Gee­long Scots win back champs

The Tatura Guardian - - News -

The Gee­long High­land Gath­er­ing has won the right to host the Vic­to­rian High­land Pipe Band Cham­pi­onships for the first time since the event was forced to move from Queens Park in 2009.

Spokesper­son Daryl McLure said the gath­er­ing was now held at Deakin Univer­sity Waurn Ponds Cam­pus after los­ing its home of more than 50 years.

‘‘Re­gain­ing the Vic­to­rian ti­tles is ama­jor step to again be­com­ing one of Aus­tralia’s big­gest Scot­tish events,’’ he said.

‘‘This is the third year the gath­er­ing will be held at its new per­ma­nent home at Waurn Ponds.

‘‘This year’s gath­er­ing date has also changed, from the third Sun­day in March to the first Sun­day, March 1, be­cause of other com­mit­ments at the univer­sity.’’

Mr McLure said the pipe band cham­pi­onships at­tracted bands from through­out Vic­to­ria, and maybe also from in­ter­state.

‘‘A new fea­ture event for 2015 is the ex­cit­ing and as­ton­ish­ing Birds of Prey demon­stra­tions of me­di­ae­val fal­conry, with pere­grine fal­cons, owls, kites, kestrels and ea­gles in­volved,’’ he said.

‘‘This will add to the at­trac­tion of the gath­er­ing which also hosts the South Pa­cific Heavy Games Cham­pi­onships, the Western Mar­tial Arts Acad­e­mies of Aus­tralia Na­tional Longsword and Broadsword cham­pi­onships and High­land Danc­ing com­pe­ti­tions.

‘‘In ad­di­tion, there will be the Scot­tish Breeds Dog Show, Scot­tish Coun­try Danc­ing dis­plays, the 42nd High­landers re-en­act­ment group, the New Varangian Guard Dubh-linn Branch, also pro­vid­ing­me­di­ae­val re-en­act­ments and Clan and Scot­tish sou­venir stall­hold­ers as well as food and other ven­dors.’’

Mr McLure said one of the most popular in­no­va­tions in re­cent years had been the ex­pan­sion of the chil­dren’s pro­gram to in­clude a mod­i­fied Wee High­land Games for young­sters, with hag­gis hurl­ing and light­weight caber toss­ing.

‘‘Last year also saw the reestab­lish­ment of an old link dat­ing back to the first Gee­long High­land Gath­er­ing in 1857, when Wathau­rong Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple first took part in the event,’’ he said.

‘‘A medal was pro­duced in the 1870s, mark­ing those early High­land Scots-Abo­rig­i­nal links with an Abo­rig­i­nal war­rior on one side of a shield and a High­lander on the other.’’

En­try costs are: Fam­ily $40; adult $15; con­ces­sion $10; chil­dren five to 16, $8; chil­dren un­der-five free.

For more in­for­ma­tion go to www.gee­longhigh­land gath­er­ing.org.au

Tal­ent: The 42nd High­lander and high­land dancers.

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