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Assynt Quaich

A special award of the Waipu Caledonian Society


New Zealand


This award is known as the “Assynt Quaich” in honour of its place of origin and the style of the trophy. The award is in fact a pewter quaich, presented to the Caledonian Society by Mr. Norman MacAskill of Assynt, soon after he arrived to attend the Waipu Sesquicentennial celebrations in January 2003 and instead of being added to the already grand list of competitive trophies, it was felt that this valuable item was worthy of something more original. The formal establishment of this award was enacted at the April 2004 committee meeting under the following guiding principles. The “Assynt Quaich” is to be presented annually to a selected person or persons of any age group, who in the opinion of the Committee has supported the main ideals of the Waipu Caledonian Society in their constitutional objective to maintain the preservation of our Scottish and Nova Scotian traditions and heritage. The “Assynt Quaich” will be awarded in the Main Arena at the Annual Highland Games.  Nominations for this award will be directed to the Secretary, who will present the candidates to the committee for confirmation and passed at our annual AGM. Although the “Assynt Quaich” will be returned to the society at the end of each year, a monetary donation or voucher will accompany the presentation and the winners name will be engraved on the trophy stand.


An outline of the Quaich

The classic drinking vessel for whisky is the quaich, which comes from the Gaelic cuach, meaning a cup or bowl. The earliest quaichs were made of a solid block of wood, or of small staves of wood, often of different colors, supported by hoops, like barrels. They were also made from bone or leather. While quaichs are no longer used as drinking vessels, except perhaps at weddings or other ceremonial occasions, they are beautiful examples of historical craftsmanship and Quaichs have a rich heritage in Scotland - indeed, they are a uniquely Scottish invention, having no apparent connection to any other European drinking vessel.

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Recipients of “The Assynt Quaich”

2004       Laura McLean

2005       Murdock McDonald

2006       Patrick Hellier

2007       Brian O’Brien

2008       Betty Powell

2009       Lewis A Turrell MBE

2010       Florence Ryan

2011       Rev. Peter Dunn

2012       Malcolm Sandford

2013       Donald Ewen

2014       Keith Dixon

2015       Fraser Sim

2016       Richie Guy

2017       Kay Dixon



2020       Fin Maggee

2021       Games not held – Covid 19

2022       Games not held – Covid 19