January, 2011

In this Issue:

 President's Message  Coming Events
 Young Bobby Burns
 Robert Burns Supper
 January Celebrations
 2011 Membership Dues Due  Know the Clans
 Change of Venue for Meetings  Caledonian Society Officers
 Flowers of the Forest  General Meeting Minutes
 Some Scottish Trivia  Important Dates in January
 A Scot to Remember  Happy New Year!

President's Message

Greetings for the New Year!

Hope your Holidays were the greatest and that you are looking forward to 2011. GAMES—GAMES—GAMES! Time is running short and we are going to be busier than ever as we prepare for our 2011 GAMES. The new brochures are printed and available to anyone who wishes to help distribute them to family and friends or business locations near you, or where you work. Also, January starts our new meeting location at the Irish Cultural Center, 1106 N. Central Avenue. If you have not been to this location you are in for a treat! It has great ambiance and a wonderful staff. Meeting night is Thursday, January 13 at 6:45pm.

I know I am repeating myself, but we still do not have a Recording Secretary or Treasurer. Tim Wallace has been brave enough to step up and serve as Vice President, for which we are very grateful. There has to be someone out there who can fill these other two slots. PLEASE, just talk to me about these two jobs and see if we can’t work out a plan.

If you have not yet signed up to help at the Games, please do so by contacting our Games Chair, Jason Temple or our Volunteer Chair, Margaret Brewer. Jason: Celticbuilders@gmail.com or 602-920-5445 and Margaret: maggiejean33@aol.com or 602-451-6083. We need to know how many folks we have to plan food and shirts for etc. so please help us get a handle on this item. We need to know if you plan to work one day or (hopefully) two days.

This could be a banner year for us. Jackie Carro has found more sponsors for us and Sue Wallace is gathering the Vendors and Mark Pellitier is “Gathering” the clans. Things are looking good, so be sure to come out and enjoy the venue at Steele Indian School Park—between Central Ave. and 7th Street. There is lots of free parking over by the VA Hospital, so get a group together and come on out; enter off of Indian School Road at 3rd Street.


Most sincerely,
Jean Latimer, President

Young Bobby Burns
Join us for a Scottish-style Happy Hour and Poetry Reading, featuring the best brews from Four Peaks Brewery, including Kiltlifter—of course! The festivities include readings from the literature of Robert Burns! Download Flyer here.

Date: January 13, 2011 - 5:00—8:00pm
Location: Four Peaks Brewery
340 E. 8th St.
Ste. 104, Tempe, AZ — Map

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 Membership Dues Due

Dues for 2011 Now Due

Now is the time to renew your membership in the Caledonian Society. Send your check to our P.O. Box address, or pay your dues online in the Shoppe. If you are a new member who joined the Society since September 2010, then your membership extends through 2011.

Remember—The dues have been increased in order to cover increased expenses. A single membership is now $25 and a family membership is now $40.

We are looking forward to another great year. Join us on the second Thursday of each month for our General Membership meeting for a time of information and fellowship with fellow Scots.

Change of Venue for Meetings

The monthly membership meetings of the Caledonian Society has been moved, beginning with the January 13 meeting, to the Irish Cultural Center located at 1106 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix. Times remain the same. Hope to see many of you there to begin a New Year for the Society.

Flowers of the Forest

We are saddened to report the death of Terry Shelbourne on December 20. Terry, a past president of the Caledonian Society and Games Chair, was a tireless worker for the Society. He and his wife Joan were Honorary Life Members of the Society and volunteered many hours of their time promoting our Scottish heritage. Terry helped make our Arizona Games and Gathering one of the best in the western United States. He will be sorely missed. We extend our sympathy to Joan and the rest of his family.

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” …..Thomas Campbell

A Scot to Remember : Colin Maclaurin
By Jim Hewitson

Colin Maclaurin was a mathematician. A remarkable Scot who in the biographies has two principal—and contrasting—claims to fame. He masterminded the construction of defences around Edinburgh when the capital was threatened by the army of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and he was a positive wizard at understanding why things keep falling down.

He is also, I fear, one of that great legion of Scots whose exploits have been all but forgotten. The son of an Argyllshire minister, Colin was born in 1698 and didn’t take long to give indications of his very special talents. By the age of eleven he was ‘sufficiently quick in apprehension’ to land a place at the University of Glasgow where his mathematical genius was balanced by a feel for the classics.

Having stumbled across a copy of Euclid in a friend’s chamber, he devoured the first six books in a matter of days and his ‘predeliction for the science of quantity was determined for life’.

At fifteen he passed through his degree of Master of Arts having chosen for his thesis-which in those days took the form of a public lecture-the power of gravity. Nothing exceptional there, you might say, except that normally students plumped for trivial easily-adapted topics and the fact was that Newtonian physics were at the time comparatively unknown. Even distinguished scientists tended to steer clear of the complex and controversial topic.

At the beginning of the 1714 university session, he enrolled himself as a student of divinity, but within a year, disgusted by internal wrangling in the Kirk, gave up the idea of becoming a clergyman and threw himself wholeheartedly into scientific pursuits.

In vacation Colin took himself off to London. Can you imagine his delight when he came face-to-face with Sir Isaac himself? Newton was impressed in turn by the young Scot’s scientific understanding and soon Maclaurin was corresponding with the greatest scientists of his day and had been admitted to the Royal Society at the tender age of twenty-one.

In 1722 Lord Polwarth, an ambassador in Europe, was looking for a “proper person” to accompany his son, Mr. Hume, on his planned travels, his “Grand Tour” on the Continent. Maclaurin was engaged as a companion and tutor. Anxious to retain his teaching post at Aberdeen, he secured a stand-in to take his classes, then set off for Paris and adventure.

The Grand Tour was an almost obligatory experience for young wannabe toffs in those days. From their base in Lorraine in 1722, Colin and his charge set off on a tour of the southern provinces of France. Alas, young Hume caught a fever and died. Naturally, Maclaurin was devastated and returned immediately to the consolation of teaching in Aberdeen.

Down in Edinburgh the legendary and ancient Prof. Gregory, who had ruled his mathematical roost in the Scots capital for umpteen years, had almost completed his last quadratic equation and Colin Maclaurin was considered by many as his obvious successor. One other candidate surfaced but he had to give ground when Maclaurin received heavyweight backing, a reference to end all references, which he only found out about years later.

His friend and scientific mentor Sir Isaac Newton wrote to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh suggesting Colin for the professorship in glowing terms. He even offered to contribute 20 pounds annually as a provision, securing Maclaurin’s place until Prof. Gregory shuffled off the academic coil. Surprise, surprise, Colin got the job.

He taught a wide range of subjects from trigonometry to the elements of fortification, astronomy to the theory of gunnery. Settled to life in Edinburgh, he soon became a popular dinner guest among society folk and would whip out his telescope to entertain the ladies on a suitably starbright evening. He also speculated that open sea would be found near the North Pole allowing ships to reach the Pacific by a northern route—this became the legendary Northwest Passage.

His greatest adventure, however, came much closer to home during the Jacobite Rising of 1745. When the Highland army threatened Edinburgh, Maclaurin persuaded the city fathers that although the capital could not hold out long against the Highland horde, a few strategically located batteries, trenches and barricades might allow them to sustain a defence until the arrival of Sir John Cope and the government forces.

There must have been moments when Maclaurin regretted having spoken up because all the world loves a volunteer and he was landed with the entire supervision and execution of this hastily erected defence system. But he was indefatigable in his exertions, employed both day and night in drawing plans and running from place to place.

But of course, as we now know the Highland army walked in the front door, or more accurately through one of the city gates and all Maclaurin’s efforts were in vain. Having taken refuge thereafter with the Archbishop of York, he became ill and died on June 14, 1746.

Although his life may have had a rather inglorious ending, Colin Maclaurin’s scientific contributions have made his name go down in history and he deserves to be “a Scot to remember.”

Coming Events
Jan 1 Happy Hogmanay/ New Year's Day
Jan 13 Membership Meeting
Jan 13 Young Bobby Burns -- Four Peaks Brewery
Jan 29 Robert Burns Dinner -- Holiday Inn, Mesa
Feb 10 Membership Meeting
Feb 26-27 Highland Games -- Steele Park, Phoenix

January Celebrations

Jan 1 Marion Davidson — Birthday
Jan 2 William McGregor — Birthday
Jan 3 Linda Neel — Birthday
Jan 5 Michelle Campbell & James Weber — Anniv.
Jan 5 Lori Steadman — Birthday
Jan 5 Alix Sands — Birthday
Jan 8 Donna MacTavish — Birthday
Jan 9 Casey McIntosh--Birthday
Jan 10 Lucy Logan — Birthday
Jan 10 Jack Arthur—Birthday
Jan 11 Ingrid Lincoln—Birthday
Jan 12 Ray Titchbourne — Birthday
Jan 12 Bill & Barbara Montgomery — Anniv.
Jan 14 Charles & Joann McLane — Anniv.
Jan 16 Donna Nelson — Birthday
Jan 16 John Steadman — Birthday
Jan 18 James & Janet Grant—Anniv.
Jan 19 William & Jeannette Reeves — Anniv.
Jan 20 Donald Macintyre—Birthday
Jan 20 Diane Dawson — Birthday
Jan 23 Vivienne Trimble — Birthday
Jan 23 Mauria O’Brien—Birthday
Jan 26 Deedra Brown—Birthday
Jan 27 John Corden--Birthday
Jan 28 Donna Groves — Birthday
Jan 30 Bob Gilbreath—Birthday
Jan 30 Quin & Vicky McQuarrie — Anniv.
Jan 30 Gerald Ridlehoover—Birthday

Know the Clans
Clan Menzies
By Ron Dempsey

Clan Menzies

The Mesnieres or Meyners, an area in France, gave its name to the family that was to become Menzies in Scotland. Prior to settling in Scotland, they were in England and were known by the name Manners.

An early document in 1214 identified one Arketil de Mannvers as a witness to a charter in the Abbey of Holyrood. The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were especially good to this family.

In the reign of Alexander II, Robert de Meyners became the Great Chamberlain of the realm of Scotland in 1249 and then gained the lands of Athol ad Glen Lyon. His son Alexander also received lands in Aberfeldy and Weem. The name in all its forms was held by an active aristocratic family who seems to have been in the forefront of the Scottish court.

Alexander’s son, another Robert, was a companion and a peer of Robert the Bruce in the war of Independence. From this relationship he was granted Finalrig, Glenorchy and Durrisdeer.

In 1510 there was a dispute about the Menzies’ land with a branch of the Stewarts, having a connection due to an earlier marriage in the past generation. Menzies appealed to the crown and James VI found in his favor and the erected the Menzies land to a free barony.

The Marquis of Montrose led troops in support of Charles I. While in Menzies’ territory, Montrose sent a messenger to them asking for enlistments to his ranks. The messenger was abused either by accident or purposely. Infuriated, Montrose attacked and the Menzies chief was mortally wounded. This same chief’s son was in the Covenant army with the Duke of Arygle where he was killed at the Battle of Inverlochy.

However, other branches of the Menzies did fight on the side of Royalty.

The present chief’s ancestor, Alexander Menzies, became a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1665. This same family were Jacobite supporters in both 1715 with Old Pretender and 1745 with Young Pretender. The baronetcy became extinct in 1910 with the death of Neil Menzies. His sister inherited the estate but died in 1918 and the castle was sold. In bad repair it was purchased in 1957 by the Menzies Clan Society and restored. The present chief has lived on the lands after his return from Australia.

Septs of the name are: MacMenzies, MacMinn, MacMonies, Means, Mein, Mennie, Meyners, Minnus, Murchie, Murchison.

January is named after Janus (Ianuarius), the god of the doorway; the name has its beginnings in Roman mythology, coming from the Latin word for door (ianua)--January is the door to the new year. Traditionally, the original Roman calendar consisted of 10 months, totaling 304 day, winter being considered a monthless period. Around 713 BC the semi-mythical successor of Romulus, King Numa Pompilius, is supposed to have added the months of January and February, allowing the calendar to equal a standard lunar year (355 days). Although March was originally the first month in the old Roman Calendar, January became the first month of the calendar year either under Numa or under the Decemvirs about 450 BC (Roman writers differ).

Beginning in the sixteenth century, European countries began officially making January 1 the start of the New Year. Historical names for January include its original Roman designation, Ianuarius, the Saxon tern Wulfmonath (meaning wolf month) and Charlemagne’s designation Wintarmanoth (winter / cold month).

Caledonian Society Officers

President: Jean Latimer—602-867-6507
1st Vice Pres: Tim Wallace
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 Grant—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 Irish Cultural Center located at 1106 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix. Come join us, or log on to www.arizonascots.com or call 602-431-0095

The Caledonian Society of Arizona
General Meeting Minutes

December 9, 2010

No business meeting was conducted at the December 2009 meeting because of the annual Holiday Pot Luck Dinner.


Important Dates in December

Jan 1 Hogmanay/ New Year's Day
Jan 17 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Happy New Year!

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

The Caledonian Society of Arizona