Clan Henderson Society
While the Clan Henderson Society can trace it’s roots back to 15th century Scotland, the organization’s current incarnation in North America is less than a decade old. Recently we spoke with the Clan’s President, Larry Henderson.
How long have you been involved in the Clan and in what capacity?
I have been a member of the Clan for 6 years and I started as a convener here in Florida and was then asked if I would accept the position of Clan Vice President. I served in that capacity for 2 years then accepted the position of President and I am now in my third year in that position.
What is the Clan’s origins and history?
Our Clan got its start at the games in Grandfather Mtn. when a few Hendersons got together and decided to form a Society. They agreed amongst themselves who would fill what position and they contacted the Chief Dr. John Henderson and asked permission to start a society in the United States and the rest is history. Dr. Henderson passed away in 2004 and his Son, Alistair D Henderson took over as Chief and continues to fulfill the mission of the Clan.
How has it evolved over the years?
From the few men that met that summer day to well over a thousand members at one time ,we have grown and have members in multiple countries and are currently assisting our cousins in South America with starting an affiliate of the Clan in Uruguay. I know that our late Chief, Dr. Henderson would be proud of what has become of the Clan in North America. Many people have put in many long hours to get us to where we are. We have been contacted by other Clans who asked our advice on growing their memberships our advice on constitutions and bylaws. It is good that we have the reputation of being a strong society.
How many members are actively involved?
I am happy to say that practically all of our members are active in the clan either by assisting in our DNA program by sending in samples to working a tent at a highland game or festival. In day to day activities we have 30 members that are either elected or appointed officials that are in contact with each other regarding different programs and daily operation of the Clan.
Where are Clan members from and how do they find you?
Our Clan has members in almost every state, Canada, Australia and throughout Europe. We also have many of our members serving in the military in the USA as well as overseas. Our web site has been a big help at recruiting new members as well as social media such as FaceBook. We also have members that set up Clan tents at highland games around North America. Our newsletter the AnCanach is distributed to all of our active members and copies are also provided at games and festivals.
What kinds of Clan-related events do members participate in?
We have members that participate in the heavy athletics competitions, highland dancing and we have many accomplished bagpipers. Our members are very proud of their heritage and many have volunteered to help with our Genealogy research and DNA study. We always have a good turnout at games, festival and parades. We have been marching in the Scottish Christmas walk in Alexandria Va. for many years and we have a Ceilidh that weekend with a silent auction. The proceeds go to members of the military to help their families have a better Christmas.
What does the Clan have planned for 2013 and in the years to come?
We have recently had our web site rebuilt and since it has gone online we have had a monthly increase in the number of hits from all around the world. It is our goal to increase our membership and to reach out to other countries and establish affiliations with them. We have been tasked by our Chief, Alistair D. Henderson of Fordell to act as the Administrative branch of the clan and to go out and gather the clan from around the world. We will do this through communication and personal contact.