News Letter 2006

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Clan Gunn Society of New Zealand Inc.


February 2006

Clan Gunn Society of New Zealand Inc

121B Johns Road





President’s Patter Eligibility for Clan Gunn Membership

Welcome to New Members Website Development – Clan Gunn

Council Members Update on the Chiefship

Minutes 17th Annual General Meeting A Request from Abb Gunn – Global Genealogist

Report from Dunedin International eGroup

The Waipu Highland Games Article – For Wine Buffs (Hawke’s Bay Times)

Clan Gunn Challenge Cup Upcoming Events for Clan Gunn, Canterbury Members

Connections Clan Gunn Pamphlet

President’s Patter

Greetings and good Fortune be with you all for the coming year.

Last year has, sadly, seen the passing of John Main and Mac Gunn, and the Clan’s condolences go out to their families. They were staunch members of the Clan and will be sorely missed. Illness also seems to have been high on the list last year with Val Donald, Betty Henderson and Murray Gunn in and out of Hospital. I hope that they make a full recovery during 2006.

I would personally like, and I’m sure the Clan would join me, in thanking Val Donald for all the work she has put in over the past couple of years. She assumed the Presidency under difficult circumstances and the Clan has remained on a steady course since. I just hope that I can keep up that record of good work and perhaps add a little to it.

Susan Greenwood is doing a splendid job after taking over the membership Secretary’s position and the Newsletter from Ian Gunn, who thankfully remains our Treasurer. Marie Gunn, as ever, is doing a marvellous job as our Secretary and she has become the nerve centre of the Clan, around whom, all else revolves. I must also congratulate Chris Gunn on assuming the Vice Presidents position. I feel grateful for having such an efficient team around me for the next two years.

Looking towards the future, I feel that we must, as a Clan, start producing incentives for getting younger blood on board and by that I mean people in their forties or younger. To do that then we must act like the people we are supposed to be, Scots. New Zealanders of Scottish descent. Different accents, same blood. You are no less Scottish because of an accent or place of birth. Be extremely proud of belonging to the Clan Gunn, wear your tartan, badges and anything else at all meetings proclaim who you are and what you stand for. Then pass that pride on to others so that they too may feel they want to belong and that we want them to belong. Your bloodline, tartan and heritage are not something you should feel a need to make excuses about to others. Become an inspiration.

For those of you that wish to start recruiting, and I hope it’s many, then wear your highland gear, even if you have to hire it. It attracts the right people to your tent or stall and that’s the first step. Flaunt yourself, it works. After that an enthusiastic conversation with lots of positives about the Clan will usually engender enough interest to enable you to hand out a recruiting kit. If you re able to do some fund raising then this can be used for hiring your gear. If anybody needs any information or help regarding recruiting then please let me know.

I look forward to serving the clan over the next two years.

Yours Aye,

Todd Wall

Welcome to New Members

The Council is very pleased to welcome the following new members to Clan Gunn:

Daniela Blair, Christchurch

Elsie & Robert Blondell, Dunedin

Louise Hickleton, Feilding

Isabel Patterson, Dunedin

Catherine Powell, Oamaru

Kathleen (Kathy) and John Sauer, Christchurch

Council Members

2005 - 2006

President: Todd Wall email:

Vice President: Chris Gunn email:

Immediate Past President: Val Donald phone: (03) 366 4476

Treasurer: Ian Gunn email:

Secretary: Marie Gunn email:

Membership Secretary: Susan Greenwood email:

Committee: John G Gunn phone: (03) 318 8153

Ben Gunn email:

Dianne Gunn Giles email:

Sheila Wall email:

Stuart Gunn email:

Mervyn Gunn email:

Editor: Susan Greenwood


Minutes of the 17th Annual General Meeting

Of The Clan Gunn Society of New Zealand

Held at Crossroads, Bishopdale, Christchurch

At 2 pm on Saturday 15 October 2005

The President, Val Donald welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Val Donald, Todd and Sheila Wall, Helen Gunn, Stuart and Liz Gunn, Junette Wilson, Wilson Daniel, Viggo Neilsen, Sandra Frazer, Barrie and Susan Greewood, Tom and Shirley Campbell, Susan, Chris and David Gunn, Isabel Findlay, Olva Manson, Margaret Campbell, Richard Rawstron, Betty Rawstron, Tony Rawstron, Pam Cook Bonnie Flynn, Margaret Godfrey, Ben and Marie Gunn.


Ian and Lexie Gunn, Mervyn and Tui Gunn, John and Heather Gunn, Betty and Ian Henderson, Geoffrey Gunn, Dianne Gunn Giles, Jan Wyllie, James and Jane Wilson, Andrew and Anne Henderson, Joyce Shield, Bill Jamieson, Jan Rawstron, Alexia Fergusson, Julie Fergusson, Jane Campbell, Jessie Nelson, Graeme Frazer, Ngaire Gunn, and David Gunn (for lateness).


It was moved, seconded and agreed that the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 9th October 2004 which had previously been circulated be accepted as a true and correct record.


The President, Val Donald presented her Report and commented on a full and busy year for the Clan. Val outlined the many activities which had taken place during the year including the gathering at Gunn`s Bush in South Canterbury, the hard work done by members throughout the year to increase the membership of the Clan, the various Highland Games throughout New Zealand where our members had promoted the Clan and in particular her visit to Dunedin to take part in the Scottish Week. Val commented that we were certainly moving forward as a Clan and thanked the members for their efforts in this regard. It was moved, seconded and agreed that the Report be received.


Copies of the Income and Expenditure Statement, the Balance Sheet were distributed and considered. The President, Val Donald read the Financial Statement.

It was moved, seconded and agreed that the annual subscriptions should remain the same.

It was moved, seconded and agreed that a grant of Fifty pounds (Sterling) should be sent to the Gunn Heritage Centre in Latheron, Caithness.

It was moved, seconded and agreed that the President and Secretary should be appointed Reviewers of the Annual Accounts.

It was moved, seconded and agreed that the Report be accepted.


The membership Secretary, Susan Greenwood presented the Report. Two of our members, John Main and Robert Bruce Gunn had died during the year. Our condolences had been conveyed to both families. There were 5 new members during the year. It was moved, seconded and agreed that the Report be received.



At this point Tom Campbell took the Chair for the Election of the President.

Val Donald was nominated and seconded. Todd Wall was nominated and seconded.

It was agreed that a secret ballot should take place. The scrutineers, Chris Gunn and Shirley Campbell were appointed.

After the voting had taken place, it was moved, seconded and agreed that the voting papers should be destroyed.

Todd Wall was elected as the new President. He took the chair and thanked Val Donald warmly for all her efforts during the time of her Presidency. Marie Gunn thanked both Val Donald and Todd Wall for their willingness to serve and for their tremendous efforts on behalf of the Clan which had resulted in the present healthy and growing, lively Clan.


Ben Gunn was nominated and seconded. Chris Gunn was nominated and seconded.

Val Donald and Shirley Campbell were appointed as Scrutineers.

After a secret ballot it was moved, seconded and agreed that the voting papers be destroyed and Chris Gunn was elected as the new Vice-President.


Marie Gunn was nominated and seconded

There being no further nominations, Marie Gunn was elected as Secretary.


Ian Gunn was nominated and seconded.

There being no further nominations, Ian Gunn was elected as Treasurer.


The following members were nominated, seconded and elected

Ben Gunn, John Gunn, Dianne Gunn Giles, Mervyn Gunn, Stuart Gunn, Sheila Wall.



David Gunn explained what had been put on the website up to that point and encouraged members to send in material to enlarge the site, to make it more informative and interesting. David also explained the various website throughout the world associated with other Clan Gunn Societies and the need for clarity to avoid confusion. David was thanked for his efforts in setting up and monitoring the website. Members were then urged to support the website by sending David any appropriate material. It was suggested that the whole membership list be put on the website. However it was felt that such a move would require the approval of each individual member.

Associate Membership

There was discussion with regard to whether we should continue to offer associate membership of the Clan. It was pointed out that associate membership was referred to in our constitution as well as the membership forms for those `persons who support the objectives of the Society and are approved by the Council`. It was also pointed out that we had never had an associate member. After discussion it was decided to publicise this matter through the Newsletter for consideration by the members. It was also decided that consideration should be given to altering the wording of the constitution with regard to membership so that all those who are descendents of a Gunn (or Septs) ancestor would be eligible for membership, rather than restricting it to children or grandchildren of such.

2006 AGM

It was moved, seconded and agreed that the 2006 Annual General Meeting should be held in Dunedin. This will be held during Labour Weekend subject to any conflicting events.

Publicity Pamphlets

It was agreed that once the necessary alterations had been made they would be included in the next issue of the Newsletter with a suggestion that members photocopy them for publicity purposes.

Chiefship. The latest position on the Clan Gunn Chiefship was read to the meeting.

Scottish Banner. Members were informed with regard to our advertisement in this magazine and encouraged to subscribe.

Gunn`s Bush. There was discussion with regard to a return visit to Gunn`s Bush. It was agreed that we would consider another gathering there early in 2007.

Hollyford Valley. It was pointed out that Murray Gunn had left his camp in Hollyford and gone to live permanently in Te Anau. This may alter the situation with regard to Clan Gunn members camping there. Todd Wall will investigate the possibility of another gathering at the Camp.

Burns Song Contest Sponsorship. Val Donald informed the meeting that the Clan had sponsored one section of the recent Burns Song Contest in Christchurch. This annual competition attracts a substantial number of singers.

Newsletter. It was decided to publish a Newsletter in February and August each year. The closing date for articles will be 1st February and 1st August.

Clan Gunn Australia. The Secretary informed the members of the attempts by Geoffrey Gunn of Brisbane to form a Clan Gunn Society of Australia. We have been in communication with Geoffrey and offered to assist in any way we can.

Genealogist. Pam Cook who has been our Clan Genealogist for a number of years has decided to relinquish this position owing to pressure of work. She is prepared to assist anyone who wishes to take up this position.

Marie Gunn


Report from Dunedin

By Todd Wall

In May 2005, we had a boot sale from goods supplied by Clan members and others and managed to raise $112.00. These funds went towards stationery and photocopying but the bulk went towards the Dunedin Clan Gunn end of year Christmas function.

Bill and June Jamieson hosted us all attheir house where we had a hot soup lunch and rolls. Yum, Yum. It was a warm, convivial gathering where different issues were discussed and commented on. This was in June 2005.

September saw the clan putting on a Scottish Crofters meal for $20.00 per head during our Scottish Festival Week. We were booked to the rafters almost as soon as tickets went on sale. All 70 seats were taken although on the night three didn’t turn up. The venue where it took place was appropriately decorated with lots of tartan from various clans and organisations. Our President, Val Donald, graced us with her presence and we also hosted the Guests of Honour from Australia, Garry and Nerida Barnsley. Garry is the vice President of the Scottish Australian Heritage Society. We also hosted the President of the Otago Scottish heritage Council, Ian Rae, the organiser of the Scottish Festival, Neville Jemmett and his wife Pam who is the President of the Dunedin-Edinburgh Sister City Committee. The contestants for the queen O’ the Heather competition together with the current Queen, our own Charmaine Flynn, were also hosted.

We had volunteers both from within the Clan to be waitresses or kitchen helpers as well as without. Viggo Helmut, became the Viking Guardian for the Clan and issued a challenge to the official party when they marched in. Once Val Donald had answered the challenge with the password “Aut Pax, Aut Bellum”, we were allowed to pass. Wilson Daniel did his bit as a heavily disguised Abbot of Kildonan, and read out the History of the Clan to a very captive audience. They couldn’t get away. The ladies in the kitchen, Sheila, Bonnie and Joyce, did a wonderful job with the food. We had a piper and singer, both young people, who gave us a very good performance. Nerida Barnsley herself gave us a fair rendition of Scottish songs as well. All in all it was a huge success. A lot of people commented on it saying that it was the best event in the whole of the Scottish Festival Week. After all the bills were paid we made just over $300.00 towards our end of year function.

Another boot sale was held at Tahuna Park in November and we managed to raise a further $123.00. A couple of raffles increased our kitty and it all went towards the Christmas function for our Dunedin Clan members. The Christmas Dinner this year took place at the Blackstone Café in Mosgiel. There were 24 of us who attended including three of the waitresses who had helped us out with the Crofters Fare Dinner.

The Dinner itself cost $25.00 per head but we managed, because of our fundraising, to get it down to $10.00 per head. We still have a healthy reserve to take us into the New Year as well. This is used for copying, stamps and stationery plus any sundries like tea, coffee and milk for meetings. The funds that remain will go towards our next end of year function.

To finish November off we had a recruiting drive on St Andrew’s Day and managed to give out eight recruiting packs plus lots of pamphlets and information to would be Clan people, not necessarily our Clan though. We managed to raise another couple of bucks with a raffle then as well.

On 1 December we had the AGM for the Otago Scottish Heritage Council and I was elected as Vice President of the Queen O’ the Heather committee. So my work is going to be cut out for the next year it seems.

All in all, it has been a very busy year and the Clan has grown. We now have 24 participating members in Dunedin, with more in the offing we hope. I understand that Christchurch has done pretty well with recruiting as well. Long may it continue.

I have received an invitation, as President of the Clan, to attend the Bundanoon Highland Games in NSW, Australia, as an official guest, on Saturday 8 April 2006. I have accepted, as this gives us a chance to perhaps get some Gunns or Septs interested in forming a Clan organisation over there. It is a huge event with 30,000 people attending. There are 12 Pipe Bands and a whole host of events happening during the time it is on, which is one day. It should be interesting. I’m looking to learn a lot from the experience.

Of course, by the time you read this, Christmas and New Year will have truly come and gone. I would, however, like to wish you all good health and good fortune for the coming year.

The Waipu Highland Games

Report from Marie Gunn

It was a superb morning, warm and sunny as we set off for Waipu in Northland. We were there to meet other Gunns and to join in the celebrations of the 135th Waipu Highland Games. Ian and Lexie Gunn were already there with their ‘Gunn’ caravan and awning complete with Banner and the information table all set out. Ben and I were joined by our son Neil and daughter-in-law Vicky – (their first experience of the wonderful atmosphere of a Highland Games). Dianne Gunn Giles and her husband Len Giles arrived and the celebrations began. The day started with a parade of Clan Banners into the grounds. The Banners were then erected at the various Clan tents/tables and caravans – 18 clans were represented this year. A crowd of over 8,000 were then treated to a marvellous day of dancing, piping and the usual field events. There were also numerous tents and marquees selling everything from Scottish food t Highland outfits. Several records were set – a record crown, record number of clans, three new heavyweight records and a record 10th title for the heavyweight champion.

Highlights of the day included a mass pipe bank with 50 pipers and 30 drummers and a mass Highland Fling with 50 dancers. There were also a re-enactment by Clan Alba of Scottish battle techniques from the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion complete with period costume and weaponry.

The Grant Parade was a stirring sight led by the Pipe Banks followed by Clansmen and women holding their Banners high.

At our Gunn caravan we fielded dozens of enquiries and requests for information or membership forms.

We are indeed grateful to Ian and Lexie for their hard work in setting up the caravan and information table and for their warm hospitality throughout the day. I’m sure they must have lost count of the cuppas they provided. Thank you, Ian and Lexie.

It was a wonderful day, thoroughly enjoyed by us all.

Clan Gunn Challenge Cup

The above cup is presented annually at the Hastings Highland Games to the winner of a particular Piping competition. For some time now various members of the Clan have been endeavouring to find out the history behind this cup, but until recently drew a blank. However Stuart Gunn of Hastings has unearthed a cutting from an old newspaper. We do not know the date of the said newspaper cutting. However, we do know from an advertisement on the reverse of the cutting that it pre-dates decimal currency (July 1967). The article is as follows:

HB may be home of new clan Gunn group

A New Zealand branch of the Clan Gunn Society of Britain is being formed, and its headquarters will probably be in Hawke’s Bay. It has been ascertained that in New Zealand there are more than 450 people over the age of 21 named Gunn, of whom about 50 live in Hawke’s Bay.

Members of the society may be people bearing by birthright, descent or marriage the surname of Gunn.

Dr William A Gunn, Auckland has lodged his claims and papers for chieftainship of the clan in New Zealand, and they are being considered by Lord Lyon of Edinburgh.

The Highland clan of Gunn is one of Scotland’s oldest. It has been termed “the most independent of Scottish clans” and its origins dates to the 13th century. Sir William Gunn fought on the Plains of Westlock, and he was chiefly instrumental in defeating the Austrians. King Charles I knighted him for bravery.

The Hendersons of Caithness are descended from Henry Gunn. The chiefs of the Clan Gunn were hereditary Coroners of Caithness and the official badge of the Coroner was a great buckle of Celtic design.

The Clan Gunn Society of Great Britain has its head office in London and the clan seat in Clyth Castle, Caithness, Scotland. The clan pipe music is “The Gunn’s Salute”. A recording of this has been made by Pipe Major D Thoreson, Hastings and sent to London.

A new history of the clan probably occupying several volumes, is being prepared by Dr Mark Rugg-Gunn, Essex, England. Mr W A Gunn, Hastings said today that the preparation of the history was likely to reveal many details of the clan which were hitherto unknown. Many copies of the history have been ordered by New Zealand members of the clan.

Mr W A Gunn and Mr W J Gunn, Napier are taking an active part in the formation of the New Zealand branch.

A silver challenge cup for piping will be presented by a member of the Clan Gunn Society to the winner of the North Island Championship slow march on Easter Monday at the Greater Hastings Highland Games. The cup will be competed for annually at the Games.”

Our thanks to Stuart for this piece of history. I foresee several interesting discussions arising from this article. If anyone is able to shed more light on this Cup, such as who presented it, or anything else mentioned in the article, we would love to hear from you.

Marie Gunn


by Marie Gunn

Ben and I recently had the pleasure of visiting Jane Campbell (née Gunn). For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting with Jane, she is 98 years young and has been a member of Clan Gunn for many years.

We have known for some time that Jane’s and Ben’s forebears came from roughly the same district in Latheron, Caithness.

However we discovered a very interesting connection between the two families. On looking through the 1841 Census for Ben’s family, I came across his great Grandparents, John and Isabella Murray and their children in Ramscraigs.

Reading through the names of their neighbours, I came across Robert and Mary Gunn and their sons William aged 5 and John 2 months old. That rang a bell, and on looking up Jane’s family tree, sure enough there was Jane’s Grandfather, John, born in Ramscraigs in 1841 and his parents Robert and Mary Gunn.

So Jane’s great Grandfather Robert and Ben’s great Grandfather John were neighbours. Both were fishermen. Robert was 32 and John 30 so it is highly likely that no only would they know each other, it is also possible they worked together. Ben explained to me that there was no harbour at Ramscraigs, they would have had to go to the harbour at Dunbeath two miles north of Ramscraigs.

That left me wondering, did they walk to and fro together? I am sure they never imagined that two of their great Grandchildren would end up on the other side of the world knowing each other!

However the connection does not end there. A couple of years ago Jane’s son, Tom and his wife Shirley visited Caithness and were able to visit the ruin of the croft in Ramscraigs where Robert and Mary lived. They brought a few pieces of stonework back with them for Jane. They also took photographs of the ruined croft.

However without telling Jane they contacted Ben and asked if he could somehow mount the photograph and stones on a piece of wood, which Ben was able to do. This now sits in Jane’s living room.

On the day of our visit, the three of us pondered on the interesting fact that the great Grandson of John Murray was able to make something for the great Granddaughter of Robert Gunn using materials brought from their distant homeland.

Eligibility for Clan Gunn Society Membership

During the Annual General Meeting in October 2005, the question of categories of membership came up under General Business.

Firstly, Associate Membership – Although the Society’s Constitution refers to Associate Membership for “persons who support the objectives of the Society, and are approved by the Council”, we have never had an Associate Membership application, and therefore the question was raised as to whether we should continue to offer this class of membership if it is not relevant to New Zealand. It was therefore decided to ask the members for their views, and if the general consensus is that it is not necessary, then it will be raised at this year’s AGM for a motion to be introduced to discontinue it.

Please advise your views to the Secretary, Marie Gunn by 30 June 2006 at the latest.

NB: A nil response from the membership will be taken as being evidence of the above consensus

Secondly, Ordinary Membership – The Constitution, Clause 3 – “Membership” states: “Members of the Clan Gunn Society of New Zealand shall consist of persons having by birthright or marriage the surname of Gunn or one of its Septs, or that person’s wife, mother or grandmother bearing that name.” This means that a prospective member (eg Mr John Smith) is eligible to join the Society only if his wife, mother or grandmother was a Gunn or one of the Septs; if he has to go back to his great grandmother or beyond to establish the link, he is ineligible.

Several members expressed the view that this was an unreasonable barrier to membership, and in a country such as New Zealand with a small population, it is always going to be difficult to attract new members and thereby keep the society alive and growing! (As one member put it succinctly: “Blood is blood, regardless of how far back one has to go to prove one’s heritage!”). Accordingly, it was suggested that the wording of the Constitution be amended to read (for example):

“…. Or that person’s ancestor bearing that name.”

This would mean the removal of this artificial barrier to membership for people whose maternal lineage has Gunn or one of its Sept names at great grandmother level or earlier, and is considered realistic now in view of the fact that many families in New Zealand have been here for six generations or more, some of whose ancestors came from Scotland, and doubtless Caithness, bearing the Clan name! We should welcome such prospective members with open arms, especially since there are many Gunns (and other Scots descendents) in New Zealand whose leisure interests do not include membership of clan society.

Again, please advise your views to the Secretary no later than 30 June. This allows ample time to prepare a Notice of Motion if desired by any member, which could go out with the AGM Meeting Notice near the end of September 2006.

Website Development

Clan Gunn Society of New Zealand Inc

The Clan Gunn Society of New Zealand Inc’s website is currently being developed by David Gunn, a member of the Society.

If you have information/articles of interest, genealogical information, historical items, enquiries, etc please contact David by email at in the first instance.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Update on the Chiefship

From James M a Gunn

The formal situation of the Chiefship is as follows:

  1. Michael Gunn’s petition has been rejected by the Lord Lyon.

  2. By an Interlocutor dated January 2002 Lyon stated that in his opinion, on a balance of probabilities, the Chiefship lies in Michael’s family line.

  3. The senior representer of that family line is William Sinclair Gunn of Wick (WS). Some years ago WS agreed to assign to Michael any Chiefly rights to which he might subsequently become entitled, but Lyon has ruled that such an agreement is void because WS could not assign something which he did not possess.

  4. WS, supported by his son William Murray Gunn, has told the writer that he does not wish, at any rate for the present, to petition the Lord Lyon for the Chiefship, and has also informed Michael that he does not wish to accept his offer to pay for the process.

  5. Until such time as the Chiefship is resolved Iain a Gunn of Banniskirk remains Commander of Clan Gunn.

21 February 2005


It would seem that a position of stale-mate exists. The Clan cannot have a Chief, and Michael has said he will not publish his History until the matter is resolved. As it appears that almost all members of the Clan Gunn Societies wish Iain Gunn of Banniskirk to remain as head of the Clan, albeit if only as acting head, no moves are contemplated by the UK Society which might precipitate any other arrangements.

We understand that Michael wishes his lineage to be entered into Lyon’s official records, but are not aware how matters stand. However, Michael claims descent through one of the two daughters of the 7th Mackeamish named Esther. There exists in the Wick Archives a document which purports to have been written in 1802 by the Rev Alexander Sage (who was the Minister of Kildonan from 1787 until he died there in 1824), in which he names the husbands of the two daughters (‘whose names are not recollected’) as Donald McKay of Skerray and John Gun of Kinbrace. This appears to conflict with Michael’s claimed genealogy. A copy has been sent to Lyon, but we do not know whether or not it might affect the “balance of probabilities” on which his ruling was based.

A Request from Abb Gunn –

Global Genealogist

The sharing of the archives is proceeding as quickly as the records can be gathered. It appears that the majority of the names related to Jameson are in Shetland. I included these records even though the Shetland connection with Clan Gunn is rather shaky in some cases.

I am re-issuing a plea to all members to send in your pedigrees to the archives or update what you have sent. The only way the archives cannot be the Valley of the Kings is to have contributions made to it. I understand the records are not always available, but I might be able to track some down or give suggestions as where to find them. Remember, most vital records are not available to me; they are only released, in most cases, to immediate kin. If you get one, copy it (do not send the original to the archives) and send a copy to me. I have books of submitted records for many of the family lines and might be able to connect a record with another one. The primary reason for this is really insurance – if your records are lost for some reason, there are copies in our archives.

Abb’s address is: 365 Cotton Court, Alpharetta, Georgia 30202, USA.


International eGroup

There are Gunns in almost every part of the world today. The challenge is how to build and maintain a familial relationship among the far flung parts of our family. Modern technology has given us a tool that helps make this possible, the Internet. For the last five years the Texas Branch of the Clan Gunn Society of North America has been using a Yahoo eGroup to bring their members together as a community, rather than a list of names that have paid their dues. What was once a collection of scattered strangers are now a close knit “family” that cares, shares, loves, laughs, and cries together.

It’s time to take this experience and move out into the wider world. Last Spring a group of North American Gunns started an eGroup for all the Gunns world wide.

These groups area a free service by Yahoo. They work by resending any email sent to the group address to all the members of that group. (Including the original sender). You can read what others are talking about, and if you want to join in, all you do is reply, the same as any other email, and your reply will be sent to everyone in the group.

So what goes on in an eGroup? The same thing that goes on when a bunch of friends and family get together in person, conversation. And from these sometimes rambling, occasional disjointed, and frequently frivolous (alright, sometimes down right silly) conversations, there is a bonding of folks that are sometimes so far apart geographically that they will never actually be able to get together in person, into a community, an extended family.

If you would be interested in joining our International Family of Gunns, you can go to the Main Page at:

Click on the “Join” button and one of the Moderators will stamp your hand and let you in. If you have any problem joining, email Royce or Larry at:



So, Gunnsof the World Unite, let’s have a Ceilidh!


The articles “Update on the Chiefship”, “A Reqest from Abb Gunn” and “International eGroup” are all reprinted with permission from The Gunn Salute the Newsletter of the Clan Gunn Society of North America.

Email address:

For Wine Buffs

Excerpt - Ex Hawke’s Bay Times – 1/12/05

Mary Shanahan

HB Wine Beats Hapless Aussies

A Hawke’s Bay chardonnay has, like our sporting codes, shown the Australians how it’s done.

Since its release earlier in the year, Gunn Estate Skeetfield Chardonnay 2004 has been awarded a chestful of gongs.

Now Winestate magazine has named it Australasia’s best chardonnay at its “Wine of the Year” celebrations.

The wine was awarded the best chardonnay trophy from a shortlist of five. The other four finalists were all Australian.

In its ninth year, the gala event was held at Melbourne’s Grant Hyatt Hotel last weekend.

At the awards dinner to accept the winery’s latest trophy, Gunn Estate winemaker Denis Gunn said it was a pleasure to share the weekend’s glory with the Tri-Nations team and beat Australia in two of their strongest codes – chardonnay and rugby league.

From vineyard to bottle, this chardonnay has continued to impress,” he said.

it’s success yet again confirms Hawke’s Bay reputation as a world-class producer of premium chardonnay.”

Other major awards for the wine include champion chardonnay trophy in the Liquorland top 100 and champion wine of show top regional chardonnay and recommended top six selection trophies in Gisborne’s International Chardonnay Challenge.

It has also won four gold medals including one at the recent Air New Zealand wine awards.

Gunn Estate is a family business. Denis Gunn’s brother, Alan established and manages the winery’s vineyard in the Ohiti Valley, off the Napier-Taihape Road.

The source of the Skeetfield chardonnay grapes, the vineyard was originally the site of the family’s skeet field (shooting range).



The following events have been planned for the coming months, and contact details are shown alongside each one; please phone to advise if you are coming.

Easter Monday, 17th April: Fairlie Show. Bus departs University, Ilam Rd at 7.30 a.m. Cost: $30. Contact Val Donald, 366-4476, for further details/confirm attendance.

Saturday 13th May: Ceilidh at Crossroads, 94 Farrington Ave, Bishopdale; 7.30 p.m. Songs, Poetry, Charades, Raffle and more! Take a plate (with something on it!) for supper. Gold coin entry to cover hall hire. Contact: Marie Gunn, 323-6608.

Saturday 1st July: Tartan Ball at the Caledonian Hall, Kilmore St. Contact Val Donald for full details.

Saturday 22nd July: Games & Cards Evening at Crossroads; 7.30 p.m. Take a plate for supper. Gold coin entry to cover hall hire. Contact: Marie Gunn, 323-6608.


June: Mid-Winter Dinner. Either meet at a local restaurant, or perhaps a pot-luck dinner at someone’s home instead. Let us know your thoughts.

August: 10-Pin Bowling. This is always popular, and we usually play against a strong team from Clan Donald; last year the Gunns won a convincing victory for a change!

September: Mini-Golf. Prizes for best- and worst-dressed, least & most golf, lucky hole, etc. Registration fee to be advised – if applicable, and other details if enough members are interested.

Contact Marie Gunn to confirm interest in any of these ASAP, so we can get on with organizing things. No feedback – No events!


Just a reminder about the AGM in Dunedin. President Todd Wall and his team are putting together a full weekend of interesting events, and we want to see a good turnout of Canterbury members to support our southern hosts. The draft plan of activities is as follows:

Saturday morning: Garden tour around “Wylde Willows”. This to be followed by a lunchtime BBQ at the home of Julie & Ray Ferguson.

Saturday Evening: Dinner at Viggo Nielson’s home, Outram Glen. Our ‘Bard’ will no doubt have some more of his original prose/poetry with which to regale his guests!

Sunday Morning: Church service for those who wish to go; church to be confirmed.

Sunday Midday: Lunch at Glenfalloch, followed by the AGM.

Sunday Evening: To be arranged.

Monday: There may be some visits possible to local attractions before out-of-towners depart homeward.

Registration forms will be sent out during August, and you are urged to complete and return these to the Secretary without delay, to enable final planning for the events to proceed based on reasonably firm numbers of attendees.

Clan Gunn Pamphlet

The following section has been formatted so that it can be photocopied or printed as a 2 sided document.



Mr Todd Wall

3 Morse Street



Ph: (03) 481 1105

Vice President

Mr Chris Gunn

17 Jasper Place



Ph: (03) 323 9011

Membership Secretary

Mrs Susan Greenwood

22A Camrose Place


Christchurch 8004

Ph: (03) 357 8116


Mrs Marie Gunn

121B Johns Road



Ph: (03) 323 6608


The Clan Gunn claims descent from the Norse Jarfs (Earls) or Orkney and from the ancient Celtic Mormaers (or High Stewards) of Caithness.

The Name of Gunn derives from Gunni, the grandson of the ‘Ultimate Viking’ Sweyn Asleifsson – killed in the plunder of Dublin in 1171. Gunni acquired great estates in Caithness and Sutherland by his marriage to Ragnhild, a grand-daughter of Rognvald, Earl of Orkney and great grand-daughter of Moddan, Mormaer of Caithness. Moddan was reputed to be a kinsman of King Duncan of Albany, murdered by Macbeth.

In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Chiefs of Clan Gunn were at the height of their power. They held the influential office of hereditary Crowner (or Crown Lord) of Caithness. Their power was to be challenged, however, by the Sinclairs and the Keiths.

In 1478, George Gunn of Ulbster, known also as ‘Am Braisdeach Mor’ from the huge brooch he wore as his insignia as Crowner – was killed at St Tayre’s Chapel in a battle with Clan Keith over land claims.



Either Peace or War”

A Society devoted to the honouring and preservation of the customs, traditions and heritage of Clan Gunn, and of all things Scottish.


Membership is open to all who qualify by surname (see Septs), descent, or marriage.


Annual Family dues - $20.00

Member and Spouse - $17.00

Single Member – $12.00


These include social gatherings, Pot-luck dinners, joint gatherings with other Clans, as well as assistance with genealogical research.

Sept Names of Clan Gunn

Allisterson John

Anderson Johnson

Corner Kean

Crownar Keene

Cruiner MacAllister

Cruner MacChruner

Eanrig MacComas

Enrick MacCorkill

Galdie MacCorkle

Galley MacCullie

GallieMackeamis MacDade

Ganson MacDhaidh

Gauldie MacEnrick

Gaunson MacGeorge

George MacHamish

Georgeson MacIan

Henderson Mackames

Inrig Mackeamis

Jameson Mackeamish

Jamison Mackean

Jamieson MacKendrick

Jamerson MacMains

Jimerson MacManus

MacNeill Swann

MacOmish Swanney

MacRob Swanson

Macrory Thomson

MacSheoras Tomson

MacWilliam Willi

Magnus Williamson

Magnusson Wills

Main Wilson

Mann Wylie

Manson Wyllie