February 2016

In this Issue:

 February Gathering  Highland Games Update
 Letter From the President  Odds and Sods
 Robert Burns Supper  Coming Events & Celebrations
 Fuil Celtic Organization  Society Officers
 February Historical Events  A Word from our Advertisers

February Gathering

For February the Society will hold a joint event with Fuil Celtic, an organization in the Phoenix area which promotes the history and knowledge of the Celtic Nations as represented in this flag.

Celtic Nations flag

Join us at Rosie McCaffrey's Irish Restuarant and Pub on Saturday February 20 from 1 PM to 3 PM - Located at 900 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix

We'll explore the various Celtic nations of our shared heritgage. CSA members: please advise President Don Finch of your attendance. There is a $2 fee.
(There will be no Thursday evening gathering this month)

Letter from the Editor, Don Finch

Dear fellow Caledonians:

February has at least two significant celebration days we Americans enjoy: Super Bowl Sunday on the 7th, and Valentine’s Day, on the 14th. According to rampantscotland.com the Scots look it at this way:

Candlemas Day - 2 February, 
Candlemas began as a Roman festival to celebrate the return of spring. It is now a Scottish legal "quarter day" when rents and other payments fall due. There is an old traditional poem which said that

    "If Candlemas Day be bright and fair 
    Half the winter is to come and mair (more) 
    If Candlemas Day be dark and foul 
    Half the winter was over at Yowl (Christmas

St. Valentine's Day - 14th February 
This used to be an excuse for youngsters to go round begging for sweets, money or fruit, while older brothers and sisters tried to find a sweetheart. "Name-papers" were sometimes used where names were written and placed in a bonnet and and each person drew out a paper. If the same name was drawn three times, it meant a marriage would take place. The poem could apply to our Groundhog Day, which is also observed on February 2nd.

Well, the Burns Supper is behind us and we now turn our full attention to the Highland Games, which will be held a Steele-Indian School Park on March 19th and 20th. If you’d like to volunteer, go to this link:

We’ll be joining Fuil Celtic (see separate article and pics) for our February Gathering this month. They are presenting an educational seminar on the 7 Celtic Nations, Saturday February 20th, at Rosie McCaffrey’s. The details are elsewhere in the newsletter.

Don FinchSo, start doubling down on your favorite* tonic or elixir because the Society’s busiest time of the year is rapidly approaching. We can always use more volunteers, so sign-up at the above link, and/or speak with Games Chairman Paul Bell at the February 20th event

*Here's one of my favorites:

Don Finch, Editor

Cledonian Cream recipe


Celebrate the Society's 52nd Annual Robbie Burns Supper

Len Wood & Kevin ConquestOur 52nd annual Robbie Burns Supper was held on Saturday January 23rd at the Phoenix Country Club.

This year’s Chair, Vicki Phegley and her committee did an outstanding job and the evening was a grand success.

Len Wood
(right) Pipe Major for the Phoenix Pipe Band was presented with a Lifetime Member award for his role in founding the original Arizona Highland Games 50 years ago.

Sr. Drum Major Kevin Conquest (left) of the Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band was presented with a 20 Year Service Award for his ongoing role of organizing the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Games.

Enjoy the photos below taken by Jennifer Green. The individual portraits will be emailed during early February.

Burns Supper 2016
Burns Supper 2016 Burns Supper 2016

Fuil Celtic
by Eric Wells

Born out of a desire to learn, by a group of friends, Fuil Celtic (Pronounced Fweel Celtic) is an organization dedicated to helping people discover and explore their Celtic heritage.

Fuil Celtic logoOn a beautiful summer day in Flagstaff, Arizona, a group of friends who had gathered at the Arizona Highland Celtic Festival to represent their respective Scottish clans began discussing their own varied celtic heritages, and came to the realization that while there are many wonderful organizations dedicated to various Celtic cultures in the Phoenix Metro area, there was not one that worked to promote all of the Celtic Nations. As a result, Fuil Celtic was formed to fill this gap. Translated, Fuil Celtic means Blood of the Celts, representing the sense of family that is present within the Celtic community of Arizona

The founding members of Fuil Celtic include Eric Wells, of Clan Scott; Krystle Wells of Clan Colquhoun; Shawn McFarland, of Clan MacFarlane; Robert Wahl, of Clan Donnachaidh, and Lawrence Dubreuil. Additionally, Fuil Celtic receives support from many friends and family of the founding members.

Fuil Celtic group

Fuil Celtic, with their desire to help people learn more about their Celtic heritage has committed to providing as many educational opportunities as possible through workshops scheduled throughout the course of the year. Topics such as cuisine, athletics, art, and religion will be covered in these workshops. As well as providing educational opportunities, Fuil Celtic wants to help people connect with individuals and organizations that will help them explore their heritage, including the Caledonian Society of Arizona, and The Welsh League of Arizona.

Fuil Celtic is also dedicated to assisting those who are in need of help, and have committed to raising funds for a charity each year. The recipient charity for 2015, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, will receive $555 that was raised at the informal Burns Supper hosted by Fuil Celtic on January 23rd, 2016. The chosen charity for 2016 is The Turner Syndrome Society of the United States. They will receive funds raised over the course of the year at various Fuil Celtic events hosted during 2016.

    Fuil Celtic event

If you are interested in attending Fuil Celtic activities, or learning more about your own Celtic heritage, please take a look at our website, www.fuilceltic.com, or find us on Facebook by searching for Fuil Celtic. You can also contact any of the founding members for more information.

Scottish Historical Events
by Jo Ramsdell

The Early Years of the Royal Scots

The Royal Scots, otherwise known as the Royal Regiment, is the oldest line infantry regiment in the British Army.  Its proud heritage can be traced back to 1633.  In March of that year, Charles I granted Sir John Hepburn a warrant to raise a regiment of 1,200 men in Scotland.  The men were sent to France.  Scotland during this period was a prolific recruitment area for levies of soldiers for service abroad.  Scots troops were sent to Russia, Sweden, Denmark, France and North Africa.  Natural attrition due to disease and death in (or as a result of) battle, and desertions, ensured that recruiters had to return to Scotland on a frequent basis in order to fill up the gaps in the ranks.

            Royal Regiment

Recruiting for the Royal Scots was rapid and soon exceeded the original figure of 1,200.  Indeed, in August of that year, 2,000 men landed in France.  While one might conclude that the recruiting officers were very good at their job, a closer examination of those early recruits gives food for thought.

Royal Scots badgeEarly in 1633, the Privy Council of Scotland was preparing for Charles I to visit Edinburgh for his coronation as king of Scotland. The event was scheduled for June.  At the time, it was the practice to impale the heads of persons executed (either for political reasons or criminal offences) on the spikes on top of the West Port gate.  To avoid offending the king's sensitivities, the Privy Council directed that the heads should be removed and that all beggars and vagabonds should be cleared from the city during the king's sojourn.

The city was swarming with these beggars and vagabonds.  Could it be that the raising of 800 more men by the recruiters was aided by the directive regarding the beggars?  It's not unreasonable to suppose that the City of Edinburgh saw this as a perfect way to rid herself of some of her unwanted citizens. 

The regiment stayed in France until 1661.  Returning to Britain at the request of Charles II, it took its place as the 1st of Foot.  The regiment was deemed to have been British since its founding in 1633, even when serving in France.


2016 Highland Games Update
by Paul Bell, Games Chairman

Let the countdown begin!

We are just about a month and a half from the 52nd Annual Scottish Gathering and Highland Games and we are putting it into high gear! Vendor applications are rolling in at a steady pace with a few new vendors joining us this year. There are already classes in the athletic competition that are full and we also received word that we will have confirmed 15 pipe bands coming! The Highland Dace competition, while not being a championship will be sure to be a busy area as well.

It has been great working the planning meetings and getting so many new faces volunteering to help organize the various areas. A few things will change this year with the Wee Ones area being in the south field to allow for the Learners Arms / Reenactors area and the Clans area to grow and spread out more.
I can’t go without thanking all the volunteers who have stepped up to help!

Special thanks to Michael MClanathan who has jumped into the fray with both feet taking over Piping Chair last year with little to no experience and working hard to triple the number of bands for this year!

We are going to put on a good show and share our passion and heritage with all who come through the gates!!!                 Alba gu bràth

Odds and Sods

Scottish walks, East Lomond and Fife
(from The Scotsman 1/27/2016)

East Lomiond Hill www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/outdoors/scottish-walks-east-lomond-fife-1-401075


Eden Mill GinFife brewer Eden Mill takes aim at US drinks market
(from The Scotsman 1/27/2016)






Aircraft carrier assembled in Fife welcomes first crew/
(from The Scotsman 1/27/2016)

HMS Prince of Wales

Upcoming Events and 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 11 No Gathering at ICC - see Feb 20
February 13 Pam Stewart - Birthday
February 13-14 Queen Mary Games - Long Beach CA
February 17 Games Committee Meeting - ICC - 6 PM
February 18 Jean Latimer - Birthday
February 20 February Gathering - Rosie McCaffrey's - 1 PM to 3 PM
February 29 Greg & Kim Duprest - Anniversary
March 2 Games Meeting - Steele Indian School Park
March 10 March Gathering - ICC - 6:30 PM
March 12 St. Patrick's Day Parade & Irish Festival
March 12-13 Scottish-Irish Fair - Midland TX
March 12 St. Patrick's Day Parade & Irish Festival, Phoenix
March 18 Pipe Jam & Whisky Tasting - Westin Kierland Resort
March 19-20 Arizona Scottish Gathering and Highland Games
  Save the Date

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. Join now and your dues will cover the remainder of 2015 and all of 2016

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

Society Gatherings
Regular membership gatherings 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 & Membership Chair: Ian Warrander
Secretary Vicki Phegley
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

A Word from our Advertisers

Kilt Rental USA

Bagpiper USA
Len Wood

Lois Wallace


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