April 2016

In this Issue:

 April Gathering  Highland Games Comments
 Letter From the Editor  Flowers of the Forest
 Highland Games Recap Reports  Coming Events & Celebrations
 Tartan Day History  Society Officers
 April Historical Events  A Word from our Advertisers

April Gathering

Celebrate Arizona Tartan Day at the State Capitol
Wednesday April 6th - 11 AM to 3 PM

Our April event will be a special gathering at Wesley Bolin Plaza at the Arizona State Capitol located at 205 S 17th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85007, on to celebrate Arizona Tartan Day.  There is ample parking at the site.

Wesley Bolin Plaza map

We invite everyone from the Scottish community in the Valley to attend with us. Let's have a great showing of Scots: pipers, dancers, athletes, clans, British cars, musicians, re-enactors and more.

Wesley Bolin Plaza

This is our April Gathering.

There will be no monthly meeting at the ICC.

Contact committee members for information or to let us know you will attend:


Mike Fox:   Mobile:  480-390-0911, education@arizonascots.com 
Don Finch: Mobile:  480-252-0152, president@arizonascots.com


Letter from the Editor, Don Finch

Dear fellow Caledonians:

As you can see by looking at our main homepage, and by watching CSA posts on Facebook, there’s a lot going on! And in case you think it’s just a bunch of random people running around in kilts…. we’re actually Official!

Governor Ducey continued Governor Brewer’s recognition of our own version of March madness by declaring the third page on the calendar ‘Celtic Month’.

Happy Tartan Day

And State Senate President Biggs just proclaimed April 6th as Tartan Day (see separate article). With very short notice, we’re holding our monthly gathering at Wesley Bolin Park, which is immediately to the east of the capital, adjacent to the parking lot which can be accessed westbound from Adams Street, and eastbound from Jefferson. The cross street is S 17th Avenue.

The 52nd Annual Scottish Gathering & Highland Games were held on the warm and sunny weekend of March 18th and 19th at Steele-Indian School Park in Phoenix. There are many summary reports in this newsletter of the various competitive activities. Here are a few other comments:

  • The Society wishes to thank our wonderful sponsors Glenmorangie, Four Peaks and Kiltlifter, Kilt Rental USA, 3TV, The Westin Kierland, Pepsi, Stewart Travel, Phoenix Pedicab Service, SRP, Harkins Theatres, Creative Communications, azcentral.com and Games Changers plus Southwest Scenic Group.
  • We had 53 unique and different vendors on site this year - many of whom rented larger spaces than in the past. Thanks to our very efficient Vendor Chair Vickie Phegley, the vendors personally visited by your President reported that we’d fulfilled all their requests including a much smoother load-in experience which was the result of time-specific arrival and set-up slots.
  • Some new and improved items: a plethora of volunteers, thanks to Jennifer Green and several of the area chairs who to took ownership of their requirements; a Souvenir Tent staffed by Ginni & Tom Caldwell; many new groups and organizations who mingled with the Clans, thanks to the efforts of Mark Pelletier; a new bar in the athletics area which accounted for 25% of our total beer sales!
  • all the leaders of our fellow societies, Daughters of Scotia, Chief McBain and family, the clans and the massed bands who participated in our glorious Opening Ceremonies
  • special thanks to State Senator Don Shooter and State Representative Kelly Townsend who read Governor Ducey’s Proclamation
  • a ‘proper’ Kirkin O’ the Tartan service on Sunday morning led by Reverend Paul Lewis of Goodyear, with thanks to the AZ Fire Pipe Band and the Scottish American Military Society
  •  the addition of a Pipes & Drums program on Sunday which resulted in a new highlite – the Closing Ceremonies where Games Chairman Paul Bell was honored for his excellent organization and leadership

Don FinchDid I mention ‘warm and sunny’? Well, we’re trying to do something about the ‘warm’ part by rescheduling our 2017 Scottish Gathering & Highland Games to an earlier weekend in March. When it has been approved by the management of Steele-Indian School Park, we’ll make an official announcement.

Take a look at all the dates in the Coming Events section. Hopefully we’ll see you at one or more of them!


Don Finch, Editor

2016 Highland Games Recap Reports by Area

Michelle Crownhart, Chair

Hello from Athletics! We had a wonderful but very hot weekend of competition.

The Friday before the games started, many athletes enjoyed a bit of lighthearted fun at Rosie McCaffery's for a Meet and Greet. The Caledonian Society kicked it off with some appetizers and the shenanigans began in earnest. I believe that this will become a yearly event to begin the weekend!

The competitions over Saturday and Sunday saw 12 classes, 111 athletes (representing 13 states and Canada), and 33 field records fall. We celebrated the birthday of Sarah Stephenson, who turned a young 70 and and John Waugh, also 70, compete and set all new field records in their 70+ class category. 
The pinnacle of the weekend was the crowning of the New Champion. There were 6 competitors from 5 states - shown below, left to right:
Felicia Baker, Candice Price, Juli Peterson, Elissa Hapner, Katie Crowley, and Heather MacDonald. 

Ladies of 2016

Congratulations to Elissa Hapner on becoming the 2016 Women's World Champion! We look forward to her returning next year to defend her title against what will be an outstanding field of throwers from across the country!

Pipe Bands
Michael McClanathan, Chair

We had 7 bands from 3 states,  4 from AZ, 2 from CA & 1 from NV.  Also, 102 solo contests with contestants from AZ, TX, CA, NV and BC.

Grade 4 Band contest winners:

March, Strathspey and Reel         Medley
1st: Phoenix Pipe Band                1st: Phoenix pipe band
2nd: House of Scotland               2nd: House of Scotland
3rd: Tucson and district              3rd: Tucson and district
4th: Glendale pipes and drums      4th: Glendale pipes and drums

Winner of the W.J. McClanathan Memorial Trophy and $1,000.00 prize money for best overall band in grade 4 was: Phoenix Pipe Band.

Grade 5 contest winners:

Quick March Medley                March, Slow March, March
1st: Las Vegas pipe band         1st: Las Vegas pipe band
2nd: Helix Charter School         2nd: Helix Charter School

Winner of best overall trophy and $800.00 prize money in grade 5 was:
Las Vegas Pipe Band.

British Car Show, Sunday March 20th
Shirley Blahak, Chair

We had a slight increase of entries for both the Saturday Display and the Sunday Show. Unfortunately we had an increase in the number of ‘No Shows’ too.

We all enjoyed being able to watch the closing ceremonies in the pipers area. The massed bands playing together was a great improvement over Saturday.

Pressident's Choice Chairman's Choice
President's Choice                       Chairman's Choice

Sunday’s classes were decided by the number of entries:
Two entries made a class with 1st place, Four entries with 1st & 2nd place;
and six entries with 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

The visitors were asked to ‘vote’ for their favorites by making a donation to the Scholarship Fund. The amount raised was down this year.

British Car winners

Mark Pelletier, Chair

Over 300 Clansmen and women represented 49 participants, 37 Clans and 12 Celtic groups with 70 colorful and informative tents.
The Photo Booth - where the public could try on Highland wear - had over 60 visitors for posed or "selfie" photos. Many thanks to Alexandra MacPherson-Munro for hosting the booth. We'll definitelyl expand this popular offering next year.
Clan MacLeanA number of Clans said they had many visitors, new and renewing members.

The Best Clan Tent trophy was awarded to Clan MacLean (who came all the way from Colorado!)

Trish MacLean Fransden and Fred Fransden accept the award

The History of Tartan Day
from Wikipedia

SIr Sean ConneryTartan Day is a celebration of Scottish heritage held on April 6, the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320. An ad hoc event was held in New York City in 1982, but the current format originated in Canada in the mid-1980s. It spread to other communities of the Scottish diaspora in the 1990s.

Sir Sean Connery is pictured at a Tartan Day celebration in Washington DC, with members of the United States Air Force Reserve Pipes and Drums.

In 1982, under the auspices of the New York Caledonian Club, New York State Governor Hugh Carey, and New York City Mayor Ed Koch declared July 1, 1982, as Tartan Day, a one-time celebration of the 200th anniversary of the repeal of the Act of Proscription of August 12, 1747, the law forbidding Scots to wear tartan.

On March 9, 1986, a 'Tartan Day' to promote Scottish heritage in Canada, was proposed at a meeting of the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia. Jean Watson, President of Clan Lamont, petitioned provincial legislatures to recognize April 6 as Tartan Day.The first such proclamation was by Nova Scotia in April 1987; other provinces followed suit until Quebec was the last to fall in line, in December 2003.

In Australia, wearing tartan on July 1 has been encouraged since 1989. The day has been promoted as International Tartan Day in Australia since 1996 and has been formally recognized by many states, but not at national level. The United States Senate recognized April 6 as Tartan Day in 1998.

Canada estimates 15.1% or 4.7 million Canadians claim Scottish descent. As stated above, Tartan Day in Canada originated with a proposal from the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia and has since been proclaimed by all the provincial legislatures.

An annual 'Gathering of the Clans' takes place each April 6 or on the Sunday nearest to it on Parliament Hill in Ottawa at noon with pipes, drums, and dancing hosted by the Sons of Scotland Pipe Band, Canada's oldest civilian pipe band.] The 2011 celebrations marked the first time that Tartan Day has been celebrated with Canada's official tartan having been named: The Maple Leaf

United States
In the United States it is estimated that there are 6 million people who claim Scottish descent. Little was done to follow up the New York event in 1982. In 1998, a Coalition of Scottish Americans with the Support of Senator Trent Lott, successfully lobbied the Senate for the designation of April 6 as National Tartan Day "to recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions made by Scottish Americans to the United States". Senate Resolution 155, passed on March 20, 1998, referred to the predominance of Scots among the Founding Fathers and claimed that the American Declaration of Independence was "modeled on" the Declaration of Arbroath.

While this link is plausible, it has not been definitively proven.There is a great bit of proof given in the book entitled "Scottish Invention of America, Democracy and Human Rights" and to some degree in the book entitled " How the Scots Invented the Modern World". Thomas Jefferson's education was heavily influenced by Scottish thought.

In 2004, the National Capital Tartan Day Committee, a coalition of Scottish-American organizations, successfully lobbied the US House of Representatives. On March 9, 2005, the United States House of Representatives unanimously adopted House Resolution 41, which designates April 6 of each year as "National Tartan Day.” Four years later, a joint effort by the National Capital Tartan Day Committee and the American-Scottish Foundation promoted a campaign for a Presidential Proclamation, which resulted in thousands of letters and petition signers to the President of the United States. On April 4, 2008, President George W. Bush signed a Presidential Proclamation making April 6 National Tartan Day.

Tartan Day Parade New York

The Tunes of Glory Parade in 2002 saw 8,250 pipers and drummers march through the streets of New York led by Sir Sean Connery and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. They were the centerpiece of the event where thousands of Americans celebrated their links to Scotland. One of Scotland's national treasures, William Wallace's sword, left Scotland for the first time in 700 years and was flown to New York for the Tartan Week celebrations of 2005.

Angus Council, whose region includes Arbroath, established the first Tartan Day festival in Scotland on April 6, 2004, and has since joined other regional councils in attempting to develop its potential as a global celebration. In 2006 events were held in Arbroath, Aberdeen, Montrose, Kilmarnock, Stirling, Perth, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Hadrian's Wall
by Jo Ramsdell

Aelius Hadrianus Augustus (76 AD - 138 AD) was the emperor of the Roman Empire from AD 117 to 138.  Hadrian is known for building Hadrian’s Wall which marked the northern limit of Britannia.  He also built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus.  He is considered to have been a humanist and is regarded as one of the Five Good Emperors. 

During his reign, Hadrian travelled to nearly every province of the Empire.  He usually wore military attire and even dined and slept amongst the soldiers.

Hadrian’s Wall, also called the Roman Wall or Pict’s Wall was built as a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, begun in 122AD, it ran across Britain from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea west to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea.  There was a fort about every five Roman miles.  A Roman mile was a measure of 1,000 paces of 5 feet each.  Thus the Roman mile has 1618 yards, being 142 yards shorter than the English mile.  The Wall was 80 Roman miles (about 73 miles) long.  Its width and height varied from 3 metres (9.8 feet) to 6 metres (20 feet) wide and 3.5 meters (11feet) to 5-6 metres (16-20feet) high.  Originally it was made of turf but was later rebuilt in stone.

Hadrian's Wall mapIt is a common misconception that Hadrian’s Wall marks the boundry between England and Scotland.  In fact the Wall lies entirely within England while it is less than 1 kilometre (0.6 mi.) south of the border with Scotland in the west at Bowness-on-Solway and as much as 110 kilometres (68 mi.) in the east.

Hadrian’s Wall was probably planned before the Emperor Hadrian’s visit to Britain in AD122.  It was Hadrian’s wish to keep “intact the empire” which had been imposed on him via “divine instruction.”  On his arrival in Britain, one of the stops on his itinerary was the northern frontier to inspect the progress of the building of the wall.

Theories of the reasons for the construction of an 80 mile wall to separate the Romans from the “barbarians” are varied.  Hadrian has been experiencing rebellion in Roman Britain and from peoples of various conquered lands across the Empire.  These troubles may have influenced his plan to construct the wall as well as his construction of limits in other areas of the Empire.

Construction, started in AD122 was largely completed in six years.  Construction began in the east and proceeded westward, with soldiers from all three of the occupying Roman legions participating.  The initial plan called for a ditch and wall with 80 small “fortlets” (one each Roman mile) holding a few dozen troops each.  Within a few years it was decided to add a number of full-sized forts each holding between 500 to 1,000 auxiliary troops.

Hadrian's Wall

In the years after Hadrian’s death in 138, the new emperor Antoninus, essentially abandoned the wall, leaving it occupied in a support role, and began building a new wall about 160 kilometres (100 miles) north, in what later became known as the Scottish Lowlands.

       Photo & map from Wikipedia - - Next month—The Antonine Wall 

Highland Games Comments from Attendees

From Past President Mark Clark

  • “Don, I just wanted to comment that it was a great weekend and everyone looked so relaxed. Hope you did well on the income side. Excellent job and please pass on my comments to all.” 

Comments from people who paid using Square

“It was a great event, as always! :)”

“We enjoyed the day on Saturday but the event could have been much better with a better sound system, spectator programs so you knew what events were going on, and a map of where each clan was located. The actual events seemed very disorganized from a spectators’ point of view. The shuttle to and from the event was great.”      

“The park was nice with trees - shade and water. Enjoyed the arrangement of the games in the center, the bands, vendors. lovely day. Thanks!”

“Thanks for a great highland games!!”

“Awesome event! High quality vendors, cool sports, fun music and displays. Want to go both days next year” 

“The games and the music--all fantastic! Can't wait for next year!”

“One out of seven ain’t bad”  Meatloaf

Flowers of the Forest

"Sandy" SandersonRedford “Sandy” Sanderson, a long time member of the Caledonian Society died on March 19, 2016. 

We extend our deepest sympathy to his family and many friends.  Sandy was extremely proud of his Scottish heritage and gave much to our Society in years past.

Read the obituary at Legacy.com

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.

April 3 Arizona, Ireland & UK - OrigNation, Scottsdale - Noon-4 PM
April 3 Kirkin O' the Tartan - Corona Del Sol Church, Tempe, 9 AM
April 6 Tartan Day Celebration at the State Capitol
April 9 Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band Concert - St. Mark's, Mesa, 2 PM
April 16-17 Las Vegas Highland Games, Floyd Lamb Park
April 24 Our Highland Games Volunteer Appreciation Picnic

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 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


[an error occurred while processing this directive]