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

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.

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.

September 22, 2008

2008 Scottish Festival is almost here.

Filed under: Festivals — Clan Chairman @ 11:08 am

This years festival is the “Year of the Children”, with the focus on the children with special events for the children. Starting with the McPherson Arts Council Children’s Choir performing  Friday night at 7 p.m. at the band shell in Lakeside Park as a part of the clan fire ceremony; Kris Thompson, choir director:, admission is free. Scottish balladeer Alex Beaton will also perform and tantalize the crowd.

“The Scottish youth games will be a miniature of what the big guys do but at a safer level. There will be a caber toss using carpet rolls. A sheaf toss, that they throw with their hands (no pitch forks for children). A stone throw, and last but not least, races: three legged and potato sack races. There will be a liability waiver for parents to sign in case of injury. It will also be for the children’s train. After the form is signed the children will get a red wristband. We will also have balloons for kids instead of the passport tent having them. All children will get a ribbon for participating in the games. I hope that it goes over well and that the children have fun and want to come again.”

We have a record number of clans registered this year, Kudos to all of you for helping promothe our festival. We also are going to have a Rugby match to my understanding as well as several other new events this year.

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