On Sept. 15, the Scottish Society of Charleston hosted and sponsored the 41st Annual Charleston Scottish Games and Highland Gathering. The coverage by the paper was minimal. While someone on the staff at The Post and Courier did not feel that the games were worth covering (except for three photographs), allow me to mention a few noteworthy items regarding the Scottish Society of Charleston and the Charleston Scottish Games.
This year was the 41st presentation of the annual Charleston Scottish Games. They are the second oldest Scottish games in the South behind Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, N.C. The Charleston games are older than Spoleto, the Taste of Charleston or the Oyster festival and many other festivals and events in the area.
The Charleston Games have received several awards and recognition as a top tourist event in the South.
They have a nationwide reputation as one of the friendliest games among the 100-plus that are held throughout the year across the country.
Attendance runs in the 5,000-7,000 range for a one-day event with people coming from all over the United States. On an average games weekend, the impact on the Charleston area economy, including meals and lodging, is close to $1 million.
Over the years, the Charleston Games have benefited the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston with close to $50,000, including $25,000 to provide and furnish a room in the new wing of the house.
The society also gives money to several groups who volunteer their services on games day. These include the Summerville Jaycees, several police cadet groups, the Bishop England High School Band and others.
The society provides scholarships for individuals who desire to enhance their performance in piping, drumming and dancing and for others wishing to preserve the Scottish heritage.
These include world-class athletes, pipers and drummers, many who have competed in Scotland. Many who judge our competitions have been invited to judge events in Scotland and Canada. One judge, retired director of the Citadel Pipes and Drum Band, has written a manual for piping used by pipers all over the world.
Over the past several years, the games recognize a Scottish clan as the Honored Clan for the Games. This includes an invitation to the chief of that clan, who most of the time is from Scotland, to be the Games Honored Guest. This year, the games named Maclaine of Lochbuie the honored clan. Honored guest was clan chief Lorne G. I. Maclaine, who traveled here from South Africa.
The Scots who settled Charleston contributed much to the development of the city. The Scot descendants who make up the Scottish Society of Charleston are still making a contribution to the Charleston area and the Scottish community.
William H. McDaniel Jr.
Scottish Society of Charleston