Scottish associational culture in Africa in the early 20th century

Screen-Shot-2015-08-14-at-11.12.33In Africa, like elsehwere around the globe, Scottish clubs and societies were a common development soon after the first foot fall of Scots on the continent. Contrary to popular assumption, and while there was a strong concentration, such associations were not restricted to southern Africa. By the early twentieth century we find societies in Salisbury (now Harare) and Bulawayo, the latter Society’s activities firmly recognized on St Andrew’s Day in 1902, when it received telegrams from sister societies in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Salisbury, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Umtali, Gwelo, Mafeking, Kroonstad, Simonstown, Queenstown, Pietermaritzburg, Newcastle, Lourenço Marques (present-day Maputo) and East London; there was also a telegram from the Diamond Fields Scottish Association.

In 1898 the Chieftain of the Salisbury Caledonian Society was Dr Leander Starr Jameson. Born in Edinburgh in …

Transnational Charity: The First World War and Beyond

warcharityHKStASWith the commencement of the First World War a range of charitable initiatives developed that linked the Scots in Asia directly back to Scotland; many of these initiatives proved enduring long past the end of the war. In 1914, the Colombo St Andrew’s Day dinner organized by the Society was cancelled as a result of the outbreak of the conflict. Instead, it was suggested that those who had planned to attend the ball should donate the money they would have spent on a dinner ticket to the Ceylon branch of the Prince of Wales’ Fund. This was a practice followed in other centres in Asia, for example in Singapore. This type of activity in support of the British war effort, the President of the St Andrew’s Society of Singapore stressed, …