December, 2010

In this Issue:

 President's Message  Coming Events
 Robert Burns Supper  November Celebrations
 2011 Games Vounteers Needed  Know the Clans
 Holiday Potluck Dinner  Caledonian Society Officers
 Christmas Traditions in Scotland  General Meeting Minutes
 New Members  Important Dates in December
 Recipes for Bannocks  Merry Christmas!

President's Message

Greeting to all!

Are we ready for Christmas yet? I really do not know how the Holiday Season catches me unaware and unprepared every year. Once again I am scrambling to try and catch up with the calendar. Our annual Pot Luck is the 9th of December and I hope you will be able to come out and join us.

We have been blessed to have Tim Wallace step up and be willing to serve as Vice President for the remainder of Tyler’s term. Now if we could get someone to agree to serve as Recording Secretary and also someone to be Treasurer, it would be a great start to the New Year. I do hope that each of you will have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2011.

Remember, the Games are coming up soon and we will need everyone to come out and support that effort through volunteering to help us in your favorite area.

Robert Burns Dinner is set for January 29, 2011. You can get your tickets from the web site just like last year and we are happy to say that we managed to keep the price the same as last year, at $45.00 per person. It will be a great evening, with traditional menu, music and dancers, Scotch tasting, Silent Auction, all followed with a band and dance floor for your pleasure.

Don’t miss out on this great event at the Holiday Inn Suites on Country Club Road, just south of US 60 in Mesa. Check the web site for details.

Most sincerely,
Jean Latimer, President

Robert Burns Supper

The Annual Robert Burns Supper will be on January 29, 2011, and will feature a Traditional Menu, Music and Dancing, Scotch Tasting and a Silent Auction.

Cost:  $45.00/person
Tickets are available here

Location:  Holiday Inn & Suites
1600 S. Country Club Dr.
Mesa, AZ 85210 — Map

5:00 – 6:00 No Host Bar
6:00 Dinner and Festivities Begin
Evening ends with Dancing

Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band
Arizona Academy of Highland Dance

Cock-A-Leekee Soup
Nips & Tatties
Beef, Chicken, or Vegetarian Pot Pies
Scottish Trifle

Call Lisa Scott for more information 623-363-3355

2011 Games Volunteers Needed

February 26 -27, 2011
Steele Indian School Park, Phoenix, AZ


Sign up online

Holiday Potluck Dinner

Our annual holiday potluck dinner be on Dec. 9. at the Scottsdale Senior Center, located at 1700 N Granite Reef Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85257 — Map

Bring your own service and drink along with your yummy dish to share.

Remember: the dinner begins at 6:30pm.

This is always a time of good food and fellowship

Call Jean Latimer at 602-867-6507 or email her at for more information.

Please join us.

Christmas Traditions in Scotland

Not doing something for about four hundred years would generally be enough to make you forget how exactly it was you did it in the first place right? Well yes, and unfortunately, such is the case for the Scottish Christmas celebrations.

Somewhere in the middle of the sixteenth century, Christmas was banned in Scotland. The country was mainly protestant at the time. Christmas was seen in Scotland as a Roman Catholic holiday — and celebrating it was obviously unacceptable. The banning of Christmas was a very serious affair. There were plenty of legal repercussions for people who celebrated the birth of Christ in any way.

The people of the United Kingdom, including Scotland, were oppressed by Oliver Cromwell in the mid-1600s. During a period known as the Reformation, Parliament issued the ban in 1647, and upheld it for nearly 15 years. When Cromwell fell from grace, the ban was lifted in most of the U.K., but not in Scotland. The Scottish Presbyterian Church continued to discourage Christmas holiday festivities including formal Mass, and people suffered penalties if caught celebrating. This ban lasted for nearly 400 years. Only in the 1950s was the ban lifted and Christmas and the U.K. tradition of Boxing Day became a national holiday in 1958, though many Scots still thought it highly unacceptable to make a big production out of the occasion.

Having been deprived of Christmas celebrations until a time when the mass media were already firmly in place has meant Scottish holiday customs have become heavily influenced by foreign traditions (mainly U.S. and England). That’s why the Scots now eat a turkey dinner on Christmas Day with all the trimmings. Unlike in the past when Santa Claus would visit the first day of the New Year (Hogmanay) Santa has moved with the times and visits Scotland late Christmas Eve and the early hours of Christmas Day.

One of the Scottish Christmas traditions that was banned for so many years included the baking of Yule bread which is similar to oatcakes sometimes called bannocks. During the ban bakers were required to give the authorities the name of anyone requesting this holiday staple. A loaf of unleavened bread is baked for each individual in the family, and the person who finds a trinket in his or her loaf will have good luck all year.

There used to be an old long-standing Scottish superstition that one absolutely had to keep the fire going in the fireplace on Christmas Eve. If not, the sprites that were roaming around outside would climb down the chimney—and apparently, you didn’t want that to happen. Another (once clandestine) custom is the burning of the Yule log; a log of birch wood is cut by the end of the summer and left to dry. It is then ceremoniously brought inside the house on Christmas Eve, paraded around the kitchen three times, toasted to and finally burned in the fireplace.

The day after Christmas is called Boxing Day and has been adopted from England. December 26 is also known as St. Stephen’s Day (when Good King Wenceslas looked out). “Good King Wenceslas looked out, On the Feast of Stephen…..” The origins of Boxing Day go back to when the rich, or the Lord and Lady of the castle gathered together all their staff and organized the distribution of gifts, done according to the status of the worker and size of the family. Cloth, leather goods, new tools and supplies of salt and spices as well as food were given. They were presented in BOXES, thus the day became known as “Boxing Day”.

New Members

Jane Anthony
11715 131st Street
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5M 1C7

Recipes for Bannocks

Oatcakes / Bannocks

Oatcakes are a very traditional part of the Scottish diet. They were cooked on a griddle (a flat iron pot placed over the fire) but nowadays a heavy frying pan is used.


4 oz. medium oatmeal Pinch of salt
2 tps melted fat (bacon fat) 3/4 tbs hot water
2 pinches soda Additional oatmeal for kneading


Mix the oatmeal, salt and soda and pour the melted fat into the center of the mixture. Stir well, and add enough water to make into a stiff paste. Cover a surface in oatmeal and turn the mixture onto this. Work quickly as the paste is difficult to work if it cools. Divide into two and roll one half into a ball and knead with hands covered in oatmeal to stop it sticking. Roll out to around quarter inch thick. Put a plate which is slightly smaller than the size of your cooking pan over the flattened mixture and cut around to leave a circular oatcake. Cut into quarters (called farls) and place in a heated pan which has been lightly greased. Cook for about 3 minutes until the edges curl slightly, turn, and cook the other side. Roll out the other half of the mixture while the first is being cooked.

Selkirk Bannock

Unlike the traditional bannock, this is more of a fruit cake. It was first made by a baker in Selkirk and originally only made for festive occasions.


1 lb flour 2 oz. chopped mixed peel
8 oz seedless white raisins Quarter pint milk-warmed
4 oz sugar Quarter ounce dried yeast
2 oz. butter and 2 oz. lard Sugar & milk for glaze


Mix flour, sugar and yeast in large bowl. Melt butter and lard together and pour warmed milk into the melted fats. Make a hole in the middle of the flour mixture, add fats, mix well into a smooth dough. Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes. The dough should double in size. Knead dough for 5 minutes, add raisins and peel and knead for another 5 minutes. Place dough in a loaf pan , cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 20 minutes to allow it to rise again. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for about an hour. Glaze: Mix a tablespoon of milk with sugar to make a runny mixture. Remove the cake from the oven and brush the top with the milk/sugar mixture. Return the cake to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. Test with a skewer until it comes out dry.

Coming Events
Dec 9 Holiday Potluck Dinner
Jan 13 Membership Meeting - New Location
Irish Cultural Center - 1106 N. Central Ave. Phoenix
Jan 29 Robert Burns Supper

December Celebrations

Dec 1 John & Lori Steadman - Anniv.
Dec 1 Lewis Mathieson—Birthday
Dec 1 David & Janice Mathieson—Anniv.
Dec 2 Don Hoeck - Birthday
Dec 4 Gary Kains-Birthday
Dec 7 Wade Richardson - Birthday
Dec 7 Sharon Logan - Birthday
Dec 8 Darlene & Menno Funk - Anniv.
Dec 8 Quin McQuarrie - Birthday
Dec 9 Harold & Pam Stewart - Anniv.
Dec 9 Angelica MacFarlane- Birthday
Dec 11 Sandra Macintyre—Birthday
Dec 12 Bill Montgomery - Birthday
Dec 13 Phyllis Baum - Birthday
Dec 14 Tina Deloughery - Birthday
Dec 15 Ann Titchbourne—Birthday
Dec 16 Joseph Anthony--Birthday
Dec 18 Muriel Kremb - Birthday
Dec 18 Michele Hunt - Birthday
Dec 19 Dan Neel - Birthday
Dec 19 Gordon McClimans - Birthday
Dec 20 John & Kathleen Tennyson - Anniv.
Dec 21 Karen Murdock - Birthday
Dec 22 Dave McKell - Birthday
Dec 23 Stephen & Sandra Glasscock - Anniv.
Dec 23 Vadim Sidorov - Birthday
Dec 24 Susie McDaniel - Birthday
Dec 24 Paul & Cheryl Bell--Anniv.
Dec 27 Kenya Griffith - Birthday
Dec 27 Phyllis Mitchell - Birthday
Dec 27 Paul & Genie Smith - Anniv.
Dec 28 Ray & Ann Titchbourne - Anniv.
Dec 29 James Ramsey—Birthday
Dec 29 Susan & David Hawkins—Anniv
Dec 30 Edna McDonald—Happy 98th Birthday

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


Dundee, a port city on the Firth of Tay, is one of Scotland’s major industrial centers. Built on the slope of Dundee Law, the city has always been the focus of trade for a large area. For a time it was the leading center for the manufacture of jute. This trade has been replaced by a diversity of industries and Dundee is currently Scotland’s leader in electronic and laser technology. It is also a university city. The stirring march, “Bonnie Dundee” commemorates not the city but John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee.

The late John Cargill of Dundee, one of the early members of the Scottish Tartans Society, considered that the Dundee tartan was first woven at the end of the 18th century, or early in the 19th by Wilsons of Bannockburn. The weaving scale is preserved in the Key Pattern Book of that firm dated 1819. The actual design of the tartan is very similar to that of a tartan jacket said to have been worn by Prince Charles Edward Stuart at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. This jacket is now preserved in the Scottish United Services Museum in Edinburgh Castle.

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

November 11, 2010

The President, Jean Latimer, called the meeting to order at 6:50pm and asked Alan Ramsdell to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. This was followed by a moment of silence in honor of the Flowers of the Forest.

Minutes of the October meeting were approved by a motion from Jason Temple and a second by Sue Wallace. Motion passed.

Treasurers Report showed our bank balance at $3,200.00 with checks needing to be issued. The Senior Center, knowing of our budget woes, graciously “waived” the fee for the use of the projector for Mark’s program tonight. They have our most sincere gratitude for being such great hosts over the years.

Old Business: Jason Temple reminded everyone that he had sent out an e-mail calling a Games Committee meeting for Thursday, Nov. 18th at the ICC starting at 6:00pm. Alan Ramsdell reminded us that we would once again take part in the program to honor the RAF pilots killed during flight training at Falcon Field in Mesa. There were 23, with 10 of those being Scots. So on Sunday, Nov. 14th we will place a wreath at the grave sites, along with several other organizations. This is a very moving ceremony with well-timed fly-overs by vintage airplanes of that era (1941).

Door Prize: We had an abundance of Door Prizes for this meeting with many lucky winners.

New Business: (1.) Jean Latimer shared an e-mail from the Las Vegas Scottish group inviting us to come to their huge celebration of the 1st Las Vegas International Tattoo. It will include bands from both the Scots Guard and The Black Watch. (2.) Our Robert Burns Diner is well into the planning stage, with Lisa Scott, Chair, and many capable helpers such as Wendy Hurley Sue Wallace and Sheila Thatcher. It will be posted on the web site. We were able to keep the ticket price the same as last year, $45. per person. Tickets may be purchased at the web site also. We are having a very traditional menu, with music and dancing, Scotch tasting and silent auction. This will be followed by a band and dance floor for your pleasure. Make your reservations at any time now, but be sure to mark your calendar for January 29, 2011. The business meeting was adjourned at 7:20 for our program.

Program: Mark Pelletier presented the program on The Battle of Glencoe. This was a very in-depth study of the historic event and it was clear that Mark had done a great deal of research on the topic. Refreshments followed the program.

We will gather at 6:30pm on December 9 for our annual Christmas Potluck and we hope you will join us. Bring your own table service and a dish to share. Call Jean Latimer at 602-867-6507 or email her at for more information.

Jean Whyman, Acting Recording Secretary

Important Dates in December
In 1832, Alabama became the first state to declare Christmas a legal holiday.

Dec 9 Holiday Potluck Dinner
Dec 21 First Day of Winter
Dec 25 Merry Christmas
Dec 26 Boxing Day
Dec 31—Jan 1 Happy Hogmanay

Merry Christmas!

Nollaig Chridhel

Wishing one and all a
Very Merry Christmas
and a
Happy and Prosperous
New Year!

The Caledonian Society of Arizona