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Elliot Clan Society, U.S.a. (By-Laws)

Article I

Article II

  1. Object:
    The Elliot Clan Society, U. S. a. is organized for education, pleasure, recreation and other similar non-profit purposes, within the meaning of Section 501(c)(7) of the Internal Code of 1986 (or corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law.)
    1. ) To promote and foster the spirit of the Elliot Clan Society, U. S. a.
    2. ) To provide a focal point for and a means of expressing the sentiment of the Elliot Clan Society, U. S. a.
    3. ) To keep the members of the Elliot Clan Society, U. S. a. in personal contact, communication and fellowship with each other.
    4. ) To encourage and promote the study and preservation of the history, folklore, literature, traditions, music and dance of Scotland and of the Elliot Clan.
  2. Limitations:
    Notwithstanding any other provisions of these articles, this organization shall not carry on any activities that are not permitted to be carried on by an organization exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law.

Article III

Article IV

  1. Membership is open to all who desire to promote and further the interests and development of Elliot Clan Society and its heritage.
  2. Members are those persons who have paid an annual fee of $20.00 to the Treasurer/Membership Officer by April 30 of that year.
  3. A past member may be reinstated upon payment of the membership fee.
  4. Members shall keep the Treasurer/Membership Officer advised of current address, e-mail address and telephone number.
  5. Membership requirements are as follows.
    1. ) They shall promote Clan activities and heritage and participate in Clan activities to the best of their abilities.
    2. ) They shall inform the Editor of any births, weddings, deaths and such for inclusion in the Signal Tower.
    3. ) They shall return their ballots in a timely fashion before the next annual general meeting (AGM) to the secretary or bring them to the meeting.
  6. Membership in the mother Clan is offered through membership in the Elliot Clan Society, U. S. a.

Article V

  1. The Officers of the Elliot Clan Society, USA shall consist of the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer/Membership and Signal Tower Editor.
    1. ) The President shall preside over the Executive Board to develop and present Clan policy and By-Laws to the membership and be the point of contact for Clan business and officiate the activities of the other officers. He/she shall also appoint a Clan Genealogist and appoint or replace Regional Commissioners as required and alter regional boundaries when necessary.
    2. ) The First Vice President shall be a member of the Executive Board and assist the President in the function of that office. When absent, the President may delegate authority to the First Vice President to preside over the Executive Board and officiate the activities of this Board. He/she shall also assume the duties of the President if the President is unable to perform or function said duties.
    3. ) The Second Vice President shall be a member of the Executive Board and assume the duties of the First Vice President if that office becomes vacant.
    4. ) The Secretary shall be a member of the Executive Board and take minutes of all meetings and forward copies to all Executive Board Members and handle any additional correspondence. He/she shall notify the membership of the slate of officers for the bi-annual elections and send the ballot to the Newsletter Editor in time to get it to the members no less than 60 days before the next AGM. He/she shall collect and combine the absentee results with the votes of the members present at the AGM.
    5. ) The Treasurer/ Membership Officer shall be a member of the Executive Board. This officer shall be responsible for administering the Clan's funding and expenditures and maintaining the Clan's membership rolls by notifying members when their membership fee is due. He/she shall also furnish regional commissioners with lists of names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of paid members in their regions in addition to sending the approved annual stipend per member each year to the commissioners. He/she shall reimburse commissioners one Scottish event each year, not to include transportation and/or lodging. At each AGM, he/she shall provide a detailed yearly report Lastly, he/she shall send an approved annual stipend per member per year to the Clan Chief.
    6. ) The Editor shall be responsible for publishing at least three newsletters, called "The Signal Tower", per year. He/she shall compile and edit all information to be included in the newsletter and use the US delivery service only when no e-mail address is available. He/she shall also be responsible for getting the ballots out in the newsletter so that members receive them 60 days before the next AGM.
  2. Nominations and Elections:
    1. ) The secretary will publish the duties of the officers to be elected in the newsletter. All nominations shall be sent to the secretary along with a short biography and picture when available. The ballot shall be sent to the members by the newsletter editor at least 60 days before the next AGM.
    2. ) Officers shall serve a two year term and successive terms are allowed. No one may be elected without their consent and they must be a current member. Write in candidates shall be accepted following the afore mentioned criteria. Absentee ballots may be accepted by the secretary up to a week prior to the annual general meeting (AGM). Members may e-mail their ballots or send them by US mail to the secretary or bring them to the meeting. At the meeting a committee will be formed to tabulate the results and announce said results to the members. The results shall also be published in the next newsletter. A quorum shall consist of a majority of all voting members.
    3. ) Officers may be removed when they are no longer able to fulfill their duties in a timely and proper fashion or must resign their position. They shall be replaced by a vote of the remaining Board Members.

Article VI

  1. The Clan shall hold at least one general meeting each year. The purpose for the AGM will be to elect officers on a bi- annual basis, approve the secretaries minutes from the previous meeting and the treasurer's report and to discuss any other business concerning the Clan.
  2. The location of the AGM will be chosen by the President with the approval of the Executive Board.

Article V

  1. The Executive Board shall handle the routine daily business of the Clan and is authorized to approve expenditures. It shall consist of elected officers of the Clan and the immediate Past President in an advisory position It shall meet upon request of the President.
  2. A Quorum shall consist of a simple majority of Board Members then in office.
  3. When a member of the Board must resign because he/she is unable to fulfill his/her, duties, the remainder of the Board may elect an interim replacement for that position.

Article VIII

  1. Regional Commissioners shall promote new membership in their area and assist the Treasurer/Membership Officer in renewing membership. They shall organize Clan representation in their region by attending local Scottish events and by manning a tent at a local games to provide members with a gathering place. To be reimbursed for one games per year in their area, they must report their activities to the "Signal Tower" Editor for publication and then apply to the treasurer/membership officer for their compensation. This does not apply to transportation or accommodations. They shall also provide information about local events, Scottish societies, Scottish vendors and Scottish arts instructors in the area.
  2. The Genealogist shall maintain the Clan website and enter information received from officers and commissioners onto the appropriate place on the website. They shall also enter genealogy information from members and assist them using their discretion.

Article IX

  1. All officers and members serve voluntarily and without pay.
  2. Funds generated by dues and donations will be used for conducting Clan business.
  3. Membership dues will be payable by April 30 of each calendar year. Annual dues covers the period of November 1 through October 31 of the following calendar year.
  4. Additional dues or fees increases will not be levied except by a majority of the membership present at an AGM and by absentee ballot.

Article X

  1. The Clan shall keep correct and complete books and records of accounts, and shall also keep minutes of the proceedings of its meetings and Committees.
  2. The fiscal year, for accounting and reporting purposes, shall run from November 1 through October 31 of the following calendar year.

Article XI

  1. Once adopted these by-laws may be amended by a majority of members present at the AGM and by absentee ballot.
  2. Proposed by-law changes must be communicated to the members a minimum of 60 days prior to the AGM.

Article XII

  1. The Treasurer shall pay or make provisions for the payment of all liabilities of the Elliot Clan Society, U. S. a.
  2. The remaining assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c) (7) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or corresponding section of any future Federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the Federal, state, or local government for a public purpose. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by a court of competent jurisdiction of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes.

Margaret Eliott
TULLIE HOUSE MUSEUM, Carlisle Scotland April 1st, 2011

Ladies and Gentleman;

I am an Eliott, the 29th Chief of the Elliots to be exact and you have been kind enough to invite me here to Carlisle. I have a feeling that in the 15th & 16th Century you would not have made me so welcome. I live in Liddesdale on the site of the great Eliott pele tower, luckily now a farmhouse, rebuilt from the old stones of the original building. History sits heavy in Liddesdale as it does all across the Borderlands. We sit on a bluff of the river overlooking the old ford on the road running up to Hermitage Castle five miles away - a mile away is the dramatic site of Liddel Castle by Castleton Cemetery. The valley is now home to some 1,000 souls, but in Reivers time the population was threefold. All over the hills are signs of long abandoned bothys and fields.

Seen from the fat pasturelands of the Eden valley, the Cheviot hills and Liddesdale, Ewesdale and the notorious Debateable Lands must have been regarded rather as the "Hole in the Wall Gang" was regarded by the respectable people of Wyoming - full of desperate, unstable and violent men bent on stealing your cattle and sheep, never allowing you a peaceful night's sleep and thoroughly disruptive. While I am sympathetic, I would like to give you a view from the other side!

Sandwiched between two hostile nations the Borders was a useful buffer zone. I don't think we can call it a demilitarized zone. The Reivers would have delighted in that phrase, as they were all armed to the teeth! The towns of Kelso, Hawick and Jedburgh were easy targets for an English foray and one of the ways through was up the Liddel valley. Because of this, there were years of ruined harvests and the stock was taken by the invaders. Such problems produced desperate men and so the Reiver's way of life became the norm.

The Borderers were never quite Scottish or English. Indeed they are of the same stock and they used the political situation to their own advantage, if they possibly could changing sides when it suited them, infuriating each monarch in turn. So are we surprised when James VI & Ist tried to turn us into Middle England and hung Johnnie Armstrong? Although memory of that outrage came back to haunt his Stuart descendant, Bonnie Prince Charlie, when he tried to recruit Borderers on his march south through Liddesdale.

But I cannot come to Carlisle and not mention Kinmont Willie. This thoroughly notorious reiver was taken on a Day of Truce and brought bound and gagged to Carlisle Castle. This was against all the rules of cross border law and Buccleuch and his supporters in a fit of righteous indignation (the words righteous indignation and Border reivers are not natural bedfellows). Although the river was in full flood they crossed the river and with the help of the Grahams, sprung Kinmont Willie with a great deal of noise and kerfuffle and swam back again with their prize. The resultant backlash from a mortified Lord Scrope, Warden of the English March was terrible. He led an army of 2,000 men into Liddesdale burnt the houses and stripped sixty or eighty children of their clothes - it was reported that nine or ten infants perished within eight days thereafter.

After a great deal of pressure from Elizabeth I, James VI finally bound over Buccleuch to Sir Robert Carey who held him under lock and key for a time in Northumberland. Apparently they got on rather well and his influence on Buccleuch changed his ways and he was canny enough to realise that there was little future in the reiver way of life when James VI inherited. There is a good story that when he was eventually presented to Elizabeth Ist at the English Court and she demanded to know how he dared to storm her castle. His response was "Madam, what is there 'that a brave man may not dare?" . She seemed delighted with this remark and turned to her court exclaiming, "Give me a thousand such men and I will shake the thrones of Europe".

Today the descendants of those resourceful reivers still live and work along the Border line. The Elliots, Grahams, Scotts, Kerrs, Humes and others are still about and there are thousands of Borderers that have spread themselves around the world. We hold a Gathering for Elliots from around the world every four years and we celebrate the lives of our forefathers, the Border Reivers. Indeed I have sent many of my visitors into this Museum to watch the atmospheric audio-visual display, but always with a warning, "Take no notice of that bishop's rubbishy curse", like water off a duck's back - it made not a wit of difference. Also descendants of those fighting men of old proved to be fierce and brave fighting men during the two world wars. George Macdonald-Fraser who knew the Borders and the Borderers like no other, wrote a book about serving in Burma with the Border Regiment demonstrating the Cumbrians extraordinary bravery and gallows humour. It was ironically entitled, "Quartered Safe Out". Here and the strong gene of the boldness of the reivers comes out very forcefully. But as we celebrate every four years, this excellent exhibition celebrates their history permanently, bringing the Reivers alive again in such an effective way and making us very thankful that we were born into a peaceful Borderland.

Thank you

Our Pipe Music

Clan Elliot Society, USA

The above article was kindly submitted by Connecticut Commissioner, H Thomas Elliott III, the official PIPER for the Elliot Clan.

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