Transnational Charity: The First World War and Beyond

warcharityHKStASWith the commencement of the First World War a range of charitable initiatives developed that linked the Scots in Asia directly back to Scotland; many of these initiatives proved enduring long past the end of the war. In 1914, the Colombo St Andrew’s Day dinner organized by the Society was cancelled as a result of the outbreak of the conflict. Instead, it was suggested that those who had planned to attend the ball should donate the money they would have spent on a dinner ticket to the Ceylon branch of the Prince of Wales’ Fund. This was a practice followed … Read more

The New Plymouth Scottish Women’s Club

NPSWCThe New Plymouth Scottish Women’s Club was formed by a group of women who were either born in Scotland themselves or were of Scottish descent in New Plymouth in New Zealand’s North Island. The Club had three main objectives: (1) to encourage and foster an interest in Scotland, Scottish traditions, history, song, story, etc.; (2) to hold meetings, lectures, social functions, etc.; and (3) to provide means of fostering a love of Scotland in Junior Members. In line with many other Scottish associations—certainly those in the twentieth century, which tended to maintain a more exclusive outlook—members had to be Scottish … Read more

Robert Burns and the Scots in Shanghai

BurnsShanghaiBurns anniversaries have been celebrated around the world for a long time, proliferating in the nineteenth century. In Shanghai, where China’s first Scottish association, the Shanghai St Andrew’s Society, was established in the mid-nineteenth century, however, the anniversary, as the North China Herald reported in 1902, ‘has gone without public celebration’. But it was all about to change, thanks in particular to Charles Stewart Addis, the new president of the St Andrew’s Society. Addis, together with other members of the Society’s committee, was ‘determined that the reproach of neglect of Scotia’s favourite son should no longer be justly cast … Read more

A ‘keen and zealous’ officer

SaundersJohn Llewellyn Saunders was born in Dunedin in New Zealand’s South Island  on 12 January 1891. His mother,  Jeanie Hutchison, had emigrated from Scotland, while John’s father William had Welsh roots.  John was educated at Otago Boys’ High School, leaving it in 1907 to commence his studies at the University of Otago Dental School. He graduated in 1913, then making his way north to Christchurch, helping to established the first dental department in the local public hospital.

As John’s biographer Brooking notes, the outbreak of the First World War saw John join the Otago Infantry Regiment.

Described as a ‘keen and

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Celebrating John A. Macdonald

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John Alexander Macdonald was born in Glasgow on this day, 11 January, 200 years ago. An opportune moment to celebrate his achievements and role in the making of the Canada we know today. John spent the first few years of his life in Scotland, but then emigrated to Kingston in what was then Upper Canada when he was five years old. His father, Hugh, had been a merchant in Glasgow and continued in the profession, opening up a number of shops in Kingston and beyond. Like many Scots, Hugh greatly valued education and was keen for John to be well-educated. … Read more


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