Royal Scots O'Mocha - Memoirs 2008...

                                                                          2008 A Year in Review

As usual, we started our engagements by playing for Kilwining Lodge's Scottish Appreciation night on January
18th, we have been playing this event as long as I have been a member of the band and it is a great way to
start the New Year, once again thanks to Kilwining Lodge for the invitation.

On February 7th, we played at the Mocha Shrine Club Burn's Night another night, enjoyed by the band.

This year 2008, The Royal Scots have the honour of having one of their own, Ill. Sir Gail MacKay being Potentate of Mocha and on May 3rd, we played at the Potentates Ball at the Hilton Hotel in London, this evening turned out to be a great success for the band, so much so that we have been asked to do something similar next year for the Daughters of the Nile.

May 31st, was the scheduled date for the spring ceremonial to be held in Ingersoll, unfortunately the parade had to be cancelled due to rain, thunder storms and lightning, we hope another date can be set up to have the parade.

June 8th, was the date this year for the annual Kilwining Lodge sunrise breakfast, once again, it was a most enjoyable morning and the band certainly look forward to this annual event.

Saturday, June 14th, saw the band playing the Poplar Hill parade, it has been a few years since we marched the streets of Poplar Hill and it felt good to be back there.

From June 28th, to July 1st, several members of the band attended the Imperial Session in St. Louis, while there we had the opportunity to compete in individual and band competition. I am pleased to say that once again we done very well with wining eight medals for individual competitions and winning the title of Champions Supreme in the band competitions.

On Sunday July 13th, Mocha had an open day to celebrate our 100th, anniversary along with the other units, the Royal Scots put on a short performance in the park, it seemed to be very well received by the enthusiastic crowd.

Another parade that seems to have turned into an annual event for the band is playing at the Wheatley Fish Festival, this year we played there on August 2nd, once more thank you for the invitation.

August 8th, saw us play the first of our two annual engagements in Bothwell, this is always a pleasant parade to play, as for the other well it is in December.

Well finally, our patient Potentate got his Spring Ceremonial, the date, August 23rd, better late than never. It was great weather that day, the parade went well, and during the parade, we had the opportunity to play for a former unit director of the Royal Scots and Pipe Major of the Ingersoll Pipe band, Pipe Major Bob Collins.

After the parade on the 23rd, I went straight on a 10 day bicycle trip so I was unable to attend this years annual B.B.Q. but I was told that once again everyone had a great time, thanks Donnie.

The weather had changed by September and on September 13th we played a wet and soggy Rodney Fair, once again this is one of our annual events and once again we would like to thank our sponsor for this event.

On the weekend of September 18th to 20th we attended the Great Lakes Shrine Association in Mason Ohio. As well as the main parade on Saturday morning, there were solo and band competitions on Friday afternoon and once again, we were successful in the individual medals. and we came third in the band competitions.

It's not very often this happens, but we had a very pleasant surprise at the West Lorne parade on November 28th. Not only was there no snow around but the temperature was above the freezing mark, this makes it almost tropical, once again thanks to Jimmy Carmichael for his pre - parade hospitality.

What a difference a week can make, but on Friday, December 5th, we played the Bothwell Santa Clause parade. It was a bitter cold night, just the right kind of night to make a parade debut, I would like to thank our latest member of the Royal Scots who came out on parade that night, Drummer Rick McLeod, welcome Rick. After the parade, we were invited back to John and Brenda's house for some social time and refreshments. John done a fine job with his home made Haggis, I am not just saying this to get an invite back again next year but it was really good, on behalf of the band I would like to thank John and Brenda for their hospitality.

We had our Christmas banquet on Saturday, December 13th, we had a tremendous turn out for the banquet, the meal was great and as usual the company was the best. After the meal Jimmy Carmichael usually plays a few tunes on the piano but this year Jimmy was unable to attend the banquet, I would like to thank Fidel for stepping up and tinkling the ivory's this year, along with John McIntyre on fiddle they both done a great job.

To end the year the band was invited to the Potentate's dinner on Sunday, December 14th, Ken Webster, Stew Watt, George Gibson and myself Piped the Potentate and Lady Marline into the hall, thanks for a wonderful dinner Gail, you done a fantastic job for Mocha as Potentate in 2008. I know that you will miss the constant travelling but sit back, relax, have a cigar, rye and coke and try to take it easy over the next few months you both deserve it.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone once again for your support over the last year, we are looking forward to a busy 2009 with a new competition set to learn, parades to look forward to, G.L.S.A. in September and to start the year off, playing for Kilwining Lodge "Scottish Appreciation Night," on Friday, January 16th, 2009.

From my family and myself I would like to wish each of you a Happy and Prosperous 2009.

Charlie Thomson
Unit Director
Royal Scots O'Mocha

       Illustrious Sir Gail Mackay
           Mocha Potentate 2008