June 2018         Title    Newsletter Archives

In this Issue:

 June Gathering - Pub Crawl  Scottish Royal Titles
 Letter From the Editor  Meet Our Member's Cars
 Meet the New Newsletter Editor  Society Officers
 Letter from the President  Coming Events - Valley & Nearby
 Scotland's Hidden Gems  Phoenix Pipe Band 1966
 Research Your Scottish Ancestry  A Word from our Advertisers

June 2018 Gathering
Pub Crawl 2018

RSVP:   thewarranders@hotmail.com or 602-391-0223 (text or voice)

(No meeting at the ICC in June)

Letter from the Editor
Don Finch

Dear fellow Caledonians:

Iain Lundy has graciously agreed to take on the position of Editor, beginning in July. You’ll get a chance to get to know more about him in this issue.

Four YearsI hope you’ve enjoyed the content of The Desert Highlander over the past 4 years as we’ve tried to provide a relevant and entertaining platform that goes a bit deeper into the life of the Society than what is highlighted on Facebook.

It’s been both ‘a walk on the red carpet’ – getting to know more about our Members, and leaders of other Scottish and Celtic organizations; and, a ‘walk down memory lane’ - discovering the history of the Society, past members’ favorite recipes, and memories of my Scottish grandma Jenny Duncan, and my dad’s kilted regiment, the SD&G Highlanders which introduced me to pipe bands and Robbie Burns Suppers.

Proudest accomplishment? There are two: introducing lots of photos, and convincing Robert Wilbanks IV, one of the preeminent genealogists in the country, to write a monthly column which he’s titled ‘Research Your Scottish Ancestry’.

The words and pictures appear because of the digital publishing technology skills of our Publisher, Mark Pelletier. Thank you, Mark, for your continuing service to the Society.

Finally, thanks to our advertisers and especially you, our readers for your ideas and contributions. Hope you enjoy this issue, and along with me, look forward to future editions of The Desert Highlander under Iain Lundy’s direction.


Meet Our New Newsletter Editor
Iain Lundy

Hi there. It’s a great honor (or honour as we spell it in the Old Country) to have been asked to edit the Society newsletter. Thanks to Don’s efforts as editor and Mark’s publishing skills, I’m inheriting a very professional and easy-to-read online publication. Hopefully I can carry on the good work.

Iain Lundy As it should be, the newsletter is packed with information about past and upcoming events that affect the Society, such as the Scottish Games, and the monthly meetings. It carries articles about Scottish history, culture, and tradition, a monthly feature on genealogy and the easiest ways of tracing Scottish ancestors...and much more.

First and foremost, the newsletter should be there for the benefit of the Society members, telling your stories and providing you with information, enjoyment, and good, fun, sometimes quirky stories. That means successes on the sports field, the musical front, or any other activity in which members participate. And if anyone takes a trip to Scotland to research their past, the newsletter wants to know how you got on.

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Scots in Arizona, so there should be no shortage of newsletter material. I hope you enjoy the regular features, and if you come across anything you think is worthy of an article – even a snippet – please contact me on
editor@arizonascots.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Letter from the President
Don Finch

It’s been an honor to serve as your President for the past 3 years which includes the final year of Mark Clark’s term following his job relocation to Texas. He provided a sound base on which we’ve continued to build.

Don Finch One of my favorite ad slogans is the watch company’s ‘You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.' That’s the guiding principle I’ve followed in my role of insuring that the Caledonian Society of Arizona will endure for years to come.

In management I discovered that all the strategic planning and ‘what if’ scenarios are really predicated on luck, bad and good. And in this job, I’ve had the good luck of being surrounded by a great Board of Directors. Supportive and strong - that’s their advertising tagline!

Together with the Board we worked through the loss of a major sponsor of the Games and the subsequent search and appointment of a new Event Director.

And we came out on the other side of that with increased attendance and a more robust bottom line for the 2018 Phoenix Scottish Games. Congratulations to our Games Chieftain, Paul Bell, for his hard work and great leadership.

Maintaining participation in social & cultural groups such as the CSA is a challenge as demographics and ‘the ways we connect’ continue to change. My approach has been to partner with other Scottish and Celtic organizations in the Valley to reduce competition and increase cooperation.

One more ‘shout out’; thank you Jean Latimer for being such a great listener and an even better advice-giver. I really appreciate your wisdom.

2019 is the 55th anniversary of the state of Arizona’s first highland games, now called the Phoenix Scottish Games. Congratulations to our past and present members for nurturing this valuable asset for the past five and a half decades.

And now best wishes to incoming President David McBee and his new Board for continuing success during their term. Look after that watch! Slainte, Don

Scotland's Hidden Gems - Darwin and the Parallel roads of Glen Roy
by Iain Lundy

What’s the connection between Scotland and the world-renowned geologist and naturalist Charles Darwin, famed for his book Origin of the Species, and regarded as one of the most influential scientific minds in history?

The answer lies in a remote glen in the west Highlands, where visitors can gaze at an awe-inspiring geological wonder, the Parallel Roads of Glen Roy. Darwin himself came to study the formation in 1838 and wrote a lengthy but controversial paper on what he saw.

Glen Roy Parallel Roads

The Parallel Roads were formed during the last Ice Age, tens of thousands of years ago. If you stand at a viewpoint overlooking Glen Roy, you can see long roads or terraces along the hills. An ice-damned loch once existed in the glen, and when the ice melted – or deglaciated – the ‘roads’ formed on the hillsides.

As the Ice Age ended and the level of the ice in Glen Roy decreased, it formed three distinct ‘parallel roads’ on the hillsides on either side of the glen. From the viewpoint overlooking the area, they appear like man-made roads built into the hills, or like tide marks on a bath. Geologists and other scientists come from all over the world to study the phenomenon – and perhaps to drink in the awesome west Highland scenery.

Of course you don’t have to be a science buff to appreciate the uniqueness of Glen Roy. It was designated a National Nature Reserve to protect the glen, the ‘roads’ and the stunning view from a planned afforestation project in the late 60s/early 70s.

Darwin visited the place in 1838 and published his findings the following year. In a letter to one of his contemporaries, Darwin wrote, “It is by far the most remarkable area I have ever examined…I can assure you Glen Roy has astonished me.”

He later admitted that the theory he had put forward was a ‘gigantic blunder’. Darwin initially disagreed with the glacial theory, suggesting that the ‘roads’ were raised beaches of marine origin. He defended his paper for several decades but eventually admitted it was wrong.Never mind, the local people seem to have forgiven him. The shop in the nearby village of Roy Bridge is nowadays known as Darwin’s Rest Cafe and Craft Shop. Highlanders will cash in on anything.

The problem for visitors to the area is that the three mile journey from Roy Bridge to the viewpoint car park is by single track road with a lot of twists and turns. A coach will never make it. A small minibus or a car are the only possibilities.

Roy Bridge is 12 miles north-east of Fort William, on the road to Kingussie. It is a charming part of the world and has for centuries been dominated by the Macdonald, Cameron and Mackintosh clans. Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain, is visible from all directions, and the drive up to the Glen Roy viewpoint takes you past working farms and crofts, dilapidated old ‘fixer-uppers’, and evokes what you might call a true Highland way of life.

Even if geology is not your thing, there is something quite special about looking out over the Parallel Roads and wondering at nature’s power.

Research Your Scottish Ancestry

Robert WilbanksGenealogy Software

by Robert M. Wilbanks IV, B.A.
Chief Genealogist & Historian, C.S.A.

I recently hinted at the idea of producing a ‘finalized’ family history story resulting from the extensive time and research you will have put into searching your genealogy. I’m not asking you to become a world renowned or Pulitzer Prize winning author, and you don’t even have to have professional writing skills and abilities. However, in a sense, you are the ‘world renown’ researcher of your family’s history. So, you need to get it out there for all the family to enjoy, creating a presentable story of the exploits, endurances, and experiences of the family that came before.

It should not be too hard

This isn’t necessarily the daunting task that you may be dreading. The genealogy secret to writing a reasonable family history can be summed up in one word . . . Software . . . Genealogy or Family Tree Software to be specific. There are a number of genealogy programs out there, and these programs, such as RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree Maker, and more, have the ability to generate narrative reports (in addition to your basic pedigree charts), with decent sentence structure, citations and footnoting, even creating indexes of names and places. They can also create entire books, and even websites. You can usually have the option to save it as PDF file as a completed document, or you can save it as an RTF (Rich Text File) which will allow you to open it in your favorite word processing software and tweak it, insert photos and documents, change formatting, etc.

So, not only do you not have to fear writing your ancestor’s story and family history, but there are great tools out there that can make it easy and fun. These are also a great tool for organizing and keeping track of your research, and the family and history.

What software we are talking about

Just to clarify, I am not talking about subscription systems online that allow you to build your genealogy, such as Ancestry.com, Findmypast.com, MyHeritage.com, etc. While these are great systems and tools for your research, they can be very limiting in being able to control the information, adding information not found on their sites, writing more stories and history, and some don’t give you the ability to print or save as a PDF or some other format onto your computer outside the online subscription service.

Genealogy or family tree software are independent programs, similar to any other program or app that you would load onto your computer, laptop, notebook, etc., usually for a one-time fee with occasional free upgrades and updated versions every few years. Some of these programs are fairly easy to use, somewhat intuitive, yet can be complex. They are powerful in their record keeping, document and photo storage, citation generating, and many other features. Some now have the ability to interact with your online genealogy subscription accounts, including transferring information back and forth.

What software is right?

There are many programs out there, so the question is “Which one is right for you?” It can vary depending upon your computer skills, your genealogy research skills, if you wish to publish a book, or create a website from your data, etc., oh and if you are a Mac user. I recommend you do an internet search using keywords “top OR best genealogy software” for listings of different programs out there, including sites that compare or review software. TopTenReviews at http://toptenreviews.com annually does comparison reviews, and I found a Wikipedia page titled “Comparison of genealogy software”. And of course, you can also review software individually by name. Also, don’t forget, there are plenty of YouTube videos that review genealogy software, and also are instructional. This way you can see how it works and what you like.

I personally use RootsMagic at http://rootsmagic.com. Other programs include: Legacy Family Tree at https://legacyfamilytree.com; Reunion for MacIntosh at http://www.leisterpro.com; Ancestral Quest at http://www.ancquest.com; and many, many more. There are some free ones out there, and some of the ones above offer a free version to test and learn. It is a personal choice, so you will have to research and learn on your own as to which genealogy program is right for you.

This is another of a series of articles in which I show you the basics of searching for your family history, discussing the use of family records, public records, and online resources nationally and internationally, etc. The previous articles are now available on the Genealogy Section of this website.   See “Genealogy” in the menu options at the top of the web page.

Scottish Royal Titles
by Iain Lundy

With one stroke of the royal quill pen, the ancient Scottish town of Dumbarton has been propelled on to the ‘must visit’ tourist map, especially for visitors from the US. In case you missed it, a Los Angeles-born actress and her new husband last month became Earl and Countess of Dumbarton.

Meghan Markle is not the first American to hold a royal title of course, but unlike the old Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, Brits seem to have taken her to their hearts.

The announcement was obviously a massive boost to the town. It already has a royal pedigree, having been the seat of the Kingdom of Strathclyde in the 800s. The town is dominated bythe volcanic plug Dumbarton Rock, and was a major center of whisky production and shipbuilding – the world famous Cutty Sark clipper was built there, as was the Delta Queen, until a few years ago a floating hotel on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga.

Dumbartion Rock

Not everyone realizes that all senior members of the royal family also have a “Scottish title” which they use when they are north of the Border. Scotland has a separate system of nobility from England and the titles reflect that. Prince Philip is well-known as the Duke of Edinburgh, but the others are a little more obscure.

Charles and Camilla are Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, an historic title dating back to the 1600s. Rothesay is a slightly faded 1950s holiday resort on the Firth of Clyde, just downriver from Dumbarton.

When William and Kate were married, they were given the Scottish titles of Earl and Countess of Strathearn, an area in Perthshire with centuries of royal connections.

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is also Earl of Inverness, the Highland capital. His sister Princess Anne, a fervent follower of the Scotland rugby team, has the title Princess Royal of Edinburgh. And their youngest brother Prince Edward, the current Earl of Wessex, will succeed to the title of Duke of Edinburgh on the death of his father.

There are plenty of royal residences in Scotland – Balmoral, Holyrood, Castle of Mey – and shopkeepers in the Deeside town of Ballater hold a number of Royal Warrants for supplying the family over the years. So if you fancy royal-hopping around Scotland, there are a few pointers.

Meet Our Member's Cars
Shirley Blahak

My family owns 22 Minis and MINIs. This one that began this sickness is my Morris Traveler, Flossie. Yes, they all have names!

Shirley's Morris Traveler

I have owned her since new in 1963. In 2002 a MINI dealer researched owners and informed me that she is the oldest Mini continuously owned by the same person here in the U.S.

Caledonian Society Officers      Outgoing           Incoming
President: Don Finch
David McBee
Immediate Past President: Mark Clark
Don Finch
Past President: (2010 – 2012) Jean Latimer
Vice President Administration: Mark Pelletier
Mark Pelletier
Vice President Games: Paul Bell
Paul Bell
Vice President Membership : David McBee
Thom von Hapsburg
Secretary Ginni Caldwell
Linda Curie cGuire
Treasurer: Vicki Phegley
Vicki Phegley
Trustee 1: Ian Warrander
Ginni Caldwell
Trustee 2: Thom von Hapsburg
Robert Wilbanks
Trustee 3: Dan Miller
Kevin Conquest
Newsletter Editor:

Don Finch

Iain Lundy
Statutory Agent: Dan Miller
Mark Pelletier
Chief Genealogist & Historian: Robert Wilbanks
Robert Wilbanks

COMING EVENTS and Highland Games in Arizona and Nearby
Games Calendar compiled by Clan Campbell Society NA

June 9 (Saturday) Pub Crawl - see above
June 9-10 Mother Lode Highland Games
Plymouth CA
June 15-17 Pikes Peak Celtic Festival
Colorado Springs CO
June 23-26 San Diego Highland Games
Vista CA
June 23-26 San Diego Highland Games
Vista CA
July 12 Genealogy Workshop at the ICC

A Place in Time
by James G. Grant

The old picture is a photo of the Phoenix Scottish Pipe Band, circa June 1966. This is the first pipe band from the Phoenix Metro area to ever compete at a Highland Games.

Phioenix Pipe Band 1966

Rear left: Pipe Major Tim Smith; Pipe Sgt. Bob McCann; Lead Dr. Bob Matlock; Tenor Dr. Bill Leonard; Bass Dr. James Grant; Piper Chris Hossack; Piper/Drummer Ian McRae; Piper Len Wood
Front, kneeling: Drummer Danny Strouff; Drummer/Dancer Duncan Hossack
Not Present: Drum Major Joe Leonard; Piper Ernie Nelson

At that time, the gathering that we now know as the Costa Mesa games was being held at the Santa Monica City College. I had been attending the games since 1962 and had been pushing the band to compete since I joined in 1964.

We entered grade 3, which at the time was the beginning grade. Currently grade 3 is in the middle of the pack and is a very competitive grade. Our competition set was an MSR, March, Strathspey and Reel. Our tunes were ‘Major Norman Orr Ewing’; ‘The Orange and the Blue’, and ‘The Kilt is My Delight’. As fate would have it, we won!!

Second place was taken by a Boy Scout band from the San Francisco area. That band is known today as the Prince Charles Pipe Band. We had won by 1/2 point!

Our band had also earned the sobriquet " The Desert Rats" and proudly used that name for many years, even wearing white pith helmets when we were on parade. Many of these fellows have gone to their rewards, but there is about 1/2 still kicking about. Recognize anybody??

Membership Reminder

Membership dues for 2018 are:
- - $25.00 single and $40.00 Family (at the same address)

It's easy - just jump to the Membership Page for the form.
And you can pay by Credit Card at our On-Line Store descibed at the left.

Society Gatherings
Regular membership gatherings are usually held the second Thursday of each month, many at the Irish Cultural Center, 1106 N. Central Ave., Phoenix - others around the Valley - usually beginning at 6:30 pm. Please check our website for further details.

A Word from our Advertisers

Kilt Rental USA

Len Wood
Bagpiper USB

Lois Wallace


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