The Caledonian Club was formed to promote Scottish Heritage in western Florida and to provide a social venue for anyone with Scottish Heritage or is interested in things Scottish

Past Events

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ALL ABOUT OUR PAST EVENTS  2016-2017

PIPER IN THE PARK

Honoring the landing of the Scots in 1885,and their founding of Sarasota City, a piper plays Amazing Grace at sunset each Sunday at Bayfront Island Park near the Dolphin fountain. Here are some photos from past performances.

 

FRUGAL NITE “WHAT’S MY LINE”! 

Frugal Nite was held on January 16th at Southgate Community Center. Entertainment, although inexpensive (might I say “Frugal”), was great fun. Bill Wallace led the cast of characters as follows in a Scottish version of “What’s My Line”.   We all had great fun trying to guess characters, living or dead, who were Scots or  of Scottish ancestry.

Sean Connery was played by Bill Dalgarno, the Queen Mother’s alias was Edith Edmonds, Jay Leno was played by Manning Edmonds, Jean Wallace presented Mary Queen of Scots, Mary Ellen McMahon was Bonnie Prince Charlie and the only contestant to stump the group was Frank MacIntire with Alexander Hamilton.

Special thanks to Paul Johnson, our chef extraordinaire and his lovely wife Caryn who was our chanteuse. Rounding out the list of able helpers were Al and Phyllis McIlraith, Robert Howard, Bob Burtner, Ellie Stoll, Alice Flint, Nancy Ebersole, Pat Finegan, Linda Mercurio, Dick Thompson and my brother and his significant other, Sharon and my friend Bill.

CALEDONIANS SHINE AT THE HIGHLAND GAMES

Alice Flint our chairperson for the event dragged herself out her sick bed to set up the Caledonian Club tent and then sat in the background wrapped in a blanket while all our wonderful volunteers made sure all ran smoothly. President Robert Howard helped set up and was around and about all day. Nancy Tidrick spent hours at our table greeting all visitors. Jean Wallace whose husband, Bill joined her later as well as Bob Kradowska and his wife, Kathy also helped. Mary Thompson stayed the whole day helping any way she could. Numerous others stopped by after completing their other assignments.
A couple of special visitors came into the tent. One was an adorable Scottie dog wearing her little kilt and tam. She posed while Mary took her picture. Another visitor who sat and chatted with the volunteers was city of Sarasota mayor,Willie Charles Shaw, sporting his Sarasota Tartan tie which was given to him by Sister Cities of Sarasota.

We were also happy and thankful to all members who particitaped in the opening ceremony parade.

JOINT CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON WITH THE ST. ANDREWS SOCIETY OF SARASOTA

The luncheon was held at The Meadows Country Club on Saturday December 3, 2016. We enjoyed a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, aka: Linda & Del Polsin. There were a total of 100 paid guests and our contribution to The All Faiths Food Bank was $582,00.

 

CALEDONIANS HELP MAKE THE SARASOTA LAWN BOWLING CHAMPIONSHIPS A SUCCESS

lawn-bowlsThe 2016 United States Open Lawn Bowling Championships was held in Sarasota the week of November 12-19 at the Sarasota Greens on North Tamiami Trail. The Club assisted with the opening and closing ceremonies. It had a very Scottish flavor to it, featuring color guards, pipers, the national flag of Scotland, its Rampant Lion, many clan tartans, and local and national dignitaries from many associations and countries across the globe.” Opening the ceremony was the Sarasota Military Academy Pipes and Drums, which is led by local piper and instructor Kevin Wiegand (also the club’s own piper).

More than two hundred competitors from fourteen countries rolled their “bowls” quietly over the tight-knit grass all week, seeking the ultimate goal – being the last one “closest to the “jack” – that little white ball at the other end of the green.

Travel seemed no problem as contestants arrived from all corners of the globe – Scotland, England, Canada and the U. S. of course – but also from as far away as Australia and New Zealand, Israel and Pakistan!

Competition was at all levels – Singles, Doubles, Triples and Fours.  The opening ceremonies were assisted by members of the Caledonian Club, including President, Robert Howard; Past President Bill Wallace and new member Robert Thierfelder.  Many Caledonians and former Caledonians were in attendance, including Sandra and George Whitelaw, who some years ago, returned to their native Scotland and returned as world-class bowlers to compete again.

As part of the week-long activities, a “Health and Lifestyle Exposition” was held the last three days – a few steps away at the Sarasota Auditorium.  Assisting at the Expo’s Caledonian Booth were Alice Flint, Sioux and Jim Hurley, Frank MacIntire and Mary Ellen McMahon, Al McIlraith and Robert and Bill Wallace.

THE HERITAGE LUNCH

The Annual Heritage Luncheon held in October, has come and gone.  A great time was had by all, judging by the very lively chatter as we caught up with one another after the long, hot summer.  Sixty-two people found their way to River Strand Country Club on Sunday, October 23, and listened to a fun and informative talk by Jeff LaHurd, a witty fellow and host of information on the early Scots who settled Sarasota.  This was our first venture to River Strand and everyone seemed to enjoy both the lovely surroundings and delicious food.  Kevin Wiegand who welcomed us as we arrived and then piped in our President and current board.

 

 

CALEDONIAN MEMBERS HAVE RETURNED FROM THE LAND OF HAGGIS AND SCOTCH

The Caledonian Club’s  30th Anniversary” Tour of Scotland took place in this past August.  Fourteen hearty members embarked for a two-week tour of beautiful, historical Scotland.

Members who took off on this magical Scotland tour include Robert Howard and his two bairns (children), Leslie and Maxwell, Chuck and Pat Borland, Sue Eltonhead and her daughter Laura, Pat Finnegan, Paul and Caryn Johnson, Frank MacIntire and Mary Ellen McMahon, and Sioux and Jim Hurley. thanks to Sioux for all her efforts in putting this trip together .

 

 

MEMORIAL DAY CALEDONIANS HONOR FALLEN BRITISH FLYERSal-wth-caledonian-wreath-1b

 

Memorial Day, May 30, 2016 marked the 60th anniversary of memorial services held in Arcadia, Florida, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Arcadia, honoring the 23 British cadets who died while in flight training in that area during World War 11.

It has been a long-standing tradition, marked by the attendance of members of both the Caledonian Club of Florida West and Saint Andrew Society of Sarasota, to provide a piper for the occasion and to lay appropriate wreaths at the gravesites in Arcadia’s Oak Ridge Cemetery.  The Caledonian Club wreath was presented by Al McIlraith, past Caledonian president and former Wing Commander in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Among the fifteen members of the Caledonian Club in attendance were: Bob and Rose Antrim, newly-elected president Robert Howard, Janice Iversen, Diane Kemp, Frank MacIntire, Mary Ellen McMahon, Al and Phyllis McIlraith, Bert Mitchell and Linda Prowten, Chuck and Dottie Peterson and Jean and Bill Wallace. Following the ceremony, the Caledonians enjoyed lunch together at Beckham’s in Sarasota.

 

 

FUN AT OUR FOUR “530 SUMMER  SOCIALS”

 

 

 

OUR ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING WAS AGAIN HELD AT STONEYBROOK COUNTRY CLUB

Blue Tartan RosetteIt might have been titled “New and Renewed” as tributes were paid to the many Caledonians who made the Club’s 30th anniversary so memorable.

In highlighting the past year, outgoing president Bill Wallace did a quick review of our year’s events, lauding those who served on the executive group – Vice President Shona Burtner, Secretary Janice Iversen, Treasurer Robert Kradoska and Past President Allan McIlraith, as well as those who chaired the “knockout” regular (or renewed) events focused on the Club’s Scottish heritage.

Our new board was elected and installed.  You can meet them by checking the “About Us” tab on this website.  We are all looking forward to the year to come..

 

 

Mary Thompson has sent a link to the her wonderful year in review slideshow.  You can access it below.  It has sure been an great 30th anniversary year.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – YEAR IN REVIEW

KIRKIN O’ THE TARTANS

The Kirkin’ O’ The Tartans, it turns out, is a bit more of an American tradition than that of Scotland.  Nonetheless, it commemorates a time in Scottish history when the Highland Scots, following a defeat by the English at the battle of Culloden Moor, were denied the right to display any family colors (tartans/plaids) or the wearing of the kilt.

For 30 years the Scots endured this indignity, but the rumor goes, would bring a piece of their tartan to the Kirk (church) on a specific Sunday, hidden under their outer garment, to be blessed by the minister.

It seems the story was picked up by native Scot, the Reverend Peter Marshall (anyone remember the movie “A Man Called Peter”) who served a pastorate at the New York Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. and in April of 1941 gave a sermon entitled the Kirkin’ O’ The Tartan and the legend was born.

Before a packed congregation on April 10, 2016, at the Pine Shores Presbyterian Church here in Sarasota, the Kirkin’ was once again observed, with a parade of area Scots being piped into the sanctuary, with their tartan banners held high, to be blessed by Co-Minister Karen Wismer, who followed with comments on the significance of the occasion.

Congregant Beth Johnson remarked following the ceremony, “I just love it when you bring the Kirkin’ to Pine Shores – the pipes, the tartans, the colors, the history – I wish I were a Scot!”“The Pine Shores Church offers an outstanding site to display the tartans and the Sanctuary is covered in natural light.”

“During the recessional, it was a pleasant surprise to see so many wide smiles and a few people waved as the Tartans departed the Sanctuary.”                                                                                             Bert Mitchell, President, St. Andrews Society

 

 

LOCAL TARTAN DAY PROCLAMATIONS

In 1998, the United States Congress proclaimed April 6 as Tartan Day across the country, in honor of the contributions Scots made toward the founding of our nation.

During the week of April 6, 2016 Caledonians were pleased to be present with Tartan Day Proclamations for the reading and presentation of proclamations from the commissioners of the City of Sarasota Sarasota County and the City of Palmetto in commemoration of that important day in our nation’s history.

Sarasota Proclamation

Left to right are: Al McIlraith, Frank MacIntire, Bert Mitchell, Mary Ellen McMahon, Sarasota County Commissioner Charles Hines, Phyllis McIlraith, Bill Wallace, Janice Iversen, Sue Eltonhead, Michael Wolfe, Robert Howard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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