August, 2012

In this Issue:

 President's Message  Coming Events
 St. Andrew's Day Celebration  August Celebrations
 Say it in Scots  What's in a Name?
 2nd Prescott Celtic Music Festival  Caledonian Society Officers
 Celtic Culture — Religion  General Meeting Minutes

President's Message

Thursday, 12th July, 2012 saw a happy gathering of members and friends at the ICC to learn "How to Wear a Kilt—or Not"! The room looked very festive with round tables covered in royal blue clothes, flags and large dishes of snacks and dips. These were prepared by our Hospitality committee, Teresa Potts and Jesse Lopez. Many thanks for a job well done. The bar was open and everyone finally settled down for the evening's program.

First we had Mark Pelletier who wore his kilt and a t-shirt. The kilt, he removed to hold out in its full length to show the pleating in back, the leather buckles and his fine kilt pin. Once we had Mark suitably dressed again, he donned his belt and sporran, demonstrating how to put on his socks/hose, which can be difficult. They are tick ribbed wool and knee high. They have to be folded neatly below the knee and the ribs should not be twisted. Mark did a fine job.

Next we had Michael McClanathan from Kilt Rental USA who brought along a 'real kilt' which is in fact a length (6 yards) of tartan material. He laid this out on the floor, himself dressed at this time in a Highland shirt and boxer shorts and a pair of rather splendid boots. He carefully folded pleats into a length of the plaid, lay down on the plaid and proceeded to wrap himself in it. Once belted, he stood up and after a number of adjustments took on the appearance of a distant William Wallace. His sporran was some long dead animal who was now serving in its after life as a useful 'purse' for a kilt. Kilts have no pockets. He added to the effect with a leather shield studded with metal studs and a very nasty looking spike from the center. The Claymore was huge and heavy. Imagine running with this, wearing a wrap around kilt and doing as much damage to the enemy as possible. The thought of riding a horse was beyond our imagination.

Richard Hurley then appeared showing everyone just how 'not to wear a kilt'. His socks were twisted, different lengths, kilt too low on his hips, off to the side with the sporran and his belt was above the kilt. Very soon things were corrected with a number of tugs and pulls here and there. He finally donned a vest and Prince Charlie jacket, black bow tie and looked the gentleman ready to escort a lady to a formal event.

Michael Frazier was every inch of the Highland man in his Argyll jacket, bow tie, white vest, gillies (shoes) and a sporran worthy of the entire outfit. Michael certainly did not require any adjustments at all. All the men of course sported a sgian dubh (short knife) in his sock, a requirement of being correctly dressed.

Michael McClanathan enlightened us into many of the myths ad misunderstandings of how to wear a kilt. We thank all our models for their patience, for being so brave as to join in the fun. It was an informative and entertaining evenings and we hope to repeat this at another time.

Next month Jason Temple will be showing us how the caber is made, the rules and regulations of the Highland Games, their history and the reason why these events have been passed down through the decades from Scotland. This will be an informative and enteraining evening and we hope to see you all there! Here is a flyer with more information.

Wendy Hurley, President
Live! Laugh! Love!

St.Andrew's Day Celebration

We will be celebrating the patron saint of Scotland with a dinner in November. Although the official date of St. Andrew's Day is the 30th, we will be hosting the dinner in the middle of the month due to celebrations of Thanksgiving.

John Good and his band will be entertaining us with music and there will be an exceptional buffet and a cash bar.

The wearing of the kilt or other tartan is encouraged. The time and date will be announced shortly.

Please plan on attending this fun event. .


Say it in Scots

Even if they don't speak Gaelic, those who are proud to have Scottish ancestry will want to enhance their vocabulary with the addition of a few good Scots words. The easiest one and the best one to start with is "wee," meaning small. "Wee" is such a friendly little word and it is very addictive. After even a short time in the company of a Scot, everyone delights in using it in phrases like "Come in for a wee minute" or "Would you like a wee cup of tea?' In both cases, "wee" is meaningless but adds much to the friendliness of the invitation.

Frank Sinatra, who never got as far as Scotland, sang "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," a lovely ballad. And, of course, a guest in a Scottish home will always be offered "a wee dram.". Only when the bottle of a 12-year-old single malt appears, the drams are seldom small and over-indulgence results in the drinker feeling "a wee bit wabbit" the following morning.

The addition of the diminutive "wee" can often turn a derogatory noun into what is almost a term of endearment. Much loved babies are called "wee rascals," and to enjoy "a wee blether" is preferable to being accused of wasting time in idle gossip.

Scots have the reputation of being "canny" or careful, especially with money, and what is wrong with that? We are proud of Andrew Carnegie, a native Scot from Dunfermline, who built a considerable fortune in the United States steel industry. Sir William Patterson, also a Scot, founded the Bank of England in 1691, but when he tried to repeat the attempt in his native land, he simply wasn't "canny" enough. His effort resulted in disaster, which dealt Scotland such a crippling blow that it took centuries to recover.

The most popular topic of conversation in Scotland is the weather. The saying goes that if you don't like the weather, wait half an hour and it will change, and it is true that the weather often gives a gala performance, dashing through all the seasons in one day. Tourists are warned to bring an entire wardrobe in their rucksacks. So the Scots have many words for the weather…mainly bad weather. Most of them do not have a one word English translation. When the day is "dreich," it is wet and dismal, with very little natural light. A "snell" wind means that it is bitingly cold and when the "haar" or the cold thick sea mist descends on the northeast coast, the claxon sounds on the golf links to warm golfers that continuing their game would be dangerous. Sometimes there is only a "smirr" of rain, a light drizzle, so there is no fear of getting "drookit" or thoroughly drenched and it is probably not worth donning a raincoat.

Many of the well-loved poems of Robert Burns are peppered with old Scots words which are no longer used and not always understood. At most Burns Dinners Burns' "Auld Lang Syne" is sung. The simple phrase "Auld Lang Syne," meaning "times past," is the subject of the most famous chorus in the world, sung when people, often from very different backgrounds, join hands, remember the past and affirm the importance of friendship.

People with Scottish blood in their veins are always proud of their heritage. Learning a few Scots words will add to their sense of belonging to the finest race in the world.

2nd Prescott Celtic Music Festival

When:    August 18, 2012   10am – 5pm
Where:   Watson Lake Park, 3100 Watson Lake Park Rd., Prescott, AZ.
Tickets:  Adults $25 (advance) $28 at the gate   
             Students $5,  Under 18 free

Advance Ticket Outlets:  Celtic Crossings Pub   Prescott Gateway Mall  928-443-8454 and Irish Cultural Center, 1106 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ. 602-258-0109There will be 2 stages of continuous Celtic music.  Other features include vendors, Celtic food and Scottish soda, beer tent, whisky tasting tent, bag piping, tea room, silent auction, raffle.

For more information contact David McNabb--


Celtic Culture — Religion

Celtic religion covers a wide range of topics. Religion is a word that encompasses all cultures of the world, from Pagan to Christian. In the Celtic Culture that covers the Druids, Wiccans and, of course, Celtic Christianity itself. People have asked for centuries why there is so much similarity between religions while at the same time totally different interpretations—even amongst followers of the same religions?

The Celtics weren't terribly different. Their belief systems and religious practices changed with time and outside influences. In the beginning there were the Druids, who were the "educated sect". They were also the priests, the judges and the law makers. We also have the Wiccans. This sect practiced forms of magic and the Wicca worships the hearth and its seasons. However, as in all these representations of spirituality the two most important words are "harm none".

Celtic Christianity was that form of Celtic worship that ran from about the 6th century AD to around the 13th century AD. It was during this period that we find most of the artistry the Celts are known for showing up in carvings, paintings and the like.



Coming Events

Aug 4-5 Games—Denver, CO
Aug 9 Membership Meeting at ICC 6:45pm
Aug 18

2nd Prescott Celtic Music Festival
Watson Lake Park

Sep 1-2 Games—Pleasanton, CA (San Francisco)
Sep 6-9 Games—Estes Park, CO
Sep 13 Membership Meeting at ICC 6:45pm

August 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.

Aug 2 Madeline Forman—Birthday
Aug 14 Carol Kuna—Birthday
Aug 14 Tom Caldwell—Birthday
Aug 15 Toni Sarcinella—Birthday
Aug 17 Janet Hiatt—Birthday
Aug 18 Kathy Ridlehoover—Birthday
Aug 21 Susan Hawkins—Birthday
Aug 29 Steve & Gail Wylie--Anniversary


What's in a Name?
By Ron Dempsey, FSA Scot

DNA for Genealogy

DNA as most of you know is the building blocks of life as we know it. From it, a male can tell from which group of mankind he originated but only on the paternal side. Any male has in part of his DNA exactly the same as his father and his father's etc. back through the millennia. Females can do the same through their mitochondrial DNA but again only through their maternal side. The analysis should tell of racial profile, whether the ancestor was a progeny of Niall of the nine hostages, high king of Ireland, or from a Viking interloper. Certain markers never change from generation to generation and so certain males from Northern Ireland and western Scotland with some surnames that have the same Y DNA markers from an ancestor they call Niall who was the high king of Ireland from circa 320A.D. He was the progenitor of the O'Neil clan of Ireland and related clans including O'Kane, MacShane and O'Gallagher, as well as the various MacNeil clans of Scotland. Now the ancestor from 320 A.D. of this group may not have been Naill at all, but historically as he was the most prominent male of that era, it would be easy to assume he was the ancestor of most of the male population of Ulster and beyond. Over 1700 years it would be very interesting to see where all his descendents found themselves in this world. If you are at all interested and male, just "google" your surname with the letters DNA and see what is out there. Some clans and family societies have formed groups to compare DNA. If you wish to pursue please read up on it before spending any money on the procedure to ensure that you know what you are getting in to.

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
Area Chairperson
President: (2012 – 2014) Wendy Hurley
Past President: (2010 – 2012) Jean Latimer
1st Vice President: Mark Clark
Games Chair
Jason Temple
Membership and Programs Chair Don Finch
Treasurer: Alex Cheek
Secretary: Corresponding and Recording Michael Fraiser
Trustee: Mark Peletier
Trustee: Andy Walker
Newsletter Editor: Jo Ramsdell

The Caledonian Society of Arizona
General Meeting Minutes

August 2012

No minutes this month.

Michael Frazier, Secretary 

Important Dates in August
  None to speak of