It was the third time I attended the Clans’ Days in Ypres, and the second time in combination with the Schotse Dagen (Scottish Days) at castle Ooidonk near Deinze. But this time was quite special: it was the first time our clan chief, Donald MacLaren of MacLaren and Achleskine, attended as wel!
The Schotse Dagen started on Friday evening with a charity dinner on the castle grounds, with speeches, toasts, an auction, live music and lots of whisky. An unscheduled piece of music was performed by our own chief. He has no need for a ‘personal piper’, since he is a talented bagpipe player himself, specifically in the pibroch genre.
In Ypres there was a nice addition to the usual clans’ march to the Menin Gate on Saturday: to give the chief an appropriate welcome, we invited the MacLaren Pipe Band Venlo.
After the wreath laying at the Menin Gate and lunch, we went back to castle Ooidonck to man the clans’ tent and enjoy the Schotse Dagen.
It was great to finally meet the chief, and I hope to see him again at some clan event in Scotland. Or maybe he liked the Belgian part of his clan so much he will visit Belgium again to attend one of the next Clans’ Days?
(photos by h–na, Liliane Hye and myself)