The Clan Gunn is one of the oldest Scottish Clans descended from the Norse Jarls of Orkney and the Pictish Mormaers of Caithness.
Today there are members of the Clan in the UK, France, the Netherlands, South Africa, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. The Clan was originally based on the east coast of Caithness, but from the fifteenth century the senior line settled in the Strath of Kildonan in north east Sutherland; the Robson Gunns had their seat in Braemore in south east Caithness and the third main family established themselves in Cattaig and Dalemore on the upper reaches of the River Thurso.
There are thriving Clan Gunn Societies in the UK, New Zealand, Nova Scotia and North America. I have appointed two personal Commissioners to represent me abroad – Rob Kamp-Gunn, a former president of the Clan Gunn Society who is my representative in the Netherlands and Rich Gunn, president of the Clan Gunn Society of North America, who is my representative in North America.
We are proud of our Clan Heritage Centre at Latheron in Caithness based in the old Parish Church of Latheron which has provided a focal point for the Clan since it opened in 1985.
Our clan archive is one of the most comprehensive, thanks to the work of the late Dr. Colin Gunn, Sandy Gunn and our current clan genealogist Abb Gunn of Alpharetta, Georgia, USA.
2014 is the Year of Homecoming in Scotland. Unfortunately the planned International Gathering of the Clans has had to be postponed as Stirling Council, which had acquired the rights to the International Gathering from the company that ran the 2009 Gathering in Edinburgh decided that it was not possible to run it this year. There have, however, been discussions about holding another International Gathering in Scotland in 2019 with the possibility of holding another Convention in 2015.
The major historic events this year will be a two day re-enactment of the Battle of Bannockburn in June on the 700th anniversary of the battle and the Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and we shall have the Referendum on Scottish Independence on the 18th September.
As Clan Gunn was not involved in the Battle of Bannockburn we are not planning to have a Clan presence at the event. We are, however, holding a Mini Gathering in Caithness over the weekend of 25 to 27 July to coincide with the Halkirk Highland Games on 26 July at which we shall have a hospitality tent. The programme will include a dinner at the Forss House Hotel on the evening of 26 July and our annual service at Kildonan Church on Sunday 27 July. I hope that as many members of the Clan as possible will be able to come to Caithness for this weekend.
Our next International Gathering will be held in Orkney and Caithness next year from 19 to 26 July. We are planning the programme which will be published later in the year. Clan Sinclair will also be holding its International Gathering in 2015 and we plan to meet together at the Halkirk Games. We look forward to welcoming members of the Clan from all parts of the world to our triennial get-together.
I am delighted to see that our Clan Societies overseas continue to thrive. I am grateful to Sam Johnson for leading the Clan Gunn Society of North America over the past three years and welcome Rich Gunn on his return to the Presidency and the other new office-bearers and wish them well for the next three years.
We have made several attempts to establish a Clan Gunn Society in Australia without success although we have a number of Australian clan members in the parent society. Vince Williamson Lollback of Little Whiskers Farm, 42 Batemans Road, Numbugga NSW 2550 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org has offered to make a further attempt to establish a Clan Gunn Society In Australia and I have as a result appointed him as my Commissioner for Australia. I am grateful to Vince for taking on this responsibility and hope that the Clan in Australia will support him in his efforts.
I send you all my best wishes for 2014.
Iain Gunn of Banniskirk
Commander, Clan Gunn