Click in the table of contents below to browse sections
of this page, or in the menu at the top to visit other areas
of this site.
[Page last updated 31 July 2011]
Early Sinclair History
The Sinclair lineage can be traced back to Norway
in the first millenium, through Normandy in France,
where there are many places named for Saint Clair. The clan's name
is thought to've been taken to Britain by a Norman family from
Saint-Clair-sur-l'Elle near Saint-Lô.
For details of Sinclair clan history, check our
or click here for the timeline on the
Clan Sinclair UK website.
Early Sinclairs in Canada
In Canada, Sinclairs were among early traders, settlers and
soldiers. The earliest known was Prince Henry,
Jarl of Orkney. His landfall in Nova Scotia six hundred years ago
has been identified from the detailed descriptions in letters written
home by his Italian navigator, later published as the Zeno narrative.
The Prince Henry Sinclair Memorial in Guysborough NS
commemorates this visit.
Many Canadians have a strong awareness of our country's Scottish
heritage. Highland games are popular summer events, there
are Highland and
Scottish Country dancers across Canada, and children
of every background learn the sound of the pipes in local parades. However,
Clan Sinclair had no national organization until the 1970s.
The Clan Sinclair Association of Canada was founded in 1972 by
Dr. E.G. "Eddie" Sinclair and his wife Roselma
of Deep River and later Norwood, Ontario (below left). Their family
had hosted meetings for about ten years before that, and Roselma's
multi-carboned typewritten letters to friends and family had become
the first newsletter, but Eddie felt the time was right to advertise
for members when the First Scottish World Festival was held in Toronto
in that year. Read their brief autobiography here.
In 1978, the Scottish World Festival was again held in Toronto,
and was made especially memorable for Sinclairs by the presence of
the Chief of Clan Sinclair (on the right in this photo)
Also present at this important Sinclair Gathering were brothers Jack and Bill
Sinclair from Nova Scotia who, along with their brother Harold,
have been stalwart assets to the Clan Sinclair Association
Photo courtesy Rory Sinclair
Presidents of the Clan Sinclair Association of Canada
- 1972-82: Edward G. Sinclair (Ontario)
- 1982-87: R. Malcolm "Mac" Sinclair (Ontario)
- 1987-91: Jack G. Sinclair (Nova Scotia)
- 1991-95: Gordon Sinclair (Manitoba)
- 1995-2003: W.E. "Bill" Sinclair (Nova Scotia)
- 2003-2011: Rory "Gus" Sinclair (Ontario)
- 2011-present: Jim Sinclair (British Columbia)
In 1982, Eddie retired from the presidency of the Association
and his position was ably taken up by R. Malcolm "Mac"
Sinclair of Kingston Ontario. From a base of about 20 families
in 1982, CSAC membership had increased to over 200 families by 1995
when Mac retired from active leadership in the Association.
Mac also took over as Editor of the newsletter, now a quarterly
of superior editorial content which he wrote, produced,
and distributed for 14 years.
The first Honourary President of the Clan Sinclair Association
of Canada was writer and broadcaster Gordon Sinclair (1900-1984).
Mac Sinclair was appointed after his retirement from the national executive,
and the current Honourary President is Jack Sinclair.
As before, the Association continues to thrive on the energy
of a few dedicated souls and the financial support of its
Photo: Canadian Communications Foundation in association with Ryerson University
600th Anniversary Celebrations
To mark the 600th anniversary of Prince Henry's landfall
in Nova Scotia, CSAC and the Clan Sinclair Society of Nova Scotia
sponsored and developed a highly elaborate and successful celebration
in Guysborough, Nova Scotia. The memorial
in Boylston Park overlooking the ocean is a popular tourist
In September of 2000, Italian yachtswoman Laura Zolo made landfall
at Guysborough, after re-tracing Prince Henry's 1398 voyage from Orkney.
In conjunction with this visit, our Clan Chief presented a Millennium
"Sword of Peace"
to the Mi'kmaq Nation in a ceremony
at the Prince Henry Memorial.
Sinclair Clan Gatherings
The various branches of Clan Sinclair Canada host regular Gatherings.
An annual Winter Gathering, traditionally on the last weekend in February,
is hosted in Toronto by the Ontario Division.
Every four years since 1979, the Nova Scotia branch has hosted a major
Gathering in the summertime to coincide with the Tattoo and Nova
Scotia's quadrennial International Gathering of the Clans.
Clan Sinclair Association (Western Canada), founded in 2002, hosts
an annual Spring Gathering on the weekend near Tartan Day, April 6th,
alternating between Vancouver Island and BC's Lower Mainland.
CSAC members delight in attending Gatherings of other Clan Sinclair
groups, especially those of our sister organization,
Clan Sinclair USA.
There are also Gatherings of the worldwide Clan Sinclair. In July
of 2000, 35 members of Clan Sinclair Association Canada attended
the Millennium Clan Gathering
in Scotland. Over 200 clansfolk marched on at the Halkirk Games.
This was the beginning of regular major gatherings of the worldwide
clan, scheduled every five years, with Mini Gatherings between.
The 2005 Gathering
was another resounding success — as was the 2010 Gathering.