2009 was an
interesting and challenging year to be a Chief at Carmichael. The
“Lehman factor” has affected our daughter’s Japan family’s poinsettia
growing and Scottish banking, farming, property and tourism in equal
measure. Not a good year for a major fundraising or a Clan gathering, but hopefully 2010 will be much better.
On the positive side
“The Scottish Homecoming” weekend in July provided some spectacular
sparkle with the parade up the Royal Mile by 8000 clansmen, including
our own group of thirty Carmichaels, watched and cheered on by 20000
lining the historic street and seen by millions on television. Over one
hundred Chiefs attended the Scottish Parliament on the Friday before the
weekend gathering, and throughout the year I have had a general feeling
of coming in from a long journey with the stark contrast , between the
former indifference of politicians and the new vibrancy and Clan
recognition of the SNP led parliament.
There has been a
spectacular BBC production on Scotland’s History running all year and on
St Andrews night 2009 the History Debate was shown on BBC television
chaired by Sally Mugnusson. Neil Oliver, the
series’ brilliantly good presenter, was on the panel of five and an
audience of 80 invited guests included your Carmichael chief in full
clan tartan regalia, the only tartan in the room!
As the debate raged on
with one of the other sceptical lowland panelist’s views on the
“falseness of the tartan myth” created by Sir Walter Scott, the
presenter and the cameras all swung onto the Chief of Carmichael in full
tartan for his contrary opinion. You can believe it was robustly given.
This was our second
television outing of the year as Andrew and I had also appeared on
Landward” (a farming and outdoors program) as part of a series on four
Clan chiefs who still farm their clan lands. Early in the year our
younger daughter Sarah had married American fiancé, Randy Smith, in
Colorado and their Scottish wedding vows weekend party was held in late
September here at Carmichael. Some fifty family and friends wished them well in their future life together.
During the second half
of the year, Patricia and I became grandparents for the first time, and
did so in fine style with two grandsons born six weeks apart at
opposite ends of the world. Fraser Lewis Carmichael of Carmichael was
born to Andy & Terri on August 30th at Wishaw maternity hospital Lanarkshire Scotland , and Finlay Tairo Carmichael Kishimoto was born to Marama and Taka in Tokushima City, Japan on October 16th. There are lots of pictures inside this newsletter and we have heirs galore for generations to come.
A few years ago we had
Helton’s tower, a tribute roof erected by his family and friends and
this year Arthur Carmichael from California built a deck on the front of
The Gardeners House. The views from the deck are fantastic and the
construction is pure Rocky Mountain sturdy. Thanks to Art.
In June we raised
nearly £1800 for breast cancer in Scotland when Trish and I walked the
Edinburgh city midnight half marathon Moonwalk in well under four hours.
A floodlit pink castle entertained us, and our compulsory but
spectacularly different tartan bra outfits entertained everyone else.
Homecoming Carmichaels Arthur, Jennifer, Michael, Mike, Claudia, Steve
and many others including Phil from the Far East contributed generously
to this unique homecoming Clan chief’s fundraiser.
summary in 2009, despite the global gloom, we wore our Carmichael
tartan kilts in three continents and on many televisions and in the
Scottish Parliament. We celebrated the homecoming in some style and
raised our banner in interesting places and truly Carmichaels once more
stood out from the crowd and with future generations now secure we will
obviously continue to do so. Happy New Year2010 ! Bring on the Scottish and Carmichael futures.