Hilda Oakley

Australian author and poet

   Jun 03

The Gathering of the Clans

T’was the end of May, in Wingham town,

The folk were all prepared,

For the annual gathering of the clans,

And all that would come there.


Winghamites, proud of their heritage,

Had planned a huge event,

With concerts, balls and grand parades,

Scots traditions wherever they went.


Dougal, of the Donald clan,

Came down from the Maclean,

To show those feisty Gordon lads,

Clan Donald would reign.

Little did the two clans know that

McKenzie’s were around,

And they had even more at stake

To dominate this town.


The challenge of the highland games,

Went out to men of every clan,

The caber toss, first off the rank,

Would prove the strength of every man.


The last throw of the caber toss,

The boys were neck and neck,

McKenzies roared for Callum’s throw,

Donalds shouted for Dougals best.


The trunks they flew, the splinters spread,

Callum’s pitch was potent.

But Dougal’s toss, an explosive burst,

Showed all that he was cogent!


Next there came the Highland Fling,

The lassies with their best style,

Leaping, dancing on the stage,

To win was so worthwhile!


The Gordon lads now took the lead,

Hammers, they would throw,

Strength of the Scots within their blood,

The distance they could go.


Now the final competition

Challenged all the clans –

McKenzie’s, Donald’s, Gordon’s all,

To be the best they can.


The rocks, so heavy, lifted high

Callum was in sweat.

Dougal lifted many more

He did the best lifts yet.


But when the Gordon lads picked up

A rock the size of two,

The Donald’s and McKenzie boys

Knew that they were through.


Next there was the haggis hunt –

All clans joined in with zest.

Devouring the sheep entrails –

Clan Donald was the best!


And then the pipes and drums were heard

Taking centre stage.

The solo-fife an uplifting tune

Midst bagpipes in the rage!


The evening ball was such a sight

The glitter and the pomp,

Each clan so kilted, coloured, fine –

It truly was a romp!


The Bonnie Festival came to a close

The Scots had made new friends.

And rivalry was cast aside –

‘Til next year, when they meet again!



Hilda Oakley

Copyright © 01.05.2015


The Scottish Highland Games



  • Solo Piping
  • Solo Drumming
  • Solo Fife – A high pitched flute
  • Pipe Bands
  • Highland Dancing
  • Sword Dancing
  • Haggis Hunting
  • Field Athletics
  • Tossing the Caber
  • 56lb weight throws
  • Whisky Tasting
  • Stone Put
  • Hammer Throws
  • Weight over the Bar
  • Sheaf Toss
  • Farmers Walk
  • Shot Put
  • Discuss Throw
  • Now for some strength athletics:
  • Steel Bending
  • Chain Breaking
  • Rock Lifting
  • To Tote Refrigerators
  • Pulling Trains
  • Walking While Pulling an 18 Wheeler Truck behind them


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