August 29, 2007

To all Society members,

    The Second Biennial Gathering and Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the society took place in South Portland, Maine, August 10-11, 2007. The Best Western, Merry Manor Inn, was the venue for the events.

    Based on the feedback received from those in attendance, the Gathering/AGM was a big success. The camaraderie among the over 60 members and guests present was really wonderful. Even though most were meeting for the first time, it seemed like a family reunion. Friday evening, 10 August, a piper greeted all those arriving for the cocktail party reception. For over two hours, there was a lot of table-hopping as individuals were meeting other MacGillivrays and sharing stories regarding their family history, etc. Everyone got to enjoy a fantastic cheesecake baked by Celina and Dan Hyde. With 20 pounds of dry ice to protect their precious cargo, they brought four cheesecakes all the way from Cedar Hill, Missouri, to Portland, Maine. Some members were observed enjoying cheesecake at breakast the next morning.

    Following the Saturday morning buffet breakfast, the AGM was held and ran just over 2 hours. A recap of the AGM will be provided later in this article. The members were free Saturday afternoon to enjoy themselves in the area, many taking the opportunity to sample some Maine "lobstah." For those that do not already know, this is how people in Maine pronounce lobster plus, outside many stores and on restaurant menus, they actually print the word "lobstah."

    The Saturday evening banquet began with a cocktail hour. Since the gathering was dedicated to the honor of Medal of Honor recipient, Charles A. MacGillivary, society President, Jim McGilvray, read a portion of the citation that accompanied the awarding of the medal back in 1946 in recognition of Charlie's heroic exploits during WW-II. Charlie died in 2000 and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery. A plaque acknowledging their father's MacGillivray heritage was presented to Charlie's two daughters, Joan Ward and Charlene Corea.

    A second plaque was awarded, this time to society Vice President, Mary MacGillivray Cox, expressing our sincere appreciation for all her hard work on behalf of the society.

    Following the saying of grace, everyone dug in to a wonderful buffet style dinner, following which the members were entertained by The Highland Soles, a family of five which provided Scottish-themed music and dancing, including the playing of the James MacGillivray composition, "Duncan MacGillivray, Chief Steward." The evening, and the gathering, ended with the singing of Scotland the Brave and Auld Lang Syne.

    Now to the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Following a welcoming statement by the President, the other society officers were introduced. Vice President, Mary MacGillivray Cox, and Treasurer, Don Almy. Reports were provided regarding the society charter, membership and finances.

   A proposal was made to provide honorary membership in the society to the following six individuals:

    Ishbel McGillivray-McGregor, U.K. Commissioner; Gerald MacGillivray, President, Society of Canada; Peter McGillivray, Australia Commissioner; Robert and Pauline McGillivray - Robert is the author of "The Clan MacGillivray"; and Roger Johnston, husband of U.S. Society Secretary, Sue McGilvray Johnston.

    A motion was made and seconded and, by unanimous vote, all six were accepted as honorary members.

    The subject of the society journal was raised and the fact the first issue was published in 2005. It was reported that, based on a number of factors, including the costs of publication, the Board of Directors of the society had decided that we would not publish a yearly journal but a biennial journal. Our U.S. Commissioner, Bruce McGillivray (with assistance from Tom Cox, husband of VP Mary MacGillivray Cox) expects to publish the second journal in the near future. In line with the subject of the more formal biennial journal, Katie MacGillivray volunteered to put together an informal newsletter that would periodically provide all members with information regarding the goings-on in the lives of individual members and their families: marriages, births, deaths, retirements, etc.

    A lengthy discussion ensued regarding how we may increase the membership in the U.S. society. A few ideas were put forth, including following up on the membership drives of 2003 and 2006 by mailing flyers to these same MacGillivrays; public relations through articles in Scottish-themed publications, such as The Highlander; involvement in Tartan Day activities and showing the MacGillivray "face" through appearances at Highland games. A recommendation was put forward that we assemble a Membership Committee to focus on increasing our membership. The President stated that he will assume responsibility for assembling a 3-5 person committee.

    In line with the recommendation that we show the MacGillivray "face" at Highland games, we had a discussion regarding the present roster of regional convenors. Under the leadership of the society's National Convenor, Trey McGillivrey, we have 15 individual regions, but only 8 convenors. Some of the regions, especially those west of the Mississippi River, are quite vast, each comprising 2-6 large states. It was recommended that we "adjust" some of the geographically large regions, reducing them in size, thus making them more manageable for the convenors. The Board of Directors will work with Trey to do the necessary adjustments. At this time, Arizona resident, Dee Carbonell, and Missouri resident, Dan Hyde, volunteered to serve as convenors or assist the convenor in their areas.

    Our next discussion was regarding the terms of office of the four elected officers. Don Almy's tenure as Treasurer ends on January 1, 2008 and he has stated that, unless someone else wishes to take on the duties of Treasurer, he will be willing to continue in the position. The position of President and Vice President both end on January 1, 2009. A discussion ensued regarding the wisdom of the two most senior society officers ending their tenures on the same day. There was agreement that this should be changed and the subject will be taken up at the business meeting of the Board of Directors that will follow the gathering. At a later date, the President will report to all members the results of the meeting.

    There continues to be a lot of interest in the next international gathering in Scotland. Since the first gathering in Inverness in 1992, there have been additional gatherings in 1997 and 2002. The 2007 gathering never materialized. In conjuction with the U.K. Commissioner, we will begin researching to see if it will be possible to hold an international gathering in 2008. If not, and in line with the 450th anniversary in 2009 of the Clan Chattan Federation, of which the U.S. society is a member, we will work with the U.K. Commissioner to have our society involved in the planning and ensure as many U.S. MacGillivrays as wish to attend can do so.

    One member asked about receiving an updated roster of all society members. The President had provided a roster in 2005 and it is time for a new one. Jim will work with Sue and Roger Johnston to purge the membership roster of lapsed members and provide an updated version soon.

    The subject of genealogy came up, with some asking what sources they could use to research their family history. The three websites favored by many members.

    This was a very successful second U.S. Gathering and AGM. Everyone left the events with very positive feelings about their Scottish roots and, especially, their MacGillivray heritage.

Yours aye,


James J. McGilvray
Clan MacGillivray Society U.S.A.
(Up with the Clan MacGillivray and the Clan MacGillivray Society)

Group photo taken at the second U.S. Gathering, August 10-11, 2007.

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