The Caledonian Club was formed to promote Scottish Heritage in western Florida and to provide a social venue for anyone with Scottish Heritage or is interested in things Scottish





320px-Medal_of_UshakovIn a rare occurrence, George Lindsay Graydon, longtime member of the Caledonian Club and

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.



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.



Scottish StatuaryOur “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


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.


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