April, 2012

In this Issue:

 President's Message  Coming Events
 Tartan Day  April Celebrations
 Study Scottish History Online  Know the Clans
 Glossary of Scottish Words  Caledonian Society Officers
 Fabric of a Nation  General Meeting Minutes
   Important Dates in April

President's Message


March, 2012 has been a most exciting time for the Caledonian Society of Arizona. We have just completed the most spectacular “show” of Scottish heritage, with outstanding GAMES, Pipe Band and Dance competitions. Our new layout brought us many compliments, plus the park was beautiful and the weather lovely. If you missed seeing the games this year, I am truly sorry.

April 12, 2012 will be our next meeting and I am sure we will still be smiling over the outstanding job by Games Chairman, Jason Temple and his group of over-achieving Area Chairpersons. The business meeting will address a couple of changes on issues regarding our By-Laws and the preparation of the Officer Slate, then on to more interesting items like new members and their heritage and Clans. A bit of “Blarney” regarding our hosts at the Irish Cultural Center and the way we are learning to assist each other in back-to-back events. Also, a couple of other surprises; followed by light refreshments. I do hope you will come and join us.

Jean Latimer, President

Tartan Day
It began in Nova Scotia over 25 years ago on March 9, 1986 and since 1987 Tartan Day has been embraced by peoples of Scottish descent worldwide.

Countries that have officially legislated a day of recognition for the contribution of citizens with Scottish heritage include Canada, Scotland, Australia, France and the United States. April 6 is the date chosen to encourage the wearing of the tartan by all North American Scots.

April 6 was also the date in 1320 that the Declaration of Arbroath was signed which declares in part, “…it is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom—for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself…”

Nova Scotia’s Jean Watson has been dubbed the “Mother of Tartan Day”. Her unselfish efforts resulted in countrywide, legislated recognition of the role Scottish immigrants and their descendants have played in the development of our country. Jean’s passion that Canadians of Scottish descent celebrate the contributions of their forebears kindled a fire that has raced far beyond our own borders. Tartan Day celebrations now take place in many countries of the world.


Study Scottish History Online

We have recently received information from the Centre for History at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) about their fully online short courses on Highland history that are taught each year. Students may take only those modules which interest them but it is also possible to do enough for a graduate level qualification.

UHI is located in the town of Dornoch in Sutherland, Scotland. Establish in 2005, the Centre for History has attracted external funding of more than £2million. This funding has been invested in both teaching and research.

You can find more information about the University and the Centre for History on their website: www.history.uhi.ac.uk.

Glossary of Scottish Words

Agley: to go awry after much planning or scheming
Canny: shrewd
Cantraips: frolics, pieces of mischief
Douch: prudent, sober minded
Clash: to shut violently
Gawsy/Gausie: jolly, showy
Gied it Laidy: sang it vigorously, enthusiastically
Jinglen: the dregs left at the bottom of a whisky glass…so presumably a Jingler would be one who drains his glass to the last drappie.
Knacksy: quick at repartee, clever
Lichtsome: pleasant, delightful
Tee-Name: Nickname


Fabric of a Nation
A Colorful History of Tartan

Since April 6 is National Tartan Day, this seems like the appropriate time for a little history of one of the most important symbols of our Scottish heritage.

There is a little tartan flag on the moon. Commander Alan Bean, pilot of Apollo 12’s module, planted it there in 1969, just a few months after Neil Armstrong had stuck an American Stars and Stripes into the same lunar surface. Both astronauts were proud of their Scottish roots. The flag serves as a powerful symbol of a small nation that has always traveled well.

Tartan has survived a Royal ban, witnessed some of the greatest battles in modern warfare, and added color to fashion catwalks. To trace the origins of tartan takes us far from the Highlands of Scotland to the arid desert of western China and the Silk Road, the ancient caravan route through the heart of Asia. Here in the shifting sands of the Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang is where the earliest tartan remnant was found.

Takia Makan means “go in and you’ll never come out” but thankfully sometime around the 16th century a Swedish explorer, Sven Heden, managed to survive the hazardous desert crossing and emerge from the other side having made an incredible discovery. He stumbled across the burial place of well preserved mummies who, despite being in China, had the facial characteristics of Caucasians. The textiles found in their final resting place were beautifully woven from wool yarn, amongst which were flawlessly preserved intricate tartans dating between 1200 and 700BC bearing a striking similarity to Celtic tartans from northwest Europe. Celts are thought to have come originally from the southeast of Russia around the Caspian Sea, heading westwards to Britain and France. Were these tartan clad people early Scots? After this appearance, tartan seemed to disappear from the history books until the 16 century.

It probably always existed as clothing in the wild Highlands of Scotland—but few visitors ventured that far north to see the “Scotch savages” who donned it. The odd Scottish mercenary who went gallivanting in Europe at the time was noted for his outlandish gear—and even then there was much gossiping among ladies of the day as to what, if anything was worn under their colorful garb.

The word tartan is thought to come from the French “tiretaine”, in use at this time referring to a half-wool, half-linen plaid design of Scottish origin. Also a German woodcut dating from about 1631 shows the closest example of the complex patterns of what we now recognize as tartan.

Contrary to modern belief, tartan patterns have no traceable historical links with specific Scottish families or clans—but the emergence of the romantic, politically rebellious image of tartan and its association with clans springs from arguably the most tragic event in Scottish history—the Battle of Culloden in 1745.

Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Scotland that year in an attempt to reclaim the throne for his father James Stuart, the Old Pretender. Charlie raised the Scottish clans in rebellion against the British monarch, King George II. The Jacobite uprising and Charles’ decision to adopt Highland dress as the uniform for his army at Culloden resulted in tartan becoming the symbol of the Jacobites. A host of Highland clans in traditional dress swelled the ranks, wearing different tartans from the many different areas of Scotland. The clans at Culloden gave the first hint of tartan being used as a clan uniform. This only emerged because each community had their own weaver who produced the same tartan for those living in close geographical proximity to each other.

A weaving firm, Wilsons of Bannockburn, continued to make and supply tartan, but sadly, eventually went out of business. Another firm scoured the Highlands in search of old patterns to re-introduce under new names if the original district or clan could not be determined. The Cockburn Collection of named samples, compiled by Wilsons between 1810 and 1820, can be found today in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow.

True to the age it was a pair of chancers, claiming they were the long lost grandsons of Bonnie Prince Charlie, who supplemented Wilsons’ collections with a highly suspect yet ultimately valuable tartan tome of their own. In 1822 two brothers, John Hay Allen and Charles Stuart Hay Allen, fooled a gullible Edinburgh society into believing they had discovered an ancient manuscript detailing the patterns of various can tartans. They were greatly feted and in 1842 published the grandly titled “Vestiarium Scoticum” containing color illustrations of 75 tartans. The book was highly successful among clan chiefs and weavers. The contents of it were never questioned, although it was later proved to be a giant hoax. The vast majority of the “old” clan tartans had been dreamed up by an illustrator. Despite the scam, the book has played an important role in the history of Scottish tartans and today many of the dubious tartans have become official clan tartans.

The Scottish Parliament has now created the first ever Scottish Register of Tartans. This will build on the work of the registers currently held in private hands—and which contain over 6000 tartan designs—to create a definitive independent and permanent national register of tartan The project is a unique collaboration between the Scottish Government, the Scottish tartan industry, The Court of Lord Lyon King of Arms and the National Archives Scotland.

Coming Events

Apr 6 National Tartan Day
Apr 12 Membership Meeting at ICC 6:45pm
Apr 14 Games—Las Vegas
Apr 21 Games—Bakersfield, CA.
Apr 28-29 Games—Sacramento, CA.
May 4-6 Games—Arlington, TX
May 10 Membership Meeting at ICC 6:45pm
May 12 Games—Prescott, AZ.
May 19 Games—Albuquerque, NM.
May 26 Games—Costa Mesa, CA.

April 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.

April 2 Jim & Donna Groves—Anniversary
April 5 Paul Bell—Birthday
April 10 Charles McLane—Birthday
April 12 Kari Machino—Birthday
April 12 William Ferris—Birthday
April 21 Glenda King—Birthday
April 22 Paige Macmillan—Birthday
April 22 Patrick & Rena McDonald—Anniversary
April 23 Robert & Vanne Cowie—Anniversary
April 24 Kim Duprest—Birthday
April 24 Pat Minnis—Birthday
April 26 Bobby Hoeck—Birthday
April 28 Kathy & Gerald Ridlehoover—Anniversary


Know the Clans
By Ron Dempsey


MacFadyen is one of those Gaelic names represented in English with a myriad of spellings. Some of the spellings include: MacFadden, MacFadyean, MacPhaden or MacFadzean to name just a few. Life most Gaelic names it is a patronymic, meaning it is a name of an individual, usually a father or grandfather of the progenitor of the clan. It translates into Patonson, son of little Pat, the diminutive of Patrick or Peter. Tradition has them the original holders of the land around Lochbuie but usurped by a more powerful clan. This made them a landless clan and they were said to become traveling workers of metal especially gold. Naturally, some of the name stayed in the area of Lochbuie and those families became septs of Clan Maclaine of Lochbuie.

1304 is the earliest documentation of the name and as usual for the times it held the name of a witness on a land transfer. His name was Malcolm MacPadene. Documentation over the centuries has the name in all its forms in the southwest of Scotland as well as the Inner Hebrides, with a mention in Edinburgh.

MacLaines of Lochbuie

The MacLaines of Lochbuie and the MacLeans of Duart share a common ancestry from Gillean of the Battleaxe who was contemporary of Alexander III in the mid-13th century. Gillean translates to “follower of St. John”. His clan held lands in Mull and Morvern and were a decisive force for Alexander at the battle Largs where the Scottish king repelled invading Norse forces. In keeping with this royal alliance, Gilleans’ grandson Malcolm fought on the side of Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn.

Malcolm’s grandson, Hector the stern, became the progenitor of Clan MacLaine of Lochbuie, while his brother, Lachlan the wily, is the ancestor of MacLean of Duart. Hector consolidated his holdings by building a castle in Mull at the top of Lochbuie on the lands of the dispossessed MacFadyens.
Hector the eighth of Lochbuie was the person to change the spelling to MacLaine.

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

March 8, 2012

The President, Jean Latimer, called the meeting to order at 6:50pm, following the sale of 50/50 raffle tickets at the door. She called on Jason Temple to lead the Pledge of Allegiance; followed by a moment of silence. Jean entertained a motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting as written in the Desert Highlander. William Wallace made the motion and Jean Whyman gave the second. Motion approved.

The Treasurers report showed $2,596. in the Society checking account and a Games budget of $21,178.

Jean reminded everyone that volunteers are needed for the Irish Festival during the afternoon shifts. Sue Wallace let us know that volunteers are needed for the Scottish booth at the Irish Festival from 1 to 4pm. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be 9 to 10am.

Alan Ramsdell asked if shuttles will be available from Central Avenue to the park for the Games. Jason confirmed that they will be. Jason shared the map of the new layout at the Games.

Jason then gave a beautiful talk on the “Darian Fiasco” and shared with us the existence of something called “podcasts”, a new way to share a story or two, in audio, online.

Respectfully submitted by
Inara Tabir, Recording Secretary

Important Dates in April
Apr 1 April Fool's Day
Apr 8 Easter
Apr 22 Earth Day

Happy Easter!