While many countries are working hard to restore normal commerce and travel, it is obvious that it is too early to plan a world-wide gathering like Parliament in 2022. Therefore, at the ACMS meeting of 26th June it was decided, that in view of the current COVID-19 world situation, we would postpone the 2022 Parliament until 2023. Could you please advise your Clan Society members and anyone else you think should be informed.
To the best of our knowledge, postponing Parliament will not help MacLeods with changing or canceling any of their transportation or accommodation arrangements. However, everyone should check with their transportation and accommodation vendors as there are still many flexible options in place.
We are aware that a number of MacLeods have already made accommodation bookings in the Dunvegan area for July 2022. Although there will be NO OFFICIAL CLAN MACLEOD ACTIVITIES DURING THAT TIME, it is possible that MacLeods may still be able to travel to Skye and enjoy a personal visit using their individual arrangements. The ACMS Parliament Coordinator has offered to collect the names of MacLeods that may be on their own in Scotland during 2022 and would like to connect with other MacLeods who are there at the same time. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to be put in touch with others that may still have travel plans. Any activities planned by these MacLeods in 2022 are all personal excursions made at everyone’s own cost and at their own risk. This means that we will not have complimentary access to Dunvegan Castle, so this might be a great time to take advantage of a membership for the Friends of Dunvegan Castle and Gardens. Information and benefits can be found here. Please make note of any COVID protocols affecting the Castle posted on that website.
The next Parliament year following 2023 will be 2026, in order to continue with our four-year intervals and not disrupt other activities such as the North American Gathering.
We have not decided what to do about ACMS elections, which are normally held at Parliament (according to the ACMS Constitution). This will be on the agenda for our next Council meeting. Our two options seem to be to either hold them through a teleconference, or wait until Parliament 2023. We lose some elections transparency with the first option, and the second option means that current office holders will continue for five years, and those elected in 2023 will serve for only three years.
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PARLIAMENT 2023 IN DUNVEGAN
The new dates for Parliament 2023 are Saturday 22 July through Saturday 29 July. The ACMS Parliament Coordinator has confirmed access to both Dunvegan Hall and Dunvegan Castle for our Parliament activities in 2023. We envision a “full” Parliament with our meetings, workshops, youth activities, afternoon excursions, and evening entertainment. If there are COVID protocols still in place, we respectfully expect these activities to comply with them.
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NORTH ROOM GROUP IN 2023
The North Room Group (NRG) activity is expected to take place the week before Parliament, 15-22 July 2023. As always, this is an activity run by the ACMS Youth Membership Coordinator with the support of the ACMS Parliament Coordinator. The age for young MacLeods to be eligible for NRG is 18-30. If you have any questions about your age qualification, please contact email@example.com.
Please note that if any young MacLeod in your organisation is interested in helping to run NRG 2023, or is perhaps interested in assuming the Council position of (MacLeod) Youth Membership Coordinator, they can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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PRE PARLIAMENT TRIP IN 2023
We have yet to decide if there will be a pre-Parliament tour in 2023. We had concluded that a pre-Parliament tour, either to Mull/Iona *or* Inverness, could not be planned due to the uncertainty caused by the impact of COVID on the venues there. This should be discussed at our next Council meeting, tentatively Saturday 13thNovember.
Please note that we already knew that there would be no pre-Parliament trip in 2022. The reason why the 2022 Mull/Iona trip was cancelled was due to our inability to confirm accommodation on Iona or Mull – again, due to COVID. Our “plan B” trip to Inverness in 2022 was also cancelled, in this case due to the likelihood of few overseas visitors, the fact that we were already facing planning complications, and a further difficulty of securing accommodation in Inverness (even as recently as a few weeks ago).
We are very much hoping that public health and safety, as well as the offerings of the travel industry, will have improved and stabilised in 2023. So while the unfortunate conditions listed above apply only to 2022, we believe THERE IS ROOM FOR OPTIMISM WHEN WE LOOK FORWARD TO A PRE-PARLIAMENT TRIP IN 2023.
Any updates on the possibility of a pre-Parliament trip in 2023 will be passed to ACMS Council members as they become known.