Greetings to all Members and Supporters of the Caledonian Society of Otago New Zealand’s oldest Scottish organisation on the publication of our latest Newsletter. This year has proved to be a busy and productive one for the Caledonian Society with a number of events still on the agenda for the Months ahead.

Promotional Day On Sunday May 11th the Caledonian Society Directors along with Patron Ron Cain were involved in a promotional filming session at the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum Dunedinburgh Exhibition. The filming took place around the Caledonian Society Stone Chair or Kings Seat carved by Scottish Stonemason James Robertson from a block of Waikawa Bluestone to commemorate the visit to Dunedin in 1901 of Prince George and Princess May the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall later King George V and Queen Mary. The filming was arranged as a great promotional opportunity for the Society to recreate the original photograph taken in 1909 of the Caledonian Society Directors surrounding the Stone Chair. The session was great fun to be involved in and was highlighted in the Dunedin Channel 9 Local News Bulletin the following Evening. The Caledonian Society would like to thank the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum Staff for their help in arranging the filming promotion especially Kirsten Glengarry and newly appointed Director Jennifer Evans who made it all happen for us. The highly successful Dunedinburgh Exhibition concluded on July 13.

Passing of Pat Sidon The Caledonian Society suffered a further loss in April this year with the passing of long serving Member and Director Pat Sidon. One of Otagos finest ever Distance Athletes Pat was a great supporter and advocate of the Caledonian Society and in recent years still made every attempt to involve himself in the affairs of the Society despite on going ill health. Pats loss was of special significance to the Society coming soon after the demise of Fellow Director Don Gordon in October 2013.

New Secondary Schools Athletics Trophy The Caledonian Society in keeping with their lifelong Support of the Sport of Athletics have instigated a new Cup for the Winner of the Otago Secondary Schools Female High Jump. The inaugural winner of the Cup was Georgia Johnstone of Cromwell College. Georgia received a miniature version of the new Cup with the Major Cup being retained in Dunedin for display purposes..

Otago Piping and Dancing Championships TheAnnual Queens Birthday Piping and dancing Championships conducted by the Otago Centre of the Royal New Zealand Piping and Dancing Association were held in Dunedin on the Weekend of May 31st June 1st. Caledonian Society President kieran Columb along with his Wife Kaye attended the Championships on the Sunday Afternoon where he presented the prizes to the C Grade Highland Dancing Competition Winners. Kieran and Kaye were impressed with the numbers of competitors in all grades and the huge amount of organisation carried out by the Piping and Dancing Executive Committee to ensure such a long programme was successfully completed.

Successful Grant Application The Caledonian Society were one of the successful recipients in the latest round of Grant Applications from the Bendigo Valley Sports and Charity Foundation. The Society received a Grant of $1,000 which will be used for installing signage on our newly purchased Trailer.

Mid Year Event Dinner On Sunday July 27th the Caledonian Society hosted their Mid Year Event Dinner at the Otago Bridge Club in Otaki Street. Fifty Three People attended what was judged to be a most enjoyable occasion for everyone. Guest Speaker Jennifer Evans the newly appointed Director of the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum gave a most interesting talk on her strong Scottish Background and an outline of the History of the Paisley Tartan. Soporano Singer Sarah Oliver provided some beautiful versions of traditional Scottish Songs accompanied by Pianist Frances Brodie. Thanks also to Hugh Marshall for his full spirited rendition of the Address to the Haggis and his Son Scott who filled the role of Official Piper despite having just returned from Overseas. We also enjoyed Highland Dancing provide by Ashley Simpson and Larissa Mckecnie. The Society has since received

favourable feedback regarding the Mid Year Event.

South Pacific Rim Scottish Festival The Caledonian Society will be among those groups participating in the Lower Octagon on Sunday August 31stmarking the opening of the South Pacific Rim Festival organised by the Dunedin Burns Club. This will be the first occasion this important festival has been held in New Zealand. The programme starts at 2 PM and the Caledonian Society will be providing a demonstration of Traditional Scottish Events including Caber Toss Carrying The Stones and Carrying the Heavy Weights.

AGM The 152nd Annual General Meeting of the Caledonian Society of Otago was held in the Guthrie Pavilion of the Bayfield Sports Trust Building on Thursday July 31st. A small attendance was on hand to hear how the Caledonian Society has progressed over the 2013-14 Year. In his Report President Kieran Columb spoke of a progressive year for the Caledonian Society citing the example of the trips made to a number of A and P Shows in the OtagoArea demonstrating popular aspects of a traditional Highland Games. The Society was well received and welcomed by Committees and Participants in all venues. The President emphasised that the Society must continue to look at ways of encouraging new membership and essentially recruit new Directors to assist and promote the Scottish Events we run. Principal Office Bearers remain the same President K.Columb,Secretary J.Stinson and Treasurer Mrs.R.Rowley continuing in their respective roles.

African Travels Caledonian Society Directors Morgan Hewland and Netty Lastovicka have recently returned from extensive travels in Botswana Zimbabwe and Cape Town where their trip included visiting a number of game parks and reserves viewing an extensive variety of Animals particularly Elephant in their natural environment. From all accounts they had a fantastic time with wonderful hospitality provided throughout their trip and have enjoyed sharing their experiences with family and friends on their return. You have certainly whetted my appetite for a future trip Morgan and Netty.

Leave a Reply