The origins of Highland Games in Scotland can be traced back many hundreds of years. Clan chiefs used the games to recruit staff-Winners of races made excellent couriers, while winners of strength events made fine bodyguards and soldiers.
Rival Clan Chiefs often used to match their champions against each other at important Highland Gatherings and great status was placed on winning and losing.
Dancers and Pipers also became part of the household staff of Clan Chiefs-not merely for their entertainment value but also for the esteem and glory which their skills and success reflected on their masters.
King Malcolm is thought to have begun the Royal association with Highland Games at Braemar during the 11th Century. It was Queen Victoria, who dearly loved Scotland, who later made modern Highland Games so universally popular from the 19th. Century onwards.
Although Games were held on Bute in earlier times, their exact history is unclear. The modern Games as we know them began in 1947, under the auspices of Bute Shinty and Amateur Athletic Sports Club.
The founder Secretary Tom B. McMillan served as Honorary Secretary from 1947 till 1989. He remained active on the Organising Committee as our Vice Chieftain until his sad death during 1993. In 1989 Gordon Sutherland was appointed Honorary Secretary until he stepped down at the Annual General Meeting in June, 2008. At the same AGM David Anderson was unanimously appointed Secretary – the third Secretary in 61 years.
These Games have gradually grown in status and strength, to their present position as one of the major events on the Highland Games calendar.
All competitions at Bute Highland Games are run in accordance with Amateur Rules and Regulations. The preparatory and organisational work is carried out by volunteers.