Clan Gunn Society Australia
The following is from the Clan Gunn Society United Kingdom home page -
We have made several attempts to establish a Clan Gunn Society in Australia without success although we have a number of Australian clan members in the parent society. Vince Williamson Lollback of Little Whiskers Farm, 42 Batemans Road, Numbugga NSW 2550 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org has offered to make a further attempt to establish a Clan Gunn Society In Australia and I have as a result appointed him as my Commissioner for Australia. I am grateful to Vince for taking on this responsibility and hope that the Clan in Australia will support him in his efforts.
http://www.clangunnsociety.org/accessed 2 June 2014
I find this idea to be amazing. It is so old fashioned - the British Empire definitely lives - note 'parent society'.
By implication only if the British Clan Gunn Society deign an organisation to happen can a national Clan Gunn Society exist. Yes, apparently an Australian Clan Gunn Society - and Australia is an independent country from 1901 - has to be commissioned by the Clan Gunn Empire Society. It's ludicrous. I suspect the Clan Gunn Society of North America, Clan Gunn Society New Zealand and Clan Gunn Society Nova Scotia may also need to think through their origins - were they established on the patronising Empire grounds offered to Australia? (Did the American War of Independence happen; why is there no CGS-USA?) Why does the CGSUK think fully independent, national Clan Gunn Societies can not exist?
And will it work? R. Celeste Ray's Highland Heritage; Scottish Americans in the American South (2001 - The University of North Carolina Press) highlights the uniquely American quality - and origin - of the strength of 'Highlandism' in the USA. This may help explain the numbers involved in the Clan Gunn society there.
Australia is not the USA - 'Highlandism' is more a fringe area. One view of how it works in Australia is that for 'organisations that preserved and celebrated Scottish cultural heritage ... emphasis was increasingly on specialist associations for cultural preservation' (page 198 Malcolm Prentis The Scots in Australia 2008 University of New South Wales Press). I am not convinced that a Clan Gunn society could offer this 'cultural preservation' - Celtic music societies, Highland Games etc do as they are based on culture rather than a name.
The book also notes (page 198) 'Bill Bell has argued that the rise of Caledonian societies in the late nineteenth century in Australia ... can be attributed more to a sense of cultural crisis'. I suspect this carries on today; are Clan societies little more than rose-coloured glasses for those not comfortable in the modern world?
Now if Scotland votes for independence this year I declare my intention to form the 'Clan Gunn Society Scotland' and the 'Clan Gunn Society (rest of the) United Kingdom' ... And I'm also laying claim to the 'Clan Gunn History Society', 'Clan Gunn Society Australia' and 'Clan Gunn Society Bannockburn' ... I could go on...