Clan Hay congratulates the Flemish Caledonian Society, which this month celebrates its 45th anniversary, still under the leadership of its founder John Wembridge, and supported by Tom Hye, Clan Hay's long serving convenor for Europe, and many Belgian Hays.
They celebrated this milestone birthday on Saturday 2 April with a concert in Ghent, led by the society's dancers and pipe band. You can find a brief video, giving a flavour of what the concert was like, here: https://vimeo.com/696155336
The concert was a great success, sold out a month in advance and widely covered in the Belgian media. The society is to be congratulated for bringing Scotland's cultural heritage to Flanders, teaching, in founder John Wembridge's words, that "there's more to Scottish culture than Loch Ness and whisky."
At least some branches of the Hays have their origins in Flanders and this society commemorates the connection between the two countries that date back 1000 years. Extensive trading connections have existed since the earliest times and many Flemish merchants and craftsmen settled in Scotland. Today, such quintessentially Scottish names as Murray, Sutherland, Innes, and, of course, Fleming, originate in Flanders. The Clan Hay Society is delighted to have a large European members' group today, and we support the Flemish Caledonian Society with pride, in their many endeavours on behalf of Scotland's cultural heritage.