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Introducing the McFarlands…

The McFarland family in 2008

All members of the McFarland family are active in their role of promoting and generating awareness of Scottish culture and tradition throughout Australia and abroad. Individually they contribute to their successful family business in their own unique ways.

James “John” Richard McFarland was born and grew up in Gosford, NSW.  In 1990, he founded McFarland Scottish and Celtic Supplies, which sprang to mind after many years of playing the snare drum in Pipe Bands and his immersion into Australian Scottish culture. From the age of 8 he learnt the snare drum from Mort Holm and his dedication saw his talents well received in many top grade bands, becoming a reputable professional drummer in the NSW Police Pipe Band. John’s training in Dress and Drill led to  numerous State Championships as a Drum Major. His knowledge was utilised as the Principal of the Australian Pipe Band Association Dress and Drill College. Through this position and in becoming a qualified Drum Major through the Australian Army School of Music, he became an authority on Highland Dress and Band Drill practises. These qualifications were paramount to him establishing a Scottish Outfitters and Pipe Band Accessories business with his wife Veronica in 1990 which they ran together until John’s passing in Decmber 2010.

Veronica Law married John in 1967, their love for each other heightened by their love of Scottish Culture and the Pipe Band movement. Veronica, a tenor drummer, was also a trained Highland Dancer and teacher, qualified with the Scottish Dancing Association of Australia.

Veronica is currently the Principal of the Veronica Law School of Highland Dancing, a cultural dance service provided by McFarland Scottish and Celtic Supplies. She is an accredited judge with the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing and has trained numerous National Champions and World Championship qualifiers.In addition to this, she is a skilled knitter and hand manufactures traditional Highland Hose, a popular item for Highland Dancers and bandsmen.

Together John and Veronica nurtured four children, all whom have great experience in the Scottish Culture. The eldest; Sean, took to the bagpipes at a young age and currently runs  a music education and recording facility with his partner Mariann, which operates in the front of the same building as his father’s business.

John McFarland “on the beat” with NSW Police Pipe Band in the early 70′s

Kylie Kerr (McFarland) is the second eldest. Before following a career in education, to which she is now Head Teacher English, at a local Secondary College, Kylie trained as a Highland dancer, becoming an accredited Highland Teacher. In the late nineties she was a partner in the family business. She married into the Kerr clan in 2010, to Mr David Kerr who is also a School Teacher. They are currently growing their family and offer as much time as they can to the family business. Dave is a proud advocate of the Kilt, and Kylie has exceptional knowledge on the correct measuring and tailoring of outfits.

Kylie (McFarland) with Husband Dave Kerr on their wedding day September 2010

The third eldest is Caroline Collins (McFarland), also a trained Highland Dancer and teacher. She currently contributes to the family business from the United Kingdom sourcing latest trends and acting as a contact for overseas business relationships. She lives with her Husband, Royal Air Force Instructor Sebastian Collins and their children.

Both Caroline and Kylie have performed Highland Dancing extensively throughout the World, including the Edinburgh Military Tattoo with Ozscot Australia. The girls learnt to play the tenor drum from their mother and were involved in the band movement for a number of years.

Caroline is the elder twin to Dougie McFarland, Owner/Partner of McFarland Scottish and Celtic Supplies. Dougie takes to all parts of the Scottish Culture. He is an Australasian Highland Dancing Champion and is a qualified teacher. He plays bagpipes and is a three time Australian Champion Drum Major. Dougie is a loud advocate for the promotion of the Scottish Culture and has been awarded by local government for his contribution to Society through his extensive work within the Scottish community. He stepped up to become the owner of the family business on his father’s passing to continue the family legacy. Dougie is considered worldwide as an authority on Scottish Culture through Highland Dance, Bagpipes, Highland Uniform and Scottish Historical education.

Collectively the McFarland’s believe in honesty, integrity and loyalty. They feel it is their professional responsibility to provide reliable and reputable products/ services to the greater Scottish Community of Australia and abroad.