Around twenty exchange students from St Petersburg spent a couple of weeks studying at Reid Kerr College, Paisley and as a finale to the visit a dinner was held to mark the occasion. I was delighted to be invited as a guest of honour and enjoyed a magical evening as these students performed a multi-cultural ceilidh of Russian and Scottish music, poetry and dance.
The highlight was a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne led by ten of the students who knew all the verses off by heart. Yet again I saw at first hand the love of Burns' poetry and song which seems to be so inherent in Russian youngsters. All the exchange students had thoroughly enjoyed their time in Scotland and returned home with certificates and other mementoes of a highy successful cultural and educational visit.
Fortunately, my next function was to be the Secondary School's Festival at Coatbridge High School where I could witness the incredible talent of our own pupils who are proudly carrying on the tradition of their forebears with such distinction. The photograph shows the overall winner, and Young Burnsian of the Year, piper Callum Moffat from Lockerbie Academy with his haul of trophies. Alongside Callum is Mr David Scott, Group Director of Gladedale group of companies which very generously sponsors the school's competitions, including the choral competition. Others in the photograph from the left are; Jim Shields JVP, Isa Hanley School's Convenor, Sam Judge RBWF Chief Executive and David Baird, SVP.