crest smallThe Scottish Gaelic word clann means children or descendants. A clan takes its name from its perceived founder and believes members to have descended from a common ancestor.
Chiefship is a title of honor and dignity within the nobility of Scotland. In the Scottish clan system, the term chief denotes a greater chief than that of a chieftain. In consequence, branch chiefs (heads of branches of a clan) are designated chieftains.
When a chief’s direct bloodline is broken and cannot be traced to a rightful hier, the clan no longer has a chief. Scottish clans who no longer have a clan chief are referred to as armigerous clans. Armigerous specifies a Scottish clan with rights to bear arms, but without a chief currently recognized as such by Lyon Court. Turnbull Clan is such a clan.
Armigerous clans sometimes establish an honorary chief. The position is just as it indicates, an honorary title. An honorary chief is not recognized by the Lord Lyon and his court, but is given respect as someone who has demonstrated the character and conduct deserving of the title.
wally with captionThe officers of Turnbull Clan Association have bestowed upon former clan president, Wally Turnbull, the title of Honorary Clan Chief. Wally served as TCA president for six years, his term ending in December, 2009.
During Wally’s six years as president, TCA accomplished many goals. Wally was instrumental in acquiring official Arms for TCA, granted and registered by the Lyon Court. This long sought after goal’s success can be attributed to Wally’s perseverance through an extensive and tedious process.
Two very well attended Turnbull Clan AGM’s were held in Scotland. Both were attended by members from around the world. In addition to affording members a chance to see the Borders and visit Scotland, these meetings served to bring about a kinship with family ties close and distant.
The Bullpen was an inspiration of Wally’s. The Bullpen is a service provided by the Turnbull Clan Association for its
members to interact with each other and other Turnbulls from around the world. The Bullpen provides a way for TCA members to connect and share with each other in cyberspace and sometimes in person. It is a way for members to meet and make new friends.
The Turnbull Virtual Museum, launched in 2006, was established for the purpose of recording and sharing objects of interest to Turnbulls from all parts of the world.
The Barony of Bedrule lands were among one of the earliest baronies in Scottish history and is of particular importance to the Turnbull Clan. The barony once included the important Turnbull lands of Bedrule, with Fulton Tower,
Bedrule Castle and Fast Castle. Wally returned the Barony of Bedrule to the Turnbull family and it will remain so, as
it is passed down from one generation to the next.
In addition to helping the officers develop new by-laws, a new constitution, and an international Board of Directors, Turnbulls from many nations were re-united into a strong worldwide Turnbull Clan Association.
Perhaps the accomplishment that Wally should be most happy with is his realization of his lifelong dream to create a place in the Borders where Turnbulls can connect to their heritage. Last year, The Turning of the Bull monument was dedicated and unveiled in Hawick, Scotland. The monument is a life-size depiction of William Rule turning the bull to save the life of Robert the Bruce.
Wally’s role as Honorary Chief is not that of ruler, but of ambassador for Clan Turnbull. Speaking about this honor, Wally
says “Though I don’t believe that I merit such an honor, I am immensely pleased to receive it, not from pretense of what it is not but from grateful pleasure of what it is. We don’t have a clan Chief and probably never again will. I’m not convinced that hereditary authority and responsibility are wise. The honor of this title is without any doubt the greatest thing that the Turnbull Clan could have done for me for it shows respect and affection. What more could anyone want? ”