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The St. Andrew Society of Rio de Janeiro

A warm welcome, one and all to the newly inaugurated St. Andrew Society Web Page. The St. Andrew Society of Rio de Janeiro was founded in 1906 by a group of Scottish businessmen intent on supporting local charities by organising social events of a Scottish nature for the enjoyment of the local community at large. The world has changed dramatically in so many ways since the days of these pioneers, particularly in the speed of travel and communication. For three quarters of the 20th century, the international community in Rio de Janeiro ambled along, happily making its own entertainment in blissful isolation. In today’s electronic age, laptops, iPhones and iPads, with apps of Skype, Facebook and Twitter, consume our leisure time. Frequent flier air miles have closed the divide between continents. People are whizzing back and forth like never before. Tradition has been trampled underfoot in the rush for new gadgetry.  

The Quaich and the Caledonian Cup

Nevertheless, despite all the setbacks described below, this year the eleventh annual match between the society’s golfers and the Macae Oilmen’s Golf Association will take place on 1st October in the rustic setting of the Teresopolis Golf Club, with commemorative polo shirts, breakfast, lunch and snacks provided by IRM Services. BCS and MOGA members are also eligible to compete for the Society´s golf trophy, the Quaich. Every winner’s name since 1928 is engraved on the plinth of this magnificent cup. Prizes for longest drive, nearest the pin, etc. will be provided by IRM Services and the SAS. A lively ceilidh night in the traditional club house bar will follow the golf prize giving, including buffet, dancing and live entertainment provided by the Iain MacPhail ceilidh band, pipers and dancers. This year the skirl of the great highland bagpipe will echo through the mountains of Petropolis as Pipe Major Cristiano Bicudo assesses pipers’ skills from around the country. 

Scottish Country Dancing classes, free of charge, led by the Society´s dance instructress, Audrey Hieatt, are held every Tuesday in the Paissandu Club, Leblon, from April till October. Participants can wine and dine from the club´s very reasonable menu.

For three decades, thanks to support from British Airways, oil and gas companies and the Copacabana Palace hotel, we hosted the prestigious Caledonian Ball in the magnificent setting of the Copacabana Palace hotel. However, low attendances in recent years just could not justify the expense, to such an extent that the Society was unable to continue being self-sufficient. It became a matter of change to survive.

In Rio, the recent partnership with the BCS has proved to be a growing success. The new BCS/SAS annual Caledonian Ceilidh, held in the Jubilee Hall is being very well attended by a cross section of age groups from eight to eighty. The live music for ceilidh dancing is still being provided by Scotland´s international accordionist Iain MacPhail and fiddler Stuart Forbes. This year will be their thirtieth annual visit to Brazil, which is an incredible record. The dancing is only interrupted by displays from our own home-grown pipe band and highland dancers, trained in Scotland. The fourth annual Caledonian Ceilidh will be held in the Jubilee Hall on 8th October 2016, supported by the BCS, IRM Services and the Macae Oilmen;s Golf Association.  

Buzios Golf Club MOGA x SAS annual match 2014


For ten successive years we hosted the MOGA/SAS Macae Ceilidh in the Macae Sheraton Hotel. It had virtually replaced the Rio Caledonian Ball as the Society’s main annual gala event, thanks to generous support from the Macae Oilmen’s Golf Association and local branches of Scottish based offshore companies, such as IRM Marine Services, TSC Offshore and Rig Solutions. This valuable support also covered the cost of airfares and accommodation for Iain MacPhail and Stuart Forbes from Scotland and Pipe Major Cristiano Bicudo from São Paulo. The demise of this great event is just another example of the collateral damage inflicted by the Petrobras scandal, which has left Macae a virtual ghost town.

The Society is directed by a small but dedicated group of office bearers.

  • Our President: Jimmy Frew is actively retired.
  • Our Vice- President: Robin Brown is also actively retired, a crack golfer and Keeper of the Quaich.
  • Our Treasurer: Susan Reid is in sales and she rounds up the numbers.
  • Our Secretary: Fiona Brown, translates into proper English/Portuguese
  • Our Membership Secretary: Suzan Carter, pulls in the crowds.
  • Our Dance Instructress: Audrey Hieatt is in travel and keeps them on their toes.
  • Our Golf Captain: Philip Healey runs an English school and keeps the score.
  • Our Committee Members:
  • Ana Campbell is a sworn translator and she does the shopping.
  • Cristina Nogueira is in education and likes complicated dances.    
  • Representing the Society in the Macae Oilmen´s Golf Association is Robert McInnes, in Dubai.  

There are no additional membership fees to be a part of the Rio St. Andrew Society.

from left Pipe Major Brian Gibson, River Plate Pipe Band, Roddy McLeod, Director Scottish National Piping centre, Jimmy Frew, SAS President


The 6th Pipe Band Gathering massed bands

Events calendar 2016:

Every Tuesday from 8.00pm. Paissandu Club. Free Scottish Country Dance lessons led by Audrey Hieatt.
01 October: Teresopolis Golf Club. SAS x MOGA annual golf match and Quaich trophy, followed by ceilidh night, buffet and entertainment in the clubhouse bar. A fun weekend from Friday till Sunday for all the family at the Teresopolis Golf Club, with the Iain MacPhail Ceilidh Band. Golfers call Philip Healey at 21 98164 6464 after hours.

04 October: Paissandu Club end of dance season ceilidh with the Iain MacPhail Ceilidh Band. Entry free.

08 October: Jubilee Hall Botafogo. Annual Caledonian Ceilidh with the Iain MacPhail Ceilidh Band. Reservations with BCS office.

For further information on our events please contact Suzan via

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