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Welcome to New Burgesses – Admitted Monday 10th December 2019

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Atli Arnason, Managing Director, Proposed by Lord Dean of Guild, Seconded by Sylvia Halkerston
Seonaidh Baker, Operations Manager, Proposed by Albert Thomson, Seconded by Ronnie Watt

Gary Catto, Engineer, Proposed by Lord Dean, Seconded by Jennifer Catto

Dr Duncan Cockburn, Director of Policy and Planning, Proposed by Dr Chris Croly and Seconded by Shona Croly
Anne Donald, Retired Teacher Proposed by Alison Skene, Seconded by James Donald
John Dunn, Marine Research Scientific Officer (Retired), Proposed by Alan Silver, Seconded by Alistair Ritchie
Ronald Findlay, Retied Police Officer, Proposed by Alistair Ritchie, Seconded by Raymond Mack
Fraser Henderson, Administrator Financial Services, Proposed by Charles Henderson, Seconded by Sharon Findlater
Geoffrey Marston, Retired Police Officer, Proposed by Alistair Ritchie, Seconded by Raymond Mack

Forbes McCallum, Deputy Lieutenant of the City of Aberdeen, Proposed by Jennifer Shirreffs, Seconded by Beverley Graham
Dr Olga Runcie, Consultant Psychiatrist, Proposed by Rita Stephen, Seconded by Ronnie Watt
David Strachan, Company Director, Proposed by Dr Trevor Runcie, Seconded by Sylvia Halkerston

Burgess of Guild Lunches – January 2020 – June 2020

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Happy New Year to all Burgesses and your families. Just a reminder below of our lunch line up for first 6 months of this year. Places are still available for all them at present.

We are pleased to announce our Lunch guest line up for the first 6 months of 2020. As usual the lunches will be held at Royal Northern Club (RNUC), 9 Albyn Place, Aberdeen, AB10 1YE. Lunches will commence at 12.14 (date of our Charter being granted) and will finish by 2.00pm prompt. Cost is £14, and if you wish to attend any of the lunches please email Clerk, Garry Stevens at – clerk@aberdeenburgesses.com

Payment can be made by cheque made payable to Burgesses of Guild of the City of Aberdeen and sent to Garry Stevens, Clerk to the Burgesses, 6 Craigarbel Crescent, Inverbervie, Montrose DD10 0SJ. Or you can pay online to Sort Code 826011, Account Number 50325609 Ref Surname/Events

Wednesday 22 January

Hon Lt Men Gurung our first guest speaker of 2020, was enlisted into the Brigade of Gurkhas in 1986. After completion of 9 months training at Training Depot Brigade of Gurkhas in Hong Kong he joined the 6th Queen Elizabeth Own Gurkha Rifles at Gallipoli Lines, Hong Kong and later 1st Royal Gurkha Rifles. For the next 20 years, served in various countries around the world i.e.: Hong Kong, Brunei, Belize, Australia, New Zealand, Bosnia and UK. Currently there are 2 infantry Battalions (1 RGR and 2 RGR) and 2 RGR is in Brunei. Apart from infantry regiments there is Queen’s Gurkha Engineers, The Queen’s Gurkha Signals and The Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiments to make up the Brigade of Gurkhas. The Brigade is now on the process of expanding.

Men was grew up in the village in Gorkha district where lot of  the Gurkhas come from and is western part of Nepal which lies between Kathmandu and Pokhara. It was a great honour to serve the Queen and country following the family tradition. Men will reflect on his service with the Gurkhas.

Wednesday 5th February

Gregory King, guest speaker, lived and worked in Moscow for 3-1/2 years and then for four years travelled extensively for business in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. He continues to take a keen interest in current affairs in Russia and the cultural heritage of the country as well as the states of the Former Soviet Union. Gregory will share some of the perceptions he has formed after his extended exposure to the life and work in the country and how these might differ from some of the ideas we see in the media.

Wednesday 4th March

Neil Powers is guest speaker and will give a talk on his role with North East Rider Volunteers Scotland SCIO (NERVS)

He will be talking about the history of Blood Bikes and their inclusion in the day to day running of NHS healthcare facilities across the whole of the United Kingdom.

He will explore:

The vast array of the consignments that they carry

The slight differences in the way that they and groups south of the border operate

The never-ending challenges that every Blood Bike group face in order to provide the totally free of charge services they offer

The constant need to recruit volunteers from all walks of life

His reasons for getting such a group up and running in Grampian

Wednesday 1st April

Ian Burnett is guest speaker and he is the Bereavement Services Officer for Aberdeen City Council and have been connected with Cemeteries, Crematorium and the Public Mortuary for some 38 years. The talk will consist of a rundown of the cemeteries that the Council are responsible for and some interesting facts and history.

Wednesday 6th May

Councillor Phillip Bell is guest speaker, his talk will focus on the conversation around climate change is getting rather warm. The Paris Accord and subsequent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report of 8 October 2018 entitled ‘1.5degC global warming’ discusses a maximum carbon budget that our planet can tolerate. The report goes on to say that the reduction in green-house gases should be ‘staged’ such that by 2030 the emission of CO2 and general green-house gases has reduced by 45% on 1990 levels and that net-zero is achieved by 2050. The cost for the UK alone, producing a mere 1% of the worlds CO2 is estimated at between £1 – £2 trillion. The future is looking increasingly like it will be electric and hydrogen, the most abundant element in the Universe with an energy density of 1/3 of that of petrol or diesel, is an energy vector that is gaining much attention to help make this happen.

Wednesday 3rd June

Guest speakers are Ian Grosz/Steve Smith. Trading Faces was an independent, collaborative Social Documentary project between writer and researcher Ian Grosz, and photographer Steve Smith, which set out to document the lives of Traders at Aberdeen Market during 2018 / 2019. Initial funding to undertake the project was through an Aberdeen City Creative Funding Grant to carry out the research phase. The work was subsequently brought to exhibition through a commission by Look Again Aberdeen. Ian’s role during the project was to conduct audio-based interviews with traders to record their stories and experiences. These recordings were edited down for an audio installation, which worked alongside large-format film portraits taken by Steve Smith. The audio told individual life stories, as well as giving the public a sense of the challenges faced by traders with the market building under threat of redevelopment at a dynamic time of change in the city’s evolution, and documenting the dramatic changes to retail shopping habits seen over the last decade. Overarching contextual narrative text for the exhibition was also provided. Their website, documenting the project, can be found at:


Annual Burgess Quiz – 2019

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10 Teams attended Aberdeenshire Cricket Club on Tuesday 26th November to battle it out in the Annual Burgess of Guild Quiz. Fellow Burgess Stuart Robison set some challenging questions over 10 rounds with the eventual winners being the Team Captained by Alan Towns.

As always it was a very enjoyable and fun evening, with special thanks to Stuart for being our quizmaster and also the Cricket Club for their as always excellent buffet and hospitality.

That ends our social events for this year, we are working on a line up for next year, and will post details to the website once finalised.

Burgess of Guild Lunch – Prof George Boyne

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The Burgess lunch held on Wednesday 13th November was attended by over 60 Burgesses to hear an interesting and informative presentation by Prof. George Boyne, the new Principal and Vice Chancellor of Aberdeen University. The presentation focussed on the history of the University, its 525 anniversary next year (lots will be happening across the city to celebrate it) current and future initiatives and collaborations. Prof Boyne’s presentation can be downloaded from the link below:

This brings an end to our lunches for 2019. Work is already underway with our guest line up for first six months of next year, along with some Social events. Our last social event of the year will be our annual fun quiz on Tuesday 26th November at Aberdeenshire Cricket Club. Not too late to enter a team of up to 4 including one Burgess

Busy time for the Burgesses

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The Burgesses have had a busy few weeks since start of October.

Fellow Burgess Mark Shaw was guest speaker at our lunch on 9th October. 31 Burgesses were given an interesting and informative talk on the Funeral business past, present and future.

On 10th October, Dr Olga Runcie gave a talk at Aberdeenshire Cricket Club on Sleep patterns and how to overcome sleeping problems. 45 Burgesses attended.

Lord Dean wit Dr Olga Runcie

The Lord Dean and Clerk attended the Autumn Court of Deans meeting at Perth Concert Hall on 25th October.

On Wednesday 30th October, 30 Burgesses attended a talk by fellow Burgess, Alan Johnstone accompanied by ex Don and Gothenburg great Neil Simpson, to highlight how football memorabilia can help suffers from Alzheimer’s and Dementia, through their work with the Football memories project.

Neil Simpson, Alan Johnstone and Lord Dean with some of the football memorabilia

On 31st October The Lord Dean, Assessors and Clerk attended the official opening of the new Art Gallery, and the following day some 70 Burgesses attended a viewing prior to it’s opening on the 2 November. All who have attended were very impressed with the work and the building, which will be an asset to the city.

View from the top floor balcony area
Ground Floor view

Past Dean Fred Dalgarno and Lord Dean on the outside balcony area of the Gallery

Finally the Lord Dean and Clerk attended the AFC Heritage Trust Remembrance service at Pittodrie Stadium on Saturday 10th November as guests of Chairman of the Trust and fellow Burgess Allan McKimmie. The Lord Dean and several Burgesses attended Remembrance Sunday the following day to pay their respects.

AFC Heritage Trust Remembrance

Charity Burns Supper

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Please see invite to the Burns World Federation NE of Scotland Burns Supper. Please click on link below for further information:

Dr Olga Runcie – Sleep Talk

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Over 40 Burgesses attended an excellent evening with Guest Speaker Dr Olga Runcie. In her talk Dr Runcie who currently works at Albyn-BMI hospital and ROC Private clinic in Aberdeen, discussed advances in sleep neurobiology answering questions about sleep functions and mechanisms of sleep and wake control. Those who attended will hopefully have learnt how to use this knowledge to improve their sleep.

Olga has kindly provided a fact sheet to help highlight sleep issues and how to use techniques etc to improve sleep patterns. Please click on the link below to view it.

As always a huge thanks to the staff at the Aberdeenshire Cricket Club for their excellent hospitality and catering.

Lord Dean with Dr Runcie
Rather fetching image of Lord Dean trying out some sleep glasses

Burns Supper Charity Event

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Please click on download link below for details of a Charity Burns Supper being organised by Burgess Charles Henderson with family and friends.
The Lord Provost is supporting the Event and Burgesses and partners/friends are invited to attend. Details of how to book are on the poster link.

Welcome to new Burgesses admitted 2 September 2019

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David Fryer, Community Entrepreneur. Proposed by Dr Fiona Jane Brown and seconded by Pauline Gerrard
Very Reverend Dr Isaac Poobalan, Provost of St Andrews Church, Aberdeen. Proposed by Cllr Martin Greig, Seconded by Lord Dean of Guild

Welcome to New Burgesses

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Welcome to the following new Burgesses admitted on Monday 24th June 2019 In order from top:

Julien Brown – Chartered Engineer, Proposed by Ronnie Watt OBE and seconded by Gail Watt.

Graham Guyan – Company Director, Proposed by David MacDermid, and Seconded by Colin Johnston.

Rt Rev Bishop Hugh Gilbert – Bishop of Aberdeen.

Pamela Snape – Retired schoolteacher, Proposed by Irene Cormack and Seconded by Marjorie Bosomworth.

Kevin McCormick – Managing Director and Charity Volunteer, Proposed by John Michie and Seconded by Joe Mackie OBE.

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