Clanranald Gathering at Arisaig by Lt Col Rod & Diane Allen

The Arisaig Highland Games and Clanranald Gathering were held at Traigh Farm, about 3 miles west of Arisaig village on 27 July 2005. Traigh, with its beautiful white sands, is part of the old district of South Morar and rests amid some of the most glorious scenery of the west Highlands.

This was  the 70th year of the Games, and they have  recently been re-designated as the Arisaig Highland Games and Clanranald Gathering, in honour of Clanranald’s invaluable contribution to these Games and the ancient patrimony of the Clanranald. The Games are sister Games with the widely-acclaimed Loch Norman Games in North Carolina.

Clanranald was Chief of the Games and was accompanied by his Lieutenant, Lt Col Rod Allen (Commissioner Clan Donald North Carolina) and Diane Allen. Clanranald’s son, Andrew of Boisdale also sailed up to the Games in the Galley Aileach. There was a parade through the village before the games at 11:00 am and a Clan Donald tent provided Clan information and hospitality to the numerous drouthy visitors throughout the glorious summer’s day.

The programme of events included Piping, Highland Dancing, Heavy competitions, Track and Field events and children’s races. There were both Open and Local competitions in the Piping, Dancing and Track and Field events.

The Games are held on the last Wednesday of July each year, the next games are projected to be on the 26th July 2006. The web site for updated information is here and Clanranald and I extend a warm invitation to all clansfolk to join us at the gathering next year.

Birlinn Chlann Ragnhaill: Clanranald himself pictured with the Galley Aileach at Traigh.

Clanranald opens the games flanked by oarsmen from the Aileach.

On the stage, left to right: Rod Allen; his wife, Diane; Elizabeth MacDonald; Val Smith; a local Banner Bearer for Clanranald; Mr.Cameron; The Captain of Clanranald; Ronald Groen; Hector MacDonald (India); a local photographer; a  local Banner Bearer; Malcolm White (leaning forward) of Clan Gregor; Somerled Macdonald, son of Andrew Macdonald of Boisdale; Off-stage: Alistair MacDonald (Hector’s son) with his oar; Delphine Macdonald, wife of Andrew of Boisdale; Andrew Macdonald of Boisdale, son of the Captain of Clanranald.

Clanranald in full flow opening the Games.

The Clan Donald Tent.

Left to right: Alistair MacDonald (Glencoe Heritage Trust); his wife, Ros MacDonald; Allan MacDonald (President, Arisaig Games Committee): Val Smith (Clan Cameron and Clan Donald, Australia); Elizabeth MacDonald, (Allan’s wife), also with the Arisaig Games Committee; The Captain of Clanranald; a kindly local Games tent contributor; Rod Allen (Lieutenant to Clanranald and NC Commissioner); his wife, Diane (NC Convenor) and David Cameron of Clan Cameron.

The Aileach, anchored just off-shore, valiantly sailed up to the Games by Boisdale and crew.

The beautiful setting of the Games at Traigh Farm, gazing across the shores.

Photos by Lt Col Rod & Diane Allen and Ms Maureen McGillivray.