Gathering 2014

Following on from the controversy over the amount of public money used to support The Gathering as part of Homecoming 2009, the decision was taken not to have an International Clan Gathering in 2014. Homecoming 2014 featured many aspects of history, life and culture, both ancient and modern in 21st century Scotland. Genealogy, family history and the role of clans was only be a small part of this.

The National Trust for Scotland, the independently funded heritage body which maintains many of Scotland’s historic houses and locations hosted a 2-day event on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June 2014 to commemorate the 700th anniversary of The Battle of Bannockburn. Owing to logistical difficulties, few of the Highland Clans had more than a token presence on either day.

The Highland Council hosted the Inverness Highland Meeting over the 3-day period 12th to 14th September 2014. The events were held in the Town House, Northern Meeting Park and Eden Court Theatre in Inverness.

The Clan Council decided that we would hold a Sutherland International Clan Gathering from 12th to 15th September 2014. The first three days were centred round the Inverness events with the final day in Sutherland.

Clan members came from as far away as Australia, Canada and the USA and around 30 members participated.

The Programme:

Friday 12th September: An evening torch lit procession of Clans and Athletes from Crown Primary School down along the High Street and across the River Ness culminating in a colourful opening ceremony in the Northern Meeting Park. Clan Sutherland followed Clan Mackenzie the lead clan (and organisers). Around 25 clans took part with some 500 marchers and a large crowd of spectators gathered along the route. The salute was taken outside the Town House by the Lord Lieutenant, the Provost of Inverness and 'Caberfeidh' (the hereditary name for the Earl of Cromartie).

Saturday 13th September: The Masters’ World Championship Highland Games were held during the day and the final of the Blas Festival was in the evening at Eden Court Theatre. Throughout the afternoon there was a Genealogy and History display by members of the Highland Association of Clans and Societies of which Clan Sutherland has become the 25th member.

Sunday 14th September: The traditional Kirking of the Council in the morning saw the Provost and other leading civic figures process down to the Old High Parish Church for the church service. Clan Sutherland was represented in the procession and at the church service which followed. In the afternoon the climax of the Highland Games took place in the Northern Meeting Park to celebrate the Park’s 150th anniversary, making it the oldest Highland Games arena in the world.

Monday 15th September: We moved to Dunrobin Castle, Golspie (seat of our Chief) and in the morning held the 37th Annual General Meeting in the clan room followed by lunch. Immediately after lunch we enjoyed the Falconry Display in the castle gardens followed by a very personal tour of the castle led by Lord Strathnaver who gave us an insight into life there in the 1880s. This was followed by a Genealogical and Historical talk. The Gathering concluded with an evening of entertainment in Dunrobin Castle by kind permission of the Clan Chief, hosted by Lord and Lady Strathnaver. We enjoyed a wonderful buffet followed by dancing and entertainment led by John MacDonald and his Ceilidh Band from Rogart. For one of our Australian members celebrating her 50th birthday there were several surprises!

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