November, 2011

In this Issue:

 President's Message  Coming Events
 Battlefield Band Concert  November Celebrations
 RAF Memorial Service  Know the Clans
 A Big Thank You  Caledonian Society Officers
 Alex Beaton Update  General Meeting Minutes
 Significant Scots  Important Dates in November
 What Am I Doing Here?  Annual Christmas Potluck Dinner

President's Message

We are very busy at the Society and having a lot of fun. I hop you were able to take-in one or both of the great concerts we had at the ICC in September and October. They were the “real deal” when it comes to Scottish music. Thanks to Jason Temple for all his time and effort in getting this done, with graciousness and fun. It was wonderful to see the children there learning the music of their heritage.

We gained a new Recording Secretary Inara Tabir, and she is a Gaelic speaker/teacher who wants to teach FREE classes. If you have children or grandchildren that you would like to bring to her classes, please contact her on When she gets enough people showing interest, we will work with Mary to schedule class time(s) and let you know.

Don’t forget the November meeting is on the 10th at 6:45pm. Sunday, November 13th in the RAF Memorial Service in honor of the cadets killed while in training at Falcon Field in Mesa. We will be laying a wreath in memory of the Scottish Cadets.

Then on the 30th of November we will be gathering at the ICC in honor of Scotland’s Patron Saint. St. Andrew’s Day is both a religious holiday and the National Day of Scotland, much like Canada Day or our own Fourth of July. This will be a fun gathering of Scots, with music, food, fun, Door prizes and Raffles. Please call 602-867-6507 to RSVP. We need to know how many to plan for, so call early. It will be $10.00 at the door, with children under 12 free. The fun begins at 5:30pm and runs until 8:30pm. Wear your kilt or “trews” and ladies add a touch of tartan to your outfit.

December meeting night will be on the 8th, but remember that we do not have a meeting—only our Christmas Pot Luck. So mark your calendar and come with a dish to share and bring your own place setting. You will hear more about this tradition next month. I am looking forward to seeing you soon.

Jean Latimer, President

Battlefield Band Concert

Celtic music legends Battlefield Band is returning to Phoenix, appearing at the Musical Instrument Museum on November 4th—show time 7pm. For t6ickets and information: or call 480-478-6000. Tickets: $32, $36.

“What the internationally renowned Irish band the Chieftains, have done for traditional Irish music, Battlefield Band are doing for the music of Scotland….”


RAF Memorial Service

The annual memorial service honoring the RAF fliers who are buried in the Mesa Cemetery will be held on November 13 this year, beginning at 10:45am. About one half of these fliers are of Scottish heritage and each year they are honored on the Sunday nearest Veteran’s Day.

This is a moving ceremony with bag pipes and a fly-over by vintage WWII aircraft. We urge all who can to attend. The Mesa City Cemetery is located on North Center Street between Brown and McKellips Roads.

A Big Thank You

We are happy to announce that Inara Tabir has agreed to become our new Recording Secretary and will finish out this term of office and also continue for the next term. Thank you, Inara.

We also want to give a BIG thank you to Jean Whyman for being willing to fill in as Recording Secretary all this time. She has gone far beyond her original commitment. THANK BOTH OF YOU LADIES.

Alex Beaton Update

Our favorite Scottish balladeer Alex Beaton has been released from the therapy hospital in Atlanta and has moved to the VA hospital in Augusta. Long-range plans for him have been worked up and he is determined to get well. He is doing well enough that his medical team is letting him attend the Stone Mountain Games. It is just a day trip, but a huge step forward in his progress.

Significant Scots

Joseph William Bell — Engineer and Hero

At 23.40 on Sunday, 14th April 1912, SS Titanic hit the fatal iceberg that sank her some three hours later at 02.20 on Monday 15th April. Joseph Bell, the son of John and Margaret, farmers at Farlam in Cumbria, was the White Star Line Chief Engineer and had served his apprenticeship at the Stephenson Works in Newcastle upon Tyne. He was a well respected and very capable engineer at the top of his trade and was appointed to Chief Engineer of the Titanic, the most celebrated job in engineering at the time. Titanic had 29 huge boilers and 159 furnaces to drive the 50,000 horsepower engines that turned the triple screws attaining a speed of 22.5 knots. The engines were four stories high and the largest in the world.

When the disaster struck, Joseph Bell was at his post in the boiler rooms. As the ship slowly foundered, he gathered his engine room crew into boiler room 2 and 3 the keep the boilers going to maintain power for the pumps and lights to give the ship the best possible change of staying afloat long enough for the ship “California”, who was 4 hours away, to reach them.

Unfortunately, the Titanic was foundering faster than any rescue ship could reach it and at 02.18, it was reported by an eye witness, that the great ship, with the stern high in the air above the freezing Atlantic, the ship’s lights blinked once and were extinguished when she broke in two between boiler rooms 1 and 2. At this exact time, Joseph and his crew died as the Atlantic gushed into the broken ship. It is certain that without the power generated by Joseph and his crew throughout the death throes of the ship, even more people would have died.

Joseph Bell is commemorated on the plaque in the old White Star building in Liverpool and also on his mother’s tombstone at Farlam Church with the epitaph…”greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends…”

Why So Many Scots Came To America
or “What Am I Doing Here?”

While many Scots emigrated for reasons known only to them, the majority of Scots arrived in Colonial America against their will. The first group of Covenanters banished from Great Britain arrived in America in the late 17th century. Beginning in 1716, Jacobite Highlanders were banished to the Americas. Continuing persecution encouraged other Scots to emigrate well into the 19th century.

To make a 500 year story short, the Scots had their own monarchy and the English had theirs. The king of Scotland was elected from among the royal family by the Scottish parliament. The king of England was determined pretty much by inheritance, with certain stipulations set down by the English parliament. After fighting a few wars for various reasons, marriage between members of the royal families united the two countries under one monarchy.

Monarchs come and go. Some were of one religion, some of another, but generally they tried to impose their religious and political opinions on their subjects, sometimes by harsh methods. Generally, the kings wanted to make everyone in Scotland follow the Episcopal Church, while many Scots were faithful to the Catholic or Presbyterian Church. Presbyterians in Scotland signed a covenant with God to oppose all other religions. They were called Covenanters. Some believed that being a king of Scotland was a divine right given only to the descendents of King James. They were called Jacobites (Jacob is Latin for James).

Eventually, people under the King’s rule had to swear allegiance to him and his authority. Jacobites and Covenanters, of course, wouldn’t do it on political and religious grounds, so they were transported to the New World (Colonial America, Canada, Jamaica, etc.)

The Scottish participation in the settlement of America dates to the early 17th century and from that time until the American Revolution probably around 150,000 Scots immigrated to the New World. Some settled in the New England area but primarily in the agrarian Southern colonies.

They brought their language, which influenced American English to some extent, particularly in Appalachia, but more than anything else, they brought their music, especially fiddle music, which became what we know today as American “bluegrass” music.

The American colonies were “the promised land” for many Scots. They became farmers, soldiers, blacksmiths, cattle ranchers, lumber men, factory workers, whatever way they could succeed. Most of the Scots who came to America turned out to be far more successful than they would have if they stayed at home. At the worst, they were no worse off than they would have been had they not immigrated. America was the land of opportunity Britain was a land of privilege, status and class systems. Our Scottish ancestors made many contributions to their new home. They helped build America and we owe them much!

Coming Events

Nov 4-6 Tucson, AZ—Games
Nov 10 Membership Meeting
Nov 24 Thanksgiving
Nov 30 St. Andrew’s Day
Dec 8 Membership Meeting—Annual Holiday Potluck
Jan 28 Robert Burns Dinner

November Celebrations

Nov 1 David Arthur—Birthday
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—Anniversary
Nov 9 Kathleen Tennyson—Birthday
Nov 10 Dennis & Carol Howerton—Anniversary
Nov 11 Robert Clark—Birthday
Nov 12 Gib Hall—Birthday
Nov 12 Helen & Arthur McMaster—Anniversary
Nov 13 Sharon DeRossett—Birthday
Nov 14 Alice & Sal DiStefano—Anniversary
Nov 15 Martha Shideler—Birthday
Nov 16 LeeAnna Kains—Birthday
Nov 16 Carol Howerton—Birthday
Nov 20 James Burns—Birthday
Nov 22 Roger & Diane Dawson—Anniversary
Nov 22 Lynda Rockwell—Birthday
Nov 23 Gail Wylie—Birthday
Nov 24 Morriss Davis—Birthday
Nov 25 Joan Shelbourne—Birthday
Nov 25 Robert Kremb—Birthday
Nov 27 Jaquelyn Sinclair—Birthday
Nov 28 Ken Nicolls—Birthday
Nov 28 Darby MacFarlane—Birthday
Nov 28 John & Amy Corden—Anniversary
Nov 30 Roderick Pressley—Birthday


Know the Clans
By Ron Dempsey


MacKillop is the Gaelic for “son of Phillip” and is known in Gaelic as MacPhillip. The “ph” feature in Gaelic makes it lose the “F” found and sound like MacKillop in English. This name was comfortable around the Western Isles where they were standard bearers to Clan Campbell. They are also included in the septs of Clan MacDonald of Glencoe and MacDonnell of Keppoch. Others of that name were in the entourage of the Earl of Cassillis. Phillip means “horse lover”. There seems to be no identification of the original Phillip from where the surname evolved. Another spelling is MacGilp.


Aird is an Ayrshire name with some very old families of that name holding the lands of Holl and Nether Catrine. Some of those named were followers of the earl of Cassillis. This family headed clan Kennedy. The Earldom of Cassillis was created in 1509 for the 3rd Lord Kennedy. The 12th Earl became the Marquis of Cassillis in 1831. So it appears the Aird name is linked with the Kennedy clan.

Aird in Gaelic is a position or state, whereas Ard relates to a lofty height or prominence. In Gaelic the High King was known as the Ard Righ. With clerical and spelling variances the name may have been interchangeable within families over the centuries.

There is also an Airds surname in the same part of Scotland. Names of Gaelic origin are naturally going to be found in areas near the Highlands and Islands.

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: Inara Tabir
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

October 13, 2011

The meeting was called to order at 7:10pm after getting everyone signed in and given a ticket for the door prizes. Jacquelyn Sinclair sold 50/50 raffle tickets and the winner was a new visitor from Gilbert, David McDougall. President Jean Latimer asked Thom Von Hapsburg to lead the Pledge of Allegiance and then requested a moment of silence for The Flowers of the Forest.

The Minutes of the September meeting were approved as printed in the Desert Highlander Newsletter. Brian Blair made the motion and Jacquelyn gave the second.

Jean reviewed the results of the two concerts that Jason Temple worked very hard to bring to Phoenix. We made good money on the first one by the Tannahill Weavers, but lost money on the second one by the Old Blind Dogs. Both were great bands, so perhaps they were just too close together.

We are planning some fun events for November, December and January; so mark your calendar for St. Andrew’s Day, Nov. 30th, Christmas Pot Luck, Dec. 8th, and Robert Burns Dinner, Jan. 28th. Burns dinner tickets will be $50 this time. Also please note that the annual RAF Memorial Service at the Mesa City Cemetery will be held on Nov. 13th. If you have not attended this yet, we recommend that you try to attend this year. It is a dress up—Kilt & Jacket etc, or suit affair and very moving.

WOW! We had a new visitor sign up as a member and she has volunteered to be our Recording Secretary. Did you see Jean Whyman doing a little dance in the corner? We are thrilled to have Inara Tabir join our ranks. She is from Germany and her husband is here to take a special class. She found our web site and came to check us out. The best news of all—she is a Scots-Gaelic speaker and she wants to offer FREE classes. If you are interested—for yourself and/or your children, please contact her at We will then work with Mary here at ICC to schedule class time(s).

There being no further business, we were adjourned at 7:20pm for refreshments and a wonderful picture trip through Scotland with Joe Wehunt and his wife. What a great slideshow. Thanks Joe.

The next meeting will be Nov. 10th here at ICC, 1106 N. Central, Phoenix. (Come through the Hotel parking lot or turn off at Portland—behind the hotel.)

Respectfully submitted by:
Jean Whyman, Acting Recording Secretary

Important Dates in November
Nov 24 Thanksgiving Day (US and Canada)
Oct 31 St Andrew's Day 

Annual Christmas Potluck Dinner
Our annual holiday potluck dinner is coming up on December 8 at 6:45pm, held at the Irish Cultural Center. It is a time for good food and fellowship. Bring your yummy dish to share and your own table service. Hope to see all of you there!