For the third year in a row the Paeroa Highland Games enjoyed a fabulous Summers day. Saturday the 11th of February dawned clear and bright, and as the morning progressed it got very hot as there was just a very light breeze.
The Paeroa Domain is a great site for the highland games with plenty of mature trees for people to enjoy the shade. Particularly while watching the Pipe Band Contest in the afternoon.
The many clans were set up early, and ready for the crowds who were brought out by the beautiful weather. We had many members and friends calling in to the Pavilion for a chat and refreshments plus several people interested in becoming members.
Tom McDonald, Secretary of Clan Donald chatting with a prospective member and Lynnette McDonald looks after the sales tables.
Around 11am the clans marched to the town centre behind the Thames Valley Pipe Band. The March, as usual, stopped all traffic and gathered and interested crowd of Saturday morning shoppers.
The Clan Donald Colour Party, led by the Banner Bearer Lex Allan followed by Tom McDonald, Barrie Paterson and Lynnette McDonald.
Clan Donald, with Clan Davidson and Clan Fraser in the town centre during the playing by the Thames Valley Pipe Band.
The Thames Valley Pipe Band entertaining the public in the town centre during the Clans March.
The programme started early morning and included the traditional Scottish events. Solo Piping and Drumming. Highland Dancing and the Heavyweight Field Events which featured the traditional contests of Tossing the Caber and Tossing the Sheaf.
Late morning there was also a Junior Highland Games.
During the afternoon there was a Pipe Band Contest with bands from the Auckland and Central Districts.
During the day, people were entertained by guests direct from Scotland. The Saltire Scottish Duo, David Vernon and Alex Hodson.
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 cannon being fired to start the Tattoo.
During the Tattoo the public were entertained with a Mace Flourishing Competition, a Haggis Ceremony and Massed Highland Dancers.
The Tattoo finished with the Lone Piper, the Ode to Scotland and a Massed Bands marching through the gate in the castle wall.
The massed pipe bands marching through the gate during the Tattoo.
It was a beautiful warm sunny partly cloudy day for New Years day at Waipu, unlike last year, which was completely washed out.
Clan Donald, as Host Clan, led the Clans March, behind the Waipu Pipe Band, from the Monument into the Caledonian Grounds to the Avenue of Clans for the flag raising.
The Waipu Pipe Band leading the Clans March into the Caledonian Grounds.
The Clan Donald Colour Party at the conclusion of the Clans March. From the left, Banner Bearer Barrie Paterson, North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald, High Commissioner Alan MacDonald, Lawrie Fear in wheel chair, and Sargeant at Arms Murdock McDonald.
As it was a warm day, the crowds arrived early and were soon chatting with the officials of the various Clans.
The Clan Donald Pavilion had many members and friends calling in for a chat and refreshments.
The Clan Donald Haggis Ceremony was held at 11.30am. The Haggis Party of Guard Carl Bradley, Haggis Bearer Barrie Paterson, Whisky Bearer Alan MacDonald and Bard Tom McDonald, were led by Piper David Harvey, from the gate to the Clan Donald Pavilion. There were many spectators, who were excitedly expecting the traditional ceremony, already crowding the front of the Pavilion.
Tom McDonald gave a great rendition of the Robbie Burns address to the Haggis, and at the conclusion of the ceremony the spectators were able to try a sample.
The Haggis Party arriving at the Clan Donald Pavilion.
Tom McDonald giving the Robbie Burns address to the Haggis.
At 12.30pm the massed bands and the clans paraded around the arena. This was followed by the massed Highland Fling which set the scene for the Official Opening.
The massed bands and clans getting ready for the parade. As the Host Clan Donald led the clans and the Clan Donald Banner can be clearly seen at the rear of the second file of pipers.
The Clan Donald Colour Party, of Carl Bradley and Tom and Lynnette McDonald, is followed by Neil Cameron of Clan Cameron.
After a long, hot, busy and successful day the clans started to pack up around 4pm. Everyone thought that it was a great Highland Games and a great start to 2017.
Once again it was a brilliant sunny day on Sunday the 11th of December for the Clan Donald Auckland Pre –Christmas Lunch. This is the 4th year that the luncheon has been held in the Highlander Bar of the Northcote Tavern, which is well known for their fantastic menu including the famous Sunday Roast, which this year was roast pork.
As members arrived, they were entertained by John Hawthorn playing a selection of Scottish tunes on his piano accordion.
John Hawthorn playing a selection of Scottish tunes.
Clan Donald members and tavern guests were also entertained by the Signals Pipe Band later in the afternoon.
The Signals Pipe Band entertaining the guests.
Andrew Wilkie, Past President of Clan Donald Auckland, arranged for the band to be present after performing at the local Father Christmas parade. It was a great way to start the Christmas season. And much appreciated by everyone.
Andrew Wilkie playing the pipes in the Signals Pipe Band.
This was the last Event for the President Bruce McGechan, who on his retirement as President, was moving with his wife Halina, to the town of Waipawa in the Central Hawkes Bay.
Halina and Bruce McGechan
The committee sprung a surprise on Bruce, by presenting him with a beautiful Quaich, Scotland’s cup of friendship. Halina was also presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
However Bruce also sprung a surprise on the committee, by asking them to line up across the bar. He then presented the Quaich, full to the top with whisky, and asked each member to take a sip. This caused great merriment. And at the end the committee demanded that Bruce drink the last drop, to then turn the Quaich over and kiss the bottom. This is a well-known tradition in piping circles.
Bruce McGechan drinking the last of the whisky from the Quaich cheered on by the committee. From the left Immediate Past President Andrew Wilkie, Cindy Bradley, Eileen Clark, Mary McIsaac, Heather Higgins, Barry Paterson, Vice President Carl Bradley, Vice President Lynnette McDonald and partially obscured John Hawthorn.
After such a fantastic lunch and presentation, the members spent the rest of the afternoon chatting over a few drinks.
Heather Lomas and Heather Higgins
Marlene and Laurie Mathews
Mary McIsaac and Geoff Parry
Murdock and Lois McDonald
Heather Higgins and Sandy Burnett.
The Williamson family, Janet, Angus, Dee and Doug.
Friends since the days of the Auckland Ladies Pipe Band. Jean, Dorothy Beale, Carrol Elliott, Flora Brown with Carl Bradley, Vice President, and Eileen Clark.
Barrie Paterson and Margaret Parry.
Cindy and Carl Bradley
North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald and Lynnette McDonald.
Squally rain showers and a very cool breeze greeted everyone at the start of the first Highland Games of the season. Ever optimistic, the Scottish Clans and the Highland Games organisers had everything set up and ready on Saturday the 19th of November 2016. This was the third year in a row that inclement weather marred the Games. Many commented that it reminded them of a typical Scottish Highland Games.
Some of the competitions, Highland Dancing and Piping plus field events were completed, and by the time of the parade of clans and the Opening Ceremony the rain had stopped.
The Clan Donald Colour Party getting ready for the parade of the clans. From the left, the President Bruce McGechan, Guard Barrie Paterson, Secretary and Banner Bearer Tom McDonald, Guard and Vice President Carl Bradley.
The colour party was finally ready to move off for the parade of the clans.
Bruce McGechan, wearing his Inverness Cape, Barrie Paterson, Tom McDonald and Carl Bradley. In the background, the Vice President Lynnette McDonald and Annette Paterson.
The Clan Donald Colour Party during the parade, led by Bruce McGechan, Barrie Paterson, Tom McDonald, South Island Commissioner Elwyn Martin and Carl Bradley.
The Clan Colour Parties lined up for the Opening Ceremony with Clan Donald in the middle.
During the afternoon the rain started in earnest and the Clans started to pack up very early. Although the Pipe Band Contest did start this was soon cancelled because of the weather.
Those Clan Donald members that called in for a chat and refreshment departed hoping to meet at the Waipu Highland Games on New Years Day.
The 6th annual Hororata Highland Games were held on Saturday 5th November and attracted a record crowd of well over 10,000 people, as well as a record number of competitors. Once again we were fortunate to experience a fine spring day.
The Hororata Highland Games were established as the main fundraising focus of the Hororata Community Trust which was formed after the September 2010 earthquake to help rebuild and promote the wider Hororata community.
ChieftaIn for the day, piper Kyle Warren, commended the organisers on how successfully they engage young people in the event. He said this was evident right through from the competitions to the ‘Have a Go’ events.
Each year the organisers work to refresh the games so as to attract a wider audience. As an example, this year a new event, the Gough CAT Vehicle Pull was introduced.
Tom McDonald, our North Island Commissioner and Lynnette McDonald, Vice President Clan Donald Auckland, 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 5 new members.
Clan Lane which is hosted by the Canterbury Scottish Heritage Council.
Clan Donald Canterbury President, Christine Martin pictured in the Clan Donald tent.
Alan MacDonald, High Commissioner, with Lynnette McDonald, Vice President
Clan Donald Auckland, and Tom McDonald, North Island Commissioner.
Contestants in the popular ‘Kilted Mile’ race.
Massed Pipe bands performing in the closing ceremony.