The Maryborough Highland Society was established in 1857 by the many Scottish emigrants who had arrived in Victoria since 1830 and they were keen to continue the traditions of Caledonian Societies. After several “informal” sports meetings during the 1850’s, the citizens of Maryborough met in 1858 to establish the Highland Society of the North Western Province. The objectives of the Society were to promote music, literature, dancing and games of Scotland, but it welcomed people of all nationalities as members. From 1859 an annual gathering took place at Maryborough on New Year’s Day with the emphasis being on Highland games such as putting the stone, throwing the hammer, tossing the caber, foot-running (and walking), dancing of the Highland Fling and music of the bagpipes.

For the first sixty years the main aim of the Highland Society was concentrated on providing amusement, although local organisations such as the Hospital, Ladies Benevolent Society and Pipe Band all benefited financially. In the 1920’s the Maryborough Highland Society and Maryborough Bowling Club saw mutual advantages in merging and from that point onwards, bowling greens and tennis courts were established.

“Bagpipes, Bowlers & Cabers” – History of the Maryborough Highland Society available from reception.