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Article on Sir Donald Hamish Cameron of Lochiel, K.T., XXVI Chief of Clan Cameron
Sanford (North Carolina) Herald
June 28, 1972


by Louis Byrd, State Editor

"How many people in this audience are Camerons?"

Nearly 75 right hands were upraised in Barbecue Presbyterian Church Tuesday (July 27, 1972) afternoon in response to an inquiry posed by Rev. James MacKenzie of Robbins, a former pastor.

The Camerons of many ages plus a dozen or so who were not of this name or married to a Cameron, had gathered at 2 p.m. on a hot summer day for a rare event - to welcome the worldwide Chief of Clan Cameron.

Colonel Donald H. Cameron of Lochiel, presented by Rev. MacKenzie as the 26th Chief of Clan Cameron, was asked to speak "what is in his heart."

A tall, erect Scotsman in his 50's, with bright blue eyes and dressed casually in a light tan jacket, arose and said simply, "It is a pleasure to be able to come here and see so many of our kinsmen."

"We hope to see more of you at Grandfather Mountain.  (The reference was to the forthcoming annual gathering of the Clans at Grandfather Mountain on July 7-9).

The Camerons have spread over the world, said the chief, "In our travels to Australia, Canada, and South Africa, we have found them in every place we have visited.  Everywhere it is a pleasure to note their love and interest in their homeland."

The Chief explained that he and his wife still reside at Achnacarry Castle, ancestral home of Clan Cameron, a clan which dates back to the 13th century.  He said his father and mother had visited North Carolina in the 20's and had gone to Flora Macdonald College.

"I recall often their comments about the warm welcome they received in Carolina, and particularly the courtesy of Dr. Vardell, then president of the college," said Colonel Cameron.

The Chief referred to the fact that his younger brother, Charles is married to a descendant of Flora Macdonald, the Scottish heroine who attempted to rally the Highlanders for the Crown in the American Revolution.  She had worshipped at Barbecue while living in the Cape Fear Valley.

Colonel Cameron spoke praise of the efforts of the late Burton Cameron of Broadway and Dan Cameron of Raleigh in organizing a Grandfather Mountain branch of the Clan Cameron and his regret "Mr. Cameron had not lived to be with us today."

Earlier, the Chief and his Lady had been guests of honor at a luncheon given by Mrs. Burton Cameron at her home in Broadway.

Mrs. Cameron had made the arrangements for the visit to Barbecue Church, oldest church in the Cape Fear Valley, inviting the former minister, now president of the N.C. Presbyterian Historical Society to explain the history of the church to the visitors.



The Scottish Chief and Mrs. Cameron have been house guests of Mr. and Mrs. John Labouisse of Durham who accompanied them to Broadway.  Mrs. Labouisse is the former Sally Cameron, member of a prominent Raleigh family.  The Chief is in North Carolina to attend the annual Scottish games and gathering of the clans at Grandfather Mountain, where he will be the guest of honor.  Colonel Cameron has visited in the state before but this will mark the first time he has attended the Grandfather Mountain celebrations.

Following the brief greeting in the sanctuary, guests were invited by Mrs. Dorothy Cameron Hales to the fellowship hall for refreshments served by the Women of the Church.  Lime punch, cake and mints were served from a large table covered with a gold cloth and decorated with a large vase of red and yellow roses.  Mrs. Alleene Cameron Lyon, Mrs. Dannie Pace, Mrs. Marianna Cameron and Mrs. Eloise Cameron Kelly alternated in serving.  Guests registered with Mrs. Virginia Cameron and Mrs. Meta Cameron.

Earlier the distinguished visitors had been taken on a tour of the historic churchyard by Rev. MacKenzie.  They saw the slave graves, the old colonial road, the Cornwallis hole, the spring where Flora Macdonald drank, the remains of the first log church foundations, the grave of the stranger.  Historical mementoes of the Heritage Room in the church vestibule were also examined by the chief and other visitors who included Mr. and Mrs. Dan Cameron of Raleigh.

Mrs. Cameron, the Chief's Lady, interviewed while walking to the spring, explained that the castle that they call home is the one used in World War II for the training of British Commandoes.  It was also the training base for many American Rangers.  The castle, located 10 miles from the ocean, was first built by Sir Ewen, the 17th of Lochiel, and destroyed in 1746, but it was rebuilt, and the present building dates from 1837.

She said her husband raised sheep on their 100,000 acre holdings and is active in many business activities in the Highlands.

The Camerons have four children, two daughters and two sons.  The daughters are Ann Nott-Bower and Caroline Hardman, both married to businessmen in London.

The older son, Donald Angus, recently completed his training as an accountant.  "He had his father's mathematical brains," explained his mother.  Colonel Cameron is vice-president of the Royal Bank of Scotland.  As a reward, son Donald Angus is now on a "holiday trip" around the world, and is currently in Australia.  Their youngest son, Johnny, is in school, completing his last term and plans to enter the university next year.