August 2021     Title   Past Issues

In this Issue:

  Four Peaks Brewery Tour   Richard Hurley
  Scotland's Hidden Gems   Snippets from Scotland
  Research Your Scottish Ancestry   Bryce Canyon
    A Word from our Advertisers

Peggy, Lady of McBain

We have just received the very sad news that Peggy, Lady of McBain, wife of our Games Chieftain, has passed away after a long struggle with cancer.

Lady McBain, as she was known, was fiercely proud of her family’s Scottish roots and regularly accompanied her husband, James McBain of McBain, the 22nd hereditary International Chief of Clan McBain, to events, functions, and Scottish gatherings.

Peggy, who lived in Tucson, was among the highest profile Scottish clan representatives in the US. Her husband is one of only a small number of Scottish clan chiefs who live in the United States.

Over the years she traveled throughout the US and abroad representing the McBain (or McBean) clan, including the Gathering of Clans in Edinburgh. She and James were proud of the fact a piece of McBain tartan is on the moon, having been put there by Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean.

Peggy often visited McBain Park, a property near Dores in the Scottish Highlands which is owned by the McBain clan. The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations should be made to McBain Park, as it was close to her heart. Visit the Clan MacBean Shop page, all the way at the bottom.

Lady McBain’s maiden name was Peggy Stephenson. She and James McBain were married in 1967. He was recognised as Clan Chief by Lord Lyon King of Arms and matriculated his arms in 1979.

Peggy, who worked as a real estate agent, died shortly after midnight on Sunday (1 August). She had been in a hospice for a short time. Details of her funeral service will be published in coming days.

David McBee, President of the Caledonian Society of Arizona, and a member of the Clan McBain, paid tribute to Lady McBain. He said, “She was devoted to her husband the Chief, and always made time for members of the Clan. I have lost a friend today.”

Four Peaks Brewery Tour

Four Peaks Brewery

Join us on Saturday 7 August for a guided tour of the Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe, followed by a meal and drinks in their premises.

Four Peaks are our most recent Scottish Games sponsors and we have enjoyed a close relationship with the brewery over the years.

The tour starts at 11.15am on Saturday and will be given by staff member Carter Nacke. Tickets are $5 per person. (Does not include the cost of lunch)

We look forward to seeing a good turnout of Society members. We have only been able to meet infrequently of late and this will be a good opportunity to catch up with each other.

Four Peaks is located at 1340 East 8th Street, Tempe. It would be advisable to get there no later than 11:00!

Scotland's Hidden Gems - Inveraray
Iain Lundy, Editor

If you’re driving around Scotland you can take your pick from a host of picturesque little towns that dot the country. One of the most attractive is Inveraray, a colorful lochside resort that boasts centuries of history.

Inveraray Castle The Duke of Argyll

Inveraray stands on one of the main routes between Glasgow and Oban and it is dominated by the magnificent Inveraray Castle, built in the Gothic Revival style. It is the home of the Dukes of Argyll, chiefs of the Clan Campbell, and there is a good chance you will come across the current Duke working in the café or gift shop.

The town and its impressive white-harled buildings date back only to the mid-1700s, when the Campbell family decided to relocate and enlarge the town closer to the loch, and build a new larger castle on the site where the few houses had previously huddled around the original castle. The result was a modern town, built around the small harbor, and with an enhanced and extremely attractive main street.

Vital Spark War Memorial

The harbor, on the banks of Loch Fyne, nowadays houses one of the town’s biggest tourist attractions. The puffer ‘Vital Spark’ which once ‘starred’ in a 1960s comedy about a bunch of hapless and often drunken Scottish seamen. The vessel is now moored at the quayside.

Close to the pier are two other impressive structures – the town’s War Memorial, and Inveraray Cross. Inveraray also boasts its own historic jail, dating to 1820 and now open to the public.

For anyone on a journey along that part of the west coast, Inveraray is a perfect place to stop, check out the sights, enjoy a meal in some very good eating places, and sample the local shops. If you drive thru, you’ll have missed a true Scottish gem.

Research Your Scottish Ancestry

Robert WilbanksThe Society’s Chief Genealogist and Historian Robert Wilbanks has resigned from his role after more than six years, during which time he has worked tirelessly to help Society members with their family history endeavors.

Robert, who has been a genealogist for more than 40 years ran the genealogy tent at the Scottish Games; provided a free hour of genealogy help per year to all new Society members; and provided a monthly genealogy column to the newsletter.

He also presented a highly popular annual genealogy talk as part of our meeting schedules, the last of which took place last month via Zoom.

President David McBee praised Robert’s work over the years. He said, “Robert did a lot for the Society and many memberships came from his efforts, including the free hour of consulting for members. The genealogy tent has been a big draw at the Games. His departure will leave some big shoes to fill.

Everyone at the Society wishes Robert well for the future and we hope we will not be a stranger.

We will be reprinting some of his columns in the months ahead. The full series is available at the Archive page of this site.

Richard Hurley

TRichard Hurley and Wendy Cookhe Society was saddened to learn of the sudden death of Richard Hurley, who had been a CSA member for many years.

Richard, who passed away on 15 July, was married to Wendy Cook, who was President of the Society in 2012.

He was a regular attender at CSA meetings and well-known to many members.

Richard was an organ builder by profession and spent his early years in New Jersey.

He was also a skilled organist and spent 12 years as organist and choir director at St Peter’s Episcopal Church in Freehold, New Jersey, as well as other churches on the east coast.

After moving to Arizona, he was organ curator at several churches including the First Presbyterian Church, Mesa; the Covenant Presbyterian in Bisbee; and the First Presbyterian Church in Casa Grande. He was a member of the American Institute or Organ Builders; and the Central Arizona Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. As well as Wendy, he is survived by two children, Jennifer and James.

The funeral was held this week in Casa Grande. Society Board member Kevin Conquest represented the Society.

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Bryce Canyon

During the summer of 2020, a ‘slow’ news year for the Society newsletter for fairly obvious reasons, we published a few short articles on Arizona places which had a connection to Scotland - Elgin, Douglas and others.

But there was one notable exception we overlooked. A man from central Scotland who joined one of the largest migrations to the US not only gave his name to a small settlement in Arizona, but also to one of the greatest natural wonders in south-west America.

Ebenezer Bryce, from Dunblane, near Stirling, joined tens of thousands of Scots in the Mormon migration in the mid-1800s. The story goes that his father, a strict Presbyterian, disowned Ebenezer when he joined the Church of Latter-Day Saints.

Pine Valley ChurchAfter moving to Salt Lake City, Ebenezer and his new wife moved to the southern part of Utah, where his training as a ship’s carpenter was put to use. He designed several buildings including the Pine Valley Church, the oldest Mormon chapel still in use. The roof was bult like an upside-down ship’s hull and it is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1874 Ebenezer and his large family then homesteaded in a remote area of outstanding natural beauty in south-western Utah. He explored the area for many years, oversaw the construction of a road and an irrigation canal, which enabled ranching and farming to thrive in the area.

The land was named Bryce Canyon National Park in his honour. Nowadays the 35,000-acre site is recognized for its incredible geological and ecological features and is hugely popular with visitors.

Bryce Canyon National Park
Photo: W. Bulach, CC-SA-4.0. (Creative Commons - Share Alike)

Failing health saw Ebenezer move his family to a small settlement in south-east Arizona in Graham County. Again, it was named after him and he died in September 1913 in what is now Bryce, Arizona, close to the town of Safford.

Snippets from Scotland

Snippet from The Architect's Newpaper

One of the saddest news stories of the year in Scotland was the devastating fire last week that destroyed St Simon’s Church in Glasgow, spiritual home of the city’s Polish community, dating back to the Polish troops who fought during WW2.

Snippet from The Herald Scotland

Hollywood has been responsible for some weird shenanigans in Scotland recently. Not only did Harrison Ford film the latest Indiana Jones movie in the Borders, but traffic in Glasgow city center was stopped by none other than Batman.

Snippet from STV News

A Highland tourist attraction as welcomed the return of a decades old steam train that will carry passengers on a scenic route near the resort of Aviemore.

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