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2008 World Gathering of MacIntyres Taynuilt, Scotland
A Post Gathering Report about the Gathering from Martin MacIntyre


1 August 2008

Dear Friends,

The First World Gathering of Clan MacIntyre is over with great pride and joy at what took place, as well as the inevitable post-gathering letdown.  There were moments when our motto, Per Ardua, came to mind, but for me the lasting memories will be those special moments that can never be repeated and the many new and lasting friendships that were made.

I will never forget the Friday night Gala Banquet when we entered the beautifully decorated Argyllshire Gathering Hall with a white heather plant on each table. On the two center tables were the tall Glenoe silver candelabras dated 1757, the Glenoe box and the ‘Faery’ pipes.  The first two once graced the Glen Noe home of James, third chief of record (1730 – 1799) and are the inheritance of Ian MacIntyre, 17th of Camus-na-h-Erie, hereditary chieftain of the only recognized cadet of Glenoe.

The ‘Faery’ pipes were on loan by permission of Kinlochmoidart, chieftain of that MacDonald branch and the West Highland Museum in Fort William.  They are the oldest Highland pipes in existence and were handmade by a MacIntyre piper over 800 years ago. They contain the extra sounding hole at the end of the chanter that he placed there on the advice of a faery in order to have the sweetest sounding pipes in Scotland.  These pipes were played at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and played only once in the last century, fittingly by our own master piper, Archie McIntyre, who is a descendant of the MacIntyres who formerly possessed them and the Gentleman Piper to the High Council of Clan Donald.  He played them at our Banquet, for the first, and perhaps only, time in this new century.  To see them was special, but to hear them was a thrill of historic proportions.

There was the unforgettable performance by Boni McIntyre and Elena McEntire, who sang the “Flower Duet” from the opera, Lakmé by Leo Delibes.  These consummate professionals had sung together for the first time just five minutes before the doors were opened.  Breathtaking and miraculous are the only words to describe their stunningly beautiful a capella performance. 

At the Taynuilt Games, the Oban Pipe Band led 300 MacIntyres in a parade around the field with signs showing that we represented twelve countries.  Our tug-of-war team came in second without the advantage of cleats used by the winning local team.

The performers at the Saturday night ceilidh were predominated by MacIntyres with a number of pipe tunes and songs composed for the occasion. Highlights for me were the classical piobaireachd composed by Archie; a song by Lisa Furukawa (dressed in a MacIntyre tartan kimono) about discovering her Scottish roots; and a virtuoso piping performance by Andrew MacIntyre playing his own composition as Archie looked on approvingly, fingering along on his imaginary chanter.  

Sunday was the well-attended ecumenical service of thanksgiving followed by the flotilla to Glen Noe. Once they put their feet on this hallowed ground, MacIntyres spontaneously began adding stones to the cairn.  In the distance came the skirl of the pipes played by Mark McIntire followed by our stalwart hiking guides, Colin McIntyre and Ian Simpson, and our man for all seasons, Bennie MacEntyre. With banners flying, the requisite group picture was taken by William Mateer, our resident professional photographer. The Gathering ended with the announcement of the formation of The Clan MacIntyre Trust, an official Scottish charity whose purpose is to maintain our Clan’s inheritance. The final document of incorporation was signed at Glen Noe by the five initial members with Camus-na-h-Erie acting as the witness.

The icing on the cake was the hog roast in the courtyard of the present estate house with the majestic twin peaks of Ben Cruachan as a backdrop.  Emily McIntire danced the Highland Fling in the presence of our daughter, who had performed it at Glen Noe, 32 years before.  Tears came to my eyes (a frequent occurrence) when I read in the Oban Times four days later that Emily placed first in the Highland Fling and second in many other dances at the Taynuilt Games competition! 

The aforementioned events were the only ones that I was able to attend.  Unfortunately, there were too many, in too short a time for everyone to enjoy them all.  I wouldn’t want to choose which ones to eliminate. 

Some of you missed events through no fault of your own.  For that I am truly sorry. I knew from the beginning that transportation would be the major obstacle and despite my best efforts it reared its ugly head, for which I can only apologize.   Let me know the event(s) you missed and I’ll send a refund or, if you prefer, you can designate some or all of it as a tax deductible contribution to The Clan MacIntyre Trust.   Then, when all the income has been received and all the expenses/refunds are paid, I’ll make a final financial report. 

In this initial report I’ve only mentioned a few of the many performers and volunteers who made the Gathering possible and contributed to its success. I will make a separate report to hopefully mention everyone and express my heartfelt thanks.

The souvenir program, in collaboration with William Mateer, is itself a document to be saved and savored.  One copy was given to each person who paid the registration fee.  Additional copies will be available on request as a fund raiser for our fledgling Trust.  More information on the goals and activities of the Trust will be given in a future report.

Some photos are already posted on http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/m/macintyre/2008.htm
by Alastair McIntyre.

Add yours there and also at http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/macintyre_gathering that is hosted by Colin McIntyre.  Once we get enough photos and perhaps videos, preparation of a DVD will be considered. 

For those who participated in the MacIntyre sporting tournaments and triathlon, I apologize for not announcing the winners.  There is no question that on the distaff side Fiona McIntyre of Cooper Plains, Queensland, Australia, was the winner of all three tournaments and our female triathlete! Fiona caught the only two fish in the fly casting tournament!  Unfortunately, the one and only listing of the golf scores was misplaced on the way to the Saturday night ceilidh.  To ensure that I make the correct award for the men, including the prestigious male MacIntyre Invitational triathlete award, I’m asking all golfers to please send me their score and the score of their nearest competitor (don’t say you don’t remember).  Having seen the scores I regret having withdrawn for the three competitions.

Lost and Found.

1.Ladies’ prescription sunglasses, with a DK brand which suggests they were purchased in the UK.

They were found on Sunday at the Final Gathering.

2. Black half reading glasses that appear to be well used but at the same time someone’s favorites. They may have been turned in at the Saturday night ceilidh.

You are encouraged to send me your thoughts on this and future Gatherings.

Warm Regards,

Martin MacIntyre, Convenor



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