In 1978 Ronald George MacLennan of MacLennan was inaugurated as Chief of the Clan and made it his life's work to bring the people of the Clan together, including an international clan gathering which was to be held every four years in Inverness. We managed to catch up with Kirsteen, daughter of Ronald and sister to the present clan chief, who told us all about the upcoming gathering on 4th July.
Ronald MacLennan with his parents and brother in 1942
The clan has been part of Kirsteen's life since she was born, she grew up with her family home being full of Clan people that had travelled from all over the world and describes the Clan as a big, extended family. Kirsteen and her sister would perform highland dancing for the guests, her mother would make homemade shortbread and her dad would offer everyone a dram - real Scottish hospitality.
Kirsteen, her brother & Clan Chief Ruiaridh and her sister Lorna.
The Clan Gathering will start on 4th July with a genealogy day that is hosted by Bruce McLennan from Australia. Bruce is coordinator of the Clan's worldwide genealogy resource and along with Scottish historian Neil McLennan and trustee of the Gairloch Museum, Liz Forest, they will guide you through exploring your family history. The Thursday will consist of a visit to The Archive Centre, as well as a meet and greet session in the evening where guests can get to know one another over fish and chips and a whisky, with a quiz to finish of the excitement for the day.
Friday starts of a little more seriously with a meeting of the Clan Parliament where the Clan Chief reports on the recent going ons of the Clan. On the Friday evening everyone will enjoy a feast of Scotch Broth, Stovies and Cranachan whilst over looking the beautiful scenery of Loch Ness, after the meal guests will dance their night away to the music of a traditional Ceilidh band.
Saturday is quite the tourist filled day with a visit to The Highland Folk Museum and then a trip to the Black House village where Outlander was filmed! Saturday night sees guests get dressed up in their finest Scottish attire (kilts at the ready) for a formal dinner, including guest speakers and live music. The gathering comes to an end on Sunday 8th July with a relaxed visit to the Ness Bank Church, allowing everyone to recover from their late night. This is also where everyone will part ways and say their good-byes after an amazing few days experiencing true Scottish culture.
This year's Clan Gathering is so special because it marks the 40th anniversary since Ronald was installed as Clan Chief, he had been the first Clan Chief in over 200 years since the original heir died in battle. It will see old and new members of the clan come together to celebrate their heritage and the life of the incredible man who brought them all together and turned them into the family that they are today.
If you're attending the Clan MacLennan Highland Gathering this years and still don't have anything in your family tartan, don't worry there's still time! Check out our Clan MacLennan page to see if anything takes your fancy and if not we can custom make almost all of our products in the MacLennan Tartan.