September, 2011

In this Issue:

 President's Message  Coming Events
 The Tannahill Weavers  September Celebrations
 Flowers of the Forest  Know the Clans
 Scottish Folklore on the Wing  Caledonian Society Officers
 The Pound Symbol (£)  General Meeting Minutes
   Important Dates in September

President's Message

Wow, what can I say about summer? It was HOT, it was long, but now we have July and August behind us. We are very excited about the 2012 Games, as we have the Park’s approval for our new layout and the Games Committee is hard at work getting things in order. Also, we have learned that our own Ryan Seckman has qualified for the Men’s World Competition. CONGRATULATIONS RYAN! We will be cheering for you.

September’s meeting will have a special program featuring the two young lady dancers who made it to the National Competition. Past President Elizabeth Reich will be explaining the dance movements and how the girls are graded on their performances. So come learn how to appreciate Highland Dance even more. Future meetings will have some current visits to Scotland by some of our newer members. It will be fun to share their experience through new eyes. We also have some volunteer positions available for anyone who wants to get involved in the Society and/or the Games Committee. As with any volunteer organization, it is important that the members step up and help out so that each of us has a lighter load. MANY HANDS MAKE THE WORK EASIER!! We are having fun working together with our Irish cousins at the ICC; they have been great partners.

There are two really good concerts coming up, first The Tannahill Weavers will be in concert at the ICC on September 17th. The doors open at 7:00 pm, the show starts at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $20 in advance or $22 at the door. You may purchase tickets here. Read more about the band here, or more about the event here.

For more information contact Jackie Carro of Marketing Ideals, 480-495-8924. Stay tuned to this site for information on the October concert as well. REAL Celtic music direct from Scotland. Proceeds to benefit the 48th Annual Arizona Scottish Highland Games on March 24-25, 2012.

We are forming a Robert Burns Committee and will be seeking a new venue. I am very excited about the early volunteers and the ideas that are being put forth. I hope to have more news about this great gathering very soon.

Jean Latimer

The Tannahill Weavers

The Caledonian Society
Proudly Presents

Performing live!

The Tannahill Weavers are one of Scotland’s premier tradition bands.
Their music demonstrates to old and young alike the rich musical heritage
of the Celtic people. They have received worldwide accolades for their
exuberant performances.

Saturday, September 17, 2011
The Irish Cultural Center
1106 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona
Tickets—$20 in advance, $22 at the door.

Advance tickets can be purchased here

Snacks, Fun, Fellowship & Cash Bar
For more information contact
Jason Temple 602-920-5445 or
Jackie Carro 480-495-8924


The Tannahill Weavers will also be performing in Tucson on Wednesday September 14 at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 South Scott Avenue Tucson, AZ, as well as in Prescott on Friday, September 16 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 630 Park Ave. Tickets are $20 in advance, $23 at the door. For more information call 928-771-1218. Click here for links to maps to the venues.


Flowers of the Forest
Frank Murray, a long time publican in the Phoenix community, died on August 10. He moved to Arizona in 1954 after serving in the Korean War. He worked at the Dubliner Irish Pub before becoming the manager at Seamus McCaffery’s which he eventually purchased. Phoenix was Frank’s town and he was a visionary for downtown Phoenix.

Scottish Folklore on the Wing
By Bel Bailey

Ancient Scottish beliefs and superstitions often concern winged creatures—including butterflies, beetles and birds.

Butterflies were thought to be souls of the recently dead. Not surprisingly, ill luck was said to befall anyone who harmed them. Summerlands, the old name for Ti nan Og (Land of the Young), was the gathering place for souls before their rebirth as human infants. To make the transitions from earthly life to Summerlands, it was said that souls took the form of butterflies. Golden-colored butterflies were thought to bring great good fortune. Indeed a golden butterfly fluttering near a dying person was said to restore good health.

Ladybug beetles, known as ladybirds were also believed to be lucky and able to grant a wish or some kind of guidance. An old Scots verse entreats: “Ladybird, Ladybird, Fly tae the east or fly tae the west, But show where he is, who’ll love the best”.

As for birds, curlews were regarded with fear when heard crying at night, especially by sailors and fishermen. The birds were called “The Seven Whistlers” and their call was said to give warning of storms or peril by drowned comrades.

A happier note was sung by the cuckoo. These birds were linked to the coming of spring and brighter weather—and even to improved fortunes. In the Highlands where cuckoos were associated with the Fey Folk, it was said that the birds wintered sweetly in the fairy hills where they sang for dances. Good luck is still thought to follow the first cuckoo call of the season if one hears it when out walking in the hills. If one has money in a pocket and turns the coins over to “help them increase” the omen is even better.

According to legend the wren, the smallest of birds, should not be harmed: “Misfortunes! Misfortunes! Aye mair than ten, Smite any who vex the Queen o ’Heaven’s hen!” Ill luck is also said to follow those who harm magpies. To avoid it, the old Scots tradition is to bow to the bird, spit after it or cross oneself.

When it comes to swans, there is a strange legend linking them to the Kirkpatrick family of Dumfries. Te legend has its origins in the 14th century when the tower house of Closeburn Castle, ancestral home of the Kirkpatricks, became the summer home of a pair of swans who swam in the surrounding loch. Twice, the bird’s arrival coincided with the sudden return to health of gravely ill members of the family. As the birds so clearly brought the Kirkpatricks good luck, for the next 150 years a pair of swans was welcomed by the grateful clan and prosperity followed.

Alas, a century and a half later, Robert Kirkpatrick, the 12-year-old heir, saw Shakespeare’s the Merchant of Venice in Edinburgh and was struck by the lines: “He makes-swan-like end, Facing in Music…”. Wishing to discover if a dying swan really did sing before death, the boy killed one of the swans with his crossbow. Hearing no swan song and fearful of consequences, he buried the swan on the castle grounds. When the swans did not return the next year, the family sadly accepted that they must have died on their winter flight. Later that summer, however, a single swan briefly appeared on the loch. The family noticed a blood-red mark on its breast; within a week the head of the Kirkpatrick family died. From then on, tradition has held that a swan’s appearance foretells the death of a Kirkpatrick.

The Pound Symbol (£)

A tip from Denise Robinson of Prescott: To type a British pound sign when using Word programs, hold the Alt key down while typing 0163 on the keypad at the right (not the numbers above the letters). When you release the Alt key, a pound sign will appear where you had the cursor. And if you have a Mac, simply hold the “option” button down and type 3 in the regular numbers.

Coming Events

Sep 3-4 Highland Games
Sep 8 Membership Meeting
Sep 8-11 Highland Games
Estes Park, CO
Sep 14 Tannahill Weavers Concert—Tucson
Sep 16 Tannahill Weavers Concert—Prescott
Sep 17 Tannahill Weavers Concert—Phoenix
Oct 7-9 Highland Games
Ventura, CA
Oct 8 Old Blind Dogs Concert—Prescott
Oct 13 Membership Meeting

September Celebrations

Sep 4 Jill & Kevin Grossett—Anniversary
Sep 5 Chad Connolly—Birthday
Sep 6 Sandra Glasscock—Birthday
Sep 6 Alice DeStefano—Birthday
Sep 8 Darin Beatty—Birthday
Sep 9 Patricia Goyer—Birthday
Sep 11 Alan Ramsdell—Birthday
Sep 13 Jerry Minnis—Birthday
Sep 13 Robert LaVar—Birthday
Sep 13 Diana MacFarlane—Birthday
Sep 14 Margaret Manchester—Birthday
Sep 15 Monte Patterson—Birthday
Sep 15 Nickalos Connolly—Birthday
Sep 15 Susan Satchell—Birthday
Sep 16 Marilyn Veich—Birthday
Sep 17 Margaret Romas—Birthday
Sep 19 Richard Cameron—Birthday
Sep 20 Janice Mathieson—Birthday
Sep 21 Michelle Campbell—Birthday
Sep 22 George & Lois Kirk—Anniversary
Sep 22 Dick & Mary Kay Collis—Anniversary
Sep 23 Deedra Brown & Kenneth Jackson—Anniversary
Sep 24 Melissa Hankins—Birthday
Sep 26 Harold Stewart—Birthday
Sep 26 Paul Deloughery—Birthday
Sep 26 Gary & LeeAna Kains—Anniversary
Sep 27 Cheryl Bell—Birthday
Sep 29 Adam Beatly—Birthday

Know the Clans
What's in a Name?
By Ron Dempsey

Many various cultural influences have helped shape our surnames. We have to look at Scottish history to be able to understand this. The indigenous people of Scotland were the Picts. They were so named by the Romans because of the way they decorated their bodies with dyes. One particular feisty tribe that gave the Romans trouble were named the Caledonians by them, from which we get another name for Scotland—Caledonia. While no written account of their language has been found, it is thought that they spoke a language which belonged to a grouping (Britonnic) that included Welsh. The place names that remain with Britonnic names may be Pictish in origin. Aberdeen is one, another would be Abernethy. The surnames that start with the Britonnix word “pit” meaning land may also have the same origin.

In the south west part of Scotland lived the Britons, who again spoke a language akin to Welsh. Scotland’s national hero, William Wallace, was of this race. Wallace was a Saxon word meaning stranger.

The next group to donate to the fabric of surnames in Scotland were the Scots or Gaels. They arrived from Northern Ireland about the 5th century. Most of their surnames are patronymic (named after an ancestor) whether it was the ancestor’s personal name or trade or office. MacDonald and MacNeil from personal names and MacPherson or MacIntosh, son of the parson and son of the chief respectively. Some names are from a place name such as Ross, from Ros, a fertile plain.

From the 8th century on, the Scandinavian Vikings made incursions into Scotland as well as other parts of the British Isles. After a few centuries, some stayed and settled. Norse personal names such as Ketil evolved into Kettle. It was Gaelicized into MacCorquadal, son of Ketil. Place names also figured into the Viking contribution to surnames. The place name Sutherland in the far north of Scotland means “the south land” since it was in that direction from their homes in Scandinavia.

Although mostly Viking in ethnicity, the Normans lived in France. Many Normans traveled north into Scotland. Some were in the retinue of King David I after he spent time at the Royal English Court. Most Norman names were French place names and include such names as Bruce, Montgomery and Conym (Cumming).

Scotland traded with many European partners that bordered on the North Sea and that commercial intercourse would have broth many foreign elements into Scottish surnames.

Irish surnames appeared in the 19th century especially around the 1847-48 famine. Many names melded into the mainstream of Scottish surnames either because they were changed to sound that way or they were the descendants of Scottish settlers in Ireland from earlier centuries.

Society Meetings
Regular membership meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at 6:45 pm at the Irish Cultural Center located at 1106 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix. Come join us, or log on to, or call 602-431-0095
Caledonian Society Officers

President: Jean Latimer—602-867-6507
Vice President:
Tim Wallace—602-740-0575
Treasurer: Joanne G.—602-431-0095
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

The Caledonian Society of Arizona
General Meeting Minutes

August 11, 2011

The president called the meeting to order at 6:50pm and changed the format to extra casual due to low attendance. Almost everyone received a door prize. We had two new members sign up and time was spent getting to know them a little better.

The minutes of the July meeting, as written in the Desert Highlander, were approved.

The Treasurer’s report showed a current balance of $13,719.04 with outstanding checks not yet cleared.

Games Chair, Jason Temple, took time to show the members the new park layout and talk about the reason behind it. This information was well received and those attending responded positively. The folks at the city have given the changes their blessings as well.

Dan Miller spent time making labels for all of the Presbyterian churches in the Valley, with the premise that these congregations should have folks of Scottish heritage who may not know about us. We plan to correct that lack by sending a short note to their Newsletters.

We have two bands coming from Scotland that will appear at the ICC in September and October. Check the web sit for details. Tickets are only $20 advance or $22 at the door. This is a great opportunity for us to hear some of Scotland’s finest music.

The meeting adjourned early—7:30pm—and time was spent visiting and chatting about future events.

Respectfully submitted by
Jean Whyman, Acting Recording Secretary

Important Dates in September
Sep 5 Labor Day (US and Canada)
Sep 11 Grandparents Day
Sep 21 International Day of Peace
Sep 23 Autumnal Equinox