As Convenor of the Clan Carruthers Society, I again had the good fortune to be invited to attend another awards ceremony of the Order of the Scottish Samurai. I was a guest of Mr Ronald Watt OBE ORS (Order of the British Empire, Order of the Rising Sun) and Charles, Lord Bruce, heir apparent to the Earldom of Elgin and Chiefship of the family Bruce. The event again took place at Broomhall House in Fife, Scotland.
There are four main levels in the order itself, and these are proudly held by around 250 people internationally. To receive this award, people had travelled from as far afield as Canada (Robert Watt – Former Chief Herald of Canada) and Australia (Dr Darren Swanson -Historian), to receive it.
Having worked tirelessly for the Carruthers family for well over 12 years, along with many others to include but not only; Dana Caruthers Norton from the USA, Graham Carruthers and Zelda Carruthers from Canada, Cecelia Mitchell-Carruthers from France and Gary John Carruthers from Australia to name but a few, it is an honour to represent all those who support us at such an occasion.
As a Carruthers, whose family have been classed as a sept of Bruce since the 1800’s, it is also an honour to be on first name terms with Charles Bruce, and having discussed our task in trying to have a chief of our name confirmed, his support. He is a gentleman of the first order, a highly competant historian specialising in the rich history of his family, and a personal tour by him around his family home makes one realise just how integral and influential the family of Bruce has been to the history, not only of Scotland of which it is integral, but both the UK in general and many countries internationally as well. I am honoured to say that the relationship between Carruthers and Bruce that began all those hundreds of years ago, still continues. As an aside and in conversation and along with many who originally came from the border lands of Scotland, Bruce definately see themselves as a family and not as a clan.
Some of the OSS recipients over the years are listed below;
- The Earl of Elgin and Kincardine (Scotland; Chief of the Name Bruce)
- Shinzo Abe (Japan; Prime Minister)
- Lord Charles Bruce (Scotland; Businessman)
- Natsu Yamaguchi (Japan; MP)
- Alex Johnstone (Scotland; MSP)
- Sir Billy Connolly (Scotland; Actor and Comedian)
- Daisuke Matsunaga (Japan; Ambassador to Ethiopia)
- Dr Joseph Morrow CBE (Lord Lyon)
- Archbishop Lorenzo (Italy)
- Sir Chay Blyth (Scotland; first around the world sailor, single handed)
- Charles Gidley (England; 9th Dan Karate)
- Albert Thomson (Scotland; Grand Prior KHT)
- Don Owens (Canada: 9th Dan Karate)
- Prof Fiona Gilbert (Scotland; Radiologist)
- Joanna Lumley OBE (England; Actress)
- Dame Anne Glover DBE (Scotland -Biologist)
- Alex Salmond (Scotland; Former First Minister)
- Gordon Casely KStJ (Scotland; Scottish and tartan historian)
- Prof Takashi Katada (Japan)
- Paul Madden CMG (England; British Ambassador to Japan)
- Prof Will Reed (Scotland; 8th Dan Aikido)
- Dr George Carruthers FSA Scot (Scotland; Convenor – Clan Carruthers Society)
- Dr Kiyohiko Toyama (Japan)
- Sir Ian Wood Kt, GBE (Scotland; Gas and Oil, Philanthropist)
- Dr Naoki Amada (Japan; Scientist)
- Margaret Farquhar CBE (Scotland; Politician)
- Prof Ikuo Yamamoto (Japan; Scientist)
- Robert Watt CVO (Canada; Former Chief Herald of Canada)
- Rimiko Ishigami (Japan)
- Prof Alan Spence ORS (Scotland; Educationalist)
My rational for posting this blog therefore, was to share with you the excellant introductory message from the lawyer and award winner, Hayley Bloodworth OSS, LLB Dip Lp NP, (Hatamoto), which I believe and hope will resonate with both our readers and our family at large. Hayley is a Scottish Lawyer, Advocate and Consultant Solicitor, specialising in Employment Law who is based in Aberdeen, Scotland and acts as Communications and Public Relations Officer for the Order.
Hayley’s introductory speech:
Lord Bruce, Lord Lyon, Consul General, Lord Dean of Guild, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the 2019 Scottish Samurai Awards, here in the magnificent Broomhall House, the ancestral home of the Bruce family.
These are challenging times, where good intention, endeavour, respect, friendship, nobility and humility, together with a sense of community and independence, are of pivotal importance.
Some of you, I know, have travelled from all four corners of the globe to be with us today, and it is indeed a great honour and a great pleasure to see you all here together. I would like you all to know that you are among good friends here today.
Introductions – special guests
First of all can I introduce and thank Charles, Lord Bruce for his kindness and generosity in welcoming us here today in the spirit of friendship. Charles is, as some of you know, very active in heritage conservation in Scotland, but he also supports multi-cultural initiatives, which connect Scotland globally (with the rest of the world) and in particular the friendship between Scotland and Japan
May I also introduce our honoured guests: Nozomu Takaoka san, the Consul General of Japan and his wife Yumi. We are honoured, and welcome you both here as our good friends today. We are also very honoured to have with us today Dr Joe Morrow, Lord Lyon King of Arms. As the head of the Lyon court, Joe has the responsibility for heraldry in Scotland.
Last but not least, may I introduce Ronnie Watt, globally respected Karate Master for over 50 years and founder of the Scottish Samurai Awards who with his great vision continues to inspire and connect us all nationally and internationally and who keeps the ancient values of the samurai very much alive, showing us that they are more relevant today, perhaps than ever
The Way of the Samurai follows a simple and honourable code and one that would serve humanity and us all, well as we go forward into the future
- Seek Perfection of Character
- Refrain from violent deed and word
- Respect Others
- Be faithful
Each of these has both a breadth and a depth that I am sure we can all study and aspire to, as we go through our lives.
And for you all as awardees today, you join an important and flourishing community of now around 250 samurai, in Scotland, in Japan and around the world. A community already working together on initiatives for connection, collaboration, the exploration of trading initiatives and the way to greater peace. These are exciting times ladies and gentlemen, where the world needs new ways of thinking, and being and the Scottish Samurai are an important part of that catalyst for change.
At the heart of the Scottish Samurai is the guardianship of that special friendship and connection between Scotland and Japan. This emanates from a deep respect for, and a spiritual understanding of each other’s cultures and history. It is perhaps destiny, that we are all (together) in this room today, and that we each, as Samurai have a part to play, in some way.
In October last year, a delegation of Samurai led by Sensei Ronnie Watt and Lord Bruce, visited Japan and were warmly received with such generosity by 6 Japanese Cities and this meeting of minds, hearts and this bond of trust and respect, was crystalised when the Samurai were invited to tea and conversation with senior Japanese Government executives, in the inner cabinet office of the Diet, the Japanese Parliament.
There really aren’t any words to describe how important, how significant and how respectful a gesture this is and we were and are overwhelmed and humbled by this gesture of friendship. For Japan, this is the start of the new era of Reiwa, which means “beautiful harmony” and this, ladies and gentlemen does seem to resonate beautifully, at this point in time, both with the intention of the Scottish Samurai and with us all here today.
Clan Carruthers Society International
Our society has a similar task and ongoing situation.Our society was initiated to bring together our family in both harmony and a joint appreciation of our Scottish heritage and culture as border reivers. As reivers, family was the pivotal point around which the social structure of the day functioned and it is that feeling of belonging, based on truth and transparency, that we exist today.
However, as we await the Lord Lyon’s decision on the confirmation of a Chief of our Name, which we understand has been made but not typed yet, we ask for both your patience and continued support. We cannot do this without you and although as we continually comment, we follow a long and arduous road which is often frustrating, it is the only route we can take for official recognition. The work we do at CCSI is for the benefit of ‘all of our name’ irrelevant of colour, creed or religion. We therefore give up our time, not simply for the few and we try to do it based on proofed evidence, solid research and honest hard work.
We therefore hope you appreciate and support us in our efforts going forward, and to mirror the name of the new era of Japan, under the new Japanese Emperor Naruhito, in ‘beautiful harmony’.