Messages of Greetings From the Chiefs

From the Rt. Hon. Lord Macdonald of Macdonald.

Ostaig House
Isle of Skye

As usual it gives me great pleasure to send my greetings to all Clansmen round the world. Since I last communicated with you I have had the pleasure of meeting many hundreds of you, and as all forms of travel become easier I hope this trend will continue. Claire and I now have three daughters, and we are always more than pleased to meet any of you when you come to Skye if you can give us some advance warning.

The last three years have been a particularly gratifying period for the Clan, not only in the Societies but in the continuing growth of the Clan Donald Lands Trust, which will be ten years old this year. The help and support of all of you has been immeasurable and I thank you all. The bonds have been greatly strengthened between all the Societies round the world, and I see no reason why this should not continue. We are now the envy of most other Clans and this is due to the dedication of those few people scattered round the world who believed that our Clan had a relevant role to play in the latter part of the twentieth century.

Although the Clan is now properly organised we must not allow ourselves to become complacent. On my frequent travels I am still quite astounded by the number of people everywhere who are still unaware that a Clan organisation exists. These are the people whose support we must now enlist and I ask every one of you to help spread the word and inform these people of what we are doing. We all have a continuing role to play and it is only by hard work that we can build on the foundation which is now so steady.

I wish you all well and hope to see many more of you in the next three years. A happy and prosperous year to you all.


From Sir Ian Macdonald of Sleat Bt ARICS MRSH.

Upper Duntulm,
Isle of Skye

In Issue No.8 of The Clan Donald Magazine, I briefly wrote about the dire straights the country was in and the devolution issue in Scotland. Well, there has now been a change of Government and Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom. Firms are going bankrupt and unemployment is ever rising and it sadly shows that the Country’s economic problems are far from solved yet. Now why should I mention what is obvious to everyone?

It is because I would like to see Clan Donald start to play a more constructive and car mg role within society, perhaps attempting by whatever means it has to make life more pleasant in these dark days for those who have suffered worst from this worldwide recession.

Of course, we are all proud of our distinguished history, and quite rightly so to, but we must also be forward looking so that Clan Donald has relevance in the 1980’s and onward.

This is the theme that I would like to see taken up by you all and I hope that a great debate is started. How can we make Clan Donald relevant to the ordinary person in the eighties? What can we do to help?

My best wishes to you all.

Ian Macdonald of Sleat.

From Air Commodore Donald MacDonell of Glengarry CB DFC.

Once again I am happy to send to all members of Clan Donald my warm greetings and best wishes to you and your families wherever you may be. To those of my own Glengarry branch of Clan Donald go my special thoughts.

Lois and I remember with great pleasure those of you we have met over the years, particularly when visiting Canada and the United States. It was our privilege to be hosts to both our former and present United States High Commissioners for Clan Donald, namely Robertson McDonald and Ellice McDonald Jr., respectively, when they visited our home in South London.

You may perhaps be interested to know that Lois and I were invited to attend the commissioning ceremony of British Caledonian’s seventh DC 10 into their fleet at St Louis, in October. The aircraft was named James S. Macdonnell after the founder and first Chairman of the Macdonnell Douglas Corporation, which built the aircraft. James S., who died not long ago, was a Glengarry man. Unhappily, Lois and I were unable to attend due to a family bereavement: it was nevertheless a very thoughtful and generous invitation.

Thanks to the generous support and enthusiasm of clansfolk worldwide and a great deal of hard work by those involved very closely with it, the Clan Donald Lands Trust is now making real progress. Tangible results can be seen by visitors to Armadale Castle along with the plans for further restoration. Together with the increased activity at Armadale, so interest in the Clan has grown, and more and more people have come to enjoy the benefits of belonging to it. We rejoice in this. We also hope that we ourselves may be able to play a greater part in the future for, when I retire, I intend that it shall be to the Highlands the first time that Glengarry will have lived in Scotland for many generations.

Our best wishes go to you all.


From Ranald A Macdonald, Chief and Captain of Clanranald.

I am very pleased to have this opportunity of sending my warmest greetings to all my Clansmen. Such a lot of important things have happened since the last publication of “Clan Donald Magazine”. Firstly and foremost I have had much pleasurable opportunity during my travels to meet many of you personally. Our International Clan Donald centre at Armadale is now becoming the success it long deserved to be, and I am proud to have had the opportunity of playing my part. Currently, I am heading up the Museum Committee. Among many improvements; we have installed the correct Police-approved security to enable us to display valuable items of interest. A few weeks ago we were successful in purchasing for the museum a fine pair of pistols, almost certainly used at Culloden by the Clanranald Cadet, Glenaladale family. Glengarry also has in his possession a pair of duelling pistols said to have belonged to Prince Charles Stuart, which I understand he may well offer to the Museum.

In sending my greetings, I would like to ask if you have any interesting items you would care to donate or loan to the museum. You may now be assured they will be very safely looked after and you, the donor acknowledged. Should you be able to make a cash donation to the Museum, this would be gratefully acknowledged by me and of course would only be used strictly for furthering the Museum of the Isles.

Please accept my sincere good wishes to you all and excuse my using this opportunity for a sales pitch appealing for the Museum.