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Hello Fellow Clansfolk
 
With Parliament now well and truly over and the holiday season just around the corner, we will be looking forward to some restful days over Christmas and the New Year.
 
Parliament, I am told, was a great success and a most enjoyable occasion for all who attended. Our New Zealand contingent made a very favourable impression on their fellow clansfolk. I wish to thank them for this and for promoting our country so well on Dunvegan Day.  Tim, Rebeka and Colin fast became an integral part of NRG.  Judith carried the banner at the opening ceremony with true kiwi pride.
 
The election outcome for the ACMS officers and committee was most satisfactory. We now have a true international representation in the ACMS lineup with officers and committee members coming from seven of the nine countries where there are Clan MacLeod socities.  With Malcolm MacLeod as President, Leonard MacLeod as Executive Vice President, Dorna Caskie as Secretary, and Donald MacLeod as Treasurer we have a strong executive panel guiding the Clan's affairs internationally. With CMS Germany now a full member of ACMS and the new Constitution and Development Plan adopted, ACMS can now devote its time to non-constitutional matters. At its February meeting, there will be a workshop on how to attract new members. Your input is invited. If you have any ideas, please communicate them to me and I will pass them on.
 
Another important matter is ow to increase the capital of the Endowment Fund which is the proceeds of the Challenge Grant from early 2004. It must be increased to more than 20.000 pounds stg so there is sufficient interest earned to finance Clan projects which will not necessarily be confined to Scotland. There could be a project here in New Zealand that could be eligible for such funding. Voluntary fundraising efforts are much more amenable that a compulsory levy on all members. We should look at having some fundraising efforts - ideas are most welcome.  
 
 Elizabeth continues to be a very good proxy for us at ACMS meetings. The Genetic study is ongoing and I have information for anyone who wants it.
 
The most important news locally is that we now have a National Secretary. Rona Cooper offered her services which were accepted and she took up her position in mid-October.
She has MacLeod ancestry going back to Rassay and Rona as well as being a neice of Tui MacLeod Parsons. We look forward to her input into our Clan's life.
 
All regional societies seem to be active apart from Southland whose future is doubtful. It wouuld be a great pity to see our oldest regional society fall by the wayside. Central Otago are headlong into organising the South Island Gathering for March 9 - 11 2007. It would be good to have a full attendance to give Central Otago a boost. Book your accommodation now at the Centennial Motor Lodge, Alexandra, the venue for the Gathering.
 
To those societies who have lost members by passing, I send to the families concerned my heartfelt sympathy. When a Clan member passes on it is a loss to our Clan family as well.
 
To all recently joined new members, I warmly welcome you to our Clan family. Please feel free to communicate your ideas for Clan MacLeod to you local society's officers. 
  
As we approach Christmas, Hogmanay and 2007, let us reflect on 2006 and look forward to a happy, healthful and successful 2007 with all it may bring our way.
 
I wish you all a truly blessed and Merry Christmas. Happy Hogmanay and all the best for 2007.
 
Ian F MacLeod, President
Clan MacLeod Society of New Zealand