The Scottish Consultative Council on Curriculum, of which McGettrick is the vice-chairman, was presiding at another St Andrew's Night dinner last week in the person of council chairman Neil Galbraith. But in a clear case of pulling rank, Galbraith found himself in Berlin with the Scottish delegation to the enterprise education conference (page six).
Galbraith delivered a typically pithy and punchy toast, with only occasional references which tested German understanding such as the well-known English phrase "Wha's like us? Damn few and they're a' deid." But South Ayrshire provost Bobby Campbell delivered the traditional Selkirk Grace which, despite not travelling well (the Grace, that is), appeared to be translated into flawless German.
The dinner was helped immeasurably by two Scottish inputs. The first was from two Motherwell College catering students and their head of department who were flown out and actually prepared the meal to loud acclaim. There was a shock in store for Brian Miller, heidie at Motherwell's Dalziel High and part-time DJ for the evening. He discovered one of the students was a former pupil and his mother is dinner-lady chez Dalziel. The Scottish diaspora is alive and well.
Secondly Eric Burton, who is on secondment from his job at Bathgate Academy to develop enterprise in West Lothian, proved an enterprising master of ceremonies who did his best to help the German guests to master the intricacies of Scottish dancing.
This was successful in getting everyone on to the floor; the floor was rather small but this helped cross-cultural contact. However, such was the intense warmth of the occasion that some members of the Scottish delegation had to repair to the bar for liquid sustenance.