November, 2010

In this Issue:

 President's Message  Coming Events
 RAF Memorial Service  November Celebrations
 Tucson Celtic Festival  Know the Clans
 Holiday Potluck Dinner  Caledonian Society Officers
 Scottish By-Names  General Meeting Minutes
 New Members  Important Dates in November
 Thoughts  Happy Thanksgiving!

President's Message
Greetings to all of you!

I have some news for you that I wish I did not have to share. This past week we have lost two Board Officers. Tyler Cramer, Vice-President, has made a decision to return to Indiana. Also, Lisa Scott has resigned her job as Treasurer, plus we have not found a permanent Recording Secretary. So we need some of you younger folks to “step-up” and fill these positions. This organization can not renew it’s self if the younger generation does not take over. I have made a couple of requests to some very talented members and I am praying for positive results. I can not believe that YOU want to see this wonderful organization die-on-the-vine. Please remember that it is your organization and it requires VOLUNTEERS to make it work. I know that Jason has heard some great ideas from the Area Chairs and we really need for you all to get involved in the Society as well, because if you let one die then you let the whole show go down. We have come too far to let that happen now. We are after all Scottish, and that means we are strong and we no not like to give up or give-in. Our history shows us that we have been down many times, but never out! So please come back out and show us what you are made of as we get closer and closer to another big Games weekend.

We will have a guest speaker at the November meeting who is wanting to partner with us about teaching a class “more about Scotland” and their heritage, before they make a trip to Scotland in the summer of 2011. They are going to volunteer to help us at the Games and you all know we can never have too many volunteers!!

Also, it is not to early to remind you of our December Pot luck on December 9th at the Scottsdale Senior Center on Granite Reef Road. Then in January we will be moving to the Irish Culture Center on Central Avenue in Phoenix. This will be a bit further for some in the East Valley, but closer for others who live in Phoenix and the West Valley. This decision was made based on the price difference for the facilities. The new Board is working hard to improve our stewardship of the monies available. It’s a Scottish thing, eh?

Let’s all get back in the habit of participating, so we can re-grow the Caledonian Society of Arizona. Thanks for your Past and Present service.
Jean Latimer, President

RAF Memorial Service

Each year on the Sunday before Memorial Day the Daughters of the British Empire hold a memorial service for the RAF pilots who are buried in the City of Mesa Cemetery. Approximately one-half of these men were from Scotland. The pilots died while training at Falcon Field in Mesa. This year’s service will be held, Sunday, November 14, commencing at 10:45 a.m.
Before the United States entered World War II, the British were desperate to train new pilots. What the United States did for Britain was to participate in the empire air training scheme.

Falcon Field (named after the British hunting bird) was founded in 1941 as a flight training facility for cadets in the British Royal Air Force. The good weather, wide-open desert terrain, and lack of enemy airpower provided significantly safer and more efficient training than was possible in England. Even so, more than two dozen cadets were killed in training and are now buried in the Mesa city cemetery. Those cadets who died while learning to fly at Falcon Field are now buried in a small section of the cemetery in Mesa. The Caledonian Society has for many years participated in the memorial service by laying a wreath to honor the Scots who lie there. This is a very moving ceremony with bagpipes and a fly-over of vintage WWII planes. A number of wreaths are placed by various service organizations along with the DBE and the Caledonian Society.

We invite you to attend this ceremony on Nov. 14th.


Rising costs have made it necessary for the Board of the Caledonian Society to increase the membership dues beginning January 2011. A membership for a single person will be increased to $25 a year and a family membership will be $40. Dues are payable in January of each year.

Also: beginning in January 2011 our monthly membership meetings will be held at the Irish Cultural Center, 1106 N. Central Ave, Phoenix.

Tucson Celtic Festival

Tucson Celtic Festival

Friday, November 5 6pm—10pm
Saturday, November 6, 9am—10pm
Sunday, November 7, 9am—5pm

Rillito Raceway Park
4502 N. First Ave.


Holiday Potluck Dinner

Our annual Holiday Potluck Dinner is coming up on Dec. 9 at 6:30pm.

It is a time for good food and fellowship. We will have a sign-up sheet at the November membership meeting—or call Jean Latimer at 602-867-6507 to let her know what you will be bringing. Bring your yummy dish and your own service.

Hope to see all of you there!!

Scottish By-Names
By Ruairidh Og MacRae (aka Roderick the Younger)

A Gaelic by-name is not a true nickname as we commonly use in English. A nickname is a name “in place of.” Thus “Butch” might be substituted for “James.” The nickname bears no relation to the true given name and often distinguishes a son from a father. The Gaelic by-name is a “modifier” which is attached to a given name and cannot be used separately.

Historically, the Scots were fond of giving treasured family names in succession to their children. Thus, it might happen that five interrelated Duncan MacRaes (uncle, cousin, grandchild, etc.) might be living in the same glen at the same time. What utter confusion might result if some further distinction were not used. So Duncan, the baby, would be called Duncan Og. His uncle, with a great shock of black hair, would be called Duncan Dubh. His cousin, with a crop of freckles, would be called Duncan Breac. With a simple stroke of imagination (and sometimes whimsy) the name problems was solved.

By-names were commonly given for physical characteristics (hair, stature, age, etc.). But sometimes the by-name would result from an event or a place of residence. Thus, we might find Ian nam Casteil (John of the castle) or Eddy Loupinour (Eddy from the barley field at the loop in the river). The addition of the by-name often carried with it a tale or insight into that person. To avoid all confusion, the Gaels were also fond of reciting their full patronymic (father’s line of decent) as part of their name. Thus we might encounter an ancestor whose name was Donnachaidh mohr MhicGillechroisd glas VhicAlaister bain. In English, we would render this as: Big Duncan the son of gray Christopher the son of fair Alexander. With a name like this Duncan certainly understood his place in the family and the community. The entire district knew his pedigree.

Following are some of the more common by-names:

Donnachaidh Bain (“bahn”) Fair Duncan, probably light complexion or hair.

Alister Ruadh (“roy”) Red Alexander, prominent red hair.

Cailen Dubh (“doo”) Black Colin, probably hair or complexion or, on rare occasion, temperament.

Seamus Mohr (“more”) Big James, usually stature but maybe the elder.

Foinlaidh Beag (“beg”) Little Finlay, smaller of stature or the younger.

Ruairidh Og (“oich”) Young Roderick, either age or family order.

Ian Breac (“breck”) Freckled John, breac connotes “dappled”.

Dubhglas Cuil (“cool”) Thin Douglas

Domhnuil Glas (“glahs) Gray Donald, probably hair color.

Coinnich Buidhe (“booey”) Yellow Kenneth, probably blond Nordic hair.
As these by-names came to be translated into English, we find real problems. Even in Scottish literature, for example, the by-name often becomes a “real” or middle name. Rob Roy MacGregor did not carry the middle name “Roy” but the by-name “ruadh.” Robert Louis Stevenson’s hero, Alan Breck Stewart of Kidnapped, was named “breac” for his freckles.

As the early immigrants arrived in North America, they were often faced with immigration clerks who could not speak Gaelic nor even hear the sounds well. Their translations of Gaelic names often resulted in strange new forms. The same problem was true when a frontier cleric was burying an immigrant; the church records might reflect an inaccurate spelling of the name.

There is another curious name change with the MacRaes. The given name Foinlaidh (Finlay) was very common in Scotland among the MacRaes yet often disappears in immigration. However, the name Philip, which was unknown in the Highlands, suddenly appear as a common MacRae name in the south. The immigration clerks, no doubt, could not understand the Scottish sound of the Gaelic and picked a similar sounding English name.

New Members

Alexandra C. Cheek
9259 E. Raintree Dr. #1155
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Tel: 614-397-1936
Clan: Lindsey

Dan Miller
4752 N. 20th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85015
Tel: 602-579-0019
Clan: Cumming
email: danariz@netzerolnet

Kathy & Gerald Ridlehoover
2514 W. Gambit Trail
Phoenix, AZ 85085


Aspire to Inspire until you Expire.

There is always a lot to be thankful for, if you take the time to look.

Laughing helps. It’s like jogging on the inside.

Coming Events
Nov 5-7 Games - Tucson, AZ
Nov 11 Membership Meeting
Dec 9 Membership Holiday Potluck Dinner
Jan 13 Membership Meeting - New Location

November Celebrations

Nov 2 Earl Singleton - Birthday
Nov 3 Robert O’Brien - Birthday
Nov 3 Karl Seglins - Birthday
Nov 4 Bob Stephenson - Birthday
Nov 5 Esther Boyd Chisholm—Birthday
Nov 6 Vicky McQuarrie - Birthday
Nov 7 Nancy & John Kaib - Anniv.
Nov 9 Kathleen Tennyson - Birthday
Nov 10 Dennis & Carol Howerton - Anniv.
Nov 11 Robert Clark - Birthday
Nov 11 Betty Henderson - Birthday
Nov 12 Gib Hall - Birthday
Nov 12 Helen & Arthur McMaster - Anniv.
Nov 13 Sharon DeRossett - Birthday
Nov 14 Alice & Sal DiStefano - Anniv.
Nov 15 Martha Shideler - Birthday
Nov 16 LeeAnna Kains - Birthday
Nov 16 Bert Lindsay - Birthday
Nov 16 Carol Howerton - Birthday
Nov 20 James Burns - Birthday
Nov 22 Roger & Diane Dawson - Anniv.

Know the Clans
District Tartans — Dunbar
From District Tartans By Gordon Teall & Philip D. Smith, Jr.


There are two rivers with the name Dee in Scotland: one in the Grampian Region in the northeast, the other in Dunfries and Galloway in the southwest. It is to the former that the Deeside district tartan relates. The northern Deeside is an extensive area since the river Dee drains some 765 square miles of countryside, mainly in the former county of Aberdeenshire. The river rises in a spring on Braeriach, one of the peaks in the Carngorms, 4061 feet in height, with a secondary source, the Pools of Dee in the Lairig, Ghru. Its initial course flows southwards through the wild, steep-sided Gelen Dee, until it joins the Geldie Burn at White Bridge. Thence it turns eastwards through Aberdeen. Wooded slopes flank the river in many places. it is not surprising that Queen Victoria chose it as the site for her Scottish home, Balmoral. The names of many of the towns and villages are known throughout the Highland world because of their Highland Games. Braemar, always attended by the Royal Family, Ballater, Aboyne, Banchory and Aberdeen, among them. Deeside, too is renowned for its fine salmon fishing.

The Deeside district tartan was designed in 1963 by a local historian and architect from Aberdeen, Fenton Wynes.

Caledonian Society Officers

President: Jean Latimer………..........602-867-6507
1st Vice Pres: Tyler Cramer……...….574-344-1314
Treasurer: Lisa Scott…………….....…..602-218-6645
Games Chair: Jason Temple……....…602.920.5445
Recording Sec: Jean Whyman…......602-956-6424
Corresp. Sec: Kay Morneau….…......480-503-0341
Trustee: Alan Ramsdell……….…....….480-969-8400
Trustee: William Wallace…………......480-838-7055
Past President: Elizabeth Reich.......602-509-1146
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 6:45pm. Come join us, or log on to or call 602-431-0095

The Caledonian Society of Arizona
General Meeting Minutes

October 14, 2010

President, Jean Latimer, called the meeting to order at 6:50pm and led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a moment of silence in memory of The Flowers of the Forest. Mary Jo Ramsdell introduced new members and visitors: Kathy Riddlehoover, Dan Miller, Alexandra Crawford Cheek and Joanna Daugherty. We were very pleased to have them join us and look forward to many more encounters as they all expressed an interest in helping with the games.

Minutes of the last meeting were approved by a motion given by Jacqueline Sinclair seconded by Jason Temple.

Treasurers Report: Lisa Scott gave an in-depth review of the annual Treasurers activities. This report covered the fiscal year of July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010 showing a current bank balance of $4,755.27. It was noted that the current budget is now split between the Society and the Games. This will help us without stewardship of the monies as we go forward. It was also noted that we need to start paying Jackie Carro,she, has been more than generous in delaying her invoices while our bank account was so very low.

Old Business: (1) Jean reminded everyone of the up-coming activities, starting with the kilted car Wash on Oct 23rd, at the Sun Devil Auto store on Val Vista, in Gilbert. Then we have another FUNdraiser on the 27th at George and Dragon, on Central Avenue--just North of Indian School Road. (2) Also announced-The Tucson Celtic Festival will be held on November 6 and 7, 2010.

New Business: (1) After having some difficulty with the movement of the POD last month, Jason has discussed with the board, and received their approval to move back into a regular storage locker, where we have better control of our materials. He will take care of the moving. (2) Jean announced that both Tyler Cramer, Vice-President and Lisa Scott, Treasurer, have resigned their positions. Lisa will continue to work with the Society, but Tyler is having to move back to Indiana. We are currently looking for replacements for these positions and we still need someone to step up and be our Recording Secretary. If you can help us fill these jobs, please contact Jean Latimer.

Jason Temple, Games Chair addressed the group to talk about the need for SCOTTISH RENEWAL. A review of our history pointed out that Scottish people are well known all over the world and often with a bit of envy. It is truly a blessing to be Scottish and he feels our time has come to prove “what we are made of” by renewing the pride of our heritage. As a people, we have had our “highs and lows”, but we must all remember that in order to have highs we must come together and work our way out of the lows. Let’s all look at our own Pride of Heritage and renew our commitment to help rebuild this great organization. Your participation would mean a lot to our new members.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:40pm for refreshments and time to get acquainted with our newest members. Next month’s meeting will be Nov. 11 at 6:45pm. SEE YOU THERE.

Respectfully submitted by: Jean Whyman, Acting Rec. Secretary

Important Dates in November
Nov 7 Daylight Saving Time Ends
Nov 11 Veterans Day or Remembrance Day
Nov 25 Thanksgiving Day (US)
Nov 28 First Sunday of Advent