April 2020     Title   Past Issues

In this Issue:

  2020 Phoenix Scottish Games   2020 Games Entertainment
  President's Letter   2020 Athletics & Pipe Bands
  Support Our Vendors   2020 Games Photos
  Membership Update   Coming Events - Valley & Nearby
  Genealogy at the 2020 Games   A Word from our Advertisers  

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, there will be no Society Gatherings for the near future

March 7-8 Phoenix Scottish Games

McBain the Younger Young supporter

Richard McBain, McBain the Younger, opens the Games to enthusiatic support

It’s safe to say we just made it. The 2020 Scottish Games at Steele Indian Park in Phoenix went ahead as planned shortly before the coronavirus scare kicked in. A week of two later and we would have had to cancel. As it turned out the Games were a great success.

Thousands flocked through the gates on both Saturday and Sunday and enjoyed a feast of all things Scottish. Most came bedecked in tartan and entered fully into the spirit of things. There was much to enjoy, from Scottish food, and music to pipe band competitions, heavy events, Highland dancing, and much more. It was the 56th annual games here in Phoenix and, as always, a great advert for the Society and the Scottish community in the Valley and beyond.

SAMS Color Guardd

President's Letter
David McBee, President

David McBee

Thank you to all who came out to our games and especially to all that volunteered. In spite of many challenges, it seemed to be a pretty good games event and was one of only two such events able to be held in the West before meetings restictions were started

Ours may have been the last best games of the year sadly.

[Editor note: Virtually all Highland Games in the US for April and May have been canceled or postponed.]

We have put a Vendor Support Page up on our website to try and keep our community in business. They will be needed once Games come back to life so please shop with them if you can.

I am still watching the financial details settle down in the aftermath of the games and it will be at least another month before we have a true final picture. Many costs were up significantly this year and all were not just because of the virus breaking out. No telling when the next cycle of planning and research can begin again just yet.

In light of the major risks at hand now and the sequestering directives, I am requesting the current Board to remain in place until we can resume meetings again. We will have many Board positions to fill so throw your hat in the ring if interested.

Keep your chin up, remember to sanitize with tasty Scotch, be smart and safe. Until we meet again,


Support Our Vendors

In support of our vendors in these difficult times, we recommend that you continue to shop with them online if you can since they cannot attend any events for who knows how long. Tell them that you are a member of the Caledonian Society of Arizona and see what special treatment they may have in store for you.

Kilt Rental USA - high-quality authentic formal kilt rental services

Ring Weaver Chains - Chains, bracelets, purses

Sweet Earth Art - Jewelry, Paintings, Clothing
   Call 602-460-0710 for $5 off shirts/hats; sarong & jewelry offers

Copper and Fire Jewelry - Copper Wire, Sterling Silver and Designer Jewelry
   10% discount to CSA members

Crafty Celts - Torcs, Earrings, Pendants, Brooches, Pins, Hair itens: more

Celtic Jackalope - Celtic Art, Shirts, Badges, Jewelry, Banners, custom work
   10% coupon with Newsletter subscription

Clan Inebriated - Promoting Scottish / Irish Heriage, merchandise

Celtic Raven Studio - Mugs, ornaments
   Coupon "PHXGAMES" for 10% discount

Celtic Cure - All natural ointments, balms, lotions, and holistic products

Irish Charm - Handcrafted Celtic design sterling silver jewelry

St. Croix Weaving - Handwoven tartan creations - apparel, table linens

Sean's Celtic Creations - Original Celtic jewelry, California tartan items

Zarpara Vineyard - An Arizona Farm Winery - 7 grape varieties
   Hand-delivered wine to SE Arizona, & Willcox/Tucson/Phoenix corridor
   Enter SCOTWINE for 10% discount, free shipping until 4/30 (then too hot)

Membership Update
Don Finch, VP Membership

Dear Members and Friends of the Caledonian Society of Arizona:

The purpose of this communique is three-fold:
1. A reminder to renew your membership for the period April 1, 2020- March 31, 2021.
2. To thank you if you've recently joined, or renewed your dues.
3. To update you on our planned activities for the next year.

We are a 501[c]3 Non-Profit Organization registered with the AZ Corporation Commission and the IRS.
Our purpose is to promote fellowship with all those interested in Scottish culture and heritage through the sponsorship of regular social activities, plus an annual highland games, and celebrations such as a Robert Burns Dinner, Tartan Day, and St. Andrew's Day.
Your annual dues are used to cover Administrative costs such as audits; fees; insurance; software; printing; etc. - and - Social expenses such as hall rentals; food and snacks; name tags; plus performance fees for speakers and musicians.

At the time of this writing, we've just completed our 56th annual Phoenix Scottish Games and are thankful that a) we avoided the rains that began immediately afterward, and b) the restrictions since placed on large events and mass gatherings. Because of that, we do not have any specific events planned at this moment. However, the Social Planning committee has the following events on the agenda:
- a pub crawl in central Phoenix
- a cruise on the Desert Belle on Saguaro Lake
- our annual Genealogy workshop
- a Scottish-themed quiz at the ICC
- a Scottish 'foodie' evening at the Irish Cultural Center with members asked to prepare dishes
- continuation of the Neil Oliver DVD series A History of Scotland
- pub nights at Four Peaks, Lochiel Brewery, and CaskWerks Distillery
- a ceilidh night with Scottish country dancing

Your annual dues of $30 Single or $50 Family gets you that kind of fun and fellowship; plus the monthly Desert Highlander newsletter; and a free annual consultation session with our Genealogist; a free name/clan badge mailed to new members; and volunteer opportunities galore!

1) online at:
2) mail your check to: Caledonian Society of AZ, PO Box 50092, Phoenix, AZ 85076. Include your name, address, email, phone, and whether you're a New Member (also include name/clan badge details); or a Renewing Member.

The current Board of Directors' term is expiring on June 30th. Several of the current officers will not be running again, so this is a great opportunity to join a new Board and contribute your ideas and energy. There are 3-4 meetings a year, plus the regular Phoenix Scottish Games sessions which many of you already attend. Interested? Contact current President David McBee at: president@arizonascots.com

Genealogy at the 2020 Games

Robert WilbanksGenealogy at the Phoenix Scottish Games

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

The Official C.S.A. Genealogy & Family History Tent was again a big hit at this year’s 56th Annual Phoenix Scottish Games.

Most people merely passed through to view our maps and books, many leaving more interested than when they came in and very much impressed.

2020 Genealogy

Additionally, I and my team of about ten expert volunteer genealogists, in personal one-on-one interactions, helped a great number of people begin to discover their Scottish roots and many left absolutely thrilled and excited by our finds.

2020 Genealogy

Entertainment at the 2020 Games
by Don Finch, Entertainment Chair

Fan Favorites and Fiddlers – Entertaining Emcees. Pardon my alliteration, but that’s what our attendees wanted and that’s what they got on the weekend of March 7th and 8th at Steele Indian School Park. The Wicked Tinkers, and Scott Jeffers & Traveler returned to the ‘Ghillie Dhu Pub Stage’ where the good times were kept rolling by local funny man Patrick Halloran.

2020 Entertainment 1

In the ‘Learners Arms Folklore & Music Tent’, our favorite Celtic woman, Sarah Noble hosted the returning Mountain View Fiddlers, who specialize in Scottish tunes and Cape Breton style reels. On Sunday, the Gilbert Town Fiddlers, high school students who play folk music like old-time Bluegrass, Irish, and Scottish fiddling debuted at the Games. These new acts were blended in with the tent’s originator Iain Walinck and his group Stoneybank; Peter ‘Doc’ Rolland’s Crossbow bluegrass trio; lectures, swordsmanship demos, the Coast Guard brass band, plus Sarah Noble & Friends.

2020 Entertainment 2

And now for something completely different! The founder of Beard Schmeare Grooming Products – the Stubborn Scotsman Aaron Graham set up his sales tent next door and then MC’d the ‘Kilt Lifter Tap Room’. Between Best Scottish Accent and Best Beard contests, Aaron hosted Valley favorite entertainers de Mairt Ceol and the Open Beta Band, plus Chris Yates and his alter ego Rusty Bawls. And returning for their third year, Len Woods’ disciples – The Cambridge Avenue Pipers and their dancing sisters, the Highland Flings!

2020 Entertainment 3a
2020 Entertainment 3b
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Athletics & Pipe Bands at the 2020 Games

Athletics Chair Tim Timm, was one of those delighted with how the weekend turned out. He said, "We had a record number of athletes registrations. A total of seven cabers were sponsored, and House of Gordon commissioned a tartan painted caber and displayed it at their clan tent all weekend.

"Field records were broken by all classes this year. Among the highlights were 72-year-old Sarah Stephenson tieing her Weight over Bar record, and the Men's master 40-49 group breaking all the records but one."

Look for full Athletics results, and photos in the May Newsletter.

Pipe Band photos, results and awards will also appear in the May newsletter.

Some 2020 Games Photos

2020 #1 2020 #2

2020 #3 2020 #4 2020 #5

COMING EVENTS and Highland Games in Arizona and Nearby

PLEASE NOTE: Almost all Highland Games events in the Soutrhwest and California have been canceled

March 6-8 CANCELED Sonora Celtic Festivel
Sonora CA

April 18-19 CANCELED Las Vegas Celtic Gathering
Las Vegas NV

April 18-19 CANCELED Kern County Scottish Games & Gathering
Bakersfield CA

April 25-26 CANCELED Woodland Celtic Games & Festival
Woodland CA

May 2-3 PLEASE CHECK Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival & Highland Games

Society Membership

We are realigning our membership year to coincide with the Annual Phoenix Scottish Games - now April through March.

Membership dues 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


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