Auckland Pre-Christmas Lunch 2018

Sunday the 9th of December was a beautiful sunny day for the Clan Donald Pre-Christmas lunch. This was the 6th year that the lunch has been held at the Northcote Tavern, which is well known for its fantastic menu including the famous Sunday Roast.

Around 30 Clan Donald Auckland members and their families arrived in the Highlander Bar of the Northcote Tavern. This bar has a Scottish decor with tartan carpet and shields of the various clans on the walls, and swords and pictures from Scotland. And has a great atmosphere for the lunch.

The Signals Pipe Band arrived early and entertained the guests as they played in the garden of the tavern. The band also played several times during the afternoon, which really gave the lunch a great Scottish atmosphere.


The Signals Pipe Band playing in the garden of the tavern.


The gathering was welcomed by the President Barrie Paterson, followed by a presentation of a Life Membership Certificate, to Eileen Clark. Eileen is a long-term member of Clan Donald Auckland, and was the organiser for themed luncheons and dinners. She is also the hostess for the regular monthly committee meetings.


The President Barrie Paterson presenting Eileen Clark with her Life Membership Certificate.


Murdock McDonald also spoke about Eileen’s early career as the Drum Major of the Auckland Ladies Pipe Band, which also attended the opening of the Auckland Harbour Bridge on the 30th of May 1959.


Murdock McDonald after his speech about Eileen Clark. Pictured behind Murdock is a new Scottish decoration of a targe and swords.


After such a fantastic lunch and presentation, members spent the rest of the afternoon chatting over a few drinks.


Eileen Clarke with a couple of her ex Auckland Ladies Pipe Band members.
From the left: Jeanette McFarland, Eileen Clark and friend, and Dorothy Beall.


Members enjoying a chat after lunch. From the left: Jon Winder, Mary McIsaac, Diane Winder and Lois McDonald.


Geoff Parry with his mother Margaret enjoying a few drinks.


Mary Bray enjoying her lunch.


From the left: Barrie Paterson, Albert Kinnell, Laurie Mathews, Lynnette McDonald, Marlene Mathews and Annette Paterson.


A couple of the girls doing the Highland Fling accompanied by Andrew Wilkie. 

Sausage Sizzle – Bunnings Mt Roskill – Auckland

Clan Donald Auckland has initiated a programme for funding to cover the cost for equipment and scholarships.

The first of these funding events took place on Saturday the 1st of December at Bunnings Warehouse in Mt Roskill. Bunnings have a policy of supporting charitable organizations in their fund raising, and in particular allowing organizations to have a Sausage Sizzle near the entrance to their stores. Bunnings provide the barbecue, gas and tables. Organizations provide the sausages, sliced bread, sauces and onions.

This event was to cover the cost of the sign-writing on the trailer. The trailer is used to transport the pavilion and other equipment to the various Highland Games.


The new sign-writing on the rear of the trailer.


Clan Donald were on site from 8.00am till 4.00pm. The Clan Members, led by the President Barrie Paterson and his wife Annette were Geoff Parry, Trevor Pollard, Murdock McDonald, Alan and Mary Bray, and Tom and Lynnette McDonald.

Andrew Wilkie did a sterling effort as pied piper for the whole day. Taking a five minute rest periodically to catch his breath.


Andrew Wilkie playing a few pipe tunes.


Lynnette McDonald about to supply two anxious boys waiting for their sausages.


Murdock McDonald taking a well-earned rest from preparing the onions.


The job is not done till everything is cleaned up. Murdock McDonald cleaning the barbecue.

Andrew Wilkie taking a well-earned rest at the end of the day.


400 sausages were cooked and sold for a very worthwhile profit. Further Sausage Sizzles are planned, and the next is likely to be at Bunnings on the North Shore in Auckland. The earnings will then be targeted at providing scholarships.

The 43rd Auckland Highland Games

The Auckland Highland Games, the first of the Highland Games season, was held at the Ellerslie Events Centre in Auckland on Saturday the 17th of November.

The day was pleasantly warm with only a light breeze. The crowds started to arrive early to enjoy a full programme, which included solo piping and Highland Dancing competitions in the morning, and the first pipe band contest of the season in the afternoon.

At 12.30 pm there was the parade of the clans followed by the Opening Ceremony. The President of the Auckland Highland Games, David Harvey welcomed everyone to the Highland Games for the second time at the Ellerslie Events Centre and declared the Games Open. Malcolm Campbell sang the Scottish Anthem “The Flower of Scotland”.

The Parade of the Clans led by the City of Sails Pipe Band.


Clan Donald in the centre with the yellow banner, during the Parade of the Clans.


During the day the Clan Donald Pavilion saw many members and friends calling in for a chat and refreshment including a dram or two.

Clan Donald members in the Pavilion. From the left. Noelene McSkimming, Marni Macdonald, Jeanette McFarland, Diane Winder and Lynnette McDonald.


There was a Haggis Ceremony with Tom Sheils giving the well known “Ode to the Haggis” by Robbie Burns. Grant Davidson, The Chief of Clan Davidson, was the whisky bearer for the Haggis Ceremony. The public were also able to try a sample of Haggis.

The crowd was also entertained with the staging of medieval battles and Scottish Country Dancing.


Scottish Country Dancers


The highlight of the end of the day was the Closing Ceremony. There were the mass pipe bands and the mass Highland Fling by the Highland Dancers followed by the farewell by the Highland Games President and Auld Lang Syne.

Hororata Highland Games 2018

The 8th annual Hororata Highland Games were held on Saturday 10th November. The event was very successful despite the heavy rain the day before risking damage to the grounds. The Games organisers and their team of helpers rose to the challenge and were well prepared by opening time on the Saturday morning which dawned fine and clear.

More than 500 competitors took part in the various events ranging from Highland dancing to the “Kilted Mile” where competitors race over a mile overcoming several challenges and obstacles on the way.

Chieftain this year was Patrick Hellier, New Zealand’s highest achieving Highland Games Heavy Athlete.

This year the Clan tents were grouped in a new location which proved very satisfactory. Rather than being in the two rows of tents in Clan Lane as in previous years, the tents were in a “U” shape with a large shared open space in which the list of Scottish Clans and map of Scotland were the main feature. This always attracts interest from visitors.

The Clan Area


Brent Tomlinson from Clan Donald Canterbury successfully used the Clan Area to meet and engage with visitors.


Ann Smith, President Clan Donald Canterbury and Margaret Donald, Secretary/Treasurer Clan Donald Canterbury with visitors to the Clan Area.


The number of Clans represented at the Games continues to grow with three new Clans attending this year.

Clan Donald Canterbury have drawn on their learnings from the workshop at the 2018 Clan Donald Anzac Forum and are working on refreshing/improving their stall layout plus how they interact with visitors.

Tom McDonald, our North Island Commissioner and Lynnette McDonald along with our Clan Donald NZ Newsletter editor, Roz McKechnie from Otago, joined the Clan Donald Canterbury members attending the Clan Donald tent and assisted throughout the day. We had a steady stream of visitors and were successful in signing up 8 new members.


Lynnette McDonald, Vice President Clan Donald Auckland, Alan MacDonald, High Commissioner, Ann Smith, President Clan Donald Canterbury and Margaret Donald, Secretary/Treasurer Clan Donald Canterbury.


Tom McDonald, North Island Commisioner with Rebecca and Andrew MacDonald.


The Giles family visiting the Clan Donald tent.


Alan MacDonald, High Commissioner with Brent Tomlinson and Noel Batty, a visitor from Ashburton. 


Aaron and Jocelyn Jelly promoting the Hororata Highland Games.




Scottish Ceilidh Club – Auckland

The Scottish Ceilidh Club held a ceilidh on Friday the 26th of October. Clan Donald Auckland had quite a few members in attendance, to enjoy a great session of ceilidh dancing. Heather Laird, from the club, had a well organised programme, and Jennifer Dean, an Honorary Member of Clan Donald Auckland, called the dances.

Live music was supplied by a group of fiddlers, accompanied by John Hawthorn, from Clan Donald, on his piano accordion.

Cameron, Jennifer Dean’s son, gave a few tunes on the pipes after supper.

It was a great evening with everyone enjoying the dances, and the next ceilidh by the Auckland Scottish Ceilidh Club will be a Christmas themed function on Friday the 30th of November.


Clan Donald Members from the left. Mary and Alan Bray, Lynette McDonald, John and Barbara Hawthorn and Doug and Janet Williamson.


More Clan Donald Members. From the left. Annette Paterson, Andrew Wilkie, Doug and Mary Bray, Lynnette and Tom McDonald, North Island Commissioner, John and Barbara Hawthorn and Clan Donald Auckland President Barrie Paterson.


Cameron Dean playing a few pipe tunes after supper.

Clan Donald Auckland Luncheon and Movie “Whisky Galore”

On Saturday the 13th of October, 24 members of Clan Donald Auckland enjoyed a great luncheon of a roast, cooked in a wood-burning oven at Ryders in Avondale, followed by the movie “Whisky Galore”.

This was a 2016 remake of the movie. The tiny island of Todday runs out of whisky during World War II. The grounding of the freighter SS Cabinet Minister with 50,000 cases of whisky saves the day.


From the left. Laurie and Marlene Mathews, Margaret and Geoff Parry and Lynnette McDonald enjoy a pre-luncheon drink and chat.


Lunch is served.


Members enjoy an ice cream ahead of the movie.


The movie gets started.




Clan Donald Canterbury’s Weekend Away 28-30th September 2018

Each year Clan Donald Canterbury go on an away weekend. These weekends are a lot of fun and provide a great opportunity to get to know other members and build strong friendships. This helps in keeping the society strong. In previous years we have visited Blenheim, Hanmer Springs, Ashburton, Dunedin, Geraldine, Rangiora and Oamaru. This year 14 members went to the small North Canterbury country township of Cheviot which is just over 110 kms north of Christchurch.



We stayed two nights at the Cheviot Motel and Holiday Park which is located on the edge of the town set in peaceful countryside. The site is 5 acres containing beautifully landscaped grounds and garden. Neighbouring paddocks contained sheep and lambs.


You know you are in the country when a local farmer drives a small mob of ewes and lambs right past the motel.


First event arranged by our Secretary, Margaret Donald was Mt Beautiful wine tasting which was held at The Twin River Café in Cheviot.



Pictured at the Wine Tasting (Left to right) Irvine Kinraid, Ann Smith, Margaret Donald, Heather Bastida, Sally Wihone.

Back row, Alison Kinraid, Alan MacDonald, Helen Ring, Christine and Elwyn Martin.


Saturday the 29th September was a gorgeous spring day which was spent in Kaikoura. It was interesting to see the work completed (and still underway) on SH1 and the main rail line required as a result of the November 2016 earthquake. We had lunch in Kaikoura and visited various areas around town.


View overlooking Kaikoura town with the Seaward Kaikoura Range in the background.


Saturday night dinner at the Cheviot Hotel. Pictured left to right. Alison Kinraid, Irvine Kinraid, Heather Bastida, Sally Wihone, Valerie Bright, Ian Bright, Helen Ring and Ann Smith.


On Sunday morning we played bowls at the Cheviot Bowling Club before returning to Christchurch.


Pictured at the Cheviot Bowling Club. Front row (left to right). Elwyn Martin, Helen Ring, Ann Smith, Alan MacDonald

Back row (left to right). Andrew Muskee, Margaret Donald, Ian Bright, Christine Martin, Sally Wihone, Raewyn Hinton, Valerie Bright, Irvine Kinraid.


The Old Leithfield Hotel


On the way back to Christchurch we stopped for lunch at the historic Leithfield Hotel where we were joined by Clan Donald Canterbury members, Cath and Bob Lyall. After lunch and watching the All Blacks play Argentina on the large tv screen in the bar, we said our goodbyes and headed our separate ways home. We all agreed it had been another enjoyable weekend away and our thanks go to Margaret Donald for her work in arranging the accommodation and events.

Dedication of Memorial Tables for Clans who Fought in the Battle of Prestonpans

In September I attended the Dedication of the Memorial Tables for Clans and British Regiments who fought in the Battle of Prestonpans. My father, Colin MacDonald, who is a member of the Committee of High Patronage of The Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust, received an invitation to attend the ceremony as representor of the Glencoe MacDonalds. Unfortunately, it was not possible for him to do so and I attended on his behalf. Clan Donald Canterbury member, Brent Tomlinson was also on holiday in the UK at this time and was able to attend.

The Battle of Prestonpans was the first significant conflict in the Jacobite Rising of 1745. The Battle took place early morning on 21st September 1745. The Jacobite army led by Charles Edward Stuart achieved a stunning victory over the government army led by Sir John Cope. The government force was between 2,200 to 2,800 strong while the Jacobite army numbered between 2000 and 2,500.

The inexperienced government troops were outflanked and broke in the face of a highland charge. The battle was over in less than 15 minutes. The victory was a huge morale boost for the Jacobites. Hundreds of government troops were killed or wounded and 1500 taken prisoner. Only 170 escaped. The Jacobite Army suffered fewer than 100 troops killed or wounded.

The MacDonald Clans played a major role in this battle, making up nearly half the Jacobite force.

The Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust was established in 2006 to ensure a much better presentation and opportunity for visitors to gain a comprehensive understanding of the battle.

The Trust has campaigned since 2006 for a proper memorial which lists the Clans and Regiments that were involved. They recently received a grant to create two Memorial Tables, one for each side in the combat.

Last year The Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust put out the Call to all those Clans which fought with the Prince at Prestonpans and to the “Successor” Regiments of those engaged there in support of the government in 1745 serving the British Army today to share in the Dedication.

The Dedication was held on 15th September 2018. The events included a Grand Parade, the commemoration ceremony, living history camps, military displays and a spectacular battle re-enactment. The Memorial Tables are located on the old wagonway which ran across the battlefield. The Tables are very impressive and provide a fitting memorial to those involved in the battle.

I was also impressed by the quality of the re-enactors who strive to be as accurate and authentic in appearance as possible. This includes those not directly involved in the battle re-enactment but who were present in a support role. The strict adherence to the period with the provision of props such as tents, furniture, cooking facilities etc added to the level of realism achieved.

The Grand Parade passed through the town of Prestonpans to the Sports Centre where the re-enactment events were held.

The Memorial Table to the Clans who took part in the battle. Alan MacDonald and Brent Tomlinson on the far right.

Alan MacDonald pictured with Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Clan Donald Canterbury member, Brent Tomlinson with one of the re-enactors.

Re-enactors prepare their meal before the battle re-enactment later in the day.

Bonnie Prince Charlie’s War Council.

Bonnie Prince Charlie plans for the battle over lunch.

The government forces prepare for battle.

The government forces fire a fusillade from their muskets.

The Clans prepare to charge.

The Highland charge.

Victory is quickly achieved.

For more information visit the Trust’s very good website:

Article courtesy of Alan MacDonald, High Commissioner for Clan Donald in New Zealand

Clan Donald Hawkes Bay Annual Dinner & Kirking of the Tartan

Clan Donald Hawkes Bay held its annual Scottish dinner on 7 July 2018 at the Community Centre in Havelock North. The event was attended by 34 people including local Clan Donald members, members of the Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury Societies, and others who enjoyed the Scottish atmosphere and entertainment.

From Auckland, President Barrie Paterson, North Island Commissioner Tom and Lynnette McDonald, and Murdock McDonald attended, as did Past Auckland President (now resident in Hawkes Bay) Bruce McGechan. From Christchurch, High Commissioner Alan MacDonald and National President Christine Martin and South Island Commissioner Elwyn Martin made the journey north. From Wellington we had President David Moore and John and Trish McKechnie.


From the left. Wellington President David Moore, North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald, Auckland President Barrie Paterson, High Commissioner Alan MacDonald, South Island Commissioner Elwyn Martin and New Zealand President Christine Martin.


The evening commenced with a cleansing draft for all guests of Athol Brose, which had been specially prepared by Hawkes Bay President David McDonald according to an ancient Scottish recipe. We then moved on to a traditional Haggis ceremony, with the Haggis being addressed by David McDonald.


From the left. Guard David Daysh, Bard David McDonald, Haggis Bearer Alan MacDonald, Guard Tom McDonald and Whisky Bearer David Moore.


Clan Donald Hawkes Bay’s Piper Maurice Chisnall, piped the Haggis and later in the evening played an extended bracket of pipe music, much to the delight of those present. Maurice is also the Pipe Major of the City of Hastings Pipe Band, and the Clan Donald Hawkes Bay counts itself very lucky that he makes himself available for occasions such as this. His piping was certainly the high point of the evening.


Clan Piper Maurice Chisnall playing a set of pipe tunes.


Doug McGechan from Hawkes Bay and Tom McDonald from Auckland singing the Scottish Anthem “The Flower of Scotland.”


Bruce McGechan having a chat with Maurice Chisnall about pipe music and pipe bands.


From the left John McKechnie, Alan MacDonald, Murdock McDonald, Trish McKechnie and David Moore having a good discussion over dinner.


There was also a short meeting after the dinner to confirm the appointment of the Clan Donald New Zealand Vice President Roz McKechnie from Otago


Wellington President David Moore, High Commissioner Alan MacDonald and Hawkes Bay President David McDonald at the meeting after the dinner.


New Zealand President Christine Martin and Secretary/Treasurer Trish McKechnie discussing a point during the meeting after the dinner.


On the following morning, Sunday 8th July 2018, a Kirking of the Tartan service was held as part of the regular Sunday morning service at St Columba’s Presbyterian Church in Havelock North, which was attended by Elwyn and Christine Martin, Tom and Lynnette McDonald, John and Trish McKechnie, David and Jill McDonald and David Moore, with an informal lunch to follow at the local pub. As always, the congregation and the Minister at St Columba’s were very welcoming to the Clan Donald contingent and fully participated in the Kirking of the Tartan, with Clan tartans being brought to the front of the church and laid on the Communion Table. The Minister, interim Moderator Craig Kilgour wore his kilt for the occasion, and adapted the service to fit in with the theme. As part of the service “Flower of Scotland” was sung by the congregation, accompanied on the pipes by Piper Graeme Buchanan. After the service the leftover Haggis was served up to all present, and was much appreciated.


Minister Craig Kilgour in the pulpit at the Kirking of the Tartan, and showing the Communion Table with Clan Tartans placed on it.


Piper Graeme Buchnan playing at the Kirking of the Tartan. Minister Craig Kilgour in the pulpit.


All in all, it was a very successful weekend, and Clan Donald Hawkes Bay thanks all those who took the time to visit Hawkes Bay to participate. It would certainly not have been the same without you.

Clan Donald Canterbury Tea

Members of Clan Donald Canterbury were invited by long standing members, Cath and Bob Lyall, to their home for a special afternoon tea on Sunday 17th June to celebrate Cath’s birthday.

About 20 members attended and were treated to the customary Lyall hospitality.

It was great to gather together in Cath and Bob’s lovely home, catch up over a cup of tea and enjoy the wonderful afternoon tea provided.


Cath and Bob Lyall


Ann Smith wishes Cath a happy birthday


The afternoon tea