The Caution Flag Is Out Again:
New Confusion Surrounding 2014
For those of you following the continuing Gathering 2014 saga:
After specific reassurances last Friday that Scottish clan events, including a clan village and parade, would be integrated into the spectacular Bannockburn 2014 re-enactment activities, the Scottish newspaper The Scotsman reported this morning that there would in fact be no clan village and no parade associated with Bannockburn reenactments. Many of you have seen the article. We haven't yet been able to confirm or discredit the report, but it is notable that, according to The Scotsman article, both VisitScotland and EventScotland have declined to comment on the story.
At this point, it is certainly fair to say that it would probably be prudent to put plans for traveling to Scotland in 2014 on hold until we gain better clarity about what is and is not going to happen in 2014. Of course we know that Scotland's 2nd Year of Homecoming will offer many fine opportunities for visitors from the Ryder Cup to the Commonwealth Games. Additionally, we do still expect several smaller regional clan and Diaspora based events to materialize - eventually. At present, however, the fate of any sort of unified clan gathering occurring in 2014 is, at best, unclear.
Several Scottish organizations with interest in a second Gathering, including the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs, COSCA, The American Scottish Foundation and the Society of Scottish Armigers have been in discussions regarding how best to proceed. While no decisions have been made, one point certainly emerges: The second Gathering as well as the 2nd International Clan Convention are events of tremendous import to the Scottish Diaspora. The Diaspora, in partnership with clan organizations in Scotland, must take on the primary role of designing and planning the second Gathering and Clan Convention. We must and can accomplish this through our leading Diaspora organizations.
Clearly, though, given the ever shortening timeline remaining before 2014 and the difficulty in making progress, it may well be that a second Gathering will not occur until 2015. It is more important to do it right than to do it in 2014.
Please stay tuned for further information as it becomes available.
Susan L. McIntosh, President
Council of Scottish Clans & Associations