Glasgow University Gamma Club 1968-1974

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Glasgow University Gamma Club 1968-74

45 year reunion at Dunkeld House Hotel and its surroundings

Photos courtesy of Ronnie Proudfoot & Maura Poet.
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The lawns at the back of the hotel The silvery Tay at Dunkeld

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45 Year Reunion Report

Thank you to all of you  -  Gamma club members and partners  -  who came to our recent 45 year reunion in Dunkeld and made it such a great success.

As 45 years is not a "milestone" anniversary, we wondered if this reunion would be a quieter event than the previous one in St Andrews. We were pleasantly surprised, therefore, by the turnout. One hundred and six of us - Gamma Club members and partners - attended the celebration weekend at Dunkeld. Many we recognised as regular reunion attenders, but we were delighted to welcome some members who had either never been to a reunion before, or hadn't been to one for many years. Distance didn't prove a barrier to attendance either. As well as attendees from Scotland and England, some members had travelled from much further afield - Canada, USA, Switzerland, and Australia.

Built as the summer residence of the Dukes of Atholl, Dunkeld House Hotel is situated on the banks of the River Tay, in a particularly beautiful part of rural Perthshire, and proved a popular venue for our 45 year reunion.

Friday 10th May was arrival day and by mid-afternoon the reception area and bar were choc-a-bloc with Gamma Club members and their partners, all talking nineteen to the dozen. A positive sign, auguring well for the weekend ahead! After settling in, we recongregated in the evening for the informal part of the weekend and enjoyed an excellent hot buffet in the Garden Room where we had plenty of opportunities to mingle and catch-up with old friends and colleagues. The fact that the 60's/70's sound track - selected to help stimulate memories of our youth - was drowned out by the talking and laughter, proved to us that things were going to plan. To enliven the proceedings further, and give the ageing brain cells a bit of a workout, Jim MacRitchie had once again prepared a quiz which helped to keep the fun going. All in all a great start to our weekend reunion. Lovely to see old friendships being rekindled and new ones formed.

Saturday dawned and the weather gods were smiling - a glorious day which, as not forecast, was an unexpected bonus. Breakfasting in the hotel dining room whilst looking out over the River Tay, sparkling in the sunlight, to the wonderful scenery beyond was breathtaking - a memory to take home and treasure.

After breakfast on Saturday,there were a number of options to choose from. For those of an active disposition, these options included a golf competition at Dunkeld and Birnam Golf Club, a guided cycle in Perthshire's beautiful countryside, or a guided nine-mile walk to take in some of Scotland's finest scenery. The icing on the cake for all who took part in these activities was the sighting of an osprey   -   one of a breeding pair from the nearby Loch of the Lowes   -   hunting for food. A big thank you to Jim and Lindsey Dougall and to Louise Romatowski and partner Peter for organising these activities. For others not so energetic, relaxing in the hotel, enjoying a swim in the hotel pool, or taking a leisurely walk along the banks of the Tay to visit the sights, shops and cafés of Dunkeld proved appealing. For your information, the home baking in the cafés of Dunkeld was fantastic!

So that takes us to Saturday evening, the highlight of the weekend. To make it extra special we continued the custom of a black tie dress code  -  kilts, tartan trews, the dinner suits for the men, evening and cocktail dresses,saris and elegant trouser suits for the women  -  elegance personified!! Great fun!

We began the evening with a sparkling wine reception in the hotel Drawing Room. Then, led by Brian Crawford and Jim Dougall on the pipes  -  we processed to the riverside where Ronnie Proudfoot and his wife Janet organised the traditional group photograph. After a piping display in the hotel gardens, we returned to the Garden Room for the celebratory Gala Dinner.

Jim Dougall our chairman opened the proceedings with a formal welcome to all guests. After this we paid our respects to absent friends, honouring their memory to the music of the pipes  -  for this occasion a Piobaireachd (Pibroch) composed and played by Alex Dougall. A very fitting and poignant tribute. (Alex is publishing and arranging for a professional rendition of his work   -  our very own Gamma Club Pibroch   -  in the near future. Further details will follow when available.) Then the serious business of the three-course celebratory dinner, washed down with fine wines!

After dinner we had a brief AGM. To summarise briefly what was decided   -  we voted to hold a 50 year reunion and sought volunteers to help with the organisation of this event, particularly someone with IT skills to take over the website maintenance as Eleanor MacRitchie is stepping down. Harry Burns offered his services which were happily accepted. Anyone else wishing to participate in the organisation of future events should contact us at

The serious side of things over it was time for the fun to start! On this occasion, we broke with tradition and instead of the usual ceilidh dance we were entertained with a cabaret, compered by Stuart Roxburgh with contributions provided by Gamma Club members. Opening the show was Alastair Smith accompanied by Alistair Sawers on the piano, who gave us a very professional rendition of some Tom Lehrer songs. They were followed by Malcolm Campbell who treated us to a couple of Hamish Imlach songs which brought back some good memories for many of us. Some comic entertainment followed from Stuart and Jennifer Roxburgh. Their material included a Krankies skit, a Francie and Josie performance, and the reading of a humorous poem composed by Stuart for the occasion. The memory of Stuart in his blonde wig and Jennifer in her wee Jimmy Krankie outfit is another take-home memory!! Renga Pakaree, who has his own blues band back in the US, was next on the bill, entertaining us with a few old favourites. Singing along with "California Dreaming", "Whisky in the Jar", and other well known songs, took us back to our early days at University. Last but not least in the running order was Mick O'Keefe, with his spirited rendition of "That's Amore" which brought the house down. Great fun  -   who knew that we had such talent within our ranks? A huge thank you to all who took part.

The formal part of the evening over, most of us moved to the bar area, where the fun and laughter continued into the early hours.

A truly great night and wonderful to see that we still enjoy getting together and enjoying a good night out!

Sunday breakfast was a last opportunity for those present to chat, exchange contact details and say their goodbyes.

Feedback about the event, both at the time and from subsequent emails, letters and texts has been very positive and the consensus is definitely "roll on the next one". So take a bow everyone who came and entered so fully into the spirit of the occasion.

On behalf of the organising committee we would like to thank all of you who attended or, unable to attend, sent their best wishes for a successful event.
Look forward to seeing you in 2024 at the 50 Year Reunion.

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