Aussie Highland Games

We were in the town of ‘Aberdeen’ and a cool wind blowing off the nearby hills may have been vaguely¬†mistaken for a highland chill. Yet the cockatoos flocking overhead and the sunglasses on every man’s face were the only giveaway that this gathering of bagpipes was very very faraway from its kilted homeland. New South Wales is home to the Aberdeen Highland Games, an event involving third, fourth and probably thirty-fourth generation Scots showing a more ardent support for my own homeland than even I could summon. Conversations about the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn were a-plenty amongst the crowd of 5000+ while eager descendants flocked to the ‘Clan’ stalls to trace the remnants of their long-lost Scottish roots. Bagpipes resounded from all corners of the arena and the Tartan Warriors showed their superhuman caveman muscles by tossing the caber and lifting gigantic 165kg stones.

The massed pipes and drums at the Aberdeen Highland Games, NSW

The massed pipes and drums at the Aberdeen Highland Games, NSW

Although the marching of the mass pipes and drums made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, I have to admit that the Scots of New South Wales are far more Scottish than myself. It is a reminder that much of the state’s early settlement was intrinsically linked to Scotland and townships, such as Scone and Aberdeen, took on both the names and identities of their Northern Hemisphere namesakes.

This event involved the lifting of 5 stones starting at 100kg and ending at 165kg....I'm just glad this guy did wear something underneath his kilt.

This event involved the ‘Tartan Warriors’ competing to lift 5 stones starting at 100kg and ending at 165kg….I’m just glad this guy did wear something underneath his kilt.

 

This guy honestly looked like he was lifting a bag of sugar not 150kg of stone

The Tartan Warriors travel all over the world to take part in strongman events. This guy honestly looked like he was lifting a bag of sugar not 150kg of stone

Next task for me is to get some tartan on standby in the campertrailer … and brush up on my knowledge of Scottish history.

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One of the more unusual displays of military precision was by the Australian Federation Guard Precision Drill Team.

One of the more unusual displays of military precision was by the Australian Federation Guard Precision Drill Team.

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