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The Family Tree - June/July 2003
Tartan Day in North Carolina


Mecklenburg County Commission of NC issued a proclamation recognizing Tartan Day and April as Scottish Heritage month.

March 29th in Wilson, NC. – Reported by Julia Batchelor, president of the Down East Scottish Society, Inc. , which serves Nash, Edgecombe, and Wilson Counties of North Carolina.

The event was held at the Wilson County Public Library. We weren’t thwarted by the rain, in torrents, all day today and continued with our plans to hold our first sponsored event. Just prior to our start up time of 3:00 pm, the rain stopped and didn’t continue until completion of our event. This celebration gave us our first opportunity to announce Governor Mike Easley’s Proclamation designating April, 2003 as “ Scots – Irish Heritage “ month. Julia M. Batchelor, had requested that designation and we are pleased that Governor Easley honored her request. Wilson Mayor Rose had the honors of reading the Governor’s Proclamation. Piping music was provided by Patrick Unrein. Thomas Boyd, on the Down East Scottish Society, Inc.’s Board of Directors, presented the Tartan Day history and information. The society donated a copy of George Black’s “ Surnames of Scotland “ to the library. Patrick Valentine, director of the library, accepted the book and acknowledged that it would be a valuable research tools for those who are searching for their Scottish roots.

March 29-30th at the NC Renaissance Faire held at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, NC reported by Tartan Day Coordinator, Judi Lloyd.

This event kicked off the week with Scottish clans and associations sharing a booth donated by the NC Renaissance Faire. Each clan brought a piece of tartan and flags to decorate the space. This is one of the few times it may be considered OK to mix and match your tartans. Information and brochures about Tartan Day and about upcoming local games such as Loch Norman in Huntersville, NC and Grandfather Mountain in Linville, NC as well as the Scottish Tartans Museum were given away to Faire goers. Hundreds of names were looked up in Scottish names’ resource books and inquiry cards made out for many clans’ information. Saturday was beautiful and there was a very big crowd. Sunday turned nasty with sleet and snow falling mid afternoon, putting quite a damper on the number of people attending. Representatives at this event included Larry Haynes, Vice President of Clan Hay, Don Mitchell, Commissioner of Clan Innes, Bob Morrison, Regional Seneschal for the Southeastern Region of Clan Morrison, Bill Jarrett, Scotch- Irish Society Membership Secretary, and Judi Lloyd, Scottish District Families Association President, with members Lynda Pletcher and Paul Smallwood.

The Down East Scottish Society gathered at 11:30 am, April 5th at the beautiful Town Common in Tarboro, NC to sponsor our second 2003 Tartan Day Celebration. Patrick Unrein from Tarboro, NC provided our music on the Great Highland Pipes.

Six Robert Bell, President of the Appalachian Branch of Clan MacMillan, had the honors of reading Governor Easely’s Proclamation designating April 2003 a Scots-Irish Heritage Month. Dr. Kenneth Lovette represented Howell Memorial Presbyterian Church during the reading of the Proclamation. Tarboro Town Mayor, Donald Morris and Town Manager, Sam Noble, welcomed us and thanked us for donation of a Red Maple tree, which is now planted in the Town Common, to honor Beltain. Chris Logan, Society Vice President, presented the Tartan Day history and information. Area residents joined our well represented Society group to enjoy our event. We had just enough time to chat with the residents and answer questions about our Society and Tartan Day, then off to our Event #3.

Torrents of rain fell on us between the Tarboro Event and the Rocky Mount one, but as we began to set up there was a wonderful break in the weather. April 5th, 2:00pm our Society representatives and area residents gathered to honor Tartan Day at the beautiful City Lake in Rocky Mount, NC. The program agenda was identical to our Tarboro event including the piping by Patrick Unrein. We were fascinated that the ducks on the Lake seemed to enjoy Patrick’s piping as much as we did. Honored guests at our City Lake Event were: Cher Street, Executive Directory, Nash Arts; William Hogan, Rocky Mount Chief of Police; and Alan Richardson, Chairman, Tree Power Program. Sir Robert Bell again read the proclamation, and with him was the Reverend David Q. Garrison who represented the Bethlehem Presbyterian Church. Our society donated a Cherry Tree to the City Lake in honor Beltain.

Noted at the planting of trees at City Lake and at the Town Common – “ We are planting trees to honor the Scots who have planted their roots in this area of North Carolina “.

April 5 – Tartan Day activities in Franklin, NC, sponsored by the Scottish Tartans Museum – reported by Matt Newsome of the Scottish Tartans Museum.

The day began cold and rainy, but the sun shone through in time for our 11:00 am Parade of Tartans down Main Street in Downtown Franklin. The Scottish Tartans Color Guard marched in the parade with museum Piper in Residence Jean Hayes. Members of the Friends of the Scottish Tartans Museum, representatives from Clan Gordon and local families also marched, each carrying their tartan banners marched in the parade.

After the parade, the Friends of the museum served a Light lunch of Scotch Broth, shortbread, and various appetizers to visitors. Tours were given of the museum, while Jean Hayes provided pipe music and the 4-H “ Braveheart “ Scottish Country Dancers danced.

April 6th – Pinehurst, NC – reported by Judi Lloyd, NC Tartan Day Coordinator.

The event in Pinehurst was coordinated by Jane McPhaul of Southern Pines and was sponsored by Scottish Heritage, USA, Inc, the St. Andrew’s Society of NC, Inc, and the Flora MacDonald Highland Games, Ltd.

The day started with a kirking lf the tartans at the Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church where piper, Angus Kelly, of Dillon, NC performed the professional and recessional. The orgin of Tartan Day was explained both in the church bulletin and also to the children during the service during the “ Moment with our Children “. Alison Hearn Atkins performed the offertory solo.

Immediately following the kirking there was a buffet luncheon at the Country Club of North Carolina with piper, Dylan Kelly, of High Point, NC, playing outside the door of the club as visitors entered. The group, Crockan Crayee, from Seagrove, NC, played during lunch. A short musical program featured the lively vocalist, Alison Hearn Atkins, Flora MacDonald Gammon who sang some of the traditional Scottish songs and accompanied herself on the mountain dulcimer, husband, John Dall joined her in one of her ballads, and lastly Scottish Highland Dancers in Fayetteville, NC. Performed the highland fling and sword dance. Following the entertainment it was tea time with Crockan Crayee again performing during the light tea and conversation time. Several people then adjourned to Jane’s home where a tent had been set up, more food was being served, and John Dall performed Robert Burns Ode to the Haggis. Then we settled to good food, friends, and conversation until dark.


Flora MacDonald Gammon and husband, John Dall, entertain at the
NC Country Club in Pinehurst, NC on Tartan Day.


NC Renaissance Faire, March 29th – Bill Jarrett of the Scotch – Irish Society explains Tartan Day to a visitor while Bob Morrison of Clan Morrison looks on. Background, left to right, Larry Hanes of Clan Hay and Don Mitchell of Clan Innes.


Outside the Scottish Tartans Museum on April 5th


Patrick Unrein, piper at the Wilson, Rocky Mount, and Tarboro events


Sir Robert Bell reading Governor Easley’s proclamation at Rocky Mount, NC.
Photo courtesy of Rocky Mount, NC Police Chief Bill Hogan.



Scottish Tartan Museum – ‘ Braveheart Scottish Country Dancers “ affiliated with the local 4-H group. The little girl in the red plaid is Jamie-Beth Suminkski. Boys’ names unknown.


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