November 2014

In this Issue:

 St. Andrew's Day  Coming Events
 Meet Our Members  November Celebrations
 The Monros  Society Officers
 Book Clan  New Committee Forming
 RAF Cadet Memorial  

St. Andrew's Day - a Proud Scottish Tradition

Across the globe, Scots come together on November 30 to mark St. Andrew's Day.  Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland and one of Jesus' original disciples, preached in the lands around the Black Sea and Greece and was eventually crucified on an X-shaped cross in Patras.  Legend suggests the origin of the cross of St. Andrew is the basis for the Scottish national flag, the Saltire.

St. Andrew's Day festivities may include many varied events; balls and dances, dinners, entertainment with traditional pipe music and Highland dancing—and generally rejoicing in all things Scottish.

St. AndrewSt. Andrew, whose name means "strong, manly, and courageous" never set foot in Scotland.  Three hundred years after Andrew's martyrdom the Roman Emperor Constantine, himself a Christian ordered the saint's bones to be moved from Patras to the new capital city of Constantinople.  But before the order could be carried out, a monk called St. Rule had a dream in which an angel told him to take bones of Andrew to "the ends of the earth" for safe-keeping.  St. Rules took what bones he could and after an epic journey was shipwrecked off the coast of Fife at a spot that was to become the religious capital of Scotland and is now St. Andrews, which he must have deemed "the ends of the earth".

The relics were placed in a specially built chapel and later in a cathedral.  The relics disappeared during the Reformation of the Scottish churches when the Protestant Church came into being and broke away from the Roman Catholic Church.  Later some fragments of the saint's bones were sent to Scotland by the Archbishop of Amalfi where they had been kept since 1204.  Today the relics are housed in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Edinburgh.    

Meet Our Members - Highland Games Committee

Paul BellPaul Bell - Games Chair

I have worked as a volunteer during the Highland Games for the last four years. I acted as Assistant to the Games Chair in this year's games and have been asked to be Chair for the 2015 Games. 

Margaret Brewer

Margaret Brewer - Volunteers Chair

My name is Margaret Brewer. I was raised in Glendale and have been helping with the Scottish Gathering and Highland Games for 7 years.  Slainte

Peggy ReynoldsPeggy Reynolds - Entertainment Chair

I have always waned to go to Scotland and I'm still searching for my clan.  I like to travel, hike, dance, and have fun. I’m taking over the Entertainment position for the 2015 Games.

Kevin Conquest - Ceremonies Chair

Kevin ConquestKevin has been the Ceremonies Chairman of our Highland Games since 1997.

He is a champion Drum Major in the UK and North America, an English armiger
(nobody's perfect), but enjoys Ulster-Scottish roots through his maternal line.

The Monros

The 'Monros' are the 238 Scottish hills and mountains with a height over 3,000 ft. They are named after Sir Hugh Munro (1856-1919) who produced the first list of such hills, known as the  Munros Tables, in 1891.

Before the publication of Munros Tables in 1891, there was much uncertainty about the number of Scottish peaks over 3,000 feet.  Estimates ranged from 31 to more than 200.  When the Scottish Mountaineering Club was formed in 1889, one of its aims was to remedy this by accurately documenting all of Scotland's mountains over 3,000 feet.  Sir Hugh Munro, a founding member, took on the task, using his own experiences as a mountaineer.  The tables listed 282 mountains that were regarded as "separate mountains".  The Scottish Mountaineering Club has since revised the tables.

The most famous Munro is Ben Nevis in the Lochaber area.  At an elevation of 4,409, it is the highest peak in the British Isles.  Other well-known Munros include: Ben Lomond, 3,196 ft-the most southerly Monro and Ben Hope, 3,041 in Sutherland, the most northerly.

The first man to scale every one of the Munros was A. E. Robertson in 1901.  The Munros present challenging conditions to hikers, particularly in winter.  A popular practice amongst hill walkers is "Munro bagging", the aim being to climb all of the listed Munros.  As of 2009, more than 4,000 had completed the list.  A climber who has "bagged" all the Munros is entitled to be called a Munroist.

Book Clan - NEW

Book ClanYou are invoted to join new members Keith Waldrop and Lisa Stoller with their book club concept involving Scottish figures – current, real or fictitious; in poetry; novels; or history. We’ll keep it simple and will choose inexpensive books.

Meetings will be separate from the monthly Society events, and held at restaurants or homes to discuss our findings, wear our Scottish dress while eating and sampling Scottish foods. Interested?  Contact Keith at

Royal Air Force Cadet Memorial

RAF Cadet Memorial

The annual Memorial Service honoring the RAF flyers who are buried in the City of Mesa Cemetery was held on Sunday, November 9. The Caledonian Society has participated in this event for many years by laying a wreath at the grave site.

A number of the 23 flyers were Scots and it has been our privilege to remember their sacrifice in this manner. The Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band provided fitting music, pomp and circumstance.

Harp Pub 2014

Approximately 22 members and friends adjourned to The Harp Pub in Mesa following the service.

New Committee Forming

Your Board of Directors is exploring the idea of helping the City of Mesa partner with a sister city in Scotland, for the purpose of establishing cultural, social, educational and economic exchanges between the people of Mesa and people of our Sister Cities.

These invaluable partnerships offer a forum for fostering mutual understanding, friendship and peace. If you’d like to join this exploratory committee, please contact either: Don Finch – or – Keith Waldrop

Mesa Sister City group

We met recently at Mesa City Hall and at the RAF Memorial Service with State Representative Kelly Townsend and Mesa Mayor John Giles.

Coming Events

October 31-November 2 Tucson Games
November 9 RAF Memorial Ceremony, Mesa
November 13 NO membership meeting
December 11 Family Christmas Party (December meeting)
January 24 Robert Burns Supper

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 6:30 pm. Come join us or log on to

November 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 and it will be included in our Celebration list.

November 2 Earl Singleton - Birthday
November 22 Roger & Fiane Dawson - Anniversary
November 23 Gail Wylie - Birthday
November 26 Jackie Sinclair - Birthday

Caledonian Society Officers
President: Mark Clark
Past President: (2010 – 2012) Jean Latimer
Vice President Don Finch
Secretary & Membership Chair: Ian Warrander
Treasurer: David McBee
Games Chair
Paul Bell
Trustee 1: Mark Pelletier
Trustee 2: Michelle Crownhart
Trustee 3: Thom von Hapsburg
Newsletter Editor:

Jo Ramsdell
Statutory Agent: Dan Miller