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
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.
The AGM of The Associated Clan Donald Societies of New Zealand was hosted by Clan Donald Otago over the weekend of 4/5th May 2019.
It was held in Mosgiel, a town of approximately 11,000 people, located 15 kms from the centre of Dunedin.
Mosgiel is named after Mosgiel Farm, Ayrshire, the farm of Robbie Burns, the uncle of the co-founder in 1848 of the Otago Settlement, the Reverend Thomas Burns.
There were representatives from Clan Donald Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago who gathered for dinner on the Friday evening at Nellies Restaurant and Bar in Mosgiel.
Elwyn Martin, South Island Commissioner, Murdock McDonald from Auckland, Alan MacDonald, High Commissioner, Roz McKechnie, New Zealand Vice President, Lynnette McDonald, Auckland Vice President and Christine Martin, New Zealand President enjoying dinner at Nellies Restaurant.
The AGM was held on Saturday afternoon at the Mosgiel RSA. A number of Otago members attended the meeting including long time member and Finlaggan Councillor, Bill McDonald.
Elected officers for 2019/20 are;
President/Secretary. Christine Martin
Vice President. Roz McKechnie
Treasurer. Trish McKechnie
Cliff Lockhead, Brent Tomlinson, Elwyn Martin, Bill McDonald, Christine Martin, Trish McKechnie and Roz McKechnie during the AGM.
A good discussion was generated around how member societies could leverage off other local Scottish societies and events in their area, and the value of our Website and Newsletter in promoting Clan Donald.
Attendees were urged to provide articles and photos to Bruce McGechan (Website) and Roz McKechnie (Newsletter), who are both willing to provide assistance and guidance.
A formal dinner was held at the Mosgiel RSA on Saturday night and besides local Clan Donald Otago members we were joined by 3 members from Clan Gunn.
Christine Martin, New Zealand President and Elwyn Martin, South Island Commissioner.
David Moore, Wellington President and Bill McDonald, Finlaggan Councilor from Otago.
Susan Schweigman, Otago President and her husband Peter.
Lynnette McDonald, Auckland Vice President and Cliff Lockhead, Otago Secretary.
Brent Tomlinson from Canterbury and Todd Wall, New Zealand High Commissioner for Clan Gunn.
On Sunday morning we visited the Rowan tree planted in the Memorial Gardens in 1992 to mark the 300th anniversary of the Massacre of Glencoe.
Barrie Paterson, Elwyn Martin, David Moore, Roz McKechnie, Christine Martin, Margaret Dyett, Alan MacDonald, Brent Tomlinson, Lynnette McDonald and Annette Paterson.
This was followed by an excellent brunch at The Topiary Café at Wal’s Nursery and Garden Centre which is set in beautiful countryside on the outskirts of Mosgiel.
A big thank you to the Otago folks for organising a very enjoyable weekend and making us all so welcome.
Clan Donald Auckland continued the programme for funding to cover the cost for equipment and scholarships.
The second of these fund-raisers took place on Saturday the 13th of April at Bunnings Warehouse in Mt Roskill. It is a great help that Bunnings have a policy of supporting charitable organisations in their fund raising.
This session was to cover the cost of a cover for the trailer. The trailer is used to transport the pavilion and other equipment to and from the various Highland Games.
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 Murdock McDonald, Trevor Pollard, Laurie and Marlene Mathews, and Tom and Lynnette McDonald.
Andrew Wilkie was the piper for the whole day, taking a five-minute rest periodically to catch his breath.
It was a very successful fund raiser with 450 sausages cooked and sold for a very worthwhile profit. Further Sausage Sizzles are planned and the earnings will be targeted to providing scholarships.
From the left, Andrew Wilkie, Tom & Lynnette McDonald, Annette Paterson, Murdock McDonald busy in the background, Trevor Pollard and Barrie Paterson.
Andrew Wilkie did a fantastic job, piping during the day.
Laurie Mathews all ready to serve the customers.
Marlene Mathews preparing the onions to go with the sausages.
Trevor Pollard ready to welcome customers.
On Sunday 24 March, a number of Clan Donald Canterbury members met at Ferrymead Golf to play a round of mini golf on the “Volcano Park” 18 hole course. After the trauma of the terror attack which occurred in Christchurch on Friday 15 March, it was nice to be able to get together with good friends and enjoy a couple of hours of leisure and fun. We played a round of mini golf and then retired to the clubhouse for a drink and a chat to finish the afternoon.
Pictured (left to right); Elwyn Martin, Sheila Cuthbertson, Christine Martin, Ian Bright, Valerie Bright, Raewyn Hinton, Andrew Muskee, Helen Ring, Margaret Donald, Ann Smith, Fintan McLoughlin and Alan MacDonald.
Fintan McLoughlin shows Elwyn Martin how to play.
Margaret Donald is all concentration.
Elwyn Martin in action.
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.
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.
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.