We are particularly aware this year of tradition because of the Coronation. We also have the King and Queen spending long periods on Deeside. What an honour this is. I have always been amused by the Royal Warrants which adorn so many premises in Ballater - some of the coats of arms almost bigger than the shops themselves.

One such warrant holder is, of course, Strachans of Deeside, and we have the Royal Arms over their shop in Aboyne. I was particularly sad to learn that George Strachan had died earlier this year. He was an honorary member of the Aboyne Games Committee and supported us in many ways. Next to the chief’s tent is the high bar over which Drum Majors toss the Mace - sponsored by George Strachan. Held late in the afternoon the Drum Majors have had ample time to enjoy a tipple and this is often reflected in their attempts to catch the falling Mace. Whether caught or not they all pile into the chief’s tent afterwards - a moment we all enjoy hugely.

When I was a small child I encouraged my mother to visit their shop. George’s grandfather was a brilliant businessman. He knew, by giving me a chocolate bar, that I would insist we shopped there. We have been doing so ever since.
I hope you have a splendid day today and enjoy our heraldry and our traditions. These things are very important to us.
Huntly, Chieftain of Aboyne Highland Games

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