January, 2012

In this Issue:

 President's Message  Coming Events
 Robert Burns Dinner  January Celebrations
 2012 Dues are Due  Know the Clans
 Why We Wear the Kilt  Caledonian Society Officers
 A Salute to Robert Burns  General Meeting Minutes
 Special!  Important Dates in January
 Welcome New Members  Happy New Year!

President's Message

As we close out the old and ring in the New Year, I want to express my thanks to all of our members for their help and support of the Caledonian Society. We have gained some new young people who have been most responsive to our needs and have taken on responsibilities like real troupers. Thanks to them we were able to add a new celebration for St. Andrews Day, and they added a nice touch to the annual Christmas Pot Luck. Both of these gatherings had a good turnout. We are looking forward to our meeting on January 12 with a program of slides by William Ferris, from his trips to Scotland. That’s right, I said trips; he went twice in 2011. He is anxious to learn all he can about everything Scottish and we get to share his adventure.

We are deep into Games plans and are very excited about the lay out that Jason Temple has come up with, to make it have the feel of an “old country” village fair. It will feature our wonderful athletes, with better viewing of the competion. We think you will like it too!

Robert Burns night is ready for you to order your tickets on-line, or use the tear off section of the invitation coming in the mail. It will be at the Fiesta Inn, 2100 S. Priest in Tempe, beginning at 5:30pm with a NO HOST bar. Dinner seating will begin at 6:30pm. Hope you are planning to join us. Wendy Hurley is our Chairman for this affair and she has a good sized committee to help with the planning. Look for some new approaches to this evening’s celebration!

Right after the Games we will be putting together a Nominating Committee to select our Officer Slate for the 2012—2014 term. If you would like to serve on this committee, or as a Board member, please let me know of your interest. Thank you again for your participation.

Jean Latimer, President

Robert Burns Dinner
Mark your calendar for a very special occasion. Join us as we celebrate the life and times of Robert Burns, Scotland’s own bard.

January 28, 2012
5:30 – 10:00pm

Fiesta Inn, 2100 S. Priest Dr. Tempe
5:30 No Host Bar
6:30 Dinner Seating
6:45 Opening Remarks
7:00 Haggis Entry & Dinner Served
$50 per person

Tickets available online
Call 480-284-8244 (Wendy Hurley)




Now is the time to renew your membership in the Caledonian Society. Send your check to:

The Caledonian Society of Arizona
PO Box 5853 * Scottsdale, AZ 85261

or, you can pay online in the Shoppe

If you have been a member of the Society since September 2011, then your membership extends through 2012.

Dues have gone up to cover increased expenses. A single membership is now $25 and a family membership is now $40.


Why We Wear the Kilt
By Matthew A.C. Newsome FSA Scot, GTS (Guild of Tartan Scholars)

While attending local Burns dinners this month, many people will be wearing the kilt, some for the very first time. There are several reason for wearing the kilt and I believe most kilt wearers fall into a least one category, and some will identify with more than one.

The first category is that of uniform. These people wear the kilt because it part of the uniform of a group or activity in which they are involved. The most obvious example would be the military uniform of a Highland regiment. Another would be a pipe band. But the kilt could also be a uniform in a less structured sense. If one is involved in Scottish Country Dancing, the kilt is part of the outfit that men are expected to wear. If you wear the kilt as a uniform you are more than likely going to have a more rigid attitude toward Highland dress. This may actually be imposed upon you by certain dress requirements for competition and performance.

The second category is that of “heritage clothing”. By this I mean those who wear the kilt first and foremost as a mark of their Scottish ethnicity. The attitude here is that I come from a Scottish background. I am proud of my heritage and I am going to showcase and celebrate that heritage by wearing the Scottish national dress. People in this category will tend to wear the kilt mainly within the context of Scottish cultural events—attending Highland Games, St. Andrews functions, Robert Burns dinners and the like.

If you wear the kilt as heritage clothing, then you are likely to wear your clan tartan almost exclusively. Your attitude towards the kilt will be very respectful, as you are wearing it to honor your ancestors. The extent of your Highland wardrobe will depend greatly upon the number of cultural events you attend during the year. If you are heavily involved, attending many different functions, you may have acquired quite an extensive range of Highland wear.

Wearing the kilt as “costume” is the next category. This doesn’t necessarily mean as “dress up” clothes at costume parties (though that would certainly apply) but “costume” in a looser sense. You wear the kilt to get “dressed up as a Scotsman.” Maybe a college student might think it fun to wear a kilt on a pub crawl or when out on the town. Or one might wear the kilt at a Renaissance Fair because it would be fun or attention getting. People in this category might lean more towards the less expensive kilt. Wearing the kilt for fun, they are less likely to invest the money in a hand tailored custom kilt. These people will have a very different attitude towards the garment than those who are wearing it as a means to show their cultural pride.

Lastly, there are those for whom the kilt is simply an article of clothing treated primarily as a mode of dress, not a uniform or folk costume. People in this category are more likely to wear the kilt on a regular basis, even daily. People in this category are much less inclined to have a rigorist attitude towards the kilt. They likely have several in many different tartans, not all of which relate directly to their heritage. They are not as concerned with doing things “properly” (according to the purists) as they are with doing things reasonably. The kilt may be worn with more “casual” accessories such as a t-shirt in this category.

These categories are only generalizations and many kilt wearers will fall into more than one category. For instance, the Neo-Jacobite style tends to appeal to those who wear the kilt as heritage clothing, but who think of it more as a costume.

It is commonplace for some kilt wearers to look down upon those who don’t necessarily share their point of view when it comes to Highland dress. It is good to remember that not all of us wear the kilt for the same reasons. A gentleman who wears the kilt only when he takes his wife to a formal occasion is going to have a different attitude towards the kilt than the man who wears his to go on a hike. We shouldn’t expect it to be otherwise.

A Salute to Robert Burns
By Valerie Cairney

When Agnes Braun and her husband William Burnes first held their newborn son in their arms that cold day of January 25th, 1759, they could never possibly have dreamed he would become a man all Scotland would be proud of, and look to as it’s National Bard for centuries to come.

In his youth, he pictured his life spending his manhood “in labour, love-making, and poetry and his old age quietly composed.” But the wheels of fortune turned in other directions for Burns. The three-act drama of his life unfolded almost without his knowing and the scenery changed with each act.

It began in Ayrshire where he was born, then to Edinburgh where he was feted and ended in Dumfries where he died. His road was pleasant enough in places, pleasant because of good company, enlivening conversation and lovely women. But for one of his temperament the pitfalls were many.

He wrote his first live song “Handsome Nell” to Nellie Kirkpatrick, with whom he worked on the farm at harvest time, as a boy of fourteen. After Nell there were many love songs to many women, ranging from farm girls to elegant society ladies. But he always looked back fondly upon his first love, conceived in the freshness and innocence of youth.

Upon his father’s death in 1784 both he and his brother Gilbert took a farm in Mossgiel. This is where he his first book, “The Common Place Book”. It is also where he wrote some of his most famous works—“To a Mouse”, and “The Jolly Beggard”. It was also, at this time, that he became a father for the first time. In that year Bess Payton presented him with his first child, a bonnie wee daughter.

It was also the year he met Jean Armour. It was the romance with Jean which engulfed him in a love so deep that it prompted him to write one of his most beautiful songs: My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose. But like his life, his love was not to run smoothly. When Burns asked for her hand in marriage, Jean’s father would not hear of it, and packed her off to Paisley—to marry a weaver. Burns was broken hearted and found refuge in the sympathetic arms of Mary Campbell whom he immortalized in the poem “Highland Mary”.

Together he and Mary planned a new life in the Indies. But this was not to be, as while waiting for him to join her at the docks, Mary did. Burns was shattered. He never did go to the Indies, neither did he ever leave his native land. He was Scotland’s son and in Scotland he would remain.

He moved to Edinburgh in 1786. His writings were well received and he became the toast of Edinburgh.

On a return visit to Mossgiel, he found that Jean had never married the weaver. She had, however, been delivered of twins. He knew he had to go back to Edinburgh, and so, with a heavy heart, he left Mossgiel and returned to the city.

Shortly after doing so, he met the lovely Nancy. They exchanged many letters and once again Burns found himself falling hopelessly in love.

But he received word that Jean was expecting again and this time her father was throwing her out on the streets. He knew the child was his and he knew he had to go to her. As he left Edinburgh for the last time his parting words written to Nancy were those of a man torn with passion, words which are among the most moving ever written—even today.

Ae fond kiss and then we sever
Ae farewell and then forever,
Deep in heart wrung tears I’ll pledge thee
Warring signs and groans I’ll wage thee.
I’ll ne’er blame my partial fancy
Nethin’ could resist my Nancy
But to see her was to love her, Love but her
And love forever.

Robert Burns and Jean Arthur were married February 1788 and set up house in Ellisland Farm, but the twins that Jean had carried died. Two years later, a little dallying with Ann Parks produced another child. Burns was touched and humbled when his wife Jean offered to take the child and bring it up as her own, which she did.

In 1795 Robert Burns contracted rheumatic fever. It was this that was to take him to an early grave in 1796. As he lay dying in his bed, Jean lay in another bed awaiting the birth of their last child, a son named Maxwell. Burns realized before he died, that he would become more famous after death than during life. Some two months before he died he asked for all of his manuscripts to be revised, saying he would rather write five songs to his taste than ten times that number otherwise.

His life was short—he was 37 years old when he died on July 21st 1796. But in those 37 years he won for himself an abiding place in the hearts of the Scottish people.

“Whatever mitigates the woes or increases the happiness of others, this is my criterion of goodness, and whatever injures society at large or any individual in it, this is my measure of iniquity.” These words he wrote seem to reflect a man of sincerity and honesty. Burns was a man capable of great feeling, a man who found inspiration in his own environment. He has left us with a heritage of beauty in his words and music and kindled for us a flame that will burn steadily throughout the ages, not only in Scottish hears, but in the hearts of his fellow man throughout the world.



Students from Seton Catholic Preparatory High School in Chandler and Sacred Heart School in Tullamore, Ireland have created a cross-cultural cookbook as part of a Sister Cities relationship between Chandler, AZ and Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Ireland. Make popular Irish dishes from recipes straight from the Emerald Isle along with Southwestern flavored family favorites from Chandler! Chandler's rich history is reflected in the culinary contributions and stories from our residents, both present and past. Tullamore students photographed their authentic dishes and supplied a history of Tullamore. Over 100 recipes have been published - definitely a cookbook of diverse culinary delights! Our collaborative cookbook represents the first of our student-based activities.

The Cookbooks are priced at $20, with a discounted price for 6 or more. Orders are accepted on our website, www.chandlerirish.org, either paid with a credit card or by downloading a form and mailing the payment. The book(s) will be promptly shipped directly to you.

The mission of the Chandler-Tullamore Sister Cities group is to cultivate and maintain a strong reciprocal relationship between the cities of Chandler, AZ and Tullamore, Ireland; to encourage cultural understanding, community involvement, and economic development. For further information on the Desert Fare Cookbook, please contact Chairperson and Board Member, Jill Johnson, at chandler.tullamore@gmail.com. On behalf of the Chandler-Tullamore Sister Cities, thank you for considering purchasing this Cookbook, and we hope you will enjoy the history and tastes of Chandler and Tullamore!

Coming Events

Dec 31- Jan 1 Happy Hogmanay
Jan 1 Happy New Year
Jan12 Membership Meeting at ICC 6:45pm
Jan 28 Robert Burns Dinner
Feb 9 Membership Meeting at ICC 6:45pm

January Celebrations

Our Caledonian Society Birthday/Anniversary list has not been updated for a number of years. There are some names that should be added and also some that are no longer current or correct. In an effort to get our list up-to-date, we are asking for your help and input. If you are a dues-paying member or just a “friend” of the Society and would like your special date recognized in our monthly newsletter, we need to hear from you. Please let us know your correct birthday and anniversary information on our voice mail – 602-431-0095 – or email it to anjrams@cox.net and it will be included in our Celebration list. This month’s list has a few entries that we believe are correct. Thank you for your help. We hope to hear from you soon.

Jan 5 Michelle Campbell & James Weber—Anniversary
Jan 16 John Steadman—Birthday
Jan 18 James & Janet Grant—Anniversary
Jan 28 Donna Groves—Birthday
Jan 30 Gerald Ridlehoover—Birthday


Know the Clans
By Ron Dempsey


The surname Finlayson has a connection with Clan Farquharson—the progenitor of the clan is Farquhar who was the fourth son of Alexander, Shaw of Rothiemurcus. From him, the clan became known as Farquharson. This same Farquhar had a grandson named Finla Mor, meaning big or great Finlay. From this Finlay, the clan came into its own. He was the Royal standard bearer at the Battle of Pinkie, where he lost his life in 1547. Finlay left nine sons who founded branch houses which included Craigneity, Monaltrie, Finzean, Whitehouse, Allanquoich, Tullochcoy, Broughdearg, Achriachan and Inverey. If your surname is Machardy, Hardie, Grassick, MacCuaigh, Riach, Brebner, or Coutts you may be affiliated with this clan.

Although the clan made its presence felt in Braes of Mar they were small in number and so like other clans nearby belonged to that assembly of clans known as Clan Chattan. Clan Chattan was an association of clans that banded together for mutual protection. They were headed by Clan MacIntosh and included the MacPherson, MacPhail, Clark and Davidson to name a few.

From the above we can deduce that Finlay and Finlayson are names that are a major part of Clan Farquharson. However, as mentioned many previous times, most surnames in the Scottish Gaeltacht are from personal names. Finlay means white or fair colored hero and would have been popular across the breadth of the Highlands and Islands. One cannot assume that all Finlays or Finlaysons are descended from the “big Finlay” of Farquhar’s race.

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 www.arizonascots.com, 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

December, 2011

No business meeting was conducted at the December 2011 meeting because of the annual Holiday Pot Luck Dinner.

Respectfully submitted by
Inara Tabir, Recording Secretary

Important Dates in January
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Jan 16 Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday

Happy New Year!