OSS Awards 26th March 2023 at Broomhall House.
The prestigious ceremony and dinner of the 2023 Scottish Samurai awards were held in the suitably prestigious venue, Broomhall House, the ancestral home of the Bruce family over two days 25th-26th March. Order of the Scottish Samurai founder Ronnie Watt (9th Dan) OBE ORS was joined by host Lord Charles Edward Bruce, the Very Reverend Prof Sir Iain Torrence, Lord Provost of Aberdeen David Cameron and Lord Dean of Guild Sylvia Halkerston. First OSS Dinner at Broomhall House was held on the Saturday night with twenty-five guests.
1st OSS Dinner Broomhall House 25th March 2023 guests and awardees
1. Charles Edward Bruce ( Lord Bruce ) awarded Dai Gensui or (Grand Marshal) (大元帥)
2. Sheree McCrory
3. Very Rev Professor Sir Iain Torrance KCVO Kt. Awarded Great Taisho Five Star Gold
4. Ronnie Watt.OBE MSt J ORS M Univ.
5. Gail Watt .
6. Hayley Bloodworth.
7. David Cameron Lord Provost of Aberdeen- awarded OSS Taisho Three Star Gold
8. Hazel Cameron awarded – OSS Great Shogun
9. Mr Tadashi Fujiwara Consul General of Japan in Edinburgh – OSS Taisho Three Star
10. Mrs Kaori Fujiwara,
11. Dr Sylvia Halkerson Lord Dean of Guild, Burgess of Aberdeen.
12. Donnie Halkerson OSS Shogun
13. Prof Paul Mealor (composer) CSt J. OSS Taisho. Three Star Gold
14. Dr Grahame Davies LVO OSS Taisho Three Star Gold
15. Sally Davies
16. John Otto – OSS Shogun
17. Kimberlie Hamilton – OSS Shogun
18. Dr Ken McHardy – OSS Shogun
19. Sallie McHardy
20. Peter David Carry – awarded OSS Taisho Three Star Gold
21. Jean Carry
22. Dr Irene Watt
23. Graham White
24. Prof Ian Gow OBE ORS
25. Kathrine Anne Gow – OSS Shogun
Sixty VIPs were in attendance to receive awards during the Sunday ceremony in the beautiful sunlight south-facing reception room of the grand iconic Scottish property, a room with the same sizeable handmade glass windows used in Buckingham palace, surrounded by historical treasures of art, history, Elgin marble and the famous King Robert the Bruce Sword. The attendees were invited to receive awards for their positive contributions to humanity in their fields of work.
Musical interludes were provided by some of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians. Irene Watt on Harp with husband Graham White on harmonica and Charlie Abel on Accordion. A martial arts demonstration by Sensei Robert Boyd (4th Dan) of Iaido (the way of the Samurai Sword) startled an attentive audience.
A Robert Burns presentation was given by Marc Sherland, who was presented with a unique signed copy of the late Professor Toshio Namba’s book of Burns poetry, translated into Japanese. Poetry of Robert Burns: Nature and Life / Translated and annotated by Toshio Nanba. by NAMBA, Toshio (1910-1989)
A moving rendition of ‘My Heart is in the Highlands” delivered by Helena Anderson-Wright with Irene Watt’s tasteful accompaniment on the harp was well received.
OSS National treasure awards were given to ‘The animals in Warfare Association” collected by Graham Guyan, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeen. Eric Auld, a well-known Scottish artist from Aberdeen, was posthumously recognised, and his award was collected by his daughter, Deirdre Auld Smith.
Finally, and notably, Aberdonian John James Rickard MacLeod was recognised as OSS Historical National Treasure for his work in discovering the medicinal use of Insulin in treating diabetes. A presentation on his story was given by Dr Ken McHardy, John Otto and Kimberlie Hamilton, who have managed to fundraise for a statue to be erected in honour of this remarkable man responsible for saving over three hundred million lives to date. It is to our nation’s shame that this famous scientist has not received any proper recognition for the significant impact his discoveries have had and will continue to have for the foreseeable future. The fundraising efforts of Dr McHardy, John Otto and Kimberly have been incredible, and they are into the six-figure target needed for the statue that they plan to unveil in Duthie Park, Aberdeen, later this year. A short distance from JJR MacLeod’s final resting place in Allenvale Cemetry.
Lord Provost of Aberdeen David Cameron and Lord Dean of Guild Sylvia Halkerston accepted an award on behalf of Aberdeen City Council.
Origin of the Order of The Scottish Samurai
The story of the Order of the Scottish Samurai began in 1994 when Ronnie was awarded a sporting award from Aberdeen City Council through Hector Emslie of A T Mays. He felt deeply honoured to be given some recognition by his hometown, a city he loves dearly. The award mentioned his contribution to Karate, teaching over 25000 children over 3 decades (now into his sixth decade) and bringing the WKC World Karate Championships to Aberdeen.
The award was titled “Sports Personality of the year”. A very fitting and well-intentioned title but from Ronnie’s point of view, Karate was much more than a sport. In fact, Ronnie doesn’t think of Karate as a sport at all. Karate is a martial art, a discipline based on the perfection of character, self-improvement and the art of defence and attack. Ronnie tells us “In Karate we dress in white to represent the purity of spirit, and the hard-earned black belt tells you we have a dark side if provoked. Karate is a way of life that stems from the philosophy and code from ancient Japan called Budo. The way of the Samurai. “
“I have always admired Thomas Blake Glover (1838-1911), a local historical character. He was fondly referred to as the “Scottish Samurai” and had close relations with Japan’s rebellious Satsuma and Choshu clans and a great interest in samurai culture. Glover was also awarded The Order of the Rising Sun in 1908.
I suggested the best name for my award was “The Scottish Samurai Award”, and from this moment, the Scottish samurai awards were created. Since 1994, I have run a self-funded awards event every year and honoured local people, hoping to give them some positive encouragement for their hard work with unexpected recognition. Little did I know that from these small humble awards ceremonies, we’d grow into an international official awarding body, with distinction from the Her Majesty the Queen, the Japanese government, and awardees worldwide in many countries.
During this time, I have also been recognised with an OBE from Her Majesty the Queen, an Order of the Rising Sun from the emperor of Japan, and an Honorary Degree from The University of Aberdeen.
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