It was a brilliant Summer’s day on Saturday the 26th of January for the Turakina Highland Games. The Turakina Highland Games have been held in the Turakina Domain since 1864 and are the oldest in New Zealand.
On such a beautiful day hundreds of competitors and spectators turned up early, expecting great dancing and solo piping competitions, and the first pipe band competition of the year.
There were many Clans present in the Avenue of Clans with Clan Donald Wellington being well represented. There was a steady stream of visitors to the clans checking on whether they were eligible for membership and also for genealogy.
The Highland Games included a range of competitive field events including Tossing the Sheaf, Carry the Stones, Putting the Shot, Farmers Walk and a Tug of War. There was also a children’s competition in the field events.
The Highland Dancing included both North Island competitions in the Irish Jig Double Time and the Highland Reel and Wellington Centre competitions in the Sean Truibhas, Reel O’Tulloch, Irish Reel, Sailors Hornpipe, Irish Jig and Sword Dance, and the Solo Piping events included the Open New Zealand Championships for Piobaireachd, 2/4 March, Strathspey & Reel and Jig & Hornpipe.
During the afternoon there was a Pipe Band Competition for all grades of bands, with the most notable being the Grade One band Manawatu Scottish from Palmerston North.
One of the local pipe bands, Marton & Districts Pipe Band competing in the Pipe Band Competition.
Clan Donald had many visitors calling in for a chat and refreshments.
Lynnette McDonald, Vice President Clan Donald Auckland, Garry & Marlene Whiteman, Tom McDonald, North Island Commissioner, Trish McKechnie, Secretary Clan Donald Wellington, David Moore, President Clan Donald Wellington and John McKechnie, Vice President Clan Donald Wellington.
David Moore, John McKechnie and Rosalind Tayler, outside the Clan Donald Wellington tent.
Marlene & Garry Whiteman having a chat with David Moore.
Peter Cawkwell and Gael MacDonell.
At lunchtime there was the Clans Parade followed by the Massed Highland Fling.
The Palmerston North Pipe Band leading the Clans Parade during the lunchtime.
Clan Donald, led by Banner Bearer Trish McKechnie followed by Clan Keith during the Clans Parade.
In the late afternoon, there was the Massed Bands and Prize Giving and the Haggis Ceremony.
On Friday night, a small group from Clan Donald, John and Trish McKechnie, David Moore, Maureen McDonald, and Tom and Lynnette McDonald celebrated Robbie Burns birthday with dinner and a few drams in the Rutherford Arms Hotel in Wanganui.