Newsletter No 22 March 2016

Greetings to all members of the Caledonian Society of Otago on what has already proved a busy and hopefully profitable year for New Zealand’s oldest established Scottish Society. Over recent Months the Society has been an active supporter of both sporting and cultural events keeping intact the basic principles on which the Caledonian Society was originally established.

Otago District A and P Shows The Caledonian Society provided demonstrations of traditional Scottish Events at three A and P Shows held recently throughout the province. On November 28th 2015 Society Directors travelled to Balclutha for the South Otago A and P Show. On January 23rd the annual Otago Taieri A and P Show was held at Mosgiel while on February 6th Palmerston provided the venue for the Palmerston Waihemo District Show. The Caledonian Society presented people with the opportunity to involve themselves in the time honoured Scottish activities of Caber Tossing,Tossing The Sheave,Carrying The Stones and Carrying the Heavy Weights. There were plenty of competitors willing to try their hand at the events on offer particularly for the Taieri Show where everyone was kept busy throughout the day. The Otago Taieri A and P Show also served as an unofficial Otago Championship with Cups presented to the various winners on the day. It was pleasing to receive such positive crowd reaction at all three venues making the amount of work involved all worthwhile. Special thanks to Ian McDonald and Dave Crewe for transporting and organising all the equipment needed to make these demonstrations happen. The Caledonian Society Trailer has really come into its own for these occasions.

2016 Taieri A&P Sheaf Toss





Tossing The Sheave Contest at the Otago Taieri A and P Show

Queenstown Rural Festival Caledonian Society President Kieran Columb attended the second staging of the Queenstown Rural Festival held on Saturday February 6th the same day as the Palmerston Waihemo Show. Kieran was involved in presenting the prizes for the Strongest Man Competition featuring three New Zealanders and three Australians The individual strongest man title was won by Reuben De Jong of New Zealand with Australia taking out the teams title. .Kieran reported that the Games were very successful with excellent crowds. .In2017 the Rural Games will shift to Palmerston North. The Caledonian Society also received welcome publicity by providing the 5m long 33kg Douglas Fir Caber required for the Queenstown Event. A photograph of Caledonian Society Director Ian McDonald lifting the Caber appeared on the Front Page of the Otago Daily Times Edition of January 15th.

2016 Taieri A&P Presentation


Caledonian Society President Kieran Columb with Adam Eketone at theOtago Taieri A and P Show Adam recorded fastest time in the Carrying of the Stones competition sponsored by Warehouse Stationery.


Robbie Rocks Competition The Caledonian Society was a Co- Sponsor of the Youth Section of the Robbie Rocks Talent Competition held in the Toitu Otago Early Settlers Museum on January 25th Robbie Burn’s Birthday. The Society was represented by Life Director Jack McLeod who described the Evening as extremely well organised with the prize giving ceremonies carried out in a most professional manner. It is a pleasure for the Caledonian Society to continue their support for events highlighting Dunedin’s long standing Scottish Heritage.

New Zealand Masters Track and Field Championships The Caledonian Society sponsored two events The Men Weight Throw and The Men Weight Pentathlon at the New Zealand Masters Track and Field Championships appropriately held at the Caledonian Ground Dunedin over the weekend of February 26th to 28th. The Championships were blessed with glorious weather leading to three days of exciting fun filled competition. The Caledonian Society Events were held on the Saturday and Sunday Morning of the Championships with a final combined total of 45 entries including a very strong North Island Representation. There was a great deal of positive feedback regarding the Championships for the excellent facilities and the helpfulness of all the Otago Officials.

Cale hammer throw






Allan Halberg of Otago preparing for the Men 30-64 Hammer Throw one of the Weight Pentathlon Events sponsored by the Caledonian Society at the New Zealand Masters Track and Field Championships.

Papatowai Challenge On the same weekend as the Track and Field Championships the annual Papatowai Challenge Run/Walk was held in the Catlins area. The Papatowai event has been organised by Caledonian Society Past President and Life Director Wayne Allen since 1997 when 30 Runners took part. Walkers were included in 1999 and numbers have now grown to well over 300 on average every year. All funds are generated towards implementing projects in the Catlins Community.

Educational Grant At the Caledonian Society Directors Meeting held on February 25th an Educational Grant of $500 was awarded to Amy Little Grand-Daughter of Caledonian Society Life Director Netty Lastovicka. This Grant is awarded annually to a suitable applicant to help provide assistance towards their chosen profession. This Grant complies with two of the main objects of the Caledonian Society the promotion of Education and also Customs and Accomplishments. Amy presented a professional CV outlining her numerous achievements and her determination to pursue a full time career in the Hospitality Industry. The Caledonian Society Directors wish Amy all the best in fulfilling her various goals.

Otago Scottish Heritage Council The future operation of the Otago Scottish Heritage Council the parent body of Dunedin Scottish organisations is somewhat clouded at present due to the lack of available personnel to take on important roles notably President and Secretary within the Council. Monthly Meetings have been suspended until the AGM in September when the future of the OSHC will be decided. The Caledonian Society has been part of the OSHC since its inception in 1925 and views the current situation of the Council with a considerable degree of concern.

Roberts Cup Presentation The Caledonian Society Roberts Cup awarded annually to the winners of the Boys and Girls Senior High Jump at the Otago Secondary Schools Athletics Championships were presented on Saturday March 12th by Caledonian Society Life Directors Netty Lastovicka and John Stinson. First presented in 1937 to the Senior High Jump Otago Championship Winners the Roberts Cup spent a long period “In the Wilderness” before being reinstated as an Otago Secondary Schools Championship Trophy. The winner of the Senior Girls title was Adriana Mawhinney of Dunstan High School who won the title for the second consecutive year with a record jump of 1.65m. Adriana is coached by Auckland Commonwealth Games High Jump Gold Medallist Tania Murray. The Senior Boys Title was won by Daniel Rogers-Bromley from Bayfield High School on a count back from Matt Cramond of Taieri College both boys recording a best height of 1.76m.

Mid Year Event Function The Mid Year Function will be held for the second time at the Mosgiel Station Function Centre in Factory Road. The Date for the Function will be finalised at the Caledonian Society Directors Meeting on March 31st.

Clan McNicol 30 Year Luncheon Jack Mcleod ,and Wayne Allen along with John and Moireen Stinson were among those who attended the Clan McNicol 30 Year Celebration Luncheon held at the Masonic Lodge Manor Place on Sunday March 13th. This was a most enjoyable function highlighted by a lovely two course lunch and some excellent entertainment. It was a nice opportunity to catch up with fellow members of Dunedin’s Scottish Community.

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

On my introduction to the Los Angeles freeways the overwhelming number of cars travelling close together at high speed gave me the jitters. When my California friend pulled into a filling station to gas up I had hopes that at least one hazard would be eliminated-the coat of grime on the windshield. However as the attendant approached sponge in hand my friend shouted “Don’t touch it!” Taken aback the attendant looked quizzically at him. “I can’t stand to see them coming at me” my friend explained.

There are so many Western Shows running on Television now that according to Bob Hope you can switch from channel to channel without interfering with the action. “The other night” he says “I saw a Cowboy dismount on channel 3,fire a shot on channel 5,drill a man on channel 6,jump on a horse on channel 8 and ride away on channel 9. By the time I got to channel 2 he was standing up in the Audience on the Ed Sullivan Show and taking a bow.”



One Response to “Newsletter No 22 March 2016”

  1.   Anne Thomson Says:

    We are considering holding a church service acknowledging St Andrews Day, on Sunday 27 November 2016.
    Would someone from the Caledonian Society please contact me about this.

    Rev.Anne Thomson, First Church of Otago

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