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Monthly Archives:December 2015

Beatrice de Graff and Thomas Weber Talk

Garry Stevens No Comments

On Saturday 17th February we held an event in conjunction with the Order of Scottish Samurai at the Town House with two internationally renowned speakers – Professor Thomas Weber, an authority on and author of books on Adolf Hitler and Professor Beatrice de Graaf, an authority on and author of books on Vladimir Putin. Both speakers are winners in their own right of the Duc d’Arenberg Prize which is awarded for the best book on European History. They did not disappoint giving us facts, perhaps unknown, the story behind the men and their objectives. Hitler may well have been a history lesson with lessons for the future, but the Putin story brought us from his beginnings right to the present day.

The speakers gave generously of their time presenting on their subjects and the questions from the floor of ninety-four attendees were plentiful. The turnout was exceptional given that it was a very wet, Saturday night and the event only consisted of the presentations and questions. I thank all who attended.

 Our fellow Burgess, Ronnie Watt, President of the OSS, suggested these speakers. We have a full calendar of lunchtime speakers, but if any Burgesses would like to recommend speakers or topics for events, I will happily pursue.

Sylvia Halkerston
Lord Dean of Guild

Left to Right – Beatrice de Graff, Ronnie Watt, Thomas Weber, Lord Provost and Lord Dean of Guild

Sunshine on Leith – Joint Theatre Trip

Garry Stevens No Comments

We are delighted to announce a shared event with the Incorporated Trades to attend Sunshine on Leith at HMT Theatre on Friday 28th June. It will include a pre-Theatre 2 course meal at Mi Amore.

Timings will be:

Meal at 17.30

Theatre at 19.30

We have 30 places available on a first come first served basis for one Burgess and one guest only.

Cost for the event will be £51 per person to include the meal.

If you wish to attend, then please contact Clerk by 26th February at:


Once we have numbers confirmed information on how to pay for the event will be issued.

Piping Recital – Gordon Highlanders Museum

Garry Stevens No Comments

We are pleased to promote this event on behalf of fellow Burgess Pauline Gerrard:

At the Gordon Highlanders Museum

Friday 15th of March 7pm

A piping recital by Callum Beaumont, The Current Glenfiddich Solo Piping Champion and featuring local Junior Piper James Fraser!

Purchase your tickets using the link below: https://bit.ly/3ODu4R7

This event will be supported by The Aberdeen Piping Society and is sponsored by R.G. Hardie & Co.


Garry Stevens No Comments

Dear Burgesses

It has been some time since you received a progress update on our aspirational objective- Working Together For Aberdeen.

This delay is not a reflection of inactivity as work has been ongoing to refine the project and ascertain how best to engage with the appropriate organisations to action the priorities and achieve our objectives.

You received the report from the joint evening. I now attach below a summary Statement of Actions derived from that report which focusses on how we can address the priorities resulting from our initial findings and what can be realistically delivered without further delay.

 If you are interested in participating in the project, please review this document and complete the survey document by following the link below. The survey is aimed at giving us guidance as to who can potentially do what.

Burgesses of Guild and Burgesses of Trade Potential Interest 2024 (office.com)

May I request that you provide a personal email address as opposed to a company/organisation address because we have found that the latter has given rise to some Burgesses not receiving emails due to firewall protections and other anti-scam software.

Our fellow Burgesses of Trade will also receive these communications.

Thank you for your time and patience. I am more convinced than ever that we can make a difference and your involvement will be appreciated, whatever you are able to commit .It is my greatest wish that the many Burgesses who have been admitted in recent years but have not been involved since their admission will perhaps see this  as an opportunity to participate as a Burgess of Guild.


Sylvia Halkerston

Lord Dean of Guild


Garry Stevens No Comments

We are delighted to announce a Speaker Event on 17th February which has been facilitated by our fellow Burgess, Ronnie Watt via the Order of Scottish Samurai. 

You will note that 17th February is a Saturday which is unusual for us but the speakers are making a detour to accommodate the presentation to us.

We felt that some people may want to attend the presentation but may already have commitments for that evening, or may want to make their own arrangements for the remainder of the evening so we have tried to accommodate all circumstances by having the presentation COMMENCING 5.30PM ENDING 7.30PM




We are grateful to Ronnie Watt for securing these renowned experts in their field for us. 

Details of the topic and speakers as follows:

If you wish to attend please email clerk Garry Stevens at – clerk@aberdeenburgesses.com

If guests are attending please advise their name(s)

Congratulations to Burgess Paul Meallor

Garry Stevens No Comments

On behalf of the Burgesses of Guild of the City of Aberdeen, the Lord Dean wishes to pass on her congratulation to Burgess Paul Meallor who was appointed a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO) in the New Years Honours List for services to royal music.

The LVO is a personal gift given by the King. He is the first composer since Sir Arthur Bliss in 1969 to be recognised in this manner. Prof Mealor LVO CStJ FRSA CLJ was also awarded a Coronation Medal to mark his contributions to the Coronation service at Westminster Abbey in 2023.

I am sure all Burgesses will agree that this is a well deserved honour for Paul.

Welcome to new Burgesses admitted 13th December 2023

Garry Stevens No Comments

We are delighted to welcome the following new Burgesses:

Bryan Alexander MacDonald Storm Hall, Retired Builder. Proposed by Jennifer Shirreffs and Seconded by Paul O’Connor MBE.
Kenneth Charles McHardy, Consultant Hospital Physician (Retired). Proposed by John Otto and Seconded by Lord Provost David Cameron.
Carol Munro, Chair of Archie Foundation. Nominated by Joe Mackie OBE, and Seconded by Lord Dean of Guild.
Professor Steve Olivier, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Robert Gordon University. Proposed by Dr Duncan Cockburn and Seconded by Prof. John Harper.
June Waters, Occupational Therapist (Retired). Proposed by Past Dean Fred Dalgarno and Seconded by Past Lord Dean Colin Taylor.
Ian Watt, Data Scientist. Proposed by Dr Trevor Runcie and Seconded by Rita Stephen

JJR Macleod Memorial Statue Unveiling

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Some of you attended the lunch where John Otto, Kimberlie Hamilton and Ken McHardy told us about Prof JJR MacLeod, Nobel Prize winner for his lead role in the discovery of insulin.

It is no exaggeration when I say that the majority of people had not heard that name before, far less understand that this Aberdonian had not received the recognition he deserved for the outstanding contribution he made to medical science, resulting in millions of lives being saved. John’s immediate objective was to communicate the JJR Macleod story and have a statue erected in his honour in his native Aberdeen.

That objective was achieved last week when on 12th October a magnificent sculpture of JJR MacLeod was unveiled at the Duthie Park – the first talking sculpture in Scotland. The photograph shows the statue and those who unveiled it. I am proud to say that four Burgesses were in that group and several more Burgesses and their families who generously contributed to its commissioning. It is also worthy of note that the wall surrounding the statue contains a top stone reading “Burgesses of Guild of the City of Aberdeen”

Thank you to all Burgesses who contributed in many ways to this statue and to the project itself, but we all thank John Otto for getting it done.

Lord and Lady Provost of Aberdeen City with John Otto and Kimberlie Hamilton, chief members of the JJR Macleod memorial statue society along with Lord Dean Sylvia Halkerston, Dr Ken McHardy, Professor George Boyne, Kevin Otto, John and Claire McKenna

Please see the link below to access some more information.

Kind Regards

Lord Dean of Guild

Visit to Gordon Highlanders Museum

Garry Stevens No Comments

35 Burgesses of Guild attended an excellent evening on Wednesday 16th August to the newly refurbished Gordon Highlanders Museum. After an excellent buffet in the café the attendees were given a tour of the garden, the museum itself, including the armoury, archives, and the regimental dining room, which is still in use today. It is often called a hidden gem in the City, but with the work that has gone in to the refurbishment highlighting the history of the Regiment lets hope it becomes a lot less hidden! It is well worth a visit.

Thanks go to Ian Pithie, Head of Visitor Experience at the museum for assisting in organising our visit, and to all the Museum staff for ensuring our visit was a memorable and informative one.

The name is Milne…….Stuart Milne!

Garry Stevens No Comments

Fellow Burgess Stuart Milne recently retired after a long and distinguished career as General Manager at Finnies the Jewellers. He took a well-deserved holiday of a lifetime to the USA, but clearly hasn’t got the meaning of ‘retired with feet up’. Immediately upon his return to the UK he decided to undertake an abseil down the tower at King’s Church Bridge of Don in aid of the Archie Foundation. He raised over £3700 and a few eyebrows too when he did in in full formal dinner attire – or was he auditioning for the vacant 007 role? Well done, Stewart, we are all proud of your commitment. His JustGiving site is still open for a few days if any fellow Burgesses want to show their support by donating. The link to the JustGiving page is:



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