Society invites all to celebrate 50th Anniversary

In a little over three months, Clan MacDougall Society will mark the 50th anniversary of our founding. Everyone is invited, in face urged, to attend the festivities July 10 through 12 at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games (GMHG) in Linville, North Carolina in the heart of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

You’ll be joining other members from throughout the U.S. and Canada, past presidents, folks who were instrumental in the formation of the Society at Grandfather in 1965, and a full complement of talented entertainers. The event has been publicized in the Society’s monthly e-newsletter, and we hope you are making plans to attend. For obvious reasons, this is the year to attend the Grandfather Games whether it’s for your first time or to return after a lapse of a few or more years. We have a special committee working on the arrangements, but it’s an event you won’t want to miss.

We have reduced the cost of reservations for the Founders Dinner to $37.00 per-person to encourage more people to attend.

Your first order of business should travel and accommodations. For room reservations, visit the GMHG website at and click on both “Participating Lodging Partners” and “Avery County Chamber of Commerce” in the menu for lodging information. You may also order your GMHG admission tickets in advance through the “Online Ordering” tab.

Here is what is shaping up for this grand celebration and fellowship:

Thursday evening, July 9

If you plan to arrive early, please join other clansfolk on the mountain for the stirring Torchlight Ceremony and calling of the clans.

Friday, July 10

Things will really get underway at Eseeola Lodge with the Annual General Meeting, preceded by the Board of Directors meeting. The first full day culminates with our wonderful Founders Dinner.

9:00 a.m. GMHG open
1:00 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting.
4:00 p.m. Annual General Meeting (AGM), open to all members.
6:00 p.m. Reception, with cash bar and piper
7:00 p.m. Founders Dinner. Featuring a three-course dinner plus a taste of haggis at a special price of $37.00 per-person, reduced from $50.00 Reprising popular traditions, champion piper Bill Caudill will lead us into the dining room. Before dinner begins, Troy McDougal will open with his always eloquent rendering of Burns’ “Address to a Haggis.” Following the blessing by Clan Chaplain Rev. Matt MacDougall, we will have some brief presentations, highlighted by recollections from Patti Leonard who as a young girl sparked the formation of the Society. The evening concludes with the beloved music of our favorite balladeer, Society member Richard Van Valkenburgh.To help with planning, please reserve your place as soon as possible using this form.

Saturday, July 11

We all convene in the two spacious Clan MacDougall tents on the mountain to enjoy the fun, food and festivities of the famous Grandfather Games with all its pageantry. The day will also feature very special Society events to celebrate our 50th.

7:30 a.m. GMHG continue
3:30 p.m. Society members begin to gather for the annual Feast of Porky Campbell Carolina-style pork barbeque in the Chief’s tent on the mountain.
4:00 p.m. Annual Society BBQ.
7:00 p.m. 50th Anniversary Gathering and Celebration at the Eseeola Pavilion – sure to be a memorable evening of fellowship, recollections and festive entertainment. The committee is arranging an agenda that begins with dessert and official welcomes and congratulations from our chiefs Morag and Fergus. Morag will greet us in a special recorded video message. The rest of the evening features brief but fascinating MacDougall and MacDowall histories, the story of our Society that will include personal recollections from past presidents and a few long-term members, followed by performances from folk singers and award-winning young dancers, pipers and fiddlers.

Sunday, July 12

Our 50th Anniversary Celebration and Gathering concludes with a partial day of more great fellowship and goodbyes as the Society concludes its first 50 years—a proud tradition we all share and are challenged to build on in the same proud spirit of our founders.

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