Appreciation of The Falkirk Dante Alighieri Society by Ian Ludbrook,
eccoci arrivati, abbiamo cinquant’anni quest’anno, Due mila tredici.
we made it: The Falkirk Dante Alighieri Society is 50 years old this year
2013; February to be exact. What an achievement for our society here in
Falkirk, Central Scotland. As far as I’m aware we are one of only 4
remaining Dante affiliated Societies in Scotland still going, the others
being Lanark, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
have been a member of the Falkirk Dante Alighieri or the Dainty Alligators
as some of my friends call it, for over 35 years and have had the pleasure
of meeting fellow Italianofiles; our members, students, speakers,
academics and language teachers.
have been scores of talks over the last 50 years on many interesting
subjects: some with links to the poet Dante from academics; others on
various Italian operas, art, historical characters and local Italian
connections; to the lighter subjects of food and wine tasting and our own
members illustrated talks on Italian holidays and related topics. This has
stimulated several accompanied group visits to Italian regions using
members and friends as experienced guides.
have also been fortunate to have the language classes being run by
members, who in their day job were teachers but were willing to come out
in the evening to pass on their language skills to fellow members. The
most noteworthy is our Honorary President Luciana Wood. Born in Rome, she
brought with her the advantage of being a native Italian speaker and for
the next 30 years provided an explanation and understanding of the subtle
nuances of the language to us all.
to Angus MacAlister, one of our committee members, we now have this web
site and with the success of the society spreading far and wide, native
Italian speakers have offered their teaching skills to the Society. Our
current teacher for the last 5 years is Santino Bruno, a Sicilian working
in the area. His forte is beginning the language class with an Italian
tongue-twister or proverb to get both our brains and tongues into gear.
The classes end more often than not with a quiz or significant and
relevant extract from an Italian film. The Society has also been fortunate
in being awarded bursaries from the Central Society in Rome enabling some
of our members to attend language courses in Italy.
society, however, is only as good as its members and given that we’ve
been going for 50 years we have obviously had some outstanding and
dedicated members, teachers and office bearers. It
is due to people like Jean Mclean and Luciana Wood, our President and
Secretary for almost 30 years and to Peter Wood, Margaret McCallum,
Matthew and Grace King, Gillian and David McLaren, Christine Simm and Neil
Melville that the Society has prospered for so long and we also thank all
those other stalwart members, many of whom sadly are no longer with us.
enjoyed being a member of the Falkirk Dante Alighieri Society and long may
it continue. It has been instrumental in fostering the understanding of
Italian History, Language and Culture here in Falkirk and hopefully will
continue what Hunter Cran, the Rector of Falkirk High School started in
1963 when he inserted that article in The Falkirk Herald inviting anyone
with an interest in Italy and it’s culture to come to a meeting in the
Temperance Cafe, Lint Riggs, Falkirk on 12th February.
may we continue.
( on behalf of the 2012---2013
Committee in our 50th Year)