Past Chieftains

Past Chieftains

Each year the Gathering chooses an individual to be the Chieftain. This dates back to the early Scottish history when the “clans” all had a “chieftain” the leader of their family. The highland games allowed the “chieftain” to find out who were the strongest and fastest of his group who he would have in future battles. Today the Chieftain is an honorary position given by each Gathering to a person who they consider worthy of this position.

Crieff have in recent times been fortunate to have a number of respected celebrities or well-known sportspeople to accept the role of Chieftain. They will almost always have some close connection with Crieff and served the town and/or country with distinction. They are the Gatherings most important person and are given a salute and march past by the pipe bands and competitors, and award the prizes to the winners.

Have a look at the past Chieftains of Crieff Gathering.

David Murchie

David Murchie.jpg2016
A resident of Crieff since 1980 and a long time ambassador for the Perthshire town, David was born and raised in Auchterarder.  Despite being a talented golfer winning amateur tournaments and playing at county level David began his working career in local government.  However realising his talents lay elsewhere he became a golf professional in 1985.  In 1989 he was appointed Head PGA Professional at Crieff Golf Club taking over from another local well known face John Stark who was also our chieftain in 2000.
David is heavily involved with the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) and has held numerous roles both locally and nationally since 1997 culminating in his current position as Chairman of which he is midway through a four year appointment.  He will be in attendance at Hazeltine in September when Europe will try and successfully defend the Cup.

Eve Muirhead

Eve Muirhead.jpg2015
A World Champion and Olympic Medalist, Eve is a remarkable young athlete who skipped the GB curling team at the Vancouver Olympics at the tender age of 19.  She represents and excels in all things Scottish; she is a world class curler, champion piper and a scratch golfer.  She is one of Scotland's most high profile and best known sportswoman today and in accepting our invitation to be our Chieftain she also becomes our youngest ever Chieftain in our history.
Although now settled nearby Stirling she grew up in Blair Atholl where she played golf off a scratch handicap at Pitlochry Golf Course and curled out of the Dunkeld Curling Club.  She was a clear choice for the Gathering as she has links with Crieff being a former pupil at Morrisons Academy School in the town.

Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont.jpg2014
Mark Beaumont has spent his life travelling the globe on expeditions and carrying out charity work and has carried the Queen’s Baton around the Commonwealth in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.Mark’s adventures started at a young age when, aged only 15, he cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End.  He trumped this feat in 2008 by setting the Guinness World Record for cycling around the world in 194 days and 17 hours, taking in twenty countries across Europe, the Middle East, India, Australasia and North America.  As a result of this world record he raised £18,000 for charity.  His video diaries of the trip formed the basis of a Bafta nominated BBC documentary, The Man who Cycled the World, broadcast in August 2008.  Subsequent achievements have included cycling the length of North and South America.  He has also been involved in expeditions rowing to the North Pole and attempting to set a World Record for rowing across the Atlantic Ocean.  

John Robertson

2013John Robertson revised.jpg

Crieff Highland Gathering has been a permanent fixture in the life of John Robertson since 1967 making this his 47th Gathering.  Born and brought up on the farm at Newton of Logierait, John was introduced to "throwing" heavy implements about at home by his brothers Bill and Tom.  He started in competing in the Heavy events in 1967, but after taking part in a running event in 1970, sprinting became his main focus.  At age 50 John could still sprint well, clocking a Championship Best Performance in winning the Scottish Masters 100m in 12.2secs.
John is still involved with several Hihgland Games, organising and/or judging Track & Heavy events.

D S McLaren

Stuart McLaren.jpg2012
Stuart McLaren has been involved with Crieff Highland Gathering throughout his life, having helped out as a youngster when his father was a director, before serving as a director himself for 25 years, including a stint as Chairman.  During that time Stuart worked mostly with th heavyweights and also did the commentary.  Stuart remains an honarary director of the Board.
As well as his Highland Games duties, Stuart has been an enthusastic supporter of local community groups throughout his liftime.  On being invited to take up the Chieftain's role Stuart said "I am very surprised and pleased to have been asked, especially following in my father's footsteps as a former Chairmain and Chieftain.  I think that Crieff Highland Gathering is one of the most notable events in the local caldendar and I hope it continues for many years to come".

Brigadier Melville Stewart Jameson CBE

brigadeer 10x8.jpg2011
Although now retired from active military service, Brigadier Jameson retains an important role in the ara as the Queen's personl representative for Perth & Kinross.
After growing up near Blairgowrie and being educated at Glenalmond College, Brigadier Jameson has enjoyed a distinguished military career, serving with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and as a former commander of the Highland Brigade.  He then went on to become producer of the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo from 1994 to 2006.
In accepting the Chieftain's role at Crieff Highland Gathering, the Brigadier follows on from a former holder of the role of Lord Lieutenant, the late Major Sir David Butter KCVO who was chieftain in 1983.