On 11 February 1924, 19 Scots met in a house on Avenida Paulista to form the St Andrew Society of the State of São Paulo, and records for that year show that 59 Scots showed interest in Scottish activities. These men are our honoured Founding Members, many of them accountants, engineers or managers in the jute, textile, engineering, production, banking industries and the railways. Although there had been three previous Banquets to celebrate St Andrew's Day, the first official annual Banquet was held in 1924, at the Terminus Hotel, Rua Brigadeiro Tobias, with the first President Thomas Ballantine Muir in the chair.
William J Smith, known as “Juta” Smith, also a Founding Member, instigated the St Paul`s School competition, a literary project then based on the works of Sir Walter Scott, later in 1939 to include any subject to do with Scotland. “Juta” also introduced an At Home which was the precursor to the Haggis Alley Glee Club and the Ladies Night, later called the Caledonian Ball.
Members & Committee
In the beginning only male Scots could join the Society as full members, but as time went on and the British community changed, it was decided to allow lady members, and then in 1995, associate members, who could be of any nationality, to join. The President has normally Scottish born, or the son of a Scot.
In 2010 Society was proud to to be lead by their first female President, Christiana Tess.
Sports & Entertainment
In 1934 the FIRST Quaich golf competition was held and, with one exception, has been played each year ever since, now the longest running sports competition in the British community. Each year the winner fills the silver Quaich with a bottle of whisky and the cup is then traditionally passed around for players and guests to sample. The Mackenzie Trophy for Lady Scots golfers was first played in 1991.
Archie Maclean, who played football for Brazil, holds the record for winning the Quaich golf cup and is the longest serving President from 1941-48. Due to the War, social activities in the Society were stopped between 1940 and 1949.
“Toby” Dodds was one of the grand old men of the Society, starting his connection with St Andrew`s Societies at the age of 9 in Glasgow, becoming President in 1950 and continuing his interest all his life.
Other social events included the St Andrews Picnic for children, the Munro Cup, which brought together the International communities for a sporting competition and the Simpson Nisbet Cup for sports played against the English.
Evening entertainment included dancing practises, ceilidhs, the Burns Supper, which was first held in January 1954 with 29 Scots men present, and the Ladies Night for many years held in Mappins Stores becoming the Caledonian Ball.
In 1974, monthly lunches for members to meet for a chat were started.
One of the four main objects of the Society is benevolent and, from the beginning, money has always been raised for charity, first for charities in Scotland, but later, under Matt Blair`s presidency, for Brazilian entities, and this has been the policy since then. This is such an important aspect of the Society and members and guests really appreciate having a good time, knowing that, in doing so, money is going to the less fortunate in Brazil. The Committee appreciate that all their hard work pays off not once or twice, but three times – socially, culturally and for charity.
In 1930 the Banquet was cancelled because of “disturbed conditions” in São Paulo, but was continued for many years until it converted into the St Andrews Day Golf and Dinner.
Coat of Arms
In 1997 the Coat of Arms of the Society was designed by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, incorporating the Brazilian flag and the Saltire, and bears the motto “Non Multa sed Multum” (Not Many but Much). Also, the Society became a Steward of the National Museum of Scotland with its name engraved on the wall of the Museum in Chambers Street, Edinburgh.
St Andrew Society Tartan
In 2004, the Society designed its own tartan and Lochcarron Mill produced one kilt, ties and sashes. The tartan incorporates the green, blue, white and yellow of the Brazilian flag.