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Meet Alasdair Morrison, Seventeen-year-old Chief of Clan Morrison

Updated: Jun 1, 2022

Dr. J. Ruairidh Morrison, Chief of Clan Morrison, passed away on 7 November 2020 from cancer. Following the chief’s untimely death, his son Alasdair, a 17-year-old U.S.-based high school

senior, assumed the role of chief. Alasdair has since graduated, early, from high school and is taking a gap year as he prepares for university in the UK in fall 2022.

Chief Alasdair was born in New Hampshire, USA and holds dual citizenship in the US and the UK. While Alasdair’s family ties to Scotland come through his father, his mother, Dr. Ann Michelle Morrison, was born in Atlanta and raised in Tennessee in the southern US. Alasdair has a younger sister, Marin, who was also born in New Hampshire and is a sophomore in high school this year.

Alasdair is the first American-born chief of the clan, but he spent his childhood summers at the family home, Ru Ruchdi, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, where the family worked on restoring the old house, hiking the hills and bogs of the islands, and helping their neighbors on the crofts whenever possible. Alasdair’s dual Scottish and American heritage converge in his enjoyment of playing Celtic and bluegrass fiddle.

During the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games recently, Alasdair surprised onlookers by sitting in and substituting, capably, for a state champion fiddler when she took a break. Alasdair’s other interests include computer science, which he plans to study at university, and karate, in which he is a third-degree black belt and instructor.

Alasdair has been preparing for his role as chief his entire life. He attended his first highland games in New Hampshire when he was only a few months old and has since attended games throughout the US and even on the island of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides with his father. This year Alasdair came to Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, where he was the only chief present and the youngest ever to open the games. Alasdair plans to attend the Stone Mountain games, this year as



Society Advice: You should cultivate your relationship with your clan chief or commander and encourage their participation in Scottish games and other events. If financing travel is an issue for your society, ask your members for donations -- many people would enjoy meeting their clan leader! You should also cultivate contacts with your clan chieftain, or heir, to your chief or commander. Looking ahead to the next generation will pay off in the future!

Society Successes: How has your society worked with your clan chief or commander? What would you advice other societies? How have you successfully encouraged participation in local games and events?

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