Saturday 14th June was a very special for Northern Taekwon-Do Academies (NTA), affiliated to ITF Scotland, as it celebrated the recent promotion at the 92nd IIC in Dublin 2014 of three of its senior instructors to Master level.
Master Gordon Wallace VII was promoted to VIII degree; Mr David McNairn and Mr Jamie Campins were both promoted to VII degree master. To have one promotion local or national for that matter is very special, but to have three is extra special and some thought once in a lifetime. To make this presentation of certificates and belts an occasion to reflect the significance of the event, NTA invited guest of honour Grandmaster MacCallum IX to our Masters Presentation to make the presentations formally and in front NTA students and parents.
Master Wallace introduced our guest of honour and Grandmaster MacCallum gave an opening address about his personal history and lifetime experiences in Taekwon-Do.
Following the address, the certificate presentations took place along with the masters’ new belts which they were extremely happy to wrap around. Each recipient then gave a short speech about their lifetime’s achievements and memorable moments and in some cases the memories were quite emotional especially when Mr James C Scott was mentioned and how happy and proud he would have been to see Mr McNairn the last of his students gain 7th degree master. To give a little background here Mr James Scott was the instructor of Elgin and Cupar schools of Taekwon-Do and died at the age of 41, a IV degree. Mr Scott has five masters as his legacy; Master JF Williamson VIII, Master G Wallace VIII, Master M Thompson VII, Master S Dunbar and now Master D McNairn VII, all of whom are still practicing.
Following the presentations and speeches, students and parents were given the opportunity to ask the four masters questions. This proved to be very popular and really could have lasted for hours. The formalities finished with an NTA group photograph and afterwards the masters were available for a signing session on belts, books etc. to mark this unique occasion. The presentation lasted three hours and finished at 5pm whereby the Invited guests masters, instructors all went out to have meal and what was thought at the time the conclusion of the day.
The meal was very nice, Italian of course, and as the food digested, the ties were removed and digestifs received in the form of malt whisky, selected by Master McNairn, were ordered. It was “agreed” by certain members of the meal that we would accompany GM MacCallum back to his hotel and have a nightcap with him before saying goodnight. That was the plan….However further deviousness unfolded as the wives had been busy bees and organised a very, very sneaky reception party at the hotel GM was staying and the special day continued on into the night.
After regaining some composure, the already relaxed masters with no ties, looking like extras out of a Quentin Taratino movie, joined the party. Once all inside the room, Mr Mark Boydell V degree became Master of Ceremonies began with the unveiling of the party conspirators. What followed was the acceptance of commemorative plaques, and in addition personalised individual celebration cakes!! After much toasting and hand shaking, everything relaxed into a very informal time for all. Selfies were a plenty and the party was a great success and ended a very special day and on speaking on behalf of the masters, one that will be very special day in our Taekwon-Do journey.
Our special time started in Dublin, continued with all the lovely comments on Facebook, the presentation reception and the closing party.
So in closing this celebratory chapter in our careers, we would like to thank everyone who had a part in it, from the ITF promotions Committee, GM Marano and GM Bos in promoting us, to GM MacCallum in taking time out to make the journey north and make our presentations special, to the party organisers and friends on Facebook who made some lovely comments and those who gave us a “like”, for all the efforts and kindness shown to us by our students in NTA, thank you, you made it a very memorable time.