The Dean of Guild, Lord Dalhousie, welcomed a large company of Guildrymen and Guests to the Annual Dinner of the Guildry Incorporation of Brechin in the Mechanics’ Institute on Friday evening.
Johnny Morrison, a farmer and raconteur, proposed the toast to ‘The City and Trades of Brechin’ and the reply was given by Guildryman. Barry Thomson.
The toast to ‘The Guildry of Brechin’ was given by George Ross, Executive Chairman of JG Ross Bakers, with the reply from Lord Dalhousie, the Dean of Guild.
Guildryman Fraser Hogg proposed the toast to ‘Our Guests’ and Captain James Evans, Lord President of the Court of Deans of Guild of Scotland, and Chairman of the Guild of Freemen of the Town of Berwick upon Tweed replied on their behalf.
The final toast of the evening was ‘The Dean’, proposed by Dr Stanley Callaghan, Guild Fiscal.
The Guildry Incorporation of Brechin was formed in 1629 by “a number of merchants and maltmen”, traders within the Burgh, and in 1666 the Incorporation obtained official recognition of its rights under Decree of the Convention of Burghs.
Guilds, including the crafts of the hammermen, glovers, shoemakers, bakers, weavers and tailors, flourished for a couple of centuries but have now ceased to exist.
The Guildry Incorporation of Brechin is, however, still very much alive. Although its ancient functions have lapsed, It has taken an active part in the civic and social life of the community for more than three centuries and it continues to do so.
The Guildry calendar includes the ‘Kirkin’ o’ the Guildry’ ceremony in Brechin Cathedral in early Summer, attendance at the Remembrance Day Service in the Cathedral in November and the Guildry Dinner in the Mechanics’ Institute on the first Friday in December.