Messages of Greetings From the Chiefs

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

It gives me great pleasure to have this opportunity of sending my greetings and best wishes to all Clansmen and Clanswomen throughout the world. Since the publication of the last magazine our Clan has continued to grow in stature and is now the envy of all other Clans. This is the result of the many years of hard work put in by an ever increasing number of dedicated people, who by their unselfish actions have seen the establishment of the Clan Donald Centre here on Skye. This is not just any Clan Centre but a magnificent award winning complex which we should all feel proud to be associated with. With the centre as our focal point we cannot but be in the forefront of the resurgence of Clan spirit which prevails as we draw to the close of the twentieth century. Clan Donald has once again given a lead to be followed by other clans, this time in demonstrating the relevance of Clanship in a modern environment.

I am proud to be its High Chief in this exciting period of our history. I wish you all well.


Air Commodore AR Donald MacDonell of Glengarry CB DFC RAF (Retd.) 22nd Chief of Glengarry.

Once again I send greetings to all Clan members world-wide together with admiration and congratulations for your collective and individual contributions to the ever-increasing growth and strength of Clan Donald. We are an international, non-sectarian, non-political great Clan; undivided in our pride of heritage and our common ancestry. Our history is one of tragedy and misfortune overcome and, to those of us who have looked into the mists of the past, the story of our Clan is one of which we can be proud indeed.

Perhaps then we should seek how best to bestow the spirit of Clan Donald on those of our offspring who will follow us. The ‘Renaissance’ of Clan Donald is of our generation; if it is not to decline, our successors must inherit our pride and interest.

As the oldest of the Chiefs of Clan Donald, I am fortunate in my son and heir, Ranald, the Younger of Glengarry, who represented me so ably at the AGM of Clan Donald USA in Boston in 1985, when I was trapped in Nova Scotia by hurricane Gloria. Also present was Clanranald’s second son, Boisdale. In 1983 Lois and I were accompanied by my elder daughter, Lindsay, to the Highland Games in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Lindsay is married to a Canadian: they live in Halifax and have a young son and daughter.  Last year my second son, Patrick, with his wife and three small daughters, represented me at the CDUSA Annual General Meeting in Seattle. They live on Vancouver Island, BC, and are keenly interested in the history of the Glengarry branch of our Clan.

Lois and I have attended Clan Donald gatherings in the USA and Canada, in Glasgow and Edinburgh, at Glencoe and Invergarry and at Armadale, which has become the focal point for so much of our interest. At last year’s Annual Dinner and Dance of the Clan Donald Society of Glasgow we were accompanied by Ranald, his wife Ann and their two daughters, Fiona and Vicky. It was a memorable occasion. So, with our children James of Scotus and Penelope here in Scotland,  Ranald and his family in Surrey, Patrick and Lindsay and their families in the West and East of Canada, respectively, we are well placed strategically both in the United Kingdom and in North America. When the sands run out, I shall be happy in the knowledge that the House of Glengarry is in good hands.

To my friends and clansmen in the Antipodes I send a very special greeting. They are, geographically, so very far away and yet so close in kinship.

With very warm and sincere wishes to all of you for the future, wherever you be, from Lois and me, and with our confidence that the spirit of Clan Donald will be sustained through our children, their children and their children’s children and will never diminish.

Suas Alba,

Donald MacDonell of Glengarry.

From Ranald A Macdonald, Chief and Captain of Clanranald.

I am very pleased to be able to send greetings to all Macdonalds especially Clanranalds through this excellent magazine.

It is now thirty years since as a young man and as the newly recognised Chief of Clanranald, I was generously entertained by the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh. Donald J. and Bunty (Castleton) soon became close friends and many happy times Ispent enjoying their hospitality – I miss them and their guidance.

During the last thirty years many things have been achieved. Firstly my wife, Jane, has put up with me now for twenty six years. Our elder son Ranald Og (24) achieved an MA at St. Andrews University, and is now running his own wine business in London – appropriately “Boisdale Wines” (our Cadet of Clanranald). Andrew (22) is on a business degree course at Buckingham University and Kate (15) is a model young lady at St Mary’s Convent School at Ascot. We have a small town house in London and a very pretty early 18th century house west of Killin in Glen Dochart.

Our life is between the two houses, and our 42 foot racing yacht Birlinn Chlann Raonaill (Clanranald’s Galley. Apart from giving us much pleasure cruising the Hebrides, following the Viking paths, Norway, Faroe Islands and southern Spain, we have shown a good clean stern wave on the racing circuits. In 1983 we were overall class winner, 1st at Deauville and two wins at Cowes, a third overall West Highland week in 1986, overall winner at the Royal Torbay Regatta and second overall Solent Winter Series.

This year we hope to be back in West Highland waters with plans for  Iceland.

Jane paints beautifully in watercolour, with several shared exhibitions to her credit and much sought after as a teacher having small classes at her London home and helping out at various workshops.

Another strong thread in my life is my involvement with Clan Donald Lands Trust since its inception with particular interest as Chairman of the Museum of the Isles. We now have a secure, safe and magnificent place for items of interest, either as gifts, or on long term loan.

Thirty years is a long time but I have enjoyed every minute and I look forward to hearing from anyone who may care to contact me through the Clan Donald Centre at Skye.

Meanwhile my every good wish.

Ranald Macdonald of Clanranald