Messages of Greetings From the Chiefs.

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

It gives me great pleasure once again to send a message and greeting to my Clansmen and friends, and indeed the many other people who read the Clan Donald magazine.

Since the publication of the last magazine Claire and I have been blessed with the arrival of our third daughter, Meriel Iona, so I feel security in old age must be assured. Claire and I continue to live and work in Skye, getting busier all the time, and we have been delighted by the number of clansmen who have managed to cross over to Skye and track us down. It is always pleasurable to meet people face to face, and I feel it is by this important personal contact that the bonds of clanship are strengthened.

The Clan organisation continues to flourish although there is still a tremendous amount of ground still to be covered, and it is only by the active support of all those interested people throughout the world that our final objectives can be achieved. Much has been accomplished in the seven years since I became High Chief, particularly in the United States, where the organisational structure is second to none, and proves just what can be achieved if the basic interest is kindled.

The fortunes of the clan Donald Lands Trust have continued to improve and last year we had more than twenty thousand visitors to The Centre at Armadale. The future of the entire venture, which at one time was in great danger, is now secure, and from a humble beginning we can start to build a clan Centre which will be the envy of all other Clans. This has been made possible by the outstanding generosity of many people, contributing both large and small sums of money, coupled with the unselfish dedication of others who refused to give up when the outlook was so bleak.

The future for the whole Clan Donald has never been brighter and I feel certain we shall proceed from strength to strength with the support of you all.


From Sir Ian MacDonald of Sleat Bart. ARICS
17th Baronet and 24th Chief of Sleat.

Dear Clansmen,

May I start by wishing you all a very happy and prosperous 1979. As I write this letter, the weather and strikes make Britain a bleak place, but let us hope that things improve in what will be a historic year for Scotland. The devolution issue is paramount in everyone’s minds the debate fierce and also confusing for many. By the time you read this, the March 1st vote will be history and Scotland might have taken a step along a new road. Clansmen in Scotland and throughout the world should be grateful that the clan Donald is such a large and happy family. It is even more important that the Clan should always remain united and personal differences cast aside. This is not always easy but the unity and greatness of Clan Donald must forever come first.

The work done by all the Clan Donald societies in keeping us in touch with what is going on is magnificent and vital to this unity. How often is it said that a lack of communications has spoilt some worthwhile project? These societies, though, must also remember that in the long run they will do themselves no good if they allow tourist authorities to use them in their commercial ventures. Clan activities certainly need publicity but it must be of the right type-sincere and meaningful.

Many of you may not know that two years ago I bought a property on Skye in Kilmuir called Upper Duntulm. We try as far as possible to treat it as a second home, so when on Skye I would always be delighted to receive any visiting Clansmen. Highland hospitality is world famous; I hope that I will not be found lacking.

Ian Macdonald of Sleat.

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

Last time I had an opportunity of sending you a message through the Clan Donald Magazine, I spoke about work and the importance of people in our islands committing themselves to the creation of wealth in order to pay for the way of life we all want for ourselves, our children and the elderly and infirm.

Possibly my message seemed pompous, but then my age among the Chiefs perhaps gives me license to pontificate occasionally.

This time, however, I want to say no more than to repeat in issue what I said when Lois and I visited Atlanta, Georgia, in October as guests at the Stone Mountain Highland Games. I was speaking in the context of my Chiefship of Glengarry.

Our Scottish heritage is priceless and as one who is privileged to have inherited the Chiefship of one of the Clans in Clan Donald, I am always moved by the warmth and sincerity of the hospitality that is shown to Lois and me during our visits to Scottish functions here in the United Kingdom and abroad. In a sense it is humbling, for it derives not from any inherited right or power of authority, but rather from the bonds of kinship and family which unite all of us in each clan.

May my message to you be – let us remain united, not only within our own clans but as members of Clan Donald.

I do not see my role in Glengarry as one of authoritarian leadership but one of trust of our historic heritage and, most importantly, as a custodian of the unity of Clan Donald worldwide.

My very warmest wishes to you all.


From Ranald A. MacDonald, 24th Captain of Clanranald.

I am delighted that a further edition of the Clan Donald Magazine enables me to send greetings to the very many friends I have made as a result of Clan Donald international activities, and to extend my very best wishes to those of you I have not yet met.

As each year goes by, the worldwide association of our great Dynastic group of clans becomes stronger. I think that this must be due to the very personalities of scions of Clan Donald. Time and time again people have told me how much they have appreciated the many friendships made due to Clan Donald activities.

The Unity of Clan Donald is proving a unique force to be reckoned with, especially as we watch the development of our own land in Sleat which represents part of our ancient lands. This most beautiful area of hill and seascape amounting to some twenty-five square miles incorporates the headquarters, visitors and information centre of our Clan, which in time we hope to further develop into a serious place of study and to provide rental accommodation for visiting clansmen. This is held in trust for ALL Clansmen, be they Clanranald, Glencoe or Keppoch by the Clan Donald Lands Trust Trustees. The next few years I know will see our thriving Clan Donald Centre developing into something we can all be proud of. My hope is that in some way we can go further to identify with information plaques and even some restoration of the many important Clan Donald Historical sites throughout the Highlands of Scotland. As current Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Clan Donald Lands Trust, I thank you all for your support and would ask you through your local Clan Societies to give all the help and contributions you can muster to complete this your home in the Highlands.

I am always pleased to hear from clansmen, so write to me re the Trust. My greetings to you all, and may good fortune prevail for everyone.