In 1930, a group of men gathered together to discuss the possibility of creating an event that would be able raise funds to support the children of Oldmeldrum and in doing so, the six men that was in attendance at the meeting agreed that they would each donate a full weeks wage to contribute to the cost of hosting the fundraiser.
These were the men that went on to establish an ongoing sporting event that would not only assist the children by raising money but that would also create an exciting sports competition that would come to attract many. Fred Green was one of those founders and went on to serve as secretary on the committtee as were Sandy Paterson, a local farmer, David Reid, the proprietor of the local garage, Bill Castle, Bob Horne and James Seivwright. The effort was important to Green who was greatly engaged in the local sports community until he retired in 1975. Green has been honoured by distinguished members of the government and monarchy for his contribution to sports with the presentation of a Gold Medal. Dignitaries are an annual fixture at the event, opening the games and welcoming all those that participate.
The first event was hosted on a tiny field that used to exist at the place that is now Provost Dr. and in its early years the sports raised only small amounts to be contributed to the Cocoa Fund and that amount has grown to a sufficient enough amount that the monies can be distributed among a much larger collection of community non-profits and charities and go a long way to provide support to the children in the area.
Others frequently get on board in supporting the games through organizing satellite events and donating the funds, through sponsorship, through volunteerism and through participation and spectatorship. People come in droves and range in age from babies to folks that over a hundred.
The games has always endeavoured to invite and host as many celebrity endorsers as possible as they create an additional interest in the event and many local and more widely renowned personalities have come to the games to enjoy them and to simply support the community. In 1955, the games were officially opened by Sir Richard Dimbleby. Sir Richard is recognized for his longstanding role as a presenter for the journalist program, Panorama and he has been well loved by his audiences not only for his respected coverage of current affairs over the years but also for his lack of fear around creating controversy and for his great sense of humour. He was responsible for the “spaghetti tree” coverage that was an April Fool’s hoax that he pulled on the public in 1957.
The event draws tens of thousands of people each year, many that are anxious to enjoy the pageantry of the sporting events and the other activities and many that come out every year to support all of the causes that the Highland Games contributes to through this event.