Pictured here are (from the left) Dave McGregor, Hamish Lumsden, Betty
Lumsden and May McGregor - caught on camera during a rare break from their intensive training sessions while attending their
annual conference at a secret venue in Zante.
The St Andrews Debating Society, bettter known as the SADS, have spent nearly two
decades debating where they should hold their annual conference and the unanimous vote has always favoured the same two
rooms at the Pallas Hotel in Laganas.
During the two-week annual conference, numerous daily debates are held to decide
where the evening sessions should be held and the Blue Sea restaurant wins every time - but only after a lengthy reading of
the Tarot cards and a visit to the wine cellars.
Endless debates are held every day on such serious subjects as which table to
sit at breakfast, which sun loungers to choose, where to have lunch, what to eat, when to hire a car, which bus to get to
Zante town, where to buy bottled water, etc etc and the record-breaking foursome come to the same conclusions every time every
No other debating society can match the SADS for sheer stamina and determination
to exhaust every possible avenue before the discussion is eventually ended by the SADS solemn declaration of SALT which, of
course, translates as "Same As Last Time."
In addition to their marathon debating records, the SADS also employ a unique voting
system. The male Society members are allowed and indeed encouraged to contribute to the debate but the constitution states
that only the women members can vote. Nice move by heid-the-baws B & M.
Despite coming from the "wrong end of the kingdom," fellow Fifers Ian and Anne Fraser
have nothing but admiration for the SADS after witnessing their life-changing debates at close quarters for more
than a decade.
Ian said "At first we honestly thought they were members of the St Andrews Dramatic
Society (still SADS) and just putting on a show for our entertainment us but eventually we realised they were indeed
the genuine article.
"Anne and I once considered applying for honorary membership although we realised
we were mere amateurs compared to these masters of the in-depth debating
"However, we came to the conclusion that the language barrier would be too big a
hurdle to overcome as we struggled to come to terms with the pan-loaf accents and cultured tones of our East
"Baffies, bunkers, guiders, sivers, cairry-cods,
corry-jookit, gutties, puggies, were all greeted like foreign words and they even
thought the familiar Cowdengelly expression of surprise "Yahoor" had something to do with the internet.
Worst of all, they were totally ignorant of the role of the pluggy man until it was
translated into St Andrews speak as "school attendance officer."
Anyway, the SADS remain the unchallenged drag-on debating champs and it will take
something special to put their bums oot the windae. Perhaps only a team with faces like a well-skelped coo's erse
could knock them off their stride and go top of the leader board.
Until then, all we can do is raise our glasses to our heroes and propose an appropriate toast
"Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose"