Update On Struan Kirk

Many of our members must have been hoping for almost any good news from Scotland in the troubling times we are living through. Although there is still some very minor "snagging" work for the contractors to finish off, I am very happy indeed to report, somewhat belatedly, just such a good news item. Phase 2 of the repairs to Struan Kirk was essentially completed this Spring.

I had intended to post this update, probably the final one, much earlier, when we expected the last finishing touches of the major repairs to have been applied. Very frustratingly however, some extremely strict coronavirus restrictions from the Scottish Government followed hot on the heels of what had been a very wet winter indeed in the Highlands. This by itself had already contributed substantially to delay, and the virus lockdown prevented final completion. As I write, the restrictions have not yet been lifted to the point where the contractors can get back on site; and even this depends of course on whether and how well their business survives the lockdown and its after-effects.

All of this explains why the accompanying photographs, although they give an idea of the magnitude of the work done since I last reported, don’t yet show the entire building as all of us want to see it when we next visit.

Kirk 4

The major development since the last update was some serious deterioration and slippage of the coping around the roof ridge, parapets and bell tower. When the architect had first assessed which repair works were essential and which might be delayed for a few years, it was believed that some concrete and other patching, in addition to work on the slates and improved guttering, would suffice to keep the roof in sound condition for some time. This proved too optimistic, and in the end the Kirk Trustees decided they had no option but to accept the need for substantial new stonework and accompanying leadwork.

This required not only some unique pieces of stone being manufactured, but also the hire for a considerable period, and of course the erection, of expensive external scaffolding. This work in turn meant more temporary specialist bat survey work and licences, as did some additional treatment of woodworm in the roof space. Last but not least the heavy equipment needed to bring in the stones and the scaffolding itself caused some damage to the slabs along the entrance path and the surrounding ground.

Fortunately the funds raised by the Society and the families whose donations had enabled the acquisition to go ahead were sufficient to allow this work to proceed.

Once again, heartfelt thanks to all of you who have helped to make this rescue of Struan Kirk possible.

GILLESPIE ROBERTSON - Clan Society Council Chairman

Kirk 1

Struan Kirk Appeal

"Our Chief and the Chairman of the Clan Donnachaidh Society are asking for our help"

"Some of you may have already heard that Struan Kirk is being put up for sale by the Church of Scotland. It is one of several Kirks serving very small communities in Scotland which, as a result of ever smaller congregations and ever increasing maintenance costs, the central church authorities have decided they cannot afford to keep going.

This lovely place of worship has been central to Clan Donnachaidh for countless generations, ever since Celtic Christianity reached Perthshire many centuries ago. The present building is "only" 19th century, but is built on the spot where all earlier church building have stood. It is itself a place of simple beauty and of peace, in truly lovely surroundings, as those of you who have been there will know and as the pictures accompanying this message testify."

Are you able to help in saving this wonderful church for our Clan? We hope that every Branch of the Clan Donnachaidh Society make an appeal to their members to help in this project, every little helps.

Here in the Clan Donnachaidh Society of Florida we are fundraising by selling the "World’s Finest Chocolate" candy bars at the festivals we attend. We will also accept tax deductible donations to the Clan Society from the button below.

Struan Kirk Fund

Congratulations William Stuart Robertson 100th Birthday!

William Stuart Robertson, Clan Donnachaidh member, turned 100 years young on January 1, 2017.

A leader since his birth on January 1, 1917 William has been standing proud of his Scottish heritage.

He has installed this in all his children and grandchildren, whom he brought with him to 2017 Sarasota Highland Games.

There Clan Donnachaidh members Ralph Robertson, Mitchell Robertson, and John Lange raised a few drams of "Uisge Beatha", water of life along with William and his family.

A sure joy was shared by all on this happy day amongst the Clans. Clan Donnachaidh wishes only the best for William and his "clan".

We will raise a dram to William in August at our annual gathering in Scotland this year.

"Slàinte mhath" - "your good health"

Please see our photo Gallery from the 2017 Sarasota Highland Games for larger photos of William and his Clan.

Chief of Clan Donnachaidh visits the 40th Central Florida Highland Games

"23rd Chief of Clan Donnachaidh Gilbert Robertson and his wife Bridget celebrate 40th Central Florida Highland Games!!"

The Central Florida Highland Games were celebrated this past weekend and the our branch was honored with a visit from our Chief and his wife. Chief Gilbert Robertson, along with his lovely wife Bridget were honored guests of the Central Florida Highland Games as well as the Florida branch.

They attended both game days and spent each visiting with local branch members. There were plenty of photos taken with the Chief and wife as everyone was excited to meet and spend a few minutes with them both.

The Scottish American Society of Central Florida honored our Chief during the opening ceremonies of the games where Chief Gilbert thanked the sponsors and commended them on a wonderful event.

Remembering our Original Branch Founding Members

This past Saturday our 23rd Chief Gilbert Robertson spent time fondly recalling his trip to Canada to present the branch charter to Florida founding members Allen & Louise Robertson.

Their daughter, Diane, shown here presenting the Chief with a commemorative photo of the presentation. Clan Donnachaidh was proudly represented by Allen & Louise along with eighteen other families at the Sixth Annual Central Florida Highland Games held that year at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.

The second meeting of the Clan that year was a covered dish picnic at Allen & Louise’s home in Casselberry, Florida on February 27 at 2:00 in the afternoon. The fine cuisine was enjoyed after a general meeting to discuss the future of the branch that year.

It was decided that the memberships would be $15.00 for an entire year when received between January 1 and June 30, with memberships received after June 30 would be $7.50.

Clan Donnachaidh DNA Project

At the recent Central Florida Highland Games we were thrilled to welcome, Tim Duncan, Clan Donnachaidh DNA project administrator as our honored guest. Tim a native of Georgia and recently retired Park Ranger for the National Park Service in Death Valley, is free to pursue hi passion, his family dna.

Fortunately for us all Tim has grown his passion into the Clan Donnachaidh DNA Project. Along with co-founders, Stephanie Robertson and Bill Robertson, they have worked closely with Family Tree DNA in developing this project specific to Clan Donnachaidh world wide. Tim has traveled the US and Scotland in the past years reaching out to all the surnames of Clan Donnachaidh to grow the project. This past year Tim was at the Clan Donnachaidh AGM in Pitlochry were he and Stephanie gave all attendees an update on the project.

He also greeted many folks at the 700th Bannockburn celebration were Clan Donnachaidh displayed a strong presence, even Stout Duncan came by for a visit. Tim can be reached at the project web site or

Family Tree DNA is the organization doing all of the testing for the Clan Donnachaidh DNA project. Please check out all versions of their DNA testing kits. Now is the time to take the next step, just a cheek swab away, in seeking out your Scottish heritage. So head on over to Family Tree DNA at

To find out more about the Clan Donnachaidh DNA Project checkout where Tim Duncan and Stephanie Robertson are doing a phenomenal job for Clan Donnachaidh on this project.

Clan Donnachaidh Society of Florida on Facebook

Since its inception on October 28, 2013 our Florida Branch of Clan Donnachaidh Facebook page has been a tremendous success. Our page is administered by Area Director, Stanley Reid.

This page is intended to be a quick, easy and up to the minute means for our members and friends to communicate throughout the year, sharing photos, events and special occasions with each other. By following this links you can jump to:

Clan Donnachaidh Society of Florida

If you are a Facebook user, visit the page titled, “Clan Donnachaidh Society of Florida”, and click on the “Like” button. When Stanley gives the ok you then you can interact with the page. Please feel free to add any of your pictures from the games or activities which you have attended.

Stanley will also add announcements and other items of interest to our members. We will not accept any type of sales pitches, political opinions, or questionable material. This site is to promote and share our Scottish heritage.

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