian Navy stole the show. That year's event, by general consent, was one of the best ever - almost all bits of the programme, including the Russian part, were included in Tattoo's greatest hits, and the photo of that very finale appears on the cover of the official history of the Tattoo!
On 12 August 1998 MCC presented to Scotland a memorial tablet in honour of Admiral Samuel Greig (1735-1788), hero of the battle of Chesme and Commander of Russia's Baltic Fleet. The tablet was installed on the house where he lived in the heart of Inverkeithing, with support from the Fife Council and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. It was most appropriate that the Central Band of the Russian Navy performed at this ceremony.
Emperor Nicholas II of Russia was Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Scots Greys, one of the proudest regiments of the British Army, raised in 1681 by General Thomas Dalyell of The Binns, who had served the Russian Tsar Aleksey for almost ten years. In July 1998 the remains of Nicholas and his family were interred in Saints Peter and Paul's Cathedral in St. Petersburg. The ceremony was attended by a deputation from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, including the Pipe-Major, who played "Going Home" as the coffins entered the cathedral. Although Nicholas was Colonel-in-Chief of several units all over Europe, only the Scottish regiment payed this tribute to his memory. It happened thanks to the proposal from MCC members, and was made possible by the contribution of our Club's honorary member, Brigadier Sir Melville Jameson.
In August 2001 MCC presented a memorial plaque in honour of General Thomas Dalyell of The Binns (1615-1685) to his descendants. Dalyell served the Russian Tsar from 1656 to 1665, and on return home raised the gallant Royal Scots Greys. The plaque can be seen in the great hall of The Binns (West Lothian), the historic castle of the Dalyells. The gift was highly appreciated by the Honorary Member of our Club, Tam Dalyell MP (1932-2017), late Dean of the House of Commons.
Moscow Caledonian Club 25th anniversary celebrations.
On 30 November 2019, on St. Andrew's Day, the Moscow Caley Club duly celebrated our Silver Jubilee. Olga Leslie presented her impressive book "The Russian Branch of Clan Leslie". MCC founders Vitaly Mironov and Dmitry Fedosov surveyed our Club's history and formidable achievements with a fully illustrated account. Our long-standing member Frank McGuire shared his memories, and was his usual brilliant self on tin whistle and bodhran. And then there was dancing, and great spiritual and culinary treats. The result was one of our jolliest and most memorable ceilidhs ever - with over 70 members and guests taking part.
Congrats to MCC from our Honorary Member, Paul Dukes FRSE, Professor Emeritus, University of Aberdeen:
This is to congratulate you on the quarter centenary of the Moscow Caledonian Club! Your achievements have been hugely impressive, and I am enormously proud of my association with at least some of them. All kinds of wonderful memories come flooding back, and I cannot easily say how much the experience of knowing you has meant to me. I wish you a joyful celebration and many more years of activity bringing Russia and Scotland together!
With deep respect and great affection,