March, 2012

In this Issue:

 President's Message  Coming Events
 Book Report  March Celebrations
 St David's & St Patrick's Day  Know the Clans
 Flodden-Scotland's Darkest Hour  Caledonian Society Officers
 Mair Scottish Wuurds  General Meeting Minutes
 Westin Pipe Jam
& Glenmorangie Scotch Tasting
 Important Dates in March

President's Message

Greetings Friends!

We are moving into GAMES mode and things are looking so wonderful for an exciting time. The Games are growing again and we have a really great team of Ares Chairs helping to put on the big show.

Teamwork is the answer and we know that “Many hands make light work.” It was proved to be true with the Robert Burns committee also. We are so grateful for the wonderful turn out, and the very delightful evening that was enjoyed by almost a hundred people. The food, Scotchh tasting, service, program, the music; all geared to a most pleasant evening.

The group of Area Chairs working with Jason this year are very enthusiastic and eager to do a great job. If you have an area of interest where you feel you could be of service, please contact Mark Clark and offer your talents. It is only a month away so we all need to be thinking GAMES, GAMES and MORE GAMES! Looking forward to seeing YOU, March 24 & 25, 2012.

Jean Latimer, President

Book Report

A Cadger’s Curse—The Robert Burns Secret
By Diane Gilbert Madsen

The mystery revolves around a true incident in Robert Burns’ life when he scratched a Jacobite verse on the window of the Lion’s Head Inn in Stirling. As the verse gained fame, Burns had to rush back to the inn to break the window so he could escape being accused of treason.

The pieces of the window along with a handwritten poem turn up in the present day. Insurance investigator D.D. McGil must solve the puzzle where high tech counterfeiting and murder threaten to destroy the priceless Burns artifacts.


St. David's Day/ St. Patrick's Day

St. David is the patron saint of Wales and St. David’s Day is celebrated on March 1 to honor him. The daffodil is worn on that day and is the Welsh symbol much like the shamrock is for the Irish. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland (although he was born in Scotland). He spent most of his life in Ireland as a missionary. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17.

FLODDEN—Scotland's Darkest Hour
By George McGowan

There have been many dark days in Scottish history and while the events at Culloden Moor (1746) are often quoted as one of these disasters, there is no doubt that the Battle of Flodden Field (1513) was by far a much worse defeat and one which had a deep impact on that part of the country.

Remember that at Culloden it was the Jacobites under Prince Charles Edward Stuart who were on one side and the Hanoverian English army on the other and that the English force was augmented by the Lowland Scots who had no love for the Stuarts or their cause. At Flodden it was a united Scotland against the might of England and the real tragedy is that it was a conflict that need never have happened. It was an exercise in futility.

The political situation at the time was that Scotland had close ties with Spain and France and the Auld Alliance between France and Scotland was at its strongest. King James IV of Scotland had married King Henry VIII’s sister and Henry had invaded France. Scottish pirates had been harrying English ships in the North Sea, but James apparently wanted something more substantial to prove his part in the alliance, and he, with nothing to gain, declared war on England.

James raised an army of some 20,000 men from all parts of Scotland both Highlanders and Lowlanders and marched into England. It is doubted whether James intended a long term invasion and occupation of England and it was seen more as doing his continental allies “a favor.” With the young King Henry on a campaign in France, it was left to the then Queen, Catherine of Aragon, to take the initiative and she ordered the English Commander, The Earl of Surrey, and his son, Lord Dacre, to move north to meet the threat from Scotland. After initial success by the Scots in the far north of England, the two armies confronted each other on the west bank of the River Till in Northumberland, near the village of Braxton on September 9, 1513.

As to the events of that fateful day—the Scots held the high ground and a considerable advantage early in the day. The English pounded the Scots positions with an early form of cannon and outflanked the Scots position on their west. At the height of the battle, James, against all advice and military strategy, ordered his troops to charge and take on the English on the ground level. Although outnumbered, the English were better equipped with the vicious ‘bill,” a long shafted battle axe with hook and spear attached and in close combat were superior to the Scots weapons and a heavy toll resulted.

Gradually the Scots were literally cut down, and the pride of Scotland’s nobility made a gallant last stand surrounding the king who himself suffered several grievous wounds before falling with the last of his men. English losses were heavy but the Scots casualties were believed to be between five and ten thousand. There was an unusually high number of aristocracy engaged in the combat and among the dead were several earls, lords and lairds and some churchmen, including an archbishop, bishop and the king himself.

There was hardly a town or village in Scotland that did not suffer losses as a result of the battle, but worse to follow especially for the people of the southern counties of Scotland who were infamous for their vigilante type raids into England. The Earl of Surrey had a desire to create a sort of buffer-zone between the two countries, stamping out the raid and counter-raid that was a way of life there. He issued an order, “shake loose the border”, and the English went on a spree of pillage, rape and fire across the border countryside.

Perhaps the Battle of Flodden is best summed up by two quotations, one from the Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott, who described the battle as one of Scotland’s darkest days and pointing to it’s futility he said, “…never was a day’s work more bungled than that day”.

Today the battlefield site is marked with a stone cross and the simple inscription, “To the Brave of Both Nations”.


Mair Scottish Wurrds (More Scottish Words)

Swither: To be uncertain, hesitate, dither. Child: “Can we have a fish supper on the way home?” Mother: “I’m switherin’”.

Blether: Talk foolishly or too much (about nothing or something untrue).

Peelie-wally: Sickly, ill-looking (a haunted look in the eyes)

It’s a peety: An appropriate response for just about anything. “The game on Saturday was rained out” “Aye, it’s a peety.” Ma husband lost his money at the pub.” “Aye, that’s a peety”

Westin Pipe Jam and Glenmorangie Scotch Tasting

Westin Kierland Solo Pipe Jam Competition
Glenmorangie Scotch Tasting

FRIDAY NIGHT! March 23rd from 7pm-10pm

Only $10 includes Scotch tasting and live entertainment!
This is an outdoor event. Warm yourself with a taste of Glenmo!

6902 East Greenway Parkway
Scottsdale, Arizona 85254

Download Flyer

Coming Events

Mar 1 St. David's Day (Welsh)
Mar 8 Membership Meeting at ICC 6:45pm
Mar 17 St. Patrick's Day Parade and Faire
Mar 23 Westin Pipe Jam and Glenmorangie Scotch Tasting
Mar 24-25 GAMES—Steele Park, Phoenix
Apr 6 National Tartan Day
Apr 21 Games—Bakersfield, CA.
Apr 28-29 Games—Sacramento, CA.
May 12 Games—Prescott, AZ.

March 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 and it will be included in our Celebration list.

Mar 1 Jane Anthony—Birthday
Mar 2 Glenn Bell—Birthday
Mar 5 Roger Dawson—Birthday
Mar 6 William H. Wallace—Birthday
Mar 6 Ruth Johnston—Birthday
Mar 9 Shiela Thatcher—Birthday
Mar 12 Richard & Christine Cameron—Anniversary
Mar 17 Paul Smith—Birthday
Mar 20 Richard Thornton—Birthday
Mar 23 Dan Miller—Birthday
Mar 31 Jim Groves—Birthday


Know the Clans
By Ron Dempsey


The original form of the name was Ahannay, an Anglicized version of the Brittonic name “Ap Shanaeigh”. The ‘ap’ is very similar to the Welsh ap and latterly ‘map’ meaning son, not unlike the Gaelic mac. In Gaelic this southwest Scottish name is O’Hanniadh. 1296 is an important date in Scottish history, so many names are first documented in this year as it was the year of the Ragman Roll, when the invading Edward the First of England took pledges of allegiance from Scottish nobles.

One Gilbert de Hannethe was noted on this document. He is possibly the same Gilbert who owned the lands of Sorbie in Wigtownshire. They prospered over the next few centuries until the tower at Sorbie was built and became the principal seat of the family in 1550. That power was minimized in the 17th century as the Hannahs feuded with the Murrarys of Broughton. The Hannah family was also outlawed at this time. Houses descended from the Sorbie line included Grennan, Knock, Garrie and Kingsmuir. A younger son of the Sorbie line Alexander Hannah bought the lands of Kirkdale in 1582, from this line is descended the present chief.

Spellings include Ahannay, Hannah, Hanna et al. Clan Motto: Per Ardua ad Alta (Through difficulties to higher things).


Although found in other areas of Britain, the relatively generic looking surname Middleton has a long history in the Howe of the Mearns located in Modern day Kincardineshire. Middleton was the name of lands in the parish of Conveth which later became known as Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire. The family that held the lands for nearly 300 years were known as Middleton in 1221. John Middleton was named Earl in 1656, followed by his son Charles who died without issue. The earldom now lies dormant. Motto: Fortis in Arduas (Brave in difficulty).

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:
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

February 9, 2012

The President called the meeting to order at 6:50pm and asked Bill Redpath to lead the Pledge of Allegiance, which was followed by a Moment of Silence in memory of those who have passed on.

She then requested a motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting, as written in the Desert Highlander. Jean Whyman made the motion and the second was given by Bill Redpath.

The current bank balance as of 1-31-2012 was $6,556.59 and it is changing daily. Robert Burns bills have been paid and the dues, vendor and Clan monies are coming in weekly.

Our major interest has now turned to the GAMES. Games Chairman, Jason Temple took the floor to tell everyone about the changes that have been made to highlight our Athletics. The members were very excited to hear this and three people volunteered to take on major areas: Don Finch will Chair Entertainment, Mark Clark will be Chair of Volunteers and Joanne Gilreath will be Chair over the Children’s area.

There was no more time left after the Games discussions so we turned to enjoying the refreshments and visiting. It was great to see Bill Redpath and John Beatty after a long absence.

Respectfully submitted by
Jean Latimer, President

Important Dates in March
Mar 1 St. David's Day
Mar 11 Daylight Savings Time Begins
Mar 17 St. Patrick's Day
Mar 20 Spring Begins

Happy St. David's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy Spring!