August 2017 Newsletter

Dear Fellow Caledonians,

My first event as your Chief-elect was a delightful breakfast at Dot Com Café. It was a very enjoyable morning and well supported by our members. Robert and Dave kept us entertained and willingly complied with requests for tunes. Thank you to Cameron Middleton for his generosity and hospitality.DotCom

As mentioned in our previous newsletter, the Task Team investigating the future of the Caledonian Federation has started work.
A necessary first step is to gather opinions from members on the role, strengths and weaknesses of the Federation and Caledonian movement. Please take the time to complete the attached questionnaire and return to Andrew Macdonell (082 701 8868) at


Our next event is the Chairing and Kirking this weekend. Due to a last minute change of venue, snacks will be provided instead of the usual bring and share. It is not often we get a ‘free’ function, so I hope to see you all at the Buffs Club on Saturday!


Quite a few Callies have been ‘stateside’ recently ….. Duane Sweeney & Liezel Cilliers have just returned from the US; as now have Claude, Tumi and Tanya Macdonell who were in California for a family wedding (Andrew stayed home to study for his project management professional exam). In other travel news – Des and Fran Plint are currently visiting family in Australia; while Sandra Rankin and Robert Rankin recently visited past Pipe Major Bill Hartley.

On the sports field, Sue Piderit has been appointed manager of the Border U/21 hockey team; while Britney and Emily Middleton are captain and vice-captain of their Border hockey team. Rose Thompson, Sheila Sanderson and Sandra Rankin attended the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Callum MacIver is making a good recovery after his operation and has just celebrated his 80th birthday (Apologies he was left off the newsletter birthday list last month. Ed). Finally Agnes Cowie has not been well recently and we hope she gets better soon.

Saturday 5 August Chairing of the Chief – 18.30 for 19.00 at President’s Suite, Buffs Club
Snacks Provided. Cash Bar

Sunday 6 August Kirking of the Chief – 08.00 at Cambridge Methodist Church
Please bring biscuits/eats for tea afterwards.

Saturday 2 September Visit of the Provincial Chief.
“Travelling Lunch” starting at 9 Nelson Avenue at 11.30

PIPE BAND The ‘previously advertised’ BVR Drill Hall Re-opening Parade won’t now be happening; but the band played at the recent East London Harbour Festival. Upcoming parades include the Chairing of the Chief on 5 August, the Battle of Britain Parade in September (TBC) and the Komga Show in October. Looking further into the future – November parades include Remembrance Day (TBC) and St Andrews’ Dinner.

LADIES GROUP July meeting hosted by Ruth Strong went well. August meeting will be on Tuesday 1 August 2017 at 09.30 at the Coelacanth Café (hosted by Sheila Godfrey).

S.C.D.C Weekly meetings continue on Tuesdays at the Hams Club from 4pm – 5.30pm on Tuesdays.

HIGHLAND DANCERS The SA Highland Dancing Championships took place on Saturday 29 July 2017 in Gauteng. Well done to all our dancers – results in next newsletter. Highland Dancing Exams are scheduled for Monday 31 July & Tuesday 1 August

COMMITTEE Next meeting of the Committee will be on Thursday 10th August 2017 at 7.30 pm at Dave and Maureen Rankin’s house, 9 Nelson Avenue, Cambridge

Yours aye,

Roxanne Piderit (Chief-Elect)


5 August Chairing of Chief President’s Suite, Buffs Club 18.30 Snacks Provided
6 August Kirking of Chief Cambridge Methodist Church 08.00
2 September Prov Chief Visit Starting at …. 9 Nelson Ave 11.30 Travelling Lunch
28 October Halloween Braai MOTH Hall TBC
4 November Halloween McClelland Home TBC
25 November St Andrews TBC TBC


July 2017 Newsletter

Dear Fellow Caledonians,

This is my first newsletter as Chief-Elect. Thank you to all who attended our AGM, and for your support in electing me as Chief for the ensuing year. With a relatively familiar committee, we are pleased to welcome at least one new face on the committee and, with your help and support, we aim to continue moving the Society forward. So here’s your ‘new’ Committee …..

Position: Name: Cell:
Chief- Elect Roxanne Piderit 082 455 8661
Senior Chieftain Dave Rankin 082 900 0948
Chieftain Andrew Macdonell 082 701 8868
Hon. Secretary Dave Rankin 082 900 0948
Hon. Treasurer Sheila Godfrey 082 519 3863
Executive Committee Members Sandra Rankin 043 726 1500
Maureen Rankin 082 405 9730
Sue Piderit 082 924 1078
Rose Thompson 072 431 7391
Kim Mathieson 083 373 5864
Leanne Harbottle 079 572 5073
Past Chief Maureena ‘Nookie’ Middleton 084 693 2836

One noteworthy project initiated by our committee involves the formation of a Task Team to investigate the future of the federation. This came about after a working breakfast with the Federation Chief on 22 April 2017, where we ‘brainstormed’ possible ideas and initiatives to improve the health of our Caledonian Movement. One idea was that all Caledonians need to do some hard thinking about how the Movement must evolve, if it is to survive. Andrew Macdonell is heading up this task team, along with Dave Rankin, Sandra Rankin and myself; and we will be requiring input from members along the way.

NEWS OF MEMBERS Sad news first. Condolences to Maureen and Dave Rankin and their families on the passing of Maureen’s mother, Mary Hodgson, on 5 June. Also to the family of Dave Templeton, a former Chaplain of the Society, who recently passed on to higher service. In news from the Doctor’s surgery, Callum MacIver is now home and making progress after another skin graft. Elizabeth Weare is now living at Parklands. Bibby Middleton was awarded her honours blazer for water polo. Finally this seems to be a month of weddings in exotic locations – the Anleys will be attending a wedding in Estonia; while Claude Macdonell and the girls are all off to a family wedding in California. (Andrew is staying at home and hopes to make the most of the ‘me-time’ to study for a professional project management exam)

Saturday 22 July – Breakfast at Com Office, Dot Com Café. Scherwitz Road. Berea. Time 09:00

PIPE BAND On 27 May, the Band had a full day …. playing at the McClelland Bazaar, George Randall High School, Stirling Primary Games Day and the Airfest. The ‘previously advertised’ BVR Drill Hall Re-opening Parade won’t now be happening; but a performance at the Komga Show on 7 October is still in the diary.

LADIES GROUP June meeting hosted by Nookie Middleton went well. July meeting was on Tuesday 4 July 2017 at Ruth Strong’s home, Cottage S17 Fairlands.

S.C.D.C Weekly meetings continue on Tuesdays at the Hams Club from 4pm – 5.30pm on Tuesdays. Numbers slightly down recently. The Country Dancers AGM was held recentlySCDC

Like the Band, the dancers had a busy day on 27 May at the McClelland Home, George Randall High School, Stirling Primary School and the Airfest. Looking forward, the SA Highland Dancing Championships will take place on Saturday 29 July 2017 in Gauteng and Highland Dancing Exams are scheduled for Monday 31 July 2017.

COMMITTEE Next meeting of the Committee will be on Thursday 13 July 2017 at 7.30 pm at Roxanne Piderit’s new home, 7a Dartnell Road, Cambridge West.

Finally some good and bad news! Bad news is that subs are now due – good news is that the rates are unchanged from last year (R80 for full members).

Yours aye,

Roxanne Piderit (Chief-Elect)


22 July Breakfast Dot Com Café, Scherwitz Road 09:00
5 August Chairing of Chief TBC TBC
6 August Kirking of Chief TBC TBC



Dear Fellow Caledonians,

As you will read in this newsletter, we have had an “up and down” month with both good & bad news.   But that’s life, I guess ….
The sad news is extensively covered in our ‘News of Members’ section below; so I would rather dwell on the good news that we are looking forward to the visit of Fred Brokenshire, our Federation Chief, next month.

Fred has served the Caledonian Movement with dedication for many years and is an inspiration to us all.  Our planned cruise up the Nahoon River with Fred promises to be a memorable trip.  Who will forget ever all that wonderful bird life – accompanied by the sound of bagpipes?  Not to be missed !

In the evening, we will be having a ceilidh at Parklands and there will be a surprise draw open to anyone who joins us for both the cruise and the ceilidh ….. so hurry and get your tickets now !

Firstly the sad news this month is that the society said goodbye to John Forbes, who passed away on 24 February.  A true gentleman – John was an active supporter of the Society for many years and will be sorely missed.  John’s obituary from ‘The Daily Dispatch’ is attached to this newsletter. The Society was also extremely touched that John’s family named the Society as a beneficiary in lieu of memorial flowers – a very generous gesture indeed. Since the last newsletter, we also received word that former member, Mary Boyd, passed on recently – our thoughts are also with her family.
Other sad news is that Margaret Murray – 102 years old – has had to undergo a serious operation.  An inspiration to all who know her, Margaret holds the record for the longest-serving EL Caledonian.  Margaret has been a member for some 67 years and was Secretary of the Ladies Group for fifty of those years.  In other news from the doctor’s surgery, Marrian Mathieson recently had a cataract removed, while Sue Piderit recently fell and broke her arm.  We wish them all well as they recover.

Nookie Middleton will be travelling to Johannesburg shortly to celebrate her daughter’s silver wedding anniversary – a milestone that will also be reached by Dave & Maureen Rankin in April.

In sports news, Tumi Macdonell swam in a field of over 200 competitors in the 9-13 age group in the Merrifield Mile Open Water Swimming Challenge and came in second, beating all the boys in the process.  Finally Roxanne Piderit has just bought a house in Cambridge West – and we assume that the invitations to the ‘house-warming’ party must be in the post !

ENTERTAINMENT     Sunday 26 March “Music in the Park”   Join us at the concert in the afternoon at Berea Gardens. Our Pipe Band and Dancers will be performing. R30 pp entry.
Saturday 22 April Federation Chief Visit.  Barge Trip on the Nahoon River at 15.00 followed by a “Bring and Share” Ceilidh at Parklands at 18.00.  (BYOB)  R100 per person. (Names and payment to Dave Rankin by 15 April)

PIPE BAND   Band practice now taking place at Hudson Park High School, where the band has acquired 6 new learners (3 pipers and 3 drummers). The Band will be at ‘Music in the Park’ on 26 March and at the Urban Run on 21 May.

LADIES GROUP    March meeting at Agnes Cowie’s home went well. Next meeting will be at 9.30am on Tuesday 4 April 2017 at the Coelacanth Café (hosted by Jean Sansom)
S.C.D.C   Weekly meetings have resumed on Tuesdays at the Hams Club from 4pm – 5.30pm on Tuesdays.   Recent average turnout of eight – which is fairly encouraging.

HIGHLAND AND IRISH DANCERS   East London dancers did well at the Aloe Awards and at the Knysna Celtic Festival.  Dancers will be at “Music in the Park” and will be competing at the South Coast Highland Gathering.  A dancing workshop is scheduled for 26 April and the East Coast Dancing Festival will be held on 13 May 2017.  Finally congratulations to Emily Frauenstein, who has been nominated for a Protea Award.

COMMITTEE    Next meeting of the Committee will be on Thursday 13 April 2017 at 7.30 pm at Roxanne Piderit’s new house, 7a Dartnell Road, Cambridge West.

26 Mar 2017 Music in the Park Berea Gardens 14.30 Join us ! R30pp

22 Apr 2017 Fed Chief Visit Nahoon River / Parklands 15.00 / 18.00 Barge trip / Ceilidh

Yours aye,
Maureena ‘Nookie’ Middleton (Chief)