Thursday 1 June 2023

The Clan MacLeod Gathering; 1936 to 2023

The first blog entry of the 2023 summer season marks the upcoming annual Clan MacLeod Society of Glengarry picnic to be held at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum on Saturday, June 3rd, 2023. The Clan MacLeod Society of Glengarry was the first one to be created outside of Scotland and it was formed in Dunvegan in November of 1935. Just one year later in 1936, approximately one thousand MacLeods traveled from across North America and gathered with members of the newly formed society in the maple grove of Donald D. MacLeod near the village of Dunvegan to commemorate their Scottish Highlander ancestors who traveled across the Atlantic to find land of their own. The Clan MacLeod Society of Glengarry has gathered in Dunvegan every year since 1936 (excluding Covid), using the grounds of the Glengarry Pioneer Museum since it opened in 1962.  

MacLeod of Lewis Tartan. Photo Credit: The Clan MacLeod Societies of Canada

The Clan MacLeod Society of Glengarry picnic at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum in June, 2007

While the agenda for many planning to attend Saturday’s gathering will likely consist of some light chit-chatting and grazing of a sandwich platter or two, the programme of events for the first gathering in 1936 was quite different. The museum’s original copy of The MacLeods of Glengarry 1793-1971; The Genealogy of a Clan, provides a fascinating glimpse into the first 1936 gathering’s full day of events. The day was kicked off by ten o’clock in the morning with registration, bagpipe music and a variety of sport activities. A full afternoon of addresses and oral family histories in both Gaelic and English soon followed, along with performances of more pipe music, Scotch dances, and Gaelic and Scotch songs. The long day finally came to a close at eleven thirty in the evening with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne at the Orange Lodge of Dunvegan (now the DRA hall). 

The MacLeods of Glengarry 1793-1971; The Genealogy of a Clan. Accession #: REF 2009-000-142-02.

The MacLeods of Glengarry have supported and contributed to the museum's collection for over 8 decades. Hundreds of artifacts in the collection come from MacLeods and their descendants and the museum congratulates them on their 87th anniversary. The picnic is this Saturday, June 3 and we look forward to hearing some good music and welcoming them back. 

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