On a warm and sunny New Years Eve the Clan Donald Auckland team of Murdock McDonald, Jim Murdoch, Anne Marshall, Tom and Lynnette McDonald and Marni MacDonald set up the Pavilion in the Caledonian Grounds ready for the Games the next day.
After dinner at the old Clansman Motel, which has been renamed the Lighthouse Motel, some of the team patronised the New Years Eve function at the Waipu RSA. The entertainer was ‘Shane’ and his band, which played great music from the 50’s and 60’s.
New Years Day was another beautiful sunny day and the crowds soon arrived for the many events, piping, highland dancing and usual field events such as Tossing the Caber and Tossing the Sheaf.
At 9am the Waipu Pipe Band led the Parade of Clans from the monument to the Caledonian Grounds, with the host Clan Davidson leading, and their Chief Grant Davidson taking the salute as the parade passed the saluting base.
Banner Bearer Geoff Parry. In the background is Clan Donald member John McDonald.
The Clan Donald Colour Party. From the left Steve MacDonald (new member), Craig Newth, Annette Paterson partially obscured, Jim Murdoch, Barrie Paterson and Tom McDonald. Banner Bearer Geoff Parry.
The Clan Donald Pavilion had many members and friends calling in for a chat and refreshments. Fortunately, the team had extra help as Barrie and Annette Paterson, and Geoff Parry arrived at the Pavilion.
There were two lots of new members signed up. Steve MacDonald and his family, wife Violaine, son Tane and daughter Tara, and also Linda Johnson.
Steve, Tane, Tara and Violaine MacDonald.
At 12.30pm the massed bands and clans paraded around the arena. This was followed by a massed Highland Fling which set the scene for the Official Opening.
The clans started to pack up around 4pm. It had been a warm and busy but successful day. Everyone thought it had been a great start to the 2020 Highland Games season.
In the evening Clan Donald with members from Clan McLeod and Clan Matheson enjoyed a meal at the motel.
Several of the team attended the evening ceilidh in the Celtic Barn, where as usual, Twisty Willow provided great music and the caller for the dancing. Around two hundred visitors had a great time, and a fantastic supper which included plenty of haggis.
Next year Waipu celebrates its 150th anniversary, so the games will be extra special.
A third sausage sizzle was held at the Bunnings Warehouse in Mt Roskill on Saturday the 21st of December.
And this was the most successful sausage sizzle so far. As there was a large crowd doing their last-minute pre-Christmas shopping, and of course needing refreshments, everything was sold out by 3pm.
The Bunnings policy of supporting charitable organisations with their fund raising is very helpful indeed.
There were eight Clan Donald Auckland members manning the stall plus the Clan Piper Ian Foxell and three members of the Signals Pipe Band.
Barrie and Annette Paterson, Geoff Parry, Murdock McDonald, Lynnette McDonald and Trevor Pollard.
Waiting for customers are Geoff Parry, Annette Paterson. Lynnette McDonald and Murdock McDonald getting the sausages ready.
Ian Foxell entertaining the customers with a few tunes.
The three Signals Pipe Band members ready to play a few tunes.
Tom McDonald, Barrie Paterson and Laurie Mathews ready to welcome customers.
Trevor Pollard busy cooking the sausages.
Sunday the 8th of December started off nice and fine. There were a few showers later on but that did not stop the many members from enjoying the day.
There were around 30 members and their families in the Highlander Bar of the Northcote Tavern and this year we had some members from Clan Campbell with us to enjoy the lunch. This is the 7th year that we have been at the Northcote Tavern and the Highlander Bar, which has a fantastic Scottish atmosphere, with its tartan carpet and many decorations of the various clans.
The Signals Pipe Band were also in attendance and performed several times in the Garden Bar. The band did get caught in a couple of showers but that did not affect their performance.
Everyone enjoyed a lovely lunch and also had the opportunity to chat with their friends over a few drinks.
Once again it was a really great day.
The Signals Pipe Band performing in the Garden Bar.
Ian Foxell and Andrew Wilkie play in the Garden Bar.
Clan Donald members Carol, Jean and Eileen.
Mary McIsac, Lois McDonald and Ann Marshall.
From the left. Noel Armstrong, Malcolm Campbell, Geoff Parry, Jeanette MacDonald and Hugh McGuire.
Pamela and Albert Kinnell.
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.
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.