American Friends of Scottish Opera - USA
Scottish Opera and The Theatre Royal - Glasgow, Scotland
Edinburgh Festival Theatre - Edinburgh, Scotland
Abbotsford - Home of Sir Walter Scott

William R. Wallace is Recipient of National Tartan Day Award

Robert W. Murdoch, National Chairman of Tartan Day, has announced that William R. Wallace of Sarasota, Florida, is the recipient of the 2012 National Tartan Day Award, presented annually by The Scottish Coalition USA.

In making the announcement, Mr. Murdoch made these comments:  “As National Tartan Day chairman since 1999, it is always my pleasure to be involved in the selection and presentation of the Annual Tartan Day Award. As the acceptance and success of Tartan Day continues not only in the United States but also internationally each year, the selection of the Awardee is watched with great anticipation.

“When Bill Wallace was selected as the Awardee for 2012, I thought of a statement by Charles Franklin Kettering, who said, 'My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.' Each day that we face is our future, as is Bill's. But Bill's future regarding his love of all things Scottish began years ago, as his record states. Reviewing his achievements shows that Bill used not only his own Scottish heritage and knowledge of Scottish history, but also his own ideals to not only keep history alive but also how to continue to make them available to future generations.  As the Awardee for 2012, Bill joins a list of other Awardees who have heralded the contributions and traditions that have been set by Scots and Scottish-Americans, and I congratulate him.”

Mr. Murdoch said that Bill Wallace's leadership in drawing attention to the accomplishments of Scots and Scots-Americans has been outstanding, particularly in the City of Sarasota, Florida, a city whose destinies were fixed by the arrival in 1886 of John Hamilton Gillespie of Dumfriesshire, Scotland, who was elected the first mayor of the town when it was incorporated in 1902.

Following a successful career as an executive with Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Missouri, and later as development director for his alma mater, Drake University (from whom he received the initial Alumni Loyalty Award),  Bill
attempted to retire on two occasions, finding that his desire to participate and serve community interests was irresistible, with the result that in 1974 he and his wife Jean Moorehead Wallace, moved to Sarasota with their sons and daughters.

Friends remark on Bill's talent for persuasion, for his leadership in getting others to participate in worthwhile projects. Although no single individual can ever take full credit for accomplishments in which numerous persons gave of their talent as well as financial assistance, it is worthwhile to comment on several of the projects relating to Scotland and Scottish heritage where Bill Wallace had a significant impact.

One of the most significant is in his role as co-founder of the Caledonian Club of Florida West, where he also served as president.  This is the organization that arranged for the tartans of numerous clans to be displayed at the Sarasota Airport on a permanent basis, to be seen by thousands of travelers entering the city.
The Caledonian Club spent $ 25,000 to bring the interior of the old opera house in Dunfermline to be renovated and become the main stage of the new Asolo Repertory Theater. Another $25,OOO was  spent to renovate the second floor of the Sarasota Opera House, designed and built by A.B. Edwards, a Scot and former mayor of Sarasota.

A major donation to the Scottish community, locally and internationally, has been the creation of The Scottish Collection at the Selby Library in Sarasota. Over a period of 25 years, the Caledonian Club of Florida West, due largely to Wallace's fundraising abilities, has raised $25,000 to establish the collection, which originally had one book on Scotland and now has over 1,000 volumes on Scotland and related matters.

An important organization in Florida is the Sarasota Sister Cities Association, having direct ties with its “Sister City” Dunfermline, Scotland. Bill has served as president of this important international organization.

This is the tenth year that The Scottish Coalition USA has presented its award. The Coalition is composed of six national organizations serving the Scottish community: American-Scottish Foundation, Inc., Association of Scottish Games & Festivals, Caledonian Foundation USA, Inc., Council of Scottish Clans and Associations, Inc., Living Legacy of Scotland, Inc, and Scottish Heritage USA.


November 6, 2011 - the Anniversary of the birth in 1861of James Naismith, Scots/Canadian/American, Inventor of the Game of Basketball.

December 21, 2011 - the Anniversary of the first time the Game of Basketball was played - in Springfield, Mass., in 1891.

In accordance with its mission to preserve and strengthen the traditional bonds between Scotland, Canada and the United States, The Caledonian Foundation USA is providing information on this remarkable individual to Scottish-American organizations throughout the USA and encouraging them to arrange special events that highlight Naismith's achievements.

It is anticipated that in most cases the organizations will make their announcements in November and December of 2011, with the actual presentations in the early part of 2012.

Information and background material will be furnished by contacting the Foundation office: [email protected]

Inventor of the Game of Basketball

Nov. 6, 1861 Born in Almonte, Ont. Canada. Parents (from Scotland): John and Margaret (Young) Naismith, who died in 1870.
1876 High School Drop-out at age 15
1881 Resumed education
1883 High School diploma
1887 Graduated with honors from McGill University (Montreal) with Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy. Remained at McGill and worked as Physical Education Instructor and studied Theology at the Presbyterian Theological College in Montreal.

Naismith travels in the fall to YMCA in Springfield, Mass., to meet Dr. Luther Gulick, Dean of the YMCA International Training School.

Naismith enrolled in YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. In the summer he was sent to the Island of Martha's Vineyard, Mass., to study the principles of the Swedish system of exercise, being taught there by Baron Nils Posse.


While at the YMCA International Training School, Naismith invented the Game of Basketball, first played December 21, 1891After completing the two-year training program, he remained on the staff As a full-time teacher.

1894 Naismith married Maude Evelyn Sherman. They had five children.
1895 Naismith moved to Colorado to become director and instructor of Denver

Received Doctor of Medicine degree from Gross Medical School in Denver.

Upon graduation he became director of chapel and director (and sole instructor) of Physical Education at the University of Kansas and continued in this position until his retirement in 1937.  He introduced Basketball to Kansas and coached the varsity team from 1899 to 1909.


In 1916 he was ordained as minister and served as captain to Kansas National Guard and as chaplain with YMCA from 1917 to 1919 in France during World War I.

Naismith earned four degrees in the fields of Philosophy, Religion, Medicine and Physical Education.  In 1911 he received Honorary Master's Degree in Physical Education from YMCA in Springfield, Mass., and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from the Presbyterian Theological College in Montreal in 1919.

1925 On May 4, 1925, James Naismith became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
1937 Death of Naismith's wife, Maude Sherman.
1939 James Naismith died November 28, 1939 in Lawrence, Kansas. Copyright © 2013, The Caledonian Foundation USA, Inc. Inc. All rights reserved