Luss Gathering’s President commemorated in new trophy

roderick macleod cup luss games

The 2013 Luss [Loch Lomond] Highland Gathering will see two new trophies.

One new trophy commemorates in perpetuity a significant President of the Luss Gathering; and one marks the return of the traditional Piobaireachd Competition.

The Roderick Macleod Memorial Cup will be awarded at next month’s Luss (Loch Lomond) Highland Gathering, the event of which, in 30 years support of the Gathering, Roderick Macleod was Secretary, President and then Honorary President.

Roderick Macleod was Born in Braes on the Isle of Skye and first came to Luss as its village policeman in 1949. In that same year he joined the Games Committee in the pivotal role of Secretary. In 1974 he was elected Games President, a post he held until his retiral in 1985. He was then Honorary President for a number of years. A native Gaelic speaker was a passionate advocate of Highland culture and also served as President of the Clydebank and District Highland Association for 25 years.

Mr Macleod’s widow, Shona, who herself served as Luss Games Secretary for a number of years, approached organisers earlier this year, donating a beautiful new trophy. As her niece, Ally Hamilton, explains, the family wanted to retain the connection with Luss Highland Gathering: ‘Although she now lives in Clydebank, my aunt wanted to continue to support the Luss community and its Gathering and for the event to retain some connection with the Macleod family name. She was delighted to present this new trophy to the committee in her 90th year, and is very happy to hear that it will be awarded every year to the winner of one of the Games’ iconic competitions – the 22lb hammer throw.’

roderick macleod with sir ivar colquhoun of luss roderick macleod and sir malcolm colquhoun of luss

Current Games Secretary, Anne Paterson says: ‘Roderick Macleod made an immeasurable contribution to our Highland Games, helping Luss preserve this important cultural tradition whilst enabling the games to become established as a major event for both the local community and tourists alike.

‘When his widow, Mrs Shona Macleod, approached us with this magnificent trophy earlier this year, we were delighted to accept and name it in honour of her late husband.’

The 2013 Luss (Loch Lomond) Highland Gathering will also see the return of one of its original events thanks to the generosity of local piper Colin Lawrie. A competition for Piobaireachd – or ‘little pipe music’ – is set to attract top class and younger competitors from across the area, with a new cup, the Cuach Nan Creagadair, to be won.

Translated as  ‘the Quarryman’s Quaich’, the cup commemorates the many Ballachulish quarriers who relocated to Luss as the village’s slate quarry grew in the nineteenth century, bringing with them a strong piping tradition.

The cup has been donated to the Games by Colin Lawrie, a descendant of one such family. Colin explains: ‘It’s been a long time since Luss Highland Games held a piobaireachd competition but it was always one of the most popular. Hopefully, this new cup will attract top class pipers to Luss, and encourage more youngsters to get involved, as well as retaining the link between Luss’s slate history and piping.’

Described as ‘the classical music of the Great Highland Bagpipe’, piobaireachd is a highly stylized, expressive form of music unique to the instrument. Most commonly played by a solo piper, it is distinct from the marches, reels and strathspeys more commonly associated with pipe bands.

Anne Paterson says: ‘On behalf of the committee, I’d like to thank Colin for his generosity in donating this cup and his support for the Games. Since our founding in 1875, Luss Highland Games has retained a tradition of piping and we are delighted to see the return of the Piobaireachd to the competition. We are all greatly looking forward to listening to this beautiful, emotive music in Luss next month.’

The Luss (Loch Lomond) Highland Gathering takes place on Saturday July 6th and brings together traditional Highland heavy events, athletics and cycling races, highland dancing, entertainment and piping competitions.

Held annually since 1875 (with the exception of the two world wars), the Games is one of Scotland’s oldest and attracts thousands of visitors every year to its exceptional setting by Loch Lomond.

The photographs above show the Roderick Macleod Memorial Cup and Roderick Macleod with the late Sir Ivar Colquhoun, 30th Chief of Luss; and with Sir Malcolm Colquhoun, now the 31st Chief of Luss.

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