Christmas Past: The School Concert

From about the October holiday and right up to the day of performance, school bairns rehearse for the annual Christmas concert. It’s an event that no parent, grandparent or family friend would want to miss.

In 1929 the Orphir Public School held its Christmas concert at the Comrade’s Recreation Hall. There had been fierce gales the whole day through and these continued into the evening.

People flocked to the Hall. A few had their own transport in private cars but Findlay’s and Nicolson’s buses made sure that those who could not get there by foot, arrived safely.

It was not a school concert like the ones we are used to today. A grand supper was served first presided over by the Rev James Sabiston. A short speech was then followed by a variety concert by the pupils. This included:

  • Lily Pirie and Jeannie Robson danced
  • James Craigie performed a recitation – ‘Animal Chats’
  • Ida Kemp, Ria Fotheringhame, R. Pirie and and William Tait acted out The Three Bears
  • The senior pupils sang ‘A Man’s A Man For A’ That’
  • Isobel Flett recited the poem ‘I had a little sixpence’
  • Margaret Hay sang ‘Ye Banks and Braes’
  • John Laughton recited the poem ‘Homeward Bound’
  • Louise Sabiston sang ‘Three Cheers for Snow’

It was a great night full of music, dance and song.

Then at the end everyone was a bit startled by a rumbling noise but it turned out to be a very special visitor – Santa Claus. The huge Christmas tree was adorned with wonderful presents which Santa then handed out to the children.

As well as a present every child received and apple and a cake. Tickets sales came to £6 and 16shillings.

[Ref, Orkney Herald and Advertiser, December 25th 1929]

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