Menzies Clan Society


September 2010



Message from our President – Audrey Menzies Paton

I am very happy to welcome this first edition of a new initiative which should be a great help in improving communications between members and enhancing members' enjoyment of the Society.   It will provide an opportunity of giving news of any new developments or events at Castle Menzies.

Many thanks to Alastair as publisher / editor and to several others who have helped in some way to bring this about


The 2010 Menzies Clan Gathering New Zealand

The sixth Menzies Clan Gathering in New Zealand was held at Hastings, Hawke's Bay, North Island on Easter Weekend, 2-4 April 2010.

The venue was Lindisfarne College, a splendid location with wonderful facilities, and the Gathering was superbly hosted and organised by Bill Menzies Buddo supported by his wife Corrina and sons Marcus and Niklas, and also Penny Ure, Dot Griffiths and Robert Menzies.    

The weekend started on the Friday evening with an informal gathering and a meal in the College dining room.  

For Saturday, two trips were organised. The morning trip was a very interesting visit to Napier and a tour of the Art Deco buildings, built following the reconstruction of Napier after the Hawke's Bay earthquake in 1931.

A visit to Cape Kidnappers in the afternoon to see the gannet breeding colonies was enjoyed, and for those not attending the visits there was the colourful spectacle of the Hastings Highland Games. For the first time, the Clan had a tent, an opportunity to make our presence known and to seek new members.

Saturday evening was the formal event of the weekend. Gordon Menzies read a letter from the Clan Chief, David Menzies of Menzies, appointing Pamela Hall-Jones as the Chief's Commissioner for New Zealand. Pamela was duly presented with a bonnet with a single feather by Gordon, which she wore proudly for the rest of the weekend.  

The Haggis was piped in by William Menzies, a member of the College staff.    Everyone had a chance to taste it with neeps, some for the first time, accompanied by a wee dram. An excellent buffet dinner followed which was provided by the College catering staff. After dinner the Ceilidh followed, making a very enjoyable evening.

Sunday morning saw us heading for St Andrews Presbyterian Church to join the regular congregation for the Easter Communion service and the “Kirking of the Menzies Tartan”, displayed on the altar table by Pamela Hall-Jones.  

After another tasty lunch at the College, the flag was handed to Dennis Menzies for safekeeping with the prospect that the 2012 Gathering will be held in Nelson. A vote of thanks was given to Bill Buddo for a very successful Gathering.



Clan Gathering at Castle Menzies

Another very successful Clan Gathering took place at Castle Menzies on 12-15 August 2010.    The weather stayed dry for the Aberfeldy Games and the sun shone really brightly on Sunday.    A full report will appear in the next newsletter.



New Constitution

At the 2010 AGM at Castle Menzies, the new Clan Society Constitution was agreed by the meeting.    The new Constitution has been under development for two years and has been reduced to two A4 pages.   A copy will appear on the Clan website very soon.



Membership Drive

Currently, one of the Council's main projects is to initiate a Membership Drive to recruit new members to the Society.     In recent years there has been a decline in new members joining, and a consequent drop in new income.     Naturally the worldwide recession has not helped, and the drop in recruitment has been particularly noticeable in North America.    Subscriptions are a major source of income for our Society, and our Treasurer has reminded us that it would be very desirable to see more money coming in.     The Council have recently responded to the prevailing financial circumstances by creating 5 and 10 year memberships, which provide a way for new members to join very cost-effectively.

A Membership Development Task Force is being set up, headed by Rory Menzies and country representatives have already been recruited from many locations worldwide.

Several innovative ways and means to enrol new members have been discussed and will be implemented.

For this Drive to be successful all Clan Members are requested to participate actively if they possibly can.     There are several ways of helping :

  • Volunteer as a local representative for your area
  • Recruit a relative
  • Phone some Menzies' (or Septs) in your phone book and suggest they might like to join

The Society's Website includes an enrolment form, and the new attractive subscription rates



News from the Menzies Charitable Trust        Aug 2009 – Aug 2010

Chairman – Audrey Menzies Paton

The following are the salient features of the past year;-

•  The 2009 season was significant in that despite the economic downturn, visitor numbers held up well at ca 10,000 and room hire was above previous years.

•  The major project to refurbish the Castle roof was completed before what was an exceptionally severe winter, and it is being followed this year by high level re-pointing and the replacement of window cills.  

•  Our relationship with Dewars' Aberfeldy Distillery continues to develop.   They   are increasing their use of   the Castle for overseas agent training.    Dewars also made the generous offer to contribute to the refurbishment of the tea room and associated furniture. We are most grateful for this significant support from a local employer.                                                                                         

•  The joint Clan Society / Trust Appeal, launched early in 2009, has now reached some £16,000 towards its £20,000 target. To date some some £5,000 has been spent on the Archibald Menzies exhibition and the balance spent or available for work on the Walled Garden over the coming two years.   I would like to thank all those who have given so generously, and encourage those yet to give to make their contribution to the future of the Walled Garden.

•  The Archibald Menzies exhibition has proved of great interest to visitors, and has prompted Trustees to discuss the possibility of other possible subjects for small display/ exhibition within the Castle.  

Behind this very brief summary lies some considerable effort, first by John Jack and those who work in and around the Castle, the Trustees themselves and the many Clan members who in many ways support this remarkable venture. To all of them, and our neighbours and friends, as Trust chairman, may I say a big thank you.



Message from our Secretary – Alastair Menzies

I was delighted to take on the job of publisher of the newsletter, as it has the potential to add so much to our Society.    I would welcome any items for future newsletters, which we hope to circulate on a very regular basis.

If you are reading this newsletter on our website, and have not received it by email, please let me know your email address so that you can added to our database.     In the past we have struggled to maintain an accurate database of all our Member's addresses, and we rely on you to keep us up to date !

Magazine No 31 will be distributed soon, and we look forward to any comments on that.     Council Members really value your feedback.

If you want to communicate with any members of Council, please just email me and I will ensure that they receive your message.  







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