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April 19, 1997 speech given by Donald Andrew Cameron
at the 1997 North American Gathering of Clan Cameron
Loch Norman Highland Games, Charlotte, North Carolina

Thank you for coming to the first-ever Cameron Gathering in North America.  From wherever you came it's so good to see you all, thanks a lot for coming!

I've brought a couple of jokes, I promised to keep them clean.  When God decided to make Scotland He called the Angel Gabriel over to him and He said "Gabriel, we're going to make this land, it's going to have green glens in it, it's going to have flowing majesty, it's going to have eagles, it's going to have stags, it's going to have salmon jumping in the streams; I'm going to give them barley to make a wonderful drink called whiskey..." and in the middle of this Gabriel says "Hang on, aren't you being a bit generous to these Scots who live in Scotland?"  And God says "you haven't seen the neighbors I'm going to give them!"

On a slightly more serious note, I have a message from my grandfather, Lochiel, who sends everyone his greetings on this occasion.  He is very sad that he cannot make it himself, but he is 86 years old.  I assure you he's very fit, both mentally and physically, but to come over to America, I think, at his age is asking slightly too much.  But he did send his greetings to all of you, and hopes that this Gathering goes as well as it has been.

The one thing that he is very pleased about is the communication between each of the branches in North America; in each branch sending each other their newsletters, which is a great thing, it keeps them all in touch.  He is especially excited about Clan Cameron on the Internet, and I think I should take this moment to mention Tom Cameron from Chicago, who's done a truly exceptional job in setting up Clan Cameron Online.  I know he's going to be asked in a couple of minutes to say a bit more about that, but he really does deserve our thanks and appreciation for everything he's done.

There's one man here who I think deserves a lot of praise and a lot of thanks, and he's a very self-effacing guy.  He's very humble, but I would like you all to raise your hands to Don Cameron, who has organized this and has done so much to make it very wonderful.  Similarly, thanks to Beverly and everyone at Grandfather Mountain Branch, you've all worked so hard to do this.

Just a few other things.  If you haven't been to Scotland, I know you all love enjoying the Scottish tradition that you've inherited, but my one letter of advise is go there, see it, because it is a truly great place.  If you haven't been there, I know a lot of you haven't, we love seeing you when you come over and it is a really wonderful place.

You belong to a very, very great clan, the best I reckon!  You always fought on the right side, you always were loyal to the very end and the clan has a spirit, which is evident to this very day and is honored by Clan Cameron North America, by attending this marvelous Gathering.

My final thing would be to tell you just a little anecdote about when I went to New Zealand last year, and I think it is quite a telling story.  I went to North Island New Zealand and stayed with Harold Cameron, some of you may know he's the Clan Commissioner from New Zealand.  He's a wonderful man and it was the first time I'd met him, I'd never met him before.  He reserved a hotel table, for a meal at night, and the receptionist asked "so, what's your name," "what are both your names?"  And he says "Cameron," then she says "he looks like a Cameron."  The only time this ever happens to me is when I'm with a member of my family and it really so impressed me.  That here was a guy who I'd never met before, and yet we shared the same name.  And that goes to show you that all of us are in fact just one, big family, from wherever we come from.  And I think that's what a lot of you enjoy, making the links that were made so long ago and meeting fellow Camerons from all over the world.

Now, as usual, I've gone on too long, but I'd again like to thank everyone who has helped organize this marvelous meeting and I hope you have a wonderful time in Charlotte, and that you enjoy the rest of The Gathering.

Thank you very much.