January 2019         Title    Past Issues

In this Issue:

  January - Burns Supper   An Arctic Tale
  President's Letter   Christmas at the Castle
  Mary Queen of Scots Movie   Thanks from Len Wood
  2019 Phoenix Scottish Games   Odds and Sods
  Scotland's Hidden Gems   Coming Events - Valley & Nearby
  Research Your Scottish Ancestry   A Word from our Advertisers  

January - Burns Supper

Fair fa' your honest sonsie face,
Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe or thairm.

Yes, it’s that time of year again when we gather to celebrate the life and work of Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns. Society members will be gathering with the Daughters of Scotia, Lady Claire Lodge, at the American Legion Mathew B Juan Post 35, 2240 West Chandler Boulevard on 26 January.

Burns Supper 2019 Tickets are selling well for the event, always a fun evening with traditional Burns food (haggis, neeps and tatties) and drink (Scotch whisky) and plenty of speechifying and dancing.

Get there at 5.30pm so festivities can begin at 6.

To volunteer or to donate a raffle prize, email Linda Currie McGuire.

Click Here to Purchase Tickets On-Line

Fuil Celtic is also holding its annual Burns Supper at The Dubliner Irish Pub on Thunderbird Road on Saturday 19 January.

Letter from the President
David McBee

David McBeeWelcome to the New Year. I hope this coming year will treat you well, find you healthy and happy.  Now to shed those holiday pounds……

Christmas at the Castle was a lot of fun. The tree we presented with Daughters of Scotia took third prize and Nessie was a lighted hit as well. 

She seems to be very photogenic. The music was good, there were lots of smiles and I think the children decorated a record number of cookies. Nessie hung around for the Winter Solstice event.  I had to drag her out of there after that.  She’s such a party animal.

It is also that time of year to renew your membership in the Society.  We look forward to seeing you at the events and hope you can get involved and enjoy the society.

The final preparations for the annual Burns Dinner are about done.  Please mark your calendars for the evening of January 26th and get your tickets early as we expect a sellout.  This will be our big social event for the month and will take the place of the regular meeting.  There will be music, food, whisky, toasting and boasting, what could be better?

We are only 2 months away from our 55th Games event this March 2nd and 3rd.  Please volunteer where you can and be a part of this momentous occasion.

On an operational note, I am putting together the annual Audit Committee and would like to hear from those interested in reviewing the books and getting the finer details of the bookkeeping in order.  Please contact me if you can help.

A toast to the new year and each and every one of you,

Slainte. DAVID

Back to top button

Mary Queen of Scots Movie

If there were an Oscar for scenic beauty, then the new film Mary Queen of Scots would walk away with it. The beauties of Glencoe and other areas of the hills and glens of Scotland were arguably the highlight of the movie, and there was much nostalgic sighing among the Caledonian Society members who attended a special advance screening at Harkins Theatre in Scottsdale courtesy of film distribution company Focus Features.

Mary Queen of Scots

The acting talents of Saoirse Ronan (Mary) and Margot Robbie (Queen Elizabeth 1) undoubtedly carried a decent, if rather unbalanced, historical storyline. Of course, this is Hollywood and there were inaccuracies. Mary Stuart, despite being Queen of Scots, was brought up in France and spoke with a French accent, not the broad Scottish brogue adopted by Ms Ronan. The two women never met and the scene where they are shown together after fighting their way through curtains in a ramshackle country cottage was convoluted and needless.

It has long been a bugbear of Scottish film-goers that Scottish movie roles, from Cyd Charisse in Brigadoon to Mel Gibson in Braveheart, have gone to non-Scots. In the case of Mary Queen of Scots, the part of Mary might have been more realistically played by a French actress. Ronan is Irish-American and born in New York City.

Mary had quite a complicated and incident-filled life and there was a lot to fit in, but it all seemed a bit jumpy. And then suddenly, it came to an end. Elizabeth aged 20 years in minutes, Mary hardly aged at all, then her head came off.

But it was worth seeing, not only for the shots of the Scottish countryside, but for the very impressive period costumes.

Our 2019 Phoenix Scottish Games

The biggest date in the Society calendar, the annual Scottish Games, is now only two months away, and organizers are finalizing plans for what promises to be another highly successful event. This year’s celebration of all things Scottish at Steele Indian School Park is the 55th anniversary games and takes on extra special significance for the Society.

Games Committee Chairman Paul Bell is holding a planning meeting on Thursday 24 January at Rosie McCaffrey's Irish Pub, 906 E. Camelback in Phoenix. at 6.30pm. Everyone with an interest in contributing to the event in any way is welcome to come along.

55th Anniversary pinSpecial pin badges to mark the event have been struck and can be bought from Paul at $5 each.

The pins depict a phoenix and an Arizona state flag on a blue and white Scottish saltire.

Around the edge of the design is a belt with a buckle at the bottom and the inscription ’55 years’ at the top.


Scotland's Hidden Gems - Kirriemuir, where Peter Pan was born
Iain Lundy

He was the boy who never grew up, so it’s fitting that his memory lives on forever in the small Scottish town that inspired his creation.

Kirriemuir is an ancient market town located in the Angus Glens. It was there, in 1860, that the playwright James Matthew Barrie (JM Barrie) was born. He called the place his ‘wee red toonie’ because of the red sandstone used to build the houses. The small whitewashed weaver’s cottage where he was born became the inspiration for his most famous character, Peter Pan.

Although Barrie left the town when he was 13 and spent the remainder of his childhood in Dumfries and London, it is Kirriemuir that is most associated with the Peter Pan stories.

Peter Pan A statue depicting Peter playing a flute stands in the Main Street, and Barrie’s birthplace is a visitor attraction run by the National Trust for Scotland.

There is even a Peter Pan playpark for local youngsters – including some residents who have perhaps never grown old themselves.

Kirriemuir sits in the center of typical Scottish east coast farmland, seven miles from the town of Forfar and only 6 miles from Glamis Castle, the childhood home of the late Queen Mother. Like most old market towns, it has seen better days, but it is nowadays a magnet for Peter Pan aficionados the world over.

The town was also known as the center of witchcraft activity in the 16th century. Many older buildings still contain a ‘witches stane’ – a grey stone set into the building’s red sandstone – that was said to ward off witches.

Kirriemuir – or Kirrie as it’s known – is also the childhood home of the original lead singer of rock band AC/DC, the late Bon Scott. It can be reached by taking the A90 from Dundee to Forfar, then turning west on to the A926. And if you have an interest in the British royal family, then don’t miss nearby Glamis Castle.

Research Your Scottish Ancestry

RObert WilbanksUpcoming Genealogy Events for 2019

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

I have often talked about the importance of “Networking and Ongoing Learning”. As you progress in your genealogy, discovering new and interesting facets of your family history, you will find that there is always something more to learn about the research process and resources available.

Finding others with common research interests, but with more practical experience, is an important, and fun, aspect to genealogy.

Whether it is finding a distant cousin who has made more progress in the researching of your common family tree, or learning from a record type expert, or research locality expert, networking with others to learn more is just one aspect of becoming a more skilled researcher. The other key aspect is just straightforward genealogy education. Getting out there and learning more. Self-learning and continuing education is very low cost and readily available in a variety of formats and locations.

Even though you may not have Arizona ancestry, local genealogy societies across the state are a great place to network, learning from others, and attend meetings, and learn from great presenters on a variety of topics. With the beginning of a new year, I thought I would let you know of a variety of highly significant genealogy conferences and seminars coming up in the next few months hosted by various Arizona genealogy societies. Don’t hesitate to take the time to go out and learn more. Here are just a few events coming in January through March.

The Pinal County Genealogists  (www.pinalctyazgen.com), will be hosting their annual conference, 2019 Genealogy Workshop, on Saturday, January 26th in Casa Grande. Registration ($20 before January 12th; includes a lunch) is now open and the syllabus of speakers, topics and handouts, is now available on their site as downloadable PDF files.

The Tucson Family History Center  (www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Tucson_Arizona_Family_History_Center) will be hosting its annual Free Event, the 2019 Family History Fair on Saturday, February 2nd, 8am to 4pm, with 35 classes. Visit the website for more details.

The West Valley Genealogical Society (azwvgs.org) is the largest genealogy society in Arizona and operates its own genealogy library with over 4000 square feet of books and more, plus access to a wide variety of subscription-based genealogy databases. In addition to monthly meetings, the Library provides a number of “How-to” genealogy classes on a variety of topics. Their Facebook Events page (www.facebook.com/pg/WVGS12222/events) has a long list of special classes from software to DNA to researching a variety of other countries. Their annual seminar on February 16, 2019 will feature Judy Russell, “The Legal Genealogist” (www.legalgenealogist.com.

The annual seminar of the Green Valley Genealogical Society, south of Tucson, (azgvgs.org) will be on February 23, 2019 featuring Cyndi Ingalls of Cyndi’s List fame (www.cyndislist.com): A website that sorts and organizes all known genealogy websites on the internet, currently with over 336 thousand web links in 220 categories.

The Pima County Genealogy Society, in Tucson  (azpimagensoc.org),  is one of the larger genealogy societies in the Tucson area. In addition to their monthly meeting programs, they have an extensive variety of classes at various locations around Tucson. Visit the website for details and registration information.

The Family History Society of Arizona (fhsa.org) has seven chapters around the valley that each meet a different day of the month. You could theoretically attend all seven meetings monthly. Its 2019 annual meeting will be on March 9th and will feature D. Joshua Taylor, a nationally recognized speaker and author, who will be presenting five different topics.

There are many other Arizona genealogy groups, historical and heritage societies that you can find through the Arizona Genealogical Advisory Board (AzGAB) (azgab.com), promoting genealogy and history by addressing the educational needs and interests of Arizona’s genealogical community through cooperation by the various groups and individuals. They have an impressive calendar of genealogy events around Arizona.

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.

An Arctic Tale

It’s the New Year so what better time to relate a heart-warming tale which reaches us from, of all places, the frozen wastes of the Arctic.

The story surrounds a British airman, Flight Officer James McCutcheon. who perished with eight others when a Lancaster bomber crashed in the Canadian Arctic in 1950.

Forever On Guard
CBCNews article, photo of the Lancaster crew, 1950

Last summer, almost seven decades later, Mr McCutcheon’s grandsons, who run a pub on the Isle of Arran, were startled when a senior Royal Canadian Air Force officer stopped in at the pub. It turned out he knew the entire story and helped the family piece it together.

Read the full article at CBCNews.

Back to top button>

Christmas at the Castle

Children and adults alike enjoyed the Christmas at the Castle fun event held in conjunction with our Irish cousins at the Irish Cultural Center on Saturday 8 December. Santa made his customary appearance and even Mrs Santa showed up for a special story time session with the kids.

Christmas at the Castle

It was the fourth year the event has been held, and it is a genuinely happy and fun event. The pictures tell their own story.

Scotland Christmas tree Nessie with the tree

Thanks from Len Wood

Len Wood

Odds and Sods
BBC News

On a Somber note, a special service is taking place in Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis, on New Year’s Day to commemorate the 100th anniversary of one of Scotland’s saddest wartime tragedies.

More than 200 men returning from World War 1 died when the naval yacht Iolaire struck a reef within sight of Stornoway Harbour.

Prince Charles and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will be present at the service.

Read the article at BBC News

STV News

The 150th anniversary of the birth of Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh is a happier one.

According to statistics his work is more popular than ever.

Following the £10m restoration of the artist's only surviving tea room in Glasgow, venues connected to the artist have record their best ever year for visitor numbers.

Read the article at STV News

COMING EVENTS and Highland Games in Arizona and Nearby

January 10 No Gathering at the ICC in January
January 19 Fuil Celtic Burns Supper
Dubliner Pub, Phoenix
January 26 Burns Supper
Chandler American Legion Hall, 2240 W. Chandler Blvd.
February 16 Queen Mary Scottish Festival
Long Beach CA
March 2-3 Phoenix Scottish Ganes

Membership Reminder

Membership dues for 2019 are:
- - $30.00 single and $50.00 Family (at the same address)

It's easy - just jump to the Membership Page for information.

Society Gatherings
Membership gatherings are often held on 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


[an error occurred while processing this directive]