Welcome to Clan Donald Southern Ontario, a branch of Clan Donald Canada. I started recruiting members at Highland Games around Southern Ontario in the summer of 2013 and the Executive and Directors of Clan Donald Canada officially recognized the branch at the Annual General Meeting in Cornwall, Ontario in September 2013. Although I was born and raised on Cape Breton Island, I have been living in Southern Ontario for many years. Southern Ontario is the most populated region of Canada and there are many Clan Donald clansmen and clanswomen living in this region so there was clearly a need for a local branch.
The goal of this branch is to strengthen the bonds of kinship among the diverse and scattered sons and daughters of Somerled. We are a family and a community. The word Clan comes from the Gaelic clann which means “children” and we are all through birth or adoption the children of our progenitor Donald (Domhnall) and although we have been displaced from our Highland and Hebridean homeland due to famine, clearances, oppression, war and assimilation Clan Donald members have overcome adversity and have thrived wherever they landed. Our history is one of resilience, relevance and achievement. Indeed, Canada’s first Prime Minister was Sir John A. Macdonald and you can’t handle a Canadian $10 bill without looking at his famous face. The descendants of Clan Donald reached the highest heights carving out distinguished careers as politicians, barristers, academics, leaders, authors, entertainers and captains of industry as well as being the salt of the earth and backbone of our cities and towns filling needed roles as soldiers,tradesmen, miners, doctors, farmers, foresters, fishermen, teachers, nurses, mothers and fathers – indeed all walks of life.
Clan Donald is the largest of the Scottish clans and are the familial heirs of the Kings and Lords of the Isles but lofty history aside, a clan association is only as strong as its membership. Your engagement and participation in clan activities will ensure that these shared familial bonds remain relevant and in tact for generations to come.
We have many activities planned including pub meet ups, ceilidhs, Burns dinners, and of course, Highland Games events in the summer. I encourage you to get involved as much as your circumstances allow and to share your ideas and creativity with our community. You might just track down a long lost ancestor in the process.
Nathan B. MacDonald
Founder Commissioner, Clan Donald Southern Ontario and
Deputy High Commissioner, Clan Donald Canada