The Portland Highland Games Association was established in 1960 to help promote and keep the Highland Games alive in Portland. The first Oregon Scottish Games was held in 1952, sponsored by Sir James McDonald, British Consul. Due to the first Games’ popularity, it was repeated the following year.
The Games’ first membership chairman and program, which listed sponsoring members’ names came in 1970. This reflected both the stability and growth of the organization. The 70’s also brought the establishment of the current traditions to recognize extensive past meritorious service on the part of volunteers. In 1972 Annie Munro was chosen as the Games’ first official Guest of the Day, followed the next year by Duncan MacKenzie.
Under the leadership of Association President Robert A. Johnson, Sir James McDonald was chosen as the Games’ first official Chieftain of the Day. This Tradition established in 1976 continues today.
In 1978 fresh ideas were explored, and these focused on enhancing spectator interest. This was the first Games in which a clan tent made its appearance. Col. John McNeil introduced a Clan McNeil tent, and a Clan Donald tent was also set up.
The Portland Games hosted the U.S. Inter-regional (Highland) Dancing Championships in 1982, 1987, and for a third time in 1999. These were held on the Sunday following the Games. In 1988, the Games moved to its present site at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, OR.
Our goal will always be to bring Portland the finest Scottish Highland Games possible. Loosely based upon the founding statement of the St. Andrew’s Society, a similar goal of our Games could well be stated: “to preserve the memories of our Scottish inheritance while serving our American community.”
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