New Years Day dawned bright and clear. Heavy rain over night but a beautiful fine day for the first day of 2015.

As usual, the start of the Games had the Waipu Pipe Band leading the Clans March from the Monument into the Caledonian Grounds to the Avenue of Clans for the flag raising.

The crowds arrived early and the clans were soon answering queries from prospective members. The Clan Donald Pavilion had many members and friends calling in for a chat and refreshments. Committee members chatted with many interested people and also signed up the first new members for 2015.



Vice-President & Historian Carl Bradley and Murdock McDonald chatting with a prospective new member.

At 11.30am Clan Donald had the Haggis Ceremony and as the Haggis Party of Guard Carl Bradley, Haggis Bearer Murdock McDonald and Bard Tom McDonald led by Piper Bruce McGechan marched from the gate to the Clan Donald Pavilion the spectators were already crowding in front of the Pavilion. Tom McDonald gave a great rendition of the Robbie Burns address to the Haggis, and at the conclusion of the ceremony the spectators were able to try a sample.


The Haggis Party arriving at the Clan Donald Pavilion.


The Haggis Party toasting the Haggis after the Robbie Burns address. From the left Guard Carl Bradley, Bard Tom McDonald, Haggis Bearer Murdock McDonald and Piper Bruce McGechan.




Murdock McDonald and the North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald chatting with one of the many visitors to the Clan Donald Pavilion.

At 12.30pm the massed bands and clans paraded around the arena. This was followed by the massed Highland Fling which set the scene for the Official Opening.


The clan Donald Colour Party of Guards Lawrie Fear and Carl Bradley and Banner Bearer Tom McDonald before the parade.


After a long, hot, busy and successful day the clans started to pack up around 4pm. Everyone thought that it was a great Highland Games and a great start to 2015.


Clan Donald Canterbury held their AGM and Branch Meeting on Sunday 8 February.  To commemorate the Glencoe massacre a Glencoe photo board was on display, Ann Smith piped us into the meeting and Cathie McMillan read an interesting article about the village and surrounding countryside of Glencoe.

Christine Martin was re elected as President and Margaret Donald as Secretary/Treasurer. Cath Lyall has stood down from the Committee after providing valuable service for a number of years. We welcome her replacement, Adrienne Pamment who has already boosted our funds by running a raffle.

Christine Martin reported on the successful year Canterbury had with many enjoyable social events held. Christine commented on the success of the Hororata Highland Games and Clan Donald’s participation. One of the highlights for the year for the Clan was the enjoyable visit to Dunedin in May to attend the Clan Donald New Zealand AGM and renew acquaintances and friendships with our Otago Clans people. A very moving personal memory for Christine was her visit to Scotland last June and arriving at the Clan Donald Centre on Skye and seeing the flag flying at half mast at the time of Harold McIsaac’s passing.

The AGM was followed by a very enjoyable barbecue at Alan MacDonald’s house.


Ann Smith



Glencoe photo board.



Margaret Donald, Secretary/Treasurer and Christine Martin, President.



At the AGM, Colin and Doreen MacDonald with their son, Alan MacDonald, High Commissioner for Clan Donald New Zealand.



Pictured at the barbecue (left to right) Sally Wihone, Brennan Nelson and Pauline McIvor.



Bob Lyall and Elwyn Martin, South Island Commissioner.



Maureen Breach and Peter Smith spend a few quiet moments reading the Glencoe booklets.



Christine Martin chats with Colin MacDonald and Brent Tomlinson.



Adrienne Pamment, our MasterChef, at work.



The raffle being drawn under “police supervision”. Pictured left to right Helen Ring, Alan MacDonald and Adrienne Pamment with Sally Wihone.


Turakina is a small village in the western Rangitikei district in the southern North Island of New Zealand. The Turakina Caledonian Society Inc. was established in 1864 and the first ‘Turakina Highland Games’ were held the same year and are New Zealand’s longest running Highland Games.

In the morning we had cloud cover which made conditions very pleasant but by mid-day the sky cleared and we had a very “warm” afternoon.

Clan Donald Wellington & Districts was well supported by the North Island Commissioner for Clan Donald New Zealand, Tom McDonald, his wife Lynnette (Vice President, Auckland) and Carl Bradley (Vice President & Historian, Auckland). They came bearing the sale goodies for our stall.


From the left, John McKechnie, Clan Donald Wellington, Angus McDonald, President of Clan Donald Wellington, Carl Bradley, Vice President and Historian for Clan Donald Auckland, Tom McDonald, North Island Commissioner and Lynnette McDonald, Vice President Clan Donald Auckland.



Our local members’ David Moore and John McKechnie came and supported Angus McDonald (President) and Patricia McKechnie (Secretary) at the Clan tent.

Outside the Clan Donald tent we were treated to hearing the music and watching the solo piping and solo drum competition. It was a wonderful sight watching the young kids performing admirably in all competition areas.



Carl Bradley, Guard, Angus McDonald, Banner Bearer, John McKechnie (partly obscured) and Tom McDonald, Guard, waiting for the start of the Clans March.



Carl Bradley, Angus McDonald, Tom McDonald and John McKechnie during the Clans March.



Angus McDonald and David Johnston of Clan Johnston examining a Scottish sword.



Scottish Clans’ culture and music continues to have a strong future in New Zealand.

A thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all and a big thanks to the organisers and supporters of the Turakina Games.

Come and support us next year at the 152nd Turakina Highland Games on Sat 30th January 2016. The more the merrier. For full details of this fantastic event visit the organiser’s web site at http://www.turakinahighlandgames.co.nz/


The Paeroa Domain looked a picture under a beautiful Summer sky on Saturday the 14th of February. There were 14 clans in the Clans Village this year, and we were able to renew acquaintances, have a chat with our friends from other clans and enjoy a dram or two.

The beautiful weather brought out the crowds and we were kept busy welcoming our members and signing up a couple of new members.


Clan Donald Member Ross O’Halloran with Vice President Lynnette McDonald.

At 11am the clans marched to the town centre behind the Thames Valley Pipe Band. And as usual the March stopped all traffic through the town, and soon gathered an interested crowd of Saturday morning shoppers. The band played several sets of pipe tunes and then led the clans back to the domain.


Pictured, in the town centre, are several members of the Clan Donald Colour Party. From the left Vice President Lynnette McDonald, Lawrie Fear, President Bruce McGechan and Clan Member Barrie Paterson.



In the morning there was plenty of activity with the Solo Piping, Highland Dancing and Solo Drumming. The Axemen’s Carnival always attracted a good crowd, and there was a lot of interest in the Heavyweight Field Events.

During the afternoon there was the Pipe Band Contest with 13 bands from the Auckland and Central Districts.

The official opening was at 1.30pm with the welcome speech by the President of the Paeroa Highland Games & Tattoo Committee Alistair Buchanan. The group Twisty Willow also sang the National Anthems of New Zealand, Australia and Scotland.

In the afternoon there was a Tartan in the Park competition. The competition theme was “Fun and Fashionable Tartanwear” open to anyone who could show that Tartan was a contemporary fabric which could be worn in a multitude of styles in the 21st Century. Annette Paterson of Clan Donald Auckland was one of the winners in the competition.

Mary and Alan Bray, two of our long-time members, won the magnificent basket, which was the prize in the raffle.


Mary and Alan Bray with the magnificent basket, which was the prize in the raffle.

The evening Tattoo events started at 5.30pm with the Pipe Bands Street March through the town to the domain, followed by the firing of the cannon, which signalled the start of the Tattoo.

During the entertainment there was a Mace Flourishing Competition, a Haggis Ceremony, Massed Highland Dancers and songs by Twisty Willow.

The Tattoo finished with the Lone Piper, the Ode to Scotland, Massed Bands playing Scotland the Brave and Auld Lang Syne.


On Saturday the 9th of May, the sound of pipes greeted Clan Donald Auckland members and friends as they arrived for the 17th Annual Dinner at the Quality Hotel Parnell.

The Clan Piper Anton Hodson played several sets of pipe tunes outside the Conference Centre as guests arrived. This started off the evening with a real Scottish atmosphere which the guests enjoyed as they chatted over pre-dinner drinks.

At 7 pm, the MC Andrew Wilkie asked the guests to go to their tables for the piping in of the Official Party. The Official Party was led into the Dinner by Carl Bradley carrying the “Great Sword of Islay” followed by the President Bruce McGechan and his wife Halina, and the North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald and his wife Lynnette, who is also a Vice President of Clan Donald Auckland.

The President welcomed the guests and said that there was a real feast this evening. Not only with a fantastic Buffet menu, which catered for all tastes, but with a Haggis Ceremony and the usual exciting entertainment by the Balmoral Dancers, plus a great presentation of Scottish Celtic Music by the Guest Speaker Heather Laird and Anna Percy.

Following the singing of the Scottish National Anthem the “Flower of Scotland” the Haggis Party led by Piper Anton Hodson, Guards Barrie Paterson and Carl Bradley, Haggis Bearer Geoff Parry, Bard Tom McDonald and Whisky Bearer Andrew Wilkie, paraded the Haggis around the room. Tom McDonald gave a great rendition of the Robbie Burns “Ode to the Haggis”.



The Haggis Party entering the room.



As the Haggis and Tatties & Neeps were being prepared for the tables Rev Barrie MacCuish gave the “Selkirk Grace”.


Robin MacCuish and Rev Barrie MacCuish.



The Buffet dinner itself was a fantastic selection of dishes. Including Beef  Bourguignon, Cajun chicken, honey glazed ham plus a range of vegetable dishes and salads which catered for everyone. For those who needed a Gluten free meal these were included in the menu and the chef also included a special Gluten free dessert.


Flora Brown with her niece Catherine Jelicich.




Clan Donald Auckland Committee member Eileen Clark.




Clan Donald member Elizabeth Saunders.




The Balmoral Dancers ready to start the performance.




The Balmoral Dancers performing the “Highland Fling.”



The Balmoral Dancers, who have entertained at every Auckland dinner since1997, gave a very impressive performance. They were accompanied by a very talented piper Kerry Loomes.



Some of the guests enjoying the dancing by the Balmoral Dancers.



After dinner the usual four Toasts were given. For Scotland by Carl Bradley, Clan Donald by the President Bruce McGechan, Absent Friends by our Genealogist Heather Higgins and to Visiting Clans by the President of the Scottish Clans Association Murdock McDonald.



From the left Anna Percy, John Hawthorn and Heather Laird.



The address by the Guest Speaker Heather Laird was very interesting as it covered how Scottish Celtic music developed over the centuries. There were plenty of examples played by Heather on the fiddle with Anna Percy on the cello.

Heather Laird and Anna Percy performing Scottish Celtic Music.



At the end of the address many Scottish songs were played with the guests enthusiastically joining in the singing.


The Clan Historian Carl Bradley enjoying the singing of traditional Scottish songs.



A great evening finished with the traditional Auld Lang Syne.


Representatives from five of the Clan Donald Societies met in the capital city Wellington on Saturday the 23rd of May 2015. And what a brilliant weekend with plenty of sun and no wind. Wellington has the reputation for being the windy city.



The War Memorial Carillon, which was dedicated on Anzac Day 25th of April 1932, sits above the new National War Memorial Park in Buckle Street Wellington.

The AGM was held in the West Plaza Hotel, which had excellent conference facilities. The dinner in the evening was also held at the hotel.

The President Angus McDonald, from Wellington, welcomed everyone to the meeting. There were representatives from Southland, Canterbury, Wellington, Hawke’s Bay and Auckland, plus the High Commissioner, North Island Commissioner and South Island Commissioner.



Members gather before the meeting. From the left Angus McDonald, President Clan Donald New Zealand and Wellington; Marylyn Hayes, Secretary Clan Donald New Zealand and from Southland; High Commissioner Alan MacDonald; seated Murdock McDonald from Auckland; standing Patricia McKechnie, Treasurer Clan Donald New Zealand and from Wellington; Bruce McGechan, President Clan Donald Auckland; seated Brent Tomlinson from Canterbury; Alton McDonald, President Clan Donald 
Southland; Elwyn Martin, South Island Commissioner; Christine Martin, Vice President Clan Donald New Zealand and President of Clan Donald Canterbury and Tom McDonald, North Island Commissioner.

Each of the Presidents, Christine Martin from Canterbury, Bruce McGechan from Auckland, Alton McDonald from Southland and Angus McDonald from Wellington presented a report on each of their societies activities during 2014. Elwyn Martin, the South Island Commissioner, also gave a report on the overall situation in the South Island, and Tom McDonald, the North Island Commissioner, did the same for the North Island.

Bruce McGechan, the Website Coordinator, also presented a report on the performance of the Clan Donald New Zealand Website. In particular, on the spectacular growth over recent years, from an average of 6,000 hits a month in 2012 to an average of 10,500 hits a month in 2014. There are a very loyal number of visitors, making up an average of 80% of the total number of visitors. Visitors were from a wide range of countries, from North and South America, Asia and Europe, Australia and New Zealand. 52% of all visitors to the Website are from New Zealand. Bruce also requested that all societies provide more information on events and news items during the next twelve months.

The Chairman Angus McDonald thanked everyone for their support over the past 12 months. He then handed over to the High Commissioner, Alan MacDonald, for the election of office bearers.
The following Officers were elected unanimously. President Angus McDonald of Wellington. Vice President Christine Martin of Canterbury. Secretary Marylyn Hayes of Southland, and Patricia McKechnie of Wellington as Treasurer.



From the left, Patricia McKechnie of Wellington, Treasurer, Marylyn Hayes of Southland, Secretary and Angus McDonald of Wellington, President.

The main business of the AGM concerned a new replacement constitution. The existing constitution had not worked, and had also been found to not comply with incorporated societies regulations.

Following robust discussion the new constitution, prepared by the sub-committee of David McDonald, Alan MacDonald and Angus McDonald, with amendments to do with membership, was approved.

It was also agreed that the 2016 Annual General Meeting be held in Christchurch on Saturday the 21st of May.

The AGM finished around 4.30pm. Some of the representatives had an opportunity to see some of the sights of Wellington. Others spent the time chatting over a dram or two before Dinner at the West Plaza Hotel.

The Dinner in the evening started with pre-dinner drinks followed by a welcome by the Clan Donald New Zealand President Angus McDonald. The High Commissioner Alan MacDonald also read out a message of greetings from the High Chief Lord Macdonald, The Rt. Hon. Godfrey James Macdonald of Macdonald.



High Commissioner Alan MacDonald reading the greetings from Lord Macdonald.

Following the speeches was the Haggis Ceremony. The Haggis Party of Piper Bruce McGechan of Auckland, Haggis Bearer Angus McDonald of Wellington, Bard David McDonald of Hawke’s Bay and Whisky Bearer Barry Fry of Wellington marched into the room to the well known Robbie Burns tune “A Man’s a Man for a’ That”.

David McDonald then gave a rousing rendition of the Robbie Burns “Ode to the Haggis”.

After sampling the Haggis the guests enjoyed a fantastic smorgasbord dinner.



Ewan & Valda McCann from Wellington.


During the evening the Clan Donald New Zealand President Angus McDonald formally presented to Alan MacDonald, his warrant for the position of High Commissioner. Alan had received his warrant in 2014 in an informal presentation in Christchurch, and this was the first occasion for representatives of the other societies to witness his receiving of the warrant.



The High Commissioner Alan MacDonald receiving his Warrant from the President Angus McDonald.

Also during the dinner, Bruce McGechan from Auckland, played several pipe tunes of significance to the High Commissioner Alan MacDonald and the President Angus McDonald.

The first tune was a slow air entitled “Great is the Source of My Sorrow”. This tune commemorates the massacre at Glencoe, and had special significance to Alan MacDonald, as his father Collin is in the process of applying to the Court of Lord Lyon to be recognised as the Chief of MacDonald of Glencoe.

The second tune entitled “Kathleen MacDonald “ had special significance with family connections for Angus McDonald.



From the left, Katherine Steer, and Marylyn & Graydon Hayes from Southland.





Grant & Catherine MacDonald from Wellington.





South Island Commissioner Elwyn Martin and Canterbury President Christine Martin.




At the back, Megan Hall, and Tom & Ian Dickson from Clan Keith, and in the front, Maureen McDonald and Erin Moyle from Wellington.





Sheila & Duncan Wall, National President of Clan Gunn New Zealand.






John, Patricia & Peter McKechnie from Wellington.






Julie Dickson and Erin Draper from Clan Keith.

The guests from the Clan Donald Societies and their friends from Clan Gunn and Clan Keith enjoyed a great evening, and after the Dinner met in the Hotel Bar to chat and enjoy a few drinks before retiring.


On Sunday the 28th of June representatives of six clans attended the “Kirking of the Tartan” at the St Andrews Church in Symonds Street Auckland.

The six clans represented were Clan Davidson, with their new chief Grant Davidson. Clan Donald, Clan Cameron, Clan Campbell, Clan MacLeod and Clan




Representatives of the Clans, on the steps at the front of St Andrews Church. From the left Tom McDonald North Island Commissioner for Clan Donald, Trevor Stewart of Clan Stewart, Grant Davidson the Chief of Clan Davidson and in the wheel chair Mary Davidson, widow of the late Jock Davidson, 
Rev Murray Gow, Minister of St Andrews, Max Rawnsley, Max Campbell of Clan Campbell and Norman Cameron of Clan Cameron. In the front, Piper Malcolm Campbell of Clan Campbell.

Following the service everyone enjoyed refreshments in the church hall.


On Friday the 3rd of July, Bruce McGechan President of Clan Donald Auckland and his wife Halina and Murdock McDonald, represented Clan Donald at a Formal Dinner and Opening Ceremony of the Celtic Barn in the Caledonian Grounds at Waipu.



From the left, Murdock McDonald, and Halina and Bruce McGechan.

This function was an opportunity for the Waipu Joint Venture to gather together all those whose substantial contributions had enabled the successful completion of the project.

The Celtic barn comprises a main hall, which has the most up-to-date acoustic features. A large entrance hall, which has already been booked for several weddings, and a fully equipped commercial kitchen, plus changing rooms and shower and toilet facilities. The Celtic Barn is only a half an hour from Whangarei and around one and a half hours from Auckland.



A view of the main hall.

At 7pm around 400 guests sat down for the Formal Buffet Dinner, which was preceded by the Haggis Ceremony.



Some of the guests who were seated at 40 tables in the main hall.

Following the dinner, the building was officially opened by the HON Bill English, the Minister of Finance. There were also many tributes by the Chairman Richie Guy, to the many people who were responsible for the planning, raising the finance and completing the fantastic facility.

During the evening there was music supplied by the well-known ceilidh band Twisty Willow.


On a beautiful evening on Saturday the 12th of September, ninety eight guests attended the tenth Annual Dinner of the Auckland Scottish Clans Association, in the Hobson Room at Alexandra Park in Auckland.

Clan Donald Auckland was well represented with around twenty members at the dinner. The Guest Clan for the Dinner was Clan Davidson represented by their new Chief Grant Davidson and his wife Brenda.


From the left Michele, daughter of Ian Hill and Ian Hill retired Piper for Clan Donald, and Trevor Pollard a member of Clan Donald, and Committee Member Eileen Clark.

There were two pipers present for the evening. Piper Anton Hodson and the Official Piper for Clan Davidson Piper Malcolm Campbell.

The Welcome Address to the Guests of Honour was given by the Vice President Trevor Stewart.

Entertainment throughout the evening was by the Highland Dancer Tessa Hiam, and Accordionist Lionel Reekie.

The Dinner started with Scotch Broth and Baps. And the Entrée of Haggis Tatties & Neeps, followed the Haggis Ceremony, where the Ode to the Haggis, was given by George Mutch from Waipu.

Following the main course the Guest Speaker Max Rawnsley, from Clan Davidson, addressed the guests with an entertaining speech on the history of Clan Davidson.


Enjoying the evening were Jon Winder of Clan Donald, and the Secretary and North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald.

The Toasts followed the delicious dessert of apple pie and cream, and tea and coffee.

The Toast to Scotland, was given by Donald Matheson of Clan Matheson.

The Toast to Clan Davidson by Alan Ferguson of Clan Fergusson, and the reply was given by Alex Davidson, the President of Clan Davidson.

The Toast to the Auckland Scottish Clans Association by Bruce McGechan, the President of Clan Donald, and the reply by the President Murdock McDonald.

The Toast to Absent Friends by Andrew Wilkie of Clan Donald, and the reply and farewell address by the President Murdock McDonald.

Following the traditional Auld Lang Syne the Guests of Honour from Clan Davidson were piped out by Piper Malcolm Campbell. And the piping out by the President Murdock McDonald and his wife Lois, by Piper Anton Hodson.

This brought an exciting flourish to the end of a great evening.


Geraldine is a small Canterbury town about 140 kms south of Christchurch     and was the venue for Clan Donald Canterbury’s weekend away 18, 19 and 20 September 2015.

Activities included Friday lunch at The Brewery Cafe, a quiz on Friday night, a visit on Saturday to At Violinos Music Farm which was a lot of fun, dinner on Saturday night at the Village Inn Restaurant and on Sunday a drive along the scenic route at the foot of the hills to the Terrace Downs Resort for lunch before heading back to Christchurch.
Unfortunately the glorious spring weather we had experienced earlier in the week was replaced by a sudden return to winter with a fresh coating of snow on the hills. However this did not dampen our spirits and a very enjoyable time was had.

A special thank you to our Secretary, Maggie Donald for all her work in organising the bookings and the activities.


The Brewery Cafe served excellent food and had a good selection of beers including their well known Jinja Beer (just like Grandma use to make!)



Ready to participate in the Friday Night Quiz are ( left to right) Rosemary Dodson, Sally Wihone, Alison Kinraid, Ann Smith, Helen Ring and Heather Bastida.


Winner of the Friday Night Quiz was Ian Bright.


At Violinos Music Farm activities include improvised instruments, Swiss Cow bells, drums, gongs, pipe organ shed, musical garden, musical croquet, musical windmill and musical playground.



Lunch at Violinos Musical Farm. Pictured (left to right) Rosemary Dodson, Irvine Kinraid, Heather Bastida, Peter Smith, Christine Martin, Helen Ring, Valerie Bright, Ian Bright and Alan MacDonald.



Irvine Kinraid mastering one of the many instruments At Violinos.



Maggie Donald renews her drumming skills.



The Clan Band in action, Maggie Donald, Peter Smith, Helen Ring and Alan MacDonald.






Pictured at Terrace Downs Resort in front of the fresh snow on the hills; (left to right) Ian Bright, Irvine Kinraid, Bob Lyall, Cath Lyall, Maggie Donald, Heather Bastida, Christine Martin, Valerie Bright, Ann Smith, Peter Smith, Elwyn Martin, Rosemary Dodson and Alison Kinraid.