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Issue 75 - Memories

Scotland Magazine Issue 75
June 2014


This article is 4 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Roddy Martine embraces the Homecoming 2014 and welcomes overseas visitors

Since Scotland magazine was launched in 2002, it has been my great privilege to have been a regular columnist and contributor. It is now an even greater pleasure for me to become editor of a magazine which has since grown enormously in popularity and, as readers will notice in this issue, has undergone a sparkling and imaginative re-design . I hope you agree.

Around thirty years ago I stood on a headland overlooking Chedabucto Bay in Nova Scotia and gazed sentimentally across the vast Atlantic Ocean towards where I imagined Scotland to be. I was probably several degrees off centre, but that didn't matter very much. The thought was there.

Twenty years later, as a guest of the Australian Scottish Heritage Council in Sydney, I was invited to inspect the bicentennial Scottsh cairn at Mosman and shown the signpost indicating that Australia and Scotland are 10,515.81 miles (16,923.09 kilometres ) apart.

Surrounded on both occasions by colourfully dressed individuals of Scottish descent, it made me feel curiously proud and confident about my place in the world. And this inevitably led me to reflect upon the astonishing manner in which the sons and daughters of our small but distinct portion of the British islands have impacted across the globe.

The fact that generations have come and gone yet there still remains that same sense of connection, intrigues me. Sadly, such friends from abroad often claim to be haunted by a sense of loss that hasn't been lost at all. In an age of jet travel and instant on-line communication, the technology to connect is universal. Nobody needs to feel excluded.

Which brings me to Homecoming Scotland 2014, Visit Scotland's year-long programme of co-ordinated events incorporating the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in June, the Commonwealth Games in July, the Edinburgh International Festival in August, and the Ryder Cup in September.

From the Orkneys and Shetland in the far north, to the islands of the west and the rolling hills of Galloway and the Borders in the south, the landscape is brimming over with outdoor activities and excitement for everyone who wants to visit us this summer.