William Wallace Day 2012




WILLIAM WALLACE DAY 2012

Where do you start? What a day, what an evening, sometimes you're lucky enough to be involved in events that just surpass your expectations, this was one of them.

Despite weather reports to the contrary the sun came out for the duration of our Wallace Day march but couldn't hold off during our speeches, the rain even blew our P. A. System.
We decided to retire to Elderslie Village Hall where after a little juggle and a bit of good old fashioned jiggery pokery we soon got back on track!!

Once again there was a healthy crowd which marched from Johnstone Town Centre to the Wallace Monument in Elderslie. Young and old alike joined forces to remember Wallace as we marched behind the awesome Tulliallan Pipe Band!! Nothing quite stirs the blood like marching behind the pipes and drums on a beautiful August day.

Special thanks to the Police Officers who joined our march and organised the route in a friendly and efficient manner, thanks guys.

The monument site was decked out superbly once again by our very own Archie Millar, Archie also laid the Society wreath this year, along with Tracey from Wallace USA, both did a wonderful job, thanks guys.

The assembled crowd gathered to hear our speakers for the day. Our Master of Ceremonies was Society Convenor Duncan Fenton who introduced us to Michael Donnely, Charley McAuley Robertson, Gordon Aitken, Kate Smith & Neil Lochiel and Society Treasurer George Boyle.
We barely got proceedings started before we retired to the village hall to continue.

Every single speaker did a fantastic job, I truly mean that, wonderfully inspiring words from some special people, thank you guys.

First things first though, the wreath laying which this year was performed by a lovely American lass, Tracey McCracken Palmer who laid it on behalf of Wallace USA, our very own Archie Millar laid ours this year a thoroughly professional job they both did as well.

Duncan said a final few words and left everyone to chat and hug and spend some quality time for catching up the Village Hall which this year for the first time featured not one, not two but three of the finest musical acts you'll ever see for a tenner. Fiery Jack, Albannach and Skiltron, those who were there will never forget it, for those of you who weren't, there's always next year.

Special mention for George who was presented with this years David R Ross Memorial Quaich from Andy Middleton, George was the recipient due to all his tireless work and effort behind the scenes with the Website and our sensational new tartan. Well done George and thanks from all the Society for your efforts.

There was a special Centenary award which was presented to Duncan Fenton for steering our ship so valiantly these last few years, well done Duncan from us all and thank you.

To the boys on the door and our dedicated bar staff, a huge big thank you, you know we couldn't do it without you.

To Lily and her helpers for running the tea room for us in the afternoon, guys it's so appreciated you'll never know just how much.

The Society would also like to thank everyone who came along for making it one of the most memorable and enjoyable Wallace Day for years. To everyone who marched, donated, spoke, sang, danced or bought a t-shirt we thank you and hope to see you all again next year.

Proud William
The Society Banners, Braw
The magnificent Tulliallan Pipes & Drums
Duncan leading the march
Tartan looks braw lads
Looking good guys
Just before the rain
Drookit
Duncan addressing the crowd as the heavens open
Archie & Tracey lay the wreaths on behalf of the Society
The wreaths
The Society get presented with a wonderful photograph from 100 years ago
Donnie, George & George launch Fiery Jack CD "Good Old Rebel"
Charley with an awesome poem
George doing what he does best....smile
Gordon with a rather wonderful take on Wallace's thoughts before he was murdered

Michael Donnelly gave a fantastic speech which went down a storm

Kate & Neil give us a dramatised version of Konstantine's speech, crowd loved it
A very special cake
Presenting Christine with the Tartan Authorities Certificate
Baby Scotia's naming ceremony, you could have heard a pin drop
Petra gives out Gold Medals to Lachlan & Amber's support team on WFW
George accepts this years David R Ross award from last years recipient Andy
Congratulations George from all of us
Duncan is awarded with a special centenary quaich for our 100th year
Beautiful piece of work, congrats to Duncan
Skiltron are in the house
Skiltron definitely woke us all up, what a performance
Albannch do what only the Mighty Nach can
Jamesie giving it large
The wonderful Fiery Jack
Petra & her Father with the Nach & Duncan
Ziggie & Tracie who donated this wonderful painting that she did especially for us
Wonderful photo which captured the mood of the day
Less said about this one the better
 

For higher resolution copies and lots more of these photos CLICK HERE

CHARLIE McAULAY ROBERTSON'S SPEECH

My name is Andrew de Moray, it’s a privilege to be here with you paying our respects to my friend, a patriot, through and through

Some call him Braveheart, aye and that is somewhat true,

But to all gathered here today, Its Sir William, and Sir, this day’s for you.

Aye William I’m back here , in the land where we were born ,

Where Mother Natures beauty, all year round she does adorn,

The place we called home, so dear to you and me,
Where many fought and died for us, so that Alba would be free.

Aye….. Alba, our Alba.

You were born here in Elderslie, close to this beautiful Yew
And led a quite and peaceful life until that passion and anger grew
With our country being overrun, the English taking over our land
You rallied our people behind you, it was time to make a stand.

For Alba….. Our Alba.

Battles were won ..some not, our losses they were steep
with our squabbling nobles changing sides, some were bought off cheap
But your fight went on, as the blood it got stronger
You knew the price would be high and freedom wouldn’t be much longer.

For Alba….. Our Alba.
I raised my army in the north of brave highland men,
from every town and village, mountain, hill and glen.
Joined forces with you William, at the Abbey Craig ridge
And together we defeated the English, at the Battle of Stirling bridge.

Aye ….For Alba, our Alba

You were my greatest friend, we fought side by side
The blood running through our veins, filled our hearts with so much pride
With a Targe on our arm………. and a sword in our hand
We drove our foe from this soil,……… our native Motherland.

Aye …….Alba, our Alba.

As you know William, in battle I was injured that day,
died later, then on to Tir na Nog, where both of us now stay.
You were made Alba’s guardian, you were made a Knight,
And I watched down upon you, as you kept up our countries fight.

Aye ……….Alba our Alba.

But my friend Sir William, you were then betrayed
By a cowardly Menteith, after payments they were made.
Captured, beaten and in chains you were tied,
taken down to London, and so unfairly tried.
By the court of a King, not of our own
accused of being a traitor, not loyal to his ! throne.

But to Alba,……. our Alba.

Found guilty of treason, sentenced to a slow and painful death,
hung drawn and quartered, agonising till the last breath,
But If you swore allegiance to Longshanks, your death it would be fast,
Mercy would be given and the pain, it wouldn’t last.

William my friend, you still would not submit,
plead forgiveness for crimes, that you did not commit.
You stood your ground with honour and accepted your fate
from the hands of that tyrannical,.. barbaric,…. murderous English state.

Horses dragged you though the city, the cry was “traitor” from the crowd
But you got back to your feet and walked so tall and proud.
With thoughts of your loved ones running through your mind
And this beautiful country o ours, that you had left behind

Aye……. Alba,……….. our Alba.

You were mocked ,kicked, punched and folk spat in your face,
As you fell back to the ground and dragged to that evil place.
Where they put you upon the rack, your arms and legs were stretched
Then strung up by the throat, till your whole body wretched.

They tortured you my friend, they inflicted so much pain
They shouted “Wallace plead for mercy” and once again ,you did refrain.
And as they cut you open and your life’s blood it did pour,
They thought you’d then cry for mercy, you couldn’t take much more.

For Alba,……………. our Alba.

You just lay there William, as your life slowly drifted away,
As the crowd saw how brave you were and for mercy they ! now did pray.
Aye my good friend William Wallace, to the end, so loyal and brave
You never gave up on Alba’s fight , not to become an English slave.

Oh William, my Heart was breaking and with tears my eyes did swell
As you closed your eyes for the last time, as the executioners axe fell.
No more pain or suffering, your spirit it took flight
And looked down to see the things they did, with your body that night.
Your legs taken tae Perth and Berwick upon tweed
Arms to Stirlin and Newcastle….. and on London brig…. yer heid

They thought that would be the end of it, but they didn’t get that right
the Bruce rallied our country again and took on the English might.
Sent their army homeward and once more freedom it was gained
Until the act of union….. and since then…. we’ve been enchained.

But fear not William that will soon be in the past
in 2014 when the peoples vote is cast.
The Rampant lion will rise once more and the Saltire it will fly
it wont have been in vain Sir William that for our country… you did die.

Alba… Our Alba

Aye a ken your spirits with us , here on Elderslie’s hallowed ground
And I will see ye back in Tir na nog wae Davy Ross, aye its his round.
And we will drink a toast together ,to all those heroes that are gone
to an Independent Nation …… aye…. Alba’s Rampant dawn.

Aye William… Tae Alba, !! ………. Soar Alba !!…………..…OUR ALBA !!
 
 
GEORGE BOYLE'S SPEECH
Fellow members of the Society of William Wallace, Patriots of Scotland, family, friends and invited guests, may I personally wish you all a warm and sincere welcome to Elderslie, and despite what our Ayrshire neighbours and friends may claim, the rightful and true birthplace of Sir William Wallace.

I’d also like to thank the Society for inviting me to say a few words here today.

With it being our centenary year, it’s an absolute honour and privilege and a memory I shall hold very dear. In 1912 the monument you see behind you was unveiled to an excited public.

Right where we are standing today, there were grandstands to the left and to the right and all the pomp and ceremony you could ever ask for.

A hundred years on and it’s maybe slightly less grandiose but none the less, the sentiment and statement that you folk are making here today is exactly the same as it was on that day in 1912.
A hundred years............it doesn’t seem that long............. but when you think of some of the events that have taken place in those hundred years............you get a feel of just how long this monument has stood proudly on this spot!!

1912 was the same year that the Titanic sank with the loss of over 1500 lives.

1914 witnessed the outbreak of the First World War, we had the Second World War, the holocaust, the Vietnam War, the Kennedy assassinations, Martin Luther  Kings assassination, man walking on the moon.................................we even witnessed St Mirren winning the Scottish Cup.

Who’s to say what will happen in the next hundred years, World peace, man on Mars, Scotland governing her own affairs.................................Rangers back in the Premier league?

Hopefully this monument will still be a focal point for all of those that feel the same way as we do about William Wallace.

Time seems to wash over monuments like these, unfortunately time doesn’t wash over us, it withers us.

But the next generation will hopefully step up and commemorate Wallace just as we are doing today and as we have done for the last one hundred years.

Wallace has long been one of Scotland’s favourite sons.............for centuries now his very name has been a symbol for freedom the world over.............a man who............unlike modern leaders faced his enemies personally.

Not for Wallace the luxury of sending young men and women, with incredible weapons of mass destruction, thousands of miles away to fight a remote enemy.

No, Wallace was a warrior who stood his ground, fought hand to hand, giving no quarter and asking for none in return.

Wallace risked his own life.............not just the lives of his army.

I sometimes wonder if today’s world leaders had to do the same; we’d probably have a lot less conflict in the world.

William Wallace though had no personal ambition and sought altruistically to free his country from the domination of an English King.

Simply put he was a man of the people who came to represent personal freedom as well as Scottish Independence.

People from all over the world come to Scotland in search of Wallace as a national hero.............but they generally find that the Wallace they find is a much more complex and ambiguous character than the well known legendary freedom fighter with his deeds of daring do. Of course Wallace was a man of his time, a brutal man some say, in a brutal time but his absolute insistence that no man or group should be able to dominate any other against their wishes makes him for me not just a Scottish hero but a universal one.

The freedom that William and others fought so hard to protect and which ultimately cost them their lives was given away by a Parcel of Rogues in 1707 by members of the Parliament of Scotland who signed the Act of Union with England. A parcel of rogues indeed!

I’m very fortunate that all my interests and time are mostly taken up with Scottish related events.
If I’m not doing something with the Society I’ll be out taking photographs and exploring Scotland’s historic landmarks and writing down my wee adventures for our website.

It’s my passion...........my hobby......... it’s my labour of love.............I’m also very fortunate to have an understanding wife who shares the same interests as me, and for that I’m eternally thankful..................it makes life a lot easier.

One of my favourite things to do if at all possible is to actually visit our Scottish hero’s final resting places if indeed they have one.

The first one I ever visited was Robert the Bruce’s tomb at Dunfermline Abbey........... I was taking part in a wee film about the Bruce for local schools and during a break I nipped over to see the Bruce.

I had all the gear on, targe, sword the lot.

The lassie on duty that day just looked at me and said, I take it you’re here to see Robert, aye says I...........and she took me over to his magnificent tomb where she moved everything out of the way so that i could get some nice photos which I greatly appreciated.

She then left me alone with my thoughts as I paid my respects.

While I was there I noticed a kind of high pitched buzzing sound.................a wee bit like the feeling you get after you’ve been to a very loud concert....................I asked the guide if she could hear it, she said she couldn’t hear a thing...........I dismissed it and carried on with my day.

The next graveside I visited was Sir James Douglas’s mausoleum and nine times out of ten you’ll have the place to yourself.

I laid a thistle on his effigy and I spoke to him, my mind wandering............thinking of how close I was to a legend of Scotland.

Strange thing was though I heard that buzzing sound again, there were no lights so I checked my camera, nope, I asked my wife if she could hear it, again the answer was no.

The next time I heard that sound was while visiting Cambuskenneth Abbey where part of Wallace’s body is said to be buried.

I paid my respects at the site and laid a white rose..............again I let my mind wander and hoped that William knew that he is very much in our hearts and minds when that noise started again.

Now that was more than a coincidence.........three graves, the same noise, I tried to figure it out rationally what could it be.

Friends suggested something psychic, maybe I was picking up on something?

After much thought I came up with my own theory...................the noise that I was hearing was the noise that a body actually makes when it’s turning in it’s grave at great speed.  

In 2014 Scotland gets the chance to decide on our future, we didn’t get that chance in 1707.
We’ll be able to walk out of our homes that day safe in the knowledge that we’ll return to the bosom of our loved ones while we decide what’s best for Scotland.

Wallace, DeMoray, the Bruce, the Douglas, John de Graeme, these men didn’t have that luxury.
When they went out to fight for Scotland’s freedom, they hoped and prayed to God above to help them return home.

What these warriors of Scotland did with a sword, we get to do with the stroke of a pen.
Is the pen mightier than the sword? On this occasion it may very well be.

When you walk into the polling station in 2014, don’t look on it as making a political choice.

Look on it as making amends, putting things in order..................look on it as doing the right thing and let’s lay these proud heroes of Scotland........finally to rest and stop them spinning for all eternity.

Ladies and Gentlemen I’ve been George Boyle, you guys have been fantastic, thanks for listening,

Saor Alba!!

 
 
GORDON AITKEN'S SPEECH
It is always an honour,and a privilege to be asked to speak on Wallace Day. To be asked to speak on the centenary year is just mind blowing.

How many people have stood here in this special place over the last hundred years?

How many renowned figures of Scottish politics and learned historians have waxed lyrical about Wallace on this spot?

And on this year of all years, you ask me?

I only hope I can give you a worthy speech.

William Wallace in today’s world is many things to many people, but to all of those people he is one thing.

An inspiration!
He has been an inspiration over the last seven centuries to people of all nations who believe in the concept of freedom. Freedom from oppression and tyranny of one sort or another.

In 19th century Scotland when coal miners and their families were tied to the owners of the pits where they worked, the men were made to wear metal collars stamped with the name and number of their mine. After many years of struggle, miners in the Falkirk area managed to break away from the owners, and formed a lodge in 1863. The lodge took the name of Scotland’s greatest hero as a symbol of it’s freedom, and I am proud to be a brother of the Sir William Wallace Grand Lodge of Free Colliers. It was the first lodge of many throughout Scotland, and today it is the last in existance, still demonstrating its freedom by marching around Falkirk’s Braes villages on the first Saturday in August each year. Next year sees it’s 150th anniversary.

Just over seven centuries ago, the name of William Wallace entered the pages of Scottish history. Well not so much entered, as gatecrashed, when the English Sheriff of Lanark felt the wrath of a young man hell-bent on vengeance for the judicious murder of his wife, a young man who was to terrorise Heselrig’s fellow countrymen for years to come, and to be followed in this by a young James Douglas a decade later, in all possibility inspired by the Wallace’s deeds. Can you imagine the carnage those two would have caused fighting side by side? Had the Douglas only been ten years older the putrid stench of Longshanks and his ilk may have been removed from our nation a lot sooner, and pemanantly. If only. But Wallace was destined to become a martyr, dragged through the streets of London in front of a baying crowd, covered in his own blood and filth, and barbarously murdered to satisfy the bloodlust of a megalomaniac king who within two years would die choking on his own blood and vomit.

Poetic justice or what?

There must have been one hell of a party in Tir nan Og.

Who was Wallace’s inspiration? I tend to think that one thing the film Braveheart got right was that Wallace was inspired by the spirit of his beloved Marian Braidfute. Wallace was a hero, a warrior, and a martyr, but first and foremost he was a flesh and blood human being, filled with despair and grief both for his country, and his dead wife. He must have sat alone in quiet moments and spoken to her, hoping to find that inspiration, especially in the later years of his too short life, when he was once again waging guerilla warfare.

Have you ever been to Roslin? The real Roslin I mean, not the tourist-haunted chapel full of misguided people looking for templar secrets. I speak of Roslin castle, and the haunting Roslin glen.

It has been said that Wallace was offered command of the Scots army that defeated three seperate English armies there within a period of 48 hours in February 1303. Wallace declined the offer, but accepted command of the right wing. Overall commander was none other than Sir John (the red) Comyn who fled the field at Falkirk. In Roslin glen there is a cave where Wallace was said to have sat alone with his thoughts. What were those thoughts? I have sat just below that cave thinking of Wallace, and when I got home that night I wrote down what ,in my mind, Wallace may have been thinking.

“ I am so weary, and all but broken. They have asked me to command their army, but how can I trust them? They, who cost the lives of so many at Falkirk fight. They tell me I am a hero, a saviour, yet they deserted me in my hour of need. I do not know how much longer I can carry on. They have no knowledge of my grief, my pain, my longing to have the arms of my beautiful Marion holding me in her warm embrace. Speak to me Murren, tell me what I must do, for you, and only you are my inspiration. Let me hear your voice as I have heard it so many times before, whispering to me on the gentle breeze. Aye lass, I know I must carry on the fight, but I can no longer bear the pain of being responsible for the deaths of so many of my comrades in arms. Let those who were born to it command if they will, for I wish only to fight as a common man. I care not if I live or die, maybe it would be better if I were dead, for if my death inspires just one man to carry on the fight then it will be justified, for I have done my best for this nation, but my best has not been good enough. It will take a better man than I to prise this land from the grip of that damned Longshanks. I would even welcome death to be reunited with you once more my darling Murron. To see your flashing smile, and feel the warmth of your flesh against mine, to look into the depths of your eyes and tell you how much I love you, You who sacrificed yourself so that I might escape. There has not been a single day since then that I do not think of you, the life we could have shared together, a life taken in it’s prime by a bastard of an English sheriff, and, aye lass, you are right, I must take up my sword once again and continue my campaign to drive the invaders from our land once and for all.

FOR I AM WALLACE! AND I WILL DO......OR DIE.”

Finally, what has been my inspiration? Three things inspire me in my life. The first, is my partner Karen, who encourages me in all I do, but never fails to keep my feet firmly on the ground. The second, is Davy Ross, who re-kindled my interest in Scottish history, and gave us all an unforgettable day, and night in London, in 2005. The third is of course, Sir William Wallace, for without Wallace there would be no Scotland. Our culture, and heritage would have been dead and buried centuries ago had it not been for the man who refused to bend the knee to tyrrany, and I’m sure that when the people of Scotland answer the independance question two years from now, they will right the wrongs of the Scottish nobility of 1707 when the people had no voice, and give our nation back what Wallace and so many others bled, and died for.

INDEPENDANCE!!  ALBA GU BRATH.
 
 
A WEE FINAL WORD FROM GARY OUR VICE CONVENOR
David R Ross Award and Centenary David R Ross award 2012:
Sorry for the delay in this as been busy since Wallace day, As Vice convenor of the Society I would like to say a few words as to why the 2 winners George Boyle and Duncan Fenton won these awards as there was not much time on Wallace day to say why or it would have ruined the surprise for them both

David R Ross award 2012 Winner George Boyle What can I say but alot of the work George does behind the scenes is not always seen and people turn up to Wallace day and have a good time but Geo's efforts together with the committee make the day what it is, The web site and Facebook page again people just look at it and think its brilliant and gets tons of information out regarding the Wallace story and what the Society is up too, George Boyle spends hours updating the site again the work behind the scenes is unnoticed.

This year has been tough regarding cash flow this year but Geo as our treasurer has handled the funds outstandingly which again involves time and effort.

There is also the work getting involved in the plaid which involved dropping it off to Society members before the Parliament press release and our day at the parliament on the Saturday, It was on Geo's day off but took his own time to do this and this also included picking up the plaid from Bute together with Chris

All in all a truly well deserved winner this year and a big pat on the back Geo from myself, well done pal

Centenary David R Ross award 2012 Winner Duncan Fenton:
I know when Davie was alive he always spoke off the amount of work that Duncan put in when he was the Vice convenor which a bit like Geo went unnoticed as alot of it was behind the scenes stuff.

When Davie sadly passed away the Society that Davie had worked so hard to achieve what it had could have gone a few different ways, but Duncan took the bull by the horns and stepped up to the plate and steered the Society to one of its most successful years in the thingss we have achieved this year.

The late night phone calls from me regarding the letter must have done his head in and took on the role of Davie with you canny do that Gary LOL.

Both George and Duncan have been involved in us trying to get the cairn built to the Bell O the Brae and hopefully will have some positive news regarding this very soon

All the commemorations we do is run by Duncan and he also does alot off other work outside the Society helping other Scottish Societies out.

For one I am proud to call him Boss and again the same as Geo a Truly well deserved winner, Well done Pal.

Davie left behind a good team behind and hope he is looking down with a big smile on his face with what the Society has achieved and also the plans we have for next year is going to be another roller coaster for us.

Again a big Well done to you both and if you enjoy the awards half as much as me then the day on Saturday will live with you both for the rest of your lives

PS to Andy Middleton for sorting out the awards and William Ballantyne for his idea regarding, this your work has not gone unnoticed.

Yours Aye
Gary Stewart
Vice convenor of the Society of William Wallace.
 


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The Society of William Wallace is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation Registration number SC045959