April 2015

In this Issue:

 Volunteer Appreciation  Rugby Bowl Event
 Letters from Mark Clark & Don Finch  Coming Events
 From the Editor - 2015 Games Report  Recipes from Flour of Scotland
 British Cars at the Games  Society Officers
 Inverness Cultuiral Centre?  April Celebrations
 Historical Events in April  Weather in Scotland for April

Volunteer Appreciation Night
(No meeting on Thursday, April 9th)

Open to all Highland Games Volunteers - and to all CSA Members

Games Chairman Paul Bell and the CSA Board want to thank all who made last month's Highland Games a roaring success. All those who volunteered, plus all CSA members are welcome to attend.

Date:        Friday April 10, 2015     Time: 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Location:   David and Debi McBee's
                171 S Ranchos Legante, Gilbert, AZ 85296  
                  (off Elliott Rd, just east of Val Vista Rd)
Menu:       Hot dogs, Hamburgers, Vegetarian items, Chips, Snacks,
                soft drinks, coffee, and tea will be provided
Members to bring: Surnames A-M=Side dishes; Surnames N-Z=Desserts
                Volunteers - just bring yourselves
                Everyone bring your own favorite beverages, & a designated driver!
Bring your guitars, fiddles, bodhrans, harps and voices for an impromptu ceilidh!

RSVP! to:  donfinch.one@gmail.com - size of your party, and what you're bringing

A letter from outgoing President Mark Clark

Dear all,

I wanted so much to fulfill my duties one last time as President, by flying back to Phoenix and representing the Caledonian Society of Arizona at our 51st Scottish Highland Games. Like so many others who contribute to the games, I saw and felt great pride in what we achieved.

I took the liberty this time to visit all the areas and see the games from the perspective of the public. I realized how skilled we were in hiding the blemishes, how friendly we were, how professional we acted in times of pressure. We achieved so much from so few chairpersons and volunteers.

Mark ClarkIn my time as President, I have worked to serve you, the members. The combination of each of you is what keeps the Scottish culture alive here. Without you, the valley truly would be a desert. I can't say it has been difficult being President for these last two years because I have enjoyed creating Scottish events throughout my time serving.

Now it is time to pass on the Presidency to our very well known and liked Vice President, Don Finch. Without doubt, Don has the skills necessary to continue the success of our society. I pass on to Don a society that is healthy financially and a membership of full of great, great characters.

I will always remain close to you all and assist in any way I can from my new home in Texas.          

Wishing Don and "y'all" every success!


Letter from Society President Don Finch

Dear fellow Caledonians,

I’m honored by the confidence the Board has placed in me to carry on as your new President while fulfilling Mark’s term which runs through June 30th, 2016. In April of next year we will vote on a new leadership team and I encourage you to consider placing your name ‘in the hat’ for one of the many positions it takes to run a successful organization like ours.

Don Finch The Society’s objective is to celebrate all things Scottish in the Valley of the Sun. We’re doing that at our fun-filled monthly meetings, and our two special events – the Robbie Burns Supper, and the Scottish Gathering & Highland Games.

In my business career we had two objectives: make a profit, and enjoy what you’re doing . Since the Caledonian Society is a ‘non-profit’, we don’t have to worry about that one!

So let’s focus on the other goal – enjoying each other’s company while we work together to build the CSA into the premier social and cultural group in Arizona!

From the Editor

2015 Scottish Games & Highland Gathering

We celebrated our 51st Glenmorangie Gathering & Games on March 21st and 22nd at Steele Indian School Park in central Phoenix with more events, activities, performers and vendors than we've seen in a long time.

In the May newsletter we'll have a report from Games Chairman Paul Bell, who did an outstanding job in his initial event.

Five new world records were set at the Women's World Championship at our Games - all in the 45-49 class. Congratulations to these athletes:

Mona Malec - 21# Weight Over Bar - 19'6"    
Mona Malec - 21# Heavy Weight Distance - 47'5" 
Mona Malec - 14# Light Weight Distance - 64'10"  
Mona Malec - 12# Light Hammer - 87' 8.5"
Edie Lindeburg - 10# Sheaf - 20'6"

Also, please check the website's homepage for details of our Volunteer & Member Appreciation Party that will be held on Friday April 10th. Note that there will not be a meeting on Thursday April 9th at the ICC.

British Cars at the Games

British Cars 2015

Oscar - the People's ChoiceThe British Car display was once again a highlight of the 2015 Games.

Shown above are just some of the entries in the "Classic Mini" category.

"Oscar" won The Peoples Choice Award on Saturday.

Click his picture to see a PDF file of more images from the event.

A New International Clans & Heritage Centre at Inverness Castle?
Council of Scottish Clans & Associations Blog

Inverness Castle presents a stunning sight above the River Ness as it flows through the ancient capital of the Scottish highlands.  The old stronghold was not designed for the special rigors of modern action but it has been kept in service as host of local courts and judicial business for years.   Might Inverness Castle serve a more fitting and useful purpose today?

Inverness Castle

Many people think perhaps so and some influential players are vigorously exploring exciting ideas.  We know that detailed discussions are taking place about the future of Inverness Castle.  Heritage and other advocates are pushing forward with aims for the Castle to become an International Clans and Heritage Centre.  Advocates for the heritage centre will be discussing the idea with various government and Scottish Clan groups this fall and winter.

Already several in the Scottish and local Highland governments have gotten behind the concept and are actively exploring potential.  It is not surprising that the international Scottish ancestral and heritage community is excited about the possibilities of creating such a high profile and iconic place as a permanent home to Scottish clan and family history and culture.

The idea is far from a done deal and many stakeholders are yet to become involved.  Re-furbishment will be challenging as the building was in fact designed as a court and prison, built in 1836 and 1845 respectively, and has Grade A listing which means that virtually every pin, pot of paint and stone has to be approved by Historic Scotland.  We will keep you up to date on developments as they occur.

Scottish Historical Events in April
by Jo Ramsdell

April 1 - April Fool's Day
In Scotland "April Fool's" day used to be known as "Hunt the Gowk" (a gowk is a cuckoo).  Lost in antiquity, some suggest its origins are in 16th century France, when the new year was changed from April 1 to January 1, and mocks those who were slow on the uptake of the change.  In France the day's symbol is a fish.

April 12
In 1603 James VI of Scotland inherited the English and Irish thrones as James I thereby united the crowns of England, Scotland and Ireland in a personal union (which remained separate states).  On April 12, 1606 a new flag to represent this regal union was specified in a royal decree.

First Union flag Accordingly, it included the flag of England (a red cross on a white background, known as St. George's Cross), and the flag of Scotland (a white saltire on a blue background, known as St. Andrew's Cross), would be joined together forming the flag of Great Britain.

When the flag was first introduced, it was known simply as "the British flag".  The word "jack was in use before 1600 to describe the maritime bow flag.  By 1627 this new flag was commonly flown on the bows of ships.  By 1674 it was referred to as "His Majesty's Jack" and was commonly called the Union Jack.

Second Union flagThe flag of Ireland was not included in the 1606 original British flag.  

In 1801 the current and second Union Jack was introduced. The new design added a red saltire, the Cross of St. Patrick to represent Ireland. 

British flag sequence

New Highland Games Vendor is Sponsor of Rugby Bowl

Rugby is one of Scotland’s oldest sports. Did you know that the first rugby union matches in Scotland date back to the early 19th century?

For the second consecutive year, the sport is taking the Valley by storm as the 2015 Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale Rugby Bowl: Beauty & The Beast will take place on Saturday, April 18th at Scottsdale Stadium, the Spring Training home of the San Francisco Giants.

Rugby Bowl

The day is sure to be fun for members and friends of the Caledonian Society of Arizona. The doors open at 10:00 AM for the Arizona High School Rugby Championship. At 1:00 PM, the USC Trojans Men’s Rugby Club will take on Grand Canyon University. At 3:00 PM, the #10 ASU Rugby team will duel the Ohio State University Buckeyes.

In addition to these great rugby matches, make sure to check out a one-of-a-kind “Warning Track” Fashion Show at 2:45 PM. Also, Travis Bagent, one of the world’s best arm wrestlers, will be at Scottsdale Stadium all day to challenge fans in arm wrestling matches.

There is a special discount for Caledonian Society of Arizona members. When purchasing tickets from the website, www.therugbybowl.com, enter discount code “AZSCOTS10” at checkout for 10% off any ticket category.
We look forward to seeing you at Scottsdale Stadium on Saturday the 18th!

Coming Events

April 9 NO meeting at the ICC !
April 10 Volunteer Appreciation Party - 6 PM to 9 PM - McBee home
April 18-19 Las Vegas Highland Games

Recipes from the Society's Flour of Scotland Cookbook

Highland Fling
 Submitted by Midred Talley

    1 lb. can Blackberries
    1/2 cup honey
    1 qt. Grape Juice
    Whipped Cream for topping
    1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine and store in a tightly covered jar. For 1 serving, place 1 rounded tsp. in a cup and add boiling water.   

 Southwest Cheddar Cookies  
 Submitted by Bobby Hoeck

    1 jar Kraft English Sharp Cheddar cheese
    2 1/2 - 3 cups flour
    1 tsp. red pepper, ground, added to flour
    2 sticks margarine
    1 cup chopped nuts

Cut floour into cheese and margarine. Add nuts. Roll into 2 logs. Chill. Slice and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes

April 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.

April 5 Paul Bell - Birthday
April 16 Michael McClanathan - Birthday
April 21 Paige Macmillan - Birthday
April 24 David McNabb - Birthday

Weather in Scotland for April
Submitted by Ian Warrender

Weather in Scotland in April April brings spring to Scotland, with longer days, sunshine with a modicum of warmth and below average rainfall as the countryside becomes clothed in green and the snow-melt engorges rivers and streams. It’s still very chilly, especially for visitors from warmer climes. A great time for walking, salmon fishing and sightseeing, in advance of the busy summer tourist season.

Officiall Weather Forecast
Your forecast can't get more official than this!

Climate in Scotland in April

The average temperature in Scotland in April is around 10°C, but nights still wallow in single figures and, with the various micro-climates created by the mountains, it can be very cold still in some of the Highland glens (valleys), albeit that spring has officially sprung. As far as rain goes, April is one of the drier months in Scotland, with an average of 380mm, although once again this is changeable depending on the area.

What’s on in Scotland in April
Scotland is the home of malt whisky, and connoisseurs gather eagerly each year in April/May in Speyside for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, packed with a multitude of heritage, music and cultural events along with whisky tastings and delicious food. Early in the month the Dumfries & Galloway Wildlife Festival takes place, celebrating the stirring of spring life in the countryside, with guided walks, poetry, music and a programme of family activities. The month of April in Scotland closes with the dramatic Beltane Fire Festival, one of Edinburgh’s showpiece events, drawing more than 10,000 spectators every year.

What to pack
Sacrifice fashion for comfort and warmth when planning your wardrobe for a trip to Scotland in April. Waterproofing is vital … a padded waterproof jacket, good quality comfortable footwear and a woolly hat will be welcome when out and about. Underneath go for layers of light sweaters, and t-shirts – it can be very warm tasting whisky beside a roaring fire indoors! Even outdoors the odd sunny spell can have you stripping off your jacket and reveling in the spring warmth. 

Scottish Weather forecasting

Hi-tech Scottish weather forecasting tool

Membership Renewal Reminder

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: Don Finch
Immediate Past President: Mark Clark
Past President: (2010 – 2012) Jean Latimer
Vice President  
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
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