In the course of some basic research on the internet recently, and making a few reasonable assumptions, I discovered - to my astonishment - that there may be as many as 500,000 people worldwide who are entitled to regard themselves as members of Clan Colquhoun, taking into account all the different septs and spellings - Calhoun, Cowan, Gunn, Kirkpatrick and so on (I even came across a Swedish variant of our name - Gahn). Even so, we are still a small Clan, albeit one with a big heart and an illustrious history. Big ambitions too - I want to see our Clan Society greatly expand its membership so that it can take its place alongside the larger and better known Clan societies, serving the interests of Clan members who are passionate about their Scottish heritage, and acting as a centre of information.
Not long ago, someone remarked to me half-jokingly that our clan system could be considered the last properly functioning tribal system in the world. If so, that is to be treasured, and I see it very much as my role as your Chief to do whatever I can to preserve this part of our culture.
The preservation of the Clan and family lands around Loch Lomondside mean a huge amount to me. I am privileged to be the 31st Chief of Colquhoun and the 33rd of Luss, roles I assumed on the death of my father five years ago. Sometimes, I pause to reflect on what that means: an unbroken line going back the best part of 1000 years, of which I am merely the latest, transient, representative. Will the 60th Chief still be on the clan lands on Loch Lomondside in 1000 years time? Or will we by then have surrendered our history and culture, our shared heritage lost in the mists of time? I hope not, and the purpose of Clan Societies like ours must be to preserve our links with the past and make sure they carry forward to the future. That is my life's ambition, one that I hope very much that you will be able to share with me.
Sir Malcolm Rory Colquhoun of Luss, 31st Chief of Colquhoun