The Chieftain for the 2018 Games is Alan Macrae.
Alan's family has lived in West Helmsdale since before "The Clearances".
He was born in Inverness in 1965, where his parents- Adeline MacKintosh - who was born and brought up on the family croft in West Helmsdale -and Johnnie MacRae from Brora had re-located for work. As a result Alan and his younger sister Adele were educated in Inverness, though spent every school holiday in Gartymore surrounded by their loving extended family.
After completing his schooling at Inverness High School, Alan joined the army and subsequently the Police in 1988 where he served all over the Highlands before being posted to Sutherland where he worked in Golspie, Brora and Helmsdale at differing times as the village "Bobby". He retired from the Police in 2015 and currently works as a minibus driver for Helmsdale Community Transport where he enjoys helping and catching up with the older members of the community.
Since 1996 Alan has made his home in his Granny's old croft house at Auchvadlie in West Helmsdale, where he lives with his wife Tracy, who is the village librarian- and his daughter's Roma and Millie, who attend Golspie High School. Their brother Duncan was also brought up as a Helmie and presently lives and works in Inverness.
Alan has served on numerous committees in the village including the Community Council, local Grazings Committee, Helmsdale Utd and British Legion amongst others. He is presently a Director with the Garbh Allt Community Initiative who are facilitating the buy out of Sutherland Estate land south of the river for the community.
Alan played football for Helmsdale Utd back in the day, but now enjoys passively watching the game. He is a season ticket holder at Hibs and has been a member of the Tartan army since the 1980s. He especially though loves to watch his daughter's play for Brora Ranger's Ladies. His main passion however is Shinty, where he has played and then managed at the top level. Since the last three years he has been honoured to manage the Scotland Under-21 International team, whilst also managing Beauly Shinty Club at National League level.
Alan is deeply honoured to have been selected as this years Chieftain, and says that he will represent his family and the village to the best of his abilities to carry out his duties over the weekend.
The 2018 Standard Bearer is Josh Booth.
Josh is the oldest son of Kelly and Douglas Booth. His grandparents are Elma and Douglas Booth and Kate and Gordon Innes.
Josh attends Golspie High School. He works part time at La Mirage Restaurant in Helmsdale.
Josh's main love is football - he plays regularly for both Helmsdale United and Bunillidh Thistle Football Clubs. Josh is also an active participant in local fund raising charities Josh also enjoys Sea angling and has previously won Junior Fly Casting Trophies at the Games.
Josh would like to thank the Games Committee for giving him the honour of Standard Bearer for the 2018 Games, and wishes the Games a successful day.
Our Flower Girl for 2018 is 8 year old Zoe Sutherland.
Zoe is the daughter of Ian ( Doull) Sutherland and Connie Denoon. Zoe attends Helmsdale Primary School.
In Zoe's own words:
" I love to go to Portgower to Claire's farm, I have a pet lamb called Ali and a pet calf called Rebecca. Mam and Dad always buy me farming clothes. I also like to go to the Park to go on the Swings. My best day was when I was mascot for Ross County and we won, but my heart lies with Helmsdale united (Dad told me!).
Thank you to Helmsdale Games for asking me to be the Flower Girl. We hope the games are a success as always."
Zoe Sutherland. Age 8