Founding of the Club

Strathglass Shinty Club – or, in Gaelic, Comunn Camanachd Straghlais – was founded in 1879, largely through the efforts of Captain Archibald Macra Chisholm of Glassburn, who served in the 42nd Royal Highlanders (Black Watch). Captain Chisholm excelled in all sports and was also well-known in music and Gaelic speaking circles. He acted as judge at the Northern Piping Meetings for 30 years, and was also one of the first members of Inverness Gaelic Society.

The game of shinty and the Strathglass club owe much to Captain Chisholm. He chaired a meeting in the Glen Affric Hotel, Cannich, on January 27th 1880, at which he was elected the first Chief. Duncan Chisholm, Raonabhraid, was voted in as secretary and treasurer, and 10 Chieftains representing each of the districts in the Strath were also elected. The club’s first honorary president was The Chisholm, Erchless Castle. Captain Chisholm produced the first constitution, rules and regulations of Strathglass Shinty Club, which were approved at the first general meeting, again held in the Glen Affric Hotel, on Tuesday February 10th 1880. A total of 131 club members were enrolled initially. The Highlander newspaper said of the rule book: “It reflects great credit on all concerned, artist, author, and also testifies to the methodical and business-like way in which the Strathglass men mean to go to work.”

Among the most interesting clauses was Rule 15: Reputation of the Club. It read – As the Club must be careful of its character and reputation, any member who shall, unfortunately, be guilty of unbecoming conduct, improper language, insobriety, and such like, shall be liable, for a first offence, to be admonished by his Chieftain, by order of the Committee of Management. For a second offence to be warned and reprimanded by the Committee of Management, and also liable to a fine not exceeding one shilling. For a third offence he shall be liable to have his name erased from the List of Members, and to be expelled from the Club, as the next General Meeting shall determine. A revised edition of the rules was published by Captain Chisholm in 1888. The club adopted as its motto Viaut Virtute – By strength or rather by skill. Captain Chisholm was also instrumental in setting up the sport’s governing body the Camanachd Association, of which he was the first Chief from 1893 to 1897. Captain Chisholm died on October 19th 1897, and was buried in the cemetery near the old Priory in Beauly.