The following was the speech I delivered at our Hogmanay/85 years celebration. I thought that some of you may find the history interesting. – Elizabeth L Cameron
“I was hoping that you may all indulge me in a quick history lesson.
The start of 2019 marks 85 years of the officially recognised Clan Cameron Association in Australia, although the Clan itself has been going for much longer.
As an association, Clan Cameron in Victoria has been running continuously for longer than any clan that we know of in Australia.
On 29th January, 1891 – A meeting was held in the Queen’s Rooms in Glasgow to unite Clan Cameron worldwide. Camerons from Australia were a driving force behind this meeting. At this time, those same Clan Cameron members were already holding meetings in Australia to support the clan chief in Scotland, but at this meeting in Glasgow were formally recognised by Lochiel, the Cameron chief, as the Clan Cameron Association. It was Clan Cameron Australia who sent out the “Fiery Cross” message worldwide, for Camerons and those who were septs of Camerons to join to support the chief, to restore and maintain the ancestral lands in Lochaber and to continue to maintain the customs and ways of the highlands.
Early in the year, 1934 – The Sunday Times published a story to give clans well-needed publicity, it was entitled “Reviving the Clans”. This resulted in much interest worldwide, particularly America and South America. Four days prior to this article being published, the Clan had officially registered in Melbourne as the Clan Cameron Association and now had an official committee.
1936 – Name officially changed from the Clan Cameron Association to Clan Cameron Australia Inc. and has always been based here in Melbourne with affiliates in other states.
The first international gathering held by Clan Cameron Australia was on S.S. Orama when it pulled into port in Melbourne in 1936.
Clan members were encouraged to sign-on at the cost of 5 shillings a year as membership and were to pay 5 pounds a year to a Clan Cameron Trust Fund managed by Lochiel, the Chief, for the purpose of preserving and maintaining clan lands and properties, until such time that the clan in Scotland could hold their own.
I’m just going to read a short excerpt that was read out at the gathering on the SS Orama in 1936: “This gathering is a momentous one – fraught with the greatest possibilities for promoting peace on earth, good will towards men. Since the fatal battle of Culloden on 16th of April, 1746, the Clan has been scattered to the four winds, but now our Chief, Cameron of Lochiel, send out the fiery cross to unite. You have answered the call. You are Clan Cameron, Australia. We have here greetings from Clan Cameron, New Zealand, and soon we shall have Clan Cameron, America, Africa and Canada. On behalf of our Chief we now send out the fiery cross to every Clansman in the world, to unite. Remembering our motto “Pro Rege et Patria” – “For King and Country” we make it clear that our unity calls for loyalty to our King and Empire. We unite to serve.”
Our Clan Cameron motto is “Aonaibh Ri Cheile” (Uhnav Ree (K)Hail-a) “United we Stand”. I call upon each and every person here present, to stand, to charge your glass and to “unite” with me in a toast to Clan Cameron Australia.
To our unity and friendship with Clan McLennan; to all that has been, all that is, and all that will be: Aonaibh Ri Cheile (Uhnav Ree (K)Hail-a), United we Stand!”