February 2015

In this Issue:

 Robbie Burns Supper  John Alexander MacDonald
 Greetings from the Editor  Coming Events
 Meet Our Members  Highland Games Update
 The Haggis, and a Recipe  Society Officers
 Scots Irish Numbers Plummet in U.S.  February Celebrations
 Historical Events in February    

Robbie Burns Supper - January 24, 2015

Pearl Finch, Debi & David McBeeThe Society’s 51st Annual Robbie Burns Supper was held this year at the Phoenix Country Club.

Co-chairs Lori Cameron and Thom Von Hapsburg hosted 100 members and friends, who enjoyed a wonderful evening that appealed to all the senses. High couture evening dresses, bonnie kilts, and the SAMS colour party were sights to behold.

Pipes and drums, and the musical group Stoneybank provided music for the ears. Glenmorangie whisky and wines from Alliance Beverage wetted the palate before Chef presented one of the finest meals in CSA Burns history.

It was preceded by Lori Cameron’s address to the Haggis and concluded with a brilliant sticky toffee pudding! Music, dancing and the raffle basket draws brought the evening to a close. The efforts of Lori, Thom and their committee were greatly appreciated by all. (Photo: Pearl Finch, Debi & David McBee)

Greetings from the Editor - Don Finch

Don FinchBeginning with last month’s newsletter, I’ve taken over from Jo Ramsdell, who edited the Desert Highlander for the past 20 years. During our transition discussions, we agreed to continue with local news and events, articles from Scotland’s history, and the section devoted to getting to know our members.

Some of the new additions will be occasional items of interest from our man in Edinburgh, John Clinkenbeard; recipes from a cookbook the Society published in the past titled Flour of Scotland; and more financial reporting – the next update will follow the March 21 and 22 Scottish Gathering & Highland Games.

If you have some news that you think would be of interest to our readers, please submit it to me by the 15th of the month. My email address is donfinch.one@gmail.com.

Meet Our Members - Highland Games Committee

Shirley Blahak and son Philip - British Car Show

Shirley & Phil BlahakWe have been associated with the British Car Display at the Games since 1996.

Last year we were excited to add to the Saturday car display, a full-fledged Sunday Car Show with classes and trophies.

Hopefully we can increase attendance this time.

John Alexander MacDonald: Son of Glascow, Father of Canada

John Alexander MacDonald

John Alexander Macdonald, who was born in Glasgow's Merchant City 200 years ago this week, is little-known in the city of his birth but he is a household name to Canadians and is often referred to as the "Father of Canada.”

Modern Canada was created in 1867 with the unification of the four original provinces - Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
And it was the son of a failed textile merchant born in Glasgow's Brunswick Street who was the leading figure in the Confederation pact that created Canada, according to Randy Boswell, a journalism professor at Ottawa's Carleton University.

Ged Martin, emeritus professor of history at the University of Edinburgh, says the timing of the confederation move was critical. He says: "it came at a moment in the 1860s when Macdonald said 'it is now or never'.’If we don't do it now, we'll simply fall apart'."The fear was that they would gradually be sucked into the orbit of the United States."

Macdonald's family had emigrated to Kingston, Ontario, to revive the family fortunes, when he was just five years old. He lost much of his Glasgow accent, was schooled well and quickly ascended, opening his own law office at age 19 and entering politics seven years later.   

He devoted his life to promoting the Canadian Confederation and held the position of prime minister for 18 years, the second longest term in Canadian history.

Sir John A is often known to Canadians as John Eh?, as reference to the frequent national intonation of adding 'eh?' at the end of sentences. On the 200th anniversary of his birth, international experts gathered in Glasgow to reflect on his legacy.

Thanks to our man in Edinburgh, John Clinkenbeard for submitting this article.

"The Haggis" (author unknown) and
A recipe from the Caledonian Society Cookbook

The haggis is a vicious breed with habits like a sloth.
It builds its nest from Harris Tweed and bits of tartan cloth.

It only ventures out at night and hunts in packs like dogs.
It gives off a green and ghostly light and makes a noise like frogs.

The natives catch them by their toes to dodge their beating wings.
They place a clothespin on their nose and eat the blooming things!

Flour of Scotland - A Softer, Gentler Haggis by Beth Phillips

1 ½ lb. ground lamb                          ½ c. water
1 onion, coarsely chopped                  1 egg
1 tsp. salt                                       1 tsp. pepper
½ tsp. sugar                                   ¼ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. cloves                                  ¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 c. old fashioned rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a small loaf pan. Combine all the ingredients. Spoon mixture into a loaf plan. Place a pan of water on lower shelf of the oven. Bake 1 hour. To microwave, use Pyrex or other microwave-safe loaf pan and cook 15-20 minutes on high.

Scottish Historical Events in February
by Jo Ramsdell

February 13, 862:   Kenneth MacAlpin, who conquered the Picts and united them with the Scots into one kingdom died.  He was the founder of the Kingdom of Alba.  His undisputed legacy was to produce a dynasty of rulers who claimed descent from him who ruled Scotland for much of the medieval period.  He also indirectly created the current day British monarchy. 

February 22, 1371:   Robert II became the first Stewart monarch.  Robert reigned as King of Scots from 1371 to his death in 1390.  He was the son of Walter Stewart, High Steward of Scotland and Marjorie Bruce, daughter of the Robert the Bruce.  Robert ruled over a country that continued to have English enclaves within its borders and Scots who gave their allegiance to the King of England.

February 12, 1554:   Lady Jane Grey, "nine days queen" was beheaded at the Tower of London at age 16.  Lady Jane Grey was an English noblewoman and de facto monarch of England from July 10 to July 19, 1553.  She was the great granddaughter of Henry VII through his younger daughter Mary.  When the 15-year-old English king lay dying, he nominated Jane as successor to the Crown in his will, thus subverting the claims of his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth.  The Privy Council decided to change sides and proclaim Mary I as Queen of England.  Lady Jane was convicted of treason, imprisoned in the Tower of London and executed.

February 8, 1587:   Mary Queen of Scots was executed by beheading at Fotheringay Castle at the age of 44.  Mary Queen of Scots, also known as Mary Stuart or Mary I of Scotland was queen from December 1542 to July 1567.  She was the only surviving legitimate child of James V of Scotland.  In 1558 King Henry VIII's elder daughter, Queen Mary I of England was succeeded by Elizabeth I.  Henry VIII's will had excluded the Stuarts from succeeding to the English throne.  Mary Queen of Scots claim to the English throne was almost as strong as her claims to the Scottish throne, which became a sticking point between Mary and Elizabeth for all the rest of their lives.  Mary's Roman Catholic religion was always a problem in Protestant Scotland and eventually led to her imprisonment and death for plotting to assassinate Elizabeth I.

February 13, 1692:  The Massacre of Glencoe.  A government force led by Captain Robert Campbell killed 38 members of the MacDonald Clan on direct orders from British authorities.  The Glencoe massacre became a propaganda piece for Jacobite sympathies, which were to come to a head in the next generation in the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745 which attempted to have a Stuart returned to the throne.   

Scots Irish Numbers Have Plummeted in the US - What's Up?
Council of Scottish Clans & Associations Blog www.cosca.scot

The number of Americans who self identify as having Scots Irish ancestry in the 2013 census survey declined by almost half since 2006.  Today, only 3 million Americans with Scots Irish descent are visible in the United States.

Scots Irish SettlementIn 2006 that number was 5.4 million.  This is true despite the profile of Scots Irish immigrants having most definitely become more widely known in American, following the works of former Virginia Senator James Webb (“Born Fighting”) and others.

The 2013 estimate of Scottish Americans living in the US has declined by about 50,000 to 5.3 million.  

Scottish Americans are on the decline as far as reporting anyway, but have not dipped below 5 million in decades.  We have always found that number curiously low and we do note that Americans have the option of listing themselves as of ‘American’ ancestry (22 million +) or perish the thought English (24 million +).  Dollars to donuts a fair number of these 46 million Americans have Scotland in their blood and just don’t know it – yet.

Highland Games Update
by Paul Bell, 2015 Games Chairman

The 2015 Glenmorangie Scottish Gathering and Highland Games Presented by the Caledonian Society of Arizona is just a little over a month away!

Planning is ahead of schedule and we are looking to have a great event.

At this year’s event you will find some familiar vendors and as always we will have pipes and drums parading and competing for awards but this year they will be sharing the field with AZ Youth Rugby who will be there putting on informative demonstrations about the sport that has its roots in Scotland!

We also will have our world class male and female athletes competing with the Women’s World Championship taking place on both Saturday and Sunday.

Nessie There also is something new in what has been named the Loch Ness Area. An area catering to the ladies with wine and fashion but, everyone will want to stroll by the lake shore to get a peek of Nessie who has somehow mysteriously made the trip from Loch Ness to the Steel Indian School Park Lake!

So, plan on joining us for a great weekend of fun, competition and excitement!

Coming Events

February 12 Monthly Meeting "Keep Calm & Wear a Kilt" ICC, 6:30 PM
February 18 Highland Games Committee Meeting, ICC, 6:30 PM
February 21 Avondale/Goodyear Parade -Nessie's First Appearance,
10 AM, along Thomas Rd. in Avondale & Goodyear
March 12 Membership Meeting. ICC, 6:30 PM
March 18 Preview the "Loch Ness Arts & Fashion District" Changing Hands Book Store, 300 W. Camelback, Phoenix, 7 PM
March 20 Pipe Jam, Westin Kierland, Scottsdale, 7 PM
March 21-22 Our Gathering & Highland Games

February 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.

February 7 Jo Ramsdell - Birthday - Honorary Life Member
February 13 Pam Stewart - Birthday
February 18 Jean Latimer - Birthday
February 29 Greg & Kim Duprest - Anniversary

Membership Renewal Reminder

Those year-end shopping bills have been paid; you’ve bought your Burns tickets, so now it’s time to renew your annual membership.

Dues are still only $25 Single and $40 Family. This admits you to all our wonderful monthly events with food and entertainment provided.

It’s easy to pay by credit card or PayPal, just jump to the Membership Page

Society Meetings
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 www.arizonascots.com.

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:

Don Finch
Statutory Agent: Dan Miller