On Sunday 6 April 2008, a procession of kilted, banner-bearing folk could be seen marching round the Piraino waterfront area of Buenos Aires. They were the Scottish porteños (natives of the Argentine capital call themselves porteños or people of the port) and, alongside the city's colours, a kilted figure carried a cushion on which rested a symbolic key, representing that of Arbroath Abbey, reflecting Tartan Days commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath on that date in 1320.
Marching alongside the key-bearer to the strains of a pipe band, clad in Argentina District Tartan which he designed, was Eduardo Macrae, who initiated the Buenos Aires Tartan Day parade two years ago. If the concept of kilts and bagpipes in a Latin-American country seems a bizarre one, Mr. Macrae, a 63-year-old tour guide, points out that, with an estimated 100,000 people claiming Scottish ancestry, Argentina can boast the largest Scottish community outside the Englishspeaking world.
At next years Gathering 2009, Mr. Macrae will be among more than 80 fellow clansmen and women, largely from North America, who will march along Edinburghs Royal Mile as well as embarking on a two-week Highland tour, in the process holding their own gathering at Eilean Donan castle.