It’s hard to believe that this will be my last President’s message, my three year stint has positively flown by but I am delighted to be handing over the reins to Gordon Nelson who will take charge after the Gathering.
I am also pleased to report that the Society is in good shape, both in terms of numbers and finances and I am particularly pleased with the developments that have been made to the welcome pack to new members. We have brought in a new hard copy folder, redesigned the cover, introduced membership cards and a certificate of membership as well as included a welcome letter, several back copies of the Herald and a copy of the Clan Gunn and it’s Country, all of which I believe presents an excellent offering to new members. I have also been pleased with the ongoing development of our website which I would predominately like to thank Graham Hill for. This serves as our chief source of attracting new members and I believe, now offers a useful and professional first view of Clan Gunn.
The St Donan’s Day weekend in April this year was based around the Durham area and was a huge success. We even managed to tempt Robert and Margaret Gunn down from Caithness. My thanks go to Ed Aksamit for organising the whole event and the dinner at Lumley Castle provided a fitting centre piece to a very enjoyable weekend. There is an article in this edition of the Herald so I don’t intend to expound further here.
I am also pleased to report a (so far) successful International Clan Gathering with great support from all around the world, in particular the US and France but with honourable mentions to Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany and for the first time this year, Norway. It is always difficult to try to achieve the right blend of must-see attractions for the first-timers with new events and venues for the serial gathering attendees. However, I hope we have managed to get this right or at least, mostly right.
We are sadly very nearly at the end of this year’s gathering but a couple of highlights for me this year have firstly been our boat trip to Hoy with its fabulous scenery and its many points of interest – I have to admit to being particularly fond of Orkney. Secondly, I also really enjoyed the Gala dinner with the Sinclairs last night at which I think we gave a very good account of ourselves despite being outnumbered two to one. This seems to be a bit of a recurring feature in Clan Gunn history.
Finally, while I will stand down as President at the end of the Gathering, I know I will be leaving the Clan Gunn Society in the safe hands of Gordon Nelson and the other fantastic members of the council. However, they have not seen the last of me quite yet as I will still remain on the council for the next three years but I promise not to interfere too much.