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Thu 15 November 2018
13th-17th July 2005

The 2005 Clan MacRae Gathering started with a walk down the Royal Mile with Sandy Macpherson, a most knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. I had told him that there would probably be about a dozen people, but in fact 50 appeared! We had a fascinating walk with Sandy, regaling us with the history and anecdotes connected with the area. Two and a half hours later we reached Holyrood Palace where the tour ended. He really brought the history alive.

After a short time for lunch we met at the foot of Arthur's Seat and Jimi the Piper gathered us all around him. We then set off up Arthur's Seat with Jimi piping all the way and Eduardo MacRae from Argentina marching with his flag aloft. Jim McRae gave us a talk about the mutiny in 1778 known as The Affair of the Wild MacRaes, as the regiment marched up there and refused to come down until their demands had been met. Once up there we had time to sit, talk and admire the magnificent views. We were so lucky to have had such a glorious day.

In the evening we just had time to change into our finery before meeting up again in the magnificent Signet Library which Jim MacRae had procured for us for the evening. He gave us a brief history of the Library and building, then Jimi again piped for us as we sat down for dinner.

The next day we drove up to Sheriffmuir and met at the memorial cairn. Unfortunately the weather was not quite as good as the day before, but we walked up to the gathering stone where Jim told us about the Battle. The MacRaes fought hard for three hours and lost 58 of their men in a tragic and indecisive battle. Some then went to the Sheriffmuir Inn for lunch, including Bruce and Judy McRae who had brought a wonderful party of over 40 MacRaes from the USA.

On the Friday, we all met up at the Dornie Hall for registration. Here we collected our badges and programmes and had sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee. Tina Glen-Riddell and Fiona MacRae had a wealth of history and photographs of the MacRaes on view which became a focal point for many. Renee Gibson was there demonstrating spinning and Pam MacRae was selling MacRae wares. Judging by the buzz of conversation, everyone had a great time making new friends and renewing old acquaintances.

In the afternoon we went up to the site of the Battle of Glenshiel in 1719 and Alex Mackay, a castle guide, gave a graphic account of the battle. The Spaniards, who had left the castle, surrendered to the Government troops which brought about the end of the uprising.

In the evening people dressed in their finest Scottish attire and walked over to Eilean Donan for the banquet in the castle. People met in the Billeting Room for wine and soft drinks and then up to the Banqueting Hall for the meal. Those who didn't have tickets for the dinner on Friday night went to the Ceilidh in the Visitors Centre.

On the Saturday we went off to the local Games at Lochcarron. We did not have particularly good weather but we all came together and marched round the ring behind the Pipe Band with banners held high. There were representatives from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and Argentina, as well as the United Kingdom. It was a proud moment seeing such a large party going round the ring. We had a Clan MacRae tent which provided a welcome retreat from the rain and was a good meeting place. During the afternoon, I was made an Honorary Member of the Clan MacRae in Canada, which was indeed a great honour. Numerous events took place and the Games ended with the MacRaes putting in two teams for the Tug-O'-War. Unfortunately, they did not win but a good time was had by all.

In the evening there was another Buffet Dinner in the castle and a Ceilidh in the Visitors Centre. The two Ceilidhs were a great success and much enjoyed by everyone. There were numerous different local artists singing, dancing and piping on both nights and Bill Ramsay gave two excellent talks on local history. Both nights included a stovie supper and ended in dancing.

Our very grateful thanks go to Pam MacRae and Ruby MacRae who worked so hard to get the artistes who gave such good entertainment.

The final morning we met at Clachan Duich where hymns were sung and the Venerable Robert MacRae, who conducted the service, gave a very moving sermon. Colin MacRae from Canada piped above us. Representatives from all the countries present took part in the service and we then placed wreaths in the Old Church in memory of the dead.

So ended our 2005 Clan MacRae Gathering. It all went so quickly, but how wonderful it was for us that so many of you made the effort to come over and make the Gathering the success it was. Your enthusiasm is infectious! Your warmth and friendship so unbelievable - we are lucky to belong to such a wonderful Clan.

So please all you Scattered Children of Kintail, come back again and again!

Marigold MacRae

Send us your photos! We would love to see your photos of the Gathering and publish the best on this page. E-mail to


Wed 13 July 10:00 The Royal Mile
Wed 13 July 14:00 Walk up the Dry Dam
Wed 13 July 18:00 Signet Library Dinner
Thu 14 July 10:30 Sheriffmuir Visit
Fri 15 July 12:00 Registration
Fri 15 July 14:30 Glenshiel Visit
Fri 15 July 19:30 Dinner & Ceilidh
Sat 16 July 12:00 Lochcarron Highland Games
Sat 16 July 19:30 Dinner & Ceilidh
Sun 17 July 11:00 Clachan Duich

Pictures from the Walk up the Dry Dam

Top left: The clan makes its way up to Arthur's Seat.
Top right: Jimi the Piper, Eduardo MacRae and Commander Jim McRae at the top.
Bottom: We made it!

Pictures from the Signet Library Dinner

Top left: Commander Jim and Marigold welcome the guests.
Top right: Danny, Tom and Bruce McRae with Marigold MacRae. The trip was a dream come true for the three brothers from Vernon (Texas), Crowell (Texas) and Evergreen (Colorado) respectively.
Bottom: MacRaes from California, Buenos Airies, New York and Texas.

Pictures from the Sheriffmuir Visit

Top: The group gather at the momument.
Bottom left: Commander Jim McRae gives an account of the battle.
Bottom right: MacRaes from California, Missouri and New Hampshire enjoy lunch at the Sherifmuir Inn.

Pictures from Registration

Marigold MacRae welcomes everyone to the 2005 Clan MacRae Gathering.

Pictures from the Glenshiel Visit

Alex MacKay, an Eilean Donan tour guide, gives an account of the battle.

Pictures from the Dinner

Top left: Jimi the Piper and his son.
Top right: Tonya and Tom Sloan
Bottom right: Marigold MacRae and Kenneth Reith.
Bottom left: Faye Moore and Mary Ann McRae, Directors of the Clan MacRae Society of North America.

Pictures from the Ceilidh

Top left: Jimi "The Piper" McRae and Jacob Bickle of Hays, Kansas.
Top right: Let the dancing begin!
Bottom: Everyone checks their raffle tickets.

Pictures from the Lochcarron Highland Games

Top left: Jim McRae, Fraser McRae and Eduardo Macrae present flags.
Top right: Colorado McRaes with Jimi the Piper.
Bottom: The Tug O' War was the least successful event of the gathering!

Pictures from Clachan Duich

Top: The Venerable Robert D. McRae leads the service.
Bottom left: Marigold MacRae speaks at the service.
Bottom right: The congregation file past the wreaths.

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