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 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.
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 Signals Pipe Band playing in the garden bar.
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.
The 10th annual Hororata Highland Games were held on Saturday 7th November and attracted a crowd of over 8,000 people on a day that was heavily overcast. Fortunately, the forecasted rain held off until after the event.
Bands parading in the main arena.
Ten years ago, the Hororata community came up with an idea to raise funds and spirits after the devastating September 2010 earthquake and as a result the Hororata Highland Games were born. The Hororata Highland Games have developed to become a special event that celebrates Hororata, the greater Canterbury community, traditional Highland activities, and Scottish traditions.
The Games have a rich tapestry of culture surrounding unique and entertaining competitions such as the Kilted Mile. Each year the organisers do a wonderful job of refreshing the programme by introducing some new features. This year it was the inclusion of over 40 of New Zealand’s oldest cars including some with a Scottish heritage, and the Scottish farmyard.
Some of the vintage cars on display.
Two vehicles with a Scottish heritage were a 1905 Argyll and a 1912 Albion
The number of Clans represented at the Games continues to grow with 17 in attendance in St Andrews Square this year.
Clan Donald Canterbury members manning the Clan Donald tent were joined by Tom McDonald and Lynnette McDonald from Auckland and Roz McKechnie from Dunedin. We had a steady stream of visitors and were successful in recruiting 13 new members (including several family groups).
Pictured in front of the Clan Donald tent are Margaret Donald, Brent Tomlinson, Lynnette and Tom McDonald
Clan Donald member, Sheila Cuthbertson gave a spinning demonstration in the Clan area.
The ancient game of Kubb attracted a lot of interest and participation. The objective of the game is to knock over the wooden blocks (kubbs) by throwing a wooden baton.
Colin Donald MacDonald
29.11.1925 – 22.09.2020
Colin was an amazing person who touched the lives of all in Clan Donald Canterbury. He was a foundation member when the Clan was formed in February 1991, and went on to become President in 1994-1996.
He loved life, family, fun and a dram.
During the early years of the Clan he was a great mentor, and shared his expertise on how to research your genealogy. We were all in awe of his dedication to his own family tree, and were impressed at the hours of research he put in. This lifelong passion put Colin in touch with many Clan Donald members worldwide, and he was fortunate to meet many of them in person as he and Doreen travelled the world.
Later he would take on the role of addressing the Haggis at functions. A role he enjoyed as it included a toast to the piper. (Whisky)
Over the years Colin was a regular attendee at all Clan functions and joined in the spirit of the socials, whether it was dressing up as the ugly sister in our production of Cinderella and the ugly sisters, wearing his kilt at the Scottish outdoor bowls, dressed up for our themed dinners and even provided the tractor for our “Old MacDonald had a farm”. He attended garden tours, wine tastings and how could any of us forget the wonderful car rallies he would put together with Stan.
Also memorable were our socials at 222 Cannon Hill Crescent, the home of Colin and Doreen. That was once we all knew how to find our way there. The views from the balcony always seemed to add to the atmosphere of the night.
Early on we decided that Colin would make a great Father Xmas and he willingly took on this role. His sense of humour and light hearted banter added to the fun of receiving a present.
So to end, how can we sum up our relationship with Colin as a member of the Clan?
• Loyal – attended as many functions as possible
• Fun – had a wicked sense of humour
• Great story teller – several of us purchased his book , The Life and Times of Ernie O’Neil
To finish our story of Colin MacDonald here is a wonderful short poem. “Gone from us”
Gone from us that smiling face,
The cheerful pleasant ways
The heart that won so many friends
In bygone, happy days
A life made beautiful by kindly deeds
A helping hand for others needs
To a beautiful life,
Comes a happy end
He died as he lived,
Each year Clan Donald Canterbury arrange a 3-day weekend away for Clan members. Some years we have travelled outside the Canterbury area, however we have also discovered many interesting and delightful small towns within a short drive of Christchurch. So, this year we stayed at Darfield (population 2,900) which is 50 kms from Christchurch. Darfield is the main town between Christchurch and the West Coast and lies in the Malvern district arable and pastoral farming area.
On Friday, the 17th we met for lunch at Clan Donald Canterbury members, Paul and Faye McOscar’s home at Glentunnel where they operate a B and B. Glentunnel is a small village 14 kms from Darfield with a rich history. Coal mining and the manufacture of pottery and bricks used to take place in the area. Paul and Faye provided an interesting tour of their property and the village which included a visit to the Glentunnel museum and New Zealand’s smallest public library.
Pictured in the Glentunnel Museum (left to right) Andrew Muskee, Raewyn Hinton, Ann Smith, Ian Bright, Alison Kinraid, Elwyn Martin, Irvine Kinraid, Maggie Donald, Alan MacDonald, Pauline McIvor, Helen Ring, Valerie Bright, Paul McOscar, Gordon McIvor
The octagonal brick Glentunnel library was built in 1887 and incorporated the various types of brick and terracotta tile then produced by the nearby brick works. In 1984 a postal agency was established and continues to provide mail and postal services in addition to the free library service offered to residents.
Pictured (left to right) Elwyn Martin, Ian Bright, Pauline McIvor, Valerie Bright, Andrew Muskee, Gordon McIvor, Irvine Kinraid, Alison Kinraid, Paul McOscar, Raewyn Hinton, Maggie Donald, Ann Smith, Alan MacDonald, Helen Ring.
On Saturday morning we visited the Dean’s farm property “Homebush” situated about 8km from Darfield. The tour included an interesting talk from Crispen and Fleur Deans about the Deans family who were the first settlers on the Canterbury plains. In 1843 the Deans family took up a lease of 33,000 acres. Homebush is now a working farm of 1,350 acres. We toured the 8-acre garden, viewing the magnificent trees, rhododendrons, and spring flowers. The farm buildings were built from the 1850s onwards. Most still survive. The woolshed, stables, pigsties, and the apple house were all built from bricks made at the Homebush Brickworks. Sadly, the old homestead did not survive the 2010 earthquake and a new home has been built. The museum which is housed in the beautiful brick stables building contains an extensive number of exhibits including memorabilia of legendary All Black, Bob Deans who lived and worked at Homebush.
Crispen Deans, descendant of the original owners, gave an interesting overview of the property and its history.
The historic stables building which includes a water driven turbine.
Helen Ring amongst the bluebells
The historic apple house used for storing apples picked from the orchard.
After lunch at the popular Darfield Bakery we went for a walk in McHughs Forest Park. It was established in 1893 as a plantation forest for timber but is now a public reserve. The forest is dominated by Douglas fir but with a mix of other exotic conifers. Under the planted conifer canopy is extensive natural regeneration. The park includes The Magical Fairy Door Walk which our two youngest members, Bella and Phoenix found enchanting.
About to start the McHughs Forest Walk are (left to right) Alan MacDonald, Bella, Valerie Bright, Andrew Muskee, Raewyn Hinton, Linda and Kevin Giles, Phoenix and Valerie Bright.
Pictured on the forest walk are Bella and Phoenix with Ann Smith.
On Saturday evening we had a very enjoyable dinner at the Darfield Hotel followed by an election party back at the motel.
Sunday morning, we travelled back to Glentunnel for breakfast at the picturesque Glentunnel Golf Club before returning home to Christchurch.
Maggie Donald at the Glentunnel Golf Course
The Canterbury Scottish Heritage Council held this year’s Kirkin of the Tartan on Sunday 11 October, in conjunction with The Village Presbyterian Church weekly Sunday service. This was held in their new church at 365a Ilam Road. This replaced the old St Stephens Church which was damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes. There was a good number of clans represented.
Margaret Donald with the Clan Donald banner.
Robyn Forbes pictured with the Canterbury Scottish Heritage Council Banner
Ann Smith, President of Clan Donald Canterbury pipes in the banners.
As a result of Covid-19 several events for this year have had to be cancelled. Therefore to have a get together for Clan members, a social evening was held at Alan MacDonald’s house on Saturday evening 29 August 2020. It was a BYO takeaway food and drink evening attended by 14 members who enjoyed the opportunity to catch up.
Enjoying their takeaway meals are (left to right); Maggie Donald, Andrew Muskee, Raewyn Hinton, Christine Martin, Elwyn Martin, Valerie and Ian Bright.
The only event of the evening was a corporate logo quiz whereby company logos (international and local) had to be identified. Ann Smith was the winner beating Maggie Donald by a half point.
Completing the logo quiz are (left to right); Helen Ring, Maggie Donald, Raewyn Hinton, Christine Martin, Kevin Giles, Ann Smith and Linda Giles.
Hard at work identifying the logos are Andrew Muskee and Ian Bright.
Elwyn Martin and one of our younger members, Phoenix.