Society AGM Weekend – A members perspective

Clan McKenzie AGM gathering 28th – 30th of October – Outlander theme Gathering

Hello to you all!

This was my first official AGM weekend. My first weekend having being 3 years ago before becoming a Mackenzie  and marrying Daniel McKenzie. I have to say between the two this was by far the best in my opinion, for two reasons. The first actually being a Mackenzie!! Probably the most important!!! Though my husband knowing me, will be thinking it’s probably the second… I’m a HUGE Outlander fan!!

Outlander for those of you who don’t know is a TV series based on the books by Diana Gabaldon. The story starts and centres around two main characters Claire and Jamie.  Claire is a WW2-era nurse who travels through time after touching the standing stones in Craigh na Dun. She travels to 18th century Scotland and finds adventure and romance with the dashing Jamie Fraser, who is the nephew of the chief of Clan Mackenzie.

Doune Castle Approach

Doune Castle Approach

As the Mackenzie Clan plays a big part in the story it was planned, by the society, to visit two of the interesting settings used in Outlander.  First we went to Deanston Distillery and although I’m not a fan of whiskey, it was very interesting to learn how they make their whiskey and some of the history of the building. Everyone had a really good time even more so when everyone got to taste! We then broke for lunch, everyone having a good old laugh and catch up. Next we visited Doune Castle, which represents castle Leod in Outlander. Out of the two places this was my favourite, as I love learning about history and walking round where people of old once stood.

Deanston Distillery

Deanston Distillery

After the days events we had a formal dinner at the Oran Mor hotel in Glasgow’s West End with a guest appearance from Gillebride MacMillan, who stars as the Gaelic singer in Outlander. He entertained us with conversation on Outlander, the songs of Outlander and, most importantly, performed for us! Gillebride was a fabulous entertainer and I couldn’t think of a better way to end the Outlander-themed day.

Meeting Gillebride Macmillan

Meeting Gillebride Macmillan

Of course the weekend wasn’t all about Outlander or the places we visited. It is about us all coming together to re-connect and discuss any issues in the meeting. I want to say for me coming to this for the first time as a Mackenzie, it enabled me to see the clan with fresh eyes and enthusiasm, and to look onto it from a different perspective and really appreciate it. As the weekend went on and my knowledge grew I became fascinated with the amount of history surrounding the clan and could see the efforts put in by members to keep this alive. Having come from a background having none of this, I felt lucky to be a part of it. I think it is therefore important to not take what we have for granted and continuing efforts to keep the society going. To see people coming together and connecting through their history whilst thinking this has been done for years and years, it was amazing to think in the future, we are now part of that history!

I look forward to the next Society event, hope to see you there!

Liz McKenzie

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