RSEA North East
Friday May 16 saw the 5th annual RSEA North East Dinner in Aberdeen; held; for the fourth year running; at the Hilton Treetops Hotel. Some 160 people attended to listen to the main speaker; former Rangers; Kilmarnock & Brighton striker Gordon Smith; and meet former player Marvin Andrews and RSEA stalwarts patron Harold Davis ;Johnny Hubbard; & hero of Barcelona 1972 Dave Smith; as well as the writer of fans anthem Penny Arcade; Mr Sammy King who was on hand to sing this & his tribute to The Club, Legendary Rangers. The event was chaired by Rangers TV’s lead commentator Tom Miller and also featured on the guest list Hollie Thomson & Khym Ramsay of Rangers Ladies;( Hollie being sponsored by RSEA for the 2014 season.) Erskine were represented by Allan Moss & Corporal Mark Ingram (RAF) gave an insight into how important Erskine is to those ex service personnel who benefit from it’s services. A fantastic night was had by all in attendance and several thousand pounds were made for Erskine through the raffle and auction of rare items of memorabilia.
RSEA NE History
The RSEA North East branch was set up to give RSEA supporters who were unable to travel for events in the west of Scotland a chance to show their support and raise funds for Erskine. The sponsored walk seemed a good first step and Ian and Avril Nicol organised one in Aberdeen.. They recruited family members Ian A Nicol (Ian’s son from his first marriage), Amanda Ritchie (Avril’s niece) and her partner Mike Bruce. In October 2008 the 5 hardy souls set out to do the first walk, a 12 mile journey along the old Aberdeen – Peterculter railway line. The walk was completed in glorious sunshine and the RSEANE was born
All the monies raised (over £800) was donated to the local Erskine home in Aberdeen, Riverview Nursing Home via Catherine Cowie the Erskine representative
A few others expressed an interest to join the following years walk and word got around, over 16 people done the second walk on October 11th 2009 – raising in turn a bigger sum of money. A few folk on the walk mooted the idea of holding a dinner in Aberdeen for Erskine and a committee was quickly formed to see if this could be achieved, it consisted of the original 5 walkers joined by Wilf Marshall, Tom McCabe, Martyn Brooks, John McGow and Carol Home
A venue was sought and guests approached, and after much deliberation and some hard work, on Saturday 27th March 2010 the first RSEANE dinner took place in the Aberdeen Squash and racquet club. John Brown was guest speaker plus Dave Smith and Johnny Hubbard made the trip along as guests. RSEA patron Harold Davis was unable to attend but send down some memorabilia to raffle off. Despite the size of the venue some 100 people squeezed into the arena and it was a great success. Thanks to Bomber who done the raffle and auction a sizeable sum of money was raised for Erskine. Catherine Cowie attended and explained how Erskine operated in the North East and we also had some residents from the Riverview home along as special guests – a great night had by all
As more and more people got to hear of it and expressed an interest in attending a bigger venue was needed – the committee sent the feelers out and after a few false alarms a venue was decided upon – The Aberdeen Hilton Treetops hotel. A guest list was swiftly drawn up and approached and then booked
Before that dinner took place however the next walk was arranged for Sunday 3rd October 2010. Over 35 people took part in the walk – the biggest to date and again a larger sum of money was passed onto Erskine as once again the sun shone for the walkers
On Friday 1st April 2011 some 270 people gathered for the RSEANE dinner. Donald Findlay QC was Chairman with Colin Stein, Bud Johnston, Dave Smith, Harry Davis, Billy Ritchie and Johnny Hubbard in attendance. We also had the ECWC replica thanks to Rangers and Jim Hannah. The location was a great choice and the QC the perfect Chairman. We finished with a Q&A with the players and a great night ended with over £14,000 being raised
Once again in October 2011 another sponsored walk raised in excess of £5000 for the Erskine coffers, making a total of just under £20,000 for the year – a fantastic total
In January 2012, Ian A Nicol raised £1000 by organising a race night in a local pub, McNasties. Steve and Linda Taylor, the owners are firm supporters of Erskine and deserve a wee mention as well! Another great night supported by the locals as well as the Bears
Another dinner was organised for the 6th of April 2012 with Special gusts Alex Rae and the wizards of the wing Davy Wilson and Willie Henderson. The Mason in the Black Bobby Tait was MC. Colin Jackson, Harry Davis, Dave Smith, Johnny Hubbard, Billy Ritchie and extra special guest Sammy King were also in attendance. This took place just after Rangers problems were announced to the world and it is a huge testimony to the generosity of the Rangers support that once again they rallied round and £10,200 was duly handed over as a result
The latest walk in November 2012 had over 20 walkers and raised yet another £5000, another fantastic amount by the walkers
As we speak plans are afoot for another dinner in June, with The Goalie as guest speaker and Bill Copeland MC. Other guests are being firmed up but it will be another fabulous array of Rangers players old and new as the RSEA NE goes from strength to strength.