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Frank Duncan confirmed as 2023 Chieftain

The Crieff Highland Gathering is proud to announce that Frank Duncan, a local resident and former Director of the Crieff Highland Gathering, has been selected as the Chieftain for this year's event.

Born in Crieff in a cottage, 24 Milnab Street, Frank Duncan enjoyed all the benefits of growing up in this beautiful and peaceful town. Proud to be known as a ‘Crieffite’ he enjoyed education at Crieff Junior School and Morrisons Academy. Leaving school at the age of 15 he enjoyed working for a year at George Penny’s chicken farm in Sauchie.  Frank went on to have a wide and varied career and travelled the world with the RAF and then Lippke (UK) ltd, Honeywell Controls and Voith Paper International.  During which time he moved back to Crieff with his wife Christine who sadly passed away in 2016.

Frank has deep roots in the community as a previous Chair of Crieff Round Table.  He also joined the board of Crieff Highland Gathering in 1986 and in 1998 became the Chairman for 3 years.  During this time, the arena was extended, and using the spoil from the extension, the flat area where the music event is now held was created. A new storage shed was also built which aided setting up the Games more efficiently. He retired from the board, to allow new blood to come in, after a happy twenty-five years.

Each year the Gathering chooses an individual to be the Chieftain. This dates back to the early Scottish history when the “clans” all had a “Chieftain” the leader of their family. The highland games allowed the “Chieftain” to find out who were the strongest and fastest of his group who he would have in future battles. Today the Chieftain is an honorary position given by each Gathering to a person who they consider worthy of this position.  He will also be present throughout the day to meet with attendees and take part in the activities planned for the day.

The Crieff Highland Gathering is one of Scotland's most beloved cultural events, featuring a range of traditional Highland games and events, including caber tossing, tug of war, and the mass pipe band. This year's event promises to be as exciting as ever, with a full schedule of events and activities for all ages.

On Frank’s appointment to Chieftain he said, “I have always loved the Games and have worked intermittently setting up the Games since I was about twelve years old, my father worked then for W B Dodds and used to be responsible for the internal seating and the fence work.   I am humbled and delighted to have been offered this honorary position as Chieftain for the 2023 Games.  I hope to conduct my day of duties to the satisfaction of the Board and welcome old friends to visit me in the Chieftain’s Tent.  I have been informed by the Chairman that the weather has been arranged to be beautiful so hope that all visitors and fellow Crieffites can enjoy a wonderful day out.”  Frank was fortunate to find a new partner to share life with in Carolyn who is from USA, Virginia, but is happy to spend time in Crieff and UK and we hope to also welcome her on the day.

"We are honoured to have Frank Duncan as this year's Chieftain," said Norman O'Neill, Chairman of the Crieff Highland Gathering. "His long-standing commitment to the Gathering and his deep ties to the community make him the perfect person to lead us in this year's festivities. We look forward to a wonderful day of celebration and tradition, and we invite everyone to join us in honouring Frank and all that makes the Crieff Highland Gathering so special."