Location: Annan

Map of Annan in south west Scotland
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Annan Riding of the Marches (RoM)

2008 PRESIDENTS SPEECH
by Allan Weild

2008 has been traditionally another success for Annan Riding of the Marches – A Cornet and Lass was elected, a Standard Bearer chosen and finally a Queen of the Border selected by her peers.  And then a time honoured custom which has been observed for hundreds of years carried out.

Annan Riding of the Marches 2008Thank you Gareth, Jamie, Fiona, Alistair and Katie and Melissa.  Special thanks must go to Gareth who has joined the consecutive Cornets Club- and I think many thanks must go to Alistair who has completed his 3rd year as a principal.

Jamie and Fiona, it was unfortunate that due to an accident earlier in the day you could not receive the accolade you deserved as taking part in the parade or ride down behind the pipeband during the closing ceremony.  Along with Melissa and her retinue I hope you all can look back with many fond memories.

Annan Riding of the Marches 2008Looking back to July, there is one thing that cannot be bought or manufactured and that is the weather.  No matter how hard the general committee works-and believe me you are a credit to the community, there is nothing can be done if it rains and boy… it rained.  I have never seen as many invited guests and local dignitaries sheltering under the top tier of the stage-ever.  But what was most heart warming was that the procession never faltered and the crowds never wavered, no matter what that day.

Having mentioned the general committee it would be remiss of me not to thank the people that try and hold it all together.  Stuart Thompson, our Convenor, Moira Weild our Vice Convenor and Honorary Secretary and John Ramage our Minutes Secretary.   It is not only our own meetings that they attend but also many other council generated committees that we are involved in.

I was looking through a 1925 ROM magazine recently, there was involved in organising ROM that year an,
Executive Committee                3 committee members
Finance Committee                   32 committee members
Sports Committee                     48 committee members
Children’s Committee               16 committee members
Marches Committee                  17 committee members
Procession Committee              31 committee members

Move forward 83 years…. That work is done by 35 in total, so once again well done everybody.

Where do you start and stop thanking people for making the day what it is.

  • Ian, could you take our thanks to your fellow councillors on the Area Committee for all their support throughout the year. 
  • Also to Steve Southam and his staff for his advice and logistic support.
  • Financial support from the Area Committee is essential… long may it continue.
  • To Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary for all their help and advice in the weeks leading up to the first Saturday in July.
  • To Magnox North, not only for their financial support but for the use of the airfield at Chapelcross on the day.
  • To all the local shops and businesses for their monetary donations and raffle prizes.
  • To all those who took part in any of our organised events especially the Procession on the day, without your involvement it would not be the spectacle it is.
  • To the riders who follow the Cornet round the boundaries not forgetting the local land owners for allowing us through their land on the ride out routes and the Riding of the Marches Day

Annan Riding of the Marches 20082008 may not have been a financial success but all the boxes where ticked – tradition was maintained and that ladies and gentlemen that is what it is all about.

Should we be concerned for 2009, I think not, Gareth did a fantastic job for 2 years hopefully that will not be repeated for a long time.

Let us not start tinkering with the constitution say for tinkering sake. We as an organisation have evolved over the last 20 odd years that I have been involved think of what it was like when some of our not older lets say senior serving members became involved---Stuart,Moira Isobel I mean Jack used to light the gas lights before the meetings when he first started.

Things like-

  • Principals went every where as a group (No boyfriends/girlfriends/mums/dads they bonded)
  • Meetings were more formally run (On time/apologies for being late/quietly entered and sat down)

So let us allow things to evolve naturally, whatever the consequences. Tradition for me is the mainstay started all those years ago.

As it is our AGM tonight new committees are formed and conveyors are sought for those committees.

Annan Riding of the Marches 2008I think it is apt tonight that I can draw your attention to the inscription on the snuff box used on Marches day. For those who have never done the bus on the day the silver snuff box was presented to the town by Brigadier General Dirom of Mount Annan in 1806 for loyalty and support shown to him by the townspeople to be used at public events so is used to partake in a dry dram at Landheads.

The inscription on the front is:

"May the King choose his own ministers independence"

On the back:

"And the people their own representatives"

Members of the general committee you are good representatives.

Finally on behalf of the townspeople of Annan I would like to thank everyone connected with Annan Riding of the Marches for all the hard work during the past 12 months making 2008 another year to remember.

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