We are pleased to announce the installation of John Manchester as the new International Clan MacFarlane Society Treasurer. John has been a dedicated member of our community for many years and has served with distinction in various roles.
Many of you may know John as the former Secretary of our Society. During his tenure, he implemented new procedures and assisted our staff in the day to day operation of the clan. His hard work and dedication to our Clan’s mission has been truly inspiring.
In addition to his service as Secretary, John also serves as a Commissioner to Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, where he has been instrumental in promoting our Clan’s culture and traditions. His passion for our heritage, combined with his financial acumen and his 20+ years of experience in the non-profit sector, make him the perfect candidate for the role of Treasurer.
Please join us in congratulating John on his new position. We are confident that under his guidance, our Society will continue to thrive and grow. We look forward to working with him to ensure the success of our mission.
Meet John | In His Own Words
We asked John to tell you all a bit about himself, his connection to Clan MacFarlane and his thoughts on representing the Society. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What part of the world are you from? What do you do for work? What are your passions?
I live in a small community in the far-northwest suburbs of Chicago – fairly close to the Wisconsin state border. I grew up closer to the city in the North Shore suburbs and then went to college in Ohio. My college work was directed toward non-profit management (specifically the arts) and ended up working for a growing social service agency serving the developmentally disabled. I got hired to do financial reporting, but while doing that, I accidentally ended up as our IT guy, and eventually ended up with Microsoft’s highest Windows certification. When I decided to leave the non-profit world, I stayed in IT, and have spent the last 10 years working various contract positions for Abbvie.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your ancestors/personal family history?
I am named for my maternal grandfather, John McFarlane, who was born in Edinburgh in the late 1800’s. He emigrated to the US in 1913, having decided there was no way to get ahead in pre-WWI Scotland. He heard of jobs and a safe rooming house (run by a women who was from Edinburgh) in Rockford, IL and took a chance. He had lied about his age when in Scotland (to get into the Territorials – he wanted to be a drummer in the kilty band) so his “official” age in the country is actually wrong. In 1914 he got a letter from the British War Office saying “come back and defend mother England”, and in almost the same post a letter from his mother saying “stay there! I want one son alive at the end of the war!” He decided to stay (girlfriend might have had something to do with that), but when the US entered the war, joined our army, and having had some military training (he did learn something besides drumming and highland dancing in the Terriers) he rapidly rose to the rank of First Sergeant. When he was discharged, he was surprised to find he had received his US Citizenship after having been in the US just 4 years before he enlisted. Sometime ask me about the rest of that story! Right after the war he married his girlfriend, worked at various jobs (he was a journeyman steamfitter, drove a beer truck, owned a tavern, and finally a hardware store), and had a daughter (you guessed it – my mother).
Q: How did you discover or learn about your MacFarlane heritage?
The fact that my grandfather was born in Edinburgh and was named McFarlane was a clue. Interesting thing was, that my great-grandfather Hugh, and his wife Margaret, were born in Ireland, and decided The Troubles were too troubling, and emigrated to Scotland, where all their 4 children were born.
Q: What area of Clan MacFarlane history or heritage interests you the most?
Technically I majored in History, so just about anything to do with our clan and where it fit into the history of Scotland is of interest.
Q: As Clan MacFarlane Treasurer, what are you looking forward to the most? What would you most like to accomplish in your new position?
I am looking forward to being able to present more regular information on the financial status of our society to our members, highlighting where the funds come from, and where they go!
John will be officially installed as Treasurer at our upcoming 50th Annual World Gathering & General Meeting at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, North Carolina, USA in July.