Page last modified on: 22 Jan 2013
History of the Organization
From 1541 until 1799, the Dutch town of Veere, in the province of Zeeland was the official Staple Port for the Scottish trade in the Netherlands. In 1996, the Mayor of Veere inaugurated Doctor Winifred Ewing, former MEP and President of the Scottish National Party, as the Honorary Conservator of the Scottish Privileges in the Low Countries. Although the honour was presented to Dr Ewing on becoming the longest serving member of the European Parliament, the event also signaled that the town of Veere in the Netherlands and Scotland were willing to re-establish their ancient friendship, which was broken in 1799. Click here for more on history
Already in the early 1980's, there had been regular talks about ‘doing something together’, some sort of connection, be it trade or tourism or maybe even a twinning of towns. Links had been made between the National Trust for Scotland and the Scots Houses in Veere. The NTS specifically drawing attention to the Ancient Royal Burgh of Culross, in Fife, which was a strong trading partner with the Port of Veere. The link up eventually resulted in an exhibition about the Veere connection in the Town Hall and the naming of a new street, in Culross as ‘Veere Park’; but then: silence followed.
In the early 90's, new attempts were made. In 1993, a delegation of citizens of Culross visited Veere and in 1996, when Veere celebrated its 700th anniversary, many Scottish events were organized. From the early 90's the Municipal Archivist of Veere continuously made researches and published about the historical relationship; in order to grow a public awareness.
In March 1997, a party from Veere, including the Mayor, an Alderperson, the Municipal Archivist and a member of the Local Council attended a conference on Town Twinning in Glenrothes, Fife. They also visited Culross where they received a warm welcome from the towns-people there. At the conference, the Mayor signed a protocol, stating that the town of Veere would appoint a functionary to maintain contacts with Scotland.
Because Scots trading history with Veere was not commonly known, in 1998 a group of enthusiasts from Veere combined to form ‘The Scotland-Veere Organization’. Its aim was to publicize the long and fruitful connection between Veere and Scotland and to commemorate their shared heritage more fully. The group has initiated various successful projects, co-operates in several management teams, like the Veere Promotion Foundation, ‘Zeeland Maritiem’ and has taken part in many public discussions.