A Brief History of the Games
The first Luss Highland Gathering was held in 1875 and has been held annually since, except for a break during the two World Wars. It owns its inception to the enthusiasm of local farmers and sportsmen, all of which were member of the Luss Company of Dunbartonshire Volunteers. The Gathering was held for three years in the field north of the River Luss, but as it became more popular, the site was changed to the larger field on the south side, where it is held today. A more beautiful or romantic location for Highland Gathering could hardly have been chosen ; the River Luss bounds one side with Loch Lomond in the background whilst the wooded policies of Camstradden and the rugged Luss Hills complete a scenic picture that has evoked much appreciation and is a prime example of the outstanding scenery in this part of Scotland.
In the early days the Gathering was, naturally, for the local people the great day of the year, and from the surrounding glens the farmers and shepherds would make their way to the village, not by the modern methods of today, but on foot, on horseback, in farmcarts or in carriages drawn by two or four horses. On arrival at the ground all vehicles were parked in a circle round the roped enclosure, therefore, the occupants had a comfortable seat and a good view of the sports field. Prices of admission were charged on a basis of so much for a two-horse and so much for a four-horse machine; an amusing incident relates to one Gathering when a four-horse machine from an outlying areas stopped before reaching the ground, unyoked two horses, and attempted to enter the ground at the lower price, but, he was spotted by the Secretary who expressed himself with such fluency that the driver voiced the opinion that the only two-horse machine which could get in unchallenged would be Elijah's chariot.
Throughout the years the Gathering has remained relatively unchanged in character. Competitions in the skills of knitted socks and making shepherds crooks have been dropped but the traditional events of Tossing the Caber, Throwing the Hammer, Hill Races and many more have been retained; and no Highland Gathering would be complete without the skirl of the pipes and the colourful Highland Dancers.
From its inception the Luss Highland Gathering has been favoured by the patronage of the Clan Colquhoun, whose family residence is at Rossdhu in the parish of Luss. By tradition the Chief of the Clan Colquhoun shall be the Chieftain of the Luss Highland Gathering. The first was Sir James Colquhoun, followed by Sir Alan Colquhoun, who, in 1923 was succeeded by Sir Iain Colquhoun , Bart., K.T., D.S.O., LL.D., Lord Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire. Sir Iain, described as one of the most distinguished Scotsmen of his day, had a great love of Highland culture in every form. A memorial cairn erected in honour of Sir Iain stands at the entrance to the Games Field.
Sir Ivar Colquhoun, Bart., D.L.,J.P., was a worthy successor to his father, and from 1949 to 1982 was Chieftain. Sir Ivar, the 30th Chief of Luss and 32nd of Colquhoun, was the longest serving Clan Chief of Colquhoun, having succeeded to the title almost 60 years ago. From 1982 Gathering, Sir Ivar decided to retire and nominated his son, Malcolm Colquhoun, Younger of Luss, as Chieftain of the Games and also Patron of the Clan Colquhoun Society.
Following the death of Sir Ivar Colquhoun on the 3lst January 2008, he is succeeded in the baronetcy by his surviving son Malcolm, who is married to Katherine. They have three children Patrick, Fergus and Georgina. Sir Malcolm Colquhoun is now the 31st Chief of Luss Games and 33rd of the Clan Colquhoun.