On Sunday 24 November, thirteen members of Clan Donald Canterbury attended the annual Kirkin of the Tartan organised by the Canterbury Scottish Heritage Council. The Kirkin was held in conjunction with The Village Presbyterian Church weekly Sunday service held in the St Andrews College Centennial Chapel.
St Andrews College Centennial Chapel is situated in a corner of the school grounds.
The chapel is a relatively new building on the picturesque site of the old brick chapel which was demolished as a result of the devastating 2011 Canterbury earthquake. The building incorporates many salvaged items from the old chapel.
Red bricks and Oamaru stone dressings salvaged from the old chapel have been used extensively on the north wall.
The new building makes great use of large glass windows on one side to provide light and capture the beautiful view across the stream and tree lined driveway to the school cricket ground beyond with the Port Hills in the background.
The view looking south towards the Port Hills.
The south wall of continuous glazing provides light and views.
The reuse of the old chapel pews, arranged as a collection of seating groups, is another link to the past.
Margaret Donald holding the Canterbury Scottish Heritage Council Banner alongside Ann Smith.
The Auckland Games were held on Saturday the 23rd of November, for the third time, at the Ellerslie Events Centre, Ellerslie Racecourse. It was a brilliant sunny day with just enough breeze to make things comfortable.
The organization of the Games seemed to be slightly disjointed this year with the Highland Dancing and the heavyweight field events being held in the centre of the racetrack, which was some distance away from the main area. To see these events people had to go through a tunnel under the racetrack proper.
The Pipe Band Competition was held behind the grandstand where they could also not be seen or heard from the main area.
The Clan Tents were jammed up against the “rail” of the racecourse where there wasn’t a lot of room. There were only 9 clans in attendance. In past years there were usually around 18 clans in attendance at the Games.
The Clans March, Scottish Country Dancing, reenactment of Medieval Battles and solo piping were held on the lawn between the Clan tents and the grandstand.
With so much happening away from the main area there was no real Highland Games atmosphere.
The Auckland Highland Games committee also made a huge mistake allowing a Maori group to take over the opening of the Games. The Highland Games are a typical Scottish cultural event and have nothing to do with Maoris or Maori culture.
Although entry to the Auckland Highland Games is free the attendance of the public was down over previous years. However the Clan Donald Pavilion was busy most of the day, with members, friends and prospective new members calling in for a chat and refreshments. Two new members were signed up and others took away an application form to be emailed in.
The Clan Donald Colour Party. From the left; Jim Murdoch, Jim Donald, President Barrie Paterson, North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald and Geoff Parry.
Scottish Country Dancing with Clan Donald member Jim Donald in the centre.
The reenactment of the Medieval Battle of Largs.
Anne Marshall with Clan Donald Committee member Jim Murdoch.
Jim Donald with new member Douglas Oldfield.
Three Clan Donald pipers. Murdock McDonald, Ian Hill and Ian Foxell.
On Sunday the 10th of November, from 1pm to 4pm, 45 Clan Donald Auckland members attended the Ceilidh at the Point Chevalier R.S.A.
It was a great and very successful afternoon, and at one stage, with the Balmoral Highland Dancers, the Ceilidh Band, pipers and some parents there was well over 70 people enjoying themselves.
The Ceilidh Band, consisting of fiddles, accordions, keyboards, strings and drums played fantastic music for the dancing and singing. We were very lucky to have two extremely talented callers for the country- dances. These were Heather Laird and Jennifer Dean and the dances were the well known Cassien Circle, St Bernards Waltz, the Dashing White Sergeant as well as many more, and with such excellent dance calling they were enjoyed by both the experienced dancers and the novice dancers alike.
Clan members and friends, enjoying the Country Dancing.
The Balmoral Dancers entertained us with two sets of Highland Dancing. The Balmoral Dancers have been regular performers at many of the Clan Donald Auckland events, and it is always a joy to see them give such a high standard of Highland Dancing.
The Balmoral Dancers performing the Highland Fling.
Jennifer Dean’s sons Cameron and Lachlan gave us some excellent piping and drumming.
From the left: Lachlan Dean and Cameron Dean, drummer and piper, entertaining with some wonderful playing.
Malcolm Campbell, and although a Campbell is still a great friend of Clan Donald Auckland, entertained us with singing some wonderful Scottish love songs and traditional ballads. He then led a sing along which included the unofficial Scottish Anthem “The Flower of Scotland” and the favourite song “Scotland the Brave.”
Malcolm Campbell singing some wonderful Scottish love songs and traditional ballads.
The afternoon finished off with afternoon tea, a medley by the Ceilidh Band and Barbara Hawthorn’s rendition of the Robbie Burn’s poem “A Man’s A Man For A’ That.”
The Ceilidh Band playing a medley at the end of the afternoon.
Everyone then joined in with Auld Lang Syne to bring the afternoon to a close.
The 9th annual Hororata Highland Games were held on Saturday 9th November 2019. Although overcast and windy it was a very warm day.
The pipe band leads the parade of the clans.
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.
Contestants in the heavy events in front of the Hororata Pie Stall.
Chieftain this year was Peri Drysdale MBE, Founder and CEO of the fashion companies Snowy Peak and Untouched World which produces ecologically sustainable clothing.
Clan Donald Canterbury continue to draw on their learnings from the workshop on stall presentation at the 2018 Clan Donald Anzac Forum. This year we developed a large new Clan banner for the front of our Clan tent. It was far the most visible Clan tent at the Games.
Pictured from left to right. Elwyn and Christine Martin, Ann Smith, Maggie Donald, Tom and Lynnette McDonald, Alan MacDonald, Gordon McIvor, Roz McKechnie and Brent Tomlinson.
The ancient game of Kubb set up in front of the Clan tents attracted a lot of interest.
The objective of the game of Kubbs is to knock over the wooden blocks (kubbs) by throwing wooden batons at them.
Elwyn Martin, South Island Commissioner and Ann Smith, Canterbury President being interviewed for television in front of our Clan tent.
The North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald and his wife Lynnette from Auckland, 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 9 new members.
New members, Cath and Matt Cook with High Commissioner, Alan MacDonald.
Ann Smith (Canterbury President) and Maggie Donald (Canterbury Secretary).
Clan Donald Canterbury held their quarterly meeting on Sunday 3 November.
A good turnout of members met at 12.00 pm for a BYO lunch prior to the 1.00 pm meeting. Members welcomed Colin MacDonald, Clan Donald foundation member and former President, who has been unable to attend meetings or functions as regularly as he used to.
Ann Smith, President reported on the successful Clan trip to Twizel over the weekend of 19-22 September and the Brook Gardens visit on 20 October.
Updates were also provided by Christine Martin, President of Clan Donald New Zealand and Clan Donald Lands Trustee, Alan MacDonald, High Commissioner, Ann Smith, President of Scottish Heritage Council and Gordon McIvor, President of the Scottish Society of New Zealand.
Updates and discussion took place regarding the Hororata Highland Games (9 November), the Clan Christmas gathering (14 December) and the programme for the Clan Donald Forum to be held in Western Australia next October was reviewed.
Doreen and Colin MacDonald
Ian Bright (left) and Elwyn Martin show members the new banner produced for the Clan Tent
Members at the meeting (left to right) Cath Lyall, Brent Tomlinson, Bob Lyall, Beryl Duncan, Colin MacDonald, Doreen MacDonald and Pauline McIvor.
On Saturday the 12th of October at Ryders Cinema in Avondale 30 members of Clan Donald Auckland enjoyed a great luncheon of roast meats and vegetables cooked in a coal range accompanied by wine, beer and of course a few drams of whisky.
The film “Her Majesty Mrs Brown” was excellent with two well known actors, Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Billy Connolly as John Brown, a former servant of Prince Albert.
Clan Donald Auckland members enjoying the luncheon.
Doug and Janet Williamson.
Faye and Trevor Pollard.
Marni MacDonald and Andrew Wilkie.
Ray and Jim.
Ivy and Beth.
Sophia and Fiona with Marni MacDonald.
The Donald grandchildren.
The Auckland Centre of the Piping and Dancing Association held the 12th Solo Piping Festival on Saturday the 31st of August in the Uxbridge Art Centre in Howick Auckland.
There were 22 pipers competing in 13 events from the practice chanter and several grades of march, strathspey and reel, hornpipe and jig and piobaireachd.
The adjudicator was Iain Blakeley and the Stewards were Andrew Wilkie and Anton Hodson from Clan Donald, and Murdock McDonald, also from Clan Donald, was called upon to present a number of the medals and prizes on behalf of Clan Donald and in his own right.
There was some fabulous piping and pupils of Anton Hodson and Iain Foxell fared very well amongst the prizes.
The grants provided by Clan Donald and others, made a huge contribution to the competition, and the ongoing promotion of Piping.
The Winner and Runner Up of the D Grade Piobaireachd. From the left Iain Blakeley, Adjudicator, Ruaridh Martinoga, Runner Up, Rupert Nielsen, Winner and Murdock McDonald.
Murdock McDonald presenting the Winner’s Medal to Rupert Nielsen. The Stewards Andrew Wilkie and Anton Hodson in the background.
On Sunday 7th July sixteen members of Clan Donald Canterbury joined eight other Clans for the annual Tartan Day lunch organised by the Canterbury Scottish Heritage Council. The lunch was held at the Lincoln University students’ cafeteria. This proved to be an excellent venue as there was plenty of parking close by, the room was complimentary, and the buffet meant we could all eat at the same time. Gordon McIvor from Clan Donald did the address to the Haggis.
Ann Smith (President Clan Donald Canterbury) pipes in the haggis party: Alasdair Lamont, Dave Gibb and Gordon McIvor.