On Saturday 07 April 2012, a National Tartan Day observance was conducted at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Mississippi. John Robert Mallernee, Bard of Clan Henderson was the master of ceremonies and there were a number of features to the event:
- Randy Seale, from the Scottish Society of Mobile, Alabama explained the origin and significance of National Tartan Day, and read a sample of the Declaration of Arbroath, which was signed on 06 April 1320.
- Father Harold F. Roberts, former chaplain of the 48th Highlanders, conducted a “Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan” service, recognizing and blessing the tartans of each clan.
- There were remarks from Carl Campbell, the president of the Highlands and Islands Association of Celtic Gatherings and the event included a visit from the mayor of Gulfport, Mississippi, George Schloegel.
- There were musical performances from a resident of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, Francis Ward, as well as the Father of Waters Pipe and Drum Band, from Jackson, Mississippi, the New Orleans Strathspey and Reel Society, and Irish step dancing by the Scoil Rince MacCrossan.
The event concluded when the Father of Waters Pipe and Drum Band, along with other participants, paraded through the mess hall at chow time.
There is a wonderful web-site with much detail, pictures, videos and more detailed background on this event. It can be seen at: