History

On St. Andrew's Day in 2001, during a social dinner at the Steak and Ale Restaurant in Ft. Myers, two old friends from New England, Mac Mackinnon, of Clan MacKinnon, and Dorwin A.J. Thomas, of Clan MacThomas, along with their Lassies Maureen MacKinnon, and June Thomas, had a lively discussion regarding the need to form yet another St. Andrew's Society.

Decades earlier in 1974 both MacKinnon, President of Twin States Scottish Society, and Thomas, a retired Officer of the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment Black Watch of Canada, and a member of the Saint Andrew's Society of Montreal, along with Sir Alasdair T. Ian Munro, of the Saint Andrew's Society of New York, and nine other Vermont based Scotsmen had officially formed the St. Andrew's Society of Vermont, which today has a strong contingent of over 400 members in dress kilt, and sponsors the Annual Tartan Ball, and the St. Andrew's Society of Vermont Pipes and Drums.

Consequently, on November 15, 2002 an Organizational Meeting to form the St. Andrew's Society of Lee County, Florida was held at the Del Tura Country Club in North Fort Myers, Florida. Approximately twenty potential members showed interest in the formation of the new St. Andrew's Society. To get the Society underway Mac Mackinnon was elected President, and Dorwin A.J. Thomas, was elected First Vice President. Newcomers, Chuck Bosstick, and Betty Bosstick, along with others interested in participating were quickly added to the roster. Chuck Bosstick, a former attorney, was elected as Second Vice President and immediately went out and purchased full Scottish formal attire. Betty Bosstick of Clan Kerr quickly became the Society's Public Relations Officer, responsible for promoting the Society's upcoming events.

Without having any money in the Society's Treasury, June C. Thomas, a former Financial Director for Elderhostel, took on the role of the Society's Treasurer, and formulated both the Society Membership enrollment, and Dues structure. June is still the Society's faithful Treasurer overseeing all income and expenses of the Society. Robert Alpert served as the first Society Secretary, and since has been followed in this capacity by other Society Members. In 2010 Robert E. Dudley, of Clan Colquhoun, was elected as Secretary of the Society.

In 2004, the Society published its first bi-annual newsletter to keep the Society's membership informed on all upcoming and past events. The Newsletter was named the Sun Coast Scot, with Maureen MacKinnon as its Editor. In addition to publishing the Sun Coast Scot in hard copy, it will now be listed on the Society's Website. Leslie Jamieson, a jewelry designer of Thistle Hill Creations, and a member of Clan Gunn, is the Editor, assisted by Past President Dorwin A.J.Thomas.

It was during a Celtic Festival in 2005 that the Society welcomed Rev. Dr. Ian Lamont, Clan Lamont, and Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Myers, to become the Society's first Chaplain, a role in which he faithfully served and assisted the Society with its first Kirkin O' the Tartan at the First Presbyterian Church. Since his departure from the area, the Rev. Dr. Norman Hutchinson, formerly from Northern Ireland, but a decedent from Clan MacDonald of Sleet, has dutifully taken over the role as the Society's Chaplain.

Also in 2005, the Society was also pleased to have David G. Dearie complete with his ancient military uniform as Cpl. 42nd RHR, Province of East Florida, join the Society and now serves as the Society's Historian.

As recounted by Dorwin Thomas.