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  • Euan McGillivray

40th Anniversary Gathering - Secretary's Report

On Sunday the 30th of October we celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Clan MacGillivray Society Australia.

MacGillivray Hall in Bendigo was the ideal place for our Gathering. Clansfolk mostly from Victoria with a few from Queensland and New South Wales met in the Hall named after the noted scientist and Bendigo doctor, Paul Howard MacGillivray.

The Golden City Pipe Band greeted guests as they arrived at the Hall built in 1885. This excellent band played during the afternoon and one of their pipers, Emily Earl, also danced.

About 90 clan members and friends were introduced to our newly appointed Clan Commander, Iain Donald MacGillivray. Iain and his brother Michael were our special guests who travelled from Scotland especially to be part of our anniversary celebrations. They were beautifully dressed in clan tartan, Iain in the traditional tartan and Michael in the hunting tartan. Both were in high demand for photographs with clan members.

We were honoured, also, to have the winner of the Clan MacGillivray Novice Piper Award for 2016, Anna Blanch. Anna performed the opening ceremony by piping Iain into the Gathering where the Australian members officially greeted him.

Above: Clan Commander Iain being piped in by Anna Blanch. His uncle, Callum carries the MacGillivray banner.

Member of the Robert Burns Society, Jim Millar, recited some classic Burns poems. In his lilting Scots accent, Jim gave us The Highland Widow's Lament, My Luve is like a Red Red Rose and finally, My Heart's In The Highlands. This last piece was particularly moving for some of those gathered because it dealt with the time of the Highland Clearances when a number of our ancestors were forced to leave for a new life in Australia.

Above: Burns recital by Jim Millar.

Iain very kindly made three presentations to our clan. One was a knitted McBear resplendent in MacGillivray tartan kilt and bagpipes. The other two were to recognise our clan’s 40th anniversary: a Scottish national flag and a magnificent hand-painted ceramic platter made by a Scottish pottery in Tain, Ross-shire. Iain also gave an illustrated presentation on the history of the clan and included some MacGillivrays that might have been unknown to us; such as Canadian Greg MacGillivray, a co-inventor of IMAX films.

Above: Iain presenting the ceramic platter to Secretary Euan McGillivray and President, Jill McGillivray.

Below: Best colouring-in of "MacGillivray at the Battlements".

Several family groups consisted of four generations. Some of the very young displayed their colouring-in skills on outlines of the clan wildcat and the MacGillivray at the Battlements. Most folk simply got to meet others and hear their stories about clan and family connections.

Finally, whilst were having a splendid afternoon tea, Iain invited as many Australian members as possible to come to the Gathering in Scotland in 2020. Quite a few mentioned that they would start saving up immediately!

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