No. 37





Printed and Published for The Clan Macpherson Association

SUNPRINT, 36 Tay Street, Perth and 40 Craigs, Stirling


   List of Officers                3
   Message from Cluny                5
   From the Summit of Creag Dhubh                6
   David against the World                7
   Big Mary Macpherson (Màiri Mhór nan Oran)             8
   Eilean a Cheo              9
   Report from the Curator           11
  Greetings from :The Snow bird"          14
   Clansmen keep track of their Badenoch roots          17
  39th Annual Rally           21
   Clan Macpherson Association Notice of Meeting          23
   In Memorium -- A Centenary           23
   Chief of the Gaelic Society of Inverness           23
   A Macpherson on the rocks          25
   Let's learn Gaelic           26
  Births and Marriages              29
   Deaths              30
  The Clan House and Museum, 1984           31
  From Eoin and Phosa Macpherson             32
  Macpherson's (Pitmain) visit to Fort McPherson              33
   President Dr Mary at Bryn Mawr              35
   US-Canada rally              35
   President Dr Mary at Bryn Mawr              35
   Reports from the Branches              37
   Letters to the Editor              39
   Income and Expenditure Account              46
   The Ann (Nan) Symons Trust              46
   Balance Sheet              47
   Clan Macpherson Trust              48



The Chief

Hon. Vice-Presidents

Officers of the Association

Fleenasmore, Ardclach, Nairn

1776 Herrity Lane
Ionia, Michigan 48846, USA

Hon. Secretary
39 Swanston Avenue, Edinburgh, EH10 7BX

Hon. Treasurer
RONALD W. G. MACPHERSON, 'Kilmuir', Dundas Street, Comrie, Perthshire

Mrs E. C. G. MACPHERSON, 'Kilmuir', Dundas Street, Comrie, Perthshire

ANDREW MACPHERSON, Clan House, Newtonmore, PH20 1DE




Editorial Committee
A.C. MACPHERSON, M.A., LL.B (Editor),
30 Trinity Cresent, Edinburgh EH5 3EE
JOHN M. BARTON, WS (Secretary) and T.A.S. MACPHERSON, FRICS. (Advertising)

Museum Committee
A.I.S. Macpherson -- Chairman, T.A.S. Macpherson -- Secretary, R.W.G. Macpherson -- Treasurer, Allan G. Macpherson, A. Macpherson -- Curator, J.P. Macpherson -- Curator Kingussie Folk Museum, Hugh Cheape -- National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, Councillor A. Russell, Councillor D. Sinclair



TOM MACPHERSON (Lord Macpherson of Drumochter. Died 1956)1947-1952
NIALL MACPHERSON (Lord Drumalbyn) 1952-1954
LT. COL. ALLAN I. MACPHERSON (Died 1958) 1954-1957
HON. J. GORDON MACPHERSON(Lord Macpherson of Drumochter) 1960-1963
A.I.S. MACPHERSON 1969-1973

Branch Representatives
                        Mrs. CATHERINE MACPHERSON

  7 Glen Grove, Newtonmore
  32 Crown Drive, Inverness
  39 Swanston Avenue, Edinburgh EH10 7BX
  39 Blackford Road, Hunterhill, Paisley PA2 7EN
  47 Revell Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surry KT1 3SL
  49 Clayton Park Drive, Halifax, N.S.
  142 Riverside Drive, The Spruces,
Williamstown, Mass. 01207
  PO Box 130, 23 Paw Paw Road, Altona North, Victoria
  164 Lewis Street, Invercargill
  PO Box 3894, Randburg, Republic of South Africa


The Council appeals to members to support the Annual by contributing articles of historical, genealogical, or topographical interest, and by forwarding news of themselves and other clanmen, honours, appointments, etc. Photographs, prints, etc., of places or people and 'Letters to the Editor' on matters of Clan interst are also welcome.

All communications should be addressed to the Editor of Creag Dhubh, Archy Macpherson, M.A., LL.B. 30 Trinity Cresent, Edinburgh EH5 3EE, Scotland.

PLEASE NOTE -- In order to meet publications dates for the current year, it is essential that all matters for publication in Creag Dhubh be received not later than 31st October in each year.



      1985 will bring to an end the three year Chairmanship of John P. Macpherson, of Ardclach, Nairn. He and Sarah and all the family have been great supporters for many years of our Association, and we trust that after August, 1985, when JP hands on the "the Cromack" we will see as much of them as before. Our most grateful thanks are due to JP, who has in his years of office had important and difficult decisions to make. Not least of these was the courageous plan to go ahead with the Museum Extension, and this will be the permanent legacy of his three years.
      It is a due reward for his and our Council's courage that after the work was well advanced there came the unexpected and most generous bequest of the late Raymond Walker, of Florida, U.S.A. How fortunate we are to have such friends and such benefactors, and how much we all owe to Raymond Walker's memory. Together with Harry Macpherson-Symons' great generosity the Walker Bequest will for the future give us a most welcome financial cushion, and our gratitude is unbounded. We look forward very much to seeing many Association members at the formal opening of the Extension on 3rd August, 1985.
     It should also be known that the late Raymond Walker also left 25,000 dollars to the Clan Chattan Association, so that we are doubly in his debt.
     In using the word "we" in that context and in referring to such gifts from a Walker it is perhaps a good moment to stress the very important contribution made to all our activities by those whose blood is that of the families of the Septs of our Clan. Cattanach, Gillies, Gillespie, Currie, Murdoch, MacCurrach, and all the other great names which figure in old history and present membership. Our annual Ceilidh is enriched always when Evan Cattenach can be there. Our Ball is incomplete without Andrew Gillies to join John Macpherson Martin as "M.C." Our U.S.A. Branch Secretary is now Kevin Gillespie, of Maryland. And in 1984 a


quarter of our representation from overseas was made up by Roderick and Marion Clarke and their songful and ever cheerful family, from Alexandria, Virginia and elsewhere in U.S.A. Roderick is Vice Chairman of our U.S.A. Branch, and a great worker for the Association. I mention these names of course only as examples -- all the Septs are important parts of the Clan Macpherson Association here and overseas.
     My own toast therefore this year is to the Clan Macpherson and its Septs. May the year in which we record our thanks for the late Raymond Walker's generosity be a year of success and, as always, of good fellowship.
      Sheila and I and the whole Cluny family look forward to another successful Gathering in August in Badenoch, and also and particularly to the combined U.S.A. and Canadian Branch "Super Rally" at Dearborn, Michigan, between 13th and 15th September, 1985. We were sadly unable to be at Sacramento in 1984 but we much look forward to "Dearborn '85", and (who knows!) perhaps one year we will be able to join Gatherings in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or wherever they may occur. While that must be for the more distant future, our greetings come to all.
January, 1985.


      In an increasingly rootless world it is a joy and strength for us to know where we belong and where we have come from.
     We know the history and of the language, song and culture of our forebears. As often as we can possibly manage it we all foregather at the Rally in Kingussie and Newtonmore in the Clan lands in which our forefathers lived for centuries.
      But are we quite fully aware that we have so many cousins in the Septs who are not bearers of the name of Macpherson?
      After all, in the smaller family of our parents and our aunts and uncles, we have cousins whose surnames are not the same as ours. But they are every bit our cousins and earn the same special affection in our hearts. It is no different in respect of the bigger family into which we have been born as well -- the Clan Macpherson.       Let us remind ourselves of our Septs -- Archibald, Cattanach, Clark, Clarke, Clarkson, Clerk, Clunie, Cluny, Currie, Ellis, Ellison, Fersen, Gillespie, Gillie, Gillies, Goudie, Gow, Gowan, Gowans, Leary, Lees, MacChlery, MacClair, MacCleary, MacCleish, MacCurrach, MacCurrie, MacGillies, MacGoun, MacGow, MacGowan, MacKeith, MacLear, MacLeary, MacLees, MacLeish, Maclerie, Maclise, MacLish, MacMurdo, MacMurdoch, MacMurrich, MacVurich, MacVurrich, Murdoch, Murdoson, Pearson, Smith.
      Confirmation of this list can be got by consulting, probably the greatest authority on the subject -- with over four thousand Scottish names --- the book called Scots Kith and Kin published by Albyn Press Ltd., 3 Abbeymount, Edinburgh EH8, Scotland.
      This is a great fascinating general theme, in conclusion, may we rejoice in a particular theme, highlighting news of one particular clansman, David Macpherson, the grandson of Kenneth A. of Tasmania. David, at the age of 17 may be one of the world class tennis champions. Cluny, our Chief, says that David would be the first Macpherson to compete at Wimbledon.
      We wish David well and have given his story and pictures in this issue. It will be a great thrill to see one of our very own win through to world cup grade.
      Hoping to see you at Kingussie and Newtonmore at this year's Rally.



      A few years ago, Australia had a real problem in Tennis. At a time when talent was emerging all over the world Australia had almost no young stars to uphold its status in world tennis.
     Custom Credit, one of Australia's leading finance companies came to the rescue; backing Operation Tennis.
      Two of the greatest tennis players in the world have given the Operation their expertise. John Newcombe (the "Newk") the international champion, was the architect of the scheme, determined to put Australia back at the top in international tennis. The other great tennis personality, Tony Roche, acknowledged one of the best tennis coaches in the world, personally trains the National Elite Squad and supervises all the coaching squads.
      The scheme concentrates on the vital age group of eleven to fifteen years of age when children are developing their game and reaching a mature mental attitude towards winning.
      Carefully selected coaches carry out training programmes with groups of keen local children throughout Australia. Tournaments are run to discover the most talented children in each area.
      And who do you think has won through to the National Elite Tennis Squad of Australia but our own David Macpherson, yes, Kenneth A. of Tasmania's grandson.
      The accompanying photograph shows David with Tony Roche, the best of the best with the best of the best.
      We send you our congratulations. The Clan is proud of you, David. You have our prayers and our love. Our dearest hope is that you will beat them all. It's high time we had one of our own cousins lead the world in sport and everything else !!





      Until recent times the Celtic tradition has been one of oral exposition. What we know of our ancient ancestors is largely through poetry and songs that have been handed down through many generations in the Gaelic tongue and only recently written down for us to read by persons who are literate in both ancient and modern languages. One of these, of course, is James 'Ossian' Macpherson who gained great literary prominence with his translations of the bard Ossian's tales of the Fingal legends. Not so well known is another Macpherson who is called Big Mary of Skeabost, the place on Skye where she was born in 1821. She was also known as Màiri Mhór nan Oran or Big Mary the Poetess.
      Donald Meek of the University of Edinburgh writing about her in The Companion To Gaelic Scotland (TCTGS) tells us that Mary was a nurse by profession and distinguished by her physical weight, prolific poetry and political interests. The beginnings of her known poetry stem from the time she was serving a prison term in Inverness on a charge of theft. She was humiliated by the experience and protested her innocence in song. This experience led her to support the Highland crofters during the Land Agitation and she made the privations- and sufferings inflicted on the Highland crofter by the absentee landlords a dominant theme of her verse. Mary retired to Skye about a hundred years ago but accompanied the pro-crofter Liberal MP Charles FraserMackintosh on electioneering trips.
      Macphersons appear to have been on both sides of this issue. In the 1962 issue of Creag Dhubh, Major J. E. MacPherson wrote a piece about James 'Ossian' and tells us that his son and heir (the Sasunnach) caused one hundred and fifty crofters to be evicted from the Balavil estate. And although this was legal under the laws of the time and much more flagrantly exploited elsewhere in the Highlands, one can understand how fair-minded persons would be revulsed by such practices. The work of Fraser-Mackintosh and others lead to the formation of the Royal Commission chaired by Lord Napier which resulted in passage of the Land Ref orm Act of 1884 and the Crofters Act in 1886. The first enfranchised the crofters and the second granted security of tenure to small holders. James Hunter in a piece in TCTGS tells us that this was the first time since the demise of Jacobitism that the problems of the Highlanders enjoyed any priority in the British parliament.
      Down through the years the Isle of Skye has had many bards and Mary Macpherson is one of the few who have had their works recorded in print. In fact, there is a whole collection of her work that runs to 9,000 words. Mary could not write herself and her words were taken down by John Whyte from her recitation.
      Another example of her bardachd or poetry will be quoted. Since it is a long poem a selection of only the four stanzas that are usually sung is made. The last verse is also given though it is less often heard.
      The song is called Eilean a' Cheo (the Misty Isle), an alternative name for Skye.



Ged tha mo cheann air liathadhThough my head is greying
Le deuchainnean is bròn,With hardships and sorrow,
Is grian mo leth-cheud bliadhnaAnd the sun of my fifty years
A' dol sios fo na neòil,Is subsiding below the clouds;
Tha m' aigne air a lìonadhMy mind has been filled
Le iarratas ro mhór,With a very great request,
Gum faicinn Eilean SgiathachThat I may see the Isle of Skye
Nan siantanan 's a' Cheò.Of the tempests and of the Mist.
Tha còrr 's dà fhichead bliadhnaIt is more than forty years
Bho'n thriall mi ás 'gam dheòin,Since I travelled of my own free will,
'S a chuir mi sios mo lìonAnd I put down my net
Am meadhon baile mór;In the middle of a large town
Is ged a fhuair uair mi iasgairAnd though I got a fisherman
A lìon mo thigh le stòr,To fill my house with treasure,
Cha do dhìochuimhnich mi riamhI never forgot
Eilean Sgiathanach a' Cheò.Isle of Skye of the Mist.
Ach có aig a bheil cluasan,But who has not ears
No cridh' tha gluased beò,Nor a heart that moves alive,
Nach seinneadh leam an duan so,That would not sing with me this song,
Mu'n truaigh a thàinig òirnn?About the misery that has come upon us?
Na mìltean a chaidh fhuadach,The thousands that have been banished,
A' toirt uath' an cuid 's an còir,Bereft of their goods and their rights,
A' smaointinn thar nan cuantan, Thinking across the oceans,
Gu Eilean uain' a' Cheò.To the green Island of the Mist.
Cuimhnichibh ur cruadal,Remember your hardship,
Is cumaibh suas or sròl;And keep up your flag,
Gun téid an roth mun cuairt duibh,That the wheel (of fortune) may go round for you,
Le neart is cruas nan dòrn;With strength and hardihood in their fists;
Gum bi ur crodh air bhuailtean,That your cattle might be in their folds,
'S gach tuathanach air dòigh,And every farmer prospering
'S na Sasunnaich air fuadachAnd the English (and Lowlanders) put out
A Eilean uain' a' Cheò. Of the green Isle of the Mist.
Beannachd leibh, a chàirdean,Blessings with you, friend,
Anns gach ceàrn tha fo na neòil,In every quarter under the clouds,
Gach mac is nighean màthar,Every mothers's son and daughter,
A Eilean àrd a' Cheò;From the high Island of Mist,
Is cuimhnichidh sibh Màiri, And remember Mary,
Nuair bhios i cnàmh fo'n fhòid --When she is mouldering under the turf --
'S e na dh'fhulaing mi de thàmailtAnd what I suffered by way of disgrace
A thug mo bhàrdachd beò. That gave my poetry life.


      Another of Mary Macpherson's poems was described in an article by John Mcleod that appeared in the January, 1982 issue of Scots Magazine. The article was entitled "A Burning Peat Shall Light The Way", a phrase that was taken from a line of Mary's poem that she called "Nuair Bhi Mi Og (When I Was Young)". Quoting McLeod "the poem depicts the beauties of her native island and it conjures up charming images of her childhood. But it is a real social document of a life style that has long disappeared and chronicles some significant changes which have taken place in the community by the time she wrote the poem in 1880. It went back to a time when candles and paraffin oil were unknown on Skye. In the scattered community in which she lived, roads did not exist and footpaths were rough tracks indeed. A walk on a dark winter's night would be a hazard to limbs or even lives so the walker would lift a burning peat from the fire with tongs and use it as a torch, a practice which a line of her poem recalls."
      McLeod goes on to write about other aspects of Skye life in those days including events that might tempt someone out of doors on a bad night . . . a tweed waulking or a wedding celebration. Most of you know what a wedding's about but who knows what a wauking is? (1). Or what a cruisgean is used for? (2). These are some of the other things that Mary spoke of in her poem. For those who would like to read more of her verse, one source is G. R. D. Maclean, "Poems of the Western Isles," 1961, London; Donald Meek's "Mairi Mhór nan Oran," 1977, Glasgow tells more about Mary herself.

Roderick W. Clarke, Alexandria, Virginia

(1) Fullering or increasing the weight and bulk of the woven cloth by shrinking, beating and pressing. It is a labour-intensive operation much like a corn husking bee or barn raising.
(2) Seal oil lamp; sometimes referred to as a cruzie.

      Mary Macpherson was also known as Màiri, nighean Iain Bhàin i.e. Mary, daughter of Blond John. [Iain was a Macdonald; her mother was Flora Macinnes, daughter of Neil Macinnes, crofter in Uig, Snizort. Her parents spent the first twelve years of their marriage in Glasgow where they settled after discovering the bogus nature of a Canadian settlement scheme. All of their children except Mary and a brother were born in Glasgow. The latter two were born at Skeabost after their parents retuned there. Just think -- had the settlement scheme been legitimate, Mary might have been born in Canada and her poetry, if any, focused on other subjects.
      Mary had the good sense to marry Isaac Macpherson, a shoemaker living in Inverness but originally from Skye. They were married after she left Skye for Inverness in 1848 and lived a 'happily married life' until Isaac died in 1871 leaving her with four surviving children. No stranger to hard work, Mary moved to Glasgow and entered the Royal Infirmary with a view of becoming a practical nurse. She remained there for five years finishing with diplomas in both midwifery and nursing. She practiced these skills in Greenock until 1882 when she returned to Skeabost.to live there permanently in a rent-free cottage provided by her benefactor, the proprietor there, Lachlan Macdonald. ]




      In the 1984 Creag Dhubh I was briefly introduced by J. P. MacPherson and at the Rally and in the Museum I met many Clansmen. Like most of my Clansmen I have spent little time in Badenoch or in Scotland, although my family have been connected with Knock-of-Clune since 1791, Donald Macpherson (Domhnul A' Chnuic), Cluny's bard , was born there and his father John we believe built the old house. When my father retired he moved to Knock-of-Clune. I was born in Aberarder Farm the first after Thomas Sinton and in the same room. When I was only three months old my father moved to Strathossian in Corrour where I had an excellent childhood. Corrour in those se days was fully staffed and an excellent deer stalking forest. I think that had there been no war it would have continued and my way of life would have been different.
      I had always a fascination for steam locomotives and as soon as I was old enough I was in Fort William Steam Shed amongst the machines on which I would see much of Scotland and central Africa. From Fort William to Mallaig then back to Fort William and then to Dunbar. Nancy, my wife, was one our passengers and the inevitable happened and we settled down in Dunbar. Nancy who hails from Prestonpans and was born on the site of the battle almost directly opposite Col. Gardiners Memorial and the house where he died. Three years later we moved to Glasgow and while we would have liked to go to Fort William this could not be done and so a decision which we have not regretted was made.
      We successfully applied for Rhodesia Railways again steam locomotives and in March 1953 I was on my way by sea and in September the same year Nancy joined me.




We have two children Donald Edward and Fiona both born in Salisbury, Rhodesia. Donald started school in Rhodesia and continued in Northern Rhodesia where I was stationed for four years driving throughout the copperbelt and into Katanga.
      I then returned to Rhodesia on the take over of the Bulawayo to Mafeking line and Donald finished his schooling at Northlea Co-ed High School where he played football, squash and basketball. Donald is a trained piper and was a member of the school pipe band and travelled to most of the main centres in southern Africa. He lives in East London R.S.A. and is an amateur player coach at basketball for Border. Fiona did all her schooling in Bulawayo and became a champion swimmer and swam for Rhodesia, played hockey and was in amateur theatre, finishing as headgirl.

      Trevor Andrew our grandson lives in East London with his father and it seems like the sea. On our arrival in Bulawayo Nancy found herself a place in the Law Courts and when Rhodesia became Zimbabwe was in charge of her own section and had also made her mark in the swimming administrative world.
      We were eighteen years in Bulawayo and I spent fifteen years as a locomotive driver on the Botswana section and again present when it got independence. Now and then I would take over the Running Shed and the last three years I was promoted to instructor. It is quite a change in climate but not as cold as the Kalahari Desert at four o'clock in the morning.

Andrew MacPherson, Curator


      We departed Florida on April 24, 1984, bound for Bermuda with Capt. Phil, First Mate and Cook Janet. Within the hour the wind was 20-25 knots out of the north with the usual lumpy seas.
     The auto pilot broke down 23 hours out of Bermuda and the replacement links on board were the wrong size. Steering that last 23 days resulted in a salt water drenching with great regularity.
      Early the morning of May 22, Tiger Lewis spotted the lights on Faial and Pico. What a spectacular landfall! The islands are lush and green and with the sun shining on them they were a beautiful sight. After clearing customs (the Portuguese love paperwork) which is a lengthy affair, we headed for the famous Peter's Cafe Sport.
      Food is very inexpensive in the Azores and we sampled several of the local restaurants where you could get an excellent meal with wine for $3-5 per person.
      One side is lush and green and the other side looks as though it had rained rocks. When the volcano erupted the lava flowed down to the sea where it must have bubbled and foamed and formed unusual shapes, like a lunar landscape. We visited a whaling station and watched men cutting the blubber from three whales. It was a sad and smelly sight. They still harpoon the whales in the old manner from small boats with hand thrown harpoons.
      Jose Soares and Jore Silveira from the Club Nautico in Angra having noticed our boat anchored in the harbour, tracked us down at a restaurant in town to welcome us to Angra and offered us the club's facilities. Angra is rebuilding from a recent earthquake and is a beautiful city. We departed Angra June 1 after receiving f avourable weather reports from Jose who works at the US Naval Air Station on Terceira. Our destination - Crookhaven, Ireland.
      June 8 we spotted Mizenhead dead ahead and we anchored in the harbour at Crookhaven about 1530. just over seven days from Angra.
      We noticed a large sign that read O'Sullivan's Pub and we made haste to launch the dinghy. Billy and Angela O'Sullivan welcomed us to Ireland and offered to call customs.
      The next logical step was to sample a pint of Smithwicks at Billy's Pub. The songs and jokes fly thick and fast, sped along by copious amounts of Smithwick (ale) and Paddy (Irish whiskey). Reluctantly we decided we must move on. Summers are short and we still had England, Scotland and Wales to visit.
      The morning of our departure we dinghied ashore to say our goodbyes. Most of our new friends came to the quay and we were all in turn hugged, kissed and God Blessed. With a large lump in our throats we hauled up the anchor and sailed past the group in the quay who began singing God Bless America and tooting car horns. We will always remember Crookhaven and the warm welcome we received.
      Ireland is truly the emerald isle. It was so lush and green and the wild flowers and azeleas blooming everywhere were lovely. Everywhere we stopped we were warmly welcomed by the people.

      Next morning, June 23, we set sail for England.
      Next day we sailed to Falmouth which is a real sailor's town and has had such a fascinating history. Ashore we were welcomed by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club and enjoyed watching their dinghy races and sharing sea stories with several members.
      Our first order of business was to find a vehicle. We found a VW camper van with a left hand drive and low mileage that seemed to fit our needs. We picked up our camper van, secured Snowbird and headed for northern England and Scotland. The van is very comfortable and boasts a refrigerator and two burner gas stove with broiler. It is also equipped with a vented heater so we can use it in cold climates.
      Our friends Isobel and Murray Ward were expecting us in Glasgow Saturday, July 28 so we hurried on to Scotland.
      We camped beside Loch Ard that evening after the Wards returned to Glasgow. We awoke to a beautiful sunny day and the view looking across the loch was lovely. We drove past several beautiful lochs and forests and stopped at Pitlochry where I bought a kilt and Phil found a Harris Tweed jacket that fit perfectly. We camped for the evening at a caravan park named Glen Truim, home of one of the leading members of the Clan Macpherson.
      We drove to Newtonmore the next morning and met a delightful gentleman named Archibald MacPherson at the tourist information office. When he learned my name was Gillis he immediately invited us to the Clan Macpherson Ball that evening. The Clan had gathered from all over the world that weekend in Newtonmore for a week of festivities and I learned that a Gillis MacPherson was one of three brothers who had originated the Clan. Archie offered to borrow a kilt for Phil so we could attend the ball. We had to wait for a call from my sister, so we declined.
      We did attend the Highland Games the next day and watched the Clan march in behind the Highlanders Pipe Band. We loved the dancing and bagpipe competition and watched in awe as competitors tossed a 200 lb. caber. Saturday evening we attended a clan ceilidh and enjoyed the singing, dancing, bagpipes and harp music.
     We drove as far north as Inverness and around the Island of Mull. We loved Oban and Fort William and Inverary, where they have marvellous kippers. The weather was unusually warm and dry for Scotland and the scenery was spectacular. We met my sister Mary Ann in Glasgow where Sandra and Bill Ness invited us to their home for a fantastic dinner. We tried haggis for the first time and loved it. Murray gave us some haggis to take with us and several other goodies like meat pies.
      The next few days were spent provisioning and preparing Snowbird for the trip to Spain. We had a great sail to Spain with winds from the SW, Force 2-5. We arrived in La Coruna September 14, two days and 22 hours from Falmouth. We stopped for a few days in Portemao and then hurried on to Villamoura.
      Villamoura is a large marina and real estate development. The dockage is $2 US a day with free electricity and water plus 24-hour security. We plan to leave Snowbird here through January and tour in the van.
     Our travels on the continent will have to wait until the next episode of the saga of the Snowbird. We're off to Switzerland and Austria for Christmas.
      Our love and best wishes to you all!

Phil and Janet



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      Clan Macpherson continued their Badenoch homeland connection this year with the area once again hosting the annual clan rally.
      Clansmen from all over the world, including Canada, the United States and Australia, gathered in Badenoch in the first weekend in August to renew old associations and establish new ones.
      The rally got under way on Friday evening when clansfolk were welcomed at the Duke of Gordon Hotel, Kingussie, by their Chief, Sir William A. Macpherson of Cluny, and Clan Association chairman Mr John P. Macpherson of Ardclach.
      All enjoyed an excellent Highland Ball with the dancing and festivities interrupted only by the arrival of a sumptuous buffet supper.
      The Clan Macpherson Association annual meeting was held on Saturday morning in Newtonmore Village Hall where Cluny made a special presentation to Eoin and Phosa Macpherson who had retired after 18 years of looking after the clan museum in the village.


      Cluny paid tribute to their long and loyal service and wished them a happy retirement.
      The meeting felt that the success of overseas branches and the nearly completed museum extension indicated that the Association was in good heart and moving in the right direction.
      Later in the day, Cluny and his son Alan led their kilted clansmen in the annual march to the Newtonmore Highland Games for the 21st time.
      Cluny's banner was carried by his standard-bearer Eoin Macpherson and the association banner by Herbert Macpherson, from the USA, with supporters Rod Clarke, James Macphearson, Gordon Macpherson and John Macpherson.
      Throughout the afternoon the clan tent was well patronised by many friends, old and new.
      At the evening ceilidh in the Duke of Gordon Hotel, Hugh Macpherson, as fear-an-tigh, welcomed a large audience to an excellent performance by artistes including Pipe Major Ian Fraser, soloists Ruth Macpherson McDougall, Euan Cattanach, Margaret MacAtamney, Sandra Macpherson of Glentruim and Phyllis Henderson.
      The Dalwhinnie Dancers performed and there were further piping solos from Duncan Barton, aged 12. The piano accompaniment was by Duncan Sinclair.
      Sunday's service in St Columba's Parish Church, Kingussie, was conducted by Rev. Albert Jenner with the lesson read by Cluny and the Chairman.
      On Sunday afternoon clansmen made their customary visit to Euan and Sandra Macpherson of Glentruim.
      During the gathering there were also visits to Cluny's Cave on Creag Dhubh led by John Barton and Sandy Macpherson.






Details of the following Rally not included here



Details of future Meeting not included here

      A hundred years ago this month, on 11 January, 1885, Ewen Macpherson of Cluny C.B. (Old Cluny) died, "the living embodiment of all the virtues of the old patriarchal Highland Chief".
      Five days previously on what was Christmas Day (old style), he had attended the "ball-play" which he had given annually while he was Chief and had made a short speech of welcome. The day was stormy with showers of snow and he evidently caught a chill which at his age progressed to something more serious.
      He was buried in the Cluny burial ground on 17 January, 1885. The funeral took place in weather apparently similar to what Badenoch was enduring in January, 1985, for it was reported that "snow muffled the measured tread of the mourners".

      The Gaelic Society of Inverness is one of the most scholarly societies in the Celtic world with over fifty volumes of most attractive volumes to its credit. Among the greatest honours is to be chosen as the Chief of this Society. We are delighted to announce that this accolade has been accorded to A. I. S. Macpherson, Ch.M., F.R.C.S., F.R.S.E. one of our Hon. Vice-Presidents and wish him well in his term of office . . . meall an naidheachd ... congratulations.





      The Clan Macpherson has its heartland around Creag Dhubh, that well known and much beloved mountain in upper Speyside.
      The cutting reprinted below from The Scotsman of November 1984 shows how one Association member has developed an expertise in a profession derived from the rocks from which we may have sprung.

      A collection of rock and mineral specimens which have been locked away in the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh, are now being turned into a valuable national asset.
      The last time Scotland's mineral wealth was catalogued was in 1901 and 190 types were recorded. Work begun ten years ago at the museum has now put that total at more than 400, eight of them being minerals previously unknown to science.
      The museum's mineral section curator, Dr. Harry Macpherson, said: "The significance of this is, first of all, just to have the data available somewhere. Secondly, when the information is published, we then get inquiries from places like universities, research labs at home and abroad, schools, BP's research labs, and so on".
      Much of the work is mainly of academic interest, telling geologists more about the nature of Scotland's structure, but new minerals can have commercial value themselves, as well as help for chemists in the search for new materials.
      Dr. Macpherson gave as an example zeolite, found in the US and at first thought worthless but in which there is now a multi-million pound industry, making use of the mineral's ability to act as a very fine filter. The museum's researchers become particularly excited when they come across minerals which have never been found before, one of which is now named Macphersonite.
      The proud "father" said: "If you get on to something like that you have to move like greased lightning because there are so many people burrowing about in the field, in Russia, Japan, America". In the case of Macphersonite, the museum just beat a Swiss mineralogist by a few weeks.
      Part of the reason for the growth of mineral research has been the invention of new machines which reduce a week's work of chemical analysis to a matter of minutes. Dr. Macpherson believes Scotland could be a particularly fruitful area for more discoveries, partly because there is not a lot of work being done in the field in this country.
      "Scotland is often known as a geologists paradise because it has a tremendous range of rock types going back almost to the beginning of time, about three billion years, up to the most recent rocks, which are being formed now".

The Scotsman 12.11.84


(19th year) by Chevalier Archy Macpherson, KCT, MA, LL.B.

Gabhaidh sinn an rathad mórWe will take to the highway
Gabhaidh sinn an rathad mórWe will take to the highway
Gabhaidh sinn an rathad mórWe will take to the highway
Olc air mhath le càch e. No matter what the others might say.

Thig Cloinn-- 'Phearsoin, feachd nam buadh,
'S thig Cloinn-Choinnich o'n Taobh-tuath,
'S mairg an dream do'n nochd iad fuath
'N uair dh'éireas gruaim nam blàrorr'!

(Clan MacPherson, army of worth
And Clan Mackenzie will come from the North
Pity help the mob that shows them hatred
When the frenzy of battle is upon them).

(An old Gaelic marching song which in other verses brings in MacGregors, Stuarts, MacDonalds and the Chief of the Camerons etc.).



      Each year we like to offer certain tasty morsels for any reader eager to learn the language and songs of his or her forebears.

      This year in addition to the usual slices we have also a whole cake to offer. Because a new organisation has been set up at a high level specially designed to cater for adult learners of the language called Comann Luchd lonnsachaidh (or C.L.I. for short) and its address is: C.L.I., Abertarff House, Church Street, Inverness IV1 1EU, Scotland.

     They have lists of courses and evening classes and learning aids that are available and are pleased to send it out anywhere in the world against a modest annual subscription. Knowing their enthusiasm we are prepared to believe that there are few problems about the language and its learning that they won't tackle and solve.

      Given the dutiful allocation of time every day of the year allows anyone to master the language. After much application it is a thrill to have one's first chat in the acquired tongue or to find that one has become competent enough to chat in it, or read a book, or understand a broadcast on radio or T.V.

     Then one feels it was all worth it and one can then branch out with play reading, poetry reading, creative writing ... or the sheer delight of being able to sing -- perhaps to one's own accompaniment.

      Yes, sing, Peter Hamilton, 3 Westbank Quadrant, Glasgow G12 8NT, Scotland will send you his catalogue of Scottish gramophone records and cassettes for 60 pence or a dollar.

      Once you have decided which songs to master from a record or a cassette or music you can write to An Comunn Gaidhealach, 13 Bath Street, Glasgow, Scotland with a request for the words and music if need be for the cost of their postage and little else.

      The same sum sent to the Gaelic Books Council, Department of Celtic, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ, Glasgow, Scotland will bring a splendid booklist of all Gaelic books in print.

      So much for adults; what about the children? There is an organisation which runs play groups in Gaelic for children of pre-school age. Its name is Comhairle nan sgoiltean Araich, c/o Fionnlagh M. MacLeòid, 16 Blantyre Terrace, Merchiston, Edinburgh, Scotland. No doubt they will also be pleased to advise on which schools teach in or through Gaelic.

      Lastly, if a postal correspondence course is what is required then one can recommend the National Extension College, 18 Broadlands Avenue, Cambridge CB2 2HN, England for their Gàidhlig Bheò; course. Where there's a will there's a way.

Chi mi sibh aig Cruinneachadh Chloinn a' Phearsain . . . I'll see you at the Macpherson Rally.

Mise le spéis,




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[James Birdseye McPherson was a Major General and in command of the US Army of the Tennessee besieging Atlanta at the time of his death. An engraved portrait and biography of General McPherson can be found on the web at www.clan-macpherson.org /Panel069.html]