12th Solo Piping Festival

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.

Tartan Day Lunch – Clan Donald Canterbury

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.

Craft Afternoon – Clan Donald Canterbury

Clan Donald Canterbury like to offer a range of events and activities during the year to create a bit of variety and entertainment.

To liven up a dull winter afternoon on Saturday the 15th June, the Clan held a craft afternoon. Bob and Cath Lyall kindly hosted the event in their lovely home. Cupcakes were baked and decorated with Beryl Duncan performing the judging. Members were able to try their hand at spinning with Sheila Cuthbertson or hand craft with Helen Ring. Finally, members who participated in the craft beer blind tasting had to identify the 3 beers correctly – an APA, Pale Ale and a Pilsner. Our beer knowledge, or lack of in many cases, was further tested by means of a quiz.

Overall it was a lot of fun and most members gained a greater respect for the skills of the crafts people. A wonderful afternoon tea was provided to finish the afternoon.


Valerie Bright and Margaret Donald prepare the cupcakes.


The cupcake decorating competition gets underway. Pictured Pauline McIvor, Cath Lyall and Gordon McIvor.


Gordon McIvor watches Ian Bright demonstrate how it is done.


Helen Ring shows Irvine Kincaid the finer points of her hand craft.


From the left are Andrea Thomson, Margaret Donald and Irvine Kincaid.


Sheila Cuthbertson made spinning look so easy.


Valerie Bright, watched by Sheila Cuthbertson, finds spinning is not easy.


Pictured left to right for the craft beer tasting, Sheila Cuthbertson, Irvine Kinraid, Gordon McIvor, Pauline McIvor, Ann Smith, Ian Bright, Peter Smith and Val Donald.


Bob Lyall and Peter Smith enjoy a quiet game of cribbage.


Pictured left to right, Margaret Donald, Andrea Thompson, Helen Ring, Alison Kinraid and Ann Smith.

Branch Meeting – Canterbury

Clan Donald Canterbury held their quarterly meeting on Sunday 12th May 2019. Meetings are always in February, May, August and November each year and are held in the Forfar Courts Community Hall, 95 Forfar Street, St Albans.

We met at 12.00 pm for a BYO lunch prior to the 1.00 pm meeting. After the meeting we celebrated Mothers Day with a glass of bubbles and afternoon tea. It had been our intention to make it a new members afternoon but unfortunately many members were unable to attend due to prior commitments. So we will look for another opportunity to introduce the members we signed up at the Hororata Highland Games to get them involved in some of the events we have scheduled through the rest of the year.

Margaret Donald, Secretary/Treasurer and, on the right, Ann Smith, President


Peter Smith (on the left) and Brent Tomlinson


Sheila Cuthbertson pouring the bubbles to celebrate Mothers Day


Pictured left to right: Christine Martin, Cath Lyall, Ann Smith and Doreen MacDonald

Clan Donald Auckland 22nd Anniversary Dinner

The Annual Dinner of Clan Donald Auckland was held on Saturday the 11th of May 2019 at the Quality Hotel in Parnell, Auckland.

The Officiating Piper for the evening was our Clan Piper Anton Hodson, who was in fine form throughout the evening.

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was the ever-humorous Andrew Wilkie, who was also in good form for the occasion.

The M C Andrew Wilkie. 


The evening was started off with the piping of guests to their tables to the pipe tune “Bannocks o’ Barley Meal”.

This was followed by the piping in of the “Great Sword of Isla”, carried by Jim Donald, and the President Barrie Paterson and his wife Annette, to the pipe tune “At Long Last”, a very stirring tune for the occasion.

The President Barrie Paterson welcomed the guests to the dinner and wished them all a fine evening..

Everyone then sang the “Flower of Scotland” which was followed by the Selkirk Grace, given by Murdock McDonald. The first course of the dinner “Cock-o-Leekie Soup” was then served to the guests.

There was the traditional Haggis Ceremony with the address, the Robbie Burns “Ode to the Haggis” given by Tom McDonald in his usual humorous form.

The Haggis Party consisted of Piper Anton Hodson, Guards Glen McPhee and Doug McIsaac, Haggis Bearer the Hotel Chef, Bard Tom McDonald and Whisky Bearer Andrew Wilkie.

The guests were also entertained by the Balmoral Dancers, who are very good friends of Clan Donald Auckland and have entertained at all our Annual Dinners.

The Balmoral Dancers were accompanied by Piper Andrew Wilkie.

At the conclusion of the main course of the dinner, came the presentation of a Life Membership Certificate to foundation Member and first Secretary, John Hawthorn. John had served Clan Donald Auckland very well in many ways over the intervening years since its inception, especially more recently with his musical ability, on his piano accordion. The presentation was made by President Barrie Paterson who thanked John for his services to Clan Donald Auckland, and wished him well.


John Hawthorn with his wife Barbara, receiving his Life Membership Certificate from President Barrie Paterson. 


Following the presentation were the usual Toasts. For Scotland by Douglas McIsaac, Clan Donald by Bryan Haggitt from Clan Cameron, and for Absent friends by Andrew Wilkie.


Douglas McIsaac giving the Toast for Scotland.


Bryan Haggitt giving the Toast for Clan Donald. 


After the dinner came the Guest Speaker Bruce Macdonald, whose subject was the new Sky City Centre building. Bruce gave a very good outline on the progress and some of the delays in the construction. The salient point of interest in the building, is that the main auditorium is able to seat 3,500 people.


The Guest Speaker Bruce Macdonald. 


Ella and Jim Donald with Jennifer Gosse 


Heather Higgins, Geoff Parry and Eileen Clark. 


Jennifer Gosse and Ian Alexander. 


The evening concluded with the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” and the Recessional, the piping out of “The Great Sword of Isla” and the President and his wife Annette.

Piper Anton then returned into the Dining Room and played out the guests to the tunes, “We are no awa to bide awa” and the “The Black Bear”.

A Great Night was had by all the Guests.