With ancestry bridging the great Celtic nations of Scotland and Ireland, passionate Bendigo celebrity Bryan Coghlan will don the ceremonial tartan and lead the march into next month’s Scots Day Out.
The latest chieftain for regional Victoria’s premier traditional and contemporary Scottish celebrations that attract thousands to Rosalind Park each year, Bryan was chosen for the role in recognition of his contributions to fundraising activities across the Bendigo community over many years.
He appointment was announced today at the Bendigo Pottery, one of the oldest Scottish-inspired businesses in Australia. It was established in 1858 by Glaswegian George Duncan Guthrie who first tried his hand at mining before returning to his craft.
Bryan said: “I’ve probably got a little more Irish than Scot in the blood but like so many in Bendigo, there’s a connection to Scotland and it’s wonderful how we come together a community to celebrate Scots Day Out every year.
“The sea of tartan in Rosalind Park and the music from pipe bands and Celtic folk groups stirs the passion and puts smiles on our faces as we enjoy taking part in medieval sword fights, contemporary highland games and sampling Scottish food.
“Scots Day Out is one of the great days of the year and I am really honoured to have been named chieftain for 2018.”
Event director Chris Earl said the SDO team expected visitors to Bendigo from many parts of Australia with the new March date welcomed by the Scottish community.
“After five years in the warmth of early February, it was time to move to better weather and continue building SDO as one of Bendigo’s signature annual events,” he said.
“We added more activities this year including the first Glen Lachlann Estate College of Arms tournament as part of SDO, a Scottish-inspired folk art painting exhibition and more contemporary family activities inspired by the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.”
Scots Day Out celebrations on Saturday 3 March will commence with the march of bands, dancers and clans down View St at 10am.
And the creative partnership between SDO and Edinburgh Short Film Festival will provide a prelude to the day with the Australian premiere screening of festival highlights in Rosalind Park the previous evening.
“Scots Day Out and our SDO – The Edinburgh Shorts are free events in Rosalind Park. Support from our sponsors, and particularly City of Greater Bendigo, make it possible for our events to continue growing,” Chris said.
Pictured: 2018 chieftain Bryan Coghlan with 20178 chief Neil Clark