Clan Donald

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Clan Donald Magazine No 4 (1968) Online

Clan Donald in Texas by Jewel McDonald.

A report of 15th May 1968 from Jewel McDonald, Leander, Texas.

Despite weeks of state-wide deluges, storms and flooding streams, the sun shone brightly for one brief day - May 5th - where loyal, determined Scots came from far-flung areas of Texas - Dallas, Houston, San Antonio - to participate in the 12th Annual Gathering of Clan Donald in Texas as held in the San Gabriel Park. Georgetown, Texas.

Clan Donald, the first Scottish clan to be organized in Texas, held the organizational meeting in Austin, Texas, at the Driskill Hotel, on March 17th, 1957. The first gathering of the clan met at the Federated Women's Club, Temple, Texas on May 5th, 1957. Robert E. McDonald, Glenelg, Leander, Texas, former chief administrative officer in charge of pink boll worm control for the United States Department of Agriculture, and later specialist in charge of pest control for the United States and Mexico, retired, headed the Clan Donald movement in Texas. He was assisted in this work by his daughter, Mary Helen McDonald Bunten, and her husband, Robert R. Bunten, of San Antonio. Major Reginald H. Macdonald, High Commissioner of Clan Donald, USA, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, now deceased, appointed Robert E. McDonald of Glenelg Commissioner of Clan Donald in Texas, February 16th, 1957. This decree was confirmed by Lord Macdonald, High Chief of clan Donald.

At the first gathering of Clan Donald in 1957, in all Texas not one piper was available. Since that time many fine pipe bands have been organized. Several years ago pipers Nick Classen, Austin, and Dan Eisaman, Keriville, were commissioned by Lord Macdonald as official pipers for Clan Donald and have faithfully piped at all gatherings.

At the recent gathering the Balmoral Highlanders of San Antonio, under the leadership of W. D. McLean, produced a well-trained pipe band. Included in this band are Bill Robertson, pipe major, Ivan Mannering, George Wilson, Bruce Clare, Billy Prickett, Ralph Watson, Jack Ward, Perry Keith, John H. McDonald, Jack Cunningham, James Craig, Gary Corell, John Murray McDonald and Dan Eisaman.

A colourful tent made by the Scottish Society of San Antonio was pitched on the green in front of the San Gabriel Park clubhouse. Around the tent banners of the visiting clans were placed. It was here the group assembled for the piping in ceremony. Clan Donald commissioned pipers Classen and Eisaman were followed by Clan Donald banner bearer John H. McDonald of San Antonio. Next came Chieftain Robert E. McDonald and to his right the guests of honour: Mayor and Mrs. Jay C. Sloan. Mayor Sloan made welcome Clan Donald and their friends to the city of Georgetown.

The theme of this year's meeting was "Who Are You?" More and more Scottish descendants are delving into family history. Interest grows as the " back tracking" points to the ever-westward trend of the forefathers who pressed relentlessly onward through perilous wilderness traces. Lucille Stewart Krisch, noted columnist from San Antonio, talked on genealogy.

The Forbes Highland Dancers, under direction of Mrs. Robert Forbes of Dallas, performed the Highland Fling and Sean Triubhas. The Glenelg Highlanders directed by Mrs Robert R Bunten of San Antonio, followed them in presenting the Sword Dance. James Stimson and Ralph Watson of the Scottish Society of San Antonio announced the Grand Tartan Ball which that group is staging August 23rd, at HemisFair '68 San Antonio's World Fair. The ball will culminate three days of Highland Games. Contestants from all over the world will compete in tossing the caber, sheaf toss, Highland dancing and piping.

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