On Saturday 1st July, our President Marigold MacRae accompanied by Fraser McRae travelled up to Gairloch for the 5th Gairloch Gathering.
There has been a strong MacRae presence around Gairloch going back for several centuries and we felt that we should acknowledge this by taking a stand and supporting the Gathering.
The Gathering itself is very much a community event, extremely friendly and informal. We were made to feel very welcome and a number of local MacRaes visited our stand and showed interest in what we were doing. Among these visitors was a young MacRae piper, a member of the 37 strong Pipe Band from Knox Grammar School in Sydney which provided the music for the afternoon. The band is on a three week visit to Scotland and a few days before had won first prize in the Street Marching Competition at a major competition. Aged from 13 to 17, the boys looked very impressive in their MacPherson tartan.
A number of items of merchandise were sold and it would have been nice to be able to say that this covered our costs, but an unexpected expense threw our finances into disarray. Although a beautiful day, very hot and sunny, the seashore site was swept by extremely powerful winds and our new tent, on its first outing, took a real battering. We had heard that last year Clan MacKenzie saw its tent shredded but we were still unprepared for what was to come. Despite the support of extra guy ropes, the metal frame of our tent eventually collapsed under the force of the wind with three of the four legs actually breaking.
Next year we hope to be back at Gairloch but with a much more substantial replacement! At least there were no midges!