News

30TH CLAN MACRAE GATHERING ALBURY 2018

It was the 30th Anniversary Clan MacRae Gathering, Dinner and Annual General Meeting at Albury from Friday 16th, Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th February, 2018. What a great gathering it turned out to be with a wonderful group of MacRaes. It was a packed weekend, but that didn’t stop people comparing research and notes about their MacRae lineage and some new relations were located.

The 45-page Clan MacRae Chronicle with some 31 articles, including a brief history of Albury-Wodonga, a report of the 2017 Edinburgh Tattoo by a McRae who participated, a story on Beechworth, and numerous other accounts about MacRaes and other Scottish themes, was extremely well received by the reunion attendees with numerous compliments. Anyone attending the gathering received this booklet.

On Friday night there was a ‘meet and greet’ at the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Club’s bistro in Albury. Tables were reserved and a large number of people attended which was pleasing as some had travelled most of the day to get there. It was a great meal and a chance to meet numerous MacRaes that I had corresponded with but hadn’t actually met. Some members had travelled from Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia and from over New South Wales.

sailors_and_airmens_clubs_bistro.pngSaturday morning saw a large group up and ready for the historic bus tour of Beechworth and Yackandandah. They both have a fascinating history, beautiful streetscapes, quality shops and boutiques coupled with numerous restaurants, cafes and other eating establishments, wineries, and even a brewery. For the antique collector there was a great range that jogged the memories of some of us oldies.

Canberra Scottish Highland Gathering Report 2017

roslyn_macrae.pngIt was again beautiful weather for the Canberra Highland Gathering & Scottish Fair which took place on Saturday 7th October, 2017, on Kambah Oval in Kambah on the outskirts of Canberra. The Clan MacRae Society of Australia and New Zealand proudly flew our banner of ‘Clan MacRae’. This was the seventh time that this Highland event has been held and again had the Canberra Burns Club as the major sponsor along with support of the ACT Government. There was no charge to attend the day’s activities and it was open to the public from 10am to 5pm. As usual there was a wide range of entertainment for all ages.

President Alan McRae and Secretary Roslyn MacRae (right) and several members arrived early to set up our Clan marquee on our assigned site. This was a test setup of the marquee for Roslyn and her husband Colin MacRae, with the modified signage with hooks and eyelets and associated attachments. Tables had fitted cloths, information was laminated, making it all easier to set up. The Society is creating two complete marquee units – one for the Central Coast and Hunter Valley area and one for the ‘south’. The new system worked wonderfully with everything from tent pegs to brochures packing into several labelled plastic containers.

Bonnie Wingham Scottish Festival 2016 Report

By Elma McRae

The Bonnie Wingham Scottish Festival is held annually in Wingham with 2016 being the organisers 12th Bonnie Wingham Scottish Festival. The Clan MacRae was the Clan of Honour for 2016 with the main festival being held on 27th, 28th and 29th May.

wingham-2016-1.jpgThe whole event really began with a concert on Sunday 22nd May. This event was attended by Max and Janice Brown who travelled from Armidale to attend the concert.

[Photo 1, right] Alan McRae, President, Clan MacRae Society of Australia and New Zealand.

President Alan McRae was to be the Festival Chieftain for the Festival, but sadly fate dictated otherwise. Recovering from surgery for a melanoma which required 100 stiches, Alan was hopeful of being well enough to attend. He then had the misfortune to slip on the mud of a newly sewn lawn and broke his leg. He called on long-time member Andrew Macrae of Cooranbong, N.S.W., a regular at Gatherings, who proudly accepted the role and was accompanied by his wife Rhonda. Their son-in-law, Grant Turuwhenua, attired in the uniform of a private in the 42nd Highland Regiment, was the escort to the Chieftain of the Day.

wingham-2016-2.jpg

[Photo 2, left] Rhonda and Andrew Macrae

Throughout the week a wide range of activities took place, all attracting considerable interest. As Rhonda commented it was a bonnie week and the entire town became involved. Businesses competed for the Best Window Display, while Social Bowls and a Shortbread Baking Competition catered to the competitive.

The Genealogy Fair and Braveheart Poets’ breakfast was also popular.

2016 Canberra Highland Gathering & Scottish Fair Report

Report by Alan McRae, FAIHA, President, Clan MacRae Society of Australia and New Zealand

canberra-2016-1.jpgWith the gates opening at 6am there was certainly plenty of movement by 7am when we arrived. The numerous Clans, stallholders and bands were already beginning to set up their individual marquees and put out their signage, information, displays and wares for the sixth annual Canberra Highland Gathering & Scottish Fair. It was Saturday 8th October and a glorious day once again. With the rainfall over the previous weeks the venue was in a lush condition and just freshly mown. The day had arrived for the long awaited traditional Scottish Highland Gathering being held on Kambah Oval in Kett Street in Kambah in the ACT.

[Photo above, right] Members of the Clan MacRae Society outside our marquee holding the Eilean Donan Castle Saltire. L to R – Allan Smith, Roslyn and Colin MacRae, Peter Sillis, Mary Magdalene Sillis, Debra Sillis and Jenny Amey.  

canberra-2016-2.jpgOur local Canberra stalwart Peter Sillis (McRae) soon arrived with the marquee and we set about getting things in order. With Jenny Amey, Peter Sillis, Colin and Roslyn MacRae and myself we were soon set-up with the various flags flying and the Clan MacRae signage in place. Then came the various images of Eilean Donan Castle around the walls along with other MacRae information so we were soon ready for the onslaught of various MacRaes/McRaes and other visitors. The display of MacRae family and Scottish artefacts were also set up for the interest of the Mac Raes and various other visitors to see.

[Photo above, left] Allan Smith, Vice President of Clan MacRae Society with the Clan MacRae banner ready for the Opening Ceremony

Along with all the pipes and drums the Clan representatives marched up in front of the official guests. As part of the ceremony each Clan representative verbally acknowledges that they are in attendance at the Gathering before the several speeches begin.

Again the Chieftain of the Day was Mr Mick Gentleman MLA, Member for Brindabella and Minister in the ACT Government, and is currently Minister for Planning; Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations; Children and Young People; and Ageing. He does an excellent job and visits all the various Clan marquees. He extended his congratulations to the organisers on the ever enlarging event and all that had taken place since the event was re-established in 2011. He was impressed with the number of things happening on the grounds.

BUNDANOON IS BRIGADOON 2016 REPORT

Content by: Allan Smith

Allan Smith, Vice President of the Clan MacRae Society of Australia and New Zealand attended the 39th Anniversary Highland Gathering on Saturday 9th April, 2016, at Bundanoon which became Brigadoon for a day with an appealing array of Scottish activities, music and foods. This is Allan’s report.

The various Clans, bands, stallholders, dancers, musicians and officials had been busy from the early hours setting up their individual marquees and making final preparations. Many of the Clans were represented at the annual gathering again this year.

The Chieftain of the Day was Carol Budlong, President of Scottish House. Scottish House is an information and cultural centre based in Granville in New South Wales. Carol has had a long involvement with Clan Arthur in Australia and this year will fill the role of the High Commissioner of the MacArthur Society in Australia.

The street parade commenced at 9.30 am and departed from the village and along the street to the showground. The parade was led by a blue vintage Tourer, followed by the band of the day Goulburn Soldiers Club Pipes and Drums wearing MacLean of Durat tartan.

Other bands participating in the march and band activities for the day were an impressive number of bands which included – the Kiama Pipe Band (Red Ulster Tartan), St. George Sutherland Scottish Pipe Band (McGregor Tartan), Illawarra Pipe Band (Wallace Tartan), The Hills District Pipe Band (McDonald of Clan Ranald Tartan), Scouts Pipes and Drums (Hume - Anderson Ancient Tartan), Canberra City Pipes and Drums (Ancient Caledonian Tartan), Rural Fire Service Brigade (Navy Blue Rural Fire Service Uniform), Manly Warringah Pipe Band (Military Gordon Tartan), Knox Old Boys Pipe Band (MacPherson Tartan), Canberra Celtic Pipe Band (Irish National Tartan), Shoalhaven City Pipes & Drums (Forbes Tartan), Castle Hill RSL Pipe Band (Cameron of Erracht Tartan), The Highlands Pipes & Drums (MacDuff Tartan), Burwood RSL Sub Branch Pipes & Drums (Black Stewart Tartan), The Parramatta RSL Caledonian Pipe Band (Campbell of Louden Tartan), Hornsby RSL Pipe Band (MacLaine of Lochbuie Tartan), New South Wales Police Pipe Band (Ancient MacKay Tartan), City of Queanbeyan Pipes & Drums (Duke of Rothesay Hunting Tartan), Ingleburn RSL Pipes & Drums (Campbell of Cawdor Tartan) and the Goulburn Soldiers Club Pipes & Drums (Maclean of Duart Tartan). Playing at the gathering for quite a number of the bands meant a long bus trip to Bundanoon and back home to participate.   

Clan MacRae at 2015 Canberra Highland Gathering

Report by Alan McRae, FAIHA, President, Clan MacRae Society of Australia and New Zealand

Alan McRae, President of Clan MacRae Society outside the marquee
[click image to enlarge]

There was plenty of activity at 7am as the various Clans, stallholders and bands began set up their individual marquees for the fifth annual Canberra Highland Gathering & Scottish Fair. It was Saturday 10th October, 2015 and the day had arrived for the traditional Scottish Highland Gathering being held on Kambah Oval in Kett Street in Kambah.

Canberra put on the most glorious weather though later in the day some rain could be seen falling on surrounding hills though none eventuated on Kambah Oval.

Allan Smith, Vice President of Clan MacRae Society with the MacRae banner
[click image to enlarge]

As usual Peter Sillis (McRae) arrived to bring our marquee and we were soon set-up with flags flying and the new signage in place. Thanks again Peter. In line with past years a display of MacRae family and Scottish artefacts, some going back some 600 years, was set up for visitors to see.

2014 Canberra Highland Gathering and Scottish Fair a great success

The weather was fine and just perfect for the large number of attendees at the well organised 2014 Canberra Highland Gathering and Scottish Fair at Kambah in the ACT on Saturday 11th October with the Clan MacRae Society of Australia and New Zealand having their Clan tent.. With just a light breeze to keep all our Scottish and other flags swirling and so many dressed in the various tartans, the day began with the massed pipes and drums along with a representative of all the Scottish Clans in attendance marching up to the official dais to be received by Mr Mick Gentleman MLA, Member for Brindabella and Minister in the ACT Government, standing in for the Chief Minister.

With matching tie and hatband, Mr Gentleman was presented with a haggis as part of the opening ceremony. There were a number of presentations also.

Photo (right, click to enlarge) – President of Clan MacRae, Alan McRae from Bathurst, with the Clan MacRae banner ready for the Official Opening parade. .

Each Clan representative carries their Clan banner and starts at the rear of the massed bands and ends up in the front for the opening ceremony. There were even the well-behaved compact, short-legged, sturdily-built Scottie dogs in this parade with either their black or light coloured wiry, weather-resistant coats. These Scottish terriers originated in Scotland and added to the general ‘Scottish’ atmosphere of the day.

Both brass and pipe bands took part in the day, the brass band’s brightly coloured, red and black uniforms contrasting with the tartans of the pipe bands.

Photo (left, click to enlarge) - Part of the massed bands during the Official Opening and presentations.

Clan MACRAE attends Scottish Highland Gathering in Canberra 2013

For the third year in a row the Clan MacRae Society of Australia and New Zealand attended the traditional Scottish Highland Gathering held on Kambah Oval in Kett Street, Kambah in Canberra, in for the first time, the most beautiful weather. This year’s event was part of the Centenary of Canberra celebrations.

This year’s Scottish Highland Gathering was again hosted by the Canberra College of Piping & Drumming.Clan ACRAE marquee Canberra 12 October 2013

Photo (left, click to enlarge)

- Clan MacRae Society of Australia and New Zealand marquee.

Clan President Alan McRae and Clan members erected the marquee on Saturday 12th October, 2013. We set up our MacRae banners, flags and a display of MacRae family and Scottish artefacts going back some 600 years.

The whole circumference of Kambah Oval was surrounded by numerous stalls selling food, Scottish and Celtic items, re-enactments groups as well as the colourful marquees of the numerous Clans. What a picture they painted their flags and banners blowing in the slight refreshing breeze.

Photo – Massed bands for the Opening Ceremony

Festivities began at 10am and went through until around 5pm under the bluest skies around for this mass celebration of Scottish and Celtic heritage. At 10.30am the various clans assembled to take part in the official opening by His Excellency Mr Michael Bryce, Chieftain of the Day, in front of a large crowd which included many children.

Photo (click to enlarge) - Federation Guard Precision Drill Team

I had the honour of being the Clan MacRae’s representative as we marched between the ranks of the massed pipes and drums as the bands criss-crossed the oval to await the opening formalities and address. Part of the opening ceremony was a superb precision drill team demonstration by the Federation Guard made up of Australian Army, R.A.A.F. and Navy personnel.

Gordon Charles McRae 20 Dec 1935 - 31 January 2013

Gordon Charles McRae was born on the 20th of December 1935 to David and Alice Elizabeth McRae in the Quairading hospital. December in Quairading (Western Australia) is always hot and December 20th would have been no exception, but Dave and Allie, who they became fondly known as, wouldn’t have noticed, because for them, Christmas this year had come early.

Gordon was their 5th child – John was the eldest, followed by Mary, Cynthia (dec), Brian, then Gordon and Pattie. At the time, the family were living at North Yoting and before long, schooling commenced at the North Yoting Primary School. He has many memories of traveling to and from school with his siblings on a horse and sulky as well as by bike. He recalled few memories of schooling – maybe it just didn’t matter because the farm was his classroom. One morning he left his brother Brian to catch the bus on his own, deciding to wag school for the day. He thought he would wait the day out at the bus stop, so he sat in the shade of a strainer post. Unbeknownst to him, his mother saw him and wondered how long he would last. When the sun reached its midday zenith, the strainer post was unforgiving and the shade had gone….and so was he…back home to mum with his tail firmly between his legs. Later on, he moved to the Quairading School where he made many friends. There he developed his lifelong love of sport, which stayed with him for the rest of his life. Those were the days of steel sprigs on football boots, bitumen wickets and sand greens….and at that time of his life he never knew any different as he was having the time of his life.

Ceud Mile Failte

Ceud Mile Failte ( A Hundred Thousand Welcomes)Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

Alan McRae
"Blue Wren Cottage"
PO Box 151
Bathurst NSW 2975
Australia.

Tel. 61 02 63315404

Eilean Donan Caste, from the air
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

 

 

Pages