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Jun 17 16

Free online course – Learn about the life and works of Robert Burns

by Glenda Dickson

You may have sung “Auld Lang Syne” as the clock ticked over into the New Year, or listened to the ode “To a Haggis” during a Burns Night celebration here in Australia, but how much do you actually know about the life of Robert Burns and his other notable works?

If you would like to learn more about the legacy of this 18th-century Scottish poet, take a look at Robert Burns: Poems, Songs and Legacy, which is a free online course run by the University of Glasgow. It begins on 18 July, 2016 and runs over a three-week period requiring only four hours of your time each week. All you need is an interest in Robert Burns – no previous experience or qualifications are necessary.


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May 31 16

June 2016 Issue of MacFarlane’s Lantern Now Available

by Glenda Dickson

The June 2016 issue of the Australian MacFarlane’s Lantern (No. 138) is now available to download from the Members Area, along with back issues. Here you will also find a summary of the contents.

For the benefit of others who may be interested in joining, below are some of the highlights in the current issue.

  • Our leading story in this issue concerns Lachlan MacFarlane of Oakfield, Mount Barker, South Australia (1806-1892), who came from the Buchanan parish on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond. Lachlan MacFarlane married a daughter of Mr Lubasch of Hahndorf.  We would be pleased to hear from descendants of both the MacFarlane and Lubasch families.
  • Next, part two of ‘Conflict at Glen Fruin 1603’ is published.
  • We also have Billy Scobie, local writer/historian from Dunbartonshire, to thank for sending the article on the Loch Lomond Bell.
  • In Root Lines we publish more about the MacFarlane settlers at Broken River, Victoria including family tree information on seven generations from Blair Atholl, Perthshire (c.1722) to Benalla, Victoria (c.1946) in the hope that it might open up new discussion on this MacFarlane family in Australia.
  • There is also an article on the sept name ‘Miller’ which, in Scotland, appears to be more commonly spelled ‘Millar’.

Please feel free to make comments via the website, or by email to


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Apr 25 16

ANZAC Day 2016 – Do you have a family story about war service to share?

by Glenda Dickson

Private A.L. McFarlane

Private A.L. McFarlane

Today, 25th April, 2016 ANZAC Day commemorations are taking place around Austraia and overseas. As a society we collect, preserve and share the family history of ‘MacFarlanes’ (various spellings and sept names included) via our newsletter, “MacFarlane’s Lantern”. Stories of war service often feature in articles published, one of which was in Issue No. 131 (September, 2014). This article was in honour of Private Albert Leslie (Les) McFarlane (from Bairnsdale, Victoria) who kept a diary of his experiences on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. The following snippet gives some indication of what Les experienced.

THURSDAY 5TH AUGUST 1915 ANZAC (Assault on Lone Pine)
(Sic) “Spent the day in the trenches With (no) food or tea, just had our water bottles which have to last us 48 hours. Shells are flying about in every direction and a continuous rifle fire is kept. The Turks are entrenched about 15 yd to 450yd? Aeroplanes are continually flying over us and dropping bombs. Stan and I are split up. Went to sleep close to the firing line as supports.”

The soldier Stan, referred to in the above passage, was Les’s mate, Private Edward Stanley Burt. Although both men returned home from the war, Stan passed away in 1919, whereas Les lived until 1973.

If you would like to read the full article please click here Snippets from WWI diary of Pte. A.L. McFarlane as published in MacFarlane’s Lantern No. 131

We are interested in hearing from other families who would like to share their story. Please contact the Secretary for further information:

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Mar 1 16

MacFarlane’s Lantern – March 2016 now available

by Glenda Dickson

The March 2016 issue of the Australian MacFarlane’s Lantern is now available to download in the Members Area, along with back issues. Here you will also find a summary of the contents.

For the benefit of others who may be interested in joining, below is a brief summary.

The current issue opens with the feature article Conflict in Glen Fruin, 1603 – Part One in which Malcolm Lobban tells of turbulent times in ‘The Glen of Sorrow’. King Arthur is the subject of Legendary Tales of Auld Scotia, whilst Gaels in Exile explores the connection between Highlanders and North America. In Eighteenth Century Quango? Malcolm describes the aftermath of the 1715-19 Jacobite Rising.

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Feb 14 16

Highland Dancing Championship – March 26 & 27, 2016 – Adelaide, South Australia

by Glenda Dickson

Champion of Champions

Clan MacFarlane Australia are proud to announce that we will be sponsoring a Trophy Dance at this premier Australian biennial event to be held on March 26 & 27, 2016. Scottish highland dancers will be coming from all over the world for the chance to compete together in Adelaide to become the Champion of Champions of Australia. Venue: Priceline (Netball SA) Stadium, Railway Terrace, Mile End.

For further information please visit:

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Feb 12 16

Scots Day Out (Bendigo, Victoria) – Saturday 13 February, 2016

by Glenda Dickson

The Face of a Braveheart

A fabulous day out is to be had for one and all in Bendigo, Victoria on Saturday, 13 February, 2016. Watch the colourful parade of pipe bands, clans and dancers down historic View Street at 10am and then wander down to shady Rosalind Park where you will find Scottish stalls, clan tents and a fantastic programme of events.

As well as the opportunity to have your face painted Braveheart style, you and your family can join in the Kerbieball World Championship, enjoy a Clydesdale wagon ride, see a demonstration of swordcraft and even have a lesson in Gaelic. There will also be Celtic music and singing and performances by Sing Australia Bendigo Choir and the Emu Creek Bush Band. Pop-up small pipe performances will also appear around Rosalind Park throughout the day.

From 11am the Central Victorian Highland Dancing Classic will take place on the dancers’ stage, the pipe band competition and recitals will be in the Band Arena, and the children’s activities also commence.

The My Scottish Kitchen Challenge for the best Athol Brose and Shortbread will be judged during the luncheon break (around 1pm) in the area adjacent to the Band Arena.

At 4pm get ready for the Grand Finale, which includes The Dashin’ Kilts (the 200 metre Rosalind Park Dash), Judging of the Braveheart Award, best Scottish Dressed patron and performances by the massed pipes and drums, and highland dancers.

In the evening stroll across to the Metropolitan (Cnr. Hargreaves & Bull Streets) for a meal and to listen to Celtic songstress Imogen Brough who will be performing from 6pm-8.30pm.

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Jul 30 15

The Scottish Influence on the Ballarat Goldfields

by Glenda Dickson

The Scottish Ancestry Group, a service group of The Genealogical Society of Victoria, Inc., together with the Ballarat & District Genealogical Society, Inc., are holding a seminar “Exploring Your Scottish Ancestry and its influence on the Ballarat Goldfields, details as follows:

15 Aug 2015

Central Highlands Regional Library,  Doveton Street, Ballarat, Victoria


Scottish Cultural Influence in the Ballarat Goldfields
– Malcolm Horsburgh

ScotlandsPeople: The official website for Church & Civil BMDs, Wills & Testaments, Census and Heraldry
– Joy Roy, FGSV

The Statistical Account of Scotland 1790 and 1845: the Social and Living Conditions of our Ancestors
– Margaret McLaren & Joy Roy

Scottish Convicts: Trials, Transportation and life in the Penal Colony
– Susan McLean

Morning and afternoon tea provided

Cost:  $30:00

For further details and bookings please visit:

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Jun 22 15

Kilmore Celtic Festival, Victoria 27-28th June 2015

by Glenda Dickson

A4 Calling Scots

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Jun 20 15

The Kirkin’ O’ The Tartan – The Scots Church, Melbourne VIC – 5 July 2015

by Glenda Dickson

The 1st of July is regarded by Scots in Australia as Tartan Day as this was the day in 1782 when the British Government lifted the ban on the wearing of Scottish Highland dress that had been put in place after the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

For many years the Scottish fraternity in Victoria has commemorated this event by holding their annual Kirkin’ O’ The Tartan service on the first Sunday in July at the Scots Church in Collins Street, Melbourne. Representatives of various Scottish Clans are piped in to the kirk (church) to present their tartans and some members also participate in the service using the Scottish Gaelic language.

Wear some tartan and join in the commemorations this year at 11am on Sunday 5th July.


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May 19 15

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Marches into Melbourne in 2016

by Glenda Dickson

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo will march into Melbourne for the first time ever in February 2016 when more than 1200 performers will gather at Etihad Stadium.

This will be the fourth time that the Military Tattoo will leave Edinburgh in its 65 year history, but they will bring a full size replica of Edinburgh Castle with them!

REMT A2 POSTERTickets on Sale Monday 25 May 2015

For further information please visit:


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