Lonach seeks new secretary to spearhead society

The organisation behind one of north-east Scotland’s most iconic traditional events is seeking a new secretary to lead the march into its third century.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 8:22 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 8:22 am
Lonach Highlanders marching through Strathdon ahead of the 178th Lonach Gathering in 2019

The Lonach Highland and Friendly Society, which organises the annual Lonach Highland Gathering and Games, is looking for an individual to fill the vacancy after the current secretary announced their intention to step down after 12 years in the post.

Current secretary, Jennifer Stewart, took up the role in 2009, becoming the first female to hold the position.

Held annually on the fourth Saturday in August, the Lonach Highland Gathering and Games is the main event that the secretary is in charge of planning and running. It is one of Aberdeenshire’s leading traditional summer events, welcoming crowds of up to 10,000 people to the Strathdon village of Bellabeg to witness the unique march of the Lonach Highlanders.

Alongside the annual gathering, the secretary is also responsible for arranging the family ceilidh on the evening of the gathering, a ball the following week and an AGM and dinner held every December.

In addition, they manage the society’s marketing, promotion and online presence, and oversee the general administration of the organisation and communication with its 220 members and other relevant stakeholders. Remuneration for the role would be discussed with the successful applicant.

Founded in 1823, the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2023, with the new secretary playing a key role in planning how that milestone is celebrated.

The society was established to promote benevolence and the preservation of the Gaelic language. Today it continues to provide financial assistance to its elderly members while also assisting local community projects. In recent years it has supported the installation of a defibrillator at the Lonach Hall, an upgrade of Strathdon Primary School’s playground, a children’s summer club and plans to upgrade the playpark in Bellabeg.

Anyone interested in applying should email [email protected] by Friday, November 12.