Scottish ‘Independence Day’ to be observed at Memorial Hall April 7

The Rockford Burns Club invites you to join them for the annual Tartan Day Ceremony at Memorial Hall in downtown Rockford at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 7.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey (I), Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen (R) and the Clan MacAlpine Pipe Band are slated to attend.

The U.S. Senate designated the annual observance in 1998 in recognition of the role that Scots and those of Scottish descent played in the founding of the United States.

Tartan Day celebrates the Declaration of Arbroath—the Scottish “Declaration of Independence.”

Drawn April 6, 1319, Scotland demanded the right to choose its own Robert the Bruce as king rather than the pope’s choice of England’s Edward II. A partial quote: “For we fight, not for glory nor for riches nor for honour, but only and alone for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life.” This may have been the inspiration for New Hampshire’s motto: “Live Free or Die” with which every school child in America is familiar.

In 1776, more than 450 years later, our Declaration of Independence was modeled after it. Almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and nine of the 13 governors of the original 13 states were of Scottish descent.

November 2007 will mark the beginning of the 150th year of the Rockford Burns Club—the oldest ethnic heritage organization in Rockford, and one of the oldest Robert Burns groups in the world.

The Rockford Burns Club nourishes and maintains the Scottish identity through service, fellowship and the celebration of traditional and contemporary Scottish culture.

For additional information about the Rockford Burns Club, its Tartan Day celebration or the upcoming 150th Annual Burns Banquet (January 2008), contact Don Magill, treasurer, at 815-505-4659 or

from the April 4-10, 2007, issue

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