Clan Gathering (Edinburgh 2009)



Chief Ruairidh Donald George MacLennan of MacLennan
35th Hereditary Chief of Clan MacLennan

Email Chief Ruairidh

Chief's message February 2009

Visit to Canada - Fergus Games, 2000

The MacLennan’s ceased to operate as a Clan and were without a Chief after being cut down by the Gordon Cavalry at the Battle of Auldearn in 1645 whilst fighting alongside the Mackenzie's of Seaforth as their Standard Bearers. The next 100 years witnessed a gradual erosion of the Clan system which was dealt its final blow in 1746 at the Battle of Culloden. It would be over two hundred years before the Clans would start to make a resurgence in the form of modern day Clan Associations.

In 1969, Ronald George MacLennan declared his intention to claim the position of Chief of the name MacLennan. Due to the tireless energy of this vital, proud Scot, the Lord Lyon's Court and the Clan recognized his right to the position. Thirty years of tenacious searches and researches were rewarded with the Matriculation of Arms - the acknowledgement of the lord Lyon, King of Arms of Scotland - and his installation as Chief of the Clan MacLennan at a ceremony in Inverness in 1978, which was the first such ceremony to be performed for at least two centuries. Between 1978 and his death, Chief Ronald inspired Clansmen and women throughout the world to join the Clan MacLennan Association and created one of Scotland's most active and colourful Clan Associations with branches throughout the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Throughout, Chief Ronnie was proudly encouraged and supported by his wife Margaret (nee MacLennan) who's father Donald was the Clan Secretary for a number of years.

In 1989, Chief Ronald died at his home on the shores of Loch Ness after a seven year battle with leukemia and his twelve year old son, Ruairidh Donald George MacLennan Younger inherited the title of Chief of the MacLennan Clan becoming and remaining for at least two decades, the youngest Chief of a Scottish Clan. Ruairidh, quietly proud of his heritage, understood throughout his childhood that he would one day be Clan Chief. Guided by his mother until her passing in 1993 after a long battle with cancer , Chief Ruairidh handled the position with dignity and due gravity with the support of his two older sisters, Kirsteen and Lorna. Chief Ruairidh first addressed the Clan at their World Gathering in Tulloch Castle in the summer of 1990 less than a year after inheriting the Chief ship. The event was filmed as a documentary by the BBC's Lowdown programme focussing on unusual youngsters.

The Chief’s Coat of Arms, with the motto “Dum Spiro Spero” (While I breathe I hope) includes two pipers, because like the MacCrimmons, the Clan is noted for its' piping. Chief Ruairidh is a very proficient piper and was Pipe Major at Fettes College in Edinburgh where he was educated. On leaving Fettes Collage in 1995, he was chosen to attend Knox Grammar School in Sydney, Australia as a gap year student where he assisted with teaching the pipe band and Army Cadet Force.

Our Chief Ruairidh lives on the shores of Loch Ness in the small village of Dores which has become the home of the Rockness Music Festival, 8 miles from Inverness which is the capital of the Highlands. Chief Ruairidh graduated with an MA (Hons) degree in Geography at the University of Aberdeen in 2000 and then went on to do a further post graduate Masters in Land Economy (MLE) also at the University of Aberdeen. After working as a rural practice surveyor for Strutt & Parker in Aberdeenshire between 2001 and 2004, he returned home to the Highlands to work for CKD Galbraith where he specialised in utility acquisitions and estate management. In 2005, he passed his professional Chartered Surveyors exams becoming a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) and in 2007 became Chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Highlands & Islands Area. In 2008, Chief Ruairidh took up an appointment with the Valuation Office Agency, an Executive Agency of Her Majesties Customs & Excise (HMRC) as a Senior Surveyor / District Valuator responsible for a range of valuation and acquisitions for central and local government throughout the north of Scotland.

Outside work, Chief Ruairidh continues to be an active piper and following a number of years with Aberdeen Universities Officer Training Corps he now plays with the Pipes & Drums of the 7th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (7 Scots). In April 2009 he was awarded his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for 10 years active service in the reserve forces (Territorial Army). He has piped at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo as well as the Nova Scotia and Luxemburg Military Tattoos in recent years. Other interests involve hill walking, kayaking and mountain biking as well as gardening and DIY work at his home. Chief Ruairidh is actively involved in local politics and is currently Secretary of the local Community Council and on the Committee of the South Loch Ness Access Group.

Since becoming Chief, Ruairidh has travelled on a number of occasions to meet Clan members throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and has been an honoured guest at the Stone Mountain Highland Games in Atlanta, Georgia, Fergus Highland Games in Ontario, Canada and the Glasgow Highland Games, Kentucky. In addition, he has hosted a number of Clan MacLennan Gatherings in Scotland including the Gathering scheduled to take place in Edinburgh on 24th – 26th July 2009. Chief Ruairidh took up his place at the Standing Council of Scottish Chief’s in 2002 and is an active campaigner to further the role and increase the profile of the modern day Clan Associations both in Scotland and overseas.




Chief Ruairidh MacLennan at his home overlooking Loch Ness

Ruairidh and family

James Eckersley, sister Kirsteen Eckersley, nephew Charles, Chief Ruairidh MacLennan, sister Lorna MacLennan

Chief Ruairidh MacLennan and his nephew Charles.