Messages from the Chiefs by Lord Macdonald and Glengarry.

The Rt. Hon. Godfrey James Macdonald of Macdonald
 8th Lord Macdonald and High Chief of Clan Donald.

It gives me great pleasure to send greetings once more to all my clansmen round the world. Since the publication of the last magazine the Clan has continued to flourish as the organization grows.

Of course, the biggest single event that has taken place within Clan Donald in the past year must be the final establishment of the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale. Much has already bean written and said about this project, but I would like to record my own gratitude to all contributors, both large and small, who have made what only a few years ago was thought to be impossible, into a successful reality. When we launched this scheme six years ago, we were very conscious of the need to completely unite the Clan Donald in a single purpose and by the presence of our Own centre here on Skye. I feel we have achieved much of what we set out to achieve. Naturally, this is a continuing process and it is only by your further support, both financial and spiritual that we can bring to fruition all that still requires to be done.

This year also brings the International Gathering of the Clans to Scotland, and obviously Clan Donald is going to play a big part in this monumental occasion. Much hard Work has been put into the programme, and again it is by your willingness to participate that the success can be judged. I can guarantee those that do take part will not be disappointed.

As most of you probably know, I am now living permanently on Skye with my wife Claire, two daughters Alexandra and Isabella, where we run three hotels. As you can imagine life is never dull, and to you all I extend an invitation to contact us should you come to Skye – but please, not all at the same time!

My good wishes to you all, and may the success we have enjoyed in the past year continue for many years to come.


Air Commodore Aeneas Ranald Donald MacDonell of Glengarry CB DFC, 22nd Chief of Glengarry.

As we enter 1977, the traditional greeting of Happy New Year perhaps requires some qualification: For all too often today, it evokes the response “What have we to be happy about? Life is getting more difficult and more expensive and business more precarious than ever before. I can’t see much to rejoice in in the future.” With this I profoundly disagree.

May I then, as one of the Chiefs of Clan Donald try to put things in perspective and strike perhaps a thoughtful note in the hope that those amongst you who feel concern for the future may find a way to contribute positively to its improvement.

And if my message is directed principally to Clansmen and Clanswomen in the British Isles, it is not because am overlooking those of you abroad who may read it. But perhaps you will forgive me for choosing a subject which is relevant to our many clansfolk at work today in these islands. For the economic problems of the United Kingdom affect all of us whether we are leaders in our field, in commerce, industry or the professions: whether we are school leavers at the threshold of our working lives; bread-winners or housewives or Pensioners.

The crucial importance of regaining economic stability and credibility in the world and of paying our way has already transcended the boundaries of party politics and I believe none of us if challenged would deny the importance of pulling the country as a whole out of its present difficulties first and foremost.

Making work more worthwhile is the challenge of our age. The need to work hard is increasingly questioned and yet work is vital to the future of the community. All that we have – whether it be hospitals, food, schools or housing and all that we want to achieve in improving the living standards of the older people, housing the homeless or helping feed much of the world – depends on the effective production of goods and services.

We are not a closed community. If we are to play our part in the world, we have got to work at least as well as other countries in Europe and the rest of the world. Our main problem is not that of price but of quality and customer service. These are the result of people’s commitment to their job and this, in turn, depends on the ability of those who manage to get people to commit themselves to their work.

I am absolutely sure that the gifts of ingenuity, energy, enthusiasm and technical ability are there in British people as in any other. The problem is to get these abilities committed to the task. So often the complaint of employees in large organisations is of being under-used, under-employed, frustrated and of being unable to bring their gifts to bear.

If we can make work more worthwhile, we shall not only improve profitability throughout our islands, we shall produce more effectively the goods and services that people need and, as important, we shall wake the working lives of people more rewarding. This is the challenge and this is the message I offer.

With it of course go my very best wishes. Many of you are not directly responsible for the work of others but all of us by our attitudes, our example and our commitment to whatever we undertake can contribute to what I believe to be fundamental to our economic and social stability. I call it the work challenge. A happy New Year to you all.