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 our Chieftains, past and present.
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.
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.
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.
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.
D S McLaren2012
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.
Brigadier Melville Stewart Jameson CBE2011
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.