A History of the Scottish Society of Charleston and Its Highland Games
Past Presidents of the Scottish Society of Charleston, Inc.
1972-1973 Charles A. Oliver 1974-1975 Malcolm A. Swan 1976-1977 Edwin F. Holcombe 1978-1979 L. J. Grant-Alexander 1980-1981 William S. Tyler 1982-1983 Carlton A. Lockwood 1984 Charles A. Oliver 1985 Edwin F. Holcombe 1986 Robert A. Hopkins 1987 Tim Lipsey 1988-1989 Dewey G. Campbell 1990-1991 William H. McDaniel, Jr. 1992-1993 James L. Gurney, III 1994-1995 Elizabeth Z. Campbell 1996-1997 J. E. “Skip” Spence 1998-1999 Carol McDougall 2000-2001 David McDougall 2002-2003 James P. Nettles, Jr 2004-2005 William S. Tyler, II, FSA Scot 2006-2007 Carl Jennings Frazier Smith 2008-2009 Maureen M. McDaniel 2010-2011 Max G. Mahaffee 2012-2013 Karolea R. Lucas
2014-2015 Ron Hayes
By E. F. Holcombe
Continued by William H. McDaniel, Jr.
On February 26, 1973, the Scottish Society of Charleston was incorporated to keep alive Scottish heritage and customs in the Low Country of South Carolina. Those include ceilidhs, Burns’ Night Suppers and Scottish Games, sponsoring a Scottish pipe band, and awarding scholarships in piping, drumming, and dancing. The first officers were Charlie Oliver, President; Angus McBride, Vice President; Esther McLaughlin, Secretary, Furman Reynolds, Treasurer. The Board of Directors was composed of Ludovic Grant-Alexander, Pipe Major; Thea Williams, President of the Scottish Lassies Club. The other members of the society Board of Directors were Royce McNeill, Enid Causey, Edwin F. Holcombe, Sr., and Malcolm Swan. A Scottish Fair was held to raise funds for the band. After Charles Oliver, Malcolm Swan, Ed Holcombe, Royce McNeill and K. C. Stier met with Charles Duell, Middleton Place was chosen as a Games site. The first Games Committee consisted of E. F. Holcombe, Director of Field Events; Malcolm Swan, Program; Royce McNeill, Clans, Tents and Booth; and Norma Oliver, Dancing. The Highland Dancing judge was Marguerite Reid, and the first Piping judge was Sandy Jones. Charleston’s first Scottish Games and Highland Gathering was off to a good start with an assist from Ross Morrison and Guy Soule, athletic judges from the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, and the best wishes of Agnes MacRae Morton, co-founder of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. K.C. Stier furnished support to the Games with tents, storage, dance platforms, etc. From this small beginning, the Scottish Society of Charleston has continued to support what is considered to be one of the best and friendliest Games in the United States, the result of constant dedication and work by the members of the society. Continued by William H. McDaniel, Jr. The Charleston Scottish Games and Highland Gathering is the second oldest Scottish Games in the Southeast behind Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, North Carolina. The Charleston Games are one of the largest “one day” Games in the South. Several clans have been in attendance since the very first Games. There are some Highland Dancing teachers in attendance with students competing, who competed here as students themselves. Several vendors have been loyal to us and have returned year after year.This type of relationship creates a family type bond among all of us. Boone Hall Plantation is our third location to hold the Scottish Games. Our home had been Middleton Place Plantation until 1990. During our 1989 Games, Hurricane Hugo was churning off the South Carolina coast. Devastation was great, especially among the ancient oak trees. Middleton Place was seriously damaged. In May, 1990, Middleton Place informed us that they would not hold the Games. We began scrambling for a new location and eventually settled at the Exchange Club Fair Grounds in Ladson. In early 1991, the Society decided that the Fair Grounds was not conducive to hold the Games and Boone Hall was selected. Games in September on the coast are always a gamble in the height of hurricane season. In forty-one years,we have only cancelled once. In September 1999, Hurricane Floyd toyed with the South Carolina coast. By Thursday of Games week, there was still a chance of land fall. And a decision was made to cancel. By Saturday, Floyd had moved up the coast and the weather in Charleston was fine. The Charleston Scottish Society is also a benefactor. In addition to the numerous scholarships we offer, we have also been generous in distributing the proceeds of the games. Our largest endeavor was the donation of an entire room at the Ronald McDonald House in downtown Charleston. Additional donations are made to various volunteer groups and other local charitable institutions. The officers and members of the Scottish Society of Charleston proudly sponsor these Games for your enjoyment. Many volunteer hours go into planning the Games. Your attendance and participation is our reward for the work we put into this event.
Mission: The Scottish Society of Charleston, Inc., a non-profit organization, promotes our Scottish heritage, history and customs through the conduct of ongoing events in the Lowcountry which educate our youth and assist other Scottish-American organizations.
Col. Wayne Morgan
Bonnie Muntz Pope
Archie M. Mathis III
Officers of Charleston
Board of Directors of the SSOC meets the 4th Tuesday of every month at 6:30 pm at:
Crowne Plaza 4831 Tanger Outlet Blvd
North Charleston, SC 29418
All Members in good standing are welcome to attend as guests.