His rose is thriving today and so shall our games!

Last years candle lighting ceremony at the Hesketh Gardens in our beloved city park was beautiful. It was a solemn occasion only briefly, as we remembered together those that we’ve lost and those we cherish and honor with the games.

April 22, 2019

The Athena Caledonian Games held the Rose Dedication Ceremony at Hesketh Garden in Athena City Park. Following is part of the address that Delbert Durfee, pastor of the Athena Christian Church read:

Today we gather to remember. Every time we remember a person, an event, or an experience, our connection to “what went before” – or as the Scots would say, “auld lang syne” – becomes more deeply rooted in our community. This deep, spiritual connection to the past, founded on shared memory, is common to every culture in the human race.

From the beginning of time, humans have used symbols to aid in the preservation of memory. In America, our national flag and the Constitution keep alive the memory of events that happened well over 200 years ago. In Eastern Oregon, covered wagon ruts are symbolic reminders of the families who lived and died 150 years ago to tame the lands we enjoy today. Here in Athena, this cairn symbolizes those whose vision and grit built our families and our city.

Today we place a new symbol, a living plant, in the rich soil of our City Park to remember the friendship we shared with Mark Seltmann, who gave generously of his time and energy to those things and people he treasured. One aspect of Mark’s character that shines brightly in my memory was his unmistakable pride in his Scottish heritage. This pride had been passed down to him through his grandfather, Rol Morrison, and Mark passed it on to us. “

To further understand the meaning and the significance of the Jacobite Rose, we explain here: The Jacobites were chieftains and people who supported James Francis Edward, the exiled Scot, who some thought was the true British monarch by divine right.  They thought James was removed by the whim of parliament when he lost the throne.  

One of James’ sons was Charles Edward Stuart, who became known as Bonny Prince Charlie.  Bonny Prince Charlie tried to retake the throne, waging war, somewhat successfully, at first.  But the battle at Culloden in 1745 was lost horribly. Scots and their families, who fought and were destroyed ruthlessly, are still mourned. Jacobites remained always hopeful that Bonny Prince Charlie would return and win the throne. 

The white Jacobite Rose was a Scottish symbol of freedom and independence.  It was a secret symbol of identity among the followers, who faithfully thought that Bonny Prince Charlie should have the rightful ascent to the British throne. The rose symbols appeared on fans, glassware, snuff boxes and can be seen often in Jacobite portraiture.     

Our thanks to our friends of the Scottish Country Shop from Portland for the donation of this symbolic rose, a white Jacobite rose, in honor of Mark Seltmann, a strong, independent man who was vice president of the Athena Caledonian Games and he loved roses.

Jacobite Rose.png

So while you’re in the park for the weekend, take a trip to the bench in the rose garden, if only to enjoy the shade, and remember those who have come before you.

Nicholas Seltmann