Clan Donald Canterbury 27th AGM

Clan Donald Canterbury held their AGM and Branch Meeting on Sunday 11th February. After meeting for many years in the St Albans Community Centre, we have had a change of venue. Our meeting was held in the Forfar Courts Community Hall which proved to be a very satisfactory venue and will be hired for meetings this year.

Ann Smith was elected as president and Margaret Donald was re-elected as Secretary/Treasurer. Ann takes over from Christine Martin who has served as president for 5 years. A vote of thanks was passed for Christine’s contribution as president. Irvine Kinraid has stood down from the committee after providing valuable service for many years.

To commemorate the Glencoe massacre Ann Smith played the pipes and Alan MacDonald read a poem “Massacre At Glencoe” written by American poet, Randy McClave.

The meeting was followed by a very enjoyable barbecue at Alan MacDonald’s house. Although we were not blessed with the normal good weather we have had for this occasion in the past, we were fortunate it stopped raining late afternoon.


Newly elected president, Ann Smith,
supervisors the barbecue chef, Ian Bright


Ian Bright, Elwyn Martin, Christine Martin and Ann Smith

154th Turakina Highland Games 2018

Sat 27th JANUARY 2018

A Little History: The first ‘Turakina Highland Games’ were held in 1864, and are New Zealand’s oldest on-land sporting event. The Games were established by the Turakina Caledonian Society Inc. – Est. 1864.

Clan Donald Wellington once again did its annual pilgrimage to Turakina, a small village in the western Rangitikei district in the southern North Island of New Zealand. A twenty-minute car ride south of Whanganui.

Supporting John and Patricia McKechnie, Vice President and Secretary Clan Donald Wellington, over the weekend were the North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald and his wife Lynnette, Vice President Clan Donald Auckland, and the New Zealand High Commissioner Alan MacDonald. This group followed the tradition of staying at the Rutland Arms Hotel in Whanganui for a weekend of conviviality, and of course some whisky sampling.


Outside the Clan Donald Wellington tent are John McKechnie Vice President Wellington, David Moore Committee Wellington, Alan MacDonald High Commissioner for New Zealand, and Tom McDonald North Island Commissioner.


This year Clan Donald Wellington decided to add to the usual decorations in the Clan tent. We bought Scottish flag bunting and a large Scottish flag, plus 4 large and 4 small Clan Shields, to liven up the interior and exterior of the tent.


John McKechnie’s decorating skills are been supervised by Alan MacDonald and Patricia McKechnie.


And of course on the day we were supported by the Clan Donald Wellington President Carl Bradley and Committee Member David Moore, plus our newest members Roger & Diana McDonald.

Visitors on the Day:


Newest Clan Donald Wellington members Roger & Diana McDonald.


Lynnette McDonald Vice President Clan Donald Auckland and 
Tony Franklin-Ross from Clan Mackenzie.


We had many visitors on the day including one from Clan Campbell


From the left John McKechnie Vice President Clan Donald Wellington, Lindsay Campbell from Clan Campbell, and Clan Donald High Commissioner Alan MacDonald.


From the left Patricia McKechnie Secretary Clan Donald Wellington, with Bruce McGechan Immediate Past President Clan Donald Auckland, and Lynnette McDonald Vice President Clan Donald Auckland.


At lunchtime we took part in the Clans March.


The Clan Donald Wellington Colour Party. Banner Bearer John McKechnie, Aida Tavassoli, High Commissioner Alan MacDonald, Carl Bradley President Clan Donald Wellington, David Moore and North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald.


Colour Party. Aida Tavassoli, Carl Bradley, Tom McDonald, Alan MacDonald, David Moore and John McKechnie.

Waipu Highland Games 2018

It was a bright morning on New Years Day for the Waipu Highland Games at the Caledonian Grounds. However, there were some ominous dark clouds on the horizon that indicated possible rain later in the day.

The official start to the Games had the Waipu Pipe Band leading the Clans March from the Monument into the Caledonian Grounds to the Avenue of Clans for the flag raising. The host clan for the day was Clan Davidson who led the parade, and their Chief Grant Davidson took the salute as the clans passed the saluting base.

A good-sized crowd arrived early and were soon chatting to members of the various clans. The Clan Donald Pavilion had many members and friends calling in for a chat and refreshments.


Vice President Lynnette McDonald and Murdock McDonald set up the Hospitality Table for the Pavilion.


Friends from Pukekohe, Gary and Diane Landon, with Vice President Lynnette McDonald and North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald.


At 12.30pm the massed bands and clans paraded around the arena for the Official opening, which included a massed Highland Fling.


The massed pipe bands led by Pipe Major Eddie Eeles from the Auckland Police Pipe Band.


The massed Highland Fling.


The Clan Donald Colour Party. From the right, Banner Bearer, Vice President Lynnette McDonald, President Barrie Paterson, (partially obscured), Annette Paterson, North Island Commissioner Tom McDonald and Lex Allan.


The threatened rain finally arrived with a cloudburst around 2pm. This sent the crowd scattering to find shelter. The Highland Dancing continued in the Celtic Barn and the Piping Competition was transferred to the school hall and classrooms.

By early evening the rain had ceased and the Ceilidh with the Twisty Willow musicians was held in the Celtic Barn from 7.30pm. Around 100 guests were treated to well organised, calling of the dances, and a plentiful supper with haggis and Athol Brose for sustenance.

Despite the weather it was a great Highland Games for the start of 2018.

Auckland Pre-Christmas Lunch 2017

It was a warm but showery day on Sunday the 10th of December for the Clan Donald Auckland Pre-Christmas Lunch. And once again the luncheon was held in the Highlander Bar of the Northcote Tavern. This was the 5th year that the event was held in the Highlander Bar, which not only has a fantastic menu, including their famous Sunday Roast, but the atmosphere is very Scottish, with the tartan carpet, and on the walls, many clan shields with the various Coats-of-Arms.

There were around 30 Clan Donald members, who were entertained as they arrived, by John Hawthorn, with a selection of Scottish tunes on his piano accordion.


John Hawthorn playing a selection of Scottish tunes.


The Signals Pipe Band also arrived, after the Birkenhead Christmas Parade, to entertain the Clan Donald members and tavern guests.


Between showers the Signals Pipe Band entertained the guests.


Pipe Corporal Andrew Wilkie is also a Past President
of Clan Donald Auckland.


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


Clan Chaplain Diane Winder enjoyed the lunch. She has
not long returned from the USA.

Jim Donald, a long time member of Clan Donald Auckland.


Vice President Lynnette McDonald, with longtime Clan Donald member and friend Marlene Mathews.

Hororata Highland Games 2017

The 7th annual Hororata Highland Games were held on Saturday 11th November and attracted record crowd of well over 10,000 people plus 12 pipe bands, over 100 Highland dancers, 58 solo pipers and drummers and 20 heavy athlete competitors.

The weather was damp early on but right on queue at 11.00 am as the crowd stilled for the Armistice Day remembrance, the clouds cleared and the sun shone for the rest of the day.

Chieftan for the day, the Hon. Amy Adams has attended every Hororata Games since their inception. 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. Amy Adams commented on “how this amazing community pulled together and rebuilt after the life changing earthquakes and right from the start, the Games have been spectacular”

Tom McDonald and Lynnette McDonald from Auckland and John and Patricia McKechnie from Wellington, 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 7 new members.

Clan Donald Canterbury member, Ian Bright, assisted by Adrienne Pamment, ran a very successful raffle to raise funds to help with the cost of running the Clan Donald Anzac Forum being held in Christchurch next March.

Taking part in the banner parade (left to right) Ann Smith (Scottish Heritage Council), Colin Cameron (Clan Cameron), Tom McDonald (Clan Donald), Ian and Julie Dickson (Clan Keith).


Pipe band judging watched by a large crowd in fine, warm conditions.


Ann Smith (Clan Donald Canterbury) ran the popular Have A Go At Piping sessions.


Adrienne Pamment and Ian Bright with their raffle stall.


Drawing the raffle prize. Grant Davidson, Chief of Clan Davidson, Adrienne Pamment and Ian Bright.


Liz Fifield, winner of the raffle.