Newsletter: October 2007

Hugh MacLeod of MacLeod, 30th Chief of Clan MacLeod.

Hugh was born in London on 24th July 1973, the son of John MacLeod of MacLeod and Melita Kolin. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in Film and Modern History from the University of London and the Sorbonne in 1995.

After a brief period at Sotheby?s and Freud Com-munications, Hugh began working in television as a researcher and was commissioned to direct-produce Champagne and Canvas, a documentary that was nominated for best video production at the 1998 BBC British Short Film Festival.

He gained experience in film production at the London Film School before producing Cuisine Chinoise starring Irene Jacob. To date, this film has been broadcast on FilmFour, Sundance Channel, HBO and featured in numerous international film festivals including Edinburgh, Schermi d?Amore, Grenoble winning best short film at Dignes-les-Bains.

Since then Hugh has been working as a free-lance director and producer on a variety of television and feature film projects. His debut short film as director, The Point, was awarded a certificate of merit at TCM?s classic shorts competition in association with the 2001 Regus London Film Festival.

In 2006 he established Morphe Films and optioned the film rights to the Sunday Times best-seller, The Cloud Garden, which he is currently co-adapting for the big screen. His development slate also includes the ambitious period feature, Whom the Gods Love, based on the book by Joan Alexander.

Chief Hugh plans to divide his time between running the MacLeod Estate at Dunvegan and his film work in London.

Born in London in 1973, Hugh MacLeod graduated with a BA (Hons) in Film and Modern History from the University of London and the Sorbonne in 1995 © Frederique MacLeod 2009

Memorial Services for the late Chief John

London: Malcolm Macleod wrote that ?Ulrika, Mrs MacLeod of MacLeod, arranged a most moving memorial service in celebration of John?s life on Sat 14th April in the Swedish Church, London, in which they had been married three years previously.

The organ prelude was Bach?s Jesu Joy of Man?s Desiring, which was followed by the Bidding by the Very Reverend Lennart Sj?str?m, Dean of the Swedish Church, and the hymn The Lord?s my shepherd.

The bible reading was then followed by music, addresses, tributes and readings that would have given John a great deal of pleasure: Schubert?s Allegretto in C Minor, Impromptu in F minor played by Willem Brons, piano; a magical and heartfelt address by Ulrika; Im Abendrot D.799 (Carl Gottlieb Lappe) sung beautifully by Stephan and accompanied by Willem Brons; a tribute by Charles Ian Wolridge Gordon; Mit Fried und Freud (Martin Luther) a capella without accompaniment; and the poem Farewell my Friends read by Elena.

Prayers were followed by the hymn Thine be the Glory; the Blessing; a Swedish hymn H?rlig ?r jorden (Beautiful Saviour); and the organ Prelude and Fugue in G minor by JS Bach.

There was a reception in the Swedish Hall afterwards, which was an opportunity to meet the family and friends who had attended.?

Dunvegan: Malcolm Macleod wrote Saturday, 16th June 2007, ?dawned bright and clear with just a hint of rain that never fell and patches of sunny sky that lit up the Tables and teased the eye with changing shadows.

Saturday was just right for the Memorial Service in the Parish Church and afterwards at St Mary?s, Kilmuir for the blessing of the Headstone. The Rev Rory MacLeod (Glendale) conducted the service beginning with The Bidding during which he set the scene for this celebration of the late Chief John?s life and explained the underlying theme of the reading from St Paul that was to follow. We sang the Hymn Thine Be the Glory then Chief Hugh spoke movingly about his father and thanked everyone for being there. Stephan sang the Lutheran Chorale So Wandelt Froh auf Gottes Weggen, and then I read from I Corinthians Chapter 13. We next sang the Hymn My Hope is Built on Nothing Less and Charles Iain Wolridge Gordon gave the Address, praising John?s achievements, acknowledging the difficulties he had faced and recounting some amusing anecdotes. The final Hymn was Make Me a Channel of Your Peace and the service ended with some concluding remarks and the Benediction by Rory.

Afterwards Ewan MacCrimmon piped us to the church at Kilmuir where Rory led us in a short service. Hugh, Stephan and Elena unveiled the headstone which was blessed by Rory and we all paid our respects to the late Chief. Ulrika placed flowers at the headstone and Ethan, Elena?s son, laid a thistle that he had picked on the way to the church saying:

?Granddad?s in there?. A poignant end to a moving ceremony.

We gathered again in the Castle for a reception in the evening, which was an opportunity to reminisce, renew acquaintances and talk about things to come.

Hugh, Stephan and Elena and their families were all there together with Ulrika, Rosemary Wolridge Gordon, Charles Iain and Caroline. A number of friends, villagers and estate staff attended and the Clan was reasonably well represented. Malcolm Macleod was there for Chief Torquil Donald and, as President of ACMS; and Chief John of Raasay was there with his wife Liz. Leonard (President of CMS RSA) was there with his older brother John from CMS England; Bill (President of CMS USA) came over as did Doug (aged 87, the founding secretary of CMS USA, with his youngest son and daughter-in-law and four grandchildren). Rory, (Vice-President of CMS Scotland), and Charlotte; Donald and Rosemary (Glendale); Rory (Glendale) and Annice; Dorna Caskie (Secretary of ACMS); Clare Moncrieff (CMSs Canada, England and USA); Jim Hunter; Coll Findlay (President, Glasgow Highland Club) with David and Kate Doyle (immediate past President); attended amongst many.?

Clan Trip to Germany

On Fri 27th April nine members of the Scottish Society flew from Edinburgh to Stanstead to Lubbeck. Lead by President Ruari, with Anne; there were Donald and Anna; Derek and Pat; Nancy Macleod Nicol and Rose Fleming and Stella Henderson. At Lubbeck we met Kenneth and Anne from Troon, who had come up from Hanover and Albrecht, President of the German Society. In glorious sunny weather we drove in an hour to Kuelungsborn, on the Baltic Coast, to stay at the Polar Stern, Albrecht and Dagmar?s charming hotel.

The hotel was built in 1913 as part of a development of hotels along the Baltic Coast. After the Second War, the town was in East Germany and so there was no money to spend on refurbishing it, or pulling it down. Albrecht purchased the hotel in 1993 and has put a lot of money and time into restoring it.

Mairi, from Stornoway arrived later, from Copen-hagen and Rostock. Late at night Janet MacLeod Trotter and Charlie appeared having flown from Newcastle to Amsterdam and then travelled by train. But they missed their first connection and had an epic journey changing at ? and ? and ? and ? !

On Saturday we walked to the rail station and took the narrow gage train, ?Molli?, to Bad Doberan and visited the town developed by the Dukes of Mecklenburg as their hunting retreat. There are some fine 18th century houses and a large red brick enclosure for the minster grounds, with a huge red brick church dominating the town. The bulls head is the crest of Mecklenburg, and appeared in the tiles of the church floor.

On the return journey, some of the group stopped at Heiligendamm, where some weeks later the G8 Summit was held. The beautiful old white hotel buildings have been restored by the Kaplinski group. There was a 3m high fence around the whole town.

On Saturday evening there was a dinner and ceilidh for members of the Scottish and german Societies. After an excellent meal there was music from a trio, which included Derek, on the fiddle; singing and storytelling.

On Sunday we drove down to Wismar, one of the Hanseatic cities, a wonderful mediaeval town which, having been in the FDR has never been redeveloped. Every street is a delight with wonderful half timbered houses. There was a reception in the room above one of the ancient city gates and then we all boarded Atalanta, a sailing schooner. There was a delicious cold lunch of fish. In fine weather, but a crisp northerly wind, Atalanta set out into the Baltic To keep out the cold, a good deal of schnapps was drunk and everyone snuggled up close under coats and blankets. On the return journey there was delicious warming soup with sausages.

On Monday, another clear, but cool day, the group took the steamer to Wannemunde, the port of Rostock, further east along the Baltic. The port was full of boats and visitors and it was from here that the ferry sails to Denmark. In the evening there was a visit to a mini brewery and a Viking dinner at which a good deal of beer was drunk in litre glasses, led by Albrecht and his brother Clem.

Tuesday was a relaxing day with a walk along the shore to a nature reserve and some time for shopping. In the evening, after dinner, .. deputy head of one of the high school, spoke about life in the FDR when everyone had the same ? very little ? and a job and was happy ! It was a fascinating insight into the former Democratic Republic and many folk now feel a little disillusioned about unification and remember the ?good old days.?

Janet had composed a saga of her journey to the Baltic, which was acted out by Charlie, including the suitcase handle breaking !

On Wednesday morning Ruari and Anne visited the high school and were most impressed by the standard of spoken English. Many of the pupils were to act as interpreters for hotels and restaurants for the forthcoming G8 summit.

There was a visit to the 13th century church, with wooden bell tower and stone chancel, which, like so much else in northern Germany was ravaged by the 30 Years war in the 17th century.

It was a delightful tour and a chance to visit the Baltic in bracing, but sunny weather. Thanks to Al-brecht for making the arrangements and to him and Dagmar and all the staff at the Polar Stern for such friendly hospitality.

Albrecht and Clem
Presidents at the Baltic Sea Ku-bo
Bad Doberan Garden Ku-bo May 2007


Inverness, Sat 21st July 2007.

Ruari, President, and Anne, with Rory, Vice-President and Charlotte, attended the Inverness High-land Games on 21st July 2007. On the Friday night we met up with Ian and Colleen MacLeod from Orkney. Ian?s father was from Inverkirkgaig, Assynt.

Saturday was overcast and damp but we had two tables, covered with publications and clan merch-andise, inside a large tent with a dozen other clans. There was a steady flow of visitors, including Maureen, MacDuff; Anne, Inverness; John, Caol, Fort William; Ian Clashmore, Stoer; Catherine, Inverness; Joni, Inverness and Donnie, Ardesier. Kenneth JBS, Inverness. Donnie and Kenneth are keen to set up an Inverness Branch of the Clan Society. Duncan MacLure was over from Grimsay, North Uist. Raquel Del Pozo-Barnett, is a MacAskill living in Seville, Spain.

The most delightful group was the family of Jens Caspar from Stuttgart. The family had been touring in Harris and then had crossed to Skye to visit Dun-vegan Castle. Young Henry, aged six, was attracted to Ruari?s illustrated book Building St Clements Church Rodel, and despite other things being offered to him, was determined on the book. Jens emailed later that Henry believed the book was about a great Scottish knight and took it to bed with him every evening. Jens and his family have now joined the Clan MacLeod Society of Germany.

There was also a chance to meet Jamie, Lord Sempill, who is the director of The Gathering in 2009 to speak about arrangements. Ruari had trained as a soldier with Jamie?s brother Ian.

RHM Oct 2007