April 4, 2004 UPDATE 

Chief Malcolm Sinclair - Honored Guest

Clan Sinclair – Honored Clan

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

Linville, North Carolina 

The Right Honorable Malcolm Sinclair, Earl of Caithness, Hereditary Chief of Clan Sinclair, will be the Honored Guest at the 2004 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and therefore Clan Sinclair will be the honored Clan.  The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games will be held July 8-11, 2004.  If you plan to attend and stay overnight, please make your arrangements as soon as possible.  Many of the hotels are requiring reservations for multiple nights, so single or even double night reservations may be a little difficult to find in the immediate area. 

The Chief, President Donald Sinclair and his wife Gloria, Clan Secretary Mary Selver, my wife Lynne and I, will be staying at condos at Sugar Mt. (Bee Branch Condos).  Past President Brad Barker and his wife Sindy, will be renting a house at Sugar Mt.  If anyone is interested in staying at Sugar Mt., you may want to call Sugar Mountain Accommodations Center and Realty, Inc., 106 Sugar Mtn. Drive, P. O. Box 382, Banner Elk, NC 28604.  The phone number is 828-898-9475; website http://www.visitsugar.com   Need a map of the area via Mapblast?  Click here.

The Games will begin with the traditional Torchlight ceremony on Thursday night.  If you plan to arrive that early, you will want to see it.  The setting is beautiful and you are likely to have chills as the master of ceremonies gives the background for the “calling of the clans”, setting the stage for the event.  Of course, the thunderstorm could have had some effect on my chills last year.  (For more information and photos, see comments later in this article regarding this Ceremony on my Clan website.) 

On Friday evening there will be a “Sponsor’s Reception”.  Normally one has to be a Sponsor or Patron to attend.  Clan Sinclair members will be allowed to attend at a cost of $35.00 per person, payable at the door.  It’s a fun time and the Chief will give brief comments.  For the past several years, Alex Beaton has been the host and has briefly entertained.  The reception also has included Scottish Dancers and a pipe and brass band, followed by an evening of dancing with a live band playing a variety of music.  I don’t know the program for this year but it has always been worthwhile, in my opinion.   Please call, write, or send me an e-mail by May 31, if you are interested.  We will need to give a count since this is a little unusual and it is always crowded.  Generally, dress is Scottish attire, formal or coat and tie for men. 

We will arrange a Clan meeting on Saturday afternoon at the Games where the Chief and President Donald L. Sinclair will bring us up to date on clan information.  We are still in the planning stages for a “gathering” on Saturday evening; however, we are planning a rather informal gathering with the cost estimated to be in the neighborhood of $35 per person.  The location will probably be at the Barker’s rental house at Sugar Mt., near Banner Elk, NC, only about eight (8) miles from the Games.  It should be fun.  We will let you know when final arrangements have been made.  Also, read on … we may have a special guest at the Gathering. 

Sunday brings us to the Parade of the Tartans and the massed bands.  What a treat.  Wear your Scottish attire and march with the Honored Clan --- Clan Sinclair will lead the Parade of Tartans and Chief Malcolm Sinclair will take his rightful place by leading the Clan!  It would be great to see a “multitude” of cousins marching around McRae Meadows as the Pipe Bands play. 

And featuring our very own:

Ron Sinclair will sing the National Anthem to begin each day of the Games and will also perform on Friday and Saturday nights at the Ceilidh.  Ron has a beautiful voice and a delightful personality.   

Isla St. Clair (http://www.islastclair.tv/) will be joining us “from across the pond” and will be performing in one of the “Groves” adjacent to McRae Meadows.  How exciting!  She will have her WHEN THE PIPERS PLAY tent and you will definitely want to make a purchase.  Pipe Major John Spoore will be with her. He was the former personal piper to the Queen Mother and an ex-Gordon Highlander.  Both Isla and John will be performing at her tent and at a center stage sometime during each day.  You will not want to miss this treat.  We are also hoping that she will be able to attend the Gathering on Saturday evening! 

For photos of Grandfather Mt. Games past, visit my photo gallery (http://www.clansinclairsc.org/gallery.htm) and scroll down to “Scottish Highland Games”.  See the Grandfather Mt. 2002 Gallery for the best representation, although other Games photos are listed.  You will find several photos from the Sponsor’s Banquet and other activities.  If you visit that page, you will note that the weather was not favorable in 2002.  We still had a great time.  I understand that the weather was typical for that of Scotland!  When viewing the Grandfather Mt. 2002 webpage you will also get a taste of the “Torchlight Ceremony” by reading the narrative presented on the page.  If you have never participated or witnessed this type of event, I would encourage you to read the narrative.  For those who are also members of the SMOTJ (Order of Knights Templar), member Larry Long created this impressive ceremony.  I’m sure that Larry will be at the Games this year. 

For ticket, lodging, and program information, visit the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games website: http://www.gmhg.org    I will maintain and update Clan Sinclair information on my family website at: http://www.clansinclairsc.org.  Be sure to stop by for the latest information. 

Please let me know if I can offer any help or if you have any questions.  If you don’t have e-mail, I’ll be glad to put you on my mailing list or telephone list.  You can reach me at 224 Bransfield Rd., Greenville, SC 29615; Telephone 864-268-3550; E-mail Mel@ClanSinclairSC.org 

Whether for a day, a weekend, or a week, let’s make a real effort to support the Chief and our Clan by attending the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games 2004!  We hope to see many old friends and make many new friends at the Games this year.  Get excited, make those plans today …. and be there! 


Best to you all,
Mel of South Carolina


Click here to e-mail Mel!


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