May, 2010
In this Issue:

 Scotland's Big Attraction  Coming Events
 Slate of Officers 2010- 2012  May Celebrations
 The Other 'Prince'  Know the Clans
 The Bagpipe Scotland's Instrument of War  Caledonian Society Officers
 Auld Scots Glossary  General Meeting Minutes
 Gaelic Greetings  Important Dates in May
 Sayings  Scottish Facts You Might Not Know

Every country world-wide has its fair share of myths and folktales which, whether based on reality or just a gimmick to attract the visitors, certainly add to the balance sheet of each individual country’s retail outlets. But none of them can match the legend that is on offer in Scotland—the romance of Loch Ness where the celebrated sea monster is reputed to lurk—due to the fact that there’s always the enduring likelihood that it’s true!

Over the years there have been at least 10,000 sightings of the monster, the majority of them from sensible, level-headed, temperate mortals who have no comparable happenings. No doubt we’ve all seen numerous photographs of bizarre prehistoric-like beasts breaking the surface of the loch’s dark waters, along with radar printouts and other various electronic paraphernalia denoting some immense object moving rapidly through the peaty abyss.

As to some statistics of the lock, it is 24 miles long and up to 1 l/2 miles in width, with a surface area of 14,000 acres. Most of it is at least 700 feet deep, and in 1969 a mini submarine descended as far as 820 feet and recorded nearly 1000 feet on its depth-sounding equipment.

As to sustenance, the loch contains, prior to their spawning, 13 million adult salmon whose combine weight would be in the region of 65,000 tons—which would more than serve an adequate food supply for any large creature. Loch Ness never freezes so any descendants of a dinosaur would be comfortable there all year round. As the peat saturation makes underwater photography practically impossible, Nessie could easily stay hidden—until she found it necessary to have a look around up top.

The problem with those who refute the entire sea monster tale could be that there are so many attested sightings from numerous people who have no axe to grind—not least those monks from the Dark Ages. It's chronicled in “The Life of St. Columba” that “a great beast” was observed traveling in lengths of the River Ness—confirming that a Nessie-style creature was visibly apparent over 13 centuries ago.

In the year AD 670 in his book on St. Columba, the abbot Adamnan relates how one day as Columba was crossing the River Ness he noticed a few of the locals burying the remains of a man who had been attacked by the monster while having a swim. On hearing the story Columba instructed one of his attendants to swim across the loch, and after some hesitation the man agreed to attempt it. As the “volunteer” reached halfway across the water, the monster broke the surface and roared his challenge. At that point Columba raised his right hand and, making the Sign of the Cross in the air, he dared the creature in the name of God to “go with all speed.” It appears that the monster was so startled by the saint’s booming voice that he immediately dived ’neath the surface and the man reached the opposite shore unharmed.

Throughout the centuries many sightings have been registered and one, in 1880, concerned a Duncan MacDonald, a professional diver who refused to go back into the loch after a frightening experience. His job had been to survey a sunken vessel. Not long after being lowered into the grey waters he made furious signals to be pulled back up. The man was obviously terrified and so much traumatized that he couldn’t speak about his experience for a few days. At length he hesitantly recounted seeing a monsterous animal resting on a rock shelf where the ship he was to survey was stuck firm. He described it as an odd-looking beastie—something like a huge frog.

In 1933 the then Duke of Portland informed “The Times” that, in 1895, when he became the tenant of the salmon angling in Loch Oich and the River Garry, the forester, the hotel keeper and the fishing ghillies often mentioned a beast which appeared every so often in Loch Ness.

In all fairness, many of the startled witnesses had nothing whatever to gain from describing their stories and often ran the risk of derision, while many of them were loth to divulge what they had seen—but all adding considerable reality to their sightings.

But the obvious reality of the legend is the fact that there has never been a shred of evidence to verify Nessie’s existence, like a body or a photograph. It is also glaringly obvious that if the creature had survived for perhaps thousands of years it must be a descendant, which would mean there is a family of them in the loch--which, in theory, would vastly increase the likelihood of additional sightings as the years passed—but this hasn’t happened.

In Scotland, Loch Ness has always been known, especially by the locals, as the “queer loch,” due to the unaccountable happenings that have surrounded it. But whether Nessie is just an imaginable myth or perhaps she’s too shy to show her face, what is certain is that thousands of tourists gather annually on the shores of the famous waterway on the off-chance of spotting her.

Slate of Officers 2010-2012

PRESIDENT — Jean Latimer
GAMES CHAIR — Leslie Grant
TREASURER — Lisa Scott
TRUSTEE — Alan Ramsdell
TRUSTEE — William Wallace

The Other 'Prince'

As we all know, after the defeat at Culloden, Bonnie Prince Charlie spent many harrowing months evading the government troops all over the Highlands and islands of Scotia. With a reward of 30,000 pounds on his head it was imperative that he be guided and sheltered by those he could truly trust, devoted to the Jacobite cause and stalwart followers of the House of Stuart. Many men with these qualities aided and abetted the Prince and so helped prolong the pursuit and add confusion to his hunters.

One of the bravest followers ever to assist the Young Pretender was Roderick Mackenzie. Not only was he proud to be a disciple of the Prince, he bore an uncanny resemblance to him. So much so, that he was often mistaken for Charlie when dressed in his finery.

This led the son of an Edinburgh jeweler to consider the idea that if he could fool his friends into thinking he was the Prince then why not his pursuers?

After the battle he made sure his fortunate resemblance was seen in as many locations as possible. With strong whispered knowledge of the Prince’s whereabouts, and with a lifelong acquaintance of traveling among the hills, glens, marsh and heather, he set out to follow a corresponding trail in each vicinity where Charlie was supposed to have been “sighted.”

Often when the Redcoats were perilously close to their prey, Roderick intentionally made an “appearance” and on many occasions led the Hanovarians on a wild goose chase through the hills and glens, giving the Prince precious time to move in relative freedom. And because of his great knowledge of the Scottish terrain young Mackenzie was able to melt into the background and cover his trail.

But this courageous charade couldn’t last forever and eventually, when carelessly encountering a number of soldiers, he was recognized and caught. He attempted in vain to escape, but found all his exits covered. He put up a gallant fight but because of the overwhelming odds he was finally stopped by a musket shot.

Although fatally injured, he still managed to convey to his captors the noble last words which again he hoped would lead them off the scent — “Ah, villains, you have slain your Prince.” These dying words were enough to satisfy the enemy that Bonnie Prince Charlie was no more and, to proclaim this to the world. The young man’s head was removed from his body and exhibited for all to see.

It was only after a lengthy period during which the occasional sighting of someone resembling the Prince was mentioned that the true error was discovered, by which time arrangements were finalized to transport Charlie to the eventual safety of France.

No one could surpass the dedication shown by Roderick Mackenzie not only putting his life in danger on many occasions, but proving his allegiance to his Prince even with his final breath.

The Bagpipe - Scotland's Instrument of War

The bagpipe has a long and honorable history stretching back to the beginning of civilization, for it is one of the oldest musical instruments played by man.

Tradition has it that the bagpipes were played by the shepherds outside of the stable in Bethlehem on the first Christmas morning and to this day, so firm is this tradition that shepherds in Italy come into the towns and cities to play the bagpipes outside of the churches and cathedrals at Christmas.

In ancient times, the bagpipe was a popular instrument with the Greeks and Romans, with famed Roman Emperor Nero being a skilled performer. The instrument was, however, particularly popular with the Celtic races and they and the Romans carried it into all parts of Europe during various migrations and invasions.

In all parts of Britain, as on the Continent, the bagpipe flourished and was in great demand at fairs, weddings, open air dances, pageants and all sorts of processions and merry-making. It is mentioned and described in books of all kinds, from the plays of Shakespeare to country ballads, and pictures and carvings of it are numerous. Many of the carvings depict Roman soldiers playing on the one-drone bagpipe.

The bagpipes were played all over England. Lincolnshire and Northumberland in particular were famous for the high standard of their pipers, but the instrument declined in England during the rule of Oliver Cromwell as many of the activities it accompanied, like dancing, were pounced upon by the Puritans and even music was looked upon as sinful.

In Scotland and Ireland, however, the bagpipes’ history was different. Music, dancing and poetry were part of the life of the Celtic people, and except for a period during the Reformation and Disarming Act, the instrument was encouraged and flourished, in fact, even to the detriment of the harp.

In the Highlands of Scotland, the bagpipe was developed from the early bag, chanter and one-droned pipe—a second was added around 1500 A.D. and 200 years later a third bass drone was added. Other forms of the instrument were devised in Ireland and the Lowlands of Scotland, where they are still played. But the form of bagpipe we call the Highland bagpipe is the most popular and best known.

In the 17th century colleges of piping were formed in various parts of the Highlands. The most famous was the McCrimmon College in Skye. The McCrimmons, a remarkably gifted family, were hereditary pipers to the McLeods of Dunvegan, and their courses, which lasted seven years, attracted the best players and students from all parts of Scotland and Ireland.

In those colleges were developed “Coel Mor” or Pibroch, the classical music of the bagpipe; music that stands comparison with the greatest compositions in the world of music. These colleges lasted for 200 years and their music is preserved and played until this day.

It can be said that the McCrimmon family laid the foundation of today’s piping and their teaching has been carried on by Scotsmen and Scottish regiments in every part of the world. This probably more than anything else, has associated the bagpipe with Scotland in the minds of people.

The music performed on the Highland bagpipe can be divided into five parts:
1) Coel Mor or Pibroch;
2) Competition-type Marches, Strathspey and Reels;
3) Jigs;
4) Marching Airs and Dancing Tunes; and
5) Slow Marches and Slow Airs.

There is no sign of any decline in the popularity of this remarkable instrument and the interest shown in it is truly worldwide. There has been a tremendous upsurge in the USA, Canada, South Africa, India, New Zealand, England and Ireland; and an increasing interest in France, Holland, Spain, Italy, Yugoslavia, Russia, and the Middle Eastern countries. Continued encouragement has been given to the piper by various Highland gatherings putting on competitions for the exponents. These competitions have been a prominent feature at Highland games for many, many years.

Auld Scots Glossary

Tee-name: Nickname

Agley: to go amiss after much scheming

Canny: shrewd

Gied it laldy: sang it vigorously

Knacksy: quick at repartee, amusing, clever

Clash: shut violently


Gaelic Greetings

Good day— latha math (LAH-uh mah)
Good morning— madainn mhath (MAHD-uhn vah)
Good afternoon/evening— feasgar math (FES-gur mah)

How are you?— ciamar a tha sibh (KIM-uhr uh hah sheev)

Fine / well— tha gu math (HAH goo mah)
Very well— gle mhath (KLEY vah)
Not bad— chan eil dona (HAHN eyl DOH-nuh)
Thank you— tapadh leibh (TAH-puh leyv)
How’s yourself? ciamar a tha sibh fein (...sheev feyn)



  • Knowledge speaks. Wisdom listens.

  • If anything goes without saying, let it.

  • A good name, like good will, is earned by many actions and lost by one.

Coming Events
May 8 Prescott, AZ—Games
May 13 Membership Meeting
May 15-16 Albuquerque, NM—Games
Jun 4-6 Arlington, TX—Games
Jun 10 Membership Meeting
Jun 26-27 Vista (San Diego) CA—Games
July 31 Games - Enumclaw, WA
Aug-7-8 Games - Monterey, CA
Aug 14-15 Games - Highland Ranch (Denver)
Sep 4-5 Games - Pleasanton, CA
Sep 9 Games - Estes Park, CO
Oct 8-10 Games - Ventura, CA

May Celebrations

May 1 Nelsa Mullen—Birthday
May 2 Susan Wallace—Birthday
May 6 Marilyn & Mickey Veich—Anniv.
May 6 Kay Morneau—Birthday
May 8 Gib & Helen Hall—Anniv.
May 9 Monte & Jerry Lou Patterson—Anniv.
May 9 Helen Ritchie Krcina—Birthday
May 9 Leslie Grant--Birthday
May 11 Norma Wallace—Birthday
May 13 Roderick & Margaret Pressley—Anniv.
May 15 Jim & Sandy Ledy—Anniv.
May 16 Barbara Montgomery—Birthday
May 17 John Glasgow—Birthday
May 17 Adam & Cherise Beatty—Anniv.
May 18 George O’Brien—Birthday
May 19 Wade & Danene Richardson—Anniv.
May 20 Nita Gilbreath—Birthday
May 20 Helen McMaster—Birthday
May 20 Pete Morgan—Birthday
May 21 Glenda & Craig Averill—Anniv.
May 22 Redford Sanderson—Anniv.
May 23 Tommy Thompson—Birthday
May 24 Cathy Reid—Birthday
May 25 Dennis Kavanaugh—Birthday
May 25 John Tennyson—Birthday
May 27 Robert MacGregor—Birthday
May 28 Cadence Hankins—Birthday
May 29 Bobby Gray—Birthday
May 30 Frederick & Ann Ferguson—Anniv.
May 31 James Weber—Birthday
May 31 Wally Straughn—Birthday
May 31 Jennifer & Ian MacFarlane—Anniv.

New Members

John & Amy Corden
4536 E. Campbell Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Tel: 602-840-2803
Leslie Grant
701 W. Harrison
Chandler, AZ 85225
Tel: 602-509-1184

Know the Clans
District Clans of Today
By Gordon Teall & Philip D. Smith

District tartans in the British Isles are no longer confined to Scotland alone. They are to be found also in other areas which have a strong Celtic tradition. The pride of the Celtic race remains wherever one of the Celtic languages is still used as an everyday means of communication, or was so until comparatively recently.

Welsh is spoken by about a fifth of the population of Wales. Cornish, which has not been generally spoken in Cornwall since the late eighteenth century, is today used on a limited basis by enthusiasts who wish to encourage its preservation.

Branches of the Goidelic group of Celtic languages have survived in Ireland, in the Isle of Man and in Scotland, especially in the Hebrides. Irish and Scottish Gaelic are still the mother tongue of a relatively small minority of the respective populations of Ireland and Scotland. Manx is no longer in everyday use, though it still forms part of the official parliamentary proceedings in the Isle of Man. Like Cornish, Manx is spoken by groups of patriots and it is taught in some of the local schools.

Today, Cornish, Irish, Manx and Welsh tartans, like those of Scotland itself, are worn with pride not only by those families of Celtic descent but also those of Viking and Saxon origin. Racial divisions, by blood alone, have come more blurred than surnames alone indicate, since from earliest times much intermarriage has taken place. National pride is often more a matter of geographical boundaries than racial origins.

In Ireland there are only three district tartans. Ulster, Clodagh and Tara. The kilt which is not extensively worn, is usually made of green or saffron material.

Outside the British Isles, the country which has given rise to most new district tartans has been Canada. Nova Scotia produced it own district tartan in 1956. Following the success of the Nova Scotia tartan other provinces followed with design of their own. New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia and Yukon. Other tartans of the British Commonwealth are to be found in the Bahams, Bermuda and Australia.

The growth of tartan in the United States was the consequence of the widespread role played by the Scottish organizations in the U.S. One of the earliest is the American Bicentennial which was designed in conjunction with the Scottish Tartans Society in 1975. Several states, including Arizona, now have their own tartan.

Caledonian Society Officers

President: Elizabeth Reich — 602-509-1146
1st Vice Pres: Vacant
2nd Vice Pres: Tyler Cramer — 574-344-1314
Treasurer: Lisa Scott — 623-363-3355
Recording Sec: Jean Latimer — 602-867-6507
Corresp. Sec: Jean Whyman — 602-956-6424
Trustee: Alan Ramsdell — 480-969-8400
Trustee: William Wallace — 480-838-7055
Past President: Harold Stewart — 480-832-0243
Newsletter Editor: Jo Ramsdell — 480-969-8400

Society Meetings

Regular membership meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at the Scottsdale Senior Center, 1700 N. Granite Reef Rd., Scottsdale, Az. beginning at 7:30. Come join us or call 602-431-0095 or log on to

Drop in at our next meeting on Thursday, May 13, 2010.
We hope to see you there!

The Caledonian Society of Arizona
General Meeting Minutes

April, 8, 2010
President, Elizabeth Reich called the meeting to order at 7:10pm and led the Pledge of Allegiance. A moment of silence was observed for the Flowers of the Forest.

Minutes: We were unable to approve the Minutes of the March meeting because the Newsletter did not get distributed on time. It was decided that Mary Jo would send in her part by the 20th of each month and the Recording Secretary would do the same, but would by-pass Mary Jo for the proof reading step. This should put the information in the hands of the WebMaster in a more timely manner and she can prepare this for e-mail distribution before the end of the month. If for any reason the Newsletter portion does not get to Jackie in time the minutes should be sent out ahead, so the members have time to read them and react to items of interest.

Treasurers Report: Lisa Scott reports that our current balance is $3,551.39. She is still trying to negotiate some adjustments with our accounts.

Visitors: There was one new member, John Carden, who signed up with his wife and family. The family was unable to attend tonight. They will become more active in the near future. Representing Clan MacFarland, Don and Margaret Payson and their son were with us again and they are with Clan Shaw on Margaret's side.

Raffle: There were no DOOR PRIZES for this meeting.


1) There will be a Fund Raiser at the ICC on May 22, 2010! This affair will include lots of music, dancing and raffles. If you can donate a prize to be raffled off, please bring it to the May meeting. There will be more information regarding this on the Web Site.

2) Sandy Sanderson announced that Clan Donald will host a Tree Planting at Encanto Park, in honor of Joe Leonard, on May 16th. Joe was one of the starters of the Caledonian Society and worked for many years to help it grow and become as large as it has now. If you have any questions regarding this event, please call Sandy at 480-369-2268.

3) April 17th is the Gilbert Global Village Festival and Lisa Scott has volunteered to man a tent on our behalf. Janet Grant will supply her with a tent as ours was destroyed in the storm on Games weekend.

4)  April 24th, we need to gather and clean out the large storage locker at AAA Key Mini Storage on Broadway—East of the Loop 101, on the north side of the street. This starts at 6:00 am, please make an effort to join us and help us to close out this account and save $115. per month. Our Games supplies are now stored in a P.O.D. closer to the Games site.

New Business
Elections were to have been held at this meeting but the new Slate is not quite complete and we cannot vote on it until the members have read the By-Law change and had a chance to vote on that first. These items have been tabled until the May meeting. We are in need of someone to step-up and be our Recording Secretary for the next two years. I have served longer than the term limits provided in the By-Laws and so we must have a new person to take over this job. Please call me if you are willing to help the Society by filling this slot.

There being not further business the meeting was adjourned at 8:10pm for a program by Mary Jo Ramsdell. She fielded a series of 18 questions about famous Scots and some of our members did very well. Some of us—not so much! However, it was fun when she read the answers and the groans were heard over and over. Refreshments were served and a time of visitation enjoyed.

The next meeting will be at 6:45pm on May 13, 2010 at the Scottsdale Senior Center on Granit Reef Road. We hope to see you there. If you have any questions regarding the By-Law change, please call Jean Latimer, 602-867-6507.
Respectfully submitted by
Jean Latimer, Recording Secretary

Important Dates in May
May 5 Cinco de Mayo
May 9 Mother's Day
May 15 Armed Forces Day
May 24 Victoria Day (Canada)
May 31 Memorial Day (Observed)

Did You Know?

The first newspaper in Scotland was the “Mercurius Scoticus” of Leith, near Edinburgh, which first appeared in 1651. The most widely read newspaper of the present day is the “Sunday Post” published at Glasgow and Dundee, carrying homely facts and stories each weekend. The widest read Scottish ex-pat newspaper for Scots living overseas is the “Scottish Banner” published monthly in North America and Australia.