February, 2011

In this Issue:

 President's Message  Coming Events
 Sound the Pibroch  February Celebrations
 2011 Membership Dues  Know the Clans
 Kirkin' o' the Tartan  Caledonian Society Officers
 Greyfriar's Bobby  General Meeting Minutes
 Kitchen Piping Contest
& Glenmorangie Scotch-Tasting
 Important Dates in February
 Some Scottish Poetry  See you at the Games!

President's Message

Hello Everyone,

It is February and that means the GAMES are coming soon. We have only a few more days ahead of us. I truly hope that YOU have signed up to help us. If not please contact our Volunteer Chairperson--Margaret Brewer--maggiejean33@aol.com.

I am saddened to have to tell you that we have lost one of our Founding members--Lucy Logan. She was 97 years young and our hearts and prayers go out to her son, Dave Logan, of the Phoenix Police Department.

Please remember that our meetings are now held at the Irish Cultural Center, 1106 N. Central Avenue, in Phoenix. Due to a new construction project the Main gate is closed, so we slide around the corner and enter from Portland (behind the hotel) through the south gate.

My sincere “Thank You” to Jason Temple and the Games Committee personnel who have been putting in so many hours preparing for the up-coming Games. We have had a lot of cooperation and extra effort put into getting ready for the Games and I want them to know it has been noticed and appreciated. So now…IT’S SHOWTIME 2011!

Jean Latimer, President

Sound the Pibroch

At the Highland Games on February 26 & 27 you will hear many pipers. Nowadays bagpipes are almost always associated with Scotland, but in the past they were played worldwide and the skirl of the pipes encouraged those who built the Roman-empire. Nero did not confine himself to playing the fiddle, he was also an expert on the bagpipes and the Roman legions had pipe bands. A bronze model of a Roman soldier playing the pipes was unearthed in Kent and is estimated to be over two thousand years old. Early bagpipes were made from the stomach, or sometimes the bladder of an animal.

Pipers were essential members of every pilgrimage and Crusade because their music had the power to dispel the pain and fatigue of the wounded, footsore and weary.

The Celtic races, including the Scots and Irish, became particularly fond of the pipes--perhaps a little to fond for those who liked a quiet Sabbath. Five hundred years ago a Scottish Parliament passed a law stating that only royalty were permitted to play the pipes on Sundays.

A Scottish clan that played an important role in the history of piping was the MacCrimmons, who invented the musical form which came to be known as pibroch. The name comes from the Gaelic word piobaireachd, which means “piping”. As hereditary pipers to the MacLeods of Dunvegan, the MacCrimmons occupied the estate of Borreraig in Skye where they established a college for the teaching of piping.
Following the ‘45 Jacobite Rebellion, the playing of the bagpipes was banned, along with the wearing of tartan from1747 to 1782. But this 45-year ban did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of Scots for the bagpipes and they were soon heard again throughout the land and beyond.

The bagpipes were much in evidence when emigrant ships left for America. The piper would play a lament as the native land of the emigrants disappeared over the horizon. During the voyage there were dances and ceilidhs (kay-lees) to keep everyone cheerful. And, of course, when they reached their port of destination and set foot on foreign soil, it was with a light step led to someone playing the bagpipes.

The true mettle of the Scottish piper was never more evident than on the battlefield. Unarmed, and a conspicuous target for shot and shell, his courage never wavered, and he kept the troops in good heart. “Pipe them together” was the order given by the commanding officer in the thick of battle. In 1897 Piper George Findlater of the Gordon Highlanders when shot in both legs, crawled to his pipes and resumed playing to rally the Scottish soldiers to victory and was awarded the Victoria Cross.

2011 Membership Dues
Thank you to all who have already sent in their dues for 2011. Your support of the Caledonian Society of Arizona is much appreciated. It’s not too late to mail in your dues, so please consider doing so. You can also pay online in the Shoppe.

Your participation in our Society helps greatly in our efforts to preserve our heritage and educate others about the contributions the Scots have made to the world in the past and are still making today.

Kirkin' o' the Tartan

The fourth annual Kirkin’ O’ the Tartans will be held on Sunday, March 5 at Mission del Sol Presbyterian Church. Worship services are 8:30am and 10:30am. Entertainment and gatherings will be held between and after the service. Homemade scones and shortbreads, coffee and tea will be served. Come wearing your tartan. For more information call 480-820-9944.

Greyfriar's Bobby

John Gray, a gardener, together with his wife and son arrived in Edinburgh around 1850. Unable to find work as a gardener he avoided the workhouse by joining the Edinburgh Police Force as a night watchman. To keep him company through the long winter nights John took on a partner, a diminutive Skye Terriers, his “watchdog” called Bobby. Together John and Bobby became a familiar sight trudging through the old cobbled streets of Edinburgh. Through thick and thin, winter and summer, they were faithful friends.

The years on the streets appear to have taken their toll on John, as he was treated by the Police Surgeon for tuberculosis. John eventually died of the disease on February 15, 1858 and was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Bobby soon touched the hearts of the local residents when he refused to leave his master’s grave, even in the worst weather conditions.

The gardener and keeper of Greyfriars tried on many occasions to evict Bobby from the Kirkyard. In the end he gave up and provided a shelter for Bobby by placing sacking beneath two tablestones at the side of John Gray’s grave. Bobby’s fame spread throughout Edinburgh. It is reported that almost on a daily basis the crowds would gather at the entrance of the Kirkyard waiting for the one o’clock gun that would signal the appearance of Bobby leaving the grave for his midday meal.

Bobby would follow William Dow, a local joiner and cabinet maker to the same Coffee House that he had frequented with his now dead master, where he was given a meal.

In 1867 a new bye-law was passed that required all dogs to be licensed in the city or they would be destroyed. Sir William Chambers (The Lord Provost of Edinburgh) decided to pay Bobby’s license and presented him with a collar with the inscription “Greyfriars Bobby from the Lord Provost 1867 licensed”. This can be now seen at the Museum of Edinburgh. The kind folk of Edinburgh took good care of Bobby, but still he remained loyal to his master. For fourteen years the dead man’s faithful dog kept watch and guard over the grave until his own death in 1872.

Bobby could not be buried within the cemetery itself, since it was and remains consecrated ground. He was buried instead just inside the gate of Greyfriars Kirkyard, not far from John Gray’s grave.

A lifesize stature of Bobby was created by William Brodie in 1872 almost immediately after the dog’s death. This was paid for by a local aristocrat, Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts, who was President of the Ladies Committee of the RSPCA.

Angela Burdett-Coutts was born in 1814. She was the youngest daughter of Sir Francis Burdett M.P. and Sophia Coutts. Her grandfather, Thomas Coutts, a Scot, had made his fortune as a banker in the City of London. When Angela was 23 she inherited her grandfather’s fortune which, according to the press, was a magnificent 1,800,000 pounds in gold plus an income of 80,000 pounds a year. Upon hearing the news, her father George wrote to her that, knowing her kindly nature, he was sure that she would use her newly acquired wealth to improve the lot of Britain’s poor.

It’s not known if this letter provides the sole reason, however, Angela began using her inheritance to help churches and charities in the work for the underprivileged. She helped her uncle, John Sinclair, Vicar of Kensington and Archdeacon of Middlesex, in his mission to educate the working classes. She also served as President of the Ladies’ Committee of the RSPCA.

In 1869, having read a newspaper story about Greyfriears Bobby, Angela traveled to Edinburgh. Her goal was to see the little dog, now under the Lord Provost’s protection. While visiting Greyfriars Burial Ground and searching for the spot where the dog’s owner was said to be buried, she found that the grave was unmarked. She was told that Bobby had been owned by an Army veteran named Robert Gray. She immediately wrote a letter to the Council asking if she could provide a headstone for Robert Gray’s grave. The Council replied that they would consider the matter but Gray’s gravestone was never erected.

In 1871 Angela was made a baroness. She had not forgotten Bobby, however and though she had been unable to get permission to erect a headstone for Robert Gray, she again wrote to the Council. This time, she asked if she could donate a memorial of Bobby to the city. Having received permission, Angela arranged for a fountain to be designed and constructed. The designated site was at the end of the George IV Bridge just across from Greyfriars Burial Ground. A lamppost was removed and a red granite fountain erected in its place. In addition to a metal cup which had been provided for the public, the fountain had a trough at the base from which dogs were able to drink. A full-size bronze statue of Bobby, sculpted by William Brodie, topped off the pedestal.

The memorial was unveiled in November 1873 and Baroness Burdett-Coutts was given the freedom of the city of Edinburgh where her grandfather had been born. She died in 1906, Britain’s richest woman. She had used her money well, providing help for the underprivileged on both sides of the border.

Kitchen Piping Contest & Glenmorangie Scotch-Tasting
By Jim Hewitson


Friday, February 25th, 2011

Join us on the patio at the Westin-Kierland Resort & Spa
6902 E. Greenway Pkwy
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Entertainment featuring the Celtic-Tribal music of Brother, and “Scotch” humor by Chris Yates
Download Flyer

COVER: $10

If you’d like to compete, contact Andy Walker 623-670-0933

See Flyer here

Some Scottish Poetry
By Robert Burns

To see her is to love her,
And love but her forever.
For Nature made her what she is,
And ne’er made anither!

Coming Events
Feb 10 Membership Meeting
Feb 26-27 Highland Games -- Steele Park, Phoenix

February Celebrations

Feb 1 Rena McDonald—Birthday
Feb 1 Elizabeth Reich—Birthday
Feb 3 Al & Bobbie Landeck—Anniv.
Feb 4 Stephen Glasscock—Birthday
Feb 5 Sheila Cernich—Birthday
Feb 5 Merle Sykora—Birthday
Feb 5 Joann McLane—Birthday
Feb 6 Donna Franquemont—Birthday
Feb 7 Jo Ramsdell—Birthday
Feb 9 Alexandra Cheek--Birthday
Feb 13 Pam Stewart—Birthday
Feb 14 David McNabb—Birthday
Feb 14 Helen Hall—Birthday
Feb 18 Jean Latimer—Birthday
Feb 19 John Beatty—Birthday
Feb 19 Gary & Melissa Hankins—Anniv.
Feb 20 Jill McKitrick—Birthday
Feb 20 Martin Frazer—Birthday
Feb 24 Gary Hankins—Birthday
Feb 25 Bill O’Brien—Birthday
Feb 27 Hope Singleton—Birthday
Feb 28 Joan Brooking—Birthday
Feb 29 Greg & Kim Duprest—Anniv.

Know the Clans
District Tartans: Edinburgh
From District Tartans
By Gordon Teall & Phillip Smith Jr.

District Tartans: Edinburgh

Edinburgh, the historic capital of Scotland, has been called the “Athens of the North” because it too has a series of hills and a long dedication to learning and the arts. In earlier times, men built a defensive position on the high steep rock that dominates the skyline. With the southern expansion of the Kingdom of the Scots Edinburgh became the principal residence of the monarch and, eventually, the capital city. It was extended in the late 1700s with the addition of the Georgian “New Town”, now the central area of Edinburgh.

The Castle looms above a modern city remarkable for its richness of history and culture. Visitors can see St. Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest building there and still hear the cannon signal the hour at 1 pm. Recent excavations nearby have shown evidence that the Romans once occupied the castle site. The Edinburgh Festival and Tattoo are favorites of visitors from all over the world. There are numerous museums in the city and it is home of one of the world’s great universities.

Several attempts have been made to develop a special tartan for residents or visitors. None had success until the design of the Edinburgh tartan by Councillor Hugh Macpherson in 1970 on the occasion of the Commonwealth Games. This tartan is mainly red and blue with small amounts of black, white and green.

Caledonian Society Officers

President: Jean Latimer—602-867-6507
1st Vice Pres:
Tim Wallace—480-821-6163
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

January 13, 2011

The meeting was opened at 6:45pm by President, Jean Latimer. She began by explaining that the Society had two events scheduled for this evening and that this was our first meeting at the Irish Cultural Center and also the date chosen for the Young Robert Burns Night. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence to honor the Flowers of the Forest. Tonight we honored Terry Shelbourne.

Minutes: Jacqueline Sinclair made a motion to accept the Minutes of the last meeting, as written in the Desert Highlander. Mark Pellitier gave the second.

Treasurers Report: Lisa Scott was not present, so Jean reported that we are starting to see some monies coming in and we are close to $10,000.00 and growing. That means we are getting some bills paid off as well. Thanks to the superb job being done by the Games Committee folks, we are holding very tight to the budget.

Door Prizes: Alan Ramsdell gave away two door prizes to two new members: Mark Clark and John Kilpatrick.

Old Business: (1)Jean announced that the Board has given her permission to go ahead and seek a CPA without ties to the Society, to take over our bookkeeping. This is again in accordance with the requirements for seeking any grant money. She will take this on after the Games. (2) The Board also voted to reinstall Andy Walker as the “Official” Piper of the Society, since this information had not been carried forward through several Past-Presidents. We will look into solving this problem of “disappearing” information. (3) Remember that this year’s Robert Burns night is on the 29th of January. Tickets must be purchased by January 26.

New Business: There was no new business, so Jean threw the meeting open to informal conversation and questions from the floor, explaining that she preferred “short” meetings and that normally we have a program. She stated that she was aware that Business Meetings were boring, but we had to do them because of our 501C-3 status with the IRS.

Jean told us that she had learned that our annual “Kirkin’ O’ the Tartan” was similar to “Cinco de Mayo”. That is--it is not celebrated in Scotland. Apparently this got started in Newfoundland, Canada and then drifted from there to the USA. So Scotland and Mexico miss out on a holiday that we enjoy. Here in the valley, Mission Del Sol Presbyterian Church holds this service in early Spring.

Alan Ramsdell recommended books that he has read written by Kaitlyn Dunnett, a Scottish Mystery Series.

Jean shared that our Games Chair, Jason Temple had been through a terrible December, due to the loss of his 19-year-old brother, who was serving his country in the U.S. Air Force. He was killed in a training accident. Our hearts and prayers go out to Jason and his family. Dan Miller called for the adjournment and the meeting closed for refreshments.

Respectfully submitted by Jean Whyman, Acting Recording Secretary

Important Dates in December

Feb 3 Chinese New Year - Year of the Rabbit
Feb 14 St. Valentine's Day
Feb 15 Flag Day (Canada)
Feb 21 President's Day

See you at the Games!

We look forward to seeing you at the 47th Annual
Arizona Scottish Highland Games and Celtic Gathering
February 26 & 27, 2011
9 am — 4 pm

Steele Indian School Park — MAP
300 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ

Get your tickets here!

The Caledonian Society of Arizona