McPherson Scots Talk The Clans and Associates of the McPherson Scottish Festival & Games

September 22, 2020

Judy McDiffett

Filed under: Events — Clan Chairman @ 7:11 am

Judy (Long) McDiffett, was born September 28, 1945 at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, Kansas.  She was the daughter of Elbert O. and V. Ruth Long of Potwin, Kansas.  She is survived by a sister Janet Gibson of Hutchinson, Kansas, her husband Richard McDiffett Newton, daughters Holly McDiffett-Mahaffey (Terri) of Half Moon Bay, California, Adrianne Hultman of Newton, and a son Tyler R. McDiffett of Wichita.  She leaves two granddaughters (Jessi and Kelly Coleman) and two grandsons ( Dylan and Connor Hultman) and many special friends.

Judy and her Husband Richard served as the Vendor Chair for the McPherson Scottish festival from 2008 until the festival closed in 2016. They loved the festival and were loved by the people they served. Judys assistance and love of the festival along with many others were what made the festival great. Judy assisted with the motel arrangements for all of the participants and judges that attended the festival as well as helping Richard with the vendors and exhibitors like the sheepdogs, falconers, and Highland Cattle to name a few.

Judy passed into mortality to spend time with her many friends in Heaven on September 15, 2020.

Baker Funeral Home Valley Center is handling arrangements. Condolences may be left for the family at

March 3, 2019

Larry E. Williams

Filed under: Festivals — Clan Chairman @ 2:24 pm

McPherson Scottish Society – Treasurer

Larry Emmett Williams, 82, passed into eternal life on Feb. 14, 2019, at his home in McPherson. He was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, on July 11, 1936 to Zella (Venrick) and J. Emmett Williams. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Xan, his daughter Jesslyn of Tulsa. Xan was the committee chairperson for the sponsors that donated to the Scottish Festival.

Larry was the Scottish Society Treasurer along with Verla Thompson. He server on the board for 20* years and managed the taxes and kept the balance sheet for the McPherson Scottish festival. He also was very meticulous in counting every penny and insisted on counting and recounting the gate to make sure that all the money was reported correctly. Many of the people that were involved in the production of the festival did not see all that Larry did as he operated in the background ensuring that all the bills were paid. We were very thankful for all his efforts that he did for the smooth operation of the festival. Thank you and peace be with you.

John W. Ferrell

Filed under: Clans,Festivals — Clan Chairman @ 8:28 am

John William Ferrell, 88, of McPherson, KS, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, surrounded by family at McPherson Hospital. He was an educator and administrator at Central Christian College, McPherson.

He served in the United States Navy during the Korean War Era.

John was a member of the McPherson Free Methodist Church where he was chairman for the Finance Committee and the Facilities Planning Committee. He was past president of the McPherson Rotary Club, director and founding board member of the McPherson Scottish Festival and co-founder of the Highland Games, chairman of the board at McPherson Family Life Center, served on the board of Oakdale Christian Academy in Jackson, KY, and served on the board of directors at The Cedars. He was the “Hometown Hero” in 2002 by McPherson County United Way and McPherson Chamber of Commerce. 

I spent many years with John planning the Festival as the Clan Chairman under his leadership. He was very meticulous, and required perfection in how the festival was organized. He put together an outstanding team of up to 14 team leaders and managed up to one hundred volunteers to put on the festival. He and my father ,”Webb Clark”, were founding board members of the festival. John was also my neighbor living a few houses down the street, so we also became close friends. When he retired from the festival after 15 years of service, he mentored me to takeover the Chairmanship. It was always a pleasure and the great quality of the festival was due to his leadership. John will be missed as a friend and Scott.

December 8, 2018

Stuart C. Cummins

Filed under: Clans,Festivals — Clan Chairman @ 12:31 pm

I must apologize it has been a while since I have been keeping things up to date. I will try to do better. It is with a sad heart the my good friend Stuart C. Cummins has passed away on December 1st 2018. He was a strong supporter of our festival which has also gone. Stuart believed in his heritage and the importance of passing it along to future generations. Stuart and Nancy were always there never missing a year. He represented Clan Stuart well and would have his whole clan there at times in support of his heritage and our festival. He became a leader of Clan Stuart moving from commissioner, to vice president, to president of the clan over the years. The word Clan means family in the scottish tradition and Stuart was definitely a family man that loved God and his country as well.

I remember watching Stuart and Nancy arrive with their dog Angus to the festival. They were always one of the first ones there except for Ralph Barkley who has since passed as well. He was also a strong supporter of the festival in his Bright yellow trusou and deep booming voice. You could almost hear him across the festival grounds. And you would always see Dean and Jean Robertson show up and pitch their tent right among them. And before they could get setup Dean would be spinning some yarn to impress the Ladies or anyone else that would listen. Yes these were very good times and good friends.

They were extended family, we were extended family, brought together by the festival reunion every year. They are missed greatly as is the festival that created this family.  Ceud Mile Failte! for all the memories.

Deus maille ruinn gus an coinnich sinn a-rithist.

November 28, 2010

2010 Clan Report

Filed under: Reports — Clan Chairman @ 4:26 pm

We had another good year at the festival. Everyone enjoyed the festival this year again,  impressed as always, by the park that we have the festival in so we want to give our thanks to the park department and city for letting us use the park.

The Friday ceremony and supper went off without any major problems. Laird McGregor did a wonderful job for us on the Friday gathering. The supper works good in the cabin and I think it should continued to be used in the future.

Dr. Earl Estill and Nancy Dunn did a great job on Sunday’s Kirking, the clan representative for Clan Campbell said it was one of the best services he had been to.

Lottie Herod of Clan McLean took care of the Hospitality tent in in a grand manner with the help of friends and relatives. Nancy McArthur Cochner of Clan Arthur has accepted to be the host for next year.

We had 26 clans registered and 25 attending. Three of those clans are new clans or have new representatives for their clans. Saturday’s rain sent some clans home early and we had water in a couple of tents. Getting more than 26 or 27 clans accommodated will be addressed on where to place them. If anyone has any suggestions on how to gain more space and still have good foot traffic give me your suggestions.

We are continuing to have the clans have their AGM meetings in the area or during the festival. This is wonderful and we wish to do what we can to encourage their participation.

SAMS “Scottish American Military Society”, have their local AGM here yearly and are going to try and have their national here in the future. Clans Arthur and McPherson are having their AGM meetings in Wichita during or just before the festival. Hopefully they will bring some of their officers to enjoy our festival. Clan Hay is hoping to have their AGM here in 2013 We need to Ann Hastler put together a list of rooms and caterers and local entertainment to supply to anyone wanting to organize their meetings.

It was Suggested by several clans to have the theme of the festival be one of honoring the soldiers and warriors

Lottie Herod suggested that some festivals read a short history of the clans at the sat noonday ceremony.

The SAMS asked if we could have them as an honor guard at the beginning of the sat noonday ceremony. We would like to know what everyone thinks of this idea.

The clans asked about the knobby knee contest and the favorite clans contest so I am going to look into doing something each year.

We need to promote the Friday ceremony more than we do.

We will be promoting the Saturday entertainment more with the clans next year.

October 24, 2010

Greeks and Scots (Humor)

Filed under: Humor — Festival Chairman @ 7:35 am

“Author Unknown”

A Greek and a Scotsman were sitting in a Starbucks cafe discussing who had the superior culture.

Over triple lattes the Greek guy says, “Well we Greeks built the Parthenon,” and arched his eyebrows.

The Scotsman then replies ‘”Well …. it was the Scots that discovered the Summer and Winter Solstices.”

The Greek retorts ‘We Greeks gave birth to advanced mathematics.”

The Scotsman, nodding in agreement says, “Scots were the ones who built the first timepieces and calendars.”

And so on until the Greek comes up with what he thinks will end the discussion. With a flourish of finality he says, “The Greeks were the ones who invented sex!”

The Scotsman replies “Aye that is true but it was we Scots who introduced it to the women!”

October 10, 2010

What the Scottish Festival Means to Me.

Filed under: Festivals — Clan Chairman @ 12:03 pm

Ceud Mile Failte!
(a hundred thousand welcomes!)



To-Write-For GOD and Scotland



My father Webb Clark brought me into the McPherson Scottish Festival, I believe, to introduce me to my heritage. He was ill and may have believed that it was the only way to pass on to me what he already knew. His father, my grandfather, died when my father was 14 years old. Not much time to teach a young man the way of this fathers.


Our culture and heritage comes to us in many forms. Grand buildings from days past as was the discussion last night or the sport of tossing the Caber, the foods that we eat, the music of Bagpipes, Highland or any other dance, to the clothes that we wear. Robert Burns, a great poet, among many others turned mere words into art.


I learned all of these things and more from my involvement in the Festival, but I learned something much deeper. It gave me a new in-site into who my father really was, from the stories that his friends told me after he passed away from his illness. The connection that I found for a grandfather and great grandfather that I had never meet from the stories that my family passed on to me.


In a way it was what it is like when you look into a painting and suddenly see what the painter sees, only it is your own reflection in a pool of life spread before you.


The Scottish Festival is like the preservation of beautiful old buildings only it is the preservation of a living way of life. It is not just about being Scottish it is about passing all ethnic traditions to the next generation of all races and cultures.

October 24, 2009

2009 McPherson Scottish Festival Clan Report

Filed under: Reports — Clan Chairman @ 2:18 pm

Clans represented

We had 25 clans in attendance


2 last minute cancellations: Clans Ross and MacNachtan


New clans Clan Aurther, Crawford, Ferguson, Mackay


New Clan representatives: Clan Davidson, Clan McPherson


New clan layout: The additional space from the new layout worked well although clan Elliot said their traffic was down some.


Host clan recognition: Clan Henderson did a wonderful job being Host Clan this year.


2010 Host clan: Clan MacLean with Lottie Herod, has agreed to be the Host for 2010


AGM meetings: Clan Stewart Society of America Had Their AGM at the Festival And all went well.

Clan Little had Their AGM also and had a good time with it here.

The Scottish Military Society Had their AGM here. They stated they will have it here every year


Family reunion The MacLain Family reunion went well and everyone had a good time. Carol Beck said that she would have it here again in the future


Fire ceremony Unfortunately thee Fire Ceremony had to be canceled because of rain.

We should feel fortunate that we have such good weather for our Festival.


Hoggis The hoggis went on as planed in the Lakeside Cabin With several clans saying it worked well there.


Knobby knee contest Bruce Hay Was the winner of the knobby knee contest We had eight brave men that entered to show off their knee


Favorite clan tent John Grant was the winner of the favorite Clan Tent contest, he was surprised to win but he has been here for many years and was deserving of the recognition


Kirkin Reverend Wolcott introduced Reverend Dr. Earl Estill. He a wonderful job for the Kirkin and the service. We had some trouble with the lining up of the tartans because we need some better steps for getting on the stage


Genealogy The genealogy tent had good traffic as usual.




November 9, 2008

2008 McPherson Scottish Festival Report

Filed under: Reports — Clan Chairman @ 3:07 pm

2008 McPherson Scottish Festival Report

There were twenty-seven registered clans this year, of those, four were new clans or clan representatives, Clan Ross, Clan Cameron, Clan Hay, Clan MacBean and Clan Blair. Our faithful friends Barclay, Donald, Grant, Donnachaidh, McInnis, were here And Clan Gunn, canceled at the last minute and MacFarlane was unable to make it due to health reasons. Clan Gordon, and Clan MacKintosh, returned to celebrate with us again this year. We also had Clan MacNachtan, Clan Scot and Clan McLennan represented by the spouses of other clans and the Scottish militia society “SAMS” as well.

Clan Little was the host clan with their honored guest John Little “president” of Clan Little Society of N.A.. John and Ellen did an excellent job of hosting the clans. Next year they suggested that we should have a knobby knee contest and a haggis throwing contest. As well as a prize for the best clan display judged, by an outsider or new sponsor. What do you think?

Our new friends at Clan Ross Cameron, Hay and Clan MacBean are a great addition to our family. They are new this year and Clan Mackenzie and others have been here for the last two games. New clans are what keep us growing and we are glad that you have joined us and hope to see you again next year. Clan Henderson was selected to be the Host Clan for 2009 The Henderson’s have been a strong supporter of the games. Clan Gordon has been with us for several years, Dick Milne “Santa”, passed away shortly after his retirement as well as several other of our friends and family and will be remembered by many for touching our lives. We need the pictures of these individuals for the memorial page on the website.

We are glad that they were able to join us at the Fire Ceremony and Clan Gathering on Friday night. There were between 100-110 people at the hog-gis roast following the ceremony. There was no confusion about the time of the banquet. Homer was resourceful as usual and pulled us through having feed the multitudes on a load of bread and a extra meat that he provided. Krehbiel’s have been great supporters of Friday night. He also spoke well of the Highland Cattle who had contacted us earlier in the year to help sponsor the Friday night event. I think that they are both good vendors to have.

Clan MacIntyre arrived with their father Gail who recovered well from his surgery. He still paid in advance even though he cannot remember missing the festival last year. Unfortunately Gail lost his wife this year, we should keep Clan MacIntyre in our thoughts and prayers.

My friends at Clan Davidson, Larry Davidson may not be returning next year as he may be retiring from their commission. Clan MacLean as well as a couple of others let me know that there were some errors during the Noon Day Ceremony that need to be corrected. I am glad that they brought this to Joe’s and my attention so we can improve the experience for everyone at the festival. We try to do things right and fail sometimes, but that will not stop us from trying. We had their name omitted for the announcements and others were in the wrong order, but we were also having trouble getting late entries in the lineup. We had phone connection problems on stage.

Rev. Robert Wolcott and I presented the offering from the Kirkin of the Tartan on Sunday morning to the Ministerial Alliance.

Reverend Wolcott, spoke to me before the festival about the Kirking and his role he is undergone some changes in his responsibilities. He is delighted to be involved, and has invited Earl Ester to help with the Kirking to give us more depth. I think that he has been growing in his effect and presentation both on Friday night and the Kirking ceremony.  He indicated that he thought that there was better response to the Kirking this year. I think having the smaller tent was better this year. The McPherson Children’s Arts Council Choir was smartly received, but the Bagpipes overshadowed the children’s voices. We also had some trouble with the sound system. We were recording the Friday night event and need to see if we can get a copy from Chuck Vetter.


We had the organ grinders again this year,at the clan MacLeod both this year, the second grinder-man has a louder grinder and being the near host clan were positioned in a better position near the children’s activities in the vicinity clear of any other venues. Everyone enjoyed them, it was just to bad that we had to find out too late that they need to be placed where they do not conflict with other events. We should contact them about next year in only having one here in the same location not being next to the clans.


The festival was a great success from all that I spoke to.  I think that a children’s theme for this year was a great success and should be continued in some form.



September 22, 2008

Clan Mac Farlane

Filed under: Clans — Clan Chairman @ 12:38 pm

Rick Miller was to be our Host Clan this year, but due to health reasons he will not be able to make it. We hope and pray that all is well with Rick and his family and hope to see him next year. Rick wrote the following message to the festival.

Dennis,  it tears me up to do this, but we will be unable to attend the festival this year.  My wife has just gotten out of the hospital and is very slowly recovering.  She’s just not going to be up to the trip and I depend on her to drive.  I hate to let you down–we all very much wanted to go, especially since we were to be honored.  I tell you, though, we still feel honored–your festival is the best, hands down.  Nowhere else do we feel so at home with a nicer group of people.  And you run things so well and are so masterful that it seems effortless (of course, we don’t see you sweating bullets and tearing your hair!).  If there were such a thing as professional clan organizer, you would be it.  Were you at Culloden, haggis would be England’s national dish!  Please accept my sincerest apologies for our not being in attendance.  Best wishes and take care.–Rick Miller, clan MacFarlane. “EDITED for PRIVACY”

Rick if you are out there we know you would have been a great Host Clan and we are sorry that you could not make it. We appreciate your works of kindness, but it is all of you that make my job easy and make the festival great.

John Little has volunteered to take your place as the host this year. He did so at short notice and we wish to commend Clan Little for all that they have done for the the festival.

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