President Willy Coupar MBE 2017 - 2018
When my Cambrian Society friend told me in 2014, "You know there ia a Caledonian Society ?" little did I think that I would be writing to you as incoming President of the Society. However, when I was approached by the then President, Anne Macaskill, early last year, and asked if I would be willing to consider the post, I had little hesitation in accepting.
As a native Scot who will, in 2019, have lived longer in England than at home, I have come to appreciate the value of societies like ours. We celebrate our Scottish herritage and culture with gusto. We bring together Scots who have moved south with many others who have joined us due to their interest in Scottish life and history. We act as ambassadors for all that Scots have brought to this city over nigh on 200 years.
In my short time with the Society I have become aware of the challenges we face. We have a dwindling and ageing membership. Sadly I have read of many similar groups which have folded. We are also living in a world where there are so many other groups and activities for people to join. I would want, as your President, to work to ensure that the Society, what it stands for, and what we can offer, becomes more widely known in Sheffield and beyond. Raising our profile will be my main objective. At the same time I would like to build our networks across the city with others who can give us access eg to Universities, public bodies and events. With my Functions Committee, led by Arlene McMaster, I look forward to a programme of interest and fun.
My immediate predecessors, Anne Mould and Anne Macaskill, have done the Society proud. I hope that I can follow in their footsteps by helping move the Caledonian Society of Sheffield forwards towards its bi-centenary in a few years.