Peggy: lady of James McBain of McBain passed August 1 2021

Upon Peggy’s passing, I wanted to take this chance to highlight some of the ways that Peggy has contributed to the Scottish community over the years.  Of course, many of you know all this much better than I.  Still, I thought I’d give it a shot. 

Peggy has been a positive force for decades in the Scottish community.  She started dancing in the Seven Pipers Country Dance Performance group in 1978, and danced for over two decades.  She was in charge of the “Seven Pipers in Print” newsletter for 14 years.  Peggy was a founding member of the well known “Taste of Scotland” in Tucson.  Peggy also set up the booth, made and stored food, and performed at the first equally well known “Tucson Meet Yourself”.  As most of you know well, Jim and Peggy have hosted a myriad of Scottish Events at their home over the years.

Since its inception, and until they retired, Jim and Peggy never missed a Tucson Highland Games.  They have been at every Phoenix and Prescott Highland Games, save the first, and have been at every Flagstaff Highland Games other than 2009, when they were in Scotland performing duties there.  Remarkably we are talking here about decades and decades of time.

Jim and Peggy have attended Highland Games all over the country:  in Michigan, Idaho, Georgia, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, three locales in Colorado and six locales in California.  Outside of the country, Jim and Peggy have attended Highland Games in Calgary, Canada, and numerous Scottish events and Ceremonies in Scotland, including, perhaps most notably, the Queen’s Garden Party.

Jim and Peggy have also attended numerous McBain Gatherings across the country:  Virginia, two locales in Kansas and two locales in Colorado and California. Outside the country they attended the McBain gathering in Nova Scotia.  Jim and Peggy have been frequent guests of Celia MacIntosh of Moy Hall, near Inverness, Scotland, often attending the Moy Sports Fair there.  They have frequently hosted Celia in their home as well.  There are many, many good friends in Scotland.  In short, Peggy and James have been Ambassadors of goodwill, and have been a huge sustained benefit to the Scottish community, with over 4 decades of service.

And of course, again, it bears repeating:  there were all those parties.  Peggy and Jim hosted so many parties over the years: thanksgiving and 4th of July, most notably.  There were many a cèilidh….too many to count.  Awesome parties.

Peggy loved chardonnay, and butter and salt.  She loved playing the game Apples to Apples.  Peggy loved to chat with people at the Games, sometimes a little more than Jim might have liked. She enjoyed parties and having a good time.  She loved her family and her friends.  And she loved Jim.

Peggy was a wonderful cook.  I was amazed at how effortlessly she made it seem when she hosted events.  She had a zest for life.  She was  devoted to Jim.  Exercise, on the other hand…definitely not her thing. 

Regarding time at the end, I wanted to thank Penny, for her remarkable work helping Peggy and Jim.  You have done an outstanding job.  Thank you, Penny, so much for all your efforts.  Peggy picked extremely well when she chose you.

And a special thanks goes out to Dorothy Barth for all her help with both Peggy and Jim over the years, and especially at the end with Peggy.  Dorothy’s efforts have been above and beyond the call of duty, and quite exemplary.  Thank you so much Dorothy.

And it goes without saying that Richard has been amazing throughout.

Though I do think that the effort of the move took a heavy toll on Peggy, she was definitely looking out for Jim, and set him up nicely in their new single level home, where he can stay as long as he likes. 

Peggy, even though she was definitely not well, was very concerned about celebrating my birthday, which I thought was remarkably selfless of her.  She passed away only 12 days later.  Given her condition, I would not even have expected her to remember my birthday, let alone be game for any sort of celebration. 

Despite being the daughter of a minister, Peggy was not religious in a traditional sense, but she did consider herself very spiritual.  Peggy was very sweet and kind and selfless at the end.  I don’t recall ever hearing her complain.  It is a remarkable test of character to deal with the type of medical issues that Peggy did with such kindness and positivity.  It was extremely impressive of her to be so sweet and so kind, as she was. 

And as a final thought:  while I do not pretend to begin to understand Peggy’s spiritual beliefs, she was firm in what she believed.  I fervently hope that she is on another plane somewhere, enjoying the heck out of wherever she may be.  It is clear that Peggy will be dearly missed.


Lisa McFarlane

How to wear a ladies tartan sash

Lady Peggy of McBain of McBain

I am frequently asked, what is the proper way to wear a ladies tartan sash? .

Many women like to wear the tartan of their clan or their husband’s clan, but are not quite sure how to do it properly. Although the manner of wearing tartan sashes has had a customary significance even two centuries ago, there is no legal significance. However, a due respect for custom is important. The following suggestions are based upon a careful study of traditional practice, and bear the approval of the Lord Lyon King of Arms.

The proper way to wear the sash is over the right shoulder across the breast and secured by a pin or brooch on the right shoulder. Or it can be worn on the right shoulder in the form of a pleated fan or rosette, secured by a brooch, with both pieces of sash streaming down the back. The longer piece of fabric should be on the bottom and can be secured at the left back side of the waist with the shorter top piece of fabric hanging free. (see sketch)

If you are a the Queen of Great Britain, a member of the Royal Family, a Scottish clan chief, a wife of a Scottish clan chief or the wife of a Colonel or General of Scottish Regiments, the sash should be worn over the left shoulder and secured with a brooch on the left shoulder.(See sketch)

The Lord Lyon also has stated that a woman who has married outside of her clan but wishes to wear the tartan of her family rather than that of her husband, should wear the sash over her right shoulder, across the breast and secured at the left waist in a bow. Over the years, I have never seen anyone wear the sash in this manner. I think that trying to make a bow out the sash is cumbersome. However, anyone wishing to wear it this way should do so as it is totally appropriate.(See sketch)

How to make a rosette out of your tartan sash

Lady Peggy of McBain of McBain

This is an easy way to make a rosette out of your tartan sash. Often, women do not want to wear the sash across the breast beauty queen style, but prefer instead to keep the front of the dress free of the sash. Dancers, especially, use this style but it is appropriate for anyone.

Step 1: Fold the tartan sash in half.

Step 2: Take the top of the folded end and fold it back about 6″. Now fasten a rubber band in the middle of this new fold, making the sash look like a bow with a long tail. (See example)

Step 3: Fluff the folds so that the bow looks like a rosette, then use pins to fasten the rosette’s half circles together or, if you wish it to be more secure, use a needle & thread to stitch the half circles together. Pin your brooch in the middle of the rosette to hide the rubber band.

Step 4: Pin the rosette to the shoulder of your dress with the end of the sash hanging diagonally across your back.

Step 6: Arrange the two ends of the sash diagonally across your back so that they reach your hip, then fasten the bottom end to your hip with safety pins, making sure that the pins are not visible. The top end of the sash should hang free.