MEMBERS IN THE NEWS
native Scot from Edinburgh, was invited to the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on August
11, 2014, to receive the prestigious Ushakov Medal, honoring his naval service during WWII.
President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation recently signed a decree awarding
participants in the “Russian Arctic Convoys” the Federation’s Naval Medal.
Graydon was among 20 Merchant Navy veterans, still living, who served on British ships
which carried cargo only and were assigned to bring food and equipment to Russia during that
time, and particularly during the siege of Leningrad, when that city was surrounded by the
German Army for an incredible nine hundred days.
Said Graydon, “It was vital to the final outcome of World War II that Russia receive help from
the United States and the U.K. in the way of planes, tanks, food, ammunition, etc., to hold off the
German onslaught at the Gates of Leningrad. The only feasible route was via the vicious
weather conditions of the Arctic Ocean, also unfortunately, in close proximity of the German
warships, submarines and aircraft that flew from the captured airfields of northern Norway!
The worst of the enemies was the weather. George recounts enduring 120 mile-an-hour
winds creating 60-foot waves that covered the entire ship in ice over which the crew had to
perilously slip and slide to accomplish their duties.
George’s story could be a book – having quit school at age 11 to help the family (seven
children) through the depression engulfing the U.K. in the 30’s; volunteering for the Merchant
Navy at age 15; teaching himself calculus and other college level course to graduate from
Nautical College and later receiving an engineering degree from McGill University in Montreal,
Now 93 (with the mind and handshake of a 20-year old) George was also awarded the
UK Arctic Convoy Medal by Prime Minister David Cameron in June, 2013.
DR. MARY THOMPSON
Member, Dr. Mary Thompson, has recently been featured on Linda Carson’s “Amazing Women of the Suncoast” broadcast on (WWSB), ABC Channel 7 in Tampa’s “Amazing ‘s Women of the Suncoast” The segment aired on May 10, 2014. To see the video clip click here: Dr. Mary Thompson. Mary is a long time member of the Caledonian Club and is especially remembered for her wonderful slide shows at our annual meeting each year. The shows always bring back such wonderful memories of the club’s past year.
CALEDONIAN CLUB STATUARY RE-DEDICATION
Our “Corinthian Column Statuary” was re-dedicated on December 6,2013 and sits comfortably in the small park at the corner of Gulfstream and Main Street close to the place where Sarasota’s early Scots originally landed.
The stones for the statuary were a gift from the City of Glasgow, Scotland; to commemorate the 1886 arrival of Scottish settlers in Sarasota. The original dedication for the statuary was part of the City’s hundredth anniversary celebration in 1985. Due to urban changes, it became necessary to move it from its original location outside what was Patrick’s Restaurant to its new home.
The re-dedication of the statuary was a memorable occasion. We had clear skies and a light breeze on the bay front setting; a perfect scene for the event. A few passers-by stopped to look and listen as well.
For those of you who would like to view some photos of the occasion, here is a link City of Sarasota Flickr Social Media Events
WILLIAM R WALLACE IS RECIPIENT OF NATIONAL TARTAN DAY AWARD
Robert W Murdoch, National Chairman of Tartan Day has announced that William R Wallace of Sarasota, Florida, is the recipient of the 2012 National Tartan Day Award, presented annually by the Scottish Coalition USA.