February, 2012

In this Issue:

 President's Message  Coming Events
 Valentines Day  February Celebrations
 2012 Dues are Due  Know the Clans
 Mair Scottish Wuurds  Caledonian Society Officers
 Scottish Humor  General Meeting Minutes
 Bagpipes in Scotland  Important Dates in February
 The Most Romantic Place in Scotland  Happy St. Valentine's Day!

President's Message

Greetings to you all in the New Year.

We have been busy with the plans for our Robert Burns Supper, as well as the upcoming Games in March. Our January meeting was not well attended and we had to reschedule our program for the evening. However, we had fun looking up names of Scottish Battles and other trivia of the “homeland”! Invitations have been mailed to you for the Robert Burns Celebration and to remind you that it is time to pay our dues for this year.

We have also put together a list of Events for the entire year so that they will not come as a surprise to you. Please check it out on the website Newsletter. We have added a “New” idea to the list. In the past years we had a VIP tent at the Games, but budget woes and a shortage of personnel caused us to have to drop it, so now we will hold a VIP Tea at the ICC to honor our Honorary Life Members, Past Presidents and other guests. Watch for more about this over the summer, as we plan it for September 2012. I will be looking for volunteers to help bake, serve and clean up.

I also need some folks to volunteer to serve on the Internal Audit Committee and the Nominating Committee. If you can help out in either job, please let me know. June will be here before we know it and all these actions need to be completed. Thank you in advance for your participation. If you plan to volunteer for the Games again this year, please let us know via e-mail or a call to Jason Temple, or to me. We are listed on this web site.

Jean Latimer, President

St. Valentine's Day

There are several legends associated with Valentine’s Day. Here is one of the more popular ones.

The story goes that during the reign of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in several bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius found it tough to get soldiers and felt the reason men did not join the army was because they did not wish to leave their wives or sweethearts. Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. A romantic-at-heart priest of Rome, Valentine defied Claudius’ unjustified order and secretly married couples. When his defiance was discovered, Valentine was brutally beaten and put to death on February 14, about 270AD. After his death Valentine was named a saint. By the Middle Ages, Valentine had assumed the image of a heroic and romantic figure. Around 498AD Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day to honor the martyred Saint.



Thank you to all who have already sent in their dues for 2012. Your support of the Caledonian Society of Arizona is much appreciated. Your participation to 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. It is not too late to mail in your check, so please consider doing so. Send your check to our P.O. Box address or pay online in the Shoppe. If you are a new member who joined the Society since September 2011, then your membership extends through 2012.

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

If paying by mail, send your check to:

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

Mair Scottish Wuurds
(More Scottish Words)

GIRN Complain, whine, grumble, snarl, grimace (usually does not produce tears)

GREETIN’ Crying, lamenting, complaining, grumbling (much wetter than girnin’). Scottish mothers often applied Cadbury”s Hazelnut Chocolate to her offspring for either of these conditions.

THOLE Put up with or endure something. Mothers’ advice for wee cuts, wee bothers and was designed to build the stoic Scottish character Scottish parents hoped to produce in children. Used when parents were trauchled (Too tired to cope.)


Scottish Humor

“The Heavenly Phone Call”

An American author who came to Britain to write a book about church architecture began his tour in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

While wandering around the magnificent building, taking photographs, he noticed in a dark corner a golden telephone which had a sign beside it saying that all calls cost £10,000. He couldn’t believe that British Telecom was that expensive and asked a guide about it. He was told that the calls were so expensive because the phone was connected directly to Heaven. As the author continued his tour around the English cathedrals in Canterbury, Coventry, Birmingham, Liverpool and York, he made a special search for the golden phone connected to Heaven and its price was always £10,000.

Finally, he crossed the border into Scotland and stopped first at a little church in Ecclefechan. Much to his surprise it also had a golden phone. He was even more surprised when he found that the notice said that all calls cost only 25 pence.

The American was amazed and had to ask, if it was £10,000 to contact Heaven in all the cathedrals he had been to, why was it so cheap here?

The minister smiled knowingly and replied, “You’re in Scotland now—so it’s a local call.”



Bagpipes in Scotland

Scotland does not claim to have invented the bagpipes but it does claim to have developed them into an art. Roman legions once marched to the pipes, and even the Indian snake-charmer today uses a pipe which, although it has no bag, is basically the same as the Highland one. Most countries in the world have tried their hand at the bagpipes but only in Scotland have they survived long enough to become a great musical instrument.

The Great Highland, Half-Set, Miniature or Parlour bagpipes are blown by mouth, whereas the Lowland and Border pipes are blown by a bellow held under the arm. The bags have been made from the whole skin of a sheep however, modern bags are made from leather, rubber or other types of synthetic material. The pipes were originally made of bone or ivory but now are made of hardwood.

The melody is played on one mouthpiece pipe (the chanter) which has finger holes, the other pipes (up to six) are called the Drones. Broadly speaking there are two types of music; the march and strathspey and reel variety, which were composed for dancing or for the armies on the move; the other, the ceol mor or great pibroch which are the symphony music of the pipes.

The Most Romantic Place in Scotland

Gretna Green is the most romantic place in Scotland. It is a village in the south of Scotland in Dumfries and Galloway near the mouth of the River Esk and was historically the first village in Scotland reached when following the old coaching route from London to Edinburgh. Gretna Green sits alongside the main town of Gretna.

When people hear the name Gretna Green their thoughts often step back in time to the history of run-away brides. The Old Blacksmith’s Shop in Gretna Green is at the heart of this fascinating tradition.

Gretna’s famous “run-away marriages” began in 1753 when Lord Hardwicke introduced an Act of Parliament which stated:
Any marriages performed in a church would have to be recorded in the Parish Records which in turn would have to be signed by both bride and groom.

Weddings which were carried out in places or at times which were deemed illegal in the 1604 canons were not legal ceremonies.
All weddings should be performed in a church and would be recognized legal while “verbal spousals” which were non-church ceremonies would not be deemed legal.

Bride and groom must both be 21 or over to marry without parental or guardians consent. This law was introduced to prevent the thousands of marriages which were taking place illegally around the country, causing an outcry as these ceremonies were never properly recorded and led to many disputes where landowners’ daughters had married against their father’s wishes. To be married in this way all the bride and groom had to do was appear before a parson and two witnesses and declare their wish to be married.

However this new Act only applied to England and since Scottish law had always been different from English, the Act did not apply in Scotland where it was possible for boys to marry at 14 and girls at 12 years of age with or without parental consent.

For many young couples from England this could only mean one thing--to elope to Scotland where they would be married legally. With Gretna Green being the most southerly part of the Scotland/England border, it was where many of these runaways arrived. Gretna Green was on the stagecoach route between London and Edinburgh, the only road going into Scotland. Here stood the Blacksmith’s Shop, built around 1712. It soon became the focal point of the village and became the center of the marriage trade.

The local blacksmith and his anvil became the lasting symbol of Gretna Green weddings. Scottish law allowed for “irregular marriages” meaning that if a declaration was made before two witnesses, almost anybody had the authority to conduct the marriage ceremony. The blacksmiths in Gretna became known as “anvil priests”. In common law a “Gretna Green marriage” came to mean, in general, a marriage transacted in a jurisdiction that was not the residence of the parties being married, to avoid restrictions or procedures imposed by the parties’ home jurisdiction.

In 1857 Lord Brougham brought in a bill changing Scottish law which said that a couple must be in residence in the area for a minimum of 21 days prior to the proposed date, this became known as “the three week cooling off period”. This drastically reduced the number of marriages in Gretna Green but did not stop the more determined couples who came anyway and found work on farms or other local businesses for the three week cooling off period. This state of affairs continued until 1940 when all “irregular marriages” were stopped.

Gretna Green has made its mark in popular culture. An anvil was installed in Gretna, Manitoba, Canada, to symbolize the blacksmith and the source of the town’s name. In Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, the couple that elopes in Chapter 47 leaves behind a note stating that their intended destination is Gretna Green. In Nemesis by Agatha Christie, Miss Marple references Gretna Green in passing, noting: “There was no need for them to fly off to Gretna Green, they were of sufficiently mature age to marry.”

Today Gretna Green is one of the world’s most popular wedding destination, hosting over 5000 weddings each year in the area, and one of every six Scottish weddings. You can go on-line on your computer and find many sites that help you plan your wedding or renew your vows in Gretna Green—Scotland’s most romantic place.

Coming Events

Feb 9 Membership Meeting at ICC 6:45pm
Feb 14 Happy 100th Birthday Arizona
Feb 14 St. Valentine's Day
Feb 18-19 Queen Mary Scottish Games—Long Beach, CA.
Mar 8 Membership Meeting at ICC 6:45pm
Mar 23 Westin Pipe Jam
Mar 24-25 GAMES—Steele Park, Phoenix
Apr 6 National Tartan Day
Apr 21 Games—Bakersfield, CA.
Apr 28-29 Games—Sacramento, CA.

February Celebrations
We are attempting to up-date our Celebration list to add information for new members and remove those from the list that are no longer relevant. 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.

Feb 1 Rena McDonald—Birthday
Feb 1 Elizabeth Reich—Birthday
Feb 3 Al & Bobbie Landeck—Anniversary
Feb 5 Joann McLane—Birthday
Feb 7 Jo Ramsdell—Birthday
Feb 9 Alexandra Cheek—Birthday
Feb 13 Pam Stewart—Birthday
Feb 14 David McNabb—Birthday
Feb 18 Jean Latimer—Birthday
Feb 19 John Beatty—Birthday
Feb 27 Hope Singleton—Birthday
Feb 29 Greg & Kim Duprest--Anniversary


Know the Clans
By Ron Dempsey


Fletcher is an occupational name for an arrow maker. The name evolved from the Old French word Flechier-- one who attached “fleches” which were feathers to arrows. In the Middle Ages it was a common trade. In Gaelic it was known as Fleishdear. As a surname in Gaelic it became Mac an Leistear.

They held land in Glenorchy, an area that was to see much strife where they were arrow makers to Clan Gregor. In the shadow of the great clan Campbell, they had their lands wrested from them, where they remained as tenants. In both the 1715 and 1745 Jacobite Rebellion they fought on the side of the Jacobites, but enough of them fought on the Hanoverian side with their Campbell overlords that no lands were lost. The Clan Motto: Dieu pour nous (God for us)

Mickle / Mickel
Mickle and Mickel are forms of Meikle a middle Scots word meaning big or large, therefore it would have been a fairly generic descriptive name. Every village would have had an individual that fit that description. Research discounts the theory that it is a variant of the personal name Michael.

The surname Rankin can have many variations in spelling such as Ranken, Rankine, Rankyn etc. The last element “kin” is from Old English found in names as pet forms of a name such as Wilkin, or Tomkin, which means little or pet William or Thomas. Rankin fits into this category as a pet form of Randolph.

As a surname it seems to have evolved in Ayrshire, while the earliest documentation is John Rankyne, a burgess of Glasgow in 1456. The name was borrowed by the Gael and found as a surname in the Western Isles and is a sept of Clan MacLean.

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:
Treasurer: Joanne G.—602-431-0095
Games Chair: Jason Temple—602-920-5445
Recording Sec: Inara Tabir— 602-705-7675
Corresp. Sec: Kay Morneau—480-503-0341
Trustee: Alan Ramsdell—480-969-8400
Trustee: William Wallace—480-838-7055
Past President: Elizabeth Reich—602-509-1146
Newsletter Editor: Jo Ramsdell—480-969-8400

The Caledonian Society of Arizona
General Meeting Minutes

January 12, 2011

The meeting was called to order at 6:50pm, after getting everyone signed in and given a ticket for the Door Prizes. Jean asked Alan Ramsdell to lead the Pledge of Allegiance and then requested a moment of silence for The Flowers of the Forest.

There were no minutes from the December meeting since we had our annual Pot Luck instead of a regular meeting. The Treasurer’s Report showed a balance of $7,463.80.

We were pleased to have three guests join us: Don Finch, Marc Phillips and Elaine McLean. Two of them signed up as new members. A warm welcome to you all.

Jean announced that the Society will be adding its name to the web site “Electric Scotland”, along with many other organizations including SAMS (Scottish American Military Society). Jason Temple asked for a complete year Event Calendar to be posted on our web site and Jean is preparing that for publication.

We were surprised to not have our program presenter show up, but learned that he had some serious transportation problems and was unable to make it on time. We will try again another time. Wendy Hurley decided to take the group on a tour of Scotland by making up a couple of lists; one of cities and towns and another of famous battlefields. We will use these for identifying tables for the Robert Burns Dinner. Thanks Wendy.

There being no further business we adjourned at 7:30pm for refreshments and visiting with our new members. The next meeting will be February 9, 2012 at 6:45pm at the ICC, 1106 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ. Come in through the hotel parking lot or turn off of Portland—behind the hotel.

Respectfully submitted by
Jean Latimer, Substituting Recording Secretary

Important Dates in February
Feb 12 Lincoln's Birthday
Feb 14 St. Valentine's Day
Feb 20 Presidents Day
Feb 22 Washington's Birthday

Happy St. Valentine's Day!