Chiefs’ poles refreshed

The five chiefs’ poles (in the shape of the St Andrews Cross), which depict the 14 chiefs who have ruled over the past 113 Maclean Highland Gatherings, stand proudly in Herb Stanford Park, which is the home of the Scottish Cairn and the Memorial Pioneers’ Wall. Image: Maclean Scottish Town Committee

The five chief’s poles that stand proudly in Herb Stanford Park, Maclean have been spruced up.

In 2004, the poles were positioned to form the shape of the St Andrews Cross and were first painted to commemorate the 100th Maclean Highland Gathering.

The poles were painted in sections of three, depicting the 14 chiefs who ruled over the past 113 Maclean Highland Gatherings.

The poles showcase the individual chief’s name, their clan tartan, and years of service to the association.

The poles have been painted in order of service: Pole No.1 1894 Samual MacNaughton, 1900 John Murray, 1903 Thomas Lobban; Pole No.2 1926 Stewart MacIntosh, 1928 George Wray, 1932 Murdoch MacKinnon; Pole No.3 1936 Alexander MacMaster, 1937 Alan Cameron, 1948 Cecil Gilbert; Pole No.4 1964 James McKinnon, 1974 Angus McAulay, 1984 Kenneth MacLeod; and, Pole No.5 1996 Colin Gregor, 2000 Peter Smith.

The work was undertaken by the Maclean Scottish Town Committee, with the cost of the artist being funded by the Lower Clarence Scottish Association.

“The height of the poles required large scaffolding, which had to be moved and readjusted as each tartan section was painted,” Scottish committee and association stalwart Bob MacPherson said.

“This project took a team of four volunteers, who worked tirelessly over three days to prepare each pole’s surface, applying two layers of undercoat, plus two layers of base colour, ready for artist Linda Elmir to paint the tartan finish.

“Linda was able to complete the 10 highest sections in two days, leaving the five ground level sections to be painted, following the removal of scaffolding.

“This project was a large undertaking and the committee would like to thank Terry Watkins for the loan of his scaffolding and for his time and expertise in helping to erect the scaffolding.

“Thanks also are conveyed to Linda Elmir, who painted her magic in recapturing the chiefs’ clan tartans; also thanks to the Lower Clarence Scottish Association for providing the funds for the repainting project.”