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Sandra Mackay

President

A member of Society for 35 years, a Council Member for about 20 and 2 years ago became President. Born in Sutherland I have lived in various parts of Scotland and England and now settled in Linlithgow. My claim to ‘fame’ is that my parents were both born Mackay and on maternal side both my grandparents were Mackay and so it goes on, one of my two sons has married a Mackay. That means my grandson (Stewart) has a heritage of Mackays married to each other for 5 generations!

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Murdo Mackay

Membership Secretary/Council Member

Murdo Mackay (or “Murchadh MacAoidh” in his native Gaelic) is originally from the Isle of Harris and now lives in Edinburgh. Having worked in human resource management since leaving University, Murdo is founder of his own business, providing interim HR, consultancy and coaching support to a range of growing businesses. He has been involved with the Society since 2018 and a member of the CMS council since 2019. With a passion for learning more about his heritage, Murdo enjoys learning about Clan Mackay history, particularly in the North West of Scotland

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Iain McKay

Council Member

Archaeologist and South American expert Iain Mackay is a new member of the council, having joined us in 2021. He brings a wide experience of the wider Mackay world. His full biography can be read here.

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Hunter McKay

Seanaichaidh

Hunter McKay was raised in the USA in the state of Utah before moving to Georgia, where he currently lives.  At the age of 17, he joined the Utah Army National Guard as a medic.  Taking leave from the military temporarily, he was sent to Ecuador by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a missionary for two years where he learned to speak Spanish.  Upon his return to Utah, he matriculated into Brigham Young University.  Four years later, in 2018, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army.  Hunter has been a member of Clan Mackay Society-Scotland since July, 2019 and a member of the CMS council since April, 2021 as the Seanachaidh (Historian).  Hunter has always loved history, but he has a special place for the history of Clan Mackay.

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Charlotte Fairbairn

Newsletter Editor

Charlotte Fairbairn is a writer (novels, exhibitions, feature articles) and the daughter of the late Elizabeth Fairbairn, long-time president of the Clan Mackay Society and honorary chairman of the Strathnaver Museum. In 2018, Charlotte published The Real Mackays – a brief illustrated guide to the clan told through the clan chiefs.

 

Charlotte is based in Cumbria and on a houseboat in East London. She has two children, Jake and Clara, and a dog called Bear.

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Mairi Vodden

Bursary Administrator

Mairi Vodden (née Mackay) was born in Edinburgh and is the daughter of Margaret and John Mackay. She joined the Clan Mackay Society as a life member in October 2019 and has Mackay heritage links to Edinburgh, Caithness & Ross-shire.

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Lisa Mackay

Council Member

Lisa was born in Edinburgh and is the daughter in law of Sandra and John Mackay, married to their son James.   Being involved in a number of charities and community groups she thought she would add one more to the collection and became involved with the Clan Mackay Society formally in 2020.

I was born in Edinburgh to parents who were both Mackays and whose ancestors were cleared from Strathnaver.

My Father’s side of my history moved from Strathnaver via Kishorn, Wester Ross to Edinburgh. My Mother’s family route was from Strathnaver to Lyth, Caithness. She did her Nurse training in Edinburgh where they met and married.

I am a Brewer by profession and my career has been spent working in Breweries, Distilleries, and Soft Drinks Companies.

I joined the Society in 2009 following the Homecoming when my interest in the Society was rekindled, both parents and relatives having been actively involved in the Society in the past.

Now that I am retired my main interest these days is in travel, particularly cruising and being Secretary of my Probus Group.

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John Mackay

Treasurer/Council Member

Born in Inverness, a son of the Manse. My father, James Murray Mackay was born in Uig on the Isle of Lewis. I joined the Clan Society 35 years ago having been the recipient of a bursary whilst still at school in 1962. After a career in the Civil Service retired and helped set up a charity “Football Aid”. I have been a church elder and served as Session Clerk for 6 years. As Treasurer of the Society for the past 19 years i am looking forward to full retirement when we can find a successor!

I was born in Edinburgh to parents who were both Mackays and whose ancestors were cleared from Strathnaver.

My Father’s side of my history moved from Strathnaver via Kishorn, Wester Ross to Edinburgh. My Mother’s family route was from Strathnaver to Lyth, Caithness. She did her Nurse training in Edinburgh where they met and married.

I am a Brewer by profession and my career has been spent working in Breweries, Distilleries, and Soft Drinks Companies.

I joined the Society in 2009 following the Homecoming when my interest in the Society was rekindled, both parents and relatives having been actively involved in the Society in the past.

Now that I am retired my main interest these days is in travel, particularly cruising and being Secretary of my Probus Group.

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Willie (Peru) Mackay

Vice President

Born in Dundee with Ross-shire, Sutherland and Lowland antecedents. Educated at Morgan Academy and University College (later Queen’s College) Dundee, St Andrews University, graduating with MA (Hons) in Geography and History and Dip.Ed., also Chapters V and III Teaching Qualifications from Dundee Teacher Training College; Dip.Th. from the Free Church of Scotland College in Edinburgh.

 

After two years teaching at Buckhaven High School in Fife – Geography and RE, I spent 16 years teaching at St Andrew’s College in Lima, Peru, the last 12 as Headmaster. Returned to Scotland and taught for 8 years with Lothian Region: was then appointed  Principal of Presbyterian Ladies’ College in Melbourne, Australia and worked there for 12 years.  On returning to Scotland, I taught Church History part-time for 7 years in the Free Church of Scotland College, now the Edinburgh Theological Seminary, for the Glasgow University B.Th. degree.  In Peru I was a member of the Caledonian Society and in Melbourne a m ember of the Melbourne Scots.

 

In 2006, I became a member of the Clan Mackay Society.

I was born in Edinburgh to parents who were both Mackays and whose ancestors were cleared from Strathnaver.

My Father’s side of my history moved from Strathnaver via Kishorn, Wester Ross to Edinburgh. My Mother’s family route was from Strathnaver to Lyth, Caithness. She did her Nurse training in Edinburgh where they met and married.

I am a Brewer by profession and my career has been spent working in Breweries, Distilleries, and Soft Drinks Companies.

I joined the Society in 2009 following the Homecoming when my interest in the Society was rekindled, both parents and relatives having been actively involved in the Society in the past.

Now that I am retired my main interest these days is in travel, particularly cruising and being Secretary of my Probus Group.

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Chris Mackie

Seanaichaidh

Christopher Mackie of Carrickbraith (Gillecrìosd Mac Aoidh na Carraige Bhreatannach) grew up near Vancouver, Canada, and works as a barrister of British Columbia. His people hailed from Morayshire since at least the 18th century. He maintains a private law practice, Reay Advocacy, where he primarily assists clients pro-bono who wish to pursue grants of heraldic arms. Christopher is also a life member of the Society, and has been fortunate to return to the Highlands on several occasions.

I was born in Edinburgh to parents who were both Mackays and whose ancestors were cleared from Strathnaver.

My Father’s side of my history moved from Strathnaver via Kishorn, Wester Ross to Edinburgh. My Mother’s family route was from Strathnaver to Lyth, Caithness. She did her Nurse training in Edinburgh where they met and married.

I am a Brewer by profession and my career has been spent working in Breweries, Distilleries, and Soft Drinks Companies.

I joined the Society in 2009 following the Homecoming when my interest in the Society was rekindled, both parents and relatives having been actively involved in the Society in the past.

Now that I am retired my main interest these days is in travel, particularly cruising and being Secretary of my Probus Group.

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John Mackay

Council Member

I was born in Edinburgh to parents who were both Mackays and whose ancestors were cleared from Strathnaver. My father’s side of my history moved from Strathnaver via Kishorn, Wester Ross to Edinburgh. My Mother’s family route was from Strathnaver to Lyth, Caithness. She did her Nurse training in Edinburgh where they met and married. I am a Brewer by profession and my career has been spent working in Breweries, Distilleries, and Soft Drinks Companies.
 

I joined the Society in 2009 following the Homecoming when my interest in the Society was rekindled, both parents and relatives having been actively involved in the Society in the past. Now that I am retired my main interest these days is in travel, particularly cruising and being Secretary of my Probus Group.

I was born in Edinburgh to parents who were both Mackays and whose ancestors were cleared from Strathnaver.

My Father’s side of my history moved from Strathnaver via Kishorn, Wester Ross to Edinburgh. My Mother’s family route was from Strathnaver to Lyth, Caithness. She did her Nurse training in Edinburgh where they met and married.

I am a Brewer by profession and my career has been spent working in Breweries, Distilleries, and Soft Drinks Companies.

I joined the Society in 2009 following the Homecoming when my interest in the Society was rekindled, both parents and relatives having been actively involved in the Society in the past.

Now that I am retired my main interest these days is in travel, particularly cruising and being Secretary of my Probus Group.

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Margaret Mackay

Council Member

I met my husband, John, when I came to Edinburgh to do my Nurse training at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. I became a proud member of the Mackay Clan when we married and joined the Society with John in 2009.

When our daughter, Mairi, reached school age I returned to nursing in Cumbernauld. Compulsory shift work for hospital nursing made it difficult to combine work with family life so I decided on another career. I gained a B.Ed. in Primary Education from Stirling University in 1978 and taught in school for 2 years. I was keen to return to nursing so undertook a Certificate in District Nursing at Hamilton College and thereafter enjoyed my time as a District Nurse in Cumbernauld.

We returned to Edinburgh and from 1984 until my retirement I was employed as a College Lecture teaching all aspects of Child Development to Nursery Nurse students, Health and Nutrition to pre-nursing students and First Aid.

In retirement, like John, my main interest is in travelling and visiting our family in London. I am a member of the Scottish Women’s Institute, the St. Margaret’s Chapel Guild, The Pelican League and the NHS Retirement Fellowship. I often wonder when I had time to work!

I was born in Edinburgh to parents who were both Mackays and whose ancestors were cleared from Strathnaver.

My Father’s side of my history moved from Strathnaver via Kishorn, Wester Ross to Edinburgh. My Mother’s family route was from Strathnaver to Lyth, Caithness. She did her Nurse training in Edinburgh where they met and married.

I am a Brewer by profession and my career has been spent working in Breweries, Distilleries, and Soft Drinks Companies.

I joined the Society in 2009 following the Homecoming when my interest in the Society was rekindled, both parents and relatives having been actively involved in the Society in the past.

Now that I am retired my main interest these days is in travel, particularly cruising and being Secretary of my Probus Group.

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Fiona Mackay Smith

Council Member

Daughter of Magda Mackay Smith (member from at least 1931 until her death in 2010), grand daughter of John Mackay  (Iain Welsh) from Carloway Isle of Lewis (member from 1919 until his death in 1957) Have been a member since my teens and a Council member  for at least 30 years.  I have my own and my mother’s experience to contribute. 

Born in Stirling, raised and educated in Edinburgh.  Now retired but worked as a nurse and nurse educator in UK and latterly helping to set up nursing programmes in places like Gaza, Rwanda, Afghanistan and Egypt.