June 2016

In this Issue:

 June Gathering Announcement  In Grandma Jennie's Pantry
 Letter From the Editor  Coming Events & Celebrations
 Our 2016-2018 Board of Directors  Society Officers
 50th Anniversary Malts  Flowers of the Forest
 June Historical Article  A Word from our Advertisers

June 2016 Gathering

Learn about Their History, Heritage
and Upcoming Events

Daughters of Scotia


Observe the Order of the Quaich Swearing-In ceremony

And musical guests




June 9 at the Irish Cultural Center, 1106 N. Central, Phoenix

6:30 pm ------------------ Social half hour
7:00 pm ------------- Daughters of Scotia
7:45 pm -------- Swearing-In Ceremony
8:00 pm ------------------ SLIGO performs
8:30 pm --------------------- 50/50 drawing

Members --------------------------- Always Free
Non-members -- $5.00 donation requested

Letter from the Editor, Don Finch

Dear fellow Caledonians:

It’s June, the month that contains the first day of Summer. Officially the longest day of the year comes on June 20th, which at 3:34 pm in Phoenix, marks the Summer Solstice. This day is 4 hours and 26 minutes longer than on the Winter Solstice in December.

June is festival month and there are five regional Highland Games within a day’s drive:
-- June 4 Modesto Highland Games                              (Modesto, CA)
-- June 10-11 Utah Scottish Festival & Highland Games   (Levi UT)
-- June 17-19 Pikes Peak Celtic Festival                       (Colorado Springs CO)
-- June 18-19 Mother Lode Highland Games                   (Plymouth CA)
-- June 25-26 San Diego Highland Games                      (Vista CA)

Going to Scotland this month? There are two major events you should look into – first, the Edinburgh Film Festival which runs from June 15th through the 26th. The closing film is a new adaptation by Gillies MacKinnon of Compton McKenzie’s wonderful novel Whisky Galore! “The film details the inhabitants of an isolated Scottish island in the Outer Hebrides where gloom sets in as their war-time rationing of whisky runs out. When the cargo ship SS Cabinet Minister runs aground the shrewd islanders run rings around the buffoonish English Home Guard commander Captain Waggett (beautifully played by Eddie Izzard) and conspire to hide away cases of the precious amber nectar” [Review by Mark Adams]. If you can’t wait for the film to find U.S. distribution, the book is still in print and available on Amazon.

Also in Edinburgh is the 176th Royal Highland Show, which is billed as a Scottish-flavored country fair. It is one of the UK's premier agricultural shows and takes place 23-26 June 2016.  Visitors come from the rest of the UK and Ireland, and further afield. It exemplifies the very best of food, farming and rural life, attracting top quality pedigree livestock and horses from across the UK.

Don FinchCloser to home, circle Thursday June 9th on your calendar. Our June Gathering at the ICC will feature a presentation by the Daughters of Scotia who will tell us more about their history, heritage and, will be serving tea and goodies for all comers. Your new Board of Directors will be sworn in, and we’ll be entertained by local musicians Mary Reace and Robin Lowe, of Sligo.


Don Finch, Editor

2016-2018 Board of Directors

The bi-annual election to choose a new Board of Directors was conducted during April through the May 12th Gathering. The results are as follows:

Motion to rename two Board positions and create a new one was Approved

PresidentDon Finch
Past PresidentJean Latimer
Vice President, Administration Mark Pelletier
Vice President, Highland Games Paul Bell
Vice President, Membership David McBee
TreasurerVictoria Phegley
SecretaryMichael Fox
TrusteeThom Von Hapsburg
TrusteeIan Warrander
TrusteeDan Miller

The new Board will be sworn in during the Official Order of the Quaich Ceremony at the June Gathering, Thursday June 9 at the Irish Cultural Center. Their two-year term officially begins on July 1st, 2016. A group photo will be taken at that time.

Welcome to new Board Members Mike Fox and Dan Miller, and thanks to Michelle Crownhart for her service over the past 3 years. We are delighted that Michelle is continuing in her role as Athletic Director.  

50th Anniversary Malts

Congratulations to these two great distilleries on their 50th Anniversaries

Deanston Distillery, Doune, Sterling, Perthshire

Deanston Distillery“Deanston Distillery has been producing handcrafted, natural color Highland single malt whisky on the banks of the River Teith since 1966.

Rooted in heritage and its community values, Deanston continues to create single malts using only traditional methods.



DeanstonThis year marks the distilleryís 50th anniversary; half a century on, each bottle is still produced with the utmost care and dedication, without the aid of modern technology.

An important milestone in our history, it reinforces our commitment to continue to devote time, energy, and enthusiasm over the next 50 years to create the creamy, sweet, honey blossom taste that is unmistakably Deanston.” 

Andrew Anderson, Deanston Distillery Manager

Courtesy: Whisky Advocate, Summer 2016




Tamnavulin Distillery, Tomnavoulin, Speyside

Tamnavulin Distillery“Throughout my whisky life, I have always been a great admirer of the Speyside malts, especially the Tamnavulin distillery which went into production exactly the same year as I vowed to dedicate my life to the Scotch whisky industry.





Tamnavulin truly radiates with elegance, finesse, and unsurpassed refinement reflecting the very warmth and beauty of this revered region. As I look back over 50 years, I would like to think we have both matured in a dignified manner.”

Richard Paterson, Master Blender, Whyte & Mackay

Courtesy: Whisky Advocate, Summer 2016

Dumbarton Rock and Dumbarton Castle
by Jo Ramsdell

Dumbarton Rock is an amazing basalt crag at Dumbarton near Glasgow.  The rock’s twin peaks rise 240 feet above the River Clyde.

Dumbarton (Dun Breatann in Scottish Gaelic) means “fort of the Britons” and is now a town and burgh in the area of West Dumbartonshire.  The town lies on the north bank of the River Clyde where the River Levan flows into the Clyde Estuary.

Dumbarton Castle and rock From Wikipedia; Photographer: Alan Hughes

Dumbarton history goes back at least as far as the Iron Age and probably much earlier.  It was the site of an important Roman settlement known as Alcluith and functioned as the Capital of the ancient Kingdom of Alclud. 

Later the fortress was the stronghold and center of British power in northern Britain for more than two centuries from the mid-seventh century until the Vikings destroyed the fortress in 870.  The loss of the British power-base led to the emergence of the new kingdom of Strathclyde or Cumbria.  The Kingdom of Strathclyde remained a separate force in Scottish history until 1018 when King Malcolm II incorporated it following his defeat of the Northumbrians at the Battle of Carham.  By 1222 there was reference to a “new castle” built at Dumbarton. 

Very little is known about the way Dumbarton Castle evolved over the period between 1200 and 1600.  Only two of the surviving structures date back to this period.  The castle was a royal fortress long before Dumbarton became a Royal Burgh, its ownership went from Scottish to English and back again. 

Dumbarton Castle has an illustrious history and many well-known figures from Scottish and British history have visited it.   Scottish King David II sought refuge at the castle in 1333 before he sailed to France after the Scots lost the Battle of Haildon Hill.  The castle was used to imprison William Wallace for a short time after his capture by the English.  It was from the castle that Mary, Queen of Scots, as a child, was conveyed to France for her safety. 

Old Dumbarton Castle
This image from "Makers of History, Mary Queen of Scots" by Jacob Abbott, copyright 1876 is perhaps a view of the early castle.

In the 1600s the castle suffered a period of decline and disrepair.  It was considered incapable of being defended by the time of Cromwell’s arrival in 1652 and surrendered without a fight.  Over the period from 1670 to 1790 most of the earlier buildings were swept away and replaced with what can be seen today.  These were designed first to enable Dumbarton to provide a secure base for Government Troops during the Jacobite uprisings of 1689, 1715 and 1745.  Later the primary concerns were to defend the River Clyde against French naval attack and to house French prisoners.

The military left Dumbarton Castle in 1865, which had already started to become a tourist attraction.  The army took over again in 1914 and in 1939 and the castle saw its last action in May 1941 when a German aircraft dropped four bombs on Dumbarton Rock during a raid on the Clyde.  Today it is in the care of Historic Scotland.

In Grandma Jennie's Pantry

Robertson's marmaladeRobertsonís was established in 1864 when Mrs. Robertson started making marmalade in the family grocery shop in Paisley, Scotland.

The result was clear and tangy Golden Shred marmalade which over the years has become the bestselling marmalade within UK and has been joined by other great tasting marmalades including Golden Shredless, Silver Shred, and more recently we have added a Ginger Shred to the range.

Their marmalade is extremely proud to have been awarded a Royal Warrant, initially by King George V in 1933, and subsequently by both King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.



Robertson's marmalade

Robertsonís has a long been associated with Paddington Bear, who features on the labels across the entire range, and it is hoped that many more generations of consumers will follow the lead of this very famous marmalade lover who particularly really enjoys the delicious taste of our Golden Shred marmalade sandwiches.

The company is most well-known for its Marmalades, but has also been making Mincemeat since 1891, perfect for all your Christmas baking, especially delicious mince pies.

Courtesy: www.robertsons.co.uk

Highland Games - Arizona and Bordering States
Compiled by Clan Campbell Society NA

June 4 Modesto Highland Games   (Modesto, CA)
June 10-11 Utah Scottish Festival & Highland Game   (Levi UT)
June 17-19 Pikes Peak Celtic Festival   (Colorado Springs CO)
June 18-19 Mother Lode Highland Games   (Plymouth CA)
June 25-26 San Diego Highland Games   (Vista CA)
July 8-9 Payson Scottish Festival   (Payson UT)
July 16-17 Arizona Highland Celtic Festival   (Flagstaff AZ)
July 16-17 Elizabeth Celtic Festival   (Elizabeth CO)

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.

June 9 CSA June Gathering - ICC- 6:30 PM
July 8-15 Jim Thomson School of Piping & Drumming, Flagstaff
July 16-17 Flagstaff Highland Games

Flowers of the Forest

Our condolences go to Alan Ramsdell who recently lost two siblings. His sister, O. Helena "Ollie" Sweeney passed in Newburyport MA at age 91; and his brother, Reverend Earle R. Ramsdell died in Baton Rogue LA just a month before his 95th birthday.

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


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