The Auckland Games were held on Saturday the 23rd of November, for the third time, at the Ellerslie Events Centre, Ellerslie Racecourse. It was a brilliant sunny day with just enough breeze to make things comfortable.
The organization of the Games seemed to be slightly disjointed this year with the Highland Dancing and the heavyweight field events being held in the centre of the racetrack, which was some distance away from the main area. To see these events people had to go through a tunnel under the racetrack proper.
The Pipe Band Competition was held behind the grandstand where they could also not be seen or heard from the main area.
The Clan Tents were jammed up against the “rail” of the racecourse where there wasn’t a lot of room. There were only 9 clans in attendance. In past years there were usually around 18 clans in attendance at the Games.
The Clans March, Scottish Country Dancing, reenactment of Medieval Battles and solo piping were held on the lawn between the Clan tents and the grandstand.
With so much happening away from the main area there was no real Highland Games atmosphere.
The Auckland Highland Games committee also made a huge mistake allowing a Maori group to take over the opening of the Games. The Highland Games are a typical Scottish cultural event and have nothing to do with Maoris or Maori culture.
Although entry to the Auckland Highland Games is free the attendance of the public was down over previous years. However the Clan Donald Pavilion was busy most of the day, with members, friends and prospective new members calling in for a chat and refreshments. Two new members were signed up and others took away an application form to be emailed in.
The Clan Donald Colour Party. From the left; Jim Murdoch, Jim Donald, President Barrie Paterson, North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald and Geoff Parry.
Scottish Country Dancing with Clan Donald member Jim Donald in the centre.
The reenactment of the Medieval Battle of Largs.
Anne Marshall with Clan Donald Committee member Jim Murdoch.
Jim Donald with new member Douglas Oldfield.
Three Clan Donald pipers. Murdock McDonald, Ian Hill and Ian Foxell.