Serving the Celtic Communities of: Wales, Isle of Man, Cornwall (England), Glacia (Spain), Brittany (France), Scotland and Ireland

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PO Box 765, Rapid City SD 57709

Volume 9 Issue 7 July 2007

Serving the Celtic Communities of: Wales, Isle of Man, Cornwall (England), Glacia (Spain), Brittany (France), Scotland and Ireland

You may contribute news and photos by email to

Carole Conrad’s friend, Mike Johnston, will engage in a discussion about the “Culture and History of the Picts” at our General Meeting this Thursday, July 19th. Don’t miss out on this informative evening.

New Addition this year:

Renaissance Scots

Of the several Living History or Re-enacting groups around, they’re the only ones portraying the Scots IN Scotland, being Scottish. Come, watch, ask questions, participate and HAVE FUN!

Weavers and Spinners
The Masters of the Fabric Arts

The Kilt ‘n Hammer

Clan Blacksmith

The Wolves of Dunvegan

The Fighting Element

of the RenScots

Check out the Renaissance Scots

web site for more info:

Known for engaging their audiences with an energetic blend of traditional and contemporary acoustic music, Wilson & McKee have performed throughout the country

This very talented pair from Colorado combines original and traditional songs, and they have mastered quite a range of instruments to back their fine vocals. Kim McKee is featured on accordian, hammer dulcimer, guitars, folk harp, mountain dulcimer, bodhran, stories and a wonderful bit of ceili dance! Ken Willson can be heard playing guitars, Irish Bouzouki, bagpipes (on occasion), storytelling, and some mean ceili swing himself. They play traditional Scottish and Irish songs, along with lots of their own well-crafted tunes, which are written and played in Celtic style. Their harmonies are outstanding and not to be missed!

For more info, go to:


Molly Bennett Dancers
Molly Bennett started her career in Irish dance and music in San Antonio, TX when she was 30. The music actually came first - it was through her membership in the band St James's Gate that she was introduced to the San Antonio Irish Dancers.

Molly toured with St James's Gate, which went to Ireland in 1986 and won the All-Ireland Championship for Groupi Ceol. It was Molly's last gig with the band, since the family had already moved to Denver. The female Bennetts enrolled in the Shamrock School of Irish Dance, eventually luring her husband Bill to join them. When the Shamrock School moved out of town, its adult students were left without a home, so Molly started the Denver Ceili Club for informal Irish group dancing and was also a founding member of the City of Denver Pipe Band's Irish Dance Section.

As her daughters advanced up the competition ladder in Irish dancing, they reached the point where they needed the beautifully embroidered solo dresses which girls and women wear. With the "I can do that!" spirit she has always had, Molly made the dresses herself and then turned it into a business. Her company, It's Knotwork to Me, Inc., produces school costumes and solo dresses for a nationwide clientele.

In 1996, Molly earned her accreditation as an Irish dance teacher, a "TCRG" in the jargon of the trade, allowing her to enter her students in sanctioned competitions. That fall, her 8-hand team won first place in Adult Mixed Ceili at the Western Region Oireachtas, the regional competition.

Molly and her family founded their Irish dancing school for all ages, the Heritage Irish Stepdancers, in 1998. In the summer of 2000, they built their own studio complex, the Friendship Irish Dance Center in SE Denver. The Bennett School was formed in January 2002 following a split in Heritage.

Molly has stayed active in Irish music and teaches classes and workshops at the Swallow Hill Music Association, the California Traditional Music Association, and other groups. She and two friends produced an album of traditional bawdy ( but not vulgar) songs, "The Bawdy Beautiful". She also teaches introductory classes in Irish dancing through Colorado Free University several times a year.

For more info, go to:

The Festival will be looking for volunteers, if you’re interested in helping, please send an e-mail to
For more info on the Gathering of the Clans Festival, go to:

July 11

7:00 p.m.

Board Meeting @ Carole Conrad’s

July 19

7:00 p.m.

General membership Meeting, American Legion Post 22, Rapid City

PROGRAM: Culture and History of the Picts by Mike Johnston

Aug 2

7:00 p.m.

Board Meeting

Aug 16

7:00 p.m.

General membership Meeting, American Legion Post 22, Rapid City

PROGRAM: The Role of the Irish in the Wars

Aug 30-Sept 2

Gathering of the Clans Celtic Festival at Memorial Park

Sept 6

7:00 p.m.

Board Meeting

Sept 20

7:00 p.m.

General membership Meeting, American Legion Post 22, Rapid City


*American Legion Post 22, 818 East St. Patrick St, Rapid City


Food and


Knights know how to throw


Midsummer’s Eve


Siaryn Duggan and Heather

Payden helped with our 1st

ever May Day Pole.

What Fun For ALL !!!!!!


iaryn Duggan, owner of Celtic Connection in downtown Rapid City, gave us this update on her new store:

We have quite a good variety of food ranging from Licorice Allsorts, Cadbury Flake Bars in milk AND dark chocolate, milk chocolate digestive biscuits, smarties, crunchies and lots of other chocolates.  Barry's Tea - regular and Irish Breakfast, Heinz Baked Beans, Branston Pickle, Mint Sauce, lime marmalade and Lemon Curd - to name but a few!! 
Also - just arrived for your shopping convenience (!!!) sterling silver Celtic jewelry at extremely affordable prices.  All kinds of fun items such as "Parking Signs", stickers, license plates, key rings and maps.  It seems we have something new almost every day - and I am also open to "constructive" suggestions for more items.  I am hoping to have Ladies Clothing in time for the Gathering of the Clans.  (YEAH!!!!!)
Also, we’re open late every Thursday until 8 p.m., as is nearly the entire downtown area.  I would say about 80% of the stores comply!  As a reminder, there is free parking at all the leased parking lots on Saturdays and after 6 p.m. on weekdays!

                Makes It All Worth It

I’ll admit writing June’s president letter was somewhat challenging as I was having a bit of trouble focusing on the task at hand and I was concerned about July’s letter as well. As I was mentally debating with myself and disparaging over a possible topic, it suddenly hit me like a bolt of thunder. The topic was right in front of me and so simple it seemed absurd to write about. It was simply something this SIS society is all about, not just about getting the word out about our Celtic Culture, but also about the camaraderie and the friendships and fellowship we enjoy when we are together. What brought me to this subject? A garage/yard sale that we held in June at Carole and Jim Conrad’s home in the name of a fund raising event for SIS.  Sure the intent of a garage/yard sale is to make money and in our case was to raise monies for the SIS. The day started out the usual way with a few customers strolling in with a couple of small rushes of maybe 5 or 6 people at once. This was fairly typical of the day and we managed to even make a few dollars for everyone’s efforts. But the real highlight of the day was the coffee that we started with along with great conversation that traversed the entire spectrum from our families, some past military careers to current events and I’m quite sure everything else in between. The weather could not have been more perfect, a bit coolish in the morning (which made the coffee even better, with bright hot sunshine the remainder of the day. All throughout the day Carole provide us with hot coffee or ice cold drinks and also offered up a delightful lunch. Aliyha was gracious enough to man the till the entire day and to do the hard sell on some of those not sure customers, she made them feel that they just had to have whatever they were looking at. But I keep reflecting back to which for me was the most memorable part of this event, the conversations and the visiting with each member and friends and just talking about life, nothing deep and profound or drastically dramatic, just plain good ole conversation amongst friends. This was truly a good day that reminded why and what for this SIS society is all about. Thank-you to all who were involved with this great little project and a very special thanks to our hosts Carole and Jim Conrad who made this event what it was “Fun”.

Bill Knight


Your Input Needed

This newsletter would be far more interesting with your input: news, events, culture, history, photos, new Celtic businesses, anything. Submit your articles in MS Word doc and photos in jpg format. E-mail to .

Here’s to beefsteak when you’re hungry,

Whiskey when you are dry,

Greenbacks when you are busted,

And heaven when you die!
We welcome any Scottish or Irish trivia from any member. Please submit your thoughts to

or contact Pat Hamilton, newsletter editor.

The Sons of Norway host dancing lessons at the Canyon Lake Senior Citizens’ Center each Monday evening at 6:30. We’re learning some Norwegian dances and are preparing to learn some Celtic dances. Call John or Nancy Burke if you’re interested in attending as their summer schedule may vary a bit.

This will be a regular feature of our Newsletter with your help. Please share any of your favorite Celtic Shopping locations with our Newsletter editor, Pat Hamilton. Send any suggestions to .


Celtic Connection, 517th 6th Street. It is co-located in the Bag Ladies Shop Siaryn and John Duggan’s Celtic business (605-718-8850 or 605-381-1500).

Contact info:;

Dream Shoes (Bald Mountain):

They have great sandals and shoes for both men and women.

Pyramid Collection:

Clothing, jewelry, goblets (mail-order catalog available)

Creative Irish Gifts:

Clothing, trinkets, jewelry, caps, mugs (mail-order catalog available)

Cashs of Ireland:

Dishes, glassware, clothing (mail-order catalog available)


Clothing, trinkets, glasses (mail-order catalog available)

Sofi’s Stitches:

Medieval and renaissance clothing

Gael Song:

(mail-order catalog available)

Celtic Croft:

Kilts, clothing, jewelry, etc (mail-order catalog available)

The Celtic Shop:

This is our old friend Coleen Coble’s web site. Check out her wide assortment.

Because we had an AWESOME Midsummer’s Eve Party at Knights INSTEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!

I. Old Business

Booths cost $100 and electricity is extra.

  • Combining SIS and COA? Maybe not. We should not change too much to join. Our focus is to celebrate our heritage and to have fun.

  • Location for SIS dinners

Moose Club or Elks? Radisson?

  • Heritage Festival. Fun.

  • Gillette Festival. Festival board has some issues to deal with.

2. New Business

  • Storage room is occupied. We need help to organize it.

  • We need more flags and stands etc.

  • We just got some new tartan books.

  • Getting members to help more? Get on the phone and ask. If they decline working in a booth then maybe they can cook. Would you consider helping me to do this? Ask specific things.

III. Standing Business

  • Website-please check to make sure that Darren is on there.

  • Programs:

July-talk on the Picts by Mike Johnston.

August-The role of the Irish in the wars.

Next months meeting at the Hamilton’s

President Bill Knight

Vice President John Burke

Secretary Heather Payden (Sally Knight, co-secretary)

Treasurer Carole Conrad

Board Members Aliyah Sanders, Kerry Smith, Jim Byrne, James Marrs, Paul Smith

Past President Gary Hamilton

Membership Sally Knight

Web Site Gary Hamilton

Newsletter Pat Hamilton,

If you would like to contribute an article or story, list an event, submit a photo, etc. to the newsletter, please email the item to me by the 5th of each month.

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