The Flora McDonald Highland Games were held
October 7th 2000 in Red Springs, North Carolina. Red Springs is
a very small town near Lumberton and is located in the Southeast of the
state, not very far from the Cape Fear area. The Cape Fear is the first
part of North Carolina settled by the Scots and many of their descendants
are there today. I was rewarded with a simply beautiful day under a
Carolina blue sky and the very friendly people of Red Springs and its
These games are named in honor of Flora
McDonald, the woman who saved the life of Prince Charles after the Rising
by dressing him as an Irish spinning maid and taking him by boat from
Benbecula to Skye and off to France. In Red Springs is the Flora McDonald
Academy, the place where the games are held. Highlanders from this area
fought on both sides during the Revolution.
Red Springs itself is just full of Southern
(and also Scottish) hospitality. The prominent name here is MacNeill. In
fact, the MacNeill Clan was the featured clan at these games. The first
land grant from North Carolina was given to Hector MacNeill in 1775 (and
that’s half of Red Springs today). The town is famous for it’s red
The Honored Guests of this year’s Games
are Royce and Doris McNeill. Royce is a retired Senior Purchasing Agent
for Duke Power Company. He and Doris have been solidly involved in the
community and he has been Clan MacNeill president for the past 20 years,
promoting Scottish heritage and studies. In May of this year, Royce was
awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his work in promoting the
Scottish culture, heritage and goodwill between America and Scotland.
Athlete of the Day: Mark Palmer of
Amateur Athlete of the Day: Eric Frasure of Charlotte, NC
Piper of the Day: Hector McDonald of Ontario, Canada
Best Clan Tent: Clan Montgomery
Dancer of the Day: Sandy Kennedy of Raleigh, NC
Clan Fraser was well represented with 4
entrants in the heavy athletic events! Three of them were Scott Frasure
and his two sons.
15 year old Eric Frasure won the event
(and most of the others) by tossing the caber as if it were a
toothpick straight up at 12 o'clock!
The Hammer Throw was won again by Eric Frasure.
Drum major for Grandfather Mountain
Highland Pipe & Drum Band
A wee laddie all decked out in his finest!
Scott Frasure throws the 56 pound
The featured Clan at FMHG was Clan
MacNeill. Red Springs was settled by the MacNeills.
They were well represented and I
managed to find and capture the picture of the most distinguished
Royce McNeill wearing his Ellis Island Medal!
There was spinning and weaving
demonstrated by Anne Landin of "The Shepherd's Plaide" from
Siler City, NC. She hand weaves tartans and rugs!
Eric Frasure tosses the hammer to win
There was entertainment for the
children with clowns, pony rides and a playground.
"Pepper", a champion Border
Collie sits at the ready. She consistently wins sheep herding and
cattle herding competitions! At Flora McDonald, she not only herded
sheep, she herded Texas Longhorn cattle!
There was Celtic music everywhere with
entertainers Bragh Adair (from Raleigh, NC), Seven Nations, and famed
Glaswegian, Alex Beaton (pictured).
Clan Ross NC Commissioner Ches Crow
and his wife in a vendor booth with GMHG mystery lass, Gail
L'Esperence. Vendors had everything from clan badges, tartans, ruanas,
piping equipment and music to heather plants, teas, and honeys from
The Clan Ross tent was nicely decked
out and Ross members standing ready to answer questions about the
Clan. They made us most welcome with homemade oatcakes!
Clan McLaren had costumed members
greeting visitors who came by. The old Renaissance or later garb is
becoming popular at Highland Games in the United States.
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