Clan Donald Canterbury 2019 AGM

Clan Donald Canterbury held their 2019 AGM on Sunday 10 February at 4.00 pm. Our AGM is always held on a Sunday near the Glencoe Massacre anniversary (13th February). This year we remembered the occasion with piping by Ann Smith and members had a small dram for the toast to Glencoe.

We had a good attendance at the meeting with 20 members present. Our President Ann Smith and Secretary/Treasurer Margaret Donald were reappointed for a further term. There has been one change on the committee with Adrienne Pamment not being available this year due to her work commitments. New committee member is Sally Wihone.


Margaret Donald (Secretary/Treasurer) and Ann Smith (President).


Our regular Branch Meeting followed the AGM and we reviewed the proposed list of events for the year. These will now be finalised by the committee.

Members enjoyed a pot luck meal and socialising after the meeting. The day was made special as we were able to celebrate Alison and Irvine Kinraid’s 60th wedding anniversary.


Alison Kinraid and Ann Smith. 



Clan members enjoying the pot luck dinner after the meeting.


155th Turakina Highland Games 2019

It was a brilliant Summer’s day on Saturday the 26th of January for the Turakina Highland Games. The Turakina Highland Games have been held in the Turakina Domain since 1864 and are the oldest in New Zealand.

On such a beautiful day hundreds of competitors and spectators turned up early, expecting great dancing and solo piping competitions, and the first pipe band competition of the year.

There were many Clans present in the Avenue of Clans with Clan Donald Wellington being well represented. There was a steady stream of visitors to the clans checking on whether they were eligible for membership and also for genealogy.

The Highland Games included a range of competitive field events including Tossing the Sheaf, Carry the Stones, Putting the Shot, Farmers Walk and a Tug of War. There was also a children’s competition in the field events.

The Highland Dancing included both North Island competitions in the Irish Jig Double Time and the Highland Reel and Wellington Centre competitions in the Sean Truibhas, Reel O’Tulloch, Irish Reel, Sailors Hornpipe, Irish Jig and Sword Dance, and the Solo Piping events included the Open New Zealand Championships for Piobaireachd, 2/4 March, Strathspey & Reel and Jig & Hornpipe.

During the afternoon there was a Pipe Band Competition for all grades of bands, with the most notable being the Grade One band Manawatu Scottish from Palmerston North.


One of the local pipe bands, Marton & Districts Pipe Band competing in the Pipe Band Competition.


Clan Donald had many visitors calling in for a chat and refreshments.


Lynnette McDonald, Vice President Clan Donald Auckland, Garry & Marlene Whiteman, Tom McDonald, North Island Commissioner, Trish McKechnie, Secretary Clan Donald Wellington, David Moore, President Clan Donald Wellington and John McKechnie, Vice President Clan Donald Wellington.


David Moore, John McKechnie and Rosalind Tayler, outside the Clan Donald Wellington tent.


Marlene & Garry Whiteman having a chat with David Moore.


Peter Cawkwell and Gael MacDonell.


At lunchtime there was the Clans Parade followed by the Massed Highland Fling.


The Palmerston North Pipe Band leading the Clans Parade during the lunchtime.


Clan Donald, led by Banner Bearer Trish McKechnie followed by Clan Keith during the Clans Parade.


In the late afternoon, there was the Massed Bands and Prize Giving and the Haggis Ceremony.

On Friday night, a small group from Clan Donald, John and Trish McKechnie, David Moore, Maureen McDonald, and Tom and Lynnette McDonald celebrated Robbie Burns birthday with dinner and a few drams in the Rutherford Arms Hotel in Wanganui.

Waipu Highland Games 2019

The Clan Donald Auckland team set up the Pavilion in the Caledonian Grounds on New Years Eve ready for the Games the next day.

Clan Donald has, for the last 17 years, stayed at the Clansman Motel in Waipu for the Waipu Highland Games, and has usually held a “Hogmanay” in the motel on New Years Eve. This year the accommodation was fine, but unfortunately the new owners of the motel had just taken over in late December, and were unable to arrange for the dining room and bar to be open.

So members and supporters had dinner at the local hotel before heading to the Ceilidh at the Waipu Primary School. At midnight, the New Year was piped in beside the Waipu Memorial in the Waipu Main Street.

Dawn on New Years day was fine, indicating that it was going to be a brilliant hot day for the Games. The crowds started to arrive early for the many events, piping, highland dancing and the highland heavyweight competition. A cooling breeze kept the temperature comfortable for the crowd that was estimated to be around 5,000.

There was an added attraction for the highland heavyweight competition with Susie Lajoie, the Canadian Heavyweight Champion, being allowed to compete with the men. The New Zealand Olympic Shot Put Champion, Tom Walsh also competed in the heavyweight competition.

At 9am the Waipu Pipe Band led the Parade of Clans, with the Host Clan MacLeod in the lead, from the Waipu Monument to the Caledonian Grounds

The Waipu pipe Band leads the Clans into the Caledonian Grounds.


Allan MacDonald of Vallay, Chieftain of Clan Macdonald of Sleat, was in the Clan Donald Auckland Colour Party.


From the left. Allan MacDonald of Vallay, Sergeant at Arms, Murdock McDonald, North Island Commissioner, Tom McDonald and President Barrie Paterson.



The Waipu Pipe Band playing during the raising of the flags. The Clan Donald banner is at the rear.


From the left. Tom McDonald (obscured), Geoff Parry banner bearer, Allan MacDonald of Vallay, Murdock McDonald and Barrie Paterson.


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 Clan Donald Pavilion had many members and friends calling in for a chat and refreshments.


Murdock McDonald on the right, discussing genealogy with the McKenzies.


After a long hot, busy and successful day the clans started to pack up around 4pm. Everyone thought it was a great Highland Games and a great start to 2019.

Those with any energy left attended the evening Ceilidh in the Caledonian Barn led by the Ceilidh Band Twisty Willow. Around two hundred visitors had a great time.


Lynnette and Tom McDonald (Obscured) during the Ceilidh.


We are all looking forward to the Games in 2020 and especially 2021, which will be the 150th Waipu Highland Games.

Auckland Pre-Christmas Lunch 2018

Sunday the 9th of December was a beautiful sunny day for the Clan Donald Pre-Christmas lunch. This was the 6th year that the lunch has been held at the Northcote Tavern, which is well known for its fantastic menu including the famous Sunday Roast.

Around 30 Clan Donald Auckland members and their families arrived in the Highlander Bar of the Northcote Tavern. This bar has a Scottish decor with tartan carpet and shields of the various clans on the walls, and swords and pictures from Scotland. And has a great atmosphere for the lunch.

The Signals Pipe Band arrived early and entertained the guests as they played in the garden of the tavern. The band also played several times during the afternoon, which really gave the lunch a great Scottish atmosphere.


The Signals Pipe Band playing in the garden of the tavern.


The gathering was welcomed by the President Barrie Paterson, followed by a presentation of a Life Membership Certificate, to Eileen Clark. Eileen is a long-term member of Clan Donald Auckland, and was the organiser for themed luncheons and dinners. She is also the hostess for the regular monthly committee meetings.


The President Barrie Paterson presenting Eileen Clark with her Life Membership Certificate.


Murdock McDonald also spoke about Eileen’s early career as the Drum Major of the Auckland Ladies Pipe Band, which also attended the opening of the Auckland Harbour Bridge on the 30th of May 1959.


Murdock McDonald after his speech about Eileen Clark. Pictured behind Murdock is a new Scottish decoration of a targe and swords.


After such a fantastic lunch and presentation, members spent the rest of the afternoon chatting over a few drinks.


Eileen Clarke with a couple of her ex Auckland Ladies Pipe Band members.
From the left: Jeanette McFarland, Eileen Clark and friend, and Dorothy Beall.


Members enjoying a chat after lunch. From the left: Jon Winder, Mary McIsaac, Diane Winder and Lois McDonald.


Geoff Parry with his mother Margaret enjoying a few drinks.


Mary Bray enjoying her lunch.


From the left: Barrie Paterson, Albert Kinnell, Laurie Mathews, Lynnette McDonald, Marlene Mathews and Annette Paterson.


A couple of the girls doing the Highland Fling accompanied by Andrew Wilkie. 

Sausage Sizzle – Bunnings Mt Roskill – Auckland

Clan Donald Auckland has initiated a programme for funding to cover the cost for equipment and scholarships.

The first of these funding events took place on Saturday the 1st of December at Bunnings Warehouse in Mt Roskill. Bunnings have a policy of supporting charitable organizations in their fund raising, and in particular allowing organizations to have a Sausage Sizzle near the entrance to their stores. Bunnings provide the barbecue, gas and tables. Organizations provide the sausages, sliced bread, sauces and onions.

This event was to cover the cost of the sign-writing on the trailer. The trailer is used to transport the pavilion and other equipment to the various Highland Games.


The new sign-writing on the rear of the trailer.


Clan Donald were on site from 8.00am till 4.00pm. The Clan Members, led by the President Barrie Paterson and his wife Annette were Geoff Parry, Trevor Pollard, Murdock McDonald, Alan and Mary Bray, and Tom and Lynnette McDonald.

Andrew Wilkie did a sterling effort as pied piper for the whole day. Taking a five minute rest periodically to catch his breath.


Andrew Wilkie playing a few pipe tunes.


Lynnette McDonald about to supply two anxious boys waiting for their sausages.


Murdock McDonald taking a well-earned rest from preparing the onions.


The job is not done till everything is cleaned up. Murdock McDonald cleaning the barbecue.

Andrew Wilkie taking a well-earned rest at the end of the day.


400 sausages were cooked and sold for a very worthwhile profit. Further Sausage Sizzles are planned, and the next is likely to be at Bunnings on the North Shore in Auckland. The earnings will then be targeted at providing scholarships.

The 43rd Auckland Highland Games

The Auckland Highland Games, the first of the Highland Games season, was held at the Ellerslie Events Centre in Auckland on Saturday the 17th of November.

The day was pleasantly warm with only a light breeze. The crowds started to arrive early to enjoy a full programme, which included solo piping and Highland Dancing competitions in the morning, and the first pipe band contest of the season in the afternoon.

At 12.30 pm there was the parade of the clans followed by the Opening Ceremony. The President of the Auckland Highland Games, David Harvey welcomed everyone to the Highland Games for the second time at the Ellerslie Events Centre and declared the Games Open. Malcolm Campbell sang the Scottish Anthem “The Flower of Scotland”.

The Parade of the Clans led by the City of Sails Pipe Band.


Clan Donald in the centre with the yellow banner, during the Parade of the Clans.


During the day the Clan Donald Pavilion saw many members and friends calling in for a chat and refreshment including a dram or two.

Clan Donald members in the Pavilion. From the left. Noelene McSkimming, Marni Macdonald, Jeanette McFarland, Diane Winder and Lynnette McDonald.


There was a Haggis Ceremony with Tom Sheils giving the well known “Ode to the Haggis” by Robbie Burns. Grant Davidson, The Chief of Clan Davidson, was the whisky bearer for the Haggis Ceremony. The public were also able to try a sample of Haggis.

The crowd was also entertained with the staging of medieval battles and Scottish Country Dancing.


Scottish Country Dancers


The highlight of the end of the day was the Closing Ceremony. There were the mass pipe bands and the mass Highland Fling by the Highland Dancers followed by the farewell by the Highland Games President and Auld Lang Syne.

Hororata Highland Games 2018

The 8th annual Hororata Highland Games were held on Saturday 10th November. The event was very successful despite the heavy rain the day before risking damage to the grounds. The Games organisers and their team of helpers rose to the challenge and were well prepared by opening time on the Saturday morning which dawned fine and clear.

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.

Chieftain this year was Patrick Hellier, New Zealand’s highest achieving Highland Games Heavy Athlete.

This year the Clan tents were grouped in a new location which proved very satisfactory. Rather than being in the two rows of tents in Clan Lane as in previous years, the tents were in a “U” shape with a large shared open space in which the list of Scottish Clans and map of Scotland were the main feature. This always attracts interest from visitors.

The Clan Area


Brent Tomlinson from Clan Donald Canterbury successfully used the Clan Area to meet and engage with visitors.


Ann Smith, President Clan Donald Canterbury and Margaret Donald, Secretary/Treasurer Clan Donald Canterbury with visitors to the Clan Area.


The number of Clans represented at the Games continues to grow with three new Clans attending this year.

Clan Donald Canterbury have drawn on their learnings from the workshop at the 2018 Clan Donald Anzac Forum and are working on refreshing/improving their stall layout plus how they interact with visitors.

Tom McDonald, our North Island Commissioner and Lynnette McDonald 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 8 new members.


Lynnette McDonald, Vice President Clan Donald Auckland, Alan MacDonald, High Commissioner, Ann Smith, President Clan Donald Canterbury and Margaret Donald, Secretary/Treasurer Clan Donald Canterbury.


Tom McDonald, North Island Commisioner with Rebecca and Andrew MacDonald.


The Giles family visiting the Clan Donald tent.


Alan MacDonald, High Commissioner with Brent Tomlinson and Noel Batty, a visitor from Ashburton. 


Aaron and Jocelyn Jelly promoting the Hororata Highland Games.




Scottish Ceilidh Club – Auckland

The Scottish Ceilidh Club held a ceilidh on Friday the 26th of October. Clan Donald Auckland had quite a few members in attendance, to enjoy a great session of ceilidh dancing. Heather Laird, from the club, had a well organised programme, and Jennifer Dean, an Honorary Member of Clan Donald Auckland, called the dances.

Live music was supplied by a group of fiddlers, accompanied by John Hawthorn, from Clan Donald, on his piano accordion.

Cameron, Jennifer Dean’s son, gave a few tunes on the pipes after supper.

It was a great evening with everyone enjoying the dances, and the next ceilidh by the Auckland Scottish Ceilidh Club will be a Christmas themed function on Friday the 30th of November.


Clan Donald Members from the left. Mary and Alan Bray, Lynette McDonald, John and Barbara Hawthorn and Doug and Janet Williamson.


More Clan Donald Members. From the left. Annette Paterson, Andrew Wilkie, Doug and Mary Bray, Lynnette and Tom McDonald, North Island Commissioner, John and Barbara Hawthorn and Clan Donald Auckland President Barrie Paterson.


Cameron Dean playing a few pipe tunes after supper.

Clan Donald Auckland Luncheon and Movie “Whisky Galore”

On Saturday the 13th of October, 24 members of Clan Donald Auckland enjoyed a great luncheon of a roast, cooked in a wood-burning oven at Ryders in Avondale, followed by the movie “Whisky Galore”.

This was a 2016 remake of the movie. The tiny island of Todday runs out of whisky during World War II. The grounding of the freighter SS Cabinet Minister with 50,000 cases of whisky saves the day.


From the left. Laurie and Marlene Mathews, Margaret and Geoff Parry and Lynnette McDonald enjoy a pre-luncheon drink and chat.


Lunch is served.


Members enjoy an ice cream ahead of the movie.


The movie gets started.