FORMER MONTROSE blacksmith and farrier John Macpherson has found some new flames to fan as the newly-appointed international chairman of the Clan Macpherson Association.
A period of globe-trotting to meet members of the international clan family now beckons and Mr Macpherson, accompanied by his wife, Iris, is due to travel to California next month. There are also plans for a similar trip to meet clan members in Australia and New Zealand and, with 2,500 members worldwide, there is the possibility of numerous stops in between.
The association governs the clan and Mr Macpherson hopes that the goodwill visits will help to draw its members closer together.
He said: “Travelling isn’t compulsory, but it is wonderful to meet and socialise with members in their own country. Of course, the gatherings are social events and after these people go back to their own lives, but it’s important to maintain the thread, and see how things are done elsewhere.
“In a world full of strife, it all helps foster good international relations which is surely no bad thing, and gives the clan system a modern relevance. There’s so much more to it all than the tartan, and the marching and the pipes. We bring people together from all different backgrounds.”
Mr Macpherson is the current president of Montrose Probus Club and past president of the Montrose Society and, as someone with a passion for local history and a vast photographic collection, it was inevitable he would begin digging to find his own roots. He and his wife joined the clan in 1988 and soon became enthusiastic members.
“I think more and more people are becoming interested in their family history and want to know where they came from, which would seem to be borne out by the ever growing membership of the Clan Macpherson at least.
“We used to have around 80 at our annual gathering in Newtonmore, but nowadays it’s nearer 200. We are always pleased to see new members and we had 16 newcomers this year including two from Germany and one from Holland.”