Danus Skene, Chief of Clan Skene Dies

Danus Skene

Danus Skene

Sadly Danus Skene has just died following surgery during the early hours of this morning.

Mr Skene was ‘a gentleman and a scholar’, terms often used when describing him. A man deeply passionate about politics but also a historian, musician and a minister. He loved the outdoors, but most of all he loved Scotland.

He is best known as a politician. In this year’s Holyrood elections he stood for the SNP for Shetland and Orkney but lost to Tavish Scott. Throughout the campaign he was blighted with ill health, even though he was out knocking on doors and speaking to people.

Mr Skene also served as the chairman of Shetland Arts and was active in the Church of Scotland, serving as a Kirk elder.

Danus George Moncrieff Skene was born in Dundee in 1944. He was educated at Eton College, and also studied at the University of Sussex, University of Chicago and University of Aberdeen before becoming a schoolteacher in Elgin. Mr Skene’s teaching career later included stints in Israel and Kenya, work in the education department of Tayside Regional Council, and also service on the board of the Scottish Qualification Authority.

He initially joined the labour party then in 1976, he founded the Scottish Labour Party (SLP), a split from the Labour Party. Then in 1979 he became secretary of the northern “Yes for Scotland” campaign during the Scottish devolution referendum. Just before the referendum, he joined the Liberal Party, for which he was elected to Perth and Kinross Council in 1980.

In early 1990s, Skene was approached by American-based members of Clan Skene who believed that he might be head of the clan. This was confirmed by the Lord Lyon, and in 1994, Skene was confirmed as Chief of the Name and Arms of Skene.

Mr Skene was very interested in history and would often help people research their roots, even offering Clan Skene members his services as a personal guide and driver when visiting Scotland.

Mr Skene stated on the Clan Skene Website (see http://www.clanskene.com/chief.html):
“My ambition as Chief is to bring together Skene clansmen worldwide in active fellowship, and to expand an awareness of modern Scotland throughout our global community.” – Danus

Our deepest sympathy goes out to all his many friends and his family.

About Amanda Moffet

I run www.scotclans.com with Rodger Moffet. Live in Edinburgh and love travelling around Scotland gathering stories.

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One thought on “Danus Skene, Chief of Clan Skene Dies

  1. David Terrell Gray

    I was sorry to read about Mr. Skene’s passing. I had read about him years ago when I was researching my Skene background. Through family records and various websites I’ve been able to trace my Skene family back to the late 12th century. They came from the Duncan Clan. I think the first Skene to come to America was Mr. John Skene somewhere around the mid 1600’s


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