Clan Donald Magazine No13 (1995) Online
Messages of Greetings From The Chiefs.
From the Rt. Hon. Lord Macdonald.
Isle of Skye.
again it gives me very great pleasure to send my greetings to all my
clansmen and clanswomen throughout the world. Since I last had an
opportunity to communicate with you, several things have happened to
our family which are worthy of note. Last year Claire and I
celebrated our Silver Wedding, our eldest daughter Alexandra married
Magnus Gunn and it is now also twenty five years since I became High
Chief of Clan Donald.
To mark this quarter
century as your chief, and also to remember the 250th anniversary of
the battle of Culloden, I am proposing to establish a memorial
garden here at Kinloch on the Isle of Skye. This garden will be a
place of great peace and beauty, and space will also be made
available to any member of Clan Donald and others of Highland
descent who might wish to erect a stone or plaque in memory of a
loved one or to commemorate a special event. Do please write to me
here at Kinloch if you would like further details of this very
special and personal project.
Claire and I are
busier than ever, but we do endeavour to involve ourselves in as
many clan orientated events as our time permits. Of course, we are
more than pleased to welcome any visitors to our home at Kinloch,
but I do urge you to communicate with us in advance of an arrival in
Skye, as we do have to be away at certain times.
Clan Donald is very
important to me, and I will do my best to be a credit to you all for
the next twenty five years. I feel I have now served my
apprenticeship; learnt many things about many people, both good and
bad, experienced periods of joy and despair, anger and serenity, but
on balance it has been a most rewarding and remarkable period of my
I wish you all well
From Sir Ian Macdonald of Sleat Bt. FRICS MRSH.
Thorpe Hall, Rudston,
Driffield, East Yorkshire.
and I have recently returned from Atlanta, Georgia where we were
'The Honored Guests' of The Stone Mountain Highland Games. The
friendliness of our hosts and the hospitality that we received has
left a lasting impression on us, and despite the rain, I believe
that The Games was a financial success. The only bad mistake that I
made was to accept Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw's challenge to run
in The Kilted Mile. He crossed the finishing line ahead of me but
more importantly, Clan Donald won the Clan Cup getting the most
runners home in under twelve minutes.
Three Cheers for Clan Donald - We are still the biggest and best!
It is such a shame
that the enthusiasm for all things 'Scottish' that we experienced in
Atlanta cannot somehow be transported back to Scotland. Perhaps
'Distance makes the heart grow fonder' really is true and accepting
this, it cannot be right for the Scottish Tourist Board to consider
playing down The Tartan and The Clans' attraction to over-seas
Referring briefly to
our family: Deborah (21 yrs) is a Montessori Teacher in London;
Somerled (18 yrs), the Younger of Sleat, has left school and has
taken a 'Gap Year' before going to Newcastle University next
October; and Isabel (11 yrs) started Boarding School this September
which has left us rattling around in much too large a house with
no-one to talk to but ourselves or the dogs!
With best wishes to
and Juliet Macdonald of Sleat.
From Air Commodore Donald MacDonell of Glengarry CB DFC.
is always an honour to be invited to write a message to the Clan for
inclusion in the Clan Donald Magazine and, on this occasion as the
Editor is also the President of the Clan Donald Society of
Edinburgh, I must mind my words and be reminded that our High Chief
and other Chiefs of our great Clan will have their say: I must not
be thought to speak for all, though in my 81st year and with 53
years behind me as the 22nd Chief of Glengarry, I may perhaps be
permitted a mite of indulgence in this message to you all.
While I acknowledge that this excellent
Magazine is the work of Norman MacDonald the President of the Clan
Donald Society of Edinburgh, I do not address this message to that
society alone. Indeed, in defiance of several clansmen who have
suggested that Clan Donald has become fragmented by the emergence of
Societies whose interests are self-centred and do not really know,
or wish to know very much about the others, I say and will continue
to say that Clan Donald is a world-wide family constituting the
blood relationship of the greatest grouping of Highlanders in the
history of Scotland. That our Clan has spread not only nation-wide,
but world wide is old history but, as one of your Chiefs may I
assure you that the many letters, 'phone calls and personal visits
from our Clansfolk from the Antipodes, Canada, Europe and the United
States confirm me in my belief that the Clan grows stronger as the
years go by.
Alas, I can no longer travel but to
those of you who are able, I would ask you go no further than you
can, but make contact with clansfolk outwith our Society or
geographic boundary, for you will find thus untold interest and
affinity in what we represent. A great Clan and a family bond which
knows no limits either nationally or geographically.
My very best wishes, together with those
of Lois my wife. You have my support and strength for as long as I
God bless you all.
From Ranald A. MacDonald of Clanranald KM.
Sutton Bonnington Hall,
am always so pleased when Norman asks me to contribute for a
forthcoming magazine, as I so much look forward to reading the
interesting and original articles he gathers together. Firstly my
most sincere greetings to all of you particularly the many special
friends I have made over the years. It is now nearly 40 years ago
that I was first introduced to a gathering in Edinburgh by Donald
and Bunty Castleton.
What amazing events
and achievements have followed. 40 years ago there were virtually no
Clan activities outside those societies founded in Britain
particularly Edinburgh. Nor was there any form of Clan Headquarters.
Perhaps we now rather take the Centre in Skye for granted. In its
earliest inception had the Chiefs of Clan Donald decided not to
unite, things could have turned out very differently. Particularly
as the Clan Donald Clans have had no great history of acquiescence,
very much making their own way in the turmoil of the centuries
following the ending of the Lordship of the Isles. In forming the
High Council of Clan Donald the Chiefs recognized Godfrey, Lord
MacDonald as first among equals. The first decision to found the
Clan Donald Lands Trust was taken unanimously. There is an old
Royalist story about the breaking of Clan Donald strength; a bundle
of sticks could not be broken, but one by one they snap. With this
unity we have certainly achieved far more than each individual clan
within Clan Donald on its own.
Each of the main
Clans of Clan Donald were a match in power with any of the
individual ancient Vassal Clans of the Lordship even the McLeans and
McLeods. Standing together Clan Donald is quite formidable as can be
seen at our great Clan Centre at Armadale, Skye.
My own family are
thriving. My elder son happily with his wife Kate run the now famous
Boisdale restaurant in London and have a girl Alice(2) and a baby
boy Ranald. Andrew of Boisdale is currently practising his
Management Consultancy in Chile while daughter Kate has her own
studio in fashionable London's Limehouse and is preparing for her
second art exhibition.
The Clanranalds held
great sea strength by virtue of their lands stretching across the
centre of the west from Glen Finnan through the Small Isles to South
Uist in the Outer Isles. The formidable Highland galley wielded this
power, so it was appropriate, as little is known of these vessels,
that my friend Wallace Clark and my son Andrew and other good
friends formed a trust and built such a vessel, Aileach, 40 feet, 16
oars, an attractive and authentic much researched vessel, which has
many successful voyages to its name including Eire to Stornoway;
Castle Tioram to the Faroes (in an open Atlantic gale) down the
Clyde, up Loch Long and overland in the old galley manner to the
fresh water of Loch Lomond; even down the Forth from Alloa to Port
Edgar and on show in London on the Thames. We all much enjoyed the
great memorable voyage of clansmen to mark (the
500 anniversary of ending the Lordship last year which opened a new
understanding for many. A fine film has been made "Storm Voyage" and
Wallace Clark wrote a most interesting book "The Lord of the Isles
Galley" obtainable from Calum Robertson,
Eilean Iarmain, Isle Ornsay, Skye where the galley presently is
berthed and exhibited during the season.
As a result of
putting our clan in place again there have been so many happy limes
where clansmen have gathered frequently over the years throughout
the world. I am indeed proud to be a Macdonald and prouder still to
Good health and happy
greetings to you all.
Ranald Macdonald of Clanranald.
From William McAlester of Loup
At the time of writing this I am watching my son learn to use his
legs and with help take a few shaky steps. This reminds me of my
first visit to Glenfinnan and my own first faltering steps in Clan
Societies. I look back to those days and remember the help that I
was given by the MacDonalds that were there.
Since those early days both clans have had their problems. I hope
that yours have not been as bad as the ones that I have had to sort
out. As one person said to me "We must be one of the only countries
that spend so much time trying to attack ourselves." I think that it
is all part of our rich history myself.
For the future I hope that we will continue to forge a stronger bond
between our clans. I personally hope to meet more of you at games
and gatherings in the future. I look forward to seeing you at
Glenfinnan. This has a special place in my life and I try to make it
every year. In 1994 I missed it due to personal commitments. I will
make sure that this does not happen again.
W. McAlester of Loup.
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