Clan MacLeod of Greater Vancouver

Clan MacLeod of Greater Vancouver
Fraser River Paddlewheeler Excursion

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Clan Parliament 2010

"Old and New Traditions"

Registration in now open! The web materials to support the announcement in the October issue of Clan MacLeod Magazine become available on 01 November 2009. We may still have a few a bugs to get out of the system, but we are ready to move forward!

The dates for Parliament 2010 will be:

  • NRG service project in Assynt: Saturday 17 July - Saturday 24 July
  • Pre-Parliament trip to Assynt: Wednesday 21 July - Saturday 24 July
  • Parliament in Dunvegan: Saturday 24 July - Saturday 31 July
Our first Parliament Newsletter has been posted to this website as October 2008 News. The October 2009 newsletter should be distributed during the first week of November.
Please remember that you are welcome any time to volunteer for Parliament or to add your name to the mailing list for email newsletters about Parliament .

AGM November 8 2009

On Sunday November 8th, over 30 Clan Members met at the beautiful Sylvia Hotel to participate in the Annual General Meeting and enjoy brunch. We had a semi private room with a beautiful view of English Bay. The highlights of the meeting included the election of officers and directors for 2010, an update from Bill on the Robbie Burns Luncheon plans and an account of Jack's trip to Katmandu.
Thanks to all those that attended. We plan to hold our AGM there next year so spread the word!

Jacobite History - Ron MacLeod

Greetings, courtesy Robert Henderson, Calgary, a curious kick at ancient history as
reported in the National Post.
My own family on both my father's and my mother's side were among the stigmatized.
Personally, I am of a mind to think that the fresh, clean Canadian air blew
all that unwanted heritage away into the darkest channels of history where it is best
left to moulder.
Regards, the other Ron

Westminster asked to lift Jacobite stigma

Scots Canadians whose ancestors supported Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite rebellion may not know it, but their family names have officially been mud for more than 250 years.

After the failed insurrection to restore the House of Stuart to the British throne, Acts of Parliament deemed the blood of many rebels “corrupt,” confiscated their property and exiled them to North America as indentured servants.

Now, the Scottish Parliament is taking steps to remove any stigma associated with support for the Stuart cause.

Canadians with the last name Cameron, Chisholm, Drummond, Fraser, Gordon, Graham, Laird, MacDonald, Mackenzie, Mackinnon, MacKinnon, Mackintosh, MacKintosh, MacLeod, Malcolm, Nairn, Ogilvie, Ross, Stewart Stirling or Sutherland may well be the descendants of Jacobites who were exiled after the rebellions. Many Jacobites were “attainted” by Act of Parliament that denied them their property and disinherited their descendants.

Those affected included national hero Rob Roy McGregor and Flora MacDonald, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s rescuer after the Battle of Culloden in 1746, who settled in North Carolina.

Scottish Conservative Jamie McGrigor has tabled a motion, with cross-party support, calling on the Scottish Parliament to back a petition that demands the Westminster Parliament overturn the Acts of Attainder and clear the names of Jacobite families.

Not only could the stigma associated with “corruption of the blood” be overturned, but some Canadians may also find they have legitimate claim on ancient titles that would be restored if the campaign is successful.

Peter Drummond-Murray, a retired banker and heraldry expert who started the petition, said that a number of peerage titles could be affected including the Earl of Kilmarnock and the Duke of Berwick.

“Lots of ordinary people were transported to North America who still have this slur on them. We’re petitioning for it to be removed,” he said.

He did not rule out that there could be Canadians with claim to old titles, but said that there is no question of successful land claims being launched after nearly 300 years.

The list of those “attainted” included all ranks from peers and lairds to clerks and commoners. As the Jacobite threat subsided in the 19th century, a number of peers were able to afford the procedure of a private bill in Parliament to reverse the attainder process.

However, many families that supported the Stuarts are still stigmatized by what one member of the Scottish Parliament called “historical discrimination.”

After 1688, when James VII of Scotland and II of England was replaced by his daughter Mary II and her husband, William of Orange, many who refused to swear allegiance to William and Mary were tried for treason and “attainted.” Some were executed, some sent into exile and were punished by Acts of Attainder — losing their rights and property. This process continued after the Jacobite rebellions of 1715, 1719 and 1745.

Friday, October 23, 2009

September 26th Clan Gathering on the Island

On the 26th of September, we had a very nice Clan MacLeod gathering on Vancouver Island at MacLeod's place on Islay street in Duncan. (where else?) The day started with the arrival of Neil R. and June and Judy Tipple. Dr Don and his daughter Skye arrived later on with their pipes. This turned out to be a beautiful day and although we had many displays etc inside the house, the clansmen chose to stay outside on our patio and then moved out into the sun around the fire pit. Neil R. had some Clan paraphernalia to offer and was well received and people did watch the pictures of Clan MacLeod activities that we had scrolling on the TV. Amongst some of our new members there was keen interest in genealogy and Catherine MacLeod Chapman had a wonderful family tree that harkens back to Stornoway. Sisters, Janet and Dorothy MacLeod from Victoria whom we have met at the games for years, ventured over the Malahat (a steep mountain highway) for the first time in years and on their return home had terrible car problems and had to be towed. Randy Stewart (and children Holly and Lachlan), who heads up the Stewart Clan on the Island joined us since he has MacLeod roots from Gesto, as well. He brought with him some of his museum which he takes to the Victoria Highland Games, it was very impressive as he always takes first prize for his Clan tent display. The fare was burgers and hot dogs which were expertly cooked by Shaun Lahay, accompanied by salads, dips and complimented by some beautiful smoked Salmon brought by Rick and Bev MacLeod from Bamfield. Karen and I recently discovered that fresh Haggis can be procured from one of our local butcher shops and it is very good. Dr Don piped while I proudly carried the Haggis in and then Roderick Beaton did an absolutely wonderful job of the address to the Haggis. There were some here who had not tasted the puddin afore and were suitably impressed. Now it was time for the cake which was donated by my dad Neil, decorated with the Harris tartan and was dispatched by Dr. Don's scalpel. At this point it was planned to have our friend Laurel Lahay (nee Beaton) do a power point presentation on genealogy but the pipes took precedent since some had to leave to catch ferries. We had Dr. Don and his daughter Skye, Heather, the daughter of Rick and Bev from Bamfield and our son Callum giving us a wee concert in our driveway. Skye, Heather and Callum are all close in age and competed against each other several years ago at different games. Also in attendance were John McLeod (a long time member) our daughter Kirstie, Frances (my mom) Roderick's wife Marny, Bobby Mawdsley, (Bob Tanner's daughter), Gerard, (Catherine's friend). And a neighbor, Alvin Wallace who was attracted by the pipes and who Dorothy and Janet had noticed riding by shirtless on his bicycle and a few minutes later came back properly attired with his Wallace tartan vest on. Many a picture was taken during the day, especially of the haggis, the cake and the piping and a good time was had by all.
After most had fled and few of us were left, we were treated to Laurel's genealogy presentation which was very interesting and more like a Sherlock Holmes mystery as she led us through her search to find her roots on her dad's side. The search took her to Scotland twice where she knocked on strangers doors many times until the mystery slowly unfolded through old pictures and conversations. There were many, many hours spent on the computer as well. Laurel did find her dad's birthplace and is very ecstatic about the results of her efforts and encourages any who would like to do as she has. Do it!
Hold Fast
Malcolm and Karen

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

September 3rd Reception

Left: President - Don MacLeod
Past Presidents - Neil McLeod, Barbara Armstrong and Ian MacLeod

Right: Clan MacLeod of Canada Award Winners: Neil McLeod, Barbara Armstrong, Judy Tipple and Bill McLeod

September 3rd ~ Meet the Presidents! Dr. Don MacLeod attended a gathering with Special Guest, Barbara Armstrong, who was National President from 1994 - 2000 along with past Presidents Neil McLeod (2000 - 2004) and Ian MacLeod (2004 - 2008).
Thank you to Bill and Edith McLeod for hosting the reception for the Clan MacLeod.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Piper Story courtesy of Anne Trites

Piper’s Story - even the hardest of hearts may find themselves misty eyed!

As a piper, I was once asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man who had no family or friends.
The funeral was to be held at a new cemetery in the remote countryside and this man would be the first to be laid to rest there.

As I was not familiar with the area, I became lost and being a typical man, did not ask for directions.
I finally arrived - an hour late. I saw the backhoe and the crew who were eating lunch but the hearse was nowhere in sight.

I apologized to the gravediggers for my lateness and stepped to the side of the open grave where I saw the vault lid already in place.

I assured the workers I wouldn’t hold them up for long but that this was the proper thing to do. The workers gathered around, still eating their lunch. I played my heart and soul out.

As I played, the gravediggers began to weep. I played like I'd never played before, from ‘Going Home’ and ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’ to ‘Flowers of the Forest’. I closed the session with ‘Amazing Grace’, then solemnly and quietly walked to my car.

As I opened the car door, I overheard one of the workers say to another, "I’ve never seen anything like that before and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Johnny Forrest Book and CDs Available

Any of you over about 50 will probably remember Don Messer's Jubilee from CBC national TV on Saturday nights in the 1960s (at the time, more popular even than Hockey Night in Canada). One of Don Messer's performers was Johnny Forrest, the energetic "wee" Scotsman in a kilt and playing his accordion.
Johnny is now living in Richmond, BC (my home), and still performing. In fact, he regularly plays his accordion at the Clan MacLeod (Greater Vancouver) Society annual Robbie Burns brunches.
Johnny has recently published a book telling his story.
He has asked for my help in letting my MacLeod network in Canada know about his book, which I am only too happy to do.
The book is written in a conversational and at times humorous, down home, style, and tells Johnny's story, beginning with his childhood in Carluke (20 miles up the Clyde from Glasgow), Scotland. It is also an interesting story about the music industry in Canada.
Johnny tells of growing up in very modest setting. At age six, he heard his first accordion (a local busker) and was hooked. In order to keep him from following the busker like a pied piper, his mom bought him his first accordion. By age 11, he was on the road with a small Vaudeville group, touring around Scotland. After finishing school at 15 he apprenticed as a auto body man, but kept up his performing.
In 1956, at age 20, he emigrated to Canada, crossing on the Empress of Britain. He left home with £50 Sterling. Following shipboard performances "below decks", he arrived in Canada with an additional Can$200! He was certainly both a performer and an entrepreneur.
He spent his first few years in Edmonton doing a variety of "regular" jobs, but always performing. In 1963 (at about age 27), he heard that the Don Messer 1963 Road Show would be appearing at the Edmonton Pavilion. He took his accordion and approached the band's manager, with a request to meet Don Messer during the gap between two shows. He was denied. So he snuck into the building and into an empty hockey change room, and hid there in the dark until the intermission. When he heard Don Messer in the hall, he came out, introduced himself and did an on-the-spot audition. He was hired on the spot! After 3 years of summer tours and guest appearances with Don Messer, in 1966 he moved to Halifax to be on the show full time. In 1969, CBC cancelled the show, but CHCH TV in Hamilton picked it up, for another few years.
Johnny tells of getting a knock on his apartment door in Dartmouth, NS one day in 1969 and finding two strangers at the door. They were musicians from PEI who had written a song that they had sent to the Messer show, but had never heard back. They were desperate, and wanted Johnny's help in getting their song heard. Johnny listened and liked it, and got it immediately before Don Messer. He liked it, and brought it on to his show. That summer it was also played on the summer replacement show, Sing-along-Jubilee.
One of the young singers on that show was Anne Murray. The song was Snowbird. The rest is history.
Johnny kept performing and, in 1984, also started his own business, Tartan Tours, taking groups of golfers and seniors to Scotland (while, of course, entertaining them all the way).
In 2002, CBC-TV did a 50 year anniversary celebration, and had Johnny on tour, representing the Don Messer Show. Another "nostalgia" tour took place in 2006.
This summer, from Aug 1 to 6, he will be participating in a "Centennial Celebration of Don Messer" (his 100th birthday was May 9, 2009) in Harvey Station (near Fredericktown), NB.
Over the years, Johnny has also produced many records.
Johnny tells all those stories, and more, in his book "Do You Remember When 'Memoirs of a Musical Journey'" (274 pages, soft cover, including many b/w pictures).
He is selling the book for $20.00 (including taxes and shipping). He is also selling 4 of his CDs (Scottish Favourites, Songs of Scotland, Best of Johnny Forrest and Scottish Dance Music & Songs).
He can be contacted as follows:
Johnny Forrest
#405 - 7500 Granville Ave
Richmond, BC, V6Y 3Y6

Saturday, August 15, 2009

SFU Pipe Band Wins Again! August 2009

SFU repeats as the top Pipe Band for the sixth time. To see the Band in competition, go to

Grade 1 Overall

1st Simon Fraser University (Canada)

2nd Field Marshal Montgomery (Northern Ireland)

3rd St. Laurence O'Toole (Ireland)

4th Strathclyde Police (Scotland).

5th House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead (Scotland)

6th Boghall & Bathgate (Scotland)

Drumming: Simon Fraser University (Canada)

Grade 1 Medley: 1st Simon Fraser University (Canada)

Drumming: House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead (Scotland)

Judges: I Wood, T. Sloane (piping); G. Craig (drumming); Joe Noble (ensemble)

Grade 1 MSR: 1st Simon Fraser University (Canada)

Drumming: 1st Simon Fraser University (Canada)

Judges: Malcolm MacKenzie, John Moles (piping); A. Steele (drumming); David Clark (ensemble)

Grade 2 (MSR)

1st Inveraray and District

2nd Ravara

3rd Mauchline and District

4th Dumfries

5th Grampian Police

6th New Westminster Police

Other news:

1. Triumph Street Pipe Band qualified for the Grade 1 final but didn’t make the prize list.

2. Robert Malcolm Juveniles were 4th in their competition.

All in all, a very good day for B.C. Bands.

- Courtesy of Ron MacLeod

Monday, May 11, 2009

Highland Games

Upcoming Event:

Mark your calendars for Saturday June 26th so you won't miss the spectacular Highland Games in Coquitlam. You can help at the Clan MacLeod Booth!  Leave a comment and we'll contact you.