January 2014

In this Issue:

 Robert Burns Address to the Haggis  Coming Events
 Meet Our Members  January Celebrations
 Society Celebrates 50th Burns Dinner  Society Officers
 Some Ways to Enjoy the Haggis  Know the Clans

January 2014 Membership Meeting Agenda

We hope you will be able to join us for our first meeting of 2014!

6:30 pm - Social hour (full bar)
7:00 pm - Meeting—Recap of 2013 and plans/ideas for 2014
7:30 pm - An introduction to Robert Burns by Mark Clark
7:45 pm - Live music by Tramor

Robert Burns and the Address to the Haggis

By Lady MacGregor of MacGregor

Robert Burns was born in Ayrshire but he lived, worked and died in Dumfriesshire—and produced many of his finest works there. His favorite watering hole, the Globe Inn, is in Dumfries. This is one of Scotland's oldest pubs and here, surrounded by numerous pictures of the Bard and framed lines of his poetry, you get a real feel of the place where he notoriously let his hair down and caroused into the wee small hours after his work as a farmer and tax collector.

The traditional story of how Burns wrote "The Address to the Haggis" is that in 1785, he was a guest at a Haggis Club in Kilmarnock where five lawyers met for dinner and when asked to say the grace he chose to address the haggis instead. But according to a source from the Globe Inn, the real story goes thus: Scotland's national poet had been invited to speak at a fancy gathering in Edinburgh and went along hoping to mix with the rich and famous. When he got there, however, he was dismayed to find that before he gave his speech he was expected to dine in the basement with the servants. As the great and the good tucked into their fancy French food upstairs, he tucked into a simple but delicious haggis below. Hence the scorn on the fricassee upstairs; "Is that owre his French ragout, or olio that wad straw a sow. Or fricassee wad make her spew wi perfect sconner. Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view on sic a dinner?" Thank goodness that Burns did eat with the servants. Otherwise he might never have gone on to pen those wonderful verses to Great Chieftain of the puddin' race.

There are more statues to Robert Burns around the world than almost anyone else. Scottish people, you see, went all over the world—and where you find a Scotsman you will find a Burns enthusiast. No one has his birthday celebrated more often than Scotland's national poet and this former ploughman gets more toasts than the Queen.

Meet Our Members

Starting with the new year we will be publishing brief bios of some of our members. Some will be of new members, some long-time members and some our Board Members.

Mark Clark - Board Member

Mark lives in Phoenix and is an Aerospace engineer and professor. He joined the Society in 2009. His reason for joining: "They say that Scots who emigrate become more patriotic. There may be an element of truth to that and I was so pleased that a Highland Games was in existence that I decided to do what I could to keep the spirit and passion of Scottish culture alive in Arizona.

Mark is presently the President of the Board and in the past has been Volunteer Chair, Chairman for Education, and Vice President. His aspirations are "to continue giving to the society in whatever capacity I am of use."

Mark's clan affiliation: MacLeod, MacDonald. One of his favorite memories of his time in the Society: "Many of our meetings where the band is playing Scottish music, the bar is busy, the people tapping their feet and conversing with each other, people walking around in their kilts, ladies in tartan, smiles all around, good food—there comes a time when this all hits you at once and there is euphoria that this is indeed a Scottish evening with lovers of Scotland."

Alan & Mary Jo Ramsdell - Long Term Members

Alan & Mary Jo Ramsdell

Alan and Jo have lived in Mesa for nearly 50 years. They are both now retired, Alan from a supervisory position with the State of Arizona Department of Economic Security and Jo from teaching second grade in the Mesa School District. They joined the Society in the 1970s because Alan was interested in learning more about his Scottish ancestry—Jo only found out that she had Scottish ancestry after they joined.

Alan is a past-president of CSA having served two terms. Jo has been Membership Chair, secretary of the Board and has been the editor of the Society newsletter since 1994. They have both worked on many Games Committees.

Clan affiliation: Alan, the House of Gordon, Cameron, MacDonald. Jo, Clan MacDonald. "It's very difficult to pick only one "cherished moment" of our long association with CSA." They stated. "I think it just would be the many wonderful friends we have made through the years, some who are no longer with us like Terry and Joan Shelbourne and others who are still members like Don and Bobby Hoeck, Steve and Gail Wylie, and Jean Latimer. There are just too many to name them all."

Craig & Victoria Whipp - New Members

Craig & Victoria Whipp

Craig was 9 when his family moved to Denver. Growing up his interests included the outdoors, reading, computers, and mechanics. Craig attended the Colorado School of Mines and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Victoria was born in Virginia, the younger of two siblings. Her father's career in the Marines resulted in them living in multiple locations, including abroad. She graduated from California State University Bakersfield with a degree in English and an endorsement in elementary education.

Craig and Victoria met in 2003 at a Barnes & Noble in Colorado. They became engaged in the Spring of 2004 and married that Fall. In the Fall of 2005 they relocated to Phoenix as Craig pursued a job at General Dynamics. Their son, Archer was born in 2008 and daughter Fiona eighteen months later. As a family they enjoy camping, traveling and cooking. Craig now works at Boeing and Victoria is a full time stay at home mom.

Craig found the Caledonian Society and thought it would be a good opportunity to meet other people, get the children out and learn more about his Scottish roots. The Whipps first attended a CSA meeting in September 2012 and became members in 2013.

"It is difficult to select a single cherished moment, but we have really appreciated the attention and involvement that our children receive at the meetings" declared Craig.

The Caledonian Society Celebrates Our 50th Burns Dinner

You are invited to join us as we celebrate our 50th Robert Burns Dinner on January 25, 2014. This year's event will be held at the Westin Kierland Resort, 6902 E. Greenway, Scottsdale, AZ.

This will be an evening for formal attire and Scottish dress. Cocktail reception begins at 6pm. Guests will be piped in to dinner at 7pm. The evening program will feature the traditional "Presentation of the Haggis" tributes, toasts to the lads and lassies and of course, the poems and songs of Robert Burns.

There will be live music, Highland dancers and fine Scotch whisky tasting. A silent auction will be held with a portion of the proceeds to benefit Special Olympics Arizona.

Tickets are available online: www.arizonascots.com. For further inquiries contact Don Finch 480-252-0152 or Thom Von Hapsburg 602-882-6490.

Know the Clans


The ancient Cunningham lands lie opposite the Isle of Arran on the wind-blown west coast of Scotland. They included the land stretching between the towns of Kilwinning, Kilbirnie, and Kilmaurs. The "kil" prefix in Scottish place names means "cell" or "church."

The story of the Cunninghams starts in the 12th century with King David I of Scotland. He was exiled as a boy to the English court, which was then dominated by the Norman associates of William the Conqueror. When David became king, he brought a group of Norman friends back with him to Scotland and distributed land to them. One of these friends, Warnebald, received lands in Cunningham, Ayrshire. In the manner of that time, he adopted the place's name.

The word "Cunningham" may come from the Saxon word "cunneag" mean "milk pail" and "ham" meaning "village." In any case, it is clear that Cunninghams descend from Warenbald, who preferred to call himself "de Cunningham" rather than "de Kilmaur" or de Kilwinning."

The Cunninghams prospered. In the 15th century, Cunningham of Kilmaurs became Lord Kilmaurs and later Earl of Glencairn. By the 16th century judicious marriages had stretched the Glencairn lands from Port Glasgow on the Firth of Clyde south to Moniaive which is northwest of Dumfries. Here the Cunninghams had build Glencairn Castle, now known as Maxwellton House.

However, the family's success in Ayrshire led to conflict with the Montgomerys. The Montgomerys were strong supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots, while the Cunninghams were Protestant reformers. The Earl of Glencairn had John Knox dispense communion to him and his family privately at his house near Port Glasgow in 1556.

Three Cunninghams were close friends of the Ayrshire bard, Robert Burns. The 14th earl, James was among the poet's principal patrons, on his death, Burn wrote a moving lament to him.

A few Ways to Enjoy the Haggis

Robert Burns' birthday will be celebrated many times in many places around the world this month. At most of the dinners a good deal of haggis will be eaten and a goodly amount of whisky drunk to toast the haggis. Here are a few way you might be able to enjoy both of those items. WARNING: These are alcoholic beverages and as such should be treated with respect. If you are underage, you should not drink them. By the way, drinking does not make you funny, tough or attractive to the opposite sex. It makes you fall over and throw up. If you are over 21 remember that drinking makes you loud, boorish and utterly repellent.

Whisky With Haggis Chaser
   Large bottle of malt whisky
   A Haggis
   A glass
   A very, very small amount of water (dinnea droon it laddie)

Method: Place generous amount of whisky in glass. Wave water over whisky. Drink whisky. Cook haggis the following morning and serve on toast (an excellent hangover cure).

Haggis Sunrise
   Large bottle of malt whisky
   A carton of orange juice
   A glass
   A Haggis
   A very, very small jug of water

Method: Dash eight sloshes of whisky into glass. Show water to whisky from minimum distance of ten yards. Carefully put carton of orange juice unopened in fridge. Drink whisky. Cook haggis the following morning as described above.

Haggis Margarita
   Large bottle of malt whisky
   A haggis
   Lime juice
   Bottle of tequila
   2 glasses
   Small jug of water

Method: Fill one glass with whisky. Wet rim of second glass with water and dip in salt. Wet bottom of glass with lime juice and fill to rim with tequila. Drop a lit match into glass. Now you have made a nice home-made heater. Sit down beside it, rest your feet on the haggis and enjoy a wee dram.

Coming Events

January 9 Membership Meeting
January 25 Robert Burns Supper
February 13 No meeting (see Feb 15
February 15 Arizona Celtic Woman Concert
March 13 Membership Meeting
March 22-23 Gathering & Highland Games

SOCIETY MEETING Regular membership meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at the Irish Cultural Center, 1106 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ. Beginning at 7 pm. Come join us or log on to www.arizonascots.com.

December Celebrations
If you 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 by email to anjrams@cox.net and it will be included in our Celebration list.

January 5 Michelle Cambell & James Weber - Anniverary
January 16 John Steadman - Birthday
January 18 James & Janet Grant - Anniverary
January 20 Diane Dawson - Birthday
January 28 Donna Groves - Birthday

Caledonian Society Officers
President: Mark Clark
Past President: (2010 – 2012) Jean Latimer
Vice President, & Membership Chair Don Finch
Secretary: Thom Von Hapsburg
Treasurer: David McBee
Games Chair
Jason Temple
Trustee 1: Mark Pelletier
Trustee 2: Michelle Crownhart

Newsletter Editor:

Jo Ramsdell