"Love one another & carry a big sword"
The Scottish American Society
The Scottish-American Society of Central Florida was founded in 1976 to celebrate and carry on the Scottish traditions here in the US.
The Central Florida Highland Games were spawned in August, 1977, by a determined group of Scottish-Americans who gathered at the home of C.P. and Marian McCall for dinner and conversation. The meeting was triggered by the modest success of a small Scottish Festival, the brainchild of Sharon and Gerry Bottemly, held at Little Econ Park in 1976. The plotters included the Bottemlys and the McCalls as well as Richard and Eleanor Maclaughlin. The immediate outcome was a plan for the formation of an educational, cultural and social organization for Central Floridians of Scottish descent. A full-fledged games was not yet on the horizon.
In September, the three couples met with others from the Econ Park group, and C.P. McCall was commissioned to begin work on a constitution and by-laws for a new organization. Sharon Bottomley, President; Richard MacLauchlin, Vice-president, Andrea White, Secretary; Charles P. McCall, Treasurer. The Scottish American Society of Central Florida was born and the decision was made to hold the first Orlando Scottish Highland Games. That December, the formal Articles of Incorporation were drafted and submitted to the Florida Secretary of State. On January 3, 1978, the Articles were filed and the Society became a legal entity.
The first full-blown, society-sponsored games were held on the athletic field at Edgewater High School on January 21, 1978. Marian McCall recalled how the day seemed to be nearly freezing. That night the Society held a tartan ball at the Kahler Plaza Inn. When all was through that day, Dick MacLauchlin recalls the games made a profit of 55 cents! These pioneers of the Scottish community in Central Florida had done it. They had created a new organization, held the first games, and managed to make a profit. Our thanks to them and all who worked so hard to create our Society.