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CHIEFTAIN’S CHATTER I cannot believe this year has flown by so quickly, with Christmas and New Year fast approaching I hope you have finished all yer shopping and wrapped the pressies. Well we have had a very busy year since our AGM in February. The annual dive trip in April was to the stunning Island of Palau Redang, and all participants, divers and non divers alike, had a fantastic time both in and out of the water. The new Members night was held on the 12th May at J&R’s Damansara and was a wonderful social evening with over 60 people attending. Shortly afterwards it was time for our annual concert featuring Whisky Kiss and what a fabulous time was had by all. Desh Mesh drummers, St John;s, KLPD, Malaysian Sikh Band, Hip Hop dancers, the hugely talented Whisky Kiss and the hilarious Craig Hill provided a wonderful night of entertainment. The Welcome Back Nicht in September was a games theme night and fun was had by all. There are obviously a few ex professional pool players in our ranks, or perhaps a misspent youth.

gow certainly had me dancing until from the start of their set for the next 2 hours - amazing band ! The Food and Whisky tasting night took place at the Berjaya cookery school on level 14 of the East Tower in Berjaya Times square on 10 November 2012. It was a wet and blustery night and short of the fact that we are actually in the tropics, the drive in could have been no different to being in the northern hemisphere in the middle of winter, in miserable weather. Of course Kuala Lumpur traffic also served to remind us all as to where we actually are. It was a friendly, fun and satisfying evening, which i’m sure everyone will look forward to again in 2013. The Rusty Nail band had everyone on the dance floor during the recent Annual Celebration, so much so, that the dance floor fell apart with the beating. A great night and sadly the last big event of the year. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy Hogmanay and don’t forget to get a good bowl of soup inside yer sail before first fittin, and dinna forget tae bring yer bottle. Hope to see abody at the next shindig which will be the Hogmanay Party. Your aye,

The Great British Ball in October was an amazing event with over 800 guests in attendance with an incredible evening of entertainment, fine food and great company. Those Big Vern N the Shootah boys from Glas-


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ABOUT S.S.A.S. CHIEFTAIN 2012 Ali King Vice-Chieftain Vacant Honorary Secretary Alan Bernard Honorary Treasurer Hector Ingram Committee Yvanka Jeffery Jeff Ross Lorna Mair Elaine Cameron Zoe Shuttleworth Kathleen Whyte Owen Leed. Bernie Williams Newsletter Alan Bernard Dance Convenor Richard Thompson Alice Smith School Rep Yvanka Jeffery

The Society’s aims include fostering of matters of Scottish interest, the celebration of St. Andrew’s Day and the organisation of social events for our members. In addition to our formal annual events – The Burns Supper and our St. Andrew’s Celebration, we organise ceilidhs, golf days, highland weekends, pub nights and whisky tastings. The Society has, in recent years, staged a series of concerts with Scottish musicians such as the Battlefield Band, Capercaillie, Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Bags of Rock. In addition the Society has also engaged Scottish comedians Craig Hill and Daniel Sloss to perform at Society events. Date



31st December 2012

Hogmanay Party

Moon Bar, Plaza Damansara

2nd February 2013

Burn’s Supper

Intercontinental Hotel

11th May 2013

May Concert

Hilton KL Hotel


Inter Society Golf


19th October 2013

Great British Ball

Shangri-La KL

2nd November 2013

Whisky and Food Tasting


RESIDENT PAST CHIEFTAINS Stewart Forbes (1987), Tristan Russell (1989), Patrick Russell (1997, 2004) Roger McGowan (2005), John Thomson (2006), Hector Ingram (2007) Paul Henderson (2009), Richard Thompson (2010), Johan Murison (2011)

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GREAT BRITISH BALL 2012 A large crowd of nearly 800 people donned their most regal finery, including several men sporting skirts - kilts! - to attend the 2012 Great British Ball 2012. Held at the Shangri-La hotel Kuala Lumpur in honour of HM Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. Guests of Honour British High Commissioner HE Simon Featherstone and his wife Gail were joined by the Presidents of the Loyal Societies of KL and the assembled guests for a night of glittering celebrations. Nick Atkinson led the proceedings as MC while entertainment was provided by the 30-strong Welsh Male Voice Choir all the way from Hong Kong including former BMCC Chairman Jon Addis. Also assisting with the formalities were pipers from St John’s school - also in skirts - and two Coldstream Guardsmen from Buckingham Palace complete with full bearskins and red tunics. Later the Big Vern n the Shootah’s show band from Scotland gave the guests an amazing workout on the dance floor. Two silent auctions were held, organized by Helping Hand Charity and Eastern Carpets from Singapore who also donated carpet for the raffle.Proceeds from the event will be divided between the organizing entities to use as they choose for charity or in accordance with their respective mandate. Thanks go to the Shangri-La and all the event sponsors :Schlumberger, Standard Chartered Bank, International School ParkCity, Alice Smith School, Guinness Anchor Berhad, Allied Pickfords, DHL Express, HSBC Bank, Plus Three Consultants & Gyrodata. by Mike McIver

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WHISKY AND FOOD TASTING The 2012 Food and Whisky tasting night took place at the Berjaya cookery school on level 14 of the East Tower in Berjaya Times square on 10 November 2012. It was a wet and blustery night and short of the fact that we are actually in the tropics, the drive in could have been no different to being in the northern hemisphere in the middle of winter, in miserable weather. Of course Kuala Lumpur traffic also served to remind us all as to where we actually are. The tried and tested formula for the whisky tasting was the usual tasting of 5 whiskies in addition to the idea that those participating also brought along a bottle of their favourite malt and everyone then sampled each other’s drams over and above the 5 whisky tasting. That way a wide variety of whiskies were sampled. On the competition element, previous champions struggled to name and place the 5 whiskies, which was surprising to many. However, the big surprise was that the overall winner of the tasting was our very own Yvanka’s Dad, who, gasp, is not even a Scotsman…... He is a Dutchman, but clearly a Dutchman with an incredibly discerning palate as he was the only “taster” to name all 5 whiskies in the competition. Luck or skill, it was impressive. The highlight of the evening for many was the incredibly creative menu of Scottish fare, both traditional and quite inventive. Whilst we should accept that haggis is an acquired taste for many, but not for us, the chef did a remarkable job of presenting haggis in unusual ways.

The mixed haggis appetizers were served by students of the cookery school which included haggis pannini and haggis pitta pockets. Absolutely delicious I thought. The Cullen Skink was spot on the money. I must confess that I have never had it!! “Shame on you” I hear you call out, but I can assure you that I will have it again. Stunningly delicious! The main hot dishes were consumed with gusto. Smoked Salmon and Haddock Pots, Fish Cakes, Mushroom Brunch, Shepherd’s Pie and Prawns in Whisky Cream were all washed down by copious amounts of wine and, of course, whisky.

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WHISKY AND FOOD TASTING As if that were not enough to have us wondering as to our cholesterol levels, the hot dishes were followed by Dundee Cake, Atholl Brose Pudding (I could eat that every day if it were not for my cardiologist), AND Deep Fried Mars Bars. Now I have only ever seen Deep Fried Mars Bars on the telly and I must confess that when I have, I have been curious and disgusted at the same time. A Deep Fried Mars Bar??? What? The reaction to this confectionary was amusing, certainly at my table. Everyone tucked in with gusto, took a few munches, looked around, swallowed and smiled and then did not quite know what to say next. I have a sweet tooth, but Wow!!! I am quite sure that not many of us from our table would dare to again‌‌ After a search for cars buried in the bowels of Berjaya or for taxis outside, all happy tasters trickled off in to the night to digest the excesses and sleep off the whiskies. It was a friendly, fun and satisfying evening, which I look forward to attending again next year. Owen Leed

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LIBERATOR KL654 Burial Of Liberator Crew KL654


On Thursday 18th October 2012 Cheras Road Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery was the final resting place for the British crew of a Royal Air Force Liberator aircraft.(KL645)

1. Royal Air Force Liberator KL654 from 356 Squadron left the Cocos Islands on 23rd

Full military honours were accorded to the crew of the Liberator which

crashed deep inside the Malaysian jungle whilst conducting a supplies dropping mission in 1945. The Queens Colour Squadron honouring the brave aircrew The British High Commissioner to Malaysia, HE Simon Featherstone and his wife Gail, attended the burial conducted by Rev (Wg Cdr) Jonathan Beach. Accompanied by the British High Commission Defence Adviser, Capt. Ken Taylor and his team, and members of the Malayan Historical Group. Also present to pay their last respects, the family members of the servicemen.

August 1945 to drop supplies into central Malaysia. No message, or signal, was received from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return from its mission. Reports at the time spoke of an unidentified aircraft being heard over the target area. As the aircraft’s route took it over the sea and Sumatran jungle and poor weather conditions were reported, with low cloud over the hills and localised thunderstorms, the aircraft was believed to have crashed in the sea or jungle. 2. In 1991 the Royal Malaysian Air Force visited the site of an aircraft crash, reported by local tribesmen in the jungle of Kuala Pilah some 16 km from Seremban. This site was subsequently visited by other groups from the Malaysian Armed Forces in 1996, and private individuals including representatives of the Malaya Historic Group and Malaya Wrecks Research Group. 3. In January 2007, the then Defence Adviser accompanied by an officer from the Defence Diplomatic staff joined a Malaysian Army expedition to the crash site. Although the expedition was curtailed due to bad weather, a plate bearing a Pratt & Whitney engine serial number was recovered from the port outer engine. Records confirmed this engine was fitted to Liberator KL654 and as a result, the UK Ministry of Defence accepted this as proof of the identity of the aircraft. No human remains were discovered at the site during this visit and this information was passed to relatives of the crew.

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LIBERATOR KL654 4. A further visit to the crash site was undertaken by Malaysian officials in late 2008. This resulted in the recovery of an identity bracelet bearing the name of Flight Sergeant Bromfield and some 20 bone fragments. Upon closer examination, 19 of the fragments were of animal (non human origin) but 1 showed human characteristics. As the origins of this bone fragment were not suitable for DNA testing, the Malaysian Authorities advised the MoD that they did not intend to conduct further investigations. 5. In July 2009 a private expedition to the crash site was undertaken by Mr Ed Macy and Mr Clayton Ford accompanied by a number of Malaysians. Their post expedition report stated that 63 human bones and 18 possible human bones had been found and passed to the Malaysian authorities. These have subsequently been identified by the Malaysian authorities and forensic experts engaged by the Ministry of Defence as being the remains of the crew members of KL 654. Following discussions with the relatives of the crew and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission it has been agreed that the remains should be interred in a single coffin.

6. The crew were:Pilot, Flight Lieutenant John Selwyn Watts Co pilot, Flying Officer Edward Donald Mason Navigator, Flying Officer William Kenneth Dovey Air Bomber, Flying Officer John Trevor Bromfield Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner, Flight Sergeant Arthur Turner Flight Engineer

Flight Sergeant Jack Blakey

Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner:Flight Sergeant Raymond Arthur Towell


Air Gunner, Flight Sergeant William Ross

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Discovery of Historical Remains

Following the discovery of the remains of British Service personnel from historic crash sites, the MOD attempt to identify any living relatives so that they can be involved in the subsequent re-interment and memorial service. The Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre is the focal point for the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence for casualty reporting and related issues. The Section also processes applications for licences for the recovery of military aircraft, responds to questions concerning historical aspects relating to casualties from all Services, and has responsibilities regarding the maintenance of inter-war and post-war grave headstones. Historical aspects relating to casualties from all Services can range from tracing relatives of aircrew who were lost in battle in the war years where remains have been discovered, to answering queries about entries in books of remembrance. Interment or memorial services as appropriate are arranged by the Section, in collaboration with UK military units and/or British Embassies. In recent years such services have been conducted in UK, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and France.

By Amanda and Nick Willaims

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THE ANNUAL CELEBRATION The Annual Celebration was a total sell out this year, with the committee adding extra tables to accommodate the growing numbers. The St Andrew’s Committee had assembled early on the morning of December 1st at the Park Royal Hotel. They literally climbed the walls attaching clan tartans in strategic positions around the ballroom. The clan shields were added, the lighting checked, the dancers practiced, the chieftain and her entourage of ladies strutted their stuff and Rusty Nail entertained us all performing their sound check. So back we all rolled at 6:00pm, coiffed, gowned and ready for action. The foyer quickly filled with eager conversations and the bar sprang into action. Then Desh Mesh pipers began. There was a momentary hush as the nostalgia of home filled the air and the evening officially began. The Ball goers were ushered into the Ballroom, Brian Cameron introduced the VIP party as they walked in two by two and the Ball was underway. The crowd was initially entertained by the formalities, with the address to the Haggis having been memorized and rendered with great aplomb by the resident chieftain Ms. Ali King. The Pipers gave an excellent performance. The young dancers from ISKL skillfully completed the Virginia Reel and Wild Geese, and then it was the turn of the crowd to entertain themselves. Dance cards had been swiftly completed over dinner, with a little jiggery pokery as partners had to be swapped around dependent upon their knowledge of certain dances and or availability. In the end this did not matter one iota as the band chose their own dances for us and helped with calling the steps. Rusty Nail performed superbly, with dance tune after dance tune with never failing energy. Graeme, Gareth, Gavin and Steve you were amazing and we hope to see you back again next year. The Bar remained busy till well into the night, people were in and out of the Ballroom and thoroughly enjoyed catching up with old friends, some of whom they had not seen since the Burns Supper at the beginning of the year. All in all the event was a charming way to begin the festive season. Here’s to seeing you all again at the planned Hogmanay Party on December 31st and the Burns Supper. Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year. By Bernie Williams

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TAM O’ SHANTER In part we are indebted to Captain Francis Grose, a friend and contemporary of Robert Burns, for the poem entitled Tam o’ Shanter. Captain Grose was writing a book entitled ‘The Antiquities of Scotland’ and Burns pleaded with him to include reference to Alloway Kirk in the book. Grose agreed to do so, on condition that Burns would write a poem about witches to accompany the entry relating to Alloway Kirk. According to Jean Armour, Burns’ wife, the poem was composed in a single day. During the early part of that day, Burns was walking along one of his favourite paths beside a river together with his family and was muttering and crooning to himself. Realising that he was in the throes of composition, Burns’ considerate wife let him walk on and kept the children back so that they would not disturb him and perhaps break his train of thought. At one point she saw him with tears streaming down his face and heard him speak the following passage, “Now Tam! O Tam! Had they been queans, a’ plump and strapping, in their teens.” Then in the early evening he wrote the whole poem from start to finish without interruption. He eventually delivered the first rendition of the poem to family members and farms workers gathered round the fire-place in his home before the evening meal. The actual character of Tam o’ Shanter was styled after a Carrick framer named Douglas Graham. Indeed Shanter was the name of the farm owned by Graham, located near to Kirkoswald, south Ayrshire. It has been recorded elsewhere that among all his wonderful poetry, Burns’ personal favourite was Tam o’ Shanter and he considered it his best work. This is rather astonishing as Burns’ originally found fame as a satirical writer where he pointed the finger of derision at some of the hypocrisy being openly flaunted by certain clergymen and church elders. He also became a champion of the common man where works such as “A Man’s a Man for A’ That” exalted the virtues of ordinary folk and was extremely critical of the aristocracy.

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TAM O’ SHANTER So it is rather surprising that a long rambling tale of witches and warlocks and the hapless adventures of a drunken farmer would take pride of place among all of Burns’ literary works. But perhaps not! It may be that Burns’ saw much of himself in the character of Tam as he certainly enjoyed “… getting fuo and unco happy.” He also perhaps reflected his rather stormy relationship with his long-suffering wife in passages such as; O! Tam hadst thou been sae wise, An ta’en that ain wife Kate’s advice! She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum, A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum, That frae November till October Ae market-day thou was na sober. But to the poem itself! It breaks nicely into four parts. The first part describes a typical night out with the boys after a successful day at market where Tam and his long-time drinking cronie, Soutar Johnnie, were ensconced in a local pub and thoroughly enjoyed themselves drinking and carousing. The evening is summed up by the passages; “Care mad to see a man sae happy, E’en drowned himsel’ amang the nappy; Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious, O’er a’ the ills o’ life victorious!” In the second part, Tam is confronted with the journey home when he has to ride his horse through a storm and enroute passes by some landmarks where various individuals met untimely deaths, such as “…by the cairn, whare hunters fand the murdered bairn”. All his superstitions are brought to mind and he is somewhat fearful of being caught unaware by ‘bogles’ (spirits or hobgoblins). 36 / 39

TAM O’ SHANTER The storm adds to his mental and physical discomfort; “The wind blew as 't wad blawn its last; 
 The rattlin’ showers rose on the blast; 
 The speedy gleams the darkness swallowed 
 Loud, deep, and lang, the thunder bellowed; 
 That night, a child might understand, 
 The de’il had business on his hand.” In the third part of the poem Tam comes close to auld Alloway Kirk and his curiosity is aroused when he sees lights streaming from the kirk and hears the sounds of mirth and dancing. Being rather inebriated and lacking caution, Tam decides to investigate and comes upon a witch’s coven in full satanic rites. Any sensible person would have run for his life, but not Tam. The influence of alcohol distorts his reason and judgment; “Inspiring bold John Barleycorn! 
 What dangers thou canst mak’ us scorn! 
 Wi' tippeny, we fear nae evil; 
 Wi' usquebae, we'll face the devil!” Consequently, Tam covertly watches all the happenings where warlocks and witches engage in dancing led by the devil himself; “At winnock-bunker in the east, 
 There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast; 
 A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large, 
 To gi’e them music was his charge:” Tam was rather scathing about the physical attributes of the witches, most of whom were, “…withered beldams, auld and droll, rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal.”

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TAM O’ SHANTER But there was one witch who caught Tam’s attention. Her name was Nannie and she was newly recruited to the coven. She was young, beautiful and was wearing a rather short dress. Tam was entranced by her performance; “To sing how Nannie lap and flang, 
 (A souple jade she was, and strang,) 
 And how Tam stood, like ane bewitch'd, 
 And thought his very een enrich'd;” Tam was so mesmerized by this young witch that he completely lost his reason and yelled out encouragement, “Weel done, Cutty-sark!” Those not familiar with the terms “cutty-sark’ might think that was the name of the witch, but in fact it describes her clothes. ‘Cutty’ means short and ‘sark’ is a shift or shirt. The fourth and final part of the poem is taken up with a pursuit where Tam rides for his life being chased by the witches. He urges on his grey mare, Maggie, and aims for the nearest river crossing as apparently the witches could not cross over running water; “Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg, 
 And win the key-stane o' the brig; 
 There at them thou thy tail may toss, 
 A running stream they dare na cross.” But Nannie, being younger, fitter and more athletic than the other witches managed to catch up with Tam and grabbed hold of the horse’s tail, trying to prevent Tam from reaching the bridge. But the horse showed great fortitude and leapt over the bridge, while her tail was torn off by the witch. “For Nannie, far before the rest, 
 Hard upon noble Maggie prest, 
 And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle; 
 But little wist she Maggie's mettle - 
 Ae spring brought off her master hale, 
 But left behind her ain gray tail; 
 The carlin claught her by the rump, 
 And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.” 38 / 39

TAM O’ SHANTER That more or less rounds of the tale, with Tam saved by the resolve and determination of his horse, but we are left with a final admonition; “Whene'er to drink you are inclin'd, 
 Or cutty-sarks run in your mind, 
 Think! ye may buy joys o'er dear - 
 Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.”

John M. Thomson

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Selangor Scotsman December 2012