In Memoriam – Donald Maclaren
It is with deep regret we inform you that Donald MacLaren of MacLaren, Chief of his clan and Convenor of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs (SCSC) , died suddenly on Saturday, July 22, from a massive heart attack, while attending the Lochearnhead Highland Games in his native Scottish highlands.
Donald was a good friend to American Scots–he had visited the States numerous times, as the “honored chief” at various U.S.-based highland games events–and was also a good friend to Tartan Day. Many will recall he joined us in 2018 to celebrate Tartan Day on Capitol Hill. And he came over again this past April, joining us at the DACOR Bacon House in NW Washington, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Senate resolution designating April 6th of each year as National Tartan Day. On both occasions, he spoke at our Tartan Day Symposium. (See our Website, at https://www.nationalcapitaltartanday.com,
for a video clip of his remarks to his this past April.)
Donald MacLaren was born in Scotland in 1954 and succeeded his father as Chief in 1966. He was the 25th Chief of the Clan since Labhran, name-forefather of the Clan, eight hundred years ago. Donald was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford; Trinity College Glenalmond in Perthshire, where he learned to play the pipes; and Edinburgh University, where he took a MA Hons. degree in Classics and English and played rugby for the combined Scottish Universities XV. He joined the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1978. After postings in Berlin, Moscow, Havana, Caracas and Kiev, he served in Tbilisi, Georgia as Her Majesty’s Ambassador. He left the FCO in 2008.
Donald is expected to be succeeded in the chiefship by one of his sons. Our good friend Andrew Morrison, Viscount Dunrossil, who lives in San Antonio, TX, is currently serving as Vice Convenor of the SCSC. It is expected that Lord Dunrossil will serve in a caretaker role until a new SCSC Convenor is elected.