In 1970, a group of friends of Scottish descent gathered to plan for a new organization, The St. Andrews Society of the Eastern Shore (SASES). It was launched on May 27, 1971 at the Tidewater Inn in Easton, MD. Members of the Baltimore and Washington Societies who were instrumental in establishing the new Society for residents of the Eastern Shore also attended the event. A Pipe Major from Baltimore provided authenticity and good cheer.
Events planned for the Society’s first year included a picnic with pipe band and children’s games and a dinner at the Tidewater Inn. The picnic and dinner became annual events. In the early years, the “Kilty Band of York” (PA) performed at our events.
The SASES emblem was designed in 1973 (see below). The first Ceilidh, a party featuring a members’ talent show, was held in 1976. “The Bag Piper” newsletter was introduced in 1977 with the slogan “Relieve the Distressed” in recognition of the Society's charitable purpose. In 1978, Roberta Higginbottom was elected Chief of the St. Andrew’s Society of the Eastern Shore, the first time a woman had been named to the post in Maryland or the District of Columbia.
St. Andrew’s Societies were originally established to help newly arrived Scots get on their feet and find employment. They also provided charitable assistance to needy Scots and their descendants. Over the years, the number of St Andrews and other Scottish societies has grown with Societies now from Maine to Hawaii. And while the economic status of Scottish-Americans has improved, SASES and other societies continues to celebrate Scottish traditions and support worthy charitable causes .
“No one provokes me with impunity.”