December 2022     Title   Past Issues

In this Issue:

  December Gathering   Favorite Songs
  Isle of Skye Pipe Band   Set to Fly High
  It Happened This Month   Snippets from Scotland
  Meet the Members   A Word from our Advertisers

December Gathering

December 17, 2022, Christmas Social and Food Drive - 3 PM to 6 PM

Join fellow Society members and guests at Lochiel Brewing in Mesa for an afternoon of fun, music, and cheer.

St. Mary's Food Bank St. Mary's Food Bank Bring a non-perishable food item donation for the St. Mary's Food Bank and receive a raffle basket ticket for your food donation (drawing at 6 PM). Currently St. Mary's Food Bank is in dire need of canned vegetables and peanut butter.

Wear your best ugly Christmas sweater for the Lochiel staff to pick out a winner. Remember a sweater and kilt just go together naturally this time of year. There might even be extra points for those wearing kilts.

The Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band will have a piper on hand to provide us with a mix of Scottish and festive music on the pipes.
Lochiel Brewing's Ian Cameron, our host, will have his best selections of beers available from using the same manufacturing process as the old time Scottish distilleries and breweries. Ian will also have his Scotch ale bottled and ready for you to take home or purchase as a gift for a loved one.

Lochiel Brewing Lochiel Brewing Location: Lochiel Brewing,
7143 E. Southern Ave. Suite 131
Mesa AZ

Call/Text: (480) 666-0915

Date: Saturday December 17, 2023

Time: 3:00 PM through 6:00 PM

Note: Lochiel Brewing does not serve food,
light snacks will be provided.

November Gathering Report

For the first time in almost three years the Society returned on 30 November for a meeting at the Irish Cultural Center, which had been its regular meeting place until Covid struck.

It was a highly enjoyable evening with food, drink, excellent Celtic music, a highly relevant talk about Scottish history, and an update on the Scottish Games due to be held in March. Most importantly it was a fun and convivial gathering.

After a welcome by President David McBee, the latest news on plans for the Games were revealed by Pat Schuller and Kevin Conquest. For the second year the event will be held at Gilbert Regional Park, and it sounds certain to be bigger and better than ever.

Sarah Holbrook As the evening was held on St Andrew's Day, a holiday in Scotland, it was fitting that we paid homage to the man who became Scotland's patron saint.

CSA member Sarah Holbrook, originally from Glasgow, revealed exactly why a man who was a fisherman and an Apostle of Christ, became patron saint of a land so far from his home. It was a fascinating talk about an aspect of Scottish history we often take for granted.

The musical part of the evening featured the accomplished Noble McCoy, well known throughout Arizona and a big part of many CSA events including the annual Scottish Games. They played a selection of Celtic music, a fitting end to an excellent evening.

Isle of Skye Pipe Band

Plans for the 2023 Phoenix Scottish Games at Gilbert Regional Park are well under way, and there will be an eagerly anticipated and highly significant 'first' in store.

For the first time since the Games were first held here in the 1960s, a pipe band from Scotland is making the journey to Arizona to take part in our gathering. The Isle of Skye Pipe Band will be here for a week and their presence allows us to call the Friday evening music show the Phoenix International Twilight Tattoo.

Isle of Skye Pipe Band

The Skye band was attracted to the Valley by CSA Board Member Kevin Conquest, who is Drum Major of the Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band. While at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo this year he was speaking to his Skye counterpart and between the two men, plans were laid which has led to the Scottish band's upcoming appearance.

Kevin, who has cemented a reputation as a regular 'star performer' at the Edinburgh event, will be leading the Twilight Tattoo, and is delighted to have staged the coup of bringing the Isle of Skye band across the Atlantic. While in Phoenix, band members from Skye will be busy visiting bars, sporting events and playing throughout the Valley.

It Happened This Month - 1879

Just three days after Christmas, on 28 December 1879, the rail bridge across the Firth of Tay linking Dundee with the county of Fife, collapsed as a passenger train was crossing. The disaster happened during a ferocious east coast storm. There were no survivors, and the death toll is estimated at 75. The following account appears on taybridgedisaster.co.uk by Tom Martin.

Tay Bridge disaster

At approximately 7:15 p.m. on the stormy night of 28 December 1879, the central navigation spans of the Tay bridge collapsed into the Firth of Tay at Dundee, taking with them a train, six carriages and 75 souls to their fate.

At the time, a gale estimated at Beaufort force 10/11 was blowing down the Tay estuary at right angles to the bridge. The collapse of the bridge, only opened 19 months and passed safe by the Board of Trade, sent shock waves through the Victorian engineering profession and general public. The disaster is one of the most famous bridge failures and to date it is still one of the worst structural engineering failures in the British Isles.

The first Tay rail bridge was completed in February 1878 to the design of Thomas Bouch. Bouch was responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of the bridge. Most of his bridges were lattice girders supported on slender cast iron columns braced with wrought iron struts and ties. The building of the Tay bridge culminated in him being knighted.

The Tay Bridge was nearly two miles long, consisting of 85 spans and at the time was the longest bridge in the world. The spans carried a single rail track; 72 of these were supported on spanning girders below the level of the track; the remaining 13 navigation spans were spanning girders above the level of the track

These "high girders", as they were known, were 27ft high with an 88ft clearance above the high-water mark. It was these spans which fell. Most of the girders below track level, all of which remained standing, were transferred to the present Tay rail bridge. At the time of the collapse Bouch was working on the design of the proposed Forth Bridge. Aa a result of the collapse, the design of the Forth Bridge was transferred to others.

A Court of Inquiry was set up to try and ascertain the reason for the collapse of the bridge. Its report concluded that, "The fall of the bridge was occasioned by the insufficiency of the cross bracing and its fastenings to sustain the force of the gale." It indicated that if the piers, and in particular the wind bracing, had been properly constructed and maintained, the bridge could have withstood the storm that night. Sir Thomas Bouch was held chiefly to blame for the collapse in not making adequate allowance for wind loading. To this day, however, there is still speculation as to the fundamental cause and as to whether or not Bouch, was to blame

Meet the Members - Lois Wallace

One of our best-known members, Lois Wallace, was recently given a new role leading the local branch of the Daughters of Scotia. Here she tells of her pride in her new position.

Lois and Bob Wallace In November, I had the honor to be installed as Chief Daughter of Desert Thistle Lodge, Phoenix. Since joining the organization in 2012, and subsequently becoming active in 2016 after moving to Phoenix full time, the Lodge has become an integral part of my life. Membership in the Lodge allows me to continue my long-held interest in my Scottish heritage, love of Scotland and her people. It has also allowed me to experience the sisterhood of a group of diverse women with a common interest, whose camaraderie and support has come to mean much to me. My intent is to lead them well in the year ahead.

Desert Thistle Lodge, Phoenix, the Daughters of Scotia was instituted in 2005, and is a subordinate lodge of the national Grand Lodge of the Daughters of Scotia, which was organized in 1899.

Desert Thistle was the first lodge in Arizona but not the last. There are now four lodges, in Payson, Chandler, Tucson and Phoenix, with many members statewide. The Arizona lodges join in and work together as much as possible.

The mission of the Daughters of Scotia is "To keep alive the loving memory of Scotland, by continuing to keep active Scottish Culture and Heritage, assist our Clansmen and bring our members closer together."

The Culture, Heritage and history of Scotland is very near and dear to our hearts as a lodge. We support local Scottish events, The Highland Games, pipe bands, Highland and country dancers, as well as organize local events, both cultural and social, for our members and often the public. Many of our members participate in other local and national Scottish and Celtic organizations and Societies. This gives us a large breadth of knowledge about all things Scottish to draw from.

Desert Thistle Lodge proudly wears the Arizona Tartan. We hold our monthly meetings at the Irish Cultural Center in central Phoenix. Any woman interested in learning how to become a member please contact me at chiefdaughterdos260@gmail.com

Favorite Songs

This month, we asked Board member Ginni Caldwell for her favorite Scottish song or poem. Ginni is a member of the Clan Oliphant and, not surprisingly, she chose a piece by the great Scottish songwriter, Lady Nairne, born Carolina Oliphant. It is called The Gathering Song and welcomes the return to Scottish shores of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Oh come, come along, and join in our song,
And march wi' our lads, along an' along;
He's waiting us there where heather grows fair,
And the clans they are gath'ring strong and strong.

He should be king, ye ken wha I mean,
Tho' Whigs that winna allow, allow;
We daurna speak out, but ye needna doubt,
That a' that we tell is true, is true.

On the steep mountains' breast, where shadows oft rest,
An' burnies are tumblin' down, and down;
In that deep recess, there's ane we can guess,
That is heir to our ain Scottish crown.

Like a sunbeam to cheer, he soon will appear,
Gracefu' and fleet, like a mountain deer;
Come gather, a' gather, along and along,
The clans and the echoes will join in our song.

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Flight Trip Winner

Society Board member Jack Stewart was the proud winner of the Scottish Games raffle prize, a one-hour flight over the Valley, donated by the Rex Ginder, site manager of the University of North Dakota Flight School in Mesa. Jack and his wife Carmela took the flight last month and had a wonderful time as Jack writes.

'What a great raffle item, and a big "thank you" to the University of North Dakota Flight School for donating the flight to the Society. We had a wonderful young man, Daniel, as our flight instructor, and after all the "preflight" procedures, I was totally confused with what was happening. Getting into the captain's seat was like trying to stuff myself into a tuna can, but I made it.

Jack Stewart'As we were flying close to the mountains, it got quite "bumpy" to say the least, but the views were spectacular.

I was just a little bit concerned that Carmela was going to have some "issues" with the way the plane was bouncing around, but she was a trouper, and enjoyed it as much as I did.

'When it was time to land, Daniel set the plane down like a butterfly with sore feet, great landing indeed'

Thanks again to the UND Flight School, definitely a prize to remember.

Snippets from Scotland

Snippet from The Scotsman

A Native American totem pole which has been displayed in an Edinburgh museum since being stolen from the Nisga'a Nation of Canada early last century is to be returned to its rightful place.

Snippet from The BBC

Two Scottish Nobel Prize winners, including one based at Princeton University in New Jersey, paid a visit to their former primary school in a small town in the Scottish Borders.

Snippet from The Press and Jouornal

Highland Scottish estates, often criticized for their views on the environment, have made a major contribution towards creating a thriving golden eagle population.

A Word from our Advertisers

Kilt Rental USA

Len Wood

Micahel McClanathan
Bagpiper USB

Lois Wallace card

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