Clan Donnachaidh Society of the Rocky Mountains Annual Reports
This section includes the full Rocky Mountain Society Annual Reports. International is sent an annual report of the activities for the branch each December. The international members receive a printed annual of all reports and information prior to the AGM held in Perthshire Scotland. Sometime our full branch report must be edited to fit the available space (300 words). Therefore we will share our full report in this section.
Clan Donnachaidh Society of the Rocky Mountains
2012 Annual Report
The year 2012 of events started with the Annual Robert Burns Dinner had our new officers presiding, saying thanks to previous officers, honoring our military service members and dancing to Celtic Legacy from Colorado Renaissance Festival who provided exceptional entertainment. This year included participation in the Colorado Tartan Day Tea Fundraiser, Colorado Tartan Day, Annual Picnic/Ice Cream Social/AGM, Colorado Renaissance Festival, Elizabeth Celtic Festival & Games, Colorado Scottish Festival and Highland Games, supporting the Colorado Youth Pipe Band, Long’s Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Games, our Premium Scotch Tasting and ended the year with our Annual Yule Party and Food Drive.
This year had the Clan working with the new committees, receiving a new banner and new branch manual, creating a new business card and branch membership card. A new active and vibrant website was created at www.rockymountainscots.com Under History section we have added a link to the YouTube Documentary on Scotland’s History: Scotland’s Clans hosted by Paul Murton. It includes many Clans and the information is fascinating. Please check the website out.
We want to recognize, Kaylee Hampton, granddaughter of Sandy & the late Dick Hall competed in the Scottish dance competition for the very first time at the Colorado Scottish Festival. Kaylee competed in the following 3 dances and placed 2nd in the “16 Pas de Basque”; placed 3rd in “Pas de Basque with High cuts”; and placed 2nd in the “4 Step Fling”. Congratulation Kaylee, for a job well done!
CPL Alan Ward is a Clan Donnachaidh member proudly serving with the U.S. Marines Corp and is currently stationed in Afghanistan. We wish for his safety and quick return.
Annual Report 2011
Rocky Mountain Society of Clan Donnachaidh-Robertson
25th Anniversary, a Year of Celebration!!
This was a year about celebration for the Rocky Mountain Society of Clan Donnachaidh-Robertson! In May, 1986 our branch was founded making this our 25th Anniversary. We started the year off with our Annual Robert Burns Dinner. Once again our dinner was filled with enjoying an evening of haggis, piping, a wonderful buffet dinner, and a humorous tribute to the Bard. This year’s tribute was presented by a past branch president, Mark Donnachaidh who took on the Bard himself to share about his many writings and Jacobite history. Including a toast from a “special decanter” that had everyone asking, “Was that really Scotch in that decanter?” There were a variety of additional toasts, our fund raising drawings with wonderful items our members donated, and music by the Celtic rock band “The Commoners”. We lassies enjoyed our laddies’ rendition of a “kilted swing line” and we enjoyed our anniversary cake. Chocolate and Scotch seems to be a favorite with our members. Joining in our evening of friendship and dancing were invited members from Clan Blair, Clan Cummins, Clan Campbell, Clan Cian, and Clan Pollack. After the official dinner, the evening’s festivities continued into the wee hours with our traditional after party. It was a truly fun evening!
In February we lost one of our long time members Neil “James” Reid. He was a long time employee of the National Forest Service and a very active member of the branch. our Memorial Fund paid for a piper at his service. His love of nature and artistic abilities were shared every year at our Robert Burns Dinner by his special Valentines for the lassies. He is truly missed by everyone.
The spring time had us gathering for a Home Brew Tasting event in which five of our members shared their personal beer brewing and mead making talents. We tasted 6 different brews and one sample of homemade mead. They each shared their process as well as the ancient history of brewing and mead making.
This year we sponsored and participated in Colorado Tartan Day activities held in the spring. Although we do not set up a booth for this event we join in supporting the event by attending the Scotch tasting, banquet which featured local youth’s presentations of traditional Scottish dances, a hot kitchen piping contest and finished the night by listening and dancing to the Angus Mor band. Later, in the fall several of us attended the Colorado Tartan Day Annual Tea Fund raiser. This was a traditional tea with a variety of finger sandwiches, scones, lemon curd, clogged cream, several pipers, Scottish dances by several of our local competitors at our games and everyone was served by kilted men representing several Clans. And there were even a few wee drams of Scotch also served.
In June, our Annual Ice Cream Social and Picnic was well attended. This year the weather was beautiful and the ice cream selections included Guinness Chocolate Chip ice cream. Malted milk balls ice cream, strawberry ice cream and there was a whiskey sauce that seemed to disappear as quickly as the ice cream. Yum, what a delicious way to cool off on a warm summer day!
Council members marry! The July 4th weekend had us joining two of our council members for their wedding ceremony. Several of us traveled together in what has become known as the Donnachaidh-Robertson party RV with our designated driver, member Dennis Bolen. We took the standards, the minister, member Ray Ward, and just a little scotch to toast the new family. Congratulations to David Robertson and Dani Little on their nuptials and to Megan Robertson, Troy Robertson and Zander Little for becoming a great family.
The festivals and games were well attended by our members throughout the summer and fall. The Elizabeth Celtic Festival in July included setting up our booth, members organizing and judging the Bonnie Knees contests. This year included a new Bonnie Knees for the Youth attending. I ask you is there anything more adorable that little ones wearing their kilts proudly? They all looked so wonderful I do not know how the judges made a choice. The local businesses donated items that filled gift bags for the young participants. We also piloted our Colorado Clan Sheep Game. This is a fun game developed by the collaborative efforts between Clan Douglas, Clan Donnachaidh-Robertson and Clan Campbell.
The Colorado Scottish Festival and Rocky Mountain Highland Games held in Highlands Ranch, Colorado was a busy one this year. The weather was great, not too hot which always helps increase visitors to the games. Our booth was well attended throughout the weekend. This festival started the first official playing of what is called The Colorado Clan Sheep Game. This is a game invented for any clan wishing to participate. The premise is a humorous take on “sheep stealing” by clans in the past. Clans wishing to participate must have a stuffed sheep clearly identified and accessible for “stealing”. Each participating clan is identified by a sign, purchases a set of poker chips to be able to “buy back” their stolen sheep. The “poker chip fees” go to purchase a bottle of Scotch to be awarded with a certificate to the winning clan. The winning is the clan that collects the most poker chips denoting your clan “stole” the most sheep by the end of the weekend of the games. We even have a Sheep Commissioner to keep us “honorable”; settle disputes and award prizes. Although some of the “big kids” had fun the youth in several of our clans really got involved in playing. They were so creative, worked together in teams, and were actually enjoying being at the games. The first winner was Clan MacLea. And Clan Donnachaidh came in second place. The Rocky Mountain Society named our sheep “Pitlochry” in honor of our lands.
The Long’s Peak Scottish-Irish Festival and Highland Games were again held in September in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. This year we were joined by membership from the Texas Branch of Clan Donnachaidh. They marched in the parades and assisted with the booth which was active all weekend. Thanks Janis Roberson for all your assistance with our booth. It was fun for all the members to get to know our Texas cousins.
We participated in the Clan’s potluck and Calling of the Clans event on Saturday evening. It was a wonderful evening with pipers, dancers and bonfire with a near full moon over head in the clear Colorado sky. This is a private clan gathering and not sponsored by the festival. It is truly a gathering that has clans breaking bread together, sharing memorials and relaxing during a busy weekend. Being that it was 9-11-11 our toasts included several toasts to our service men and women through the calling activities.
A very special Thank You to Patrick McFall, (a special Cameron from Wisconsin)! He made and presented us with a wonderful new sign for our booth. We hung it right away and received many complaints from booth visitors and members. I’m sure the airline security personnel had fun scanning this!
We once again played the Colorado Clan’s Sheep Game and the Rocky Mountain Society of Clan Donnachaidh-Robertson won this time! It was definitely a tribute to the youth of our clan as they were “stealth” in their stealing ways. Thanks Megan, Troy and Zander you rock! Since we had won the Festival’s Field Award the previous year, several of our member’s served had the responsibility to judge the other booths. Thanks to Bill Collier, Jim Stark and Dennis Smith for taking on this task. This year’s festival had the largest number of clans participating so our judges were kept very busy. Our booth was again very busy all weekend and we added several new members. We are looking forward to getting to know them.
We ended the year with our Annual Yule Party/Annual General Meeting. As in previous years, this was a fabulous potluck and we collected a variety of non-perishable food items to take to a local food bank for our continued community project. This year’s Yule Party also included time for our AGM. We combined these events this year because of our busy schedules. We shared the latest updates on activities both locally and internationally including discussion about future International AGM attendance, covering our games, and gathering ideas for fund raising items. Members are also signing petitions supporting efforts to have a Colorado state special license plate recognizing Scottish-Americans. We celebrated our 25th Anniversary with a wee dram toast.
Since several of our long time officers felt the need to step out of office for a variety of personal reasons and life’s challenging situations. Therefore, we needed to hold elections for all four of the officer positions. We also created a list of Officer and Council Committee Descriptions to assist everyone to know what responsibilities and different ways members might like to get involved with. The NEW 2012 Officer will be as follows: President is Rich Matthews; Vice President is Kathleen Cahoon; Secretary is Nancy Bigley; Treasurer is Dennis Smith. We wish them much success in the future. Several members sign up to assist with different committees for the next year.
Also this year Alice Woods was our featured artisan. She had a variety of jewelry offerings for sale, we had our drawings for several figurines and ornaments and new member Shellie Arnold played traditional harp and member Dennis Smith played pipes. They shared traditional and madrigal style holiday musical selections for our listening enjoyment.
We presented Bob Robertson, Past President and founding branch member, with our local branch Lifetime Membership Honors. Bob and his lovely wife Sylvia have been active since before the founding of our branch on May 18, 1986. Bob and Donald Robertson were the original members that together first started attending and participating in the games with just a card table and couple of chairs and sharing information about the Donnachaidh-Robertson history and international. Personally without Bob’s encouragement and support being President to the Rocky Mountain Society would have been a daunting experience for me.
For me personally it has been an honor to serve as the President of the Rocky Mountain Society for the past six years. At times it has been challenging but I have loved and enjoyed the involvement, the council and member’s support. I look forward to assisting the new leadership as we move forwarded.
Respectfully submitted by Nancy Bigley, President
Rocky Mountain Society of Clan Donnachaidh-Robertson
For information and contact us regarding events and games please check out www.rockymountainscots.com