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The origins of Douglas.

The earliest evidence of human habitation in Scotland is believed to be about 14 000 years ago during what is known as the Mesolithic Period. It was a time when what we know today as the British Isles were a part of the European mainland, this made it easier for prehistoric man to roam across lands in search of new hunting grounds.

Over the millennia these roving bands of people established tribal lands, developed cultures and languages. They built structures and learned to farm the land.

Gradually tribal identity grew into what we know today at the Pics, the Scotti, Celts and Gaels. Kingdoms were created along with their feudal system of nobility and class structure. In Scotland the tribe became a clan and the people who lived in clan lands owed fealty to the Clan Chief. The Chief in turn paid fealty to the Monarch.

Scotland became the scene of many battles, either between clans or invading hordes. Through this came conquest, migration and assimilation. Ancient cultures disappeared, new cultures and languages flourished from the old.  But the mainstay language is Gaelic. An ancient language whose origins are reasonably believed in the Highlands and Ireland.

To everyone who is familiar with our clan history, it is impossible to pinpoint exactly when did the family name ‘Douglas’ originate. Although the ‘where’ is comfortably beyond dispute, which will be explained later in this article.

It’s written in the Douglas Archives; The origins of the Douglas family are lost in the mists of time.’ That said the only reference material that can be comfortably relied upon in accuracy is the book The History of the House and Race of Douglas and AngusPublished in 1748, this fourth edition book explains in detail the origins and notable figures, yet again most of the claims stated are questionable in the absence of hard evidence.

According to Douglas Archives, the earliest known recording of the Douglas name was of a mythical battle in 767 where a man known as ‘Sholto du glasse’,  whom was instrumental in the defeat of an enemy to a legendary Scottish King, Solvathius.

David MacRitchie (1851 – 1925), a Scottish folklorist and antiquarian published a series of theories in his 1884 book titled Ancient And Modern Britons. In it he claims many Briton families could trace their ancestry to early Moors (North African in origin) who roved and eventually settled in the British Isles.

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Of these Moors he alleged is Sholto Douglas. He writes:

The king being anxious to see the man who had done him such signal service, he was pointed out to him by his colour, or complexion in Gaelic language -sholto-du-glash-” behold the black or swarthy coloured man” from which he obtained the name Sholto the Douglas.

Sadly though, this tale is a product of myth and legend. No evidence supports this story and as such, the legend of the progenitor of the Douglas family name can only be referred to as ‘pseudo-history’. Indeed much of what has been claimed by MacRitchie can be discredited.

I draw the conclusion that it is likely that this ‘Sholto Douglas’, if he existed, was not a Moor but rather the description provided by David MacRitchie was a product of mistranslated text and verbal accounts handed down over the centuries. I demonstrate this mistranslated account from two separate sources, here with David MacRitchie’s version and through Douglas Archives where the description reads “Sholto du glash’ – behold that swarthy man.” The latter appears to be the most commonly used quote through a number of sources thereafter.

I’m basing my conclusion on two reasons; firstly the actual meaning of the word ‘Douglas’ and secondly how the use of surnames actually came to be.

Firstly, let’s examine the word ‘Douglas’.

Douglas in modern translation is actually two ancient words that have merged together to create a name. ‘Douglas’ originates in Scottish Gaelic; ‘dubh‘ means ‘Black’ or ‘Dark’ and ‘ghlas’ meaning ‘stream’ or ‘river’.

There is only one body of water or a river or stream in Scotland that bares the old name ‘dubh ghlas’ and that is ‘Douglas Water’ – Scottish Gaelic today names it  ‘Dùghlas’.

Dùghlas (Douglas Water) is a river, a tributary of the River Clyde, that flows entirely through South Lanarkshire.

Located on the banks of Dùghlas are the ancient villages of ‘Douglas‘ and nearby ‘Douglas Water‘; both of these villages and their associated river within a valley known as ‘Douglasdale’, is widely accepted from every source on this subject, that the area around Douglas Water is the area that the family name and Clan Douglas was born.

Secondly, to take an educated guess at the origins of our name one has to examine the early history of Scottish names. A practice not too dissimilar to elsewhere, however complex nonetheless.

The use of ‘fixed’ or ‘surnames’ is relatively new in human history. Surnames only started to appear in Scottish history from the 10th century and still wasn’t used with any consistency until the 16th century.

Prior to this and in some cases right up until the early 19th century in some parts of Scotland people were simply given a single name (or a given name). The use of a ‘byname’ a ‘fixed’ name added to a ‘given’ name at birth was dependent on territory or location, occupation or relational (including the fathers name to ones own given name – ie: Caitlin of Douglas).

Originally fixed names where used along with the words like ‘of the’ or simply ‘of’. So a person could identify themselves as, in my instance, ‘Andrew of Douglas’; or more traditionally ‘Anndra de Dùghlas’. (‘de’ in Scottish Gaelic means ‘of’ in English – a word within a name used again in Douglas history repeatedly).

Given the meaning of the name ‘dubh ghlas’ is derived from a physical location it is reasonable to assume that at some point between the 7th and 11th centuries when fixed names started to be used, a family took the name of the river that flowed through their land.

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Douglas Water today.

So if Sholto Douglas did indeed exist in the 7th century then it’s fair to assume that the Douglas family origins can be traced back to this location some 1300 years ago.

In any event it is impossible to conclude that this man was either a Moor or indeed a candidate for the title of progenitor to the Douglas family name. Nowhere in any of the translations of this myth is the word ‘Dubh’ used for a start and the only word that has a resemblance of consistency is ‘glasse’ or ‘glash’ which could be loosely translated as ‘river’. But all that said in no description provided from the sources here resemble the Scottish Gaelic word ‘Douglas’.

The myth goes on to explain that as a reward for Sholto’s service to the King he was rewarded lands around present-day Dùghlas. We can also reasonably know that the family that did take on the Douglas name could only do so if they were upper-levels of society (meaning, noblemen and titled families). This is because these were the people who owned the land, or territory, and were often known or recognised accordingly. Given the information shared here about the meaning and origin of Scottish names one can assume that if the story is true then Sholto adopted ‘Dùghlas’ to his name – because he owned the location. The name is territorial in origin.

As the clan system evolved from the tribal, many people who lived within the clan lands who were not related to the chief took the chief’s surname as their own to either show solidarity, loyalty or to obtain basic protection or for much needed sustenance.

Most of the followers of the clan were tenants, who supplied labour to the clan leaders. Contrary to popular belief, the ordinary clansmen rarely had any blood tie of kinship with the clan chiefs, but they took the chief’s surname as their own when they didn’t possess one of their own and as surnames came into common use in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries so too did the need for shared identity and descent.

By the eighteenth century the myth had arisen that the whole clan was descended from one ancestor, with the Gaelic word “clann” meaning “children” or “offspring”.

The Flemish connection

It’s probable, indeed proven, that the Douglas has connections with Flemish settlers. It’s written in the Douglas Archives; ‘Perhaps, at the time when surnames were first used, a family took the name of the river that flows though what became known as Douglasdale, possibly descendants of Flemish settlers’.

The St Andrews Institute of Scottish Historical Research explains in detail about the history of Flemish migration to Scotland which provides an enlightening insight into post Roman-era migration.

Between the 11th to 17th centuries Scotland a large number of people migrated to Scotland from Flanders (located in present-day northern France and Belgium). The reason for this migration was mainly two-fold; which were the need for merchants and skilled tradesmen in Scotland.

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The much revered St Margaret of Scotland (1045 – 1093) was the first recorded Monarch to actively encourage foreign migration to Scotland so as to boost the economy and stimulate trade (granted, I used artistic license to translate this passage into modern terms).

However the influence of Flemish migrants didn’t just settle with trade and goods. After the Norman conquest of 1066 many Flemish aristocrats were invited to settle in their host lands and were rewarded for military service through grants of lands and titles. The Flemings who settled in Scotland, in areas such as Moray and Lanarkshire, were without ties to the local populations and were intended to bring those areas further under the control of the kings of Scots.

The creators of scotweb assert the following:    ‘Two of the greatest of the Flemish families to immigrate to Scotland were Murray and Douglas. The founder of Murray was a Fleming named Freskin, who was granted land in West Lothian and Moray by David I of Scotland. Although they were first recorded in the 1170s, the Douglas family names consisted of Arkenbald and Freskin, and were undoubtedly related to the Murrays, and to be of Flemish origin. Though the Flemish origin of the Douglases is not undisputed, it is often claimed that he was descended from a Flemish knight who was granted lands on the Douglas Water by the Abbot of Kelso, who held the barony and lordship of Holydean. However this is disputed, it has been claimed that the lands which were granted to this knight were not the lands which the Douglas family came from.

I have a lot of difficulty in accepting that the origins of the Douglas family name began from a Flemish Knight. Although it is feasible that a Flemish aristocrat was rewarded the lands about Douglasdale for his service to King David I, it is highly unlikely that this Knight took his name to his newly gifted lands. But rather, adopted the name to his own.

I state a number of reasons for this conclusion; namely:

  • We’ve established beyond reasonable doubt of the indigenous origins of the name ‘Douglas’;
  • It is possible that the progenitor to the family name ‘Douglas’ could be a chap by the name of ‘Sholto’; and lastly
  • I believe that the mysterious Knight who was granted the lands about Douglasdale may have adopted or changed his name to ‘Douglas’ in order to appease the locals and escape the persecution that was experienced in England.

The persecution I’m referring to occurred when the Flemish were expelled from England in 1154 by Henry II. A Knight of Flemish origin known as ‘William de Douglas’ was recorded as owning the castle and lands of Douglas Water in 1161. He possibly may have come into possession some years prior to this record. Aristocratic Flemings were granted lands and titles, most notably in Upper Clydesdale and Moray, in order to maintain the power of the Scottish king in those areas.

Considering the word ‘de’ is affixed to William’s surname suggests (as previously explained) that William ‘of’ Douglas adopted the Douglas name when the lands and titles were gifted to him.

This name adoption may be as a result of appeasement to the local inhabitants who may have held resentment that a foreigner is at the head of the House of Douglas; a name that has at least been in existence hundreds of years before William de Douglas set foot on Scottish soil.

We can conclude beyond any reasonable doubt that the origins of the Douglas name comes from a small valley in present-day South Lanarkshire. This is our ancestral homeland, a place that all of us who are associated with the Douglas name has a connection to.

This is a place that at some stage in our family history, our ancestors lived, worked, played, fought and loved. A place we should all consider to be a pilgrimage at some time in our lives to visit the villages and fields of Dùghlas.

Yours aye

Andrew

 

Authors note:

The residents of Douglas have created what’s known as Douglas REAL group and a facebook page called Douglasdale Real Group

The group and its website have been set up as a focal point for discussion of aims, ideas and opportunities to enable the progression of recreation, environment, access and leisure facilities in the Douglas Valley.

The group welcomes comments, help and ideas on any projects, how improve their valley and evolve their website.

If you think you can help in any way possible. I’m sure they would be delighted to hear from you.

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Main Street, Douglas.
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An open letter from the Clan Douglas Association of Australia.

cdaaDear readers.

It’s with sadness to inform you that the Clan Douglas Association of Australia will soon close. Right now it is in ‘wind down’ stage with a view to permanent closure in the new year.

It was at this news that I was compelled along with Mrs Anne Bruest to take up the baton and move forward with the creation of the Clan Douglas Society.

The Clan Douglas Association of Australia has been the official representative body for our Clan in Australia for the past 30 years. My fondest memory during my short relationship with the Association has been the installation of a stone from Douglas Castle fixed to the All Clans Wall at the Australian Standing Stones monument in Glen Innes. This could not have happened without the help and support from the Clan Douglas Association and Mr William Douglas in Scotland.

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Jan Shaw and Mary Smith at the Clan Douglas stone dedication 5 May 2012.

A further article recording the history of the Clan Douglas Association of Australia will come in the new year. But for now I want to share with you a formal open letter from the former President of the Association to the Clan Douglas Society.

“ As President of Clan Douglas Association of Australia  for the past decade I congratulate Andrew Douglas and friends for forming a new Society for Clan Douglas,
  I wish them all  every success.
As  the original Clan Douglas Association of Australia  ( 1986 ) winds down it is gratifying to know that another  Clan Douglas organization in Australia will continue.
Over the past 30 years we have enjoyed fellowship with like-minded Douglases in Australia, New Zealand  USA and the United Kingdom.
Through genealogical research we have put family members together.  But moving into the 21 st Century with IT,  ie.  e-mail and Google  everyone is now able to do their own research and we who began CDAA in 1986 are no longer able to keep up with  the changes in our lifestyles.
  I welcome a younger, enthusiastic and innovative group of Douglases working together  to keep our Douglas name and heritage afloat.
 
We have not yet closed CDAA but in winding down we will no longer take new members nor send out Newsletters.  I have stepped down from President to become an ordinary committee member and Jenny Smith who was Vice President and co-Newsletter Editor has become President.  We still have some ‘loose ends’ to tie up before closing permanently.
 
I hope our members will join the new Clan Douglas Organization of Australia, and continue to enjoy fellowship with the clan.
Jan Shaw  ( nee Douglas ) ,  Past President of Clan Douglas Association of Australia.“

 

On behalf of the Clan Douglas Society of Australia Janet, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for your kind words and our deepest thanks to you and all your Committee Members past and present for the wonderful work you have done for our Clan in Australia.

– Andrew Douglas

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2017 Christmas message.

‘Christmas 2017’. It’s hard to believe we are almost at that time on the calendar already!

We recently marked the first anniversary for our society and in fitting fashion we celebrated that milestone with a gathering at the Burns Club in Canberra. The gathering was well attended by 15 people! Wow! We were very happy to see so many turn up.

Now we’re winding down the year with the traditional festive season. We reflect back on the year and look forward to more special moments with those special people in our lives.

Unfortunately December is a quiet month for anything traditional from the old homeland to enjoy with the community. If you’re fortunate enough to be living in or near Sydney there is a large event called ‘a Joyful Celtic Christmas’.

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If you’re interested in a fun evening out contact the Box Office 02 8839 3399 or visit their website.

But if you’re looking to do something traditional at home in a fine Scottish way, then I’m afraid I have some bad new for you. There aren’t too many!

Unbelievably Christmas was banned in Scotland for some 400 years! Even baking Yule bread was banned! So instead the Scottish new years celebration ‘Hogmanay’  became the main festival everyone talks about. But I’m not sure everyone is up for days of drinking and revelry!

However some Scottish traditions did survive over the centuries and still practised in many a household today.

The baking of Yule bread; although its origins is reportedly across the border in Yorkshire; the baking of this delicious bread is a long-held Scottish tradition that survived Cromwells ban.

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A loaf of unleavened bread is baked for each individual in the family, and the person who finds a trinket in his or her loaf will have good luck all year. This reminds me of the tradition of placing a sixpence (or five cent piece) into a pudding, resulting no doubt in many chipped teeth and choking. Not a good way at starting a year of good luck!

To bake your own Yule Bread follow these ‘simple’ steps:

  • 1½ cups water

  • 2/3 cup raisins

  • 2/3 cup dried currants

  • 4 cups flour, more if needed

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast

  • 2 eggs

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, creamed

  • 1/3 cup chopped, candied orange peel

  • 1 tablespoon sugar dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm milk (for glaze)

9 x 5 x 4 inch loaf pan

1. Bring water to a boil, pour half over raisins and currants and leave to soak.  Let remaining water cool to tepid.  Sift flour into a bowl with salt, cinnamon and cloves and stir in sugar.  Make a well in the centre and add tepid water with water drained from fruits.  Crumble or sprinkle yeast over water and leave 5 minutes or until dissolved.  Add eggs and, with your hand, gradually mix in flour. If necessary add more flour to form a smooth dough that is soft but not sticky.

2. Transfer dough to an electric mixer bowl and knead until elastic using the dough hook, 5-7 minutes.  Put dough in an oiled bowl, turning it so the top is oiled.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 2-3 hours.

3. Butter the loaf pan. Return dough to the mixer bowl and add creamed butter. Beat with dough hook at medium speed until butter is mixed and dough is smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Add soaked fruit and candied peel and mix at low speed until incorporated.

4. To shape loaf, turn dough onto a floured work surface. Pat it out with your fist to a rectangle 9 inches wide. Roll dough into a cylinder, pinch edge to seal, then drop carefully into loaf pan, seam side down.  Cover loosely and leave to rise until pan is full, 1½-2 hours.

5.  Heat the oven to 200°C. Brush loaf with glaze and bake for 20 minutes.  Brush again, lower heat to 175° and continue baking until the loaf sounds hollow when unmolded and tapped on bottom, 30-40 minutes. Transfer it to a rack to cool.  Yule Bread can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 1 month, and the flavor matures.  It can also be frozen.  Makes 1 large loaf to serve 8.

But be warned! On Christmas Eve, a Scottish custom has a single person cracking an egg into a cup. The shape of the egg white determined the profession of the possible mate. The egg was mixed into a cake, and if the cake cracked during baking, the person would have bad luck in the next year.

Another, perhaps even less popular Scottish tradition during the festive season is ‘Redding the House.’ 

This annual house cleansing rids the home of bad luck from the previous year and encourages good luck in the new. Part of this custom may include burning juniper branches within the house until it fills with smoke, then opening all the windows to cast out spirits.

This custom does not come with my endorsement during the heat of the Australian summer! But, burning something small perhaps isn’t such a bad idea. Many Scots still burn a twig of the rowen tree at Christmas as a way to clear away bad feelings of jealousy or mistrust between family members, friends, or neighbours.

Of course Redding doesn’t necessarily mean burn all the things (and your house included). It is one of the most important Scottish New Year traditions. Scottish families spend the New Year eve together. They start preparing for the grand event by cleaning their houses and other belongings. It is said that a clean and tidy home can welcome the good spirits of the New Year in the best way. Special attention is given to the fireplaces. The fireplaces should be cleaned and polished.

There are a number of things, which the Scottish families do to bring good luck. According to Scottish New Year traditions, people think that debts bring bad luck, so they clear all debts before New Year eve. They place Rowan trees at the entrance of their houses. They place a piece of mistletoe in the house, which is thought to bring good health for the family (although I’m not sure of the origins of the custom of lovers kissing under the mistletoe). Hazel and yew are kept to bring magical power and protection respectively. Some pieces of holly are also placed inside the house in order to keep away the evil spirits.

To the observer, it certainly appears that all the customs associated with Redding appear to have an ancient origin. Perhaps long before the arrival of Christianity and its subsequent domination over local customs.

If burning things, cleaning your house spotless or turning it into an arboretum isn’t your thing then perhaps a more agreeable custom to observe is when the first visitor to arrives to your home on Christmas Day; Scottish custom has this person called the ‘First Footer’. The person must bear gifts of peat, money, and bread to symbolise warmth, wealth, and lack of want. This also became a New Year’s Day tradition.

Although, peat may be hard to find in this country.

Another custom is placing candles in the window to welcome a stranger is a long-upheld Scottish Christmas tradition.

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Whichever way you and your family celebrate Christmas we all still observe customs and traditions even when we don’t realise it. That all just adds to the fun of the occasion while paying a respectful nod to our heritage.

Clansfolk, on behalf of the Clan Douglas Society of Australia I would like to extend my warmest wishes to you for a Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ùr’ (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year).

Until next year! Lang may yer lum reek!

Andrew

Events for November.

After a few months off the online radar I am finally able to get back to work for the benefit of this site and so, without further delay. Here are the events coming up in November Australia-wide!

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Celtic Council Annual Awards Dinner

November 3. Sydney.

If you have Scottish, Irish, Cornish, Welsh, Breton, Manx or any other Celtic nation’s blood, you may be interested to attend the Celtic Council of Australia’s annual awards dinner. A tasty 3 course buffet dinner will be served in good company at an iconic location. Guest speaker will be MS Claire Dunne, OAM, Irish Language Broadcaster and Author. Cost $70 p.p. Cash bar. Please contact Suzanne on (02) 47842255 for further information or to book.

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Ipswich Thistle Pipe Band Solos Competition

November 4. Ipswich, Queensland. 

Solo piping competition at Limestone Theatre. Info: 0414 776 361.

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Central Coast Scottish Spectacular

November 5. Gosford, New South Wales.

Inaugural Highland gathering at The Entertainment Grounds, Racecourse Rd and will feature the NSW Pipe Band State Championships and the Central Coast Scottish National Dancing Titles.  Pipe bands, drum majors, Scottish stalls & food. A great day out for the whole family. Info: http://www.scottishspectacular.com

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Piobaireachd Group Queensland Social

November 5. Rochedale, Queensland. 

Piping event at Rochedale State High School, 249 Priestdale Rd. Info: 07 3397 4512.

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Burns Poetry Afternoon

November 5. Melbourne. 

The Robert Burns Club of Melbourne invites you to a poetry afternoon of Burns poems with a theme of the supernatural. 1:00pm Canterbury Stables Community Centre, Canterbury St. Flemington. Info: Noel Wright (03) 9306 7495or rbcmelb@gmail.com

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Annual Kirking of the Tartan Service

November 5. Walkerville, South Australia

Welcome all to be celebrated at St Andrew’s Anglican Church Cnr Church Terrace & Fuller Street, with The Scottish Associations of South Australia & Clan McLeod Society of SA. Info: John kisimul@chariot.net.au

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Adelaide Pipers’ Gathering

November 6. Adelaide.

Piping event in Adelaide. Info: Jack Brennan brennanjack@optusnet.com.au.

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Brisbane Smallpipe Session

November 7. Milton, Queensland.

Smallpipes session. Info: Malcolm McLaren 07 3820-2902 or mrmclaren@bigpond.com.

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Beechworth Celtic Festival

November 10 – November 12. Beechworth, Victoria.

At the Old Beechworth Gaol with Celtic bands, dancers and market stalls and this year the festival will also host the inaugural ‘Old Gaol Tattoo’ at 7pm on Saturday night. Info: http://www.beechworthcelticfestival.com.au

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Glen Innes Highlands String Music Convention

November 17 – November 19. Glen Innes, New South Wales
With presenter profiles, workshop synopsis at Glen Innes Services Club. Info: 02 6732 1355.
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Celtic Piping Sessions

November 19. Melbourne.

Piping music session 2pm – 5pm, upstairs at the Exford Hotel, 199 Russell St. Info: email@celticpipingclub.com.

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The Ceilidh Clan Community Ceilidh

November 24. Red Hill, Queensland.

Ceilidh dances with live Scottish music that are entertaining, fun and suitable for all ages at Red Hill Community Sports Club. Info: 0409 760 993 or http://www.ceilidhclan.com.

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St Andrew’s Ceilidh

November 25. Toowoomba, Queensland

Scottish music and dance presented by the Toowoomba Caledonian Society & Pipe Band at Drayton Hall. Info: 0419 791 171 or http://www.tcpb.com.au

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Queensland Highland Pipers Jack McCandlish Trophy Contest

November 27. Toowong, Queensland.

Piping contest at Brisbane Boys College, Bands Rooms, Moggill Rd. Info: 07 3397 4512.

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We send our warmest wishes for a happy and safe St Andrew’s Day to all our kith and kin around the world.

Yours Aye!

Andrew

The Roman occupation of Britain – not quite all of it – thanks to those barbarians of the north.

Britain did not enter the Roman world until Julius Caesar arrived in 55/54BC, landing at Deal and unopposed by British forces, yet it was temporary, for they didn’t stay… the time was not right for a full blown invasion of this land. In the early part of AD43, an army consisting of four legions under […]

via Roman Occupation of Britain — History… Our Evolution

Events for June 2017.

As the weather cools down into winter the events heat up!

There are some great events coming up this month, don’t forget your flask of Whisky to keep warm.

Come back to the BBC Pipe Band

June 2
Brisbane, QLD Australia

An event for anyone who has ever played with the BBC Pipe Band, reconnect with former members and hear about the bands trip to play at the 2018 Edinburgh Tattoo , includes band performances. Info: bbcpipebandevents@gmail.com

Toowoomba Caledonian Society Ceilidh

June 3
Toowoomba, QLD Australia

A night of Scottish entertainment at Drayton Hall. Info: margbond@bigpond.net.au.

Piobaireachd Group Queensland Social

June 4
Rochedale, QLD Australia

Piping event at Rochedale State High School, 249 Priestdale Rd. Info: 07 3397 4512.

Adelaide Pipers’ Gathering

June 5
Adelaide, SA Australia

Piping event in Adelaide. Info: Jack Brennan brennanjack@optusnet.com.au.

Brisbane Smallpipe Session

June 6
Milton, QLD Australia

Small pipes session. Info: Malcolm McLaren 07 3820-2902 or mrmclaren@bigpond.com.

Scottish Highland Day Lunch

June 7
Sydney, NSW Australia

Be transported to Scotland at this outstanding annual lunch, held in Cellos Grand Dining Room at the Castlereagh Boutique Hotel. Beautifully restored to it original 1920s Art Deco glory, Cellos is the perfect backdrop for a sumptuous 3-course lunch and some traditional Scottish entertainment. Enjoy performances by our charming Scottish Highland Dancers and Pipe Band plus you’ll be treated to the Haggis Ritual.
Gather a group of friends and book your table for a fun filled lunch in this breath-taking venue! Cost: $65.00 per person Includes: 3-course lunch with two beverages (soft drink, local beer or house wine). Book http://www.thecastlereagh.com.au/deals/scottish-highland-day-lunch.htm or call 02 9284 1006.

National Celtic Festival

June 9June 12
Portarlington, VIC Australia

A full long weekend of Celtic music, relax and experience the depth of Celtic culture through the festival’s cultural diverse arts program. Info: http://www.nationalcelticfestival.com.

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Highland Cattle National Show 2017

June 10June 12
Mount Pleasant , SA Australia

June long weekend with Highland cattle and Highland dancers, Clan tents and more. Cattle from Victoria and local exhibitors. Free entry at Mount Pleasant Oval. Info: http://www.australianhighlandcattle.org.

Ipswich Highland Gathering of the Clans

June 10
Ipswich, QLD Australia

Scottish stalls, pipe band, solo and drumming competitions at Bill Paterson Oval, Limestone Park. Info: 0411 892 810 or http://www.ipswichthistle.com.

Scots on The Rocks Chaotic Ceilidh

June 17
Sydney, NSW Australia

Featuring music by ARIA Award winning Chris Duncan & Catherine Strutt, it will be a night of energetic and popular dances. Info: 0435 154 433 or http://www.sotr.org.au/chaos.

Townsville Clansmen’s Ceilidh

June 17
Townsville, QLD Australia

Celebrate Scotland on the eve of the Townsville Tartan Day events. Info: Marie Gibson 0413 456 542 or mlg7@optusnet.com.au.

The Scenic Rim Clydesdale Spectacular & Fassifern Highland Gathering

June 17June 18
Boonah, QLD Australia

A celebration of Scottish arts and culture with a particular focus on celebrating the Scottish heritage of the Fassifern at Boonah Showgrounds. Info: clydiespectacular@hotmail.com or 0407 960 029

Scotland vs Australia

June 17
Sydney, NSW Australia

International rugby as the Aussies and Scots play at Allianz Stadium at 3pm. Info: http://www.rugby.com.au

Townsville Tartan Day

June 18
Townsville, QLD Australia

In the Cotters Market, Flinders Street with street parade of Clan Banners and bagpipes. Info: Marie Gibson mlg7@optusnet.com.au or 0413 456 542.

The National Piping Centre’s Virginia Piping and Drumming School

June 18June 23
Winchester, VA United States

Back for 2017 learn from this fantastic line-up of piping and drumming teachers at Shenandoah University. Info: http://www.thepipingcentre.co.uk.

Scottish Heritage Week

June 22July 1
Sydney, NSW Australia

The Scottish Australian Heritage Council is delighted to announce that John, Chief of Macleod of Raasay, and Elizabeth, Madame Macleod of Raasay, have accepted our invitation to be the Honoured Guests for Scottish Heritage Week. A variety of events will take place across the city such as Clans and Families Forum, Parliamentary Lunch for Tartan Day, annual inspection of the Scotland Australian Cairn, Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan for Tartan Day and more. Info: http://www.scottishaustralianheritagecouncil.com.au

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Scottish Dancing Association of Australia’s Ceilidh Debutante Ball 2017

June 24
Newtown, NSW Australia

Ceilidh dancing, Scottish Highland dancing performances by SDAA Dancers, live pipe band music and prizes at The Great Dining Hall, St Andrews College, University of Sydney, 19 Carillon Ave. Info: Alison Hughes 0404 145 622 or sdaball2017@gmail.com.

Scotland in the Park 2017

June 25
Greenbank, QLD Australia

A full day of Scottish events including pipe bands, entertainment, Scottish stalls ands more at Middle Green Sports Complex, 720  Middle Rd. Info: Neil Macdonald 0412 090 990 or http://www.scottishclans.org.au.

Queensland Highland Pipers Society Pipers Night

June 26
Toowong, QLD Australia

Strathspeys and Reels at BBC Band Room, Moggill Rd. Info: 07 3397 4512.

Celtic Piping Sessions

June 27
Melbourne, VIC Australia

Piping music session 2pm – 5pm, upstairs at the Exford Hotel, 199 Russell St. Info: email@celticpipingclub.com

The Bay City Rollers Australian Tour

June 29July 21
Nationwide, Australia

Rollermania with the greatest hits tour featuring Les McKeown with a new energy for all the classic hits. Info: http://www.metropolistouring.com/baycityrollers

Scotland the Brave

June 30
Melbourne, VIC Australia

The international smash hit features over 100 choral singers, dancers, pipe-band and drum corps, soloists, Highland dancers and electric Celtic fiddlers at Arts Centre Melbourne, 8:00pm. Info: http://www.scotlandthebrave.com.au or bookings: http://www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/whats-on/2017/world-jazz-folk/scotland-the-brave

Brunswick Scottish Society Highland Ceilidh

June 30
Brunswick, VIC Australia

Includes 2 course meal with entertainment from Highland Pipe Band, Highland dancing display, Scottish country dancing, old time dancing to the Hat Band. Dancing for our young patrons. Cost: adults: $50, students: $30,children under 12: $20. Info: Ina Graham 03 8361 0308.