The International Gathering of the Clans.

It is twenty six years since the first great Gathering of the Clans took place in Edinburgh. Coinciding with the 1951 Festival of Music and Drama that event is best remembered for two episodes.

Firstly the historic march of 1000 pipers and drummers down the Mound and along Princes Street watched by a crowd estimated at a quarter of a million, which the undermanned city police force found impossible to control.

Secondly the Highland Games and Parade of the Clans at Murrayfield International Rugby Stadium, when the colour parties of the Clans were led upon the field from right to left in alphabetical order, the Campbells being on the extreme right with the Clan Donald on their immediate left. Before the commencement of the parade the Sons of Diarmid invited the Sons of Conn to filter through their ranks and occupy their accustomed place on the right of the line – that right granted to Angus Og and his followers by King Robert I (the Bruce) in recognition of their valuable services in the War of Independence and particularly during Scotland’s greatest hour at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The Clan Donald were not slow in accepting the offer made to them by their old adversaries.

Now, once again, in this Silver Jubilee year of Her Majesty Elizabeth, Queen of Scots, the Clans will gather in Scotia’s ancient capital, but on a scale unparalleled. The International Gathering of the Clans in 1977 will commence on Saturday 30th April in Edinburgh where for a week Clansmen from all over the world will have a galaxy of traditional Scottish events to choose from. During the second week the Clans will visit their home territories and members of Clan Donald will have the additional attraction of joining the cruise ship SS Calypso at Leith and sailing round the northern tip of Scotland to the Western Isles for the Clan Donald Gatherings in Skye, Glengarry and Glencoe.

Brief details of the events being staged in Edinburgh and in the Highlands for members of Clan Donald are given below.


Monday 2nd May: Clan Donald Welcoming Ceilidh at the Ross Bandstand, West Princes Street Gardens, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Souvenir Programmes, price £1, available from the Clan Donald Booth, Assembly Rooms, George Street or from Ranald A. MacDonald, Edinburgh.

Tuesday 3rd May: Clan Donald At Home, Royal Arch and Egyptian Halls, 75 Queen Street, Edinburgh from 11 a.m. till 11 p.m. including morning coffee, afternoon and evening buffets, admissions by ticket only. Tickets £6 available from Norman H. MacDonald, Edinburgh.

Clan Donald Ceilidh, Egyptian Hall, 76 Queen Street, Edinburgh. Two performances, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets £1 available from Norman H. MacDonald, Edinburgh.

Friday 6th May. Clan Donald Coach Outing to Rammerscales, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire including lunch and coffee, and visits to Traquhair House, the Scott Country and Prestonpans Battlefield. Tickets £6, available from Norman H. MacDonald, Edinburgh.

For all other events in Edinburgh see the official programme available from The Scottish Tourist Board, Ravelston Terrace, Edinburgh or the Usher Hall Booking Office Cambridge Street, Edinburgh.


Saturday 7th May: SS Calypso sets sail from Leith at 5 p.m. to commence the “Clansman’s Cruise.” Full details of cruise obtainable from Ellerman Far Horizons, 19/21 Queen Street, Glasgow.

Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th May: Calypso at Fort William from which excursions to Glencoe, Invergarry, Moidart, Inverness etc. Gatherings are being planned to take place at Glencoe and Invergarry with a March past of the MacDonells and beating of the Retreat at Invergarry Castle.

Friday 13th and Saturday 14th May. Clan Gathering at Armadale, Isle of Skye with excursions to strongholds of Dunscaith, Duntulm and Knock, Sheep Dog Trials (14th) and Clan Ball (13th) on board the Calypso.

Tuesday, 17th May. Cruise ends at “The Tail of the Bank” off Greenock.