Past International Gatherings


Scotland 2009 Washington, USA 2007 Nova Scotia, Canada 2007
Scotland 2005 Georgia, USA 2003 Scotland 2001

Scotland 2009

Homecoming celebrations have been held in Scotland throughout the year to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the poet Robert Burns’ birth in 1759. The Clan Sutherland Society in Scotland hosted a gathering of Sutherlands to coincide with “The Gathering 2009”, an international gathering of Scottish Clans at Holyrood Park, Edinburgh in July.

Clan Sutherland Society in Scotland greeted 83 guests from around the world on Friday afternoon, July 24th, followed by their AGM and a buffet reception in the St. Leonard’s Hall of the University of Edinburgh.

Jeanie Sutherland, president of The Clan Sutherland Society in Scotland, with Lord and Lady Strathnaver.

Clan Sutherland Society of North America President George W. “Bill” Sutherland giving his report at the Annual General Meeting.

The Welcoming Committee, Left to right: Dr. Linda Sutherland originally of the USA, Mrs. Isabel Bonner of Golspie, Sutherland, Ms. Marion Cowden of New Zealand, and Ms. Jean Sutherland of Glasgow, Scotland.

Bob Sutherland from Massachusetts in the queue for the buffet meal after the AGM in Edinburgh.

Group Left

Group Right

On Saturday, Prince Charles, known as Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Rothesay met representatives form the clans, walked the field meeting the public, and opened the ‘games’ at noon. This was a treat for everyone there as they walked slowly towards the arena for the opening ceremony. During the day in the games field not only field and track events took place, but many other entertainments were going on. For one, the “Red Hot Chilli Pipers” made a feet stomping impression for young and old. Various “taste of Scotland” food items were being displayed and sold while the piping competition droned and the Highland dancers trod the boards. An estimated 47,000 people attended the Highland Games on Saturday. Probably at least a thousand came to the Clan Sutherland tent that day.

A view of the clan marquees and standards that some clans had up over their tents. St Giles Cathedral is in the background.

Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves in the tent.

At 88, the Countess was unable to be in Edinburgh for the parade, in the evening of Saturday, July 24, 2009. But her son, Lord Strathnaver, and the Countess’s standard were leading the clan at the start of the Royal Mile parade. Arthur’s Seat, at the base of Holyrood Palace Park, is in the background. Two hours later, we were still walking in the parade of clans for the homecoming of people from around the world.

As our name is Sutherland, we are near the end in alphabetical order, so many clans had passed the Royal Mile before we got there almost two hours later. Crowds came out to greet those who came home to Scotland for this celebration.

The event included a special Clan Pageant held on the magnificent Edinburgh Castle Esplanade.

A party of Sutherlands from the gathering also toured 2009 in Scotland the famous Grouse distillery, the oldest distillery in Scotland.

Washington, USA 2007

In 2007, for the first time, the Clan Sutherland Society of North America’s Annual General Meeting was not held in conjunction with Highland Games. Instead, there was a gathering in Acme, Washington for a Sutherland Summer Ceilidh.

Members of the Clan Sutherland Society of North America at the 2007 Annual General Meeting and Sutherland Summer Ceilidh in Acme, WA.
Back row (left to right):
John Sutherland (President), Robert Sutherland (NE Commissioner), Gene Sutherland (NW Commissioner), Robert Sutherland Jr. (Treasurer)
Front row (left to right):
George Sutherland (Vice-President), Barbara Sutherland (Secretary), Sharron Oswald (Canada Commissioner), Jilyna Dick (Newsletter Editor).

There were about 125 in attendance that day, from Alaska, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oregon, California, Arizona and Canada. By all accounts, it could not have been better!

The event was held in a wooded setting, and featured dancers Kyra Sutherland (11) of Washington and Jesse Sutherland (12) of North Carolina, the Bellingham Pipe Band, the popular Celtic band Maggie’s Fury, musicians Anna Schaad and David MacVittie, and a fireworks display. The event concluded with those in attendance joining in a rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

Peter Rolstadt and the Bellingham Pipe Band performing one of many tunes.

Nova Scotia, Canada 2007

A Clan Sutherland Society gathering was hosted by the Atlantic Association of Clan Sutherland in conjunction with the International Gathering of Scottich Clans in Halifax, Nova Scotia in July 2007.

Highlights included Seeing the 78th Highland Regiment parade, pipe and demonstrate artillery at The Citadel, one of Canada’s most visited national historic sites, a reception at City Hall, hosted by The Hororable Peter J. Kelly, Mayor of Halifax, the Royal International Nova Scotia Tattoo, Highland Games, a barbeque, and a visit to the Hector, a reconstruction of an emigrant ship to leave Scotland that arrived in Pictou in September 1773.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Tattoo in the Metro Centre

The Ship Hector

Sutherlands with mayor of Halifax, Peter Kelly (center)

The Parade of Clans at the Highland Games

Sutherlands on the Hector

Scotland 2005

A Clan Sutherland Gathering was held September 7 through 10, 2005 in Sutherland, Scotland. The schedule of events included Massed pipe bands at Dunrobin Castle, day trips, a Dunrobin Castle Garden Party, a tour of Glenmorangie Distillery, the Gathering Ball at Dunrobin Castle and a luncheon at the Dornoch Castle Hotel.

Georgia 2003

An international gathering of Clan Sutherland was hosted by the Clan Sutherland Society of North America on October 15-19, 2003. The event was held in conjunction with Stone Mountain Games in Atlanta, Georgia. The events included a formal dinner with entertainment and a presentation by Rt. Hon. Robin Blair, Lord Lyon, King of Arms of Scotland.

Group photograph at the Clan Sutherland dinner

John Sutherland Pierce, president, Clan Sutherland Society of North America and Rt. Hon. Robin Blair, Lord Lyon, King of Arms of Scotland

Attendee from Scotland Jean Sutherland at the Clan Sutherland tent

Scotland 2001

In September 2001, the Clan Sutherland Society of Scotland hosted an international gathering of Sutherlands. The event was attended by Sutherlands from Australia, Austria, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland, Switzerland, the United States and a Clan Sutherland pipe band from Germany.

Activities included a day trip north to Orkney to see Skara Brae, the Italian Chapel, Ring of Brodgar, St. Magnus, Scapa Flow and other sites. There was a tour and a dinner dance at Dunrobin Castle, parade of pipe bands, a ceilidh at Carnegie Hall, genealogy seminar, a church service and more. The gathering was a delightful event, and we Sutherlands in North America would like to thank the Clan Sutherland Society of Scotland for being such marvelous hosts.

Andrew Sutherland, secretary CSSNA, John Sutherland, Vice President CSSNA, Lord Alistair Strathnaver, and John Sutherland Pierce, president CSSNA
In the library of Dunrobin Castle in September 2001

Dancing at Dunrobin

Pipe bands at Dunrobin

Services at Dornoch Cathedral

A Clan Sutherland luncheon