Toddish McWong and the Macleod tartan – but where can I find a McWong tartan?

Looking for a McWong tartan…
or should I just wear a Macleod tartan?

Chinese-Canadian dudes wear kilts!  Here I am at the 2010 BC Highland Games, wearing the Macleod of Lewis tartan, also known as the “Loud Macleod.”  There is is no McWong tartan…. 
“Wong” means “yellow” in the Chinese language. So I found the most yellow kilt I
could find.   I did wear it at
the BC Highland Games this year… much to the delight of the Clan Macleod
Association of Canada, a few tables down from the Clan Gung Haggis Fat Choy

The gentleman on the right is wearing the Chan plaid, that was originally created for Canadian Highland Dance Champion Betty Chan, way back in the 1960's.  In the life-size photo on the left (made for the BC Royal Museum), “I” am wearing the modern Fraser Hunting Tartan.  I love the blues and reds in it.   I have had several kilts and mini-kilts made up for the Gung Haggis dragonboat team, which we wear for paddling in races, or at Kilts Night events.


Here I am with “Betty McChan” on New Year's Day.  She is wearing the Chan plaid that was made into a jacket for her father Ernest Chan.  Betty told me that the colours were chosen to represent specific things, such as red for China, yellow for Saskatchewan, blue for Scotland…   I am wearing the Ancient Fraser Hunting tartan.  It is the first kilt that I ever wore, and I wore it for the Burns ceremony haggis tasting at Simon Fraser University, back in 1993.  It's very Fraser, but not very McWong!

Todd Wong and Deb Martin – photo courtesy of Ling Chan, Vancouver Opera Social Media

Here I am wearing the Macleod Tartan at the recent Vancouver Opera production of Lucia Di Lammermoor.  This Donizetti opera was set in the lowlands of Scotland, East of Edinburgh.  Disappointedly, I didn't notice anybody else wearing a kilt.  Deb thought it was amusing, attending the opera, and having people point at, and comment about what her date was wearing.

The MacLeod Tartan

My friend Ian MacLeod is former president of the MacLeod Association of Canada.  A few years ago, he outlined how I could go about to register a McWong tartan.  He liked the recent pictures of myself in the MacLeod tartan.  Ian writes:

Glad to see you in the MacLeod of Lewis / MacLeod Yellow / Loud MacLeod
(all three names work) tartan.  It does look good on you!  If you wear
too much of that tartan, you can look like a big bumble bee, but setting it off
with black is always a good fashion choice.
If you are going to adopt that tartan, there are a few things that you
should know about the MacLeods:
First, you could even join our Society.  The definition of
memberships states:

Application for
A person may apply to the Society for membership if that

 (e) is a friend of the Clan MacLeod

Second, a comment on the meaning of the name MacLeod:

¨      The surnames
MacLeod, McLeod (and variants) are Anglicisations of the Gaelic patronymic
name Mac Leòid, meaning “son of Leod”. This Gaelic name is a form of the Old
Norse Ljótr which means “ugly” or “ugly wolf”.  So MacLeod means “son of the ugly” or
“son of the ugly wolf” – but that may have been a “fighting name” (like Flying
Tigers or Screaming Eagles), as opposed to a physical


¨      However,
Leod could have been handsome!  I
have a theory, with no historical support (or rebuttal), that Leod was
actually very handsome.  Leod was
born very close in time to the days of Robin Hood.  One of Robin Hood’s “merry men” was
“Little John”, who was actually a large man.  So if a large man would be called
“little”, it stands to reason that a very handsome man could be called “the
ugly”.  This theory works for

Third, a comment on the roots of the MacLeods:

¨     In my case, there are Viking roots, as
established to a recent DNA test.  Dr Jim Wilson of Ethno Ancestry and
Edinburgh University said recently “I would say that the original and main
lineage of the McLeods is S68+, so Ljot was a Scandinavian after all.”
 Marker S68 at Ethno Ancestry
is SNP L165 at Family Tree DNA.  At
Family Tree DNA, my son Cameron just 
tested positive for the L165
SNP.  So I have established my ancient Viking

So that is a lot of history and culture that you assume when you don those
I also attach a brochure on the MacLeods, that I wrote a couple of years
Take care (or, as we MacLeods say,  “Hold Fast and Shine

Clan MacLeod Society of Canada website

Clan MacLeod Society of Canada Facebook group

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