Messages of Greetings From the Chiefs

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

As usual, it gives me great pleasure to send my greetings and best wishes to all clansmen and clanswomen, and may I take this opportunity of wishing you all a most happy and prosperous 1984. This year is going to be a most memorable one for our Clan with the opening of the Visitor Reception Centre in the former stables building at Armadale, here on Skye. I spoke some ten years ago of the need to provide something tangible for our Clan to associate itself with, something that clansfolk everywhere could take a pride in being part of, and I feel that this has been achieved at Armadale. This has been brought about by the generosity and dedication of many people who still believe in the relevance of clanship today. To these people we are eternally grateful.

I am happy to say that the interest in Clan Donald continues to grow in all parts of the world, and this trend can only continue as lines of communication become shorter, and people’s thirst for knowledge of their forebears becomes stronger. As we approach the end of the twentieth century, I am confident that our Clan, and all that is embodied within it will enter the next one in fine shape. The Clan has indeed come a long way in the last decade and I am proud to have been its High Chief throughout this period. I wish you all well.


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

Though 1984 is already a fortnight old as I write my message to you, I send my very best wishes to all members of Clan Donald worldwide for a happy and peaceful New Year, in open defiance of George Orwell’s predictions! May you also prosper despite the present economic difficulties.

For Lois and me, 1983 was a particularly important year. We decided to seek matriculation for our son James Donald to bear the arms of my ancestor Scotus, whose title fell dormant when my great-grandfather relinquished it on matriculating arms as Glengarry. We are proud to let you know that James will carry into the future the historic title of Scotus, as his matriculation came through towards the end of the year. It is our hope that he will prove to be a worthy Representor of his House.

Lois and I were delighted to be guests at the Highland Games in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where, in the wake of Clanranald, we attended part of the festivities for the International Gathering, and were then able to be present at the Annual General Meeting of Clan Donald USA and Games in Alexandria, Virginia. Later in the year we were guests of the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh at their Annual Dinner and Dance, presided over for the first time by their new President, Donald M. Macdonald. To us, these are very special occasions. We have been lucky to have several Clan Donald friends visit us during the past year, but it is when we are with you on your home ground, as it were, that the meaning of heritage and ‘Clan’ becomes really significant. We want to thank all of you who welcomed us, who travelled considerable distances to be with us and who, in whatever personal way they chose, made us feel at home and have kept in touch.

Another and unexpected occasion was when Lois and I ‘sans enfants’, took a spring holiday and visited the Finlaggan site on Islay. We discovered a spontaneous Clan Donald Society of Islay, ‘Comunn Chlann Domhnuill Ile’, very much in its infancy, to which we were able to give our support. Subsequently, Clanranald and Rob Parker visited Islay and not only confirmed that the founders of this new Clan Donald Society had their roots and their hearts on this historic island, but also that the Finlaggan sites – which were at the core of a disagreement as between the ‘islanders’ and a group of well-intentioned if perhaps insensitive newcomers – were now in good hands with the assumption of the Finlaggan Trust, with Viscount Dunluce, Clanranald, Rob Parker and myself voted onto the Board of Trustees by those attending a public meeting in Bowmore.

And, as we begin 1984, we turn to the Clan Donald Lands Trust and look forward to the opening of the new visitors’ centre in the stable block at Armadale in May. A truly remarkable achievement by all those concerned in promoting, funding and assisting in the development of this great enterprise. Three generations of my family will be there. We hope to see as many of you and yours as possible.

With every good wish,