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Cameron Gathering 2001: Cyberspace Meets Scottish Tradition
Oban Times
August 9, 2001

Saturday saw a scene as old and as romantic as the history of the clans themselves - a gathering of the Clan Cameron to celebrate Lochiel's 50 years as chief, and his loyal clansmen and women gave gifts.

But this is the 21st century and amongst the tokens of esteem was a first for a clan chief anywhere when Lochiel was presented with his own website.   www.lochiel.net was the gift of Thomas A. Cameron, president of the Internet Branch of the Clan Cameron Association, who comes from Illinois.

Camerons from around the world came to Achnacarry to join in the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of Sir Donald Hamish Cameron of Lochiel, K.T., C.V.O., T.D., doming the 26th hereditary Chief and Captain of Clan Cameron.  It was an occasion for families, generations of families came; parents with their children and grandchildren.  Some like Coleen Burch of Portland, Oregon was there with her mother Linda and sister Samantha in memory of their Cameron grandmother who had died earlier in the year.

It was a day when four generations of the clan chief's family was present.  Lizzie, Lochiel's first great grandchild was there with her parents Maylin Ware and Kate, Lochiel's granddaughter.  The generations of the world wide family of Camerons was a theme Lochiel returned to in his address to his clansmen and women.  This year has seen a successful twinning of young people of the clan.  Alasdair "Astie" Cameron, aged 27, of Fort William, the chieftain's own piper who composed a new tune especially to mark this occasion, went to New Zealand, and Shona Cameron, 25, of Oakland, New Zealand came to Lochaber.

"This is a good idea and we should expand this worthwhile exercise," Lochiel told his clan.

The day began with the planting of an oak tree, Quercus Rubra, a North American species, the leaves of which turn red in the autumn and grows very well in the West of Scotland.  Then followed the sealing of a time capsule to be buried in a cairn which includes stones brought by different clan associations from around the world. This too, was the brainchild of Thomas Cameron of Illinois.

During the day there were re-enactments by the Saltire Society, clay pigeon shooting, and helicopter rides.  But the highlight of the day was the march past with banners by the clansmen and women, and the opening of the house by Lochiel and Lady Cameron.

On the Thursday before the gathering there was an ascent of Ben Nevis by some stalwart members of the clan, and a tour of the estate; the following day there was an ecumenical church service and a shinty tournament, before the Camerons went their separate ways to different corners of the world, with clan ties renewed and new friendships made, after a remarkable gathering, which will be remembered for years to come.