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Robert Burns Lives!
Regarding the Homecoming


Edited by Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, Dawsonville, GA, USA
Email: jurascot@earthlink.net

Many wonderful celebrations have taken place throughout Scotland during this year’s Homecoming. Scots have expressed themselves with festivals and merriment from Westminster Abbey in London to the Highland town of Carrbridge where a porridge cook-off was held to the big event in Edinburgh in July. Others, too numerous to list, declare the love of people for Robert Burns.

One of the most unusual events took place in and around the Capital of the Highlands – Inverness. My long-time friend Carl McIntosh, esteemed president of Clan Mackintosh of North America, and I have been connected through Clan Chattan here in the States for many years. Carl has graciously allowed the article below to be used in Robert Burns Lives!, and I extend thanks to him for a special celebration that reached back farther than the birth of Robert Burns. Carl’s article first appeared in Mists of Moigh, the Clan Mackintosh Society newsletter.

Carl is extremely active in the Scottish community and does a great presentation of “To A Haggis”. He is a big supporter of The Sumter (SC) Scottish Country Fair and Celtic Festival where I was privileged to be the honored guest in 2008. We welcome Carl to the pages of Robert Burns Lives! (FRS: 11.05.09)

From The Pages of Mists of Moigh Article
By Carl McIntosh, President
Clan Mackintosh of North America
November 2009

Thereby we, who sign and subscribe this new Band, recall the Contract and Agreement of 1609 and renew those ties of amity friendship and kindness, and bind ourselves to assist maintain and defend each other in mutual love and unity in all matters that are honourable and to preserve and foster the right and true spirit of our Clans in the Confederacy of Clan Chattan.”

So on August the 6th 2009 after a wonderful dedication of a new memorial at that place called Termit, the new Band of Union was signed. It was signed by all present one-by-one with each name signed called out by the Seanachie.

This is my feeble attempt to give you all some sense of what a wonderful, meaningful and emotional ceremony this signing represented. It is my wish, with this article, to summarize the events surrounding the signing and to impart to you how special it felt to be a part of Clan Mackintosh North America at this historical event.

Things got started on Wednesday with registration at the Lochardil Hotel. It was here that our Chief John Mackintosh of Mackintosh asked me to have the honor of carrying his banner in the festivities on Thursday. I was deeply honored and excited to have the opportunity to participate in the ceremonies in this way.

We loaded onto to coaches for what would be the first of many thrilling rides for the short journey from Inverness to Culloden Battlefield. Here we were treated as VIP’s receiving very special tours that included vivid descriptions of the battle and the aftermath of that cold April day in 1746. I must say this was the first time I had been to the new visitor’s center and it more than met my expectations. There was a solemn ceremony honoring the dead and a wreath was placed at Memorial Cairn by James MacBain of MacBain, Chief of the Macbains. We were then wisked back to the hotel for high tea, which became more of a full meal of Haggis, neeps and tatties. The day concluded with a wonderful presentation by Cluny Macpherson, Chief of the Macphersons, about the history of Clan Chattan.

On Thursday morning we assembled at Eden Court in Inverness and boarded coaches to head out to Termit near the Petty Church where the Chiefs of the Mackintoshes are interred. After a short march up the hill we witnessed the unveiling of a plague on a beautiful rough cut boulder commemorating the signing of the Original Band of Union near the site which in 1609 was the teeming village of Termit. The Seanichie read some beautiful Gaelic poetry and John Mackintosh of Mackintosh as President of the Clan Chattan Association pulled down some Chattan Tartan to reveal the boulder and the plaque. Those present included Invercauld Farqhaursan Chief of Farqharsan, Cluny Macpherson, Alan Maclean, Chief of the Macleans of Dochgarrach, James Macbain of Macbain, and John Mackintosh of Mackintosh. The Provost of Inverness was also present along with the Lord Lyon King of Arms.

After a short ride back to Inverness, we assembled in the center of town and marched through Inverness to Town Centre, where the Provost read a proclamation and then we continued across the River Ness back to Eden Court where the signing took place. Along the way thousands stopped to look and listen as these great Clans once more made their way through the Capital of the Highlands. People were waving and taking photographs by the hundreds.

When we arrived at Eden Court a beautiful lunch was served and then the signing of the new Band officially took place. This was a most solemn, historical and emotional ceremony. After the 6 chiefs who were present signed, the first to witness these signatures was the Provost of Inverness followed by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. One of the most stirring moments was hearing the Seanichie read the patronym of each of the Chiefs , first in the Gaelic and then in English. For our Chief it was something like this - John, son of Lachlan, son of Lachlan, son of William, son of Angus, et.al. Then everyone in the room signed one by one with each name and title being recited by the Seaniche. We were able to view the many names of those who had signed online on a huge screen behind the Chiefs. This made the experience even more ethereal. Chinubbie McIntosh, George McIntosh, Heather Tate, Margaret McIntosh, Larry Young, Nick McIntosh, Kim Elder, Robert McIntosh, Steve Minton, Damin Terrill and on and on the names scrolled by from all across the world. This was one of the most moving ceremonies I have ever witnessed.

After a short break, we were back at Town Centre at a wonderful reception hosted by the Provost of Inverness. In his remarks, the Provost referred to Inverness as Mackintosh Country and paid special tribute to John’s father Lachlan and his involvement on the Council and other activities in and around Inverness.

On Friday morning, we were off to Moy and the Moy Sports Fair. Once again this event was attended by thousands. The Clan Chattan tent was filled with the many members who were attending the event. Ray Owens did a marvelous job explaining what it meant to be a Jacobite and demonstrated the wearing of the philabeg and the arms a typical Jacobite would be carrying on the battlefield at Culloden. We were also treated to a wonderful lunch in the Clan tent hosted by Celia Mackintosh of Mackintosh. This was absolutely delightful and I want to express my thanks publicly to Celia for her never-ending hospitality and kindness to all those who visit Moy.

On Friday evening a wonderful dinner and Ceilidh was held at the Thistle House Hotel in Inverness. Yours truly had the honor of sitting at the table with our Chief John and the Provost of Inverness. The food and conversation were wonderful. Our Chief John has to be credited with being one of the finest dancers there that evening. I learned that in the Highlands the way to get people’s attention is by banging on the table and I must say it is quite effective.

I would be remiss if I did not express the deepest appreciation on behalf of Clan Mackintosh North America to all the members of the Clan Chattan Council for the marvelous work they did in making all the arrangements for this historic gathering and celebration. Most notably the Chairman Allan Maclean of Dochgarroch did a magnificent job with the many venues and arrangements. Denise McIntosh did a stupendous job keeping everyone in the right spot at the right time. Donald McIntosh along with Stuart and Louisa Mackintosh Cross were also instrumental in making sure things went along smoothly. And from North America there was the unflappable Rex Davidson from British Columbia and Glen Cook from Utah who also did great work in making sure things went along smoothly. Rex is deserving of great credit for helping arrange the incredible tour of Clan country on Saturday. There is just too little room and too few words to express the wonderful kindness and hospitality afforded all the Clans there and those attending from Clan Mackintosh North America are all deeply grateful for the efforts put forth by all.

Slainte

Carl R. McIntosh

(CRM: 11.4.09)


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