Clan Donald Canterbury’s Ohinetahi House and Garden Visit – 6th November 2021

On Saturday morning 6th November, 12 members of Clan Donald Canterbury visited the Ohinetahi House and Gardens at Governors Bay which is just a 20- minute drive over the Port Hills from central Christchurch.


Clan Donald Canterbury members pictured (left to right).
Front row. Alan MacDonald, Carolyn Alsop, Gloria Davis
Second Row. Gordon McIvor, Jill Tomlinson, Ann Smith
Back Row. Sheila Cuthbertson, Brent Tomlinson, Jan Thomas, Maggie Donald, Pauline McIvor


Encompassing 1.25 hectares of garden, Ohinetahi is also home to two art galleries, sculpture and woodland trails, and a significant 19th century homestead. Ohinetahi was gifted to the nation in 2012 and is now run by the Ohinetahi Charitable Trust.


View of an enclosed garden in front of the homestead.


In 1976 Sir Miles Warren, his sister Pauline and her husband John Trengrove bought the property. They restored the Grade 1-listed house, constructed in 1851, and over the years there have been a number of extensions, additions, and earthquake repairs.


Sheila Cuthbertson views the formal garden while the gardener’s dog keeps a close eye on the goldfish.


After restoring the house, the three set about establishing the gardens taking inspiration from some of the finest gardens in Britain. The formal garden consists of several separate garden rooms of differing style and character arranged about two axes running east-west and north-south.


Spring flowers make a bright show.


Brent and Jill Tomlinson relaxing in the gardens.


Rhododendrons in flower beside the woodland walk.


Pictured left to right. Jill Tomlinson, Maggie Donald, Brent Tomlinson, Ann Smith, and Sheila Cuthbertson.


After two hours visiting the gardens, we enjoyed a nice lunch at the historic Governors Bay hotel, Otoromiro, which overlooks Lyttleton Harbour.


Otoromiro Hotel, established in 1870.

Clan Donald Canterbury’s Weekend Away 1st – 3rd October 2021

In line with our recent annual weekends away, we again chose to visit one of our local areas. This year we based ourselves in the country town of Amberley which is fifty kms north of Christchurch. While Amberley’s previous focus was on rural services, it has now become a tourism and lifestyle destination. It is the gateway to the Hurunui District and only twelve kms from the well regarded Waipara wine region.

On Friday 1st October, we commenced our weekend by meeting at the Torlesse Winery at Waipara. We enjoyed the fabulous food platters which accompanied the wine tasting before travelling back to Amberley where we stayed at the Amberley Motel for two nights. Friday night we had our traditional takeaway meals followed by quizzes and some very amusing jokes provided by Ian Bright.


Enjoying the wine tasting at Torlesse Winery. Pictured left to right, Jill Tomlinson, Maggie Donald, Ian and Valerie Bright, Raewyn Hinton and Andrew Muskee.



Pictured at Torlesse Winery, Elwyn Martin, Alan MacDonald and Ann Smith.


Saturday morning was a free morning with Clan members visiting the Amberley Market, local shops, and cafes.


Lunch in the sunshine at Brew Moon, Amberley. Pictured (left to right) Valerie and Ian Bright, Raewyn Hinton, Brent and Jill Tomlinson, Sally Wihone, Andrew Muskee, Maggie Donald and Ann Smith.


After lunch at the Brew Moon, we travelled to the Iron Ridge Quarry Sculpture Park which is set in a vast amphitheatre carved out of the limestone hills of Waipara when operating as a quarry. Sculpturer, Raymond Herber has transformed the rocky white bowl he bought 20 years ago into a beautifully landscaped park overlooking the Waipara River valley. This provides a stunning exhibition space for Raymond’s work which ranges from large sculptures of great beauty to quirky and humorous pieces.


At the Iron Ridge Quarry Sculpture Park. Back row (left to right) Alan MacDonald, Andrew Muskee, Raewyn Hinton, Valerie and Ian Bright, Brent Tomlinson, Elwyn Martin. Front row. Sally Wihone, Helen Ring, Ann Smith, Maggie Donald, Jill Tomlinson and Jeanette Beatty (Note Raymond’s friendly cat has joined the photo!).


Iron Ridge Quarry Sculpture Park


Iron Ridge Quarry Sculpture Park


Raymond Herber demonstrates how to get a free haircut using his Snipper Cycle.


Saturday night dinner at the Railway Hotel, Amberley. (Left to right) Maggie Donald, Raewyn
Hinton and Valerie Bright.


Helen Ring is delighted with her meal


Pictured left to right, Ian Bright, Andrew Muskee, Ann Smith and Sally Wihone.


On Sunday morning we headed home to Christchurch, stopping for brunch at The Better Half Café.

It was another enjoyable Clan weekend away and again highlighted how much there is to see and do in our own backyard. Thank you to Margaret Donald and Ann Smith for their work in arranging a wonderful weekend away.

Clan Donald Canterbury 30th Anniversary Dinner

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Clan Donald Canterbury, we held a successful Anniversary Dinner at the Hornby Club on Saturday 22 May.

The 50 guests assembled at 5.30 pm and before dinner at 6.00 pm were entertained by local Scottish singer, Willie McArthur.


Willie McArthur entertained guests prior to the dinner.


Maggie Donald addressing the dinner guests.


At 6.00 pm Ann Smith, President welcomed guests which included North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald and his wife Lynnette, Barrie and Annette Paterson (Clan Donald Auckland) along with several representatives from other clans. An apology was received from our High Commissioner, Andrew Wilkie who was unable to attend due to ill health.


Lynnette and Tom McDonald (Clan Donald Auckland)


Barrie and Annette Paterson (Clan Donald Auckland).


Mary Clark (Clan MacLeod).


Maggie Donald, Secretary/Treasurer spoke about the formation of Clan Donald Canterbury, with reference to the work and dedication of our first two presidents, Ian Donald and Colin MacDonald. This was followed by two songs from Willie McArthur, “Donald Where’s Your Troosers” and “Glencoe”.

The Haggis party was led by piper Ann Smith followed by the bard Gordon McIvor, haggis bearer Elwyn Martin and whisky bearer Alan MacDonald.


Daniel and John Verd.


Before dinner, Willie McArthur led the guests in singing Flower of Scotland and Elwyn Martin gave the Selkirk Grace.

Between dinner courses, Maggie Donald provided an entertaining recollection of various past and present members and the many activities and social events the Clan has held over the years. A photo show of many of these events played on the 3 large screens in the room during the evening. Clear to see was the fun and friendship Clan Canterbury members enjoy.


Marlene McLennan and Dave Glover.


The evening finished with the cutting of the anniversary cake by two of our foundation members, Ann Smith and Maggie Donald. The cake had been baked and decorated by Christine Martin.


Ann Smith and Maggie Donald cut the cake.


Shirley and Rhonda Aitken.


Carolyn Alsop and Margaret Birse.


Clan McPhee Society of New Zealand Clan Gathering Formal Dinner

In conjunction with their AGM held in Dunedin 8-10th May, Clan McPhee held a Clan Gathering Formal Dinner on Saturday night 8th May in the Southern Cross Hotel.

Members from a number of clans attended including 12 Clan Donald representatives. Guest were treated to a wonderful evening which included piping, Highland dancing and an interesting speech provided by Sheila Wall.

Eleven members of Clan Donald Canterbury drove down to Dunedin from Christchurch for the weekend. Besides attending the dinner, they enjoyed visiting several attractions in the city plus attending the Scottish Ceilidh held on the Sunday evening in the Southern Cross Hotel


The formal dinner and ceilidh took place in the gracious function room at the Southern Cross Hotel.


Pictured at the top table (left to right); Yvonne Brew (Clan McPhee), Elwyn and Christine Martin (Clan Donald), Glenda and Glen McPhee (President McPhee Clan Society of NZ), Todd Wall (partly obscured) and Sheila Wall (Clan Gunn), James McPhee (Clan Macfie Commissioner NZ) and Mary McPhee.


Pictured left to right; Roz McKechnie (Clan Donald Otago), Brent Tomlinson and Alan MacDonald (Clan Donald Canterbury)


Guests watching the Highland Dancing.


Pictured left to right; Heather McPhee, Bob Duncan, Ian and Linda MacKenzie, and Judy Cundy.

Mini Golf – Clan Donald Canterbury

On Saturday 6th March, Clan Donald Canterbury members met at Ferrymead Golf to play a round of mini golf. Our intention was to hold an event that could be enjoyed by a range of members including our younger members.

In pleasant conditions we had a fun afternoon and on completion of the golf we enjoyed sitting outside with a drink for a chat and participation in the prize giving. Andrew Muskee took the honours although thanks to our organisers, Ann Smith and Maggie Donald, everyone received a prize (chocolate or Easter Egg!).

Fintan McLoughlin ready to tee off while Maggie Donald has the tough job of keeping score.


Brent Tomlinson, wondering where his golf ball has gone, is watched by Valerie Bright, Elwyn Martin, Andrew Muskee and Raewyn Hinton.


Alan MacDonald pictured with his grandson, Fintan McLoughlin.


It is in there somewhere, Alan!


Pictured (left to right); Brent Tomlinson, Margaret Donald, Sheila Cuthbertson, Fintan McLoughlin, Elwyn Martin, Christine Martin, Raewyn Hinton, Valerie Bright, Andrew Muskee, Ian Bright and (in front); Ann Smith and Alan MacDonald.

The 28th Paeroa Highland Games

The Paeroa Highland Games are the lucky games with the weather. Every year early February has beautifully fine weather, and it was no exception on the 13th of February 2021 for the Highland Games and Tattoo in the Paeroa Domain. The domain has many mature trees, which gave plenty of shade for the large crowd of interested spectators.

The programme for the day included Solo Piping, Solo Drumming and Highland Dancing. There was also a full programme of Field Events including the Tossing the Caber.

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

The Clans Village was kept very busy with many visitors and around 10.30am the Clans paraded for the Clans March around the domain.


The Clan Donald High Commissioner Andrew Wilkie and the North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald getting ready for the Clans March.


The Colour Party – President Jim Murdoch, Andrew Wilkie, Tom McDonald and Lex Allan.


The Clan Donald Colour Party in the centre during the Clans Parade.


Murdock McDonald and Andrew Wilkie relaxing after the Clans Parade.  


Murdock McDonald also catches up with Walter MacDonald.


The evening events started with the Pipe Band Street March through the town to the domain. The Tattoo followed with the start signalled by the firing of the cannon.


The firing of the cannon to start the Tattoo.


Highland Dancers performing the Fling during the Tattoo. 


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

Auckland Pre-Christmas Lunch 2020

Once again, the Clan Donald pre-Christmas lunch on Sunday the 13th of December had a beautiful sunny day. This was the 8th year that the lunch has been held at the Northcote Tavern, which is famous for its fantastic menu and Sunday Roast.

There were around 25 Clan Donald Members and their families in the Highlander Bar. This bar has a Scottish décor with tartan carpet and shields of the various clans on the walls, and swords and pictures from Scotland, which gave it a great atmosphere for the lunch.

The Signals Pipe Band were also in attendance and entertained the guests as they played in the garden bar of the tavern.

After such a fantastic lunch, members spent the rest of the afternoon chatting over a few drinks. Once again it was a really great day.


Anne and Barbara Donaldson with Geoff Parry.


From the left. Barbara and Anne Donaldson, Lois McDonald, Mary McIsaac and Murdock McDonald. 


Doug and Janet Williamson and family with Andrew Wilkie.


Lynnette and Tom McDonald.  


The Kinnells.


The Signals Pipe Band playing in the garden bar.

Auckland Scottish Clans Association Annual Dinner

On a beautiful evening on Saturday the 28th of November 2020, the Annual Dinner of the Auckland Scottish Clans Association was held at the Parnell Hotel in Auckland.

Guests for the dinner began arriving at 6.00pm and at 6.30pm the Official Piper Charlotte Rhodes piped the guests to their seats. Once all the guests were seated, Charlotte piped in the Official Party, President Trevor Stewart and his wife Judi plus the Guest Speaker Clan Donald High Commissioner Andrew Wilkie.

Clan Donald Auckland was well represented with around sixteen members at the dinner. The Guest Speaker for the dinner was the Clan Donald High Commissioner Andrew Wilkie and he explained his role as High Commissioner and gave a brief history of Clan Donald.


From the left, Clan Donald Members Douglas Oldfield and his wife, Ella and James Donald, Clan Donald President Jim Murdoch, Murdock McDonald, Ann Marshall and Clan Donald High Commissioner Andrew Wilkie.


The President Trevor Stewart gave the Welcome Address to the guests

Malcolm Campbell then led the guests in singing the unofficial Scottish Anthem “The Flower of Scotland.”

James MacGee gave the Selkirk Grace, which was followed by the first course “The Cock-a-Leekie Soup” with freshly baked dinner rolls.

During the dinner there was the traditional Haggis Ceremony. The Haggis Party was led by the Piper Charlotte Rhodes and the Bard was James MacGee, with volunteers as the two Guards and the Haggis Bearer and Whisky Bearer.


James MacGee giving the “Ode to the Haggis.”


The entrée was the Haggis served with Tatties and Neeps.

The main course was served at the Buffet and was made up with a selection of salads and either Chicken Bonnie Prince Charlie – Grilled chicken breast; Creamed Leeks and smoked Haddock; Grilled Angus beef sirloin or Seared Scottish salmon. All served with Oven baked sweet potatoes with leeks and mushrooms and Feargus roasted potatoes. There was also Honey glazed ham from the Carvery.

The Guest Speaker High Commissioner Andrew Wilkie followed with his address.

The Dessert was a selection of Cloutie dumplings; Crunchy Apple & Rhubarb-Oat crumble or Tipsy Laird – raspberry trifle with sponge cake, plus Tea & Coffee.

There were the usual Toasts to Scotland, All Clans and Absent Friends.


Clan Donald Members Lynnette McDonald and Guy Sanders.


Jon and Dianne Winder from Clan Donald.


Finally, there was the traditional Auld Lang Syne led by Malcolm Campbell.

Followed by the piping out by Charlotte Rhodes of the Official Party of Trevor and Judi Stewart with Andrew and Pat Wilkie.

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