The Clan MacLeod
Society North American Gathering met at the Sheraton Chicago Northwest
Hotel in Arlington Heights, Illinois, July 1-5, 2004 with 222 registered
members attending. The North American Gathering is held every four
years with the United States and Canada alternately hosting the event.
This years Gathering, however, could truly be called a World
Gathering. Members came from Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia,
Manitoba, Scotland, Germany, UK, and Australia and from almost every
state in the United States. The Presidents of the Clan MacLeod
Societies attending were Past President Neil R MacLeod, and newly
elected President Ian MacLeod, Canada; Dr. Malcolm Macleod, England; Dr.
Ian MacLeod, Australia; Albrecht Karbjuhn, Germany; and William C.
MacLeod, United States, as well as many Officers of these Societies.
began with the 50th Anniversary Dinner at the University Club
in Chicago on the evening of July 1, 2004. The program consisted of a
Welcome by William C. MacLeod, President of the Clan MacLeod Society,
USA, Inc. The blessing was given by Dr. Alex C. McLeod who also did MC
duties. Angus J. MacLeod and William F. MacLeod, III offered toasts.
This meeting place had special significance, as it was the location of
the first formal meeting of the Organizational Committee of the Clan
MacLeod Society of America, Inc., on February 19, 1954. N. Douglas
MacLeod, Jr. of Rhode Island, the lone surviving member of the original
group, spoke about the early efforts to spread the word about the newly
formed Clan MacLeod Society in the United States and its growth to its
present membership. It was also a special privilege to hear Chief John
MacLeod of MacLeod speak about the history of the Clan MacLeod Society
in Scotland, which was formed mainly for social reasons in the 1880s
under Chief Norman MacLeod. He recounted the progress of the Society
during the tenure of succeeding Chieftains. He also spoke of his trip
to the United States with his grandmother, Dame Flora, in 1953 that
resulted in the formation of the USA Society and the progress since that
time. The Anniversary Dinner was a grand affair and will be fondly
remembered by all.
The Opening Ceremony
was held on Friday, July 2. Piper Jack Lewis followed by the Color
guard from the Arlington Heights American Legion escorted Chief John and
the officers and speakers to the platform. Bernie MacLeod and Malcolm
MacLeod carried the Harris and Lewis Tartans, respectively. Rev. Dr.
James A. McLeod opened the meeting with a prayer. President William C
MacLeod welcomed everyone to the gathering and introduced Chief John,
who spoke briefly and expressed his pleasure to be at the meeting.
Alistair MacLeod, an award winning Canadian author, gave the Stanley R.
MacLeod Memorial Lecture. He was a professor of English and Creative
Writing at the University of Windsor, Ontario, until his recent
retirement. His latest book, No Great Mischief, has won
several awards and has been translated into more than 14 languages.
Alistair. MacLeod was then available for autographing his book after the
lecture and throughout the gathering.
There were sessions
covering Weaving and Dyeing, story telling, childrens activities and a
history of Chicago Scots by Wayne Rethford, President of the Illinois
Saint Andrews Society. Workshops included Genealogy Research (USA) by
Dixie McCaskill Lewis, Piping Traditions by Norman Livermore, Genealogy
Research (UK) by James Ayars, Traditional Dancing by Carol
MacCrimmon-Pugliese and USA Clan MacLeod Website by William G. MacLeod.
The Clan MacLeod
Society, USA, elected officers for the coming year and they are
President, William C. MacLeod; Vice President; John B. MacLeod;
Secretary, Anne MacLeod; Newsletter Editor, Jay McClure; Piping/Dancing,
Norman P. Livermore; Chaplain, Rev. Dr. James Angus McLeod; Historian,
W. Jefferson Bryson, Jr.; Youth, Perry D. Beaton; Recording
Secretary/Publicist, Gloria McLeod; Treasurer, Richard A. MacLeod;
Migration Director, Dixie McCaskill Lewis; Counsel, John MacLeod
Tutterow, Internet Editor, William G. MacLeod; and Dunvegan Foundation,
John B. MacLeod.
Foundation also met to elect officers and they are Chairman John B.
MacLeod; Vice Chairman, John MacLeod Tutterow; Treasurer, James Blount
MacLeod; and Secretary, Sarah Piepgrass.
The featured speaker
for the Saturday night Banquet was Chief John MacLeod of MacLeod. The
USA Nominating Committee represented by Don Mack McLeod, Robert E.
MacLeod and John N. MacLeod honored three members, Laura Margaret McLeod
of New York City; N. Douglas MacLeod of Riverside, Rhode Island; and
Ruth MacLeod of Rhinebeck, NY, for their lifelong dedication to the
Society for more than 50 years. This category of awards will be used in
the future for others who achieve this goal. Neil MacLeod, Past
President of the Canadian Society, introduced Ian MacLeod, the newly
elected President of the Canadian Society. Neil also gave this years
Canadian Award to Colin and Beth MacLeod for their outstanding effort
through the years.
Gordon Lewis of
Aiken, South Carolina earned the Clansperson of the Year award, for his
service to the Society not only for this year but also for many years in
the past. Gordon has served as Regional Vice President, Quartermaster
and has now taken the new position of RVP Coordinator. He will
coordinate the activities of the various RVPs in an attempt to increase
memberships, hold the members that we have and attract young people.
Don Mack McLeod,
former President of the Clan MacLeod Society, USA, presented hand-made
leather belts engraved with the MacLeod name to Gordon Lewis,
President William C. MacLeod, John N. MacLeod, and Dr. Alex McLeod in
appreciation for their service to the Society.
Don Mack McLeod,
Chair of this committee, announced the final presentation by the
Nominating Committee. The Presidential Citation for Outstanding Clan
Achievements for more than 50 years is a new award category by the
USA Society. Dr. Alex McLeod was the recipient and the committee asked
Chief John to personally make the presentation. Chief John reviewed the
multitude of Dr. Alexs achievements over the years. It was an
outstanding tribute to his efforts for the good of the USA and worldwide
The final afternoon
was free for family activity or attendance at nearby Arlington Race
Track where there was a featured Clan MacLeod Race. Chief John
presented the trophy to the jockey who won this race. The meeting ended
on Sunday evening with a sumptuous barbecue dinner served in huge tent
on the hotel grounds and a spectacular fireworks display from the nearby
The Committee in
charge of the entire affair consisted of Co-Chairmen John N. and Judy
MacLeod and the Committee Members - Harry and Coralane Boyes, Gary
Gribble, Angus and Elona MacLeod, Jennifer MacLeod, Laurie McLeod,
Richard and Cynthia MacLeod, William C. and Irene MacLeod, William G.
and Patricia MacLeod, Bernie and Edith McLeod, Robert J. and Sandy
McLeod, Deborah McQueen-McLoed, Michael OBrien and Bonnie Reese.
Thanks go to them for a job well done and super memories.
Clan MacLeod Society, USA, Inc.
Gordon Lewis Company Award
Winner's Circle, Clan MacLeod Race
MacLeod Officers: LtoR: Albrecht Kurbjuhan (Germany), Neil
MacLeod (Canada), William C. MacLeod (USA), Ian MacLeod (Australia),
Chief John MacLeod of MacLeod, Dr. Alex McLeod (ACMS President),
Malcolm MacLeod (England), and Ruari Halford-MacLeod (Scotland).
McLeod's Outstanding Achievement Award - Chief John MacLeod
of MacLeod, Don Mack McLeod and Dr. Alex McLeod.