The Clan MacLeod Parliament is roughly fashioned on the definition of a parliament as “a meeting or assembly for conference on public or national affairs.” Our Parliament is a world gathering of MacLeods, now held every four years, and centred in our ancestral homelands in Dunvegan, Isle of Skye. The purpose of Parliament is to bring MacLeods together from all over the world.
Parliament’s origins are best summarised in a booklet written by Nancy MacLeod Nicol, former President of the Clan MacLeod Society Scotland and holder of various offices in the Associated Clan MacLeod Societies:
“In 1956 [then Chief Dame Flora] decided to hold a “Clan Parliament”, so that Clansfolk from all over the world could meet and discuss clan affairs.
“The agenda included such items as reports from Branches, Organisation of Clan Societies, The Magazine, Clan History, Clan Activities and Clan Interests.
“At this first Parliament it became evident that the social interactions were as important as the business meetings. Many clansfolk felt that they had met long lost cousins and friendships formed have stood the test of time.”
From “Tell Your Children about the Stones”, by Nancy MacLeod Nicol, published by the Associated Clan MacLeod Societies.
1956 – The first one. Just one day, but linked with John and Patrick’s 21st birthday and the Royal visit.
1959 – The decision to form the ACMS.
1962 – Confirmed constitution of the ACMS.
1965 – Formation of the North Room Group.
1968 – The “Sunny Parliament”.
1971 – Parliament held in a Marquee in the Round Garden.
1974 – The “Happy Parliament”
1978 – 232 delegates came despite the ferry strike.
1982 – First Parliament attended by Torquil Roderick, Seventeenth Chief of Raasay, 11th of the Lewes.
1986 – Our French Society’s first Parliament.
1990 – South Africa CMS attended; Dame Flora Lounge opened in the Dunvegan Community Hall; Clan Centre discussions.
1994 – Hugh Magnus’ 21st birthday.
1998 – “Wet-Wet-Wet” and Parliament sessions held in Dunvegan Church.
2002 – Centre of Parliament activity was moved to the Dunvegan Community Hall.
2006 – A truly memorable pre-Parliament trip to Lewis and Harris featured the first reunion in 400 years of the Chiefs of MacLeod of MacLeod, MacLeod of the Lewes, and Chief of the MacLeods of Raasay.
2010 – Occasionally referred to as the “intimate” Parliament, this gathering included a remarkable pre-Parliament trip to Assynt and broader participation by delegates in our Clan meetings in Dunvegan.
2014 – Over 200 MacLeods from five continents participated in our gathering, which included a visit from HRH Princess Anne, dedicating the Memorial Gazebo to the late 29th Chief John.
2018 – Another pre-Parliament trip to Harris and Lewis – find out more. Another sunny Parliament, and a bumper attendance with nearly 300 attendees – find out more.