The St. Andrew's Society of Jacksonville
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Sunday February 6, 1977. The front page of the Art & Leisure section of The Florida Times Union read "GREAT SCOTS! Tartan Ties Threadbare - Until Now" with a nice large color photo of 3 kilted men marching in time to the pipes. They were A. H. (Al) McDonald, Percy Hamilton, & Frannsaidh (Frank) MacLachlan. The full page article was about Scottish culture and trying to start a Scottish American society and Scottish Games in Jacksonville. Persons of Scottish descent (or those who believed they might be of Scottish descent) were invited to write to A. H. McDonald or call or write Frannsaidh MacLachlan. If you would like to see that Jacksonville Times-Union Article, please click here.

Frank emigrated from Scotland in 1946 he played and taught the bagpipes. He and wife Madge taught Gaelic at the Jacksonville Library downtown and started the Sons of Scotland Pipe Band and the Duval Celtic Society. Neither of which had lasted in the Jacksonville area. But now with some of the members from those groups, and Darlene Tye's leadership skills, things were heading the right way.

The calls and letters came pouring in, all total 255 charter members. Rob & EJ Taylor, EJ's sisters Ann Reilly, & Bobbie Sutton and Bobbie's husband John, Betty McDonald, Kinlock McCollum, Chase & Mary Sheddon, Rhys Pollock, Herman & Louise Ibach, Doug & Shuri Speed, to name a few.

In March the members voted unanimously on the name St. Andrew's Society Of Jacksonville. A steering committee was formed under the leadership of Darlene Tye & Chairman Kinloch McCollum to develop a charter & by-laws.

On June 1st members Al & Freda McDonald, Darlene Tye, Frank MacLachlan and daughter Mairi Katriona MacLachlan met with Mayor Hans Tanzler as he signed a proclamation making June 6th-12 Scottish Week.

On June 11th we hosted the !st Annual Jacksonville Highland Games at Church of Our Saviour with Kirking of the Tartans the following day.

By July the by-laws & Articles of Incorporation had been approved.

On August 18, 1977 we were formally chartered and officers had been elected.

On September 10, 1977 our first meeting under the new charter was held at Valle's Restaurant in order to properly celebrate the inaugural installation banquet for the 255 charter members, officers and managers.

The first President John Sutherland, Vice President Kinloch McCollum, Secretary Madge MacLachlan, and Treasurer Betty McDonald were sworn in.

The Taylor's donated the first flags to the society. We use that St. Andrews Cross to this day.

If you would like to see the original Articles of Incorporation, please click here.

If you would like to see the Society By Laws, please click here.



  The Society is a social, cultural, educational, and benevolent organization. Its principal objectives are: To dispense charitable and educational assistance to Scots, lineal descendants of Scots, and to their spouses and children. To extend educational assistance to Scots and their spouses and children. To study and perpetuate Scottish traditions and culture, including Scotland's history, heraldry, pageantry, music, literature, language, crafts, and all the arts of Scotland. Promote friendly association between its members and the Scottish community at large.  


For 2019 the officers of the St. Andrew's Society of Jacksonville are:

President - Kevin Burke

Vice President - Ann Taylor

Secretary - Joan Branch

Treasurer - Chrissy Verdin

Membership - Brenda LaBranche

Quartermaster - Randy Thurston

Members at Large - Audie Gibson, Greg Stephan and Mark Faulds

Scots Speak Newsletter/Publicty - Brenda LaBranche

Webmaster - Kevin Burke




  Very little is really known about Saint Andrew himself. He was thought to have been a fisherman in Galilee (now part of Israel), along with his elder brother Simon Peter (Saint Peter). Both became apostles of Jesus Christ, founder of the Christian religion. Saint Andrew is said to have been responsible for spreading the tenets of the Christian religion through Asia Minor and Greece. Tradition suggests that Saint Andrew was put to death by the Romans in Patras, Southern Greece by being pinned to a cross (crucified). The diagonal shape of this cross is said to be the basis for the Cross of Saint Andrew which appears on the Scottish flag. Early Scots claimed to possess relics of the apostle, including an arm bone, signifying his readiness to protect them. This was explained by a fable relating that Saint Regulus had removed relics of Andrew from Constantinople and brought them to what is now Saint Andrews in Fife, Scotland. Another tale tells of Angus, King of the Picts (730-761) battling against the Scots of Dalriada, the Angles of Northumbria, and the Britons of Strathclyde. Legend holds that in one his campaigns, Angus had a vision of the cross of Saint Andrew in the sky. He may well have been the founder of the monastery at Saint Andrews. The saltire, or cross of Saint Andrew, became the Scottish national emblem in 750 AD and much later was adopted as the foundation for the Union Jack.  
  The St. Andrew's Society of Jacksonville is a 501(c)(3) corporation under the rules of the Internal Revenue Service. Donations are tax deductible.