Message from Lochiel

Donald Angus Cameron of Lochiel


XXVII Chief of Clan Cameron

There are no words other than those which came directly from our present Chief, Donald Angus Cameron of Lochiel XXVII Chief of Clan Cameron, who succeeded his father in May 2004, that better describe the direction which the Clan will take under his leadership.

These were the thoughts he presented to the Clan as we entered into the 21st Century and give us clear indication as to ‘Where we are going’

Where are we going?

During the last fifty years there have been wholesale changes to our Clan – not only in the way in which it operates but also in the way it is perceived by its members. I think it is now more democratic and more akin to a family – which, of course, is the meaning of “clan.” I hope that initiatives such as the creation of the museum, clan gatherings, overseas trips by family members and our website have led not only to a better understanding of the Clan but also to a greater sense of “belonging.” I am sure that you won’t mind my saying at this point that we have been very fortunate in having as our XXVI Chief a man of great good sense, enthusiasm, foresight and charm – a hard act to follow!

So where do we go now? I think, first, that we need to restate the purpose of a clan. It is so that its members can appreciate being a part of history, can communicate with each other, meet together, learn from and help each other, search for their identity and, from time to time, gather together to celebrate being part of a wider family – one with a proud and dramatic history. This is an honourable and satisfactory reason to continue as we do now.

But is it enough? Will the number of active members grow or decline? Will young clansmen and women – the lifeblood of the Clan – be satisfied with what is on offer? It is tempting to try and map out a wider purpose for the Clan but as I try and think of possible initiatives, I am aware that it would be wrong to suppose that we could make a meaningful difference to the way of the world. As a clan, we are neither large nor rich but we are as well organised and as enthusiastic as any. Furthermore, if a Scotsman/woman could choose a clan then I am sure there would only be one conclusion – the clan with a glorious past, a vibrant present and one whose name is an anagram of Romance!

However, there are opportunities for us. For instance, The First Light Exchange has been established in New Zealand to foster links between that country and Lochaber – an admirable idea, which I hope, will lead to youth exchanges and closer cultural ties. Also, we have embraced new technology with enthusiasm and I am sure that we can build on this and use modern means of communication to cement further the relationships we have established with one another across the world.

A clan is only as good as its clansfolk and as a result, I would be very interested to hear the views and suggestions of clan members as to what, if any, changes you would like to see (so long as proposals are practical and do not include suggestions that I should climb Ben Nevis each New Year’s Day or should give up “the water of life” i.e. whisky). For my part, I think matters are pretty much as they should be but I recognise that we should not be complacent and neither should we stand still.