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History of the Society

A clan society for the Menzies name was first set-up on 6 October 1892 at Weem Hotel. The members joined with the local clansmen of the Castle area in 1894 to help celebrate the Jubilee of Chief, Sir Robert Menzies. He was the seventh chief of Clan Menzies to have led the clan for 50 years and was 77 years old. This event was celebrated on 26 September 1894 (his birthday) and Sir Robert was presented with an illuminated address. He had requested that the donations gathered should not be gifted to him but he would like the Society to set-up a charitable fund to commemorate the event. This was called the “Sir Robert Menzies Benevolent Charitable Fund”. All subscriptions received were to be invested and the interest earned used to help distressed clanspeople.

The Society continued and Sir Robert was succeeded by his son, Sir Neil in 1903 and as he had no heirs on his death in 1910 his sister, Miss Egidia Menzies of Menzies was acknowledged as head of the Clan Society in August 1911 at a meeting in Glasgow. She held this position until her death in 1918. However in 1912 the Menzies estates and the castle were all split up and sold by auction.

The lack of their home ground did not deter the Society. In September 1918 at the Clan Society annual meeting in Aberfeldy Mr W G Steuart Menzies of Culdares was elected as Chief of the Society in place of Miss Egidia. It is recorded that his only son had just come home from war service in the Scots Guards at this time. This son, Ronald Steuart Menzies, much later in his life, was to become Chief of the Clan. The Society continued on until the Second World War put a stop to its activities.

In 1957 Lyon Court acknowledged Ronald Steuart Menzies - the hereditary chieftain of the Culdares line - as the Chief of Clan Menzies - the clan as opposed to the Society - the first Menzies Clan Chief since the death of Sir Neil in 1910.

This event also marked the revival of The Menzies Clan Society and the acquisition of the old castle which had become very neglected.

From 1957 until today a Gathering has been held every year. The first meeting was held in a barn behind the Weem Hotel, then meetings were held in Aberfeldy with visits to our castle while it was not fit to use. Eventually we could use the old dining room in the z-tower for our meetings, and much later in 1995 we were able to enjoy the restored Ballroom in the Victorian Wing of the Castle which has been named the Dewar Room in honour of the work done on the whole castle by Dr A D (Bill) and Ann Dewar.

 
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