Auckland Pre-Christmas Lunch 2022

On Sunday the 11th of December, despite it being a very wet day, 17 Clan Donald members attended the Clan Donald Auckland annual Pre-Christmas lunch at the Northcote Tavern.

A particularly interested attendee was Maria Kinnell, a high school student who is learning to play the bagpipes. She has promised to bring her bagpipes to the next function she attends.

The Signals Pipes and Drums always states that they enjoy the lunch, and as they did not have to do a parade on the day, they were able to have a meal as well. At least two partners attended with the band members.

There were several other big groups having a meal, and quite a few braved standing in the rain, to make a video recording of the band.

The chefs prepared a variety of different meal choices to suit all tastes, with the roast beef being very popular.


Maria Kinnell is learning to play the pipes and is likely to entertain at next year’s function.


The Signals Pipes and Drums played outside, sheltering from light rain under the veranda roof.


Alan and Mary Bray with a new member of their extended family, and the band played just beyond their window.


John Gemmell and son wearing their Clan Donald bonnets.


President of Clan Donald Auckland Jim Murdoch with Treasurer Geoff Parry and supporter Ann Marshall.


Hororata Highland Games 2022




The Hororata Highland Games were not held last year due to the Covid restrictions, but they were certainly back with immense success on Saturday 5th November with 20 bands from across the South Island, 29 International and New Zealand Heavy Athletes, 80 Highland Dancers, 25 Clans and associated groups, 120 stalls plus 30 food stalls and a crowd of over 11,000 people.


Crowd attendance of 11,000 exceeded the forecasted 10,000.


Heavy athletes from Australia and New Zealand battled for the Oceania Heavyweight Championship over eight disciplines including the Caber Toss and the Hororata Stones. The Games also hosted the New Zealand Heavyweight Championship and the Women’s Championship.

Have A Go again proved to be one of the most popular activities. People of all ages can access the arena to see if they can toss a caber, play the pipes, or win the tug of war.


St Andrews Square – Clan venue. Entertainment provided by Willie McArthur.


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


Clan Donald had a team of ten present to assist throughout the day, including Tom and Lynnette McDonald from Auckland and Roz McKechnie from Otago. A steady stream of visitors including Clan Donald Canterbury members, friends and those who wished to discuss and further explore their Scottish heritage kept us busy. We recruited ten new members – eight families and two individuals.


Tom McDonald (North Island Commissioner for Clan Donald) and Roz McKechnie (Clan Donald Otago)


Studying the programme while Mum discusses her heritage.


Pictured (left to right) Brent Tomlinson (Clan Donald Canterbury), Rob McDonald, Ann Smith (President Clan Donald Canterbury), Terry McDonald, and Maggie Donald (Secretary Clan Donald Canterbury).


Looking great in their medieval costumes are Martin and Joanne Biddle.


Clan Donald Canterbury Secretary, Maggie Donald proudly carried our Clan Donald banner into the main arena along with the other banner bearers and the mass bands at midday for the Official Ceremony. This included a welcome form fourth generation Hororata resident, Kate Foster who was the 2022 Chieftain. Kate was the first local to be Chieftain. She spoke of the pride she has in her community and the fundraising to develop the Hororata Hall and the land around it into a community hub.


Clan Donald banner bearer, Maggie Donald.


Bands parading in the main arena.


As in previous years, there were a vast range of activities, competitions, displays, stalls to view and over thirty food trucks and coffee carts catering to the large crowd. The haggis burgers were well recommended. And were extremely popular, as by the time the writer was free for a late lunch, the burgers were sold out. Will try again next year!

Alan MacDonald
Clan Donald Canterbury

Clan Donald Canterbury’s 2022 Weekend Away 30th Sept – 2nd October

Having enjoyed our stay in the country town of Amberley last year, we decided to use Amberley as a base again this year so we could visit and enjoy some more of the attractions and hospitality in Amberley and the surrounding North Canterbury area.

On Friday 30 September, we commenced our weekend by visiting the Kaiapoi Museum. This excellent museum is run by volunteers and co-located with the library in the Civic Centre.

Kaiapoi is 17 kms north of Christchurch. It is known as the “River Town” after the Kaipoi River, a tributary of the Waimakariri River. Historically the town was an important port for the transport of goods to and from Christchurch. The town has a rich industrial heritage.


Kaiapoi Museum. Clan members view exhibits.


Brent Tomlinson views the display of blankets produced by the well-known
Kaiapoi Woollen Manufacturing Co, at the Kaiapoi Museum.



After lunch drove to the Wairapa Wine District and visited the Georges Road Winery. It is a small vineyard of 8 hectares with stunning scenic views from the winery. We enjoyed their wine tasting accompanied by food which included lots of local products such as cheese and olives.



Georges Road Winery. Ian Bright and Andrew Muskee, dressed for the occasion, sample the wines.



Unfortunately, we did not enjoy the lovely weather we experienced last year. It was too cold and overcast to sit outside and admire the view.



At Georges Road Winery. Back row (left to right) Alan MacDonald, Bob Peirson, Marg Gerken, Andrew Muskee, Valerie Bright, Brent Tomlinson, Ian Bright, Elwyn Martin.

Front row. Ann Smith, Margaret Donald, Raewyn Hinton, Sally Wihone, Jeanette Beatty, Helen Ring, Jill Tomlinson, Christine Martin.



We stayed at the Amberley Motels for two nights. Friday night was our usual takeaway meals and entertainment. Saturday morning was a free morning with Clan members visiting the Amberley Market, local shops, and cafes.

Late Saturday morning we drove 30 kms north to the small village of Greta Valley for lunch at the Greta Valley Tavern. After lunch some members visited a display of ceramics produced by local artist Kim Henderson while others visited nearby Motunau Beach.

To celebrate Brent Tomlinson’s 70th birthday, 1970’s clothing was the dress code for dinner at The Railway Tavern on Saturday night.



Saturday night ‘70’s dinner at the Railway Hotel, Amberley.
(Left to right) Back Row. Brent Tomlinson, Andrew Muskee, Alan MacDonald, Ian Bright, Valerie Bright, Marg Gerken, Elwyn Martin, Bob Peirson. Middle Row. Jill Tomlinson, Jeanette Beatty, Helen Ring, Raewyn Hinton, Ann Smith, Margaret Donald, Christine Martin. Front. Sally Wihone.


Birthday celebrations. Brent and Jill Tomlinson


On Sunday morning we went on the Weka Pass Railway which operates on a 12.8 km length of the former Waiau Branch railway, between Waipara and Waikari. The railway is operated by volunteers who run both vintage steam and diesel locomotives through the unique limestone beauty of the Weka Pass.



Locomotive A428 (1909) ready to depart Glenmark Station at Waipara.


Weka Pass Railway steam locomotive on route to Waikari.


Weka Pass Railway. Passengers are issued a traditional cardboard ticket which is “clipped” by the guard.




After the train trip we headed home to Christchurch, stopping at the historic Old Leithfield Hotel for lunch.

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 the weekend.




Clan Donald Canterbury: The Kirkin of the Tartan 2022

After missing last year’s Kirkin of the Tartan because of Covid 19, this years’ Kirkin of the Tartan was held on Sunday 9 October, by the Canterbury Scottish Heritage Council at the Village Presbyterian Church, 365a Ilam Road, Christchurch. There was a good attendance of clan representatives.

The Kirkin’ was taken by the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, Rt. Rev. Hamish Galloway who gave an interesting and inspiring account of his recent attendance at the World Council of Churches Assembly held in Karlsruhe, Germany.




Ann Smith, president of Clan Donald Canterbury prepares to pipe the banners in.


Banner bearers assemble ready to be piped into the church.


Rt Rev. Hamish Galloway conducting the service    

Clan Donald Canterbury: Visit to Ferrymead Heritage Park, Christchurch

On Sunday 3 April, Clan Donald Canterbury members visited the Ferrymead Heritage Park, located in the Heathcote Valley, at the site of New Zealand’s first public railway.

Ferrymead features an early 1900s township and has a variety of restored houses, cottages, businesses, a school, post office, stables, church, and railway station.

Early Christchurch restored houses and cottages are open to viewing.


Businesses on the main street


One of the volunteers in the print shop explains the operating of the press, watched by Raewyn Hinton, Margaret Donald, and Ann Smith.


The Park is also home to a range of groups and societies with historical themes, mainly transport related.
There is a large array of heritage exhibitions and displays that are open for viewing. These displays are owned and operated by individual societies and staffed by volunteers. Displays include fire engines, aeroplanes, cars, printing, photography, farm machinery and much more.


One of several restored trams which operate at the park.


Pictured on the tram (left to right) Raewyn Hinton, Margaret Donald, Ann Smith, Alan MacDonald, and Andrew Muskee.


One of the park’s three Vulcan Railcars about to depart Moorhouse Station.


We enjoyed our visit, including the ride on the tram and the Vulcan railcar and could have easily spent longer viewing the exhibits. However, having already requested our secretary, Margaret Donald to delay our lunch booking once, we ran out of time. To finish the day, we enjoyed a wonderful pub Sunday lunch at the nearby Valley Inn.


The Valley Inn, Heathcote Valley