Dunedin Highland Games
Dunedin's special Scottish history is particularly important as the City celebrates its 107th anniversary of incorporation in 2006. Scottish families originally settled the City of Dunedin in 1899. Two Scotsmen, J.O. Douglas and James Sumerville named the settlement Dunedin, the original name of Edinburgh, their hometown in Scotland.
In 1957 a new Junior High School was built near Highland Avenue in Dunedin.
Officials in charge named it Dunedin Highland Junior High (now Dunedin Highland Middle), in honor of James Sumerville and J.O.Douglas, Scottish founders of Dunedin, Florida in 1899. Attending the opening ceremonies as a reporter, Bob Longstreet, later mayor of Dunedin, had an idea. His newspaper's owner was a Scottish Lord, Roy Thompson. Soon a gift set of bagpipes was on its way from Scotland, which was accepted by students Ann Catoe and Patricia Cornwell. Matt Forsythe, a piper extraordinaire who just moved here from Scotland, offered his services and the Highlanders were on their way! The students moved up to the newly built Dunedin High School a few years later and now there were two piper bands! Soon after, the City formed its own band formed of mostly Dunedin High graduates.
(Patricia Cornwell McMullen [Sept 2004] wrote in to state that she still plays her pipes for USN functions, memorial services and chapel services in her role as music director at NAS Jacksonville Chapel! Unfortunately, we learned that Patricia passed on recently.)
Many honors have been showered upon the Pipers of Dunedin!
They have been invited to play all over the world, including Scotland, Prince Edward Island, Washington, D.C., and Ireland. Very competitive, Dunedin's Pipe Bands are consistent prize winners! Through their continued efforts and devotion, they have added sparkle to our small city and strengthened the bonds between our town and the ancestral home
of many of Dunedin's people: Scotland.
Bagpipes are intrinsically woven into the fabric of Dunedin, as intimately as the wool in their tartans worn by the pipers themselves! Citizens (whether children, teens, adults, or seniors) all love the pipe music regardless of the venue it is played in by our bands.
Any function in Dunedin is not complete without a piper!
In June of 1964 the City of Dunedin invited Stirling, Scotland to join in the People-to-People program as a Sister City of Dunedin. In December of that year the City of Stirling reciprocated and the intertwining of the two cities had begun. In March of 1998 the Provost of Stirling, John Paterson represented Stirling at the Dunedin Highland Games. In the summer of 1998 Dunedin Mayor Tom Anderson visited Stirling, and the reciprocal visits continue today.
In May of 2000, we joined as a second sister city to the Scottish-Canadian village of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, a city very much like ours, about the same size, with strong Scottish heritage, relying on tourism to the coast. The High School band attended the Piping College there last summer, near Nova Scotia and also competed at the Stirling Highland Games in Scotland in 2001.