I was Grand Marshall of the NY Tartan Day Parade this year and was happy to accept. As Scots-born but now living in New York, the aims of the Committee and its Parade dovetail nicely with my own situation. The Parade is not just an opportunity for Scots and Scots-Americans to celebrate their heritage as they march up Sixth Avenue. It brings together groups from New York and contemporary Scotland to get their messages across as widely as possible. For example, the Scottish-based charity of which I am an Ambassador, Developing World Health, was able to use Tartan Week to launch its presence in New York and America.
I wish the Committee, all volunteers by the way, the best of luck in the future as they launch their new website.
Yours aye,
Brian Cox
Grand Marshall of the NY Tartan Day Parade 2011
(Brian Cox C.B.E. is an emmy Award-winning actor)


  1. Just started on How the Scots Invented Canada. I’ve also read Herman’s book. Both are fscainating. And as you suggest, yours is more biographical, his a bit more academic. My parents were married in the new Kirk in Alloway and I grew up in Thurso where my bedroom window looked over the Pentland Firth towards the Old Man of Hoy. I’m not completely certain, but I rather think purists wouldn’t let you get away with calling Burns’ Cottage a croft (page 5). For me, a croft is pretty consistent with the Highlands and Islands, not south Ayrshire. But as I say, I’m not sure. My great-great-grandfather is buried next to Burns’ father. So rather like your wife I have “connections.”My surname is quite distinctly Orkney and Caithness, and when I emigrated from Scotland to Canada in the 1960s, Cormacks were strung out all across northern Canada, but rarely in southern Canada, representative I suppose of the HBC’s taking on Orcadians two and three hundred years ago as its ships revictualled in Kirkwall. Now, over 40 years later, I notice that in places like Vancouver and Toronto there are scores of us!Let me know what you think of my croft remarks. James Strathearn CormackVancouver


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