Past Times: Ex-islanders will be greeted with new tune

From The Shetland Times, Friday 26th June, 1959

Ex-islanders who return to Shetland in the summer of 1960 for the special overseas festival event will be greeted by a brand-new fiddle tune, “The Exiles’ Return”, composed in their honour by well-known local musician Mr Tom Anderson.

The theme is both Celtic and Norse, in keeping with the tradition of the island melodies. Running throughout are staccato notes depicting the modern civilisation from which the exiles are coming, but the piece ends on a minor nostalgic note.

News from New Zealand this week is that a hundred berths have been reserved on the Southern Cross in the names of the “expeditionary force”. Twenty-four people have actually paid their money, and the indications are that a figure well in excess of fifty is probable. Others, of course, will be travelling independently, and it is hoped ex-islanders from other countries will make a special effort to arrive “home” next summer.

The programme for the festival is far from complete yet, but it is hoped to give the ex-islanders a clear picture of life in Shetland today, although part of the show will reflect the Shetland they left behind in years past.

There will most certainly be an inaugural church service, a civic welcome, and some element of pageantry.


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