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Scotian News

April 2015

Edition 122


Congratulations to the following Former Pupils who have reached milestone birthdays this month:-

75 Laurence Demarco

70 John Skelly; Charles Jackson;

65  Andrew Conlon; Alexander Garden; Derek Massarella; Ian Dickson;

60  Michael Hannon;Timothy Maguire;

50 John Bain; Kevin McNaughton; Roderick Dignan; Marco Palumbo;

 School News

We impart sad news of the death of the mother of Christopher, Ivon, John and Patrick Bartholomew. Conolences are offered.

New e-mail contacts:- Victor Zaccardelli;

Change of e-mail address:- Jurek Lisowski;

Facebook contacts:- Ernest DiCiacca;

Ricky Demarco gave a lecture recently on “ The road to Meikle Seggie”. It is reproduced below:-

The Road to Meikle Seggie, as a book and as an exhibition in Edinburgh’s Italian Institute, is my response to the challenge of my being an Italo--‐Scot born eighty--‐four years ago in 1930 in Edinburgh.
The title of The Luath Press publication is about a road leading to a place on the map of Scotland now defined as a farm located a few miles north--‐west of Milnathort in the county of Kinross--‐shire on the lower slopes of The Ochil Hills. However, not that long ago,
Meikle Seggie was known to the inhabitants of Kinross--‐shire as a village. Its villagers were
Mostly employed in the brewery which produced Calder Ales. The Road to Meikle Seggie
Affords an idyllic view of Ledlanet Loch at the heart of the estate of Ledlane House, built
As a Victorian hunting lodge by the Calder family. It was in this small lake that twelve--‐year
Old Jack Kennedy learned to swim when his father, Joe Kennedy, was the American Ambassador in London and a holiday guest of the Calder family.
In the early sixties, Ledlanet House was inherited by John Calder, the Canadian--‐Scottish
Publisher of Calder--‐Boyers Books. He was then married to Bettina Jonic, a Yugoslav opera singer. At that time, John Calder earned the reputation as a fearless and gifted
publisher. However, he was then as now a devoted patron of opera. It seemed inevitable
that Ledlanet House became the setting, through the
single--‐minded efforts of John Calder and his friends, of a small--‐scale Scottish version of
England’s Glyndebourne Opera Festival entitled ‘Ledlanet Nights’. It is significant
That The Demarco Gallery came into being through the world of The Edinburgh International Festival during the period when it was under the benign and inspired
Directorship of George Lascelles, Earl of Harewood, from 1961 to 1965. The five--‐year period co--‐incided with the early years of Jim Haynes’s ‘Paperback Bookshop’
And his collaborations with John Calder. This led to the Official Festival programme of 1962
Taking into account the importance of international literature through ‘The Writers’ Conference’. This attracted an impressive number of leading novelists. In 1963, the Conference focused on international playwrights.
The Traverse Theatre Club and Art Gallery was simply an enlarged version of The
Paperback Bookshop. It opened its doors on a bitterly cold January night in 1963 in the historic Lawnmarket of Edinburgh’s Old Town. In 1966, an enlarged version of the Traverse
World came into being in the more spacious setting of an Edinburgh New Town house in Melville Crescent. It was Edinburgh’s version of Sir Roland Penrose’s London Institute
Of Contemporary Art (I.C.A.). It was The Demarco Gallery and, like the ICA, it was an
Art house. It was founded by the same small group of friends who gave their loyal support
To The Ledlanet Festival, The Paperback Bookshop and The Traverse Theatre. They had one
Characteristic in common – they were all enthusiastic supporters of the Edinburgh Festival.
As such, they lamented the fact that, when the all too short three--‐week period of the Festival ended, they were living in non--‐Festival Edinburgh. Ledlanet House was part of an extension of the world of The Edinburgh International Festival and therefore ‘The Road to
Meikle Seggie’ became the road which linked Edinburgh with the landscape of The Ochil Hills as a gateway into the physical reality of the heartland of Scotland’s cultural history as
Well as its mythology. This road was one of many used by Scotland’s poets in the Bardic tradition and by Scotland’s travelling folk’, the ballad singers and the storytellers. It is also
The road defining the journey made by those generations of 19th and 20th century Italians who emigrated from Italian small towns and villages in the aftermath of Garibaldi’s
Risorgimento. Among them were the Demarcos, the di Marcos, the Crollas, the Continis, the Valvonas and the di Ciaccas, who said goodbye to Picinisco, a village known for its tradition of farmers shepherding their flocks on the high slopes of the
Appenines, to seek out a new life as Italo--‐Scots in Edinburgh. They were following in the footsteps of the Roman Legionaries who built The Antonine Wall as the final
north--‐western frontier of The Roman Empire in a world when The British Isles formed an important part of the Roman continental landmass linking The Firth of Forth with the Mediterranean coastlines. I am grateful to Donald Smith, Director of The Scottish Storytelling Centre, and Dr. Stefania del Bravo, Director of The Italian Institute, for their
wholehearted commitment to the re--‐ publication of a book published in 1978 by Tom
Wilson, Director of The Henderson Gallery. The Road to Meikle Seggie will feature in four
exhibitions: one during this year’s Edinburgh Festival in The Demarco Foundation’s
galleries at Summerhall; later in September as part of a master class programme at Bath Spa University; and in October in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow; and
next year in May at the National Museum of Modern Art of France in the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
MAY 2015

Correspondence received from Paul Kelly; Mark Sun Mau Yun:


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