Established in 1823, by Sir Charles Forbes, 1st Baronet of Newe and Edinglassie, the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society is a charitable organisation based in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire.
The society organises the annual Lonach Gathering at Bellabeg Park, Strathdon, which is held on the fourth Saturday of August. The main attraction at the gathering is the march of the Lonach Highlanders, a unique body of non-military men.
Sir James Forbes of Newe, Bart
Patron of the Lonach Highland & Friendly Society
Welcome to the on-line home of the Lonach Highland & Friendly Society. Lonach was founded in 1823 by my Gt-Gt-Gt-Grandfather, Sir Charles Forbes, 1st Baronet of Newe & Edinglassie. The Society was born in the afterglow of his son’s 21st birthday celebrations to keep the good fellowship of that night going. Little surprise then that almost 200 years later the Lonach Gathering is recognised as Scotland’s friendliest games.
In 1823 Scotland was on the cusp of monumental change, finally emerging from the bleak post Culloden years to resume her rightful place in the World. With so much change in the air our ancestors saw the need to preserve their heritage whilst still embracing the new. The Lonach March represents an unbroken link from our forefathers to the 21st Century: encountering the Lonach Highlanders for the first time takes you back to pre-1745 Scotland, but this is no historical re-enactment.
That spirit of continuity drives our commitment to our founders’ goals throughout the year. On Lonach Day all roads lead to Strathdon, but once the crowds have departed and the Lonach field has returned to its primary role as pasture, the Society continues in its year round commitment to the “preservation of Highland garb and the promotion of social and friendly feelings among the inhabitants of the district” as well as “supporting loyal, peaceable and manly conduct”. This website gives some insight into all that we do and represent.
I look forward to seeing you on the fourth Saturday of August.