On the one-year anniversary of an unprecedented time for the oldest non-profit celebrating their 175th anniversary, this prestigious award is the highest honor given for outstanding leadership in the Scottish-American community spanning the entire country
Chicago, IL - The Chicago Scots, the first and oldest non-profit organization in Illinois dedicated to nourishing Scottish identity through service, fellowship and celebration, is thrilled to announce today President Gus Noble received the 2021 National Tartan Day Award on April 6th presented by the Scottish Coalition USA. Gus, along with his team at the Chicago Scots and their principal charity Caledonia Senior Living in North Riverside. The event was hosted virtually by the American Scotland Foundation.
This award comes of the highest regard, recognizing Gus Noble for his role in ensuring the safety achieved at their principal charity Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care, and for his demonstrated leadership in engaging the greater Chicago Scots community and Scotland to support these efforts. Leading The Chicago Scots, the only Scottish society in the world to own and operate an elder care community as a principal charitable cause,Gus along with his team, have been aggressive in their approach since day one, deciding to close their doors early on in the pandemic, developing and implementing a robust testing plan for residents and staff before testing was required, joining forces with neighboring communities to secure PPE, implementing a robust Action Plan and Reopening Plan that was shared with families and loved ones every step of the way, and mandating vaccinations at their community which resulted in 100% of residents being vaccinated, and over 95% of staff. 
“It is a singular honour to receive the Tartan Day Award,” stated President Gus Noble. “But it’s not singularly for me. It’s really for the people who made this Scottish Society; it’s for the early Chicago Scots. It’s for my friend Wayne Rethford. It’s for the people who lead and support this unique community. Most of all, it’s for the incredible people who live and work at Caledonia Senior Living. Their vigilance, resilience and commitment to caring is simply astonishing. I will never be able to express how deeply I am grateful to them, nor how humbled I am to stand beside them. These are very, very good people. When history recalls them, she will smile. It is on their behalf that I will proudly accept this award.”
The Scottish Coalition USA comprises of six leading national organizations who share the mission to further interests and common goals across the United States through collaborations. These organizations include the Council of Scottish Clans, American Scottish Foundation, Living Legacy, Scottish American Military Society, Scottish Heritage USA, and the Association of Scottish Games & Festivals. 
"The nomination was unanimous and resounding,” said John Bellassai, President of Council of Scottish Clans and Associations, and a founding member of The Scottish Coalition USA. “During COVID-19 Gus has been tireless in continuing his support of so many Scottish-American causes, whilst heading Caledonia Senior Living. He deserves our recognition.” 
For more information on the Chicago Scots, please visit or call 708.442.7268. For tickets to the National Tartan Day Commemoration Celebration, hosted virtually by the American Scotland Foundation, please click here.   
Gus was born in Dundee, Scotland, and graduated from the University of Stirling in 1992.  After graduation he moved to Chicago and worked for the British Consulate General for seven years before establishing the first international office of the Welsh Assembly Government in Chicago which he led for five years. In August 2004, Gus was named president of the Chicago Scots and Caledonia Senior Living and Memory Care. 
His civic role includes serving on the boards of the Admiral at the Lake, the oldest senior living community in Chicago, and the Rosehill Cemetery Reserve Fund, which governs the cemetery where Chicago Scots owns more than 600 plots and many Scots are buried. He supports Newcastle United Football Club and plays electric bass guitar in a Scottish-American honky-tonk band. He and his wife, Aisha, have two sons, Bobby and Langston. 
Many Scottish-Americans know Gus for his 17-year commitment to growing the Scottish North American Community Conference, started in 2003, to enhance understanding, communication and cooperation within the Scottish North American community.

Going forward many Scots will know Gus for his leadership of Chicago Scots during its 175thanniversary year as the oldest charity in Illinois and for saving every resident at Caledonia Senior Living and Memory Care during COVID-19. 
In 1845, when Chicago’s population was just 12,000, a group of immigrant Scots gathered at the city’s finest hotel, the Lake House, to celebrate Saint Andrew’s Day. There, they established Illinois’ first and still oldest charity, the Illinois Saint Andrew Society and adopted a simple mission:“Relieve the Distressed.”Since then, despite crises like the Great Chicago Fire, the Great Depression, two World Wars, and the 1918 Pandemic, the Society (known today as the Chicago Scots) has never failed to host their “Feast of the Haggis.” On Saint Andrew’s Day, 30 November 2020, the Society officially became the first 501c3 not-for-profit in Illinois to celebrate a milestone and kick off its 175thanniversary year. Relying on their strong roots to stay true to their values, the Chicago Scots continue their mission in support of their principal charity, Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care, where their record of safety throughout the crisis our times, COVID-19, is impeccable. 
Around the world there are many societies that celebrate Scottish culture, but there is only one that has developed an elder-care community as a defined charitable purpose. For more than 110 years, generations of families have turned to and trusted the Chicago Scots to provide loving care at Caledonia Senior Living, a five-acre campus nestled in the forest preserve, just west of downtown Chicago. 

The Chicago Scots welcome everyone who is Scottish by birth, by heritage or simply by inclination. To strengthen the enduring bonds of friendship between Scotland and North America, the Society hosts events that educate, entertain and promote Scottish culture. In response to 2020’s pandemic, the Chicago Scots pivoted their cultural events to become virtual including hosting the first virtual Scottish Festival & Highland Games in the U.S. and a Kilted Classic Golf Scramble Around the World.  The Chicago Scots also support initiatives like the Scottish History Forum, Scottish Genealogy Society and the world's only Scottish North American Museum and Hall of Fame to tell the stories of Scottish journeys to and experiences in North America.  

For 175 years, the Chicago Scots have delivered life’s most important things: home, family, and love. The Society is guided by four key principles, their “Ways of Being”that define and inform everything they do and aspire to be: We Create Home, We Relieve Stress, We Extend Family, and We Re-imagine Tradition.