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Forbes Merritt Chisholm

Immediate Past President

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About Merritt

Merritt Chisholm's family migrated from the Sleat District, Isle of Skye in 1832 and took up a homestead at Dunvegan, Glengarry County, Ontario, a district that was settled almost exclusively by Gaelic speaking Highland Scots. It is interesting to note that at that time, Gaelic was recognized as the second language of Canada. Merritt's own father spoke only Gaelic until he started school.

Merritt obtained a business degree from the University of Alberta, where he met his wife "Bennie." Upon graduation, Merritt obtained a commission in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve. After a four year stint at banking, he became involved in the oil and gas industry in Calgary with both major and independent companies and ultimately formed his own exploration and development company. During this time, Merritt was a piper in a local Calgary pipe band.

With the integration of the Canadian Forces in 1967, Merritt transferred to the retired list of the RCNR as a Lieutenant Commander and upon doing so became very active in the Naval Officers Association of Canada, an advocacy organization comprised of retired Naval Officers. He later served as National President of this organization.

Merritt and Bennie retired to Vancouver Island in 1987. They have four wonderful children, Robert, Douglas, Mary Jane, and Jessie, and twelve delightful grandchildren, four of whom are taking bagpipe lessons.

Merritt has been a member of The Clan Chisholm Society for more than twenty-five years. In 1997, he and a group of interested Chisholms were instrumental in the formation of the Canada Branch. Merritt served as President of the Canada Branch from 1997-2001. In July 2001, Merritt was elected President of The Clan Chisholm Society at the Society's Annual General Meeting in Inverness, Scotland, and served as international Society President through July 2006.