The Chieftain for the 2017 Games is Julian Innes.
Helmsdale and District Highland Games are delighted this year to have as our Chieftain Retired Police Commander for the Highlands - Julian Innes.
Julian and his family have very strong Helmsdale connections. Julian was born in St Andrews in 1966, the first of 3 sons to Andrew and Judith Innes. Andrew is one of the four Helmsdale Innes brothers namely, Iain, James and Cathel.
Julian spent his childhood in various places following his father's successful career in the Royal Air Force, finally settling down in Forres, where Bunillidh Cottage is now the family home. Julian spent his childhood holidaying in Helmsdale," up" the Crescent in his Granny Cathy's home at Number 53 Simpson Crescent.
Julian joined the Northern Constabulary in 1986, performing uniform and plain clothes duties in local policing, traffic, CID, major crime and surveillance. Following various command posts he became the first Police Scotland Commander for the Highlands and Islands in April 2013. He retired from policing as Chief Superintendent in 2016, on completion of 30 years public service.
Julian is married to Karen and has two daughters Karen and Kirsty. Both girls are keen Highland Dancers and have competed successfully at Helmsdale for many years. Young Karen was the Highland Dancer on the front of the programme for many years. The family now live in Inverness where Julian works part time in local bike shop, continuing public service with voluntary work for the Highland Hospice, of which he is a director.
Julian states he is very proud and honoured to be today's Chieftain and hopes he does a good job representing the many Innes's who still live in the village as well as those who live elsewhere.
The Games Committee and village wish a warm welcome to Julian and his family to Helmsdale today.
The 2017 Standard Bearer is Findlay Adams.
Findlay is 14 years old, and having attended Helmsdale Primary School , is now in 4th Year at Golspie High School.
This year Findlay will be following in the footsteps of his Uncle Scott Findlay who held the honour in 1995.
Findlay was born in Helmsdale, he is the son of Steven Adams and Rosemary Findlay. He has an older sister Thalia who is in 6th year in Golspie High School. Findlay's first Highland Games fell on his 2nd birthday, where he wore his first kilt and sporran, delighting all the tourists.
A sporting lad, Findlay enjoys his football, and mountain biking. Fishing during the Salmon season, and he has won the Junior fly casting competitions several times. Findlay is also a member of the Sutherland Schools Pipe Band, who this year have been invited to attend the 150th anniversary of the Calgary Stamped in Calgary Alberta in July. They will also be parading on the Park throughout Games Day. Findlay also enjoys playing for charity functions or local events.
Findlay is currently doing his Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, which includes sport coaching and outdoor pursuits.
Findlay is the grandson of George Adams, Lesley MsConnell, Mary Davidson and the late George Findlay.
Findlay would like to thank the Games Committee for giving him the honour of Standard Bearer for the 2017 Games, and wishes the Games a successful day.
Presenting gifts to the Chieftains Party this year are Skye and Caitlyn Sutherland.
Both girls attend Helmsdale Primary School. Skye is age 6 and Caitlyn is age 5.
Both girls enjoy music, swimming and attend gymnastics Club. They are both outdoor girls and enjoy cycling and walking with their parents at weekends.
Skye and Caitlyn are the daughters of Euan Sutherland and Claire Milne. They are also the grand daughters of Chairman and Secretary of the Games - Andy and Fiona Sutherland.