Hororata Highland Games 2020

The 10th annual Hororata Highland Games were held on Saturday 7th November and attracted a crowd of over 8,000 people on a day that was heavily overcast. Fortunately, the forecasted rain held off until after the event.


Bands parading in the main arena.


Ten years ago, the Hororata community came up with an idea to raise funds and spirits after the devastating September 2010 earthquake and as a result the Hororata Highland Games were born. The Hororata Highland Games have developed to become a special event that celebrates Hororata, the greater Canterbury community, traditional Highland activities, and Scottish traditions.

The Games have a rich tapestry of culture surrounding unique and entertaining competitions such as the Kilted Mile. Each year the organisers do a wonderful job of refreshing the programme by introducing some new features. This year it was the inclusion of over 40 of New Zealand’s oldest cars including some with a Scottish heritage, and the Scottish farmyard.


Some of the vintage cars on display.


Two vehicles with a Scottish heritage were a 1905 Argyll and a 1912 Albion


The number of Clans represented at the Games continues to grow with 17 in attendance in St Andrews Square this year.


Clan Donald Canterbury members manning the Clan Donald tent were joined by Tom McDonald and Lynnette McDonald from Auckland and Roz McKechnie from Dunedin. We had a steady stream of visitors and were successful in recruiting 13 new members (including several family groups).


Pictured in front of the Clan Donald tent are Margaret Donald, Brent Tomlinson, Lynnette and Tom McDonald


Clan Donald member, Sheila Cuthbertson gave a spinning demonstration in the Clan area.


The ancient game of Kubb attracted a lot of interest and participation. The objective of the game is to knock over the wooden blocks (kubbs) by throwing a wooden baton.







Colin Donald MacDonald (29.11.1925 – 22.09.2020)

Colin Donald MacDonald
29.11.1925 – 22.09.2020

Colin was an amazing person who touched the lives of all in Clan Donald Canterbury. He was a foundation member when the Clan was formed in February 1991, and went on to become President in 1994-1996.

He loved life, family, fun and a dram.

During the early years of the Clan he was a great mentor, and shared his expertise on how to research your genealogy. We were all in awe of his dedication to his own family tree, and were impressed at the hours of research he put in. This lifelong passion put Colin in touch with many Clan Donald members worldwide, and he was fortunate to meet many of them in person as he and Doreen travelled the world.

Later he would take on the role of addressing the Haggis at functions. A role he enjoyed as it included a toast to the piper. (Whisky)

Over the years Colin was a regular attendee at all Clan functions and joined in the spirit of the socials, whether it was dressing up as the ugly sister in our production of Cinderella and the ugly sisters, wearing his kilt at the Scottish outdoor bowls, dressed up for our themed dinners and even provided the tractor for our “Old MacDonald had a farm”. He attended garden tours, wine tastings and how could any of us forget the wonderful car rallies he would put together with Stan.

Also memorable were our socials at 222 Cannon Hill Crescent, the home of Colin and Doreen. That was once we all knew how to find our way there. The views from the balcony always seemed to add to the atmosphere of the night.

Early on we decided that Colin would make a great Father Xmas and he willingly took on this role. His sense of humour and light hearted banter added to the fun of receiving a present.

So to end, how can we sum up our relationship with Colin as a member of the Clan?

He was:
• Loyal – attended as many functions as possible
• Fun – had a wicked sense of humour
• Great story teller – several of us purchased his book , The Life and Times of Ernie O’Neil
• Honest
• Passionate

To finish our story of Colin MacDonald here is a wonderful short poem. “Gone from us”

Gone from us that smiling face,
The cheerful pleasant ways
The heart that won so many friends
In bygone, happy days

A life made beautiful by kindly deeds
A helping hand for others needs
To a beautiful life,
Comes a happy end
He died as he lived,
Everyone’s friend.

Clan Donald Canterbury’s Weekend Away 17th – 18th October 2020

Each year Clan Donald Canterbury arrange a 3-day weekend away for Clan members. Some years we have travelled outside the Canterbury area, however we have also discovered many interesting and delightful small towns within a short drive of Christchurch. So, this year we stayed at Darfield (population 2,900) which is 50 kms from Christchurch. Darfield is the main town between Christchurch and the West Coast and lies in the Malvern district arable and pastoral farming area.

On Friday, the 17th we met for lunch at Clan Donald Canterbury members, Paul and Faye McOscar’s home at Glentunnel where they operate a B and B. Glentunnel is a small village 14 kms from Darfield with a rich history. Coal mining and the manufacture of pottery and bricks used to take place in the area. Paul and Faye provided an interesting tour of their property and the village which included a visit to the Glentunnel museum and New Zealand’s smallest public library.


Pictured in the Glentunnel Museum (left to right) Andrew Muskee, Raewyn Hinton, Ann Smith, Ian Bright, Alison Kinraid, Elwyn Martin, Irvine Kinraid, Maggie Donald, Alan MacDonald, Pauline McIvor, Helen Ring, Valerie Bright, Paul McOscar, Gordon McIvor


The octagonal brick Glentunnel library was built in 1887 and incorporated the various types of brick and terracotta tile then produced by the nearby brick works. In 1984 a postal agency was established and continues to provide mail and postal services in addition to the free library service offered to residents.


Pictured (left to right) Elwyn Martin, Ian Bright, Pauline McIvor, Valerie Bright, Andrew Muskee, Gordon McIvor, Irvine Kinraid, Alison Kinraid, Paul McOscar, Raewyn Hinton, Maggie Donald, Ann Smith, Alan MacDonald, Helen Ring.


On Saturday morning we visited the Dean’s farm property “Homebush” situated about 8km from Darfield. The tour included an interesting talk from Crispen and Fleur Deans about the Deans family who were the first settlers on the Canterbury plains. In 1843 the Deans family took up a lease of 33,000 acres. Homebush is now a working farm of 1,350 acres. We toured the 8-acre garden, viewing the magnificent trees, rhododendrons, and spring flowers. The farm buildings were built from the 1850s onwards. Most still survive. The woolshed, stables, pigsties, and the apple house were all built from bricks made at the Homebush Brickworks. Sadly, the old homestead did not survive the 2010 earthquake and a new home has been built. The museum which is housed in the beautiful brick stables building contains an extensive number of exhibits including memorabilia of legendary All Black, Bob Deans who lived and worked at Homebush.


Crispen Deans, descendant of the original owners, gave an interesting overview of the property and its history.


The historic stables building which includes a water driven turbine.


Helen Ring amongst the bluebells


The historic apple house used for storing apples picked from the orchard.


After lunch at the popular Darfield Bakery we went for a walk in McHughs Forest Park. It was established in 1893 as a plantation forest for timber but is now a public reserve. The forest is dominated by Douglas fir but with a mix of other exotic conifers. Under the planted conifer canopy is extensive natural regeneration. The park includes The Magical Fairy Door Walk which our two youngest members, Bella and Phoenix found enchanting.


About to start the McHughs Forest Walk are (left to right) Alan MacDonald, Bella, Valerie Bright, Andrew Muskee, Raewyn Hinton, Linda and Kevin Giles, Phoenix and Valerie Bright.


Pictured on the forest walk are Bella and Phoenix with Ann Smith.


On Saturday evening we had a very enjoyable dinner at the Darfield Hotel followed by an election party back at the motel.


Sunday morning, we travelled back to Glentunnel for breakfast at the picturesque Glentunnel Golf Club before returning home to Christchurch.


Maggie Donald at the Glentunnel Golf Course


The Kirkin of the Tartan 2020 – Clan Donald Canterbury

The Canterbury Scottish Heritage Council held this year’s Kirkin of the Tartan on Sunday 11 October, in conjunction with The Village Presbyterian Church weekly Sunday service. This was held in their new church at 365a Ilam Road. This replaced the old St Stephens Church which was damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes. There was a good number of clans represented.


Margaret Donald with the Clan Donald banner.


Robyn Forbes pictured with the Canterbury Scottish Heritage Council Banner


Ann Smith, President of Clan Donald Canterbury pipes in the banners.







Social Evening  –  Clan Donald Canterbury

As a result of Covid-19 several events for this year have had to be cancelled. Therefore to have a get together for Clan members, a social evening was held at Alan MacDonald’s house on Saturday evening 29 August 2020. It was a BYO takeaway food and drink evening attended by 14 members who enjoyed the opportunity to catch up.


Enjoying their takeaway meals are (left to right); Maggie Donald, Andrew Muskee, Raewyn Hinton, Christine Martin, Elwyn Martin, Valerie and Ian Bright.


The only event of the evening was a corporate logo quiz whereby company logos (international and local) had to be identified. Ann Smith was the winner beating Maggie Donald by a half point.


Completing the logo quiz are (left to right); Helen Ring, Maggie Donald, Raewyn Hinton, Christine Martin, Kevin Giles, Ann Smith and Linda Giles.


Hard at work identifying the logos are Andrew Muskee and Ian Bright.


Elwyn Martin and one of our younger members, Phoenix.

The Celebratory Dinner

On the evening of Saturday the 1st of August, over 100 guests attended the Celebratory Dinner, hosted by Clan Donald Auckland at the Quality Hotel in Parnell, Auckland. The Dinner was to celebrate the appointment of Andrew Wilkie as High Commissioner for New Zealand. Andrew is the third Clan Donald Auckland member to be appointed as High Commissioner. The first was Donald Webster in 2004 and then Harold McIsaac in 2007.

There were also nine Scottish Clans represented at the dinner. Clan Cameron, Clan Campbell, Clan Davidson, Clan Ferguson, Clan Gordon, Clan MacMillan, Clan Matheson, Clan MacPhee and Clan Stewart.

As the guests arrived, they were greeted to the sound of the Clarsach, the Gaelic Harp, played by Anna Dunwoodie. She played many Scottish airs which set the scene for a great Scottish evening. It was a wonderful way to start the evening, as the harp was loud enough to be heard over the chatting guests, without being intrusive.


Anna Dunwoodie playing the Clarsach, The Gaelic Harp.


The MC for the evening was James Donald, a long-time member of Clan Donald Auckland. He kept the guests entertained all evening, with his fund of quips and anecdotes



The Master of Ceremonies James Donald.


The Clan Donald Pipers, Anton Hodson and Iain Foxell, took turns piping in the Official Guests. Each group was also led in by Steve MacDonald bearing the Great Sword of Islay. The first was the Clan Donald Auckland President Jim Murdoch and partner Anne Marshall, then Tom McDonald, North Island Commissioner and Lynnette McDonald, followed by Elwyn Martin, South Island Commissioner and Christine Martin, then came Alan MacDonald High Commissioner Emeritus. We were also honoured to have Grant Davidson the Chief of Clan Davidson and his wife Brenda, then Allan MacDonald of Vallay, a Clan Donald Chieftain. Then came Glenyss O’Halloran, the High Commissioner for the House of Gordon and James McPhee, the High Commissioner for Clan MacPhee and his wife Mary. And finally, the most important guest to be piped in, was Andrew Wilkie, the High Commissioner for Clan Donald New Zealand and his wife Pat.


Iain Foxell piping in Alan MacDonald, High Commissioner Emeritus.



High Commissioner Andrew Wilkie and his wife Pat, being led in by Steve MacDonald with the
Great Sword of Islay.



The top table. From the left; Lynnette and Tom McDonald, Alan MacDonald, Anne Marshall and Jim Murdoch, Pat and Andrew Wilkie, Christine and Elwyn Martin.



Everyone then sang the unofficial Scottish national anthem “The Flower of Scotland” accompanied by Anton Hodson on the pipes. Jim Murdoch then gave the welcome speech. After Murdock McDonald gave the Selkirk Grace the soup, the first course of the dinner, was served.

A video was also played giving a welcome to all by the High Chief, Lord Godfrey Macdonald, and congratulating Andrew on his appointment as High Commissioner for Clan Donald in New Zealand, and to represent the High Council of Clan Donald.

Six members of the Signals Pipe Band, in full military dress, presented a great Haggis ceremony. Tom McDonald was the bard for the ceremony. He gave his usual excellent rendition of the Robbie Burns “Ode to a Haggis.”



The six members from the Signals Pipe Band piping in for the Haggis Ceremony.



Tom McDonald about to start the Robbie Burns “Ode to the Haggis.”


We were then entertained by the Balmoral Dancers. They are always an exciting group and great supporters of Clan Donald Auckland, having attended all the dinners for many years. They performed an exciting Sword Dance and Foursome Reel, finishing with the Highland Fling. They were accompanied by Kerry Loomis a very highly regarded piper.


Piper Kerry Loomis and the Balmoral Dancers dancing the Highland Fling.


The guests were then invited to select from the wonderful dishes at the smorgasbord, for the main course of the dinner.

It was now time for the main event at the dinner. The presentation by Alan MacDonald, High Commissioner Emeritus, the High Commissioner’s Warrant, from the Clan Donald High Council, to Andrew Wilkie. Alan explained what the Warrant contained. Andrew also had a laminated copy, which was left on the table for the guests to view.



Alan MacDonald, High Commissioner Emeritus, presenting High Commissioner Andrew Wilkie with his High Commissioner’s Warrant. 


Finally, Andrew was presented with a set of 6 Hawk’s feathers by Philip Fry, an associate of Andrew’s from the Auckland Officers Club. Normally Chiefs, Chieftains and Commissioners wear feathers in their glengarries or bonnets. 3 feathers for a Chief, 2 feathers for a Chieftain and High Commissioner, and 1 feather for a Commissioner. The feathers are normally eagle feathers. However, it was very appropriate that Andrew should have a set of New Zealand Hawk’s Feathers.



Philip Fry presenting Andrew with a set of 6 New Zealand Hawk’s feathers.


A final surprise at the dinner, was a humorous introduction by Murdock McDonald for the presentation of a Clan Donald Life Membership to Tom McDonald. Tom has given sterling service as Secretary for 18 years, to Clan Donald Auckland. The actual certificate was presented to Tom by the President Jim Murdoch.


Murdock McDonald giving a humorous introduction to Tom McDonald’s Life Membership presentation.



Tom McDonald showing his Life Membership certificate.


The evening was rounded off with a couple of toasts and a Valedictory speech by the President Jim Murdoch.  A great night was had by all.

Clan Donald New Zealand 10th Annual General Meeting

The AGM of the Associated Clan Donald Societies of New Zealand was hosted by Clan Donald Auckland on the afternoon of the 1st of August at the Quality Hotel in Parnell Auckland.

Present were Christine Martin, President/Secretary CDNZ, Andrew Wilkie, High Commissioner, Alan MacDonald, High Commissioner Emeritus, Tom McDonald, North Island Commissioner, Elwyn Martin, South Island Commissioner, Jim Murdoch, President Clan Donald Auckland, Lynnette McDonald, Vice President Clan Donald Auckland, Murdock McDonald, James Donald and Barrie Paterson from Clan Donald Auckland, David McDonald, Vice President Clan Donald Hawke’s Bay, David Moore, President Clan Donald Wellington, and Hilary Pearce and Brent Tomlinson from Clan Donald Canterbury.

There was a complete change of the administration of CDNZ. The outgoing President/ Secretary Christine Martin, Vice President Roz McKechnie and Treasurer Patricia McKechnie were thanked for their contribution over the last few years.

The new committee is President Jim Murdoch, Vice President James Donald, Secretary Tom McDonald and Treasurer Geoff Parry.

The new committee will be working through a programme of review, and more importantly setting the direction for CDNZ into the future. The first task is to appoint a new Editor for the Newsletter, which is an important publication for communicating to the Clan Donald membership throughout New Zealand.

The major advantage with the members of the committee being in Auckland, is that there will be regular monthly meetings, followed by up to date communications to the 6 Clan Donald Societies.







Tartan Day Lunch – Scottish Heritage Council

On July the 19th thirty two members from several Scottish Clans joined  the Scottish Heritage Council for the annual Tartan Day luncheon. The Clans that were in attendance were Clan Ross, Clan Grant, Clan Campbell, Clan Davidson, Clan MacLeod, Clan Cochrane, Clan Johnston/e and twelve members of Clan Donald.

We were slightly later holding the event this year, but it was pleasing that arrangements could still be made for the month of July. Our venue was once again Lincoln University and the two course buffet was enjoyed by all.

The Haggis Party. Ann Smith, President of the Scottish Heritage Council, Ian Grant of Clan Grant, Gordon McIvor, Chief of the Scottish Society and Paul McOscar of Clan Donald.


Gordon McIvor and Ian Grant during the procession of the Haggis Party.


Piper Ann Smith playing during the Haggis Ceremony.


Each year we have an activity to complete, that involves all at the various tables, and provides an opportunity to create fun and laughter. This year we had to write a story made up of set bagpipe tunes. All entries were excellent so all were winners. Below is an excerpt from Clan Donald. The tunes are in italics.

Alex C McGregor was Up early in the Morning, to go to Marie’s Wedding at Borve Castle. The Eavesdropper heard The Men of Argyll under The Old Rustic Bridge fixing Paddy’s Leather Breeches. Old Hag You Have Killed Me said The Black Bear. Golly, The Ale is Dear. The Balmoral Highlanders were singing The Flower of Scotland as they entered the church. Lady Carol, mother of the bride was The Rose Among the Heather as she tripped into The Waters Of Kylesku. The Piper of Drummond played Hail to the Chief as Marie was piped out of the castle. Everyone was told to Have a Dram Before You Go.

It was suggested that the piper play all they tunes but he was overruled…


Dave Gibb of Clan Cochrane reading out his story with Ann Smith.


Christine Toner of Clan Johnstone reads her story to the gathering.

Announcement of New High Commissioner

The following announcement is from Major Bruce W Macdonald, Ret’d, the Chamberlain to The High Council of Clan Donald, Armadale Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce that the High Council of Clan Donald has accepted the nomination of Mr Andrew Wilkie of Auckland, New Zealand and has agreed to appoint him as Their High Commissioner for New Zealand.

The High Council is confident that all Their good Clansmen and Clanswomen of Clan Donald in New Zealand, its Septs and Adherents will acknowledge reverence, honour, and obey the said Andrew Wilkie. Furthermore, the High Council expects their other High Commissioners, Clan officers and officials, and good clansmen and clanswomen throughout the world, its Septs and Adherents to assist Andrew in the conduct of his duties.

In addition, the High Council of Clan Donald extends its thanks and deep appreciation to Alan MacDonald, Their current High Commissioner, for the three years of loyal service as the High Commissioner to New Zealand.”

The High Commissioner Alan MacDonald has also made the following announcement.

“Dear All,

It gives me great pleasure to announce that our nomination of Andrew Wilkie has been accepted by the High Council and Andrew has been appointed High Commissioner effective 1 July 2020.

I am sure you will join me in congratulating Andrew and giving him your support and assistance.

It has been a pleasure to be High Commissioner and I have very much enjoyed working with you all for the benefit of our great Clan.

A special thank you to my 2 Commissioners, Elwyn and Tom who have assisted me during my 2 terms.

Best Wishes




Patangata Tavern Lunch – Clan Donald Hawke’s Bay

A group of Clan Donald Hawke’s Bay members met for lunch on Saturday the 7th of March at the well known Patangata Tavern in Central Hawke’s Bay.

The Tavern is on its own in the countryside and around 12 kilometres towards the east coast from Waipawa, and virtually next to the Tukituki River. The Tukituki River is one of two major rivers that flow from the Ruahine Mountain range through Waipukurau to the East Coast. The other is the Waipawa River which also flows from the Ruahine Mountain range through Waipawa and joins up with the Tukituki River.

The Patangata Tavern is regarded as one of the best places for a fantastic lunch in Central Hawke’s Bay. As it is such a favourite we booked well in advance, and the people who own the Tavern are relatives of Clan Donald Hawke’s Bay member Bruce Parker. This didn’t mean that we got any better service as the Tavern has a reputation for looking after all customers.

The Clan Donald members came from Napier and Hastings, Waipukurau and Waipawa as well as Dannevirke. This gives an indication of the spread of the membership of Clan Donald Hawke’s Bay.

Even as it was a bit of a blustery Autumn day, everyone enjoyed the lunch and had a chance for a good chat.

All too soon it was time to return home.

After lunch we had to have a group photograph. From the left. President Bruce McGechan, Don Ellis, Jill Macdonald, Halina McGechan, Doug McGechan, Glennis McDonald and Secretary Ruth Parker and Bruce Parker.