On a warm and sunny New Years Eve the Clan Donald Auckland team of Murdock McDonald, Jim Murdoch, Anne Marshall, Tom and Lynnette McDonald and Marni MacDonald set up the Pavilion in the Caledonian Grounds ready for the Games the next day.
After dinner at the old Clansman Motel, which has been renamed the Lighthouse Motel, some of the team patronised the New Years Eve function at the Waipu RSA. The entertainer was ‘Shane’ and his band, which played great music from the 50’s and 60’s.
New Years Day was another beautiful sunny day and the crowds soon arrived for the many events, piping, highland dancing and usual field events such as Tossing the Caber and Tossing the Sheaf.
At 9am the Waipu Pipe Band led the Parade of Clans from the monument to the Caledonian Grounds, with the host Clan Davidson leading, and their Chief Grant Davidson taking the salute as the parade passed the saluting base.
Banner Bearer Geoff Parry. In the background is Clan Donald member John McDonald.
The Clan Donald Colour Party. From the left Steve MacDonald (new member), Craig Newth, Annette Paterson partially obscured, Jim Murdoch, Barrie Paterson and Tom McDonald. Banner Bearer Geoff Parry.
The Clan Donald Pavilion had many members and friends calling in for a chat and refreshments. Fortunately, the team had extra help as Barrie and Annette Paterson, and Geoff Parry arrived at the Pavilion.
There were two lots of new members signed up. Steve MacDonald and his family, wife Violaine, son Tane and daughter Tara, and also Linda Johnson.
Steve, Tane, Tara and Violaine MacDonald.
At 12.30pm the massed bands and clans paraded around the arena. This was followed by a massed Highland Fling which set the scene for the Official Opening.
The clans started to pack up around 4pm. It had been a warm and busy but successful day. Everyone thought it had been a great start to the 2020 Highland Games season.
In the evening Clan Donald with members from Clan McLeod and Clan Matheson enjoyed a meal at the motel.
Several of the team attended the evening ceilidh in the Celtic Barn, where as usual, Twisty Willow provided great music and the caller for the dancing. Around two hundred visitors had a great time, and a fantastic supper which included plenty of haggis.
Next year Waipu celebrates its 150th anniversary, so the games will be extra special.