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Glasgow, Kentucky Highland Games
Our thanks to Jeanette Simpson for sending us this information
Next Games Thurs. June 3rd - Sun. June 6, 2004


The International Highland Games and Gathering of Scottish Clans
Glasgow, Kentucky – May 30 – June 3, 2001
A report on the 2002 Games follows this one.
Visit the Glasgow Highland Games web site here!

Bishop John Taylor, Retired Bishop of Glasgow and GallowayAn evening concert by Seven Nations opened the events of the International Highland Games and Gathering of Scottish Clans on May 30. The next day dawned cool and with intermittent light rain. There was a lunch with the visiting Chiefs followed by genealogy seminars at the Barren River Lake Resort Park. The evening band concert featuring traditional Scottish music was held at the Barren County High School and had performances from soloists Skip Cleavinger and Colin Grant-Adams along with the Glasgow Community Band, Knoxville Pipes and Drums, The Louisville Pipes and Drums and the 202nd Army Band Kentucky Army National Guard. A Celtic Rock Band Concert was held at the big tent at the Resort Park and featured Seven Nations and the Glengarry Bhoys.

Cool temperatures and on again/off again rain greeted participants on Friday, June 1. The Celtic Fest was set up on the square in Glasgow at 11:30 a.m. then the visiting Chiefs were welcomed at 1 p.m. Those visiting Chiefs were: Richard Carmichael of Carmichael, Chief, Clan Carmichael; The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Mar and Kellie, Jamie Erskine, Chief, Clan Erskine; David Irvine 26th Baron of Drum and Chief of the Name, Chief, Clan Irvine; The Most Hon. The Marquess of Ailsa, Ailsa Kennedy, Chief, Clan Kennedy; Gillem Lumsden The Rt. Hon. The Lord Provost Lord-Lieutenant Alex Mosson O.St.J. - City of Glasgowof That Ilk, Chief, Clan Lumsden; Ruaridh MacLennan of MacLennan, Chief, Clan MacLennan; Dugald MacTavish of Dunardry, Chief, Clan MacTavish; Kenneth Trist Urquhart of Urquhart, Chief, Clan Urquhart; David MacDonald of Castle Camus, Chieftain, Clan Donald; and Lord Hugh Montgomerie, Chieftain, Clan Montgomery. The Rt. Hon. The Lord Provost Lord-Lieutenant Alex Mosson O.St.J. – City of Glasgow, Scotland, Bishop John Taylor, Retired Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway, and James H. Halley, HM Consul from Chicago, were also among the honored guests.

Richard Carmichael of Carmichael, the 26th Baron of the Lands of Carmichael and 30th Chief of the Name and Arms, claims family titles as Lord Carmichael of Carmichael and Earl of Hyndford. He promised his cousin and Godfather, at the age of 16, that he would return from wherever he was living to take over the ancient Estates when required. He has been Chief of the Clan for 20 years. He is one of very few Clan Chiefs still living and working the clan lands at the source of the name in Scotland. He is most proud though of rallying the global clan and founding the flourishing Clan Carmichael USA. He and his wife Patricia have three children. He said of the Glasgow Games, "Clan Carmichael had a very enjoyable and successful International Gathering at Glasgow, Kentucky, and, as a Clan, demonstrated kinship and a level of participation that is gratifying to the 30th Chief."

Medieval equestrian demonstrationThe 8th Marquess of Ailsa, 19th Earl of Cassillis, and Chief of Clan Kennedy, was born at Culzean Castle in Ayrshire. At the age of two, his family moved to the former Kennedy seat, the 13th century Cassillis Castle. He took his seat in the House of Lords in 1994 after the death of his father. He studied Forestry and Farming in Scotland and England and earned a HND. For the past nine years, he has been running a freelance sales and marketing business and does consulting projects abroad for the government. He is the father of two daughters. He enjoys shooting, skiing, and other outdoor activities. He presently operates a vacation complex in Jamtland, Sweden, arranging hunting and Arctic holidays. He is very interested in the Kennedy Society of America and the many members of his international family.

Parade of TartansGillem Lumsden of that Ilk and Blanerne spent his early years in India where his father was a partner in the family tea growing firm. He was educated in England then returned to India to work in the firm. It was there that he married Beverley. They have three children, the youngest Jas, attended the Glasgow events with them. Gillem has been Chief of Clan Lumsden since 1985. He is interested in gardening, golf, and the purchase and bottling of fine malt whiskey.

Kenneth Urquhart of Urquhart is the 26th hereditary Chief and has been Chief since 1974. He is one of four Scottish chiefs who are American citizens. He and his wife reside in Jefferson, Louisiana, a Parade of Tartanssuburb of New Orleans. They have five children and nine grandchildren. His hereditary Scottish seat is Castle Craig on the Cromarty Firth, northeast of Inverness. He also holds the lands of Urchard overlooking Loch Meikle in Glen Urquhart, near Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness. He is a member of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs, the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and the Society of the Cincinnati, and is the Patron of the Craigston Castle Trust. He devotes himself full time to historical research and Clan Urquhart activities.

Parade of TartansDavid Macdonald of Castle Camus, the great-great-great-great grandson of Flora Macdonald, Preserver of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, and her husband Allan Macdonald of Kingsburgh and Castle Camus, is the 17th Hereditary Chieftain and Lieutenant of Sleat. Son of Somerled Macdonald, David was recognized as the 17th Representer of the House of Macdonald of Castle Camus, the oldest cadet of the Macdonalds of Sleat now in existence, by The Lord Lyon King of Arms in Edinburgh in 1996. Sir Ian Macdonald of Sleat, appointed David as the Lieutenant of Sleat for life in 1985, and David acts as his personal representative in North America. This appointment is consistent with the family’s historic role as Chamberlains, Tutors and Factors to the Chiefs throughout the history of Clan Donald. David and his wife Debra reside in Pensacola, Florida, with their two children. David is the General Manager of University Mall and is also the National Convener for Clan Donald USA. David celebrated his 42nd birthday at the Glasgow Games on Sunday, June 3.

Parade of TartansJames Thorne Erskine, 14th Earl of Mar and 16th Earl of Kellie, and his Countess Mary, reside just outside Alloa, Clackmannanshire, in the Lowlands, near the family’s historic home of Alloa Tower. They have five (step)children and eight grandchildren. His forbears came to Alloa around 1360 after a royal grant of land by David II. The Erskines played an active part in much of Scotland’s history, and Jamie himself has been active in pursuing the return of the Scottish Parliament, taking his part in the Scotland Act’s progress through the UK Parliament during 1998. His predecessors were involved with: securing the release of James I from London in 1421; as guardians of the Stewart princes including Mary, Queen of Scots; as Regent of Scotland after Mary’s abdication; preventing the assassination of James VI in 1600; negotiating the English throne for James VI in 1601; as Lord High Treasurer of Scotland for James VI; negotiating the Treaty of Union with England in 1706; as first UK Secretary of State for Scotland; and raising the Jacobite Standard in 1715 in favor of James VIII. Jamie’s watchword: Glance Back – Go Forward. This was Jamie’s first visit to highland games in America, and he said he was enjoying them very much.

David Charles Irvine, Irvine of Drum, became the 26th Chief of the name, in 1992 upon the death of his father. Drum Castle was granted to the Irvine family by the Scottish king, Robert the Bruce, in 1323 Even dogs parade wearing tartanas a reward for loyal service. For over 650 years it was the home of the Irvines. In 1975, the castle and surrounding lands were gifted to the National Trust for Scotland. David joined the British Merchant Navy in 1958, through the Cunard Line, and served on many of its famous passenger liners as a purser. His wife Carolyn served on the Queen Mary as a physiotherapist. They married in 1964 and have three children. David entered the banking profession and worked for one of the U.K.’s major banks for 27 years before retiring in 1991. He is now a self-employed business consultant living in Cheshire, England, south of Manchester, and in Aberdeenshire.

Scottie dogs and babies asleep on shoulders Ruaridh MacLennan of MacLennan, is the youngest Scottish Chief at age 24. He has been Chief of Clan MacLennan since 1989. He attended the Glasgow Games with his sister. They reside in the Highlands of Scotland. A Master Piper, he entertained the diners at the Governor’s Breakfast on Saturday morning, June 2. He wasn’t sure how masterful his piping would be because of the early morning, the heavy rain, and his partying with the Celtic Rock bands the night before! Just before he began to play he remarked, "I can’t tell you what I am going to play because I haven’t decided yet." In his remarks at the Opening Ceremonies he amused the crowd when he said, "It is unusual to have so many clans in the same field without fighting breaking out."

Dugald MacTavish of Dunardry, Chief of Clan MacTavish, grew up in Canada. He became Chief in 1997 after 200 years of dormancy in the chiefship. He is the 26th Chief in an unbroken line. He has been researching the history of the clan for a number of years and is presently writing a book.

Members of the Kingdom of Raknar escort the Chiefs around the field at the end of the gamesLord Hugh Montgomerie, Chieftain of Clan Montgomery, wowed the older ladies at the games. They were impressed with his tall good looks and wished to be "several" years younger. He is single at the moment but is to be married later this year. There was some speculation about why Clan Montgomery won the Best Clan Tent award at the games, but they did have a lovely purple tartan and two floral arrangements of live heather on their tables!

More genealogy seminars were held Friday afternoon prior to the Kentucky Barbecue and Ceilidh, which were enjoyed by all. Area hotels, bed and breakfast establishments and campgrounds, cottages, and lodge at the resort were full of people with Scottish heritage awaiting the beginning of the games on Saturday morning.

It was cloudy and cool Saturday at 6:15 a.m. as clans unloaded their clan goods and set up tables under the tents on the games field. Colorful tents surrounded the fields as the tartan-clad clansmen moved about busily putting up banners and flags, preparing for the crowds to arrive when the gates opened. Some of the clansmen attended the Governor’s Breakfast at the large tent outside the lodge. It rained heavily during the The 78th Frasers firebreakfast. Back at the games field, the rain stopped for awhile then returned with a vengeance leaving the field muddy. Straw was spread in the worst areas along the edges of paths but muddy shoes and wet clothing were the order of the day. The competitions went on as scheduled with heavy weight athletes competing in the rain. The wind blew the flags stiffly toward the east, and those without jackets found anything they could to wrap up in for warmth. Display items blew off clan tables numerous times during the afternoon. Considering the past few years have been miserably hot, not too many people complained. There was plenty of laughter as old friends greeted one another and suffered the weather together.

The ChiefsThe various pipe bands performed on the field in the rain and mud during the morning and the 78th Fraser Re-enactment went on as planned. Between the games field and the lodge, a golf scramble was taking place on the resort’s golf course. The skydivers’ arrival just before the opening ceremonies had to be canceled because of the weather, but the opening ceremonies took place at noon with the City of Washington Pipe Band, Scottish Society of Windsor Pipe Band, and the 202nd Army Band Kentucky Army National Guard performing on the field. Clan Irvine, led by their Chief and a piper, toured the tent area with the Chief greeting those in each tent along the way.

Urquhart being escorted by Kingdom of RaknarHighland dance, piping, drumming, harp, Scottish country dance, amateur battle axe, and athletic competitions went on throughout the day. Children’s activities included a Loch Barrie Monster Egg Hunt and a climbing wall. The come and go rain didn’t seem to keep the crowds away. The smell of meat pies, sausage rolls, Forfar bridies, and other Scottish goodies wafted through the air. The vendor tents had plenty of customers. Clan Wallace won the clan tug-of-war in a misty rain. Saturday evening saw many people attending the Grand Banquet and Tartan Ball or Scottish Country Dance Ball or the Massed Bands and Full Moon Ensemble Concert. Some clan families had gatherings of their own this evening.

Sheaf TossSunday morning, June 3, was cool with a watery sun now and then then the sun came out in full force. Prior to the church service, the Clan Kennedy Chief took time to take a stroll around the path, which circled the tents. The church service began at 9 a.m. with a piper leading the Bishop, dignitaries, tartans, and other clergy to the platform. The tartans were presented for blessing at the beginning of the service. The Rt. Rev. John M. Taylor said in his homily that Bishop Tutu once called the people of South Africa the Rainbow People, but that could well apply here also with the colors of the tartans. The clan tartans signify belonging, loyalty, and comradeship, but in the past there were fightings and wars. He said we have grown away from those feuds and there has been a healing of differences. We now strive for the peace of the risen Lord. The Flowers of the Forest from each clan were remembered as their names were read aloud. The procession then placed a memorial wreath on the cairn before proceeding to a tent to take communion.

Caber TossThe kilted mile run, ladies haggis toss, and bonniest knees contests were held on Sunday. The rain stopped for several hours then returned just in time for the Parade of Tartans, but the parade continued anyway. The Kingdom of Raknar Parade followed the Parade of Tartans. The pipe bands played again – you could always hear a piper somewhere all day long each day rain or shine. The clan representatives – 62 clans were in attendance at the games – marched with their clan flags past the reviewing stand for the final review and retirement before the Chief of Clan Irvine gave the closing remarks. The crowd got smaller, the rain stopped once again, the tents were full of activity as tables were folded, goods were packed up, and hugs and goodbyes were shared. Vehicles began to drive into the tent area to load the goods that will be displayed at the next highland games, and the clans disbursed in all directions from the 2001 International Highland Games and Gathering of Scottish Clans in Glasgow, Kentucky.

Wout Zilstra - Holland - 56 lb MacLean tent Scotish Society of Windsor Pipe Band

MacKillop Tent Sword Vendor Pottery Vendor

Sporran Vendor Pipe Major in Opening Ceremonies Harpist

78th Frasers Re-enactment

78th Frasers Medieval Equestrian Display Processional for Blessing of the Tartans

Parade of Tartans - MacBean Parade of Tartans - Gordon Parade of Tartans - Gunn

Report on the 2002 Games
by Jeanette Simpson

The 2002 Glasgow (KY) Highland Games were held the first weekend of June in the first real heat and humidity of the season. It was 95 degrees on Saturday afternoon as the skydivers arrived with the flags to begin the opening ceremonies. The massed pipe bands on the field looked so hot in the unrelenting sun. However, no one passed out in the 30 minutes they stood there playing and listening to the opening speeches. The spectators, however, got sunburned in the blazing rays.

George MacMillan, Chief of Clan MacMillan, and his wife Jane.

They start them young! The Chief of the Games was George MacMillan of MacMillan and Knap, Chief of Clan MacMillan. There was a luncheon with the visiting chief on Thursday prior to the games. The Celtic Rock Concert took place that evening. Both Thursday and Friday there were genealogy seminars with Beth Gay, Family Tree Editor, and Graeme Mackenzie, Scottish Clan Historian and Genealogist, presiding. Friday saw the Celtic Fest on the Square, Kentucky Barbecue and the Ceilidh. The annual Governor’s Country Ham Breakfast was served up on Saturday morning prior to the games.

Clan Moffatt tentThe border collie demonstrations began at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday. The Society for Creative Anachronism was active at the games. The highland dance and harp competitions began early that morning along with individual piping and drumming competitions. The 78th Frasers gave a demonstration and children’s activities began. At 10 a.m., the amateur and professional heavy athletic competitions started along with battle axe practice throwing, a Scottish country dance demonstration, and more competitions continued throughout the day. We were told there was a 30% chance of rain, but that didn’t materialize.

The Glasgow Highland Games T-ShirtThe entertainment tents were scattered around the grounds. This year’s entertainers were the Glengarry Buoys, Clann An Drumma, Seven Nations, Father, Son and Friends, Susan Palmer Marshall, Colin Grant-Adams, and Jeff Fleming. The 2002 t-shirts and badges for the games were sold at a tent just as you entered the grounds. These items are designed each year by Ed Jones.

The games were officially opened at noon by the visiting chief. Chief MacMillan was born in London in 1930. At the age of eight a hereditary eye disease appeared (Retinitus Pigmentosa), and he learned braille and touch-typing. In spite of this handicap, he was educated at Eaton College and then at Trinity College, Cambridge. He later taught classics at Wellington College in Clan MacMillan tentBerkshire. He married Jane Spurgin, a medical social worker with a degree from Oxford University, in 1961. He was invited to serve as Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at Trinity College in Toronto, Canada, and they took up that challenge. When they returned to Scotland, he took a course in Personal Management at Strathclyde University and then accepted a position as lecturer in Religious Studies at Bede College, Durham.

In 1952, his father, General Sir Gordon MacMillan, was declared the Hereditary Chief of Clan MacMillan by the Lord Lyon. The position of chief had been vacant for 153 years at this time, having previously been held by a great-great-grand uncle who died without children. In 1955, current Chief George Gordon MacMillan inherited Finlaystone from his maternal grandmother. In 1974, he and his family joined his parents in running the estate. He succeeded his father as chief in 1986. The MacMillans are active in various charities. He is a member of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs and is an Elder of the Lanbank Parish Church. He and his wife have attended numerous games in the United States and Canada as either the Honored Guests or Distinguished Guests of the games. In 1997, they visited New Zealand and Australia to visit Clan MacMillan members there. The MacMillans are family people; two of their three sons survive. They are the proud grandparents of several grandchildren. Their estate of Finlaystone is open to the public for tours and includes a tea room, gardens and woodland trails.

Clan Buchanan tentAfter the opening ceremonies, the competitions continued. Visitors walked around the fields to see what the clan booths and vendors booths held of interest for them. Many were searching for Scottish roots, some were just curious about another culture, some were shopping, all were hot! The Grande Banquet and Tartan Ball began at 8 p.m. at the same time the Seven Nations Celtic Rock Concert began. The Scottish Country Dance Ball was also Saturday evening.

The Interdenominational Kirkin of the Tartan worship service was held at 9 a.m. on Sunday. The tartans were blessed, the lessons and homily were read, and the names of the Flowers of the Forest for each clan were presented.

At the conclusion of the worship service the kilted mile, ladies haggis toss, and bonniest knees competition were held. The athletic competitions got under way again and the heat and humidity were still with us. There weren’t as many kilts seen in the clan tents on Sunday. Shorts and sleeveless tops were the order of the day. Coolers were kept filled with water bottles and the salty snacks were popular as were the lemonade and snow cone vendors. The afternoon saw the Parade of Tartans and the tug-of-war. The games were closed at 4 p.m. by Chief MacMillan.


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