Menzies Clan Society

Newsletter 2

May 2011





Clan Gathering - August 2010

Following the last newsletter, we had a lot of comments about how much the Gathering photos were appreciated by people who had not been able to attend.    So here are some more photos from the 2010 Gathering.    This time we were very lucky with the weather and enjoyed some sunshine !   


The drinks reception on Friday evening was held in fine warm weather on the lawn by the Castle entrance.   Guests were also able to see the Menzies stone being loaded for the competition at the Aberfeldy Games the following day.   It must be a real challenge for a single person to lift this 115kg stone, when it takes three strong men to roll it on to a tractor!   

The Menzies Stone - a heavy burden !

Return of the Chief's Chair to Scotland

At the Clan Supper on Friday evening we enjoyed hearing the story of the Clan Chief's Chair from Robert Menzies, who had gone to considerable effort to return the Chair to the Castle, after it had spent around 200 years in exile in the USA.   (full story in Clan Magazine No 31)

Left - Robert Menzies with John Jack, Castle Warden



Coach Tour to Glen Quaich

The historic Glen Quaich coach tour to the heartlands of Menzies of Shian also went very well.  

This included Glen Cochill, Amulree, Glen Quaich, Loch Freuchie and Castle Shian.

A very interesting commentary was given by Andrew Rose, historian and one of the few known descendants of this branch of the Clan.


Overseas vistors had a great time at the Gathering !

The overseas visitors seemed to particularly enjoy the 2010 Gathering, and the following comments were from Joyce Menzies of Kansas, USA who attended with her husband Kermit, son Kenneth and daughter-in-law, Darla.

“We all had such a wonderful time. We were at the Menzies Clan Gatherings in 1983 and again in 1993, and saw so many improvements to the castle and grounds, this time.

Thank you for all the wonderful events of that weekend.  They will live in our memories forever.  Thank you for the opportunity to share these experiences.”


Darla Menzies, Stuart Menzies, Lisa Menzies, Kermit Menzies and Joyce Menzies



Paypal is Working

We are pleased to report that Paypal is finally working on the Clan Menzies website.    This allows anyone joining the Clan Society to pay electronically and avoids hefty bank charges from overseas.     Since there is a cost of doing business with Paypal, the Council regret that there is a 5% administration charge, which is outwith our control.

To join the Society using Paypal,   go to

•  Click on Join the Menzies Clan Society online

•  Click on   -   Click HERE for the Enrolment Form

•  Enter your contact details and you will be helped through the process of making a Paypal payment

Please note that you do not need to have a Paypal account, only a normal credit card.  

It is also possible to make donations to the Society by Paypal.

•  Click on the ‘Society' tab at the top of the screen

•  Scroll down to the bottom right hand corner and then click on ‘Donate'

•  A donation can then be made by Paypal

We are delighted to welcome new members David and Jo Chaffin of Valrico, Florida, USA who joined as life members in March, and were our very first members to pay by Paypal !   They are excited about joining our Society and we look forward to meeting David and Jo at the Castle in the future.


2010 New Members

We would like to extend a sincere welcome all our new members who joined in 2010. 


Bill & Corinna Buddo, sons Marcus and Niklas          Hastings, NZ 

Mrs Janice Bamford               Porirua, NZ

Mrs Margaret McGuire               Wanganui, NZ 

Mrs Kathryn Mitchell            Te Awamutu, NZ 

Mrs Judith Garvey                Christchurch  

Mr Guy Menzies                        Christchurch

Mrs Alison Brown                 Invercargill

Mrs Gail Menzies                        Wairoa

Mr Barry Menzies                        Rotorua

Mrs Charlotte Burton-Bell          Wellington 

Miss Francesca Menzies               Upper Moutere

Mr Tony Menzies                        Phillipines

Mr George Menzies               Sydney, Australia

Mrs Margaret Hogge               Australia

Ms Robin Menzies.                 New Zealand

Mr Robert Menzies                 Chester. UK

Mr Peter Menzies and Spouse        Auckland. NZ

Mr Lachlan Menzies              Australia



Pamela Hall Jones 1828 - 2011

The Clan Council were very sad to hear of the passing of Pamela Hall Jones on 1 February 2011.   Pamela made a tremendous contribution to the progress of our Clan Society in New Zealand over many years, as a Gathering organiser, Council member, Chief's Commissioner and friend and she will be very sadly missed.     Here are two of the many tributes to this wonderful lady.

Tribute from Audrey, our President

On behalf of myself and all the Clans people who knew her, I would just like to add to all the other lovely tributes that have come in - that I am very sad to hear that Pamela has lost her fight - she was always so strong and enthusiastic and a great help to me in this post through some troubled times - although she herself never thought she did enough.   I shall miss her greatly and I am sure many others will too.

She did a wonderful thing in starting up the New Zealand Gatherings which are so relaxed and enjoyable and must take a lot of organising in being spread over the country.   I am sure that members in New Zealand will try hard to keep these going in her memory.     My sympathies are very much with John and all her family.


Tribute from David, our Clan Chief

The very sad news of Pamela's passing away came as a great shock to me and had me in tears. Pamela was a wonderful lady much loved by the Clan and all who were fortunate enough to meet her. How lucky I was on two occasions to be accompanied by Pamela and John to two of the best New Zealand Clan Gatherings and also to stay with them in Glenmhor and in their house at Milford Sound. Those were great days immensely enjoyed by me ; I clearly remember - it must be at least 5 years ago now, Pamela and I at Milford Sound or nearby, had a go at walking up a steep path on the mountain side and poor Pamela, even in those days, was finding herself short of breath. I think she fought her illness all the way but even Pamela could not beat it and finally she passed away in a peaceful manner without pain and with John by her side.   I will never forget her and only will think of her always as a great lady and one I have to thank deeply for the constant work she put in to our Clan and as my Commissioner.



TRUST    REPORT    October 2010    to Society Council

Castle - Certain improvements are on-going - computer and telephone line upgrading, signs and revised castle brochure.   The kitchen, pantry area and toliets will all be undergoing various improvements, before the summer season. The windows are the main focus of attention currently on maintenance, and the largest item of expenditure.    Also the upper floor of the z-tower will be inspected to see if the joist butts need any strengthening work. Cleaning:   Finding staff for cleaning has long been a problem.   A new contractor has been successful on a trial period, and will now be given an extended contract.  

Tearoom - The tearoom was opened for part of this season and this service will be continued, subject to monitoring for financial efficiency. Exhibitions:   Plans are now in place for setting up a James Menzies of Culdares exhibit plus also a small one on Maharajah Duleep Singh.    We are also in communication with the Menzies Foundation of Australia with regard to one on Sir Robert.    Another one, which is very appropriate, is based on the auction books of 1914 when the castle, estate and contents were sold.    2014 will be the 100th anniversary.

Mausoleum - This very old building has not required much expenditure since it was restored in the early 70s. Following cracks being noticed, appearing in the east gable, some work has had to be done    This was unexpected extra expenditure, but after 40 years the mausoleum has done rather well and we always need to have reserves for this kind of maintenance work turning up without warning when dealing with such old buildings. Gardens Due to the contractors firm going into administration, progress has not been as much as was hoped, and it has been difficult to get enough help at short notice and at the right price even for basic maintenance.     The walls will also need considerable work over the next few years. We are again asking for some expert help in this area since we were not successful last year in receiving applications for a trustee vacancy which asked for this type of knowledge in an advisory capacity.    

Gardens - Due to the contractors firm going into administration, progress has not been as much as was hoped, and it has been difficult to get enough help at short notice and at the right price even for basic maintenance.     The walls will also need considerable work over the next few years. We are again asking for some expert help in this area since we were not successful last year in receiving applications for a trustee vacancy which asked for this type of knowledge in an advisory capacity.  


A Sincere Thank You to Dave Mathewes

The Clan Council would like to give a very sincere vote of thanks to Dave Mathewes for many years of recruiting effort in the USA, and all his good work for the Menzies Clan Society of North America.   This month, Dave has just hosted his last Menzies Tent at the Loch Norman Highland Games in Huntersville, near Charlotte, North Carolina.    We would like to send Dave our best wishes for a very well earned retirement from Clan activities, but we do hope to publish some stories from him at a later date !


Horace Henry Menzies     1910 - 2009

Horace Menzies of Dumbarton was probably the Society's oldest living member and had just celebrated his 99th birthday a few weeks prior to his death on 19th August 2009.

His parents George Menzies and Agnes (nee Hamilton) were paying a family visit to Dublin when Horace was born 25th July 1910. He was their fourth child and he and his siblings, Florence Emily, Alexander George, Beatrice Maud and Hugh Albert were brought up in Dumbarton.   He married Isobel Herriot in 1943 and they set up home at 9 Geils Avenue where they spent their entire married life.

Horace worked as a baker throughout his working life, but his most pleasurable pursuits were cycling and music. Cycling was his passion and the countryside his playground. Happiness for Horace was being out on the bike, absorbing all he encountered as he pedalled the miles and enjoying the nectar he boiled in his tea can over a wood fire.

As an Associate of the College of Violinists he was qualified to teach and he went on to play in various quartets and the Glasgow String Orchestra. He spent many years of retirement crafting stringed instruments and honoured Macbeth Menzies with a musical composition, played at the Castle about twenty years ago.  

Horace is survived by his wife Isobel, five children, Pat (Wilson), Charlie, Heather (Jacewicz), Valerie (Hamilton) and Gavin, nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Pat Wilson


Dr Bill Dewar

We were also very sad to hear about the death of Bill Dewar in December 2010, aged  95.    Bill was no longer active in the Clan Society or Trust, but he and his wife, Ann,  made an outstanding contribution to the restoration of Castle Menzies, from the 1970's onwards, and Bill was well known to many of our older members. An obituary will follow in a later Newsletter and in the next Clan Magazine.





DVD - Virtual Tour of Castle Menzies
This disk has been playing in the castle for visitors throughout the last season.    Initially produced to comply with disabled legislation, it has proved to be very popular with able-bodied visitors too, who buy it as a souvenir or to take back to relatives.     If you are interested in Castle Menzies, this DVD is a very good buy at £15 including post and packing, and also makes a very nice present.
Contact John Jack   at




Icelandic Volcano fails to Halt Irish Wedding Celebrations at Castle Menzies

The wedding of Irish couple Neil Menzies and Susan Lane took place on April 17th 2010 in the Weem Parish Church. The ceremony was followed by a reception in Castle Menzies. Despite the travel chaos caused by the Icelandic ash cloud, the wedding was a great success.

Neil is the son of David and Gale Menzies who live in Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Neil's great-great grandfather emigrated from Scotland to Ireland in the mid 1800's. The couple attended a clan gathering in 2005 and fell in love with Castle Menzies. They felt that it was the perfect venue to celebrate their marriage after ten years together. The family and friends of the couple were delighted to receive a tour of the Castle during the wedding reception. Neil and Susan wish to extend their thanks to Castle Menzies, and in particular to John Jack and his staff, for their wonderful hospitality and for providing them with such a memorable day.




Message from our Secretary : Alastair Menzies

Audrey, our President, apologises that she has not submitted a message this time. She is recovering from an operation, after breaking her right wrist.    We all wish Audrey a speedy recovery.

The Council were very pleased to receive so many positive comments about Newsletter No 1, which was circulated last September.   We are sorry for the delay in publishing its successor !

We would welcome any items for inclusion in future Newsletters, and also any updates to members' email addresses.   In the past we have struggled to maintain an accurate database of all our Member's addresses, and we rely on you to keep us up to date !

If you want to communicate with any members of Council, please email me and I will ensure that they receive your message.

If you are planning to attend the next Clan Gathering or make a trip to Scotland at any time , we will be very happy to provide travel advice !

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Newsletter 2 sponsored by

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