April 2021     Title   Past Issues

In this Issue:

  April Gathering on Zoom   Whisky Night at Hudson's
  President's Letter   Heavy Event
  Our Highland Games   A Word from our Advertisers

Society News

Next Gathering on Zoom

Join us for our next Zoom meeting on Thursday 15 April for an evening that will get your brain cells working and keep you up to date on Scottish-related activities in the Valley as we gradually emerge from lockdown.

The first half of the meeting will be a quiz to test your knowledge of both Scotland and Arizona. So. bring a partner, remember two brains are better than one. There will be prizes for the top competitors, and perhaps even a special prize for the person who can best pronounce the Scottish place name Milngavie.

The pipers, dancers, athletes, musicians and others who normally delight us at our Scottish Games are also starting to plan events, so they will be given a platform to explain where and when you can them.

NOTE: Those who sign up for the Event will be sent the Zoom link through our Facebook Event, or the Caledonian Society Email List.

Hall of Flame In-person Tour

On Saturday 24 April Pat Schuller has organized a special tour of the Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting in Phoenix. The museum is located in Papago Park at 6101 East Van Buren Street. The CSA tour starts at 10.30am, cost $8 for Society members, and last for approximately 90 minutes.

After that we are off to Rula Bula bar in downtown Tempe for some lunch. More details of both events will be posted on the Society Facebook page.

President's Letter
David McBee, President

David McBee

Hello! Just a slight reminder that it is tax time again! Now on to better things.

So, all we have for games so far this year is memories but fear not. Tim has put together an athletics event at the new Gilbert Regional Park for the 3rd. It looks like this could be a very promising venue for us in the future so I will attend and spend some time talking to the officials to see what options we might have for a games event in the future. Maybe even a near term one as a trial event. We will see but it could possibly make a drastic reduction in our event costs and overall production strain. Keep your sgians crossed ...

There is also an event at the Queen Creek Botanical Gardens on the 17th. We are working to nail down the performance details at present. We intend to have at least some Pipe Band, and Highland Dance performances on the docket and some local vendors that need the business opportunity. Keep an eye on our page for further details.

We had a nice outing at the Hudson Bar and Eatery last week. It was so good to see and talk to each other again. We do draw such energy from each other and sparks for future events. We also intend to plan an outing at the Fire Fighters Museum on April 24 with the 9/11 special display. Pat Schuller promises a very special tour for us and this is the best such museum in the US. I am now a member and do highly recommend the visit.

Stay safe and sterilize with your sanitizer of choice. Scotch recommended.



Our Highland Games
by Iain Lundy, Editor

Iain Lundy It’s extremely disappointing that the highlight of our year – the Scottish Games – has had to be canceled because of the Covid epidemic. Normally at this time of year, the newsletter would be devoted to all the pictures and stories, the fun and laughter, that make the Games such a huge success year after year.

This year we can’t do that, unless you want photographs of an empty Park, so we thought we’d take a mainly pictorial look at the Phoenix Games as it has developed over the years, the characters, the sporting competitors, dancers, pipers, musicians – everyone who has contributed to the culture and the color the event brings to the city each year.

The CSA were able to hold the 2020 Games by the skin of our teeth. It was the 56th consecutive Games to be staged, the first taking place in 1964. Much has changed since these early days. Back then, the sight of hundreds of Scottish ‘kilties’ gathered in public in Arizona was enough to make heads turn. Highland attire is still a talking point but it’s safe to say people are more used to it.

The first Games were held by the Phoenix Scottish Pipe Band. Shortly afterwards the Highland Society of Arizona was formed and, in 1976, it became a 501(c)3 non-profit company and changed its name to the Caledonian Society of Arizona.

Over the years the Games have grown to include all the events you would expect to find, Highland dancing; heavy events; pipe band competitions; country dancing; the finest Scottish musicians; Highland reenactments; Scottish food; Scottish-related vendors; vintage British cars; a Scottish genealogy tent; and a clan section with representatives of more than 50 clans…and of course plenty of opportunity to sample a dram or two of Scotch whisky.

Children will never be bored either. A street performer on stilts has been a regular at recent Games, and there are face-painting artists, and a play area with bouncy castles. A few years ago, a Rod Stewart lookalike turned up to sing Tonight’s the Night and other hits – not in Gaelic unfortunately. This month’s pictures conjure up a flavor of Games over the years and we hope it whets your appetite for not only the 2022 Games, but also all the events we are planning between then and now.

All the usual Newsletter features - Genealogy, Snippets, Hidden Gems and Clan representative profiles - will return next month.

Clans 2013
Clans line up in 2013

Chris Yates as Woody McCloud, the world's tallest Scotsman
Chief McBain 2017
Chief McBain officiates in 2017

Jean Latimer award Jean Latimer Lifetime Service Award
Nessie in Loch Phoenix
Wee Ones
Wee Ones enjoy the Games
Pipe Band 1966
1966 Pipe Band
Geneaology Tent
Genealogy Tent
1967 ad
1968 Games Announcement
Hammer throw
Hammer Throw
(Photo: John Groseclose)

British Cars 2015
British Car Exhibit 2015
Country Dance 2015
Country Dancers
Caber Toss
Caber Toss
(Photo: Teri Radosevich)
SAMS presents the Colors
SAMS presents the Colors

Mesa 2005
Massed Bands at Mesa 2005
Scottish dressed dogs
The dogs are dressed for the event
Isaac Sanders is "Braveheart"
Newspaper announcement
1967 Newspaper Article
Drummers 2018
Drums on the North Field
Dancer 2013
Highland Dancer
Determined athlete
A Determined Athlete
(Photo: Teri Radosevich)
Rod Stewart impesonator
Rod Stewart impersonator Jay Gates
Clan MacLachlan
Nan Beams, Clan MacLachlan with dancer Aisla Gocan

Wicked Tinkers, 2013
The Wicked Tinkers, 2013 of multiple years

Whisky Night at Hudson's

More than 20 CSA members and friends gathered in the Hudson Bar on E Apache Boulevard, Tempe, last week for some good beer and some extremely good Scotch whisky.

The Hudson, and its sister pub Hundred North in Gilbert Road, specializes in whisky and the two establishments have a wide selection of Speyside, Islay, Lowland and many other malts.

It was also good to see people ‘in the flesh’ again and let’s hope we are on the road to being able to gradually resume real-time meetings. But we forgot one thing. No-one took any photographs, so you’ll have to take our word for it. Or as someone suggested on Facebook, we need to do it again and bring our cameras.

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Heavy Athletics Event - April 3
by Iain Lundy

A special heavy events competition is being held this weekend in Gilbert. The Von Katzenburg Klassic takes place at Gilbert Regional Park on Queen Creek Road and will feature contestants who have worked with the Society’s athletics director Tim Timm.

With the Scottish Games canceled, this event offers people an opportunity to see heavy eventers up close. It is being held as part of Gilbert’s Global Village cultural awareness program and it is hoped to build up a relationship with the city and to hold future similar events there.

The event, which is being sponsored by Claymore Imports, 7655 E Redfield Road, Scottsdale, opens on Saturday (3 April) with the first throws at 9.30am. Gilbert Regional Park is located at the intersection of Queen Creek and Higley Roads.

A Word from our Advertisers

Kilt Rental USA

Len Wood

Micahel McClanathan
Bagpiper USB

Lois Wallace card


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