11 Nov Armistice Service and Kirking 2014

Memorial PlaqueOn the 9th November 2014 the Incorporated Trades attended a small memorial service conducted by the Patron Rev Iain Thomson to mark the fallen Burges of Trade who died not only in recent conflicts but also in defence of the City of Aberdeen in the past.

The service was held at Trinity Hall prior to attending the City Armistice Service held outside the Cowdray Hall in Schoolhill.

This is also the day that the Trades have their ‘Kirking’ Service to finalise the Election of office bearers of the Seven Trades and the Election of the Deacon Convener and Master of Trades Hospital.

A separate article is posted with the Patron Service. (more…)

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07 Nov 427th Convener Court Election Dinner

On Saturday the 1st November, the 427th Convener Court Election Dinner of the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen was held in Trinity Hall in celebration of the completion of the Elections of each of the Seven Trades: Hammermen, Bakers, Wrights & Coopers, Tailors, Shoemakers, Weavers and Fleshers.

Mr Alexander C McKinnon was elected as Deacon Convener while Mr George Esson was appointed as Master of Trades Hospital.

At the end of the evening the Deacon Convener thanked all those that had assisted in making the evening a success including those who spoke at the Dinner.

Toast to the Memory of Rev Dr William Guild – Patron Reverend Iain U Thomson
– Toast to the City of Aberdeen – Mr Alastair Anderson
– Reply to the toast – Lord Provost George Adam
– Toast to the Universities of Aberdeen – Mr Hugh Ouston
– Reply to the Toast – Principal & Vice Chancellor of The Universities of Aberdeen – Prof Sir Ian Diamond
– Toast to the Convener Court of the Incorporated Trades – Reverend Stephen Taylor
– Reply to the Toast – Master of Trades Hospital George Esson

The evening was then closed by the traditional ‘Bon Accord’ toast given by the Lord Provost.

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04 Nov Toast to the memory of Rev Dr William Guild 2014

The 427th Convener Court Dinner was held at Trinity Hall on Saturday 1st November.  Our Patron, Rev Iain U Thomson, proposed a Toast in Memory of Dr William Guild, a copy of which follows:

The Rev Dr William Guild- our founder and first Patron whose portrait graces this hall. William Guild grew up with first hand knowledge of the Trades, his father Matthew having been Deacon of the Hammermen on six occasions.  An able scholar, at the age of 22, William graduated from Marischal College and became Parish Minister at the Kirk of King Edward and then moved to the City Kirk here in Aberdeen in 1631, before becoming Principal to Aberdeen University in 1641.

William Guild was aware of the needs of the various Trades; they had no meeting place; they were still a loose formation.  He saw an opportunity to help – a derelict monastery once the property of the Red Friars, now belonging to the Crown.  He bought it and encouraged various tradesmen to embark on the project of renovation, and in 1633 he gifted the now restored building to the Incorporated Trades, their first meeting-place and hospital.  Now they had the means to grow together.  William Guild thus laid the foundations on which our prestigious Incorporation is built, and he continued his involvement with the Trades through to his death in 1657 as our first Patron. (more…)

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04 Nov Aberdeen holds another successful dinner

St Lazarus Aberdeen to the Order in ScotlandThe growing St Lazarus branch in Aberdeen attracted a “house full” sign for their dinner in historic Trinity Hall in the Granite City in October.

Chairman Duncan Cameron welcomed guests from as far away as Lanarkshire, Derbyshire and Kent.

The proceedings bore a stylish stamp through wide use of heraldry….at seat places, on individual menu cards, on table banners, in personal banners of St Lazarus members around the hall, and most of all, on a brand-new pipe banner commissioned by the emerging Aberdeen branch.

This banner is the gift of St Lazarus Aberdeen to the Order in Scotland, with chairman Duncan’s wish that it “be used as often and as widely as possible”. Piper Gordon Casely launched the banner when he led in the diners and top table.


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04 Nov Chivalric investiture in Aberdeen

Albert Thomson, Archbishop Lorenzo, Linda Thomson

Albert Thomson, Archbishop Lorenzo, Linda Thomson

A Sicilian archbishop headed to Aberdeen to conduct the first investiture for many years of new postulants for admittance to the Order of the Holy Trinity. His Eminence Lorenzo Casati, Orthodox Archbishop of Palermo, Grand Master of the Order, inducted nine new knights and dames at a colourful ceremony in Trinity Hall, Aberdeen.

The international Order flourishes in several countries from USA to Germany, and Ireland to Italy. The order had become moribund in Scotland until retired police inspector Albert Thomson became involved. Through him, an organisational structure – a “priory” – has been established.

The installation of new members was held during a memorably colourful service led by the archbishop in the great hall of Trinity Hall. Each new member came forward individually, the ladies to receive a blessing and the men to be knighted by Archbishop Lorenzo.

Said Mr Thomson: “The Order is ecumenical and open to all. The newly re-established Priory is already active, and we already have in place a fundraising programme for deserving causes”.


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30 Oct Freens o Reid Harlaw

Albert Thomson, Emmy Award journalist Kianne Sadeq, SAS veteran Colin Maclachlan, Leslie Leslie and David Leslie

Albert Thomson, Kianne Sadeq, Colin Maclachlan, Leslie Leslie and David Leslie

The third annual dinner of  the Freens o Reid Harlaw, the organisation dedicated to remembering and researching the battle of Harlaw in 1411, saw a full house in Trinity Hall, Aberdeen.
SAS veteran Colin MacLachlan spoke on the history of war, with David Leslie as chairman and Freens founder and secretary Albert Thomson giving the introduction.
Singer Yvonne Morton and accompanist Alan Walker provided the entertainment, and the guests were piped in by Gordon Casely.
Next day, the Freens gathered with the congregation of Chapel of Garioch Kirk for the annual service of remembrance led by Rev Brian Dobby, chaplain to the Freens – at which a new Clan Leslie Font was dedicated.

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30 Oct Dover to Cape Wrath

G. NicolWhen I completed the challenge of cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats last year, I felt that it was something I wouldn’t need to do again…….and then I saw that an alternative “end to end” was being established, to cycle from Dover to Cape Wrath…..and so I was hooked and duly booked to tackle this one in August 2014.   Having had some very cold and wet weather last year on the ride in May, I thought that I could depend on better weather in August.  The route was around the same distance at 1050 miles and this time I would be travelling to and through countryside and towns I did not know well.  The route, defined by our planned overnight stops, was Dover, Brentwood, The Hemingfords, Newark, Wortley, Gargrave, Penrith, Thornhill, Brodick, Craignure, Mallaig, Kinlochewe, Ullapool, Durness and finally to Cape Wrath.  That route includes the use of seven ferries and so some of our days we had the additional pressure of requiring us to make ferry departure times.  The final known challenge was that the route required significant hill climbs as we crossed the Pennines, made our way through the Yorkshire Dales and then wound our way north up the west coast of Scotland – some 66,000ft of ascent in all. (more…)
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09 Oct The privilege of being Patron

Rev Iain ThomsonEarly in 2013, I was contacted by Deacon Convener David Parkinson, who asked me to consider becoming Patron to the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen.  Although I know of the Seven Incorporated Trades, I had no idea what was involved in being the Patron.   David visited me in my home and gave me a very interesting description both of the Incorporated Trades and the role of Patron, inviting my wife Christine and myself to have a tour round Trinity Hall.   If my mind wasn’t made up before that visit, it certainly was by the time we had been given the opportunity to see the Hall.  “Yes”, I replied, “it would be a privilege to be appointed Patron to the Seven Incorporated Trades”.

I was duly installed as the 28th Patron at a ceremony in Trinity Hall on 26th March 2013, attended by members of the Seven Trades.  The welcome was warm and friendly, and this has remained the case throughout my 18 months as Patron.

So what does the Patron do?

Well, there are official duties such as presiding at the annual Convener Court Election and leading the Convener Court at Official Functions such as the Kirking of the Council at Kirk of St. Nicholas and the Kirking at King’s College Chapel.  There is also the short Remembrance Day Service at Trinity Hall at which I officiate.  Particularly important also is getting to know members of the Seven Trades, visiting some of the widows, visiting members in hospital when requested; that is, a pastoral role offering friendship, encouragement and a listening ear to any who may require some support.  (more…)

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26 Sep Aberdeen Women in Property visit Trinity Hall

Aberdeen Women in Property AssociationThe Aberdeen Section of the Women in Property association had a visit to Trinity Hall on Wednesday 24th September 2014. The event, arranged by Michelle Forth, started with an introduction from Deacon Convener David N. Parkinson.  At a tea in the Minor hall, the Deacon Convener spoke on the history of the Incorporated Trades and the involvement of the Trades in the history of the City of Aberdeen. During the meal facts and details in relation to the artwork and portraits, as well as a short history of the artefacts, was made.

The Deacon Convener then led a tour of the committee rooms in Trinity Hall.

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16 Sep Doors Open Day 2014

The Seven Incorporated Trades again opened the doors of Trinity Hall to the public for Doors Open Day.  This event is coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust and forms part of a joint initiative from the Council of Europe.  It is a great way to find out about the hidden heritage on your doorstep and is your opportunity to see behind the scenes of everyday buildings as well as important landmarks. With forty venues throughout Aberdeen being open this year the Incorporated Trades were happy to participate again.

Trinity Hall at the corner of Great Western Road and Holburn Street is the third Trinity Hall to be occupied by the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen. The original was created from the former Trinitarian Friary (hence the name) when this was acquired in 1631. The second building and the first purpose-built Trinity Hall dates from 1847 and this building now incorporates one of the entrances to the Trinity Shopping Centre.


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