Samantha Brodie, Emily Ryan, Hannah Briggs, Autumn Taylor and Kathleen Keogh at the Caledonian Debutante Ball at  St Mary's Hall on Saturday, May 14.
Samantha Brodie, Emily Ryan, Hannah Briggs, Autumn Taylor and Kathleen Keogh at the Caledonian Debutante Ball at St Mary's Hall on Saturday, May 14. Deanna Millard

Top night for debs, partners and families at 68th annual Caledonian Ball

FIVE debutantes were cheered on by a crowd of 160 at the annual Warwick Caledonian Society debutante ball on Saturday night at St Mary’s Hall.

Ball organiser Anne Coy said the debutantes were presented to The Scots PGC College principal Simon Shepherd.

“The debutantes go to school at Scots PGC, Assumption College and the Warwick Christian College,” she said.

The ball started with a performance by the Inverness Highland Dancing Studio under the direction of Marlene McBean.

The Scots PGC College Pipe Band entertained the crowd before the presentation of the debutantes.

Cloud 9 and the Warwick Thistle Pipe Band provided the music for the night.

It was the first time at the ball for Toowoomba band Cloud 9 while the Thistle pipe band is a regular at each year’s Caledonian society debutante ball.

“Saturday night’s ball was the 68th annual ball. The Warwick Caledonian Society is one of the longest-established in Australia,” Mrs Coy said.

One of the seven flower girls was Audrey Harris from Melbourne who was the fourth-generation of her family to be involved with the ball.

Her mother Kim Harris (nee O’Brien), her grandmother Colleen O’Brien (nee Mason) and her great-grandmother Dawn Mason (nee Saltman) all made their debuts at a Caledonian society ball in Warwick.

“I don’t think we have had four generations involved before,” Mrs Coy said.

Ball patrons came from as far as Melbourne, St George, Brisbane and coastal areas.

The hall was beautifully decorated with tartan, green and purple by Wendy Schelbach and her band of helpers.

Mrs Coy said the hall had already been booked for the 2017 ball on May 13.

“Girls from year 11 at school are welcome to make their debuts at the Caledonian ball. The ball is non-denominational but very traditional like the balls in Scotland,” she said.

Mrs Coy (nee McPhee) made her debut at the 1974 ball with her partner Ian Coy. They married two years later.

“My parents came to Warwick 70 years ago and our children and now their children have all been involved in the Caledonian society and balls,” she said.

Girls keen on making their debut at the caledonian ball don’t have to be involved in the society or have Scottish heritage.

Any girls interested in finding out more about next year’s ball can ring Mrs Coy on 0488466646.



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