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Clan Colquhoun of North America Newsletter
Spring 2012

An Apology: For the last eight months I have been consumed with family difficulties and have not been able to get out a newsletter nor dues notice in a timely manner. Since last August my wife has had multiple orthopedic surgeries (only one was planned) and we had an unplanned home renovation where we could only live in about half of the house for several months. Now the house is repaired and the wife is moving under her own power and we hope we’re back to near normal! Thanks for you patience.

The Kandahar Reel (a Scottish Country Dance).

Kandahar, the second largest city in Afghanistan, is where two Black Watch officers were serving in 2009. The officers who wrote this reel are cousins: Captain Andy Colquhoun and Lt. Rob Colquhoun. Andy writes that they wanted to write a reel that reflected their tour of duty. The dance imitates double rotor Chinook helicopters and single rotor Black Hawks. The Chinooks took the troops in and the Black Hawks often took casualties out. The dance was first performed at the Black Watch Officers Mess December 2009 to commemorate the Battalions homecoming; and secondly performed for the Duke of Rothesay (Prince Charles’ title when in Scotland) when he visited to pass out campaign medals in January 2010.

Proceeds from the sale of the booklet that contains the music and dance instruction are divided between The Soldiers’ Charity (formerly The Army Benevolent Fund) and the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS). The Soldiers’ Charity “gives lifelong support to serving and retired soldiers and their families in times of need”.

I asked a gentleman at the Country Dance society of the Stone Mountain Games if they could perform the Kandahar Reel and they told me it’s an extremely vigorous dance that the soldiers danced in their fatigues that most of them would have a hard time keeping up with. The copy of the dance and music I ordered from the was about $15 and is a nice addition to my collection of Colquhoun artifacts.

Chris and Jane Cahoon Lyttle of Sugarland, TX have two children who are very involved in the Highland Games circuit. Their daughter Islay competes in Highland dancing and James competes in piping. Islay won first place awards for all categories in the Beginner 10 and Over category at the 2010 Stone Mountain Games and has gone a long way since then. Their mom, originally from Atlanta, wrote us last May: “She [Islay] just won the Southwest Regional Championships for age 11 & under this past Saturday. She'll be going to Spokane, WA in July to the US Championships. We are hoping to go to SMHG again this year and see you all.”

Islay’s brother James placed 2nd in March and 3rd in Piobaireachd for his category at the 2011 Stone Mountain Games. Both children compete all over the US and we’re delighted to see them when we can.

Pronunciation of Colquhoun is “Ka-hoon” (for a member who asked). Hopefully we’ll be able to man a tent in your area so you can become more familiar with your clan!

If you’re in the Virginia area and are at a Festival or Highland Games look for Alastair Colquhoun who is the US/Canada Director for the Clan Colquhoun Society of the United Kingdom. At the end of last September Alastair was at the Virginia Celtic Gathering and Highland Games near Williamsburg. At the end of October he was at the Meadow Highland Games near Richmond. Alastair brought to my attention a new website put up by our Chief, Sir Malcolm Colquhoun:

Sir Malcolm proposes through this website a Clan Colquhoun International. I strongly urge all of you to visit this site and register in the lower right hand box for the Official Clan Newsletter. You’ll be asked your origin of country so be sure to put US so he’ll know he has a strong backing for an International clan here. Thank you.

Speaking of web pages be sure to look for us and the UK Society on Facebook.

Highland Games: We were able to appear at some festivals that we haven’t been to in a while. Last September myself, Sharon (recovering from a knee replacement-her artificial hip came out the first time on the trip back), and Jim and Becky Kilpatrick manned a tent at the Ligonier, PA games outside of Pittsburg. We’d heard these were special games and I can’t wait until I can plan a trip back! Our intention was to branch out of the Southeast and make contact with our fellow clansmen and women at other festivals. Jim Kilpatrick took charge of stamping the children’s passport booklets at Ligonier:

Jim and Becky went on up to the Loon Mountain, NH games where they met Rosalie Oliver who has set up tents for us in New England and Florida.

Just last weekend I attended the Northeast Florida (Jacksonville) games for the first time in several years. They have also changed their location to the Clay County Fairgrounds the clans are convened in a covered pavilion. I was happy to renew contact with two former members: Wick Kilpatrick and Elaine Kirkpatrick Walker.

The previous spring the Gatlinburg, TN Games changed their name and location to the Smoky Mountain Games at Maryville College (near Knoxville, TN). This festival is one of the very few I can bring my wheaton colored Scottie Fergus, seen here greeting a prospective new member.

Here‘s a picture from sometime in the 1990’s at Grandfather Mountain (NC) taken by Steve (or Mary) Hudson.

I’m with Lady Iona Mary Colquhoun and her husband Ian Campbell, Duke of Argyll and Chief of Clan Campbell. Lady Iona is the sister of our Chief Sir Malcolm. As I remember it was an impromptu visit for them; they didn’t have to get dressed up and make speeches on the podium. We had a nice informal meeting and I was able to give Lady Iona a copy of an obituary of her Grandfather Sir Iain that she had never seen before. The Duke of Argyll died soon after that in April of 2001.

Melanie Pinkerton of Clan Campbell has kept me up to speed with the modern connection of Clans Colquhoun and Campbell. She gave me a copy of their NA Society (2008) newsletter which has a photo of the current Duke of Argyll’s children on the cover, who are Lady Iona Colquhoun’s grandchildren.

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