Friday, 26 December 2008

New Year Resolutions

I never make any New Year resolutions probably because I know that I would break them long before the first month was out. However, I am aking all of you to consider making a simple and relatively inexpensive resolution and that is to enrol a Cameron friend or colleague in the Association this month. 2009 is the Year of the Homecoming and it is a good opportunity to increase the membership of the Association. If you need details, go to the clan website and from there click on the membership tab. You can then download an application form. Simple!

May I wish you all a very good new year.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Christmas Greetings

As we come to the end of another year, it is time to reflect on all the interesting Clan Cameron events that happened during 2008. Perhaps the most dramatic was held in the north of France in a town called Bergues. It was here that "The Gentle Lochiel" - Lochiel of the '45 died. After Culloden at which he was badly injured, Lochiel went into hiding in the hills. Eventually, he sailed with Prince Charles Edward to France. There he became Colonel in Chief of "The Regiment d'Albanie" and fought with great distinction. However in 1748, he contracted malaria which developed into meningitis and he died in hospital. There is a plaque on the wall of this building commemorating Lochiel and the part he played in the Jacobite Rising. Being a non-Catholic, he was buried outside of the cemetery and much later his bones were dug up and re-buried in the graveyard at Bergues. This October, exactly 260 years after his death, the Clan Cameron Association along with the 1745 Association, The Royal Stuarts, the Grahams of Montrose and Alliance France-Ecosse erected a plaque to commemorate this great leader of the Clan Cameron. The picture shows Donald Andrew Cameron, Younger of Lochiel along with the Deputy Mayor of Bergues unveiling the plaque. I have used this picture on my Christmas greetings card to Clan members and would like to share it with you all and wish you a very happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year.

Thursday, 18 December 2008


I am sure many people will be coming to Scotland in 2009 as a result of the Homecoming initiative. There are many events taking place throughout the year and at various venues throughout Scotland. In case you had not heard, there will be a rally for all Camerons and related clans at Achnacarry, the home of our clan chief, Donald Angus Cameron of Lochiel. This event will take place from Thursday 30th July until Sunday 2nd August 2009 but the main events will be on the Saturday, 1st August. I hope you will manage to visit us. For more information go to our website:

Sunday, 14 December 2008


As you all probably know, 2009 has been designated the Year of the Homecoming in Scotland. It was initially envisaged that this would recognise the 250th anniversary of the birth of our national poet - Robert Burns. As he said himself when describing his birth:

Oor Monarch's hinmost year but ane,

Had five and twenty days begun.

'Twas then a blast o' Jan'war win'

Blew hansel in on Robin.

The Monarch in question was King George II who died in 1760. Thus his hinmost or hindmost year was 1760 and his hindmost (last year) but one was therefore 1759. Twenty five days begun gives us 25th January 1759. At that time of year in Scotland there are often gales and on Burns's birthday, it seems this was no exception. Hansel is a welcome gift and he is using the diminutive form of Robert for himself.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008


You may recall that we had a short debate about the wearing of white kilt stockings. I think I made clear my opposition to such garments without wishing to offend anybody's sensitivities. I recall once wearing my green stockings (which toned with my Cameron kilt) when singing with the local choir at the Mod. I was taken to task by a young German lady who pointed to the fact that all the other men in the choir were wearing white stockings. I assured her that they were wrong and that these white stockings were a modern fashion perhaps borne by the kilt hiring firms in an attempt to have a neutral colour which would not clash with any tartan.

In a recent event in Bergues, Northern France to celebrate the 260th anniversary of "The Gentle Lochiel" by unveiling a plaque, one of our group - Julian Hutchings ceremoniously threw into an open fire a pair of white stockings to symbolise the opposition which his late friend David Lumsden of Cushnie had towards the offending white stockings. What do you think? I have posted a photograph of the open fire into which the stockings were cast.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

What does a Scotsman wear beneath his kilt?

I am sure that all of us Scotsmen who wear a kilt are continuously asked this question. "What does a Scotsman wear below his kilt?"This I think should remain a mystery and adds to the mystique of the Highland dress. The relevance of this particular blog arose from an incident at the Glenfinnan Games last Saturday. We had many visitors from all over the world at the Clan Cameron Association stall including a young couple from Nice. Among the items for sale at our stall, was a lady's kilt in the Cameron of Erracht tartan. The young lady tried it on and looked stunning in her Cameron kilt. She did however put it over her jeans and continued to wear it thus throughout the day. We know therefore what a French lady wears under her kilt but the riddle of the Scotsman and his kilt must remain a mystery.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008


The most recent Council meeting of the Clan Cameron Association Scotland was held most appropriately in Ma Cameron's Tavern, Belmont Street, Aberdeen. This is an old established inn and is in fact Aberdeen's oldest pub having witnessed and taken part in the city's history for almost 300 years. The hostelry which had sympathised with the Jacobite cause began to flourish as a coaching inn in the 1800s Since then it has been recognised as a mecca for both locals and visitors to the city. Many of the Aberdeen hostelries were kept by women and none is more remembered than Amelia Cameron who continued to run the pub following the death of her husband, John. Amelia was affectionately known by her clientelle as "ma". In 1933 the pub was taken on by Alex Mitchell thus ending a period of 60 years association of the Camerons with the pub.

The council meeting was held in "The Snug" which appears to have changed little since the days in which "Ma Cameron" was the host. Our picture was taken before the meeting and shows members of the Clan Council at the door of "Ma Cameron's".

Monday, 21 April 2008

Peter Pininski

At its annual lunch after the Culloden Memorial Service, the Clan Association had an inspiring speaker in Peter Pininski. Peter told of his meticulous research through the Ftrench and Polish archives to identify the fact that he was a direct descendant of Charles Edward Stuart's daughter Charlotte. Charlotte in a secret relationship with Ferdinand de Rohan who was an archbishop and a member of one of the greatest families in France gave birth to two daughters and a son. Only the middle child, Marie Victoire de Rohan had a child and he was Antime, Chevalier de Nikorowitz (1806-1852). He married the daughter of an Austrian army officer and his daughter married Count Leonard Pininski (1824-1886). Peter is a great-great grandson of Count Leonard. In the next blog I will summarise Peter's connection with the Camerons. The picture shows Peter addressing the Clan Association at the Cawdor Tavern on Saturday, 19th April 2008.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

The Clan Cameron Flagstone

One of the features of the new visitor centre at Culloden Moor is the pathway to the front door from the carpark. The flagstones are from Caithness stone and each one has been bought and dedicated by someone who wants to remember or be remembered. The Clan Cameron Association Scotland bought a stone at the very outset of the process. This stone cost £150.00. Subsequently, the National Trust for Scotland advertised much bigger stones for clans. These cost £1500.00. I like to think that ours represents a discretion which reflects our clan. Otherwise you might say we were mean!! Any views?

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Culloden 08

There was an interesting symmetry in the memorial service at Culloden, today - Saturday 19th April. The main speaker was the Broadcaster and scholar John Alex MacPherson who is a native of North Uist. However John Alex has spent much of his life in Canada and currently lives on Cape Breton Island. In his speech, John Alex referred to the parallel service taking place at Pictou in Nova Scotia. When Elizabeth and I were in Nova Scotia in July 2007 we visited the cairn which is modelled on the one at Culloden. It is a touching reflection that on both sides of the Atlantic, people of all clans and indeed no clans remember with respect and admiration those who fought and died in support of the Stuart claim to the throne of Britain.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


The Clan Association are about to undertake a benchmarking exercise to compare our Association with other Clan Associations. What we want to look at is the activities offered, including the geographical spread. We want to examine the communications - website content and newsletters (content and frequency). We want to explore how we could improve the experience for the younger clanspeople? We want to compare our subscription rates with other clans and in general what can we do better than we are doing at present and how do we achieve that? To start the ball rolling, I would appreciate any comments - positive or negative about the current set-up and ways in which we might expand the activities to make the association more inclusive. You might wish to comment on the membership fee and whether it is value for money! Any suggestions will be taken seriously and I welcome and look forward to a healthy debate.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Ian Cameron

While in Nova Scotia last year, Elizabeth and I met with many interesting people who had Cameron or Cameron connections. Amongst those we met were Ian And Evelyn Cameron. Ian had been hugely influential in promoting Cameron fellowship in Nova Scotia and was one of those who petitioned the late Lochiel in the 1980s to form a Branch of the Clan Association in Nova Scotia. There were and still are many Camerons in that part of Canada. As a token of the work done by Ian over a long number of years, he was presented with a very particular badge of which only 5 were made. The fact that there was no longer a Branch of the Association in Nova Scotia was a cause of great disappointment to Ian and to his sister in law Harriet - whose husband had been the last President of the Association. If any one reading this, in Nova Scotia wants to explore the possibilities of re-forming an association, I will be happy to act as a go-between. My e-mail address is The picture on the right Ian is speaking to Elizabeth and his badge is shown on the left.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008


The Clan Gathering in Edinburgh is causing quite a stir amongst the clans up and down the country. There are a number of issues. Some clanspeople feel that any gathering of the Highland clans should be in the capital of the Highlands. Others feel that the cost of entry to events is too dear. The passport system ranges from £88.00 to £110.00. Others feel that there has been no consultation with the clans. It looks as if dirks are being sharpened and claymores dusted down.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Return to reality

I have now returned from jaunting round the world. We joined the family for a cruise round South America. At a remote village in Argentina, I met with a gentleman called Doug Taylor who introduced me to his invention - ice soccer. As the name suggests, this is a game of soccer or football as we would call it in the UK played on ice. The ball or Boot’r is modified in order to play on ice and is shaped like a rectangular box and is kicked like a football. The aim is to score a goal by propelling the Boot’r through your opponents’ goal. The footwear is adapted also to increase traction and safety garments are worn to protect against scraping injuries when falling on the ice. It is played by 9 players on each side and the duration is upwards from half an hour depending on the ice time available.

For more information including a video of the game go to

Thursday, 3 January 2008


Here we are in 2008. I am sure that we have all made the usual New Year resolutions and some will have already been broken. May I suggest one that we can all make and that is to attend the Clan Gathering from Thursday July 30th 2009 until Sunday August 2nd 2009 at Achnacarry. In the meantime if you have any suggestions as what we should have at the Gathering, please do not hesitate to suggest them.

We are hoping to develop a heritage trail at Achnacarry. Again we would welcome suggestions as to what historical sites should be included in the trail.