Glorious sunshine greeted the patriots who attended this years Wallace day commemoration in Johnstone as they assembled for the start of what was to become a fantastic event.
In keeping with this being the year of the Homecoming this years march was indeed an international one, in addition to the folk from the 4 corners of Scotland there were visitors from England, Italy, America, Canada, Argentina and Russia.
The parade mustered at 2.00pm for the 2.30 start from Ludovic sq in Johnstone en-route to the Wallace Monument in Elderslie.
A crowd of approx 200-250 had gathered in the square were the march was led off by the Kilbarchan Pipe Band followed by the various other societies like The Society of William Wallace, Crann Tara, Siol nan Gaidheal, Knight Templar?s, 1820 society, Paisley tartan Army and Strathleven Artizans .
A small group had gathered at the Monument waiting for the march to come to a conclusion. Then David Ross from The Society of William Wallace got the speeches under way, thanking all the patriots who had come along to honour one of Scotland greatest hero?s this was followed by speeches from Malcolm McNeil and Ken Shira (Knight Templar?s), this was then followed by Ted Christopher who grew up in the shadow of the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle telling us about the history he got at school i.e. Nay Scottish history !!! he then sang Scot?s Wha Hae !!.
We then had the laying of the wreath by Donna Johnston one of our patriots from Florida, USA at the Monument, before closing the ceremony with a cracking gesture by big Davy Ross who asked Hugh McDonald to step forward and introduced him to the people present there.
Hugh who will be 80 this year has NOT MISSED a Wallace day event for 63 years which is pretty amazing.
The next 3-4 hours were spent catching up with old friends and making some new ones back at the village hall.
Ted Christopher got the night off to a flyer and he soon had the place rocking, by 8.00pm the hall was pretty full the atmosphere was fantastic it was the best atmosphere I have experience at Elderslie.
The visitors from abroad were certainly having a ball but they hadn?t seen anything yet after the raffle which had a fair amount of prizes, we then had Albannach who once again raise the bar in entertainment a fantastic 1st set the hall was buzzing. The second sets were just incredible as always from such talented professionals.
Well done the Wallace Society for a fantastic day.