The Hunter Clan Chief

Continuing Centuries Old Traditions with Modern Twists
Clan Hunter at the Edinburgh Tattoo

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Clan Chief

Our current Clan Chief shares, in her own words, about the role and significance of the leader of the Hunter Clan.  

Madam Pauline Hunter

30th Chief of the Clan Hunter

“Many people have asked me what my role as Clan Chief involves in this piece. I hope to give you an understanding of how I see my role at the head of Clan Hunter. My main aim is to make sure that Hunterston Castle is preserved for all hunters now and in the future, because we are so fortunate in having our Clan Seat, Hunterston Castle in such excellent condition and held by the same family that built it. My second aim is to promote Clan Hunter to as wide an audience as possible, to this end I have taken all the opportunities to attend any of the national events held in Scotland. Throughout the year I maintain links with my Clan Officers and Clan President and send them my newsletter to be shared with our members.

 

Clan Hunter At Edinburgh Tattoo

The Hunter Clan at Edinburgh Tattoo

After the festivities of Christmas the next most recognized Scottish event is the celebration of Hogmanay/New year. The most well known tradition of a Scottish Hogmanay, apart from singing Auld Lang Syne, is First Footing where a dark haired person is the first to enter a house at the very start of the new year immediately after the clocks have struck midnight. They take whiskey, bread and a piece of coal, Whiskey for celebration and good cheer, bread for good eating in the year to come and coal for warmth.

I usually spend this time with friends seeing in the New Year by singing Auld Lang Syne. A song written down by Robert Burns to remind us to celebrate and value friendship.

 

Madam Pauline Hunter

Madam Pauline Hunter

Then at the service commemorating the 500 year anniversary of the Battle of Flodden a large group of Clan Hunter members including our Standard, Standard Bearer, myself and Macer Venatorus attended a very moving service in St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh to remember the many Scots who fell at this Battle. In 2017 Clan Hunter was privileged to attend the opening ceremony of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Clan Hunter members attended in force and I was very proud to be able to lead you all onto the Parade ground of Edinburgh Castle and the stage for the Military Tattoo. 

Clan Hunter was the first Clan with a female Clan Chief to attend this ceremony of the many Clans that took part over the Tattoo season. At the ceremony I was given a quaich of very fine malt whiskey by General Miley who then presented me with his Challenge Medallion. The medallion will become one of our Clan’s most prized possessions and be displayed in our new Clan centre when it is created.

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Clan Chief - Clan Hunter at the Tattoo

General Miley, 39th Chief of Staff of the USA Army, Chief of the Clan Mackay, Madam Chief of Clan Macdonald of Sleat at 2017, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo opening ceremony. 

When there are National events run in Scotland that promote the Clans and Families of Scotland and the rich Scottish history I arrange for Clan Hunter’s participation.. If at all possible I arrange our International Gatherings to coincide with these events so that as many of you as possible may take part.

As Clan Chief I have attended the celebration of the 700 year anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, at which Clan members attended in good numbers. For the Homecoming Scotland event we had a Clan tent in the grounds of Holyrood Palace and had the fantastic honour of Marching along the whole length of the Royal Mile from Holyrood Palace to Edinburgh Castle where we watched a wonderful display of dancing and music. As a Clan we had been to the Flodden battle site several times in conjunction with a couple of other border Clans, held a service and laid wreaths in memory of the fallen.

Clan Chief - Madam Pauline Hunter in the Bluebells

Madam Pauline Hunter amongst the bluebells

I have been asked and very honoured to open the Largs Viking Festival. This Festival is held over 10 days and has been recognised as one of the best in Europe. They have an authentic Viking Village of the 15th century with many different craftsmen and women. Clan Hunter takes part in the opening parade regularly and I now organise an event to coincide with the Fireworks on the second Saturday of the Festival. Last year I was asked if I would consent to become their Patron, which I was very pleased to agree to, this involves promoting the Festival to a wider audience.

To keep everyone informed about our Clan, happenings and events we have a  Facebook Page and we regularly update our website. Our newest venture is a blog written by Lucy Hunter Weston Massaar, my cousin, which is published monthly on both the website and our Facebook Page. We compile and send out two or three newsletters a year with a round up of news from Hunterston, events attended and share news from my Clan Associations in the different countries.

In recognition of the support and commitment of the Clan members I instigated the creation of an Order to recognize the highly valued volunteer work undertaken by individual Clan Hunter members. This award is called The Order of the Royal Huntsman. Each year I ask my Clan Officers and Clan President for recommendations for the Order of the Royal Huntsman,

As well as annual events I am also in charge of the maintenance of Hunterston Castle towards which some of your annual dues pay for. At this moment in time the Clan does not pay for all aspects of the Castle maintenance.

Madam Pauline with a young archer

A Junior member of the Ancient Society of Kilwinning archers being presented with the Callants Award.

Towards the end of January, near to the birthday of Robert Burns are the celebrations of his birthday which I celebrate in West Kilbride. I have been attending Burns suppers in West Kilbride for several years now as part of promoting the Clan Hunter presence and Hunterston Castle locally. I have in the past given talks at the local civic society and attended meetings in West Kilbride, and have undertaken the same in Largs. Both West Kilbride and Largs have active groups promoting their local history and that of Ayrshire and Scotland.

During the spring time when it is a year for our International Gathering I will be confirming events arranged the previous year and ensuring that maintenance is carried out. I will check the Castle thoroughly for repairs and work needed twice a year. We have the Castle cleaned regularly all year round with an annual spring clean in early summer.”

Scottish Clan Chiefs

The Scottish Clan Chiefs

Clan Chief

Madam Pauline Hunter with crook

A Summary of the Activities of the Clan Chief

Attending National and International events to promote Clan Hunter

Newsletter

At Scottish and Highland events

Viking Festival

Homecoming Scotland 2009

Flodden

Patron of Viking Festival

Fergus Games in Canada

Stone Mountain Games USA

San Francisco- Pleasanton

Burns Suppers

Newsletters 2-3 times a year

Clan Officers, Clan President

Clan Associations

Hogmanay

Bannockburn

DIRECTIONS

You will find us off the A78 just north of West Kilbride. Look for our driveway marked by stone pillars and "Hunterston Estate" 

ADDRESS

Hunterston KA23 9QG
Telephone: 07980 209060
*This number is not continuously manned, so please do leave us a message. 

OPENING TIMES AND ACCESS

Acccess to Hunterston Castle is strictly by appointment. Note that as a historic monument, wheel chair access is limited. More visitor information is available on our visitors page .  Please email us to arrange a visit.