Mr. Hunter Cran, the
rector of Falkirk High School founded the Dante Alighieri Society of
Falkirk on 12th February 1963. Mr. Cran had served in the
Italian campaign with the Royal Marine Commandos during the 1939 -45 war
and had come to love Italy, its people and culture. He put an article in
the Falkirk Herald, inviting anyone with an interest in Italy and its
culture, to a meeting at the Temperance Café, Lint Riggs, Falkirk.
The response was great
and so the Society came into being. Mr. Cran was fortunate in the fact
that he gained the support of a group of members, who collectively had
great imagination and enthusiasm, such as, Dr. D Harper, Mrs. Jean Mclean,
Mrs. W. Webster, Mr. M. Serafini, and many others. The society once
boasted over 80 members, this being due to the efforts of one person, Mrs.
Luciana Wood. She was appointed secretary on 17th December 1974
with membership of 20, and she managed with a combination of drive,
numerous contacts and an indomitable spirit to increase the membership
four-fold. Another long serving member who deserves a mention is Ian
Ludbrook who has been a member and committee member for 24 years.
Membership currently stands at between 40 and 50.
During the last 44
years the Falkirk Society has played host to numerous outstanding
speakers, covering diverse topics from Italian wines, to Roman Architecture
and Palaces to children sleeping rough in the streets of Naples. In recent
years several of our own members have given very interesting and successful
presentations covering many topics.
The Society has always
provided Italian classes catering for different abilities. In 1967 it even
offered two classes for children and was the first, and perhaps the only
Society in Britain to do so.
Since 1988 the
Society has had the privilege of being granted several bursaries to study
Italian in Italy. Seven members of the Society have so far taken up the
opportunity to study for four weeks in Italy.
We are always
looking for new members and would cordially invite anyone with an interest
in Italy and Italian culture or language to contact us and join the