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History of SQRCHDI

Highland Dancing in Queensland and, in particular, the South East corner of the State was being performed from the late 1800’s and various district Caledonian Clubs, Pipe Bands and similar organisations were responsible for the organising and holding of competitions

In addition to these competitions, Highland Dancing was also included in the dance section of many of the local Eisteddfods.

In May 1960 moves were afoot to form an Australian Governing Body under the auspices of the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing and following several preliminary meetings the Inaugural meeting of the then Australasian Official Board of Highland Dancing was held in September 1960. Subsequently the name became the Australasian Official Board of Highland Dancing and is currently known as the Australian Board of Highland Dancing Inc.

Objects of this new body were –

(a) To bring about co-operation between the recognised Associations, Societies, Games Organisations and individuals connected with Highland Dancing.

(b) To help the public by seeing that all recognised teachers show similar basic steps for the traditional dances.

(c) To see that the SOBHD Rules are observed in all Championships and recognised competitions.

(d) To encourage the proper conduct of competitions, to recognise certain established Championships as such, and to discourage the duplication of such events

(e) And generally, to do anything that will advance the Art of Highland Dancing and preserve its traditional form.

Representatives from various Highland Dancing Organisations and Caledonian Clubs attended meetings of the newly formed Board and accepted the responsibility of regulating Highland Dancing throughout Australia in accordance with the rules of the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing.

From its inception Queensland was represented on this Board by the Brisbane Caledonian Club delegate and a delegate from the Mackay Highland Dancing Association. Up until 1967 these delegates were accepted as the Queensland. State Committee. However, as these were two independent bodies it was agreed that they should be treated as independent Regional Committees until such time as the situation could be resolved by the formation of a Joint State Committee. if desired.

Until late in 1969 the South Queensland dancers and teachers were represented by a committee known as the Brisbane Regional Committee. As this committee was in general that of the Brisbane Caledonian Society and Burns Club, Australian Board delegates felt that it would be desirable to have an independent committee formed to control the highland dancing activities in South Queensland.

A meeting was held at the Caledonian Club on 17th February, 1970, following a request being received from the Australian Board to this effect and Queensland State Committee was formed. However, the Australian Board requested that the word ‘State’ should be substituted with Regional. Some time between 1970 and 1972 the name was once again changed and the South Queensland Regional Committee of Highland Dancing came into being.

For the next 18 years this committee functioned in South East Queensland, covering an area from Miriamvale to the Queensland Border when in September 1990 the Committee became an Incorporated body. In 1993, with the dissolution of the Mackay based North Queensland Regional Committee of Highland Dancing, the boundaries of South Queensland Committee were extended to the 22nd degree south latitude. This being the division between our Committee and that of the Far North Queensland Committee based in Townsville.

Over the years the control of Highland Dancing has seen many changes. Registration of Dancers, Registration of Competitions and Championships, conduct of Judges exams and interpretation of SOBHD technique for the benefit of teachers and judges have been just a few of the activities of the Committee.

On a 10 year rotational basis a major competition called Champion of Champions of Australia has been organised and South Queensland has hosted this prestigious `event three times. In addition to that the Executive Committee of the Australian Board of Highland Dancing moves from State to State every three years and South Queensland has operated in this capacity three times. At the present time the Australian Board Executive is currently domiciled in South Queensland.

In addition to these activities the Committee has from time to time conducted Combined Teachers Concerts, provided dancers for displays, in particular during the Royal National Show, in conjunction with the massed pipe bands and organised and held competitions in conjunction with the Highland Gathering in the Redlands.

South Queensland Region has for some time had the largest number of highland dancers within its control and is proud of the achievement of many of those who have danced in the past and are currently dancing.

SOUTH QUEENSLAND REGIONAL COMMITTEE - Executive Members

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