Craig & Rose Advertisment







us, and Sandy's three years have been most distinguished. Thank you very much, Sandy, from all members. Sandy will be succeeded in August by Gordon Macpherson, from Burlington, Ontario. Gordon is our genealogist par excellence. If the Lyon wants any information about Macphersons and their heraldry he goes to Gordon! And we are fortunate indeed that we have Gordon to guide and direct us in the heraldic art. All the heraldic work in the Museum is Gordon's own personal work. His flair and imagination can be judged from that work. We wish Gordon and Nancy well in their term of office. They will have maximum support from everybody here and overseas.

      Our younger son, James Brodie, has been touring the world in 1991. He has been splendidly helped by Douglas and Margaret in Perth, Western Australia, where the temperature during his visit was 46' centigrade! Recently he visited Invercargill, where he met Hector, and Athole, and Isabel Lamont and others. It is good to note this contact with those who are so far away from us. Soon Jamie will go to Bruce and Mary in Santa Cruz, and will be passed like a Macpherson parcel across USA! What a family we have. And how grateful we are for such love and support that we all feel from all over the world.

      We send our family greetings to you all. And we look forward to the August Gathering.

      I have had the great honour this year to have been asked to be Chieftain at the Glenfinnan Gathering on Saturday 17th August. So perhaps that could be another date for your diaries. It would be good to see Macpherson clansmen amongst the Argyll folk!

Beannachd leibh

Following last year's precedent of the Chairman bursting into print in pages of "Creag Dhubh" I would like to take a further opportunity to address the membership.

      As I write Catherine and I have just returned from a trip to Canada, where we attended the joint US/Canadian Branch Rally at Niagara on the Lake. I must congratulate the hard working officials of both Branches for organising such an efficiently run and happy weekend, the accommodation, food and entertainment were all first class, and the company, which needless to say, largely consisted of Macpherson Association members, could not be bettered.

      The Rally in Canada was undoubtedly the high spot of the year but other events must be recorded. The Museum had another successful year, both in numbers attending and donations in the boxes, all thanks to Andrew, who despite ill health earlier in the year, looks after things so well. Our membership continues to rise, the largest increase in the last few years being in the United States. I think that all Branch officials should consider holding as many local events in their areas as possible, this should provide interest and entertainment for those members who cannot attend a Rally in Scotland and could stop the "wastage" of members who join and then drop out after a few years.

      In conclusion, I would welcome you all to our 1991 Rally in Scotland, the official notice of which appears elsewhere in these pages. Efforts are being made to make the Rally as attractive as possible for visitors. In addition to the usual programme of "formal" events there also exists the opportunity to go in for hill walking, fishing, golf, water sports etc in the Badenoch area. This could add up to spending a pleasant holiday there with a large variety of interests available. Looking forward to seeing you in August 1991!


Dwelly's wonderful and authoritative Gaefic-English dictionary (1) describes clann as "Offspring, children ... descendants ... clan, tribe," and in the examples gives "Clann Mhuirich, the Macphersons."

      This we understand and accept. We take as a fact that we are descended from the same stock and that we are one family, related -- however distantly or closely -- to each other. We all rejoice that we have a father and mother of our family and clan association in our beloved Chief and his Lady. We all know that we come "home" once a year, if we can possibly manage it, to the Rally in Kingussie and Newtonmore (2).

      We are all aware that we have our own tartans, our own chiefs coat of arms on which ours, if we seek one, is based. We have our own histories (3). In Sinton's "Poetry of Badenoch" (4) is to be found much of our own poetry. There are songs and music associated with us. Our family treasures are to be found it) our Clan House Museum in Newtonmore and our main channel of news, opinion and communication is to be found in our own "Creag Dhubh". Those of us who wish to progress further learn the language and songs of our forefathers -- Gaelic (5).

      This is, however, only one dimension and a somewhat passive one at that. It does not tell all; for we are at the same time a team which is defined in Collin's Pocket Dictionary (6) as in Old English as "offspring" (reminding one of Dwelly's first definition of claim as "offspring" as well). Among other things Collins defines team as ". . . a group of people living and working together". While we rarely live together as we did centuries ago, we do work together. It is a joy to hear of an active Branch of the Clan Association and how we pack things into the few days in which we share each others company at the Annual Rally.

      The concept of team is an active competitive group, often a sporting one, which is also linked to the idea of the family firm. In sport we have the combative team spirit shown to perfection be it football, shinty, rugby, tennis or what have you; the list of the different kinds of sporting teams is infinite. It is a list which has sport and fair play at its root. It is, not, therefore, amazing that we should allude to these far off days, before the Heritable jurisdictions Act 1747, to the clan as a fighting force. Anyone with military experience appreciates words like "companionship in arms", "shared dangers" and "survival against overwhelming odds". The allusion to those days is to be found in the march from Old Ralia down to the Eilean on Games day in Newtonmore. Once again our men march behind our Chief ... his and our clan's banners ... behind the pipes ... to be paraded on the Eilean at the command of our Chief and to be welcomed onto the field.

      It is not to be forgotten that the last victory of Bonnie Prince Charlie's army, before it recrossed the Border into Scotland, was won by our Clan Macpherson at Clifton.

      Today, no one wields a claymore sword except in fun. Martial feats of long ago are history. We are scattered throughout the four winds of heaven but still we are a coherent, loyal, structured family. We have our local branches, our traditions, our Creag Dhubh and, above all, our annual Rally. We are not the only peoples to have had such an annual gathering, for instance, the Jews had the saying "Next year in Jerusalem" for their annual rally . . . we can say . . . "This year in Kingussie and Newtonmore".

      Even in these long lost days beyond recall when we lived in much closer proximity to each other, we have had our Highland Games on the Eilean; to see what military talent we possessed in our menfolk. From earliest Celtic times such occasions were also times for fairs, contests and an occasion to settle outstanding legal disputes. Such an institution, modified to today's needs, is still with us and available to us in our Games and our Rally.

      Those of us lucky enough to be able to gather every year, year in and year out,


begin to sense how ours is very much a family reunion. Every member comes to realise that as well as being a family we are all members of a team who as individuals and collectively are under a duty to do all in our power for our Clan Association into which we must seek to encourage our younger generation to take its place and lend its support. We must strive to thrive. We'll be seeing you at the Rally . . . Chi sinn sibh-fliéin ann . . . We'll be seeing you there.

1. Dwelly's dictionary is published by Gairm Publications, 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow, Scotland. They will also send their catalogue on request.
2. Times and places of this year's Rally to be found in this issue.
3. "The Posterity of the Three Brethren" and other publications. Enquiries can be made to the Clan House Museum, Newtonmore, Scotland.
4. Sinton's "Poetry of Badenoch" (Inverness: 1906) is long out of date but can be borrowed through a public library through "Inter-library" service.
5. CLI and An Comunn can be contacted at 109 Church Street, Inverness, Scotland.
6. Collins Pocket Dictionary is published by William Collins & Co Ltd, Glasgow G4 ONB, Scotland.

      This year we shall be holding the 45th Rally in Kingussie and Newtonmore between the 2nd and 5th August 1991, and it is hoped to have a large representation of Members from all Branches. A summary of the programme is set out below and it will be noted that the various functions follow the same successful pattern as in previous years.

      All kilted Members are particularly encouraged to support the March from Old Ralia, which precedes the Gathering at the Newtonmore Highland Games on Saturday afternoon.

      At the reception before the Highland Ball on Friday evening, each member and guest will be served with a refreshment of their choice and thereafter a bar will be available at which further refreshments may be purchased. The cost includes a Finger Buffet served from approximately 9.30pm.

      A booking form for Highland Ball Tickets is enclosed for use by UK based members. Overseas members should obtain advance tickets in person from the Clan Museum.

      To provide some much needed food before the Ceilidh it is hoped to have a fork supper in the Duke of Gordon Hotel.

      Following the last two year's expeditions on foot to places of interest in the Badenoch countryside it could be possible to have a walk along another of General Wade's roads. The route in mind is from Crubenmore to Ruthven Barracks a distance of about eight fairly smooth miles. This expedition can be organised if there is sufficient support.

Programme of Events
Details not included


The ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Association will be held in the Village Hall, Newtonmore, on Saturday 3rd August 1991, at 10am, for the following purposes:

Details not included

Macpherson-d'Auvergne Collings -- The engagement is announced between Bruce, son of Mr and Mrs T. A. S. Macpherson of Fairmilehead, Edinburgh, and Julia, daughter of Mr and Mrs G. S. d'Auvergne Collings, of St Peter Port, Guernsey.

Macpherson-Macpherson - The engagement is announced between Robert, son of Mr and Mrs Colin Macpherson, of Fleet, Hampshire, and Ailsa, elder daughter of Mr and Mrs Ewen MacPherson of Straloch, Perthshire.


Archie and Anistacia MacPherson on October 5, 1990. Cocktails and a dinner was held at the Pleasant Valley Golf and Country Club, Ontario, Canada. Guests at the head table included their best man and maid-of-honour of 50 years ago including aunt and uncle Jean and Len Simpson. Their grand-daughter Kari Noelle MacPherson and their son John A. MacPherson of Weston, Ontario, were included. This MacPherson family emigrated from the Kildonan district during the Clearances.

Mr and Mrs Grant-McPherson, "Tynings", Upper Milton, Wells, Somerset, celebrated their Golden Wedding on 19 June 1987. They visited the Museum some 20 years ago when they became life members.

Dr James Archibald (Archie) Macpherson passed away on 5 May 1990 at Newbury, Ontario, Canada, in his 62nd year. Dr Macpherson along with his father Dr John R. Macpherson maintained a rural medical practice in the village of Duart, Ontario, for over 75 years. Both were life members of the Clan Macpherson Association.

      He is survived by his wife Yvonne, two daughters, Mrs Janet McCredie and Mrs Ellen Ilic, one grandson Sean Archibald McCredie as also two brothers John Donald MacPherson of Oakville (whose wife is Betty) and Ford A. Schweitzer.
Alexander McPherson, 1915-1990 (New Zealand Branch). A modest man who made his contribution to a wide range of community groups, Alex was motivated by the highest principles. He served his country in the Air Force during WWII and then played a prominent part in many spheres of local activity from farming, school, church, Returned Services and as a Justice of the Peace.
      A keen athlete, Alex danced in the Scottish Country Dancing display held at the end of September 1990 and always supplied a bowling team for Clan Macpherson in our annual tussle with Combined Clans. He had been Chairman of the Southland Branch on more than one occasion and was a very active and keen member. During their many travels Mabel and Alex enjoyed visits to Scotland where they kept close touch with family in Kintyre. It was thanks to Creag Dhubh they discovered cousins living in Australia and exchanged visits.
      His eldest son David said Alex left his family three legacies -- the importance of the marriage bond, community service and their Christian heritage.
      Mabel, his wife, is our Immediate Past Chairman and with Alex made Clansfolk most welcome to their home in Riverton.

Walter James McCurrach died suddenly at home on 2 February 1989. He was a keen supporter of the Chief and the Clan and had a lot of overseas relatives who are also in the Clan. He is survived by his wife Diana.

Annebelle Butler, 7a Ifield Road, London SW10

Lois Carr McPherson, wife of Donald F. McPherson of Hilton, New York, died 28 January 1991. She was one of the United States Branch staunchest supporters and workers. She will be greatly missed.


      The major part of the Arms is a differenced version of those of the chief of Macpherson, where the hand grasping a dagger is said to refer to the driving out of the Comyns from Badenoch on the authority of King Robert Bruce in 1309 and the cross crosslet to Murchadh or Muireach, a cleric in the church of St Columba in Kingussie in the early Middle Ages. The galley or lymphad is found in the Arms of many chiefs who were allies and friends of the MacDonalds, Lords of the Isles. As Archy Macpherson was clerk of the Flag Fund of the St Andrew Society, the red pennant has the Saltire added in the hoist.

      The arrows in the chief come from the crest of Cameron, both for Archy's great grandmother and for his wife, while the inkhorns make reference to his profession in the law and his passion for creative writing.

      A cat sejant proper is the crest of the Macpherson chief and the red Maltese cross demonstrates membership of the Order of Knights Templar, of which Archy is the Chancellor in Scotland.

      The motto consists of the first two words of the chiefs Motto: NA BEAN DO'N CHAT GUN LAMHAINN (Touch not the cat but a glove).

      The bookplate, designed by Gordon Macpherson, shows the armiger's name in Gaelic, Mac Mhuirich being an alternative to Mac a' Phearsain. The last three names constitute his sloinneadh or patronymic -- his own first name, succeeded by that of his father, followed by that of his grandfather, after whom he is called.

As successor to these Arms, a cousin, Alan Macpherson, bears them with a label.

(Courtesy "The Double Tressure" No. 12)


Open 1st May to 30th September:
Monday to Saturday l0am. to 5.30pm. Sunday 2pm to 5.30pm.
Viewing by appointment during closed season.

Books for Sale
"Posterity of the Three Brethren", by Alan Macpherson. Price £3.95; post and packing inland 50p, overseas £l.00.

"Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands" (Part One), by Alexander Macpherson. Price £4.00; post and packing inland 50p, overseas £1.00.

"Legends of the Cairngorms", by Affleck Gray. Price soft cover £3.95, hard cover £7.95; post and packing inland 50p overseas £1.00.

"The Wandering Highlander", by Hugh Macpherson. Price £1.95; post and packing inland 50p, overseas £1.00.

"In the Glens When I was Young", by Meta Humphrey Scarlett. Price hard cover only £ll.95; post and packing inland 50p, overseas £l.00.

"Laggan," by Dr Richardson, of great interest to Macphersons. Price £2.50; post and packing 75p.

Enquiries to:
The Curator, Clan Macpherson House and Museum, Main Street, Newtonmore PH20 IDE. Tel. 05403 332.

This is the quarterly journal of the Clan Macpherson Association, United States Branch. It is published by the Association for its members and others interested in promoting and encouraging of the art, history, literature, folklore and traditions of the Clan Macpherson and Scotland. The Editor of "Creag Dhubh" says that this is a delightful sister journal; anyone interested in taking out a subscription to it might write to: The Urlar, PO Box 465, Richfield, OH 44286, USA, for full particulars.
After what seemed to be a slow start visitor numbers gradually built up and the following monthly figures were achieved. May: 753. June: 872, July: 935, August: 1535, September: 795, a total of 978, to this figure I must add 174 who visited in the "closed season" mostly in October 1989, making the grand total 5064.

      These 5064 visitors, with few exceptions contributed to the Museum's upkeep £1949.58 in direct contributions through the boxes provided and approximately C2404 gross through the purchase of literature, gifts and souvenirs.

      For at least two weeks in June and July my wife Nancy was in charge of the museum during my visit to Raigmore Hospital which was not optional and would have caused a great deal of inconvenience if she had not taken over and it was business as usual. Thank You Nancy.

      That was the only unusual excitement which took place. The roof continues to be wind and water tight thanks to the work done by Ken Robinson. Those of us who see the museum regularly forget that most visitors are seeing it for the first time are quite surprised that there is such an exhibition exists in Newtonmore or is maintained by a


clan association. Grampian TV paid a visit recently to take pictures of the outside particularly of the name for a film advert to be shown in US and were so surprised at what they saw in the museum that they spent some time filming inside making the Black Chanter "Feadan Dubh" the centre of the advert, This film will be shown in a "Visit Scotland" exercise early next year to encourage people to visit Scotland. I hope they come in their thousands to the museum.

I have to acknowledge the receipt of the following book donations:
      "Nancy" Ann Houghton Veeland, 1902-1981, her life told by herself as told to and donated by Janice V. Dees, Longview, Texas, USA.
      "The Macphersons and Macnoes in Western Australia" by R. W. Macpherson. Donated by Bill Macpherson, Lesmurdie, Western Australia.

Thank you for the following donations to the Museum Fund:
      Reginald J. Ellis, England and Wales Branch, £35
      Carol Ann Ellis, Reginald's Daughter, £20
      Dan Macpherson, San Diego, California, USA, £29.44 ($50)
      Marion and LeRoy Starkey, USA, in memory of her father Adam Macpherson £29.70 ($50)
      Marilee M. Hadley, Trustee of the Hadley Family Trust, USA, also in memory of Adam                              Macpherson £56.52 ($100)
      Two anonymous donations of £56.52 ($100) each.

A framed photograph of Major General Sir W. Macpherson, KCMG, Colonel Commandant of the RAMC during World War I and a display case of his medals with miniatures. Presented by his nephew R. W. G. Macpherson, "Ronnie", of Kilmuir, Comrie, Perthshire.

Binders for Creag Dhubh

      The Museum now holds a stock of binders for the magazines. The binders are hard cover, dark green with the name Creag Dhubh printed on the spine, and can hold 12 copies of the magazine.

             Collected from the Museum     £5.00
             By post in the UK      £5.50
             By surface mail elsewhere in the world     £6.00

By Archy Macpherson, KGOT, MA, LL.B, NP, FSA(Scot)
There can be a thousand and one reasons why one may wish to embark on learning another language and as many approaches as there are individuals. With tenacity a small amount of time a day, say half an hour, in time one can gain fluency and mastery of a language. Some who have never really gained fluency have still found a great deal of joy in the process. To add a dimension to our loyalty to our clan and our ancestors we might decide to make the attempt and if we plod on may even succeed. Advice on how to approach the matter is very much a personal subjective thing but here are a few suggestions. On the language side one could examine three sources available worldwide, all have cassettes along with their courses. One is CLI (Comunn Luchd Ionnsachaidh) the Gaelic learners' association of 109 Church Street, Inverness, Scotland IV1 1EY, another is Gaidhlig Bheo (Living Gaelic), 18 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge CB2 2HN, England, and thirdly, Ronald Black, a lecturer in the Department of Celtic, Edinburgh University, Hume Tower, Edinburgh, runs a very thorough course called Cothrum Ionnsachaidh (a chance to learn). All these courses can be conducted through the post. Many like to attend a Gaelic class run locally as well. CLI or your local education authority may well be able to advise.

A somewhat quarterly magazine called "TOCHER" from the School of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh


University, 27 George Square, Edinburgh, Scotland, publish it. It contains traditional songs and stories in English and in Gaelic with accurate translations. While back copies are still around it could be a good idea to snap them up.

          "Gairm" the all-Gaelic quarterly, 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6BZ, Scotland, is able to be visited at their shop on the top flat. They carry a good selection of books in Gaelic and will be pleased to mail you a catalogue of books that they can supply you with, on request. Their list is too long to refer to but they might still be able to get you the Canadian story-teller's great book on Gaelic on one page and English translation on the other, Joe Neil MacNeil's "Tales until dawn" published by Edinburgh University Press.

      Songs and poetry play a great part in Gaelic culture, An Comunn Gaidhleach at the same address above as CLI in Inverness runs Gaelic festivals locally and nationally called the Mod; they can advise on Gaelic song. Gaelic records and cassettes can be found in many music shops; we found The Music Shop, Blackfriars Street, off High Street, Edinburgh, carry a reasonable stock. An Comunn Gaidhleach will supply words and translations to all who care to join. Two books of well known Gaelic songs with English translations by Bruce Campbell called ORAIN NAN GAIDHEAL can be got from Gairm Publications. Rare traditional Gaelic music and song is published from The School of Scottish Studies by Topic Records, 50 Stroud Green, London N4 3EF, England, on records and cassettes. Lewis Recordings, 3 Millbum Road, Inverness IV2 3PS, Scotland, also sell Gaelic cassettes.

      Dr Anne Lome Gillies, the well known Gaelic Singer, scholar and educationalist is reported in "The Oban Times" of 4 April 1991 as saying that the policy for Gaelic (which had resulted in a great upsurge) in education was not imposed but formulated at parental demand. In the last five or six years, progress in this field had put into the shade what had happened in the 600 years before this. So it is a dynamic expanding environment that any learner would be entering.

Mar sin leibh ... Gilleasbuig

P.S. Archy conducts class in Gaelic on novel writing at Inverness College, first week in July. Details from Dr A. Barden, 6 Wolseley Terrace, Edinburgh EH8 7AB, Scotland.


"Laggan", by Dr Ian Richardson Published by Laggan Community Association
The production of books on every conceivable aspect of Scotland is now fast becoming a national industry. The enquiring tourist, on entering a book shop or library, is assailed on all sides by a deluge of volumes in all aspects of Scottish geography, history and habits, most of which are lavishly illustrated and all are, even in relative terms, expensive. It is almost with relief that the reader finds a locally produced volume with modest, though adequate, monochrome photographs, all of a size and price to suit the pocket.

      To all Macphersons who claim ancestry from the upper part of the Spey valley the book of "Laggan" by Dr Ian Richardson should be compulsory reading. Dr Richardson provides one of the best comprehensive backgrounds to a Highland parish to be produced in recent years, taking his reader through from the physical characteristics of an area low in farming productivity but high in character forming abilities to its present state with a stable population having confidence enough to maintain its own shop and branch into new cottage industries.

      In the past, Laggan abounded with Macphersons, the Chief lived in Cluny Castle and the Clan with all its associated traditions, dominated all. Now, Macpherson names are few in number, many of the population being in-comers, who, to be fair, have done much to enrich the life of the community, while preserving its traditions.


      For the discerning tourist, there should be no better way of discovering Laggan than exploring it on foot while armed with Dr Richardson's book and a large scale map.

Mrs Meta Scarlett, in her recent book, describes Laggan as the cradle of poets, priests and pipers, if that evocative title does not tempt you into learning more of this fascinating area, then nothing will.

"Wild Harbour" by Ian Macpherson
The rugged countryside fringing on Laggan provides much of the setting for the second book to be reviewed and is in fact a powerful element in the novel. Written in the mid-1930s and projected forward by ten years it is set in Scotland during a war of international proportions, in which the whole fabric of society is threatened by the tumultuous events going on off the immediate stage of the story.

      The teller of the tale and his wife view this impending doom with the greatest of apprehension and decide, at the start of the conflict, to avoid being drawn into events beyond their control and opt out by taking to the hills above Laggan.

      Their subsequent life, cut off from the conflict, but with occasional frightening glimpses of the troubles assailing their land, is described in detail and with great vividness. The description of their existance in that great tangle of wild uninhabited country between Loch Laggan and Dalwhinnie can be looked on, not so much as a manual for survival in the wilderness, as man coming to terms with nature and adjusting to new surroundings and conditions.

      On the other side, the argument on whether a man has the right to step aside from an international conflict that is not of his making and with which he has no liking or should he follow the rule of the law of the land is treated with care and sympathy.

The author, who died tragically young, obviously had great talent, but is neglected by modem critics and is not well known by Scottish readers today. This is a book to be read, not just for its Clan connections, but for its own sake as a powerful and at times moving piece of literature.

"The World Book of Macphersons" Published by Halberts Family Heritage
Books bought by mail order can never be such a satisfying purchase as those which can be browsed over in a conventional book shop before taking the final plunge. "The World Book of Macphersons" is only available by mail order but is also the subject of advertising letters aimed at persons of the name of Macpherson, who may be prepared to spend the necessary £15.95. Publicised as having compiled the most extensive world wide register of families bearing the Macpherson surname today the book comes as a disappointment.

      The first section of the work starts off promisingly well with a quotation from Winston Churchill on the value of historical research and then details a basic history of the British people and outlines immigration to the English speaking portions of the world.

      From there we go on to the study of surnames, heraldry, advice on how to trace your ancestors and finally the Macphersons International Register which occupies about 50% of the total volume of the book.

The earlier sections are interesting but somewhat superficial, much of the information being available elsewhere and is not always of value to the discerning reader. The International Register consists of page after page of Macpherson names and addresses organised on a geographical basis, which have been culled from telephone directories, voters rolls, etc. As an aid to ancestor research, the objective of the book, it has little to offer and is not to be taken seriously. No sept names are included and


no reference is made to the Chief, Association Museum or other focal points of our Clan. With the aid of a diligent programmer, this book has been produced for the Macphersons, Campbells, Abrahams or any other name you may care to mention, the only variable factor being the list of names at the back. A copy of this book has been presented to the Museum, but I doubt if it will be much used.

Clan Macpherson Association increased its life membership by approximately 25 new members, nine associate, seven annual and five juniors. I am not sure where I should start counting but it is obvious that the museum is the recruiting centre as Monroe Macpherson said on observing the making of a new member, it was almost instantaneous. That is the good news; now regrettably the association must increase its subscriptions, due to "Creag Dhubh" becoming more costly to produce and the substantial increase in postage rates by which most of our business is carried out. I appeal to members to keep us informed of your address as many Creag Dhubh's are returned because the member has moved and we are not aware of it.

Andrew Macpherson

Editor: Help in increasing advertisements by members would help keep "Creag Dhubh" costs down.


8 Dorward Place, Montrose, Angus

Dear Archy,
      Please find enclosed photos taken at 1990 Rally. We are very pleased to have visited Cluny's Cave and even more so having lived to to tell the tale. The climb was good but the last 20 yards hair-raising. The photo enclosed is a record of a wonderful day which we are not likely to repeat, in other words never again. I haven't come across any photos of visits to the cave in back numbers, perhaps this could promote the walk (or climb) into a bigger attraction.

Yours sincerely
John Macpherson

----------------------------------------------------------------16 -------------------------------------------------------------

PO Box 1197, Gualala, Ca. 95445

Dear Archy,
      I am enclosing two pictures taken at the recent Clan Rally I am hoping that you will be able to use at least one of them for the next edition of Creag Dhubh. One picture is of my daughter, Lorna Jean Macpherson Moorhead with Cluny and her older brother, Stuart John Macpherson McElderry taken at the ball. The second picture includes me with my youngest, Loma Jean and my oldest, Stuart John.

Lorna is 15 and Stuart is 25. I have three other young adults between Loma and Stuart's age who hope to attend next year.

      You will recall from the annual meeting, I am sure, that Lorna was mentioned by Cluny because she had been baptized at the 1976 Macpherson Rally. Her father, George Moorhead and I first attended the 1975 Rally where George attempted to toss the caber. In 1976 we returned with our baby, Lorna Jean and had her baptized by the Rev Mr Jenner. We were hoping to see him again in 1990, only to hear of his death a few weeks prior to the Rally.

      Stuart, Lorna and I were joined on Saturday of the Rally by my brother Bruce Macpherson of Santa Rosa, California. We videotaped most of the Rally as a wonderful reminder of our lovely weekend. (We have some footage of you swapping stories with Monroe at the Games as the rain was beating down). Loma especially loved meeting all the other teenagers and looks forward to returning next year (if she can earn the air fare!!).

Until then
Jean Macpherson (Moorhead) Duffy

10 Greencliffie Drive, Clifton, York Y03 6NA
5th Sept 1990

Dear Archy,       I have long read and have been told of the components of the Macpherson Arms and from whence they came. Having studied the arms I am obliged to conclude that they are composed from the following, should you wish to publish them.

The Bloody Hand and Dagger
      The Clan MacKintosh (Clan Chattan) (about 1424) were invited to a feast by the Cummins, but were warned in secret before hand that treachery was afoot. A black bull's head was to be brought into the hall and used as a signal to kill the leading MacKintosh men, the signal was forestalled by the MacKintosh who fell upon the Cummins and massacred them instead, with the dagger.

The Galley
      The Clan Chattan was strong in and around the Monadhliath Mountains. Extending


from Badenoch over into Strathdearn and on to Strathnairn, but for centuries they had struggled to hold on to Glen Loy and Loch Arkaig, with their stronghold of "Tor" Castle in Lochaber. This was the Clan Chattan homeland before MacKintosh married their heiress, early in the 14C. They received a charter confirming the patronage of the Lords of the Isles and to full entitlement to use the galley on any arms.

The Cross-Crosslet
      Came into use by the Clan Chattan, by marriage through the Celtic dynasty of the Earls of Mar, i.e., St Columba.
Ian Gillies


Dear Archy,
      I have recently visited my old family lands at Gleann Mór and Duchara, and my visit has brought this poem into being:

My western travels touch the heart
Of family in loth to part
With gentle rain upon my face
A breeze that whispers twas your race
This silent gleann was once a place
Of life and hope for Gods good grace.

Oh was the past an open book,
The pages moving for to look
Of ancestors about this place
Now mouldering ruins of a race
Where cold and hunger set the pace.

Yet memories of life abound
About this fallen silent mound,
Just look about you plain to see
The brooding hills the Loch a' Ghilles.

A raven sounds a distant call,
An eagle silent covers all,
Gleann Mór is here to see
If one has distant memory.

From Loch a' Phearsain to the mound
Duchara High, with mist surround
The burn where ancient ghosts abound
Where targe and sword defended ground
That now lies silent here around.

Chev: Iain C. L. Gillies, KtT, FSA, MIA "Iain Mac an Sgeulaiche"


To the Editor of Creag Dhubh,
     Some of our clansmen and clanswomen will recall my articles that appeared in the Creag Dhubh for 1986 and 1987. In them I deplored the sad state of the grave stones and general conditions that then prevailed in Kingussie", St Columba churchyard at that time. When I visit this site in August 1990, I was very gratified to find that great improvements had been made in both its appearance and the likelihood of its enduring for some time in the future. Compare the accompanying photo with the one that appeared with the 1987 article.

      Note that the birch and rowan saplings that were destroying the monument are gone and that the stonework has been repaired. Note also that the grass is neatly mowed and that no piles of brush cuttings are evident. Is this not a great improvement? To whom are we indebted for all this?

      In my 1986 report I issued a challenge to the young men and women of the clan to see to it that the resting places of our ancestors were not allowed to slip away from us through neglect. Had these good works resulted from that challenge? Later I discovered that this was in fact the case. On a weekend last Spring, members of the England and Wales Branch under the leadership of Jean Macpherson of Balavil had journeyed to Badenoch and had dared to defy the 'legend of the rowan tree' to remove it and the offending birches from the monuments as well as performing a thorough clean-up of the whole church yard. Furthermore, they had engaged a mason to accomplish the badly needed repairs.

      I would hope that all real clanspeople will join with me in congratulating them for rising to the challenge and thanking them for their initiative and hard work in preserving a location that is dear to us all.

Ruairidh (aka Roderick W. Clarke)


22 Roslin Way, Bromley, Kent BRI 4QT
2nd October 1990

Dear Archy,
      Whilst I have visited the Museum and Games at Newtonmore before as a normal visitor, this year was the first time, as a member of the Clan Macpherson Association, I attended all the functions except the AGM, ie Reception and Highland Ball. The Clan March and the Highland Games. The 'At Home' at the Museum. The Ceilidh. The Church service and tea with the Glentruims.

      In addition I was kindly invited to lunch at Glentruim House on the Sunday. I, as a Davidson, would like to thank all concerned for the excellent arrangements and the spirit in which I was greeted and accepted by the Clan Macpherson. It seems that 1386 (Battle of Invernahavon) and 1396 (Trial by Battle on the Inch at Perth) are all forgiven if not forgotten. I was also interested to see the Davidson Sword carried on the Clan March.

Thank you all once again.
Yours aye
Major (Retd) C. J. Davidson, MBE, RNO


"Glenfalloch", Western Australia

Dear Archy,
      The following will be of special interest to our Victorian cousins.
      During 1930-33 I was told in Glen Falloch and Glen Orchy by my Uncle Angus, during our buggy journeys between farms at Warrenbayne, and Warrenbayne West:

      "Glenfalloch" is the name of the home farm, and I remember him telling me that we had, ages past come from Glen Orchy and Glenfalloch.

      None of this I remembered until I started to research our family tree. Cousins Joan Pringle-Cook and Norman McPherson, both of Victoria, had given me assistance. I found that whilst the records registered the Black Isle and Skye, after the '45, there was no reference to Glenfalloch.

      But a lead was that several Buchanans, my fathers cousins, had emigrated to Australia at an earlier period than we had, and the Clan Country is near Glenfalloch (Howard Buchanan, in fact, became Australian manager for the Bank of Scotland).

      Chevalier Ian Gillies, our first WA Chairman, suggested that I search the old wills in the area. Margaret and I visited Register House and the following is the result.

      McGregor, John (alias John Campbell) and Gilbert McPherson, Fiars of Braiklie, wills 24.3.1720 and 24.3.1730. John McGregor (alias John Campbell) died l7th October 1707 and entry Number 14, recorded 23.3.1720, Glasgow journal, states that the Braiklie Estate was sold to the Earl of Breadalbane for 1000 merks (13/4d), 750 of which had to be paid to John Buchanan for amounts owing to him. The other will registered 24.3.1730 was presumably when Gilbert died.

      The Journal of Glasgow written in ink is fairly legible and states, in about two foolscap pages, that John MaGregor and Gilbert McPherson, Fiars of Braiklie, sometime in Glenarachie, thereafter in Ardlewis, both in the Parish of Arrochar and Tarbet etc.

      Further research could be carried out, such as the transfer of title to the Earl etc, but our time was limited. Perhaps interested Victorian members could pick up the baton.

Affectionately yours
Douglas McPherson

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Highland Regional Council Libraries Advertisement



      As to war did men of old
      cross the Corryarrick's fold,
      so from last year's splendid rally
      marched with Bruce a goodly tally
      of intrepid Clansmen types
      heartened by the skirling pipes
      over rock and Hill and bog
      led (they wrote) by "unknown dog".
      We must tell you that this pet
      is very very much upset.
      Angus brought the dog along
      to succour all, if things went wrong.
      Well aware of moor and hill
      is "unknown dog" from Balavil.
      Really he is very famous
      and his name is simply Seamas.

* In the last edition we showed a photograph of the Corryarrick expedition plus "unknown dog". Here is Angus and the dog on route, with an apologetic ode (straight from the pen of Ossian?).

England & Wales Branch
Chairman -- Mrs Tommy Macpherson, Balavil, Kingussie, Scotland PH21 1LU; Vice-Chairman and Treasurer -- George C. J. Macpherson; Hon Secretary -- Mrs Jerome LeRoy-Lewis, Flat 17, 169 Queenstown Road, London SW8 3RJ.

      Mrs Jean Macpherson chaired the Annual General Meeting, which was held on Tuesday, 15th May at the Royal Scottish Corporation. The evening was well attended by members and their guests and the buffet was supplied by our chairman.

      In the spring, volunteers from our branch spent a weekend at Balavil to work with local people, on the Mill Road Burial Ground, Kingussie's historic clan gravestones following an ultimatum by the District Council. Known as the Old Churchyard of St Columba's, in lovely April weather, restoration took place. (As recorded by Angus Macpherson, Banchor, in the following text).

      Our Annual Dinner Dance was held on Friday 2nd November at the Kensington Close Hotel. A record number of 145 tickets were sold for this happy family event. Cluny supplied the haggis, for the four course meal, and Chief Superintendent Ewan Macpherson was presented with a glass decanter, in appreciation of all he has done for the Branch. We wish him and his wife Margaret every happiness in their new life in Scotland.

      It was a special privilege that the Rev J. Fraser McLuskey came for the day from Edinburgh to say the grace. So many were delighted to see him that a queue formed! The Loyal Toast was given by Lord Macpherson of Drumochter, a previous chairman of the Association. It was marvellous to have him and Cathy amongst us again. Lord Strathcarron of Banchor proposed the toast of "The Clan" in a short and witty speech, to which Sir William Macpherson of Cluny replied at his sparkling best. Donald Macpherson eloquently addressed the haggis, piped in by Duncan Macpherson, Balavil. Annie LeRoy-Lewis and Angus Macpherson, Banchor, organised the raffle.


      Present for the first time were Guy Macpherson-Grant of Invereshie and Ballindalloch; Juliet Nicol of Ardmarnock; great grand daughter of the last chief to live at Cluny Castle and her mother Mrs Deirdre Nicol of Ardmarnock; and Col and Mrs Richard Spencer and their middle son Charles, representing the present family owning Cluny Castle and the estate.

      Andrew Gillies was the Master of Ceremonies and members and their guests enjoyed the evening dancing Scottish country dances and reels. jean Macpherson now ends three successful years as chairman -- the first time a wife and her husband have chaired the branch. The new chairman is Vic Macpherson Clifford, a well-known figure in the clan.


Clan Macpherson Association, South Land, Report 1990
Chairman -- Alex McPherson; Secretary -- Athole H. Macpherson, 164 Lewis Street, Invercargill, Southland.

      The Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday 6 June 1990, at the home of the current Chairman Mabel McPherson and incoming Chairman Alex at their home at Riverton with a small attendance.

      Alex McPherson of Riverton is our new Chairman. This is not his first term. Those folk who have copies of the 1956 magazine "Southland Number" will find a record of his family. Retired to the seaside town of Riverton, both Mabel and Alex remain keen Clansfolk and Alex keeps up his Scottish Country dancing and was one of the dancers who took part in our recent Scottish weekend.

      Our new banner was displayed for the first time at this Clan Gathering 1990, held 29/30 September. All Scottish societies in Invercargill assisted in the events which attracted a good attendance. It was a time for showing the young folk our heritage and we were encouraged by the family groups and their interest. Clan booths were the focus of great attention. The day was completed with a grand ceilidh and we looked forward to the parade to the Kirking on Sunday. This brought another very good attendance and was an impressive service with Duncan MacPherson being the organist. So favourable were comments made by the general public that we hope to repeat this service at some future date.

      As Clan Macpherson supplied the oatcakes for the ceilidh traditional supper it was interesting to note that most of us had mused on meals produced in traditional style by grandmothers. Though they had formed an important part of the supper, methinks the same oatcakes will not often be repeated in our homes.

      Unfortunately this successful gathering seemed to absorb the enthusiasm of folk so that our Pot Luck tea with Mabel and Alex at Riverton two weeks later was poorly attended. However, those of us present enjoyed congenial company and had a happy and amusing evening. Nellie Galt and Mabel entertained us well, but Paul Daniels need not fear that their ability will eclipse his.

      Also in the 1956 edition of our magazine is a photograph of Fairlight Station near the southern end of beautiful Lake Wakatipu and also a photograph of John McPherson of Fairlight who was our first Chief. Mr McPherson's widow Agnes celebrated her 100th birthday in the week of our Gathering and the opportunity was taken to visit her at the nursing home after our Kirking. Mrs MacPherson has a bright smile for visitors and is fortunate that her brother was able to be with her on her "big day" as well as other family members. Six of her family of seven survive.

      As well as attending to her busy household at Fairlight where son Jack farms today, Mrs McPherson, her daughter Margaret and Margaret's daughter Betty played the organ in the Garston Presbyterian Church for a total of 66 years.

      We sadly report the passing of Mrs Margaret Stevenson at the age of 89. Mrs Stevenson (tied Galt) was a very loyal Clan member and committee member who had


a lively interest in affairs both here and in Scotland. She visited Badenoch in 1977 for the May International Rally and was proud to have met Cluny at the Glentruim reception.

      Our very best wishes to all Clansfolk. To those who contributed to Creag Dhubh we express our thanks for reports of walks to places of interest and other articles which acquaint us with our Clan territory and genealogy.

      Our membership is 47.

Clan Macpherson Association, Canadian Branch

Chairman -- Mr Neil F. McPherson, 340 Wedgewood Drive, Oakville, Ontario, Canada. L6J 4R9; Secretary-Treasurer - Mrs Betty McPherson, 1295 Cumnock Crescent, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, L6J 2N6.

      We, here in the Dominion of Canada, have just finished a very interesting year's activities. The Annual General Meeting and Gathering was held again in the lovely setting of the Niagara region. This was a joint venture with United States branch being invited to participate. A goodly number took advantage and every one had a wonderful time according to all reports. One comment overheard was one that we shouldn't wait another ten years for such an affair. We had over 150 people in attendance.

      We were most happy to have Sir William and Lady Cluny with us from the Homeland. We also welcomed Ronnie and Betty Macpherson from Comrie and Sandy and his lady from Edinburgh. Haste ye back to everyone. Here we must say all the best to Stuart McPherson of Burlington for his untiring efforts to make the weekend such a success. Thanks Stuart, I knew you could do it.

      We are still trying to build up our membership from the many MacPhersons and related names that are residents here in our beautiful country. We have received several new members from the mailings done to the Vancouver BC area as wen as many enquiries as a result of our advertising in the Scottish Banner. We trust to have many more as a result of this news outlet.

      During the weekend there were several people doing family research and one who came from the very south west of the United States, was heard to be asking about a MacPherson family that came to Canada and settled at "Pea Straw Corners". Now there is a name for you researchers, by the way it is now called Kintore.

      Friday night was spent in reacquainting one another with the various new people as they arrived and small parties were seen to take place in several different rooms. The supreme court judge was not required to evict anyone.

      Saturday afternoon saw our business meetings take place while those who were interested, took in a tour of a local winery. Saturday evening was, of course, the main event with everything going according to Hoyle. All the events unfolded and when Cluny had greeted everyone, Lady Cluny was presented with a sterling silver Harp Gaelic Brooch.

      The menu for the Saturday's dinner was:

Haggis with Neeps and Tatties
Salad with Peach and Poppy Seed Dressing
Salmon with Baby Shrimp and Dill Sauce
Fresh Niagara Fruit Flan
Coffee or Tea

      As I am retiring as Hon Secretary-Treasurer this year, I would like to express my thanks for all the happy memories I take with me after my service and ask that you give the same help to the next one who is taking over.


Thank you all and all the best to all fellow Clansmen the world over.

Respectfully submitted.

Donald J. MacPherson, Retiring Secretary-Treasurer

Canadian Branch
Chairman -- Neil McPherson; Secretary-Treasurer -- E. G. MacPherson, 1295 Cumnock Cr, Oakville, Ontario L6J 2N6.

      The Canadian Branch Clan Macpherson Association held their 41st Annual General Meeting on 20th October in conjunction with the United States Branch at the Pillar and Post Inn in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The meeting was held Saturday afternoon, part of the activities for the three day rally. Neil McPherson, chairman of the Canadian Branch, and Kevin Gillespie, Chairman of the United States Branch, presided over the joint meeting. Highlighting both meeting and rally were the presence of the Chief Sir William and Lady Macpherson of Cluny.

      Over 150 clansmen registered for the rally on Friday afternoon. Later that evening there was a joint Chairman's reception followed by an excellent film on the Badenoch area produced by Munro Macpherson. Then a ceilidh with Rod Clark acting as fear-an-tigh was enjoyed by all present.

      Saturday evening, a formal reception was held prior to the banquet where we were received by Sir William and Lady Macpherson, International Chairman Sandy and Catherine Macpherson from Edinburgh, Canadian Chairman Neil and Myrna McPherson, and American Chairman Kevin and Susan Gillespie.

      Following the banquet we were entertained by some excellent Highland dances performed by a young group and a delightful selection of Scottish songs sung by Mrs Anne Ferguson.
      Sir William gave a short address and acknowledged the work done by Canadian Vice-chairman Stuart and Sylvia MacPherson in organising the rally.

      On Sunday morning, clansmen gathered at St Andrew Presbyterian Church for worship. Following the service, Macphersons made their farewells to each other.

      Ten years ago, the Canadian and United States branches had assembled at Niagara-on-the-Lake for a joint rally. Remarks from those in attendance at the rally would indicate that this tradition hopefully continues.

      A meeting of the Halifax Metro Branch was held at the Public Archives of Halifax Building on 6th May 1990. Following the general meeting an enjoyable evening was spent with entertainment by the Gillies Brothers.

South African Branch

Chairman -- Allan D. MacPherson; Vice-Chairman -- Kevin R. MacPherson; Secretary-Treasurer -- Terry MacPherson; Members of Committee -- Stuart MacPherson, Eric McPherson, Huntly MacPherson, Roderick MacPherson, David T. MacPherson Smith.

      We are very pleased to report that the South African Branch is up and going again. On Sunday 17th February the old stalwarts gathered together at Allan's home in Ferndale. And what a grand day it turned out to be.

      I looked out of the window at 8am and imagined I was back in the Highlands, it was pouring steady rain. By 9am it was just as heavy and I considered phoning everyone to postpone it. Then I remembered my promise to Cluny and Archy (Gilleasbuig) at the Clan Rally 1990, and said to my wife, "We are going ahead with the gathering come rain, snow, hurricanes whateverl! And my word I am pleased that we did.


By the time the first guests (the Cattanachs) arrived the rain had stopped. Heavy cloud but no more rain. And that's how it stayed, and remember that February in Africa can be pretty hot so the cloud cover is very welcome.

      Well what a great occasion. Allan had organised two accordionists, a Scottish Country Dance team of eight, a piper and a very large haggis with an excellent speaker to address it. The accordionists played virtually non-stop from 12.30 to 5am and this provided us with just the right atmosphere as they strolled around the beautiful garden playing tune after tune of haunting Scottish melodies. Then Sheena Darroch and her team entertained us with a fine display of Country Dancing, including the "Dashing White Sergeant". After several dances many of us joined in and had great fun. Next on the programme was the "Toast to the Chief', this was proposed by Kevin MacPherson (Allan's son) and we all proudly raised our glasses to Cluny, "Slainte Mhath, Chluanaidh!" Then it was time for the haggis to arrive. The procession marched in led by the piper Allan Nesbitt, a member of the "Transvaal Scottish Regiment". He was followed by the haggis bearer, Graeme MacPherson (Allan's eldest grandson) and the bearer of the whisky, Terry MacPherson (Allan's daughter-in-law). The address was given by Scott McRae (many years ago he used to entertain at the Balavil Arms Hotel in Newtonmore) and this was outstanding, showing great enthusiasm, animated expression and the right accent. Later he gave an exuberant rendering of "Tam o' Shanter", much enjoyed by all especially by Allan's wife Terry. Terry suffered a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage in September and was in intensive care for 18 days. Thanks to the Lord and her wonderful, indomitable spirit and determination, she is steadily improving and able to walk slowly and with the aid of a quadtripod stick. Moving among the guests in her wheelchair did her a lot of good. It was good to see the Clan members again, especially Stuart (the founder of the South African Branch). He enjoyed himself immensely and was last to leave. All in all a wonderful day for the Clan, from the youngest member Cameron MacPherson (Allan's youngest grandson) to the oldest, Ian Macpherson!! We send out best wishes and greetings to Cluny, the Clans in Scotland and all over the world.

Western Australian Branch

Chairman -- Douglas; Secretary -- Margaret.

      Margaret and I attended the 1990 Rally, which was generally accepted to be the best yet, not only because of the great attendance, but because of the large number of younger members at the Ball and at the Games. In fact one family broke Dan Gillies record!

      I was told at the information centre that there would have been a greater attendance had there been more accommodation available. So book early through the Tourist Office at Kingussie.

      The afternoon tea at Glentruim Castle was as welcoming as ever, and the Sunday Service at Kingussie was filled to capacity.

      We thank Chairman Sandy and the committee for the arrangements, and Cluny and Lady Macpherson for their warm and affectionate welcome.

God bless you all.

Chevalier Douglas McPherson, KT, FSA

The Gaelic Society of New Zealand
      The story of Scottish settlement of New Zealand is well documented. It falls into three different categories, being firstly the planned settlement of Otago based on Dunedin, but later to extend into Southland where the urban centre is Invercargill, secondly McLeod-inspired Highland settlement of Waipu in North Auckland which came via Nova Scotia, and thirdly the haphazard immigration which occurred when


The contributor, Mr J. 0. Macpherson of Dunedin, New Zealand, at the combined Clan's Gathering on 30th September 1990. The photo is taken outside First Church, where a Kirking, of the Tartan ceremony was held. Clan Macpherson, Southland Branch, was well represented.

the country had started to develop. The first was in 1848 and it is we'll documented that this was church-based and lowland in character. The second settlement at Waipu also has its origin in religious fervour, but obviously would be Highland dominated where Gaelic was the commonly spoken language. Later the third wave of migrants to build up the population was attracted by prosperity in the south and in this movement were many Highlanders where Gaelic was a common spoken tongue. Because of native unrest in the North the bulk of this influx came to Dunedin, spreading to Invercargill because of the dominant effect which the discovery of gold had in 1861 and the economic effect of this over the next 20 years.

      So much was Gaelic a recognised spoken language that in 1880 some 70 members of


the First Presbyterian Church walked out in protest at the proposed installation of a pipe organ and formed their own church, known as the Chalmers Church. This was housed in Smith Street in Dunedin city, had Gaelic-speaking Free Church ministers and was active until well into this century. Probably it was this same group which in 1881 formed the Gaelic Society of New Zealand, which has functioned continuously from that time. The men who were chosen as Chief were noted public figures and in the first 20 years included Dr J. A. Menzies, Superintendent of Southland provincial region, Dr Stuart, much loved minister of Knox Church and Sir John Mackenzie.

      From the history of the Society, compiled a few years back by Dr Evelyn Entwistle, it is evident that there has been membership from Clan Macpherson. By far the longest serving Chief was Dougald McPherson who held this position from 1901 to 1922. He was born in Kintyre in 1846 and after being in the drapery trade in South Wales, he formed a partnership with a Mr Kemp to trade as wholesale confectioners as McPherson Kemp & Co, a firm which he was to bring to New Zealand and indeed is one which is still trading, 106 years after being brought to New Zealand. Dougald was a bachelor and it was this which obviously gave him the time to devote to so many bodies of which he would usually play a dominant role. Among his many presidencies were the Caledonian Society and the Burns Club, again bodies which are stiff thriving. Indeed there are not too many English-speaking cities which do not honour Robbie Burns.

      With the effluxion of time, Gaelic has ceased to be a common tongue in our midst, and in Dunedin, a city of some 100,000 souls, six only native Gaelic speakers are known and these are old people who today rarely attend our ceilidhean.

      The Society is making strenuous efforts to have the language taught, and indeed have a very active learning nest. It is very encouraging to report that there is also active interest in other parts of New Zealand, particularly in Christchurch and in Auckland where there is a particularly strong movement headed by George Halliday who publishes a monthly Gaelic magazine "Tinne".

      And this contributor is proud to have assumed the role of Chief of The Gaelic Society of New Zealand, a body whose aim has always been the dissemination of Gaelic culture and the keeping alive of the language.

J. 0. Macpherson

By Rory Mor

      My expedition of the heart for 1990 took me to Glendale on the northwest tip of the Island of Skye. The purpose of my journey was a visit to the site where John Macpherson led the local crofters to resist the efforts of the land owners to deprive them of their rights just over a 100 years ago. Although I accomplished my objective, the journey resulted in findings which I judge to be worth far more than what I was seeking and that's what serendipity is all about.

The Crofters' War       For his efforts, this stalwart Macpherson was imprisoned in Edinburgh's Calton Hill jail but he also gained the total admiration of the Highland people. The press hailed him as the Martyr of Skye. Considering what happened to some other saints, the term 'Martyr' may be too strong a term in the case of John Macpherson because he and the others convicted with him -- Donald Macleod and John Morrison -- were in jail for only two months, dined on catered food brought in from a nearby hotel and were entertained by nightly bagpipe concerts conducted by local supporters of the cause. When released, they came home to a hero's welcome of blazing bonfires in the


hills and flags flying in Portree. Moreover, John Macpherson was the first person testify before the Royal Commission headed by Lord Napier.

      The Napier Commission had been established to investigate the great unrest that had existed for many years in the Highlands and widespread agitation in the cities support of the crofters' point of view. Their report led to the Crofters' Holding Act 1886 that guaranteed the crofters the 3 F's that they struggled so long to achieve fixed tenure as long as they paid their rents, fair rents set by a crofters' commission and free sale or compensation for improvements made by the crofter when he gave his croft or was removed.

      The story of the crofters of Skye who fought back rather than be cleared from the lands is told far more eloquently by I. M. M. MacPhail in his book The Crofter War'(Acair, 1989).1 The book crowns MacPhail's long and distinguished career a! historian, teacher, genealogist, mountaineer and athlete who made his mark in ma areas of Scottish life. But as informative as his account is, it did not provide mu insight on the nature and background of John Macpherson. I wanted to learn more about him and the Skye Macphersons of whom little has been written in these pages. What was their connection with the Macphersons of Badenoch? Were they descendents of the 'Red Parson' (see Posterity of the Three Bretheren by Alan G. Macpherson) or had some of them emigrated from Badenoch at an earlier time?

      Rather than seeking this knowledge solely in the library, I decided to visit Glendale for a first-hand view of things. Quite by coincidence, I mentioned by impending journey to Tom McPherson of Valparaiso, Indiana, at the 1990 Gathering in Badenoch "Oh", he said, "we were there just last week. In fact, I purchased a little pamphlet there that tells all about him." He promptly went to his room and return with it, insisting that I take it with me. I protested but then, thinking better of it did take it. I'm happy that I did because I could not find a copy on Skye though I inquired about it in many places.

The Memorial Cairn
      The title of the pamphlet is 'Oration' by Dr Charles D. Ferguson, MBE, JP. The name of the publisher is not given but a subtitle states that it is a 'Centenery Reprint, 1886-1986' suggesting that it commemorates the Crofters' Holdings Act. The oration itself was given at the unveiling of the Memorial Cairn to the Glendale Land Leaguers at Colbost Hill on 25 July 1970. In addition, the pamphlet provides short biographies of John MacPherson, and the Reverend Donald MacCallum who was imprisoned in Portree for his stand on behalf of the crofters, an assessment of the affair by The Celtic Magazine of June 1883 and several photographs of the notables present at the unveiling of the Cairn. Among these is the late John Macpherson, grandson of 'The Glendale Martyr' blowing the original rallying horn used to assemble the crofters of the time.

      Dr Ferguson was also a grandson of the Martyr. His oration that day was short considering the occasion's importance yet too long to give more than a few highlights

1My review of The Crofters' War appeared in the Summer 1990 issue of The Urlar. A copy will be provided to anyone who writes me.

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here. He likened John Macpherson's achievements with that of the Bruce at Bannockburn. He went on to say that "attempts have been made and are being made, through oblique and devious means, to influence the Highlanders, to forget the Land Leaguers and to brush aside the atrocities and barbaric cruelties inflicted on the Highlanders . . . over a period of over 100 years. CAN YOU FORGET? Can the world forget Hitler's atrocities? The Jews forget Buchenwald? Can the Macdonalds forget Glencoe? There are some events in history that defy oblivion, and the Highland Clearances is one of them."

      He went on to ask, "What inspired those martyrs to take up the cudgels against oppression after suffering so long?" His answer was "the hunger for human dignity, for freedom and for justice. Protest is not only right at times but an obligation. The martyrs' leadership and stand, was not only brave but heroic. To remember them is an obligation and a duty. It would be a cosy and ungrateful attitude to their sacrifices, if their efforts and achievements were forgotten."

      Many of these thoughts were in my mind as my son, Peter and I drove westward toward Glendale that August day. Skirting the shore of the sea loch that separates Dunvegan from Glendale, we climbed Colbost Hill and just as we reached the crest we saw the Cairn to the right of the road surrounded by a wire mesh fence, presumably to ward off the sheep who were much in evidence on the nearby braes. The carved granite plaque set into the Cairn tells the story in simple but eloquent terms. But who were these men?

The Martyrs of Glendale
      In an article by Hector R. Mackenzie that appeared in the September 1885 issue of The Celtic Magazine we learn that the "men of Glendale are without doubt the finest looking fellows I have come in contact with. The majority are tall and broad shouldered. They are industrious, well clothed and courteous to strangers. John Macpherson ... is a broad shouldered, hairy-looking Celt with a bushy brown beard just tinged with grey. His forehead betokens considerable brain power, his eyes are brimful of intelligence and his hard-set chin and firm lips denote decision of character." Mackenzie goes on to say, "But, it is as a speaker that John Macpherson is at his best. When thundering forth his denunciations of the oppressor and the tyrant to an enthusiastic audience of his own countrymen. At one moment, rousing them to the highest pitch with some faithfully drawn picture of wrongs suffered by the people; at another causing roars of merriment by some apt smile or well aimed hit. It is then that one can fully appreciate the power that Macpherson possesses over the minds of his fellow Highlanders."

      Other information gleaned from the pamphlet tells us that John Macpherson was born about 1840 in Milivaig just to the west of Glendale village. He belonged to a talented family, being the nephew of Donald MacLeod, 'Domhnall nan Oran - Donald of the Songs', widely known as the Skye Bard and who was father of the poets Neil and John. His wife was sister of the scientist and literary figure Professor Magnus MacLean of Glasgow University who also came from Glendale. They had seven children. John Macpherson had an extensive merchant's business and was pier


master of Pooltiel (at the head of which is Glendale). He was a leading elder of the United Free Church before it joined the Church of Scotland but "had no time for narrow sectarianism which had bedeviled the Highlands and Skye." He died around 1920 at Glendale.

      Reverend Donald MacCallum was minister in Dunvegan's parish of Waternish in the 1880s. It was during this time that he came to national attention for the counsel and services he gave to the crofters. As a result of his activities he was imprisoned in Portree for a few days but never brought to trial. After years of service in other parishes on Tiree and Lewis, he retired to Glendale to be with his friend John Macpherson who he admired greatly. He believed Macpherson to be the most renowned crofter in the Highlands and wrote that "No man was ever raised to eminence, who to a greater extent, justified those who raised him than he. While never losing the simplicity of the lowliest crofter, he carried the dignity of the noblest lord ... in religion, knowledge, conduct he is absolutely satisfied with the inheritance left to him by his forefathers, but his soul being pure, his vision clear, his hands clean, oppression roused his wrath, and he saw how the weak were held in bondage by the strong and their chains were as the withes that bound Samson . . ."

      The other two martyrs are now only names. According to the pamphlet's author, nothing more is known about Donald MacLeod and John Morrison apart from the fact that they wholeheartedly followed their leaders, and took the risks incumbent on their action and paid the price for their actions.

Glendale Today
      Glendale village is only a few miles west of the Cairn. Apart from a few homes it consists of a general store/petrol station and a gift shop that is also the post office. We stopped at the store to acquire a copy of the 'Oration' pamphlet and determine if there were any Macphersons living nearby. Imagine my surprise when the woman who owned the store responded to my questions in a very English (rather than Scottish) accent. The same thing happened at the post office. It turns out that a major component of the Glendale population today is English. As a professor from an English University who has had a holiday home there for many years later told me, "when the crofters won the right to buy their land they also won the right to sell it."

      The professor was attempting to mow some very long grass on his front lawn, and although the rain was coming down fairly steadily, he seemed glad to pause from his chores. His description of local conditions was both extensive and interesting. The gist of his story was that in the 1950s, many of the crofters sold their holdings and moved south. The buyers were people from the south who, perhaps having read Lillian Beckwith's tales of the Hebrides, sought to exchange the complexities of urban life for what they imagined to be the simpler lifestyle of Glendale. Now the direction of movement is beginning to reverse with the Glendalachs coming home and the Sassenachs returning south. For example, the woman that runs the gift shop/post office told me that her shop has been on the market for over a year.

Meet George Macpherson
      The storekeeper told me about George Macpherson of Fasach who runs a ceilidh in the church hall twice a week. She led me outside the store and pointed up to a line of homes on a ridge to the south. "His home is the one with the skylights on the roof," she said. It turned out that Fasach is a very rough road that runs above the houses so that one can't see the front-facing skylights from the road. To get to the houses one has to descend very steep and winding driveways and this is how I happened to meet the professor. In addition to his information he told me that George lived two more houses further along.

      After descending the steep driveway to a neat, modern house, the two perfect strangers from America were greeted by George and Morag Macpherson with all the


warmth, courtesy and hospitality that has long been the hallmark of the Highlands. After explaining my quest we were shown into their front room that looks down on the village away to the north. Mrs Macpherson provided us with coffee and biscuits while George patiently answered my many questions.

      George matches the description of John Macpherson given above to a large degree. This should not be surprising because he's the Martyr's great grandnephew. Born and raised in Glendale he left Skye to follow his fortune at several lines or work including joiner, photographer and fire fighter. Only a few years ago he retired from the fire brigade at Barhead, Argyle, where he was in charge of fire prevention activities. Returning to Glendale he took up crofting but spends much of his time in scholarly pursuits which are very impressive. Among these is a book about John Macpherson which is now out of print and a soon-to-be-published book that deals with the place names mentioned in the ancient Celtic legends and the present day geography of the Island of Skye. In addition he has lectured at the School of Scottish Studies of the University of Edinburgh on this subject.

The Macphersons of Glendale
      When asked about the origin of the Glendale Macphersons he told us of the party of Badenoch Macphersons who came to Skye around 1450 as a personal bodyguard for the Chief of Clan MacLeod. They participated in the Battle of Glendale between the MacLeods and the MacDonalds in 1490 at which the famous 'fairy flag' was first unfurled resulting in a MacLeod victory. As a result of their valor, the Macphersons were granted land in Glendale and became the flag's bannermen from then on. When I asked him what evidence he had to support this tradition, he responded that Dame Flora MacLeod, late Chief of Clan MacLeod, had told him of a contract that she had seen that was executed between her ancestor and Cluny Macpherson that provided for the bodyguard.

      George went on to tell of yet stronger evidence of a Badenoch origin for his ancestors. Among today's people of Glendale, the Macphersons are divided into two groups -- 'canachs' and 'cluanaidhs'. The former is easily recognisable as a contraction of 'cattanach', a general term for all Macphersons stemming from their origins as 'People of the blood' of Clan Chattan in contrast to the Mackintoshes who were relatively latecomers. The name of the second group is also easily recognisable in that it is the Gaelic name for Cluny, the name that is used on the Association badge. The local tradition is that the latter group is descended from two men of the original immigrant group who were cadets of the Cluny branch of the family. Clearly, these Macphersons 'were of the blood'.

      For a full two hours our discussion ranged over a wide range of topics. Although still feeling welcome to stay longer and entranced by the wealth of information that my host had to impart, I reluctantly excused myself for an appointment I had that afternoon at the other end of Skye. In the course of the conversation, George had said that he was not familiar with the Association. To acquaint him with some of the benefits, I gave him my copy of Creag Dhubh and urged him to join with us and share


his great knowledge of the Macphersons of Skye with the rest of his cousins by writing some articles.       Thanking our host for their hospitality and bidding them goodbye, we climbed up the drive to the car. As I climbed I thought, "I can hardly wait to read George's first article. This had really been serendipity."

Mr Gavin K. Macpherson of Leeds, West Yorkshire, has been elected President of the Association of junior Chamber International Senators in Europe for 1990-1991.

      The JCI Senate is the elite International Association of former National and International officers of the junior Chambers of Commerce. Gavin Macpherson was President of the Leeds Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1972, the National VicePresident of the British junior Chambers of Commerce in 1973.

      He is a partner in GKM Estates of Harrogate, a member of the Council of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a member of the Leeds Western Health Authority, a Governor of Moorlands School in Leeds and a former Chairman of the British Institute of Management, Leeds and Central Yorkshire Branch.

      By a happy coincidence, the Annual European Conference of the International junior Chambers was held in Aviemore in June 1990. Gavin was elected president at the Annual Meeting of the Association held at the Coylumbridge Hotel.

      It is a position which will take him and his wife, Jeane, to every country in Europe at least once during the period of his Presidency.

      Gavin Macpherson is the great grandson of Baillie John Macpherson of Edinburgh, owner of the old Cockburn Hotel on Waverley Street, and a member of Edinburgh City Council for the St Giles Ward from 1887 to 1895.


The legs of Hollywood star Betty Grable were once insured for $250,000. But in America the nose of Evan Cattanach, from Speyside, is worth four times that much.

      He is whisky noser and distillery manager for Cardhu, near Elgin, and the Yanks consider his nose so crucial they have it insured for a million dollars through Lloyd's of London whenever he travels to America.

      Yet Cattanach, 55, insists no one in his family back in Scotland knew about his policy, not even his wife in Knockando, nor his son-in-law Calum. Macdonald of rock group Runrig -- until now.

      "But mine is quite normal," protests the Kingussie-born man who always wears a kilt. "It's not long, it's not narrow, It's not hooked. It's just a fairly ordinary sort."

      What of the fact 'that Betty Grable's legs were worth a quarter of his snout? "There's far more of her legs than of my nose," he said, "but that's inflation."

      Cattanach's day-to-day nose job back on Speyside is nothing to sniff at. He oversees the quality of one million bottles of single malt every year at the 166-year-old distillery. A single scent of 127' proof whisky early in the production process can ten him if a batch is up to scratch.

      His solution for slight ailments such as colds or flu, is more predictable: a whiff of whisky eliminates the congestion, he said.

      For a noser, Cattanach spends a great deal of time on the road. He is off soon to Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

      The 6-ft 1-in kilt-wearer is a curiosity in much of the world. When rushing to catch a lift in Japan he remembers the female operator shouting: "No hurry madam, no hurry madam. "

      She looked up aghast as Cattanach strode across the carpet, and bowed in apology. he chuckled: "With my hairy legs, she must have thought, what a woman!"

By Richard D. Barnes, Area Representative for Utah
      This past year has been a good one for our clan here in Utah. In September of 1989, Richard David Barnes was named Area Representative for Utah by US Branch Chairman Kevin Rand Gillespie, which allowed our clan to be represented for the first time at the annual Kirkin' o' the Tartan held the last Sunday in October at First Presbyterian Church on South Temple and 'C' Street in Salt Lake City, Utah. A non-denominational Service, this is one of the high points of the year for all Utah Scots. In 1989, over a dozen clans were represented, and more than 20 are expected to present their "rugs" in 1990.

      At Kirkin' time, alliances and friendships are strengthened as clan leaders meet for a rehearsal and informal lunch the day before. Future parties and gatherings are arranged where we learn our history through the songs and poetry of Scotia, and new leaders learn what it takes to strengthen their clans from those with more experience.

      One such man is Dub Phillips. Commissioner for Clan Donald, and former Chairman of the Utah Scottish Association. At the Kirkin' he invited Richard Barnes to a Clan Donald pot-luck dinner at the home of Betty Saunders (who graciously loaned Richard a Macpherson Red Kilt once owned by her deceased husband to wear at the Tartan Ball in November and also encouraged him to buy one of his own -- which he eventually did (Macpherson Hunting) where he was adopted as an honourary member of the Clan Donald, and the coming of the "Black Watch" bagpipers to Odgen was discussed.


Kevin Rand Gillespie and D. S. Macpherson Grandfield have also provided helpful information through telephone conversations and luncheon meetings as travel plans permit.


      At the Black Watch performance, a man named Dr John Greenlee was wise enough to wear his Macpherson Red necktie. Richard Barnes saw it, stopped him in the crowd, and was introduced to his wife Annabelle, and his son John Wyatt. They exchanged addresses, and have been enjoying each other's company ever since! The Greenlees also have two daughters named Harriet and Margaret, both of whom are exceptional long-distance runners used to winning races. John Wyatt has a gift for music, and has composed several pieces for the piano. The Greenlee's have also taken UP Scottish Country Dancing and have performed on numerous occasions. Richard Barnes is working at becoming a piper under the tutoring of David Barcley, but is still on the chanter.

      A few of our clan events have been these: We attended the Utah Scottish Association's Tartan Ball in November of 1989 and Burns Night supper in January of 1990. We hosted a New Year's Eve party where Mr and Mrs Dub Phillips were our special guests and we found out what a great guitar player Dr Greenlee is, especially when John Wyatt accompanies him. Kevin Gillespie's New Year's message and singing of Macpherson's Lament/Rant with his friends added a lot to the gathering as well!

      On St Patrick's Day John, John Wyatt and Richard joined Clan Donald in marching down Main Street in Salt Lake City for the annual parade (the second largest of the year in Salt Lake, and the fifth largest St Patrick's Day Parade in the US) while Margaret ran a road race and joined us at the end to cheer us on, as did her mother Annabelle.

      April 21st brought the annual John Muir (a famous Scottish-American naturalist) birthday party at Brighton Ski Resort in the mountains east of Salt Lake City and a blizzard that dropped over a foot of fresh powder on the gravel/mud parking lot. It was quite a scene! As we sat in our heated cars and trucks wondering what to do, Mark Hunter Madsen of Clan Hunter struggled through the storm in his full kilt and tartan robe with a friend or two in what looked like a scene from "Glencoe", and three dedicated pipers from the Salt Lake Scots came by with cross-country ski equipment and snowshoes.


The party later re-convened at the home of Country Dance Instructor Gail Cordy in the Salt Lake Valley where the weather was clear and warm, and we still managed to have fun. We later re-scheduled the party for September, and nearly a 100 people attended the festivities.

      June brought the Highland Games, where nine piping bands, 50 vendors and over 5000 spectators rallied for a gathering of the clans at the Jordan River Parkway at North Temple and Redwood Road just two miles west of downtown Salt Lake City and five minutes east of the Salt Lake International Airport. Here raised a Clan Macpherson hospitality tent where Annabelle Greenlee's scones were very popular, and several Macphersons signed our register. Brittany and Matt Cornia also stopped by wearing Macpherson Red kilts of ancient design, complete with claymore and shields. This pair was even featured on the local television news, and ran a Macpherson tent near Cedar City at their games in July.

      July 24th brought the Pioneer Day Parade. Here, Richard D. Barnes marched with the Utah Pipe Band, Harriet Greenlee qualified for the Boston Marathon by being the ninth fastest woman in the Deseret News Marathon, and Margaret Greenlee did well in the 10k race.

      Also this past summer, Dr John Greenlee was named District Chairman for Salt Lake and Second Counsellor for Utah, Margaret Greenlee was named Clan Historian for Utah, Dr Richard P. Barners was named First Counsellor for Utah, and John Wyatt Greenlee was named as Music Director for Utah.

      Richard D. Barnes also travelled to Scotland where he bought a kilt at the House of Macpherson, toured the Highlands by rail and foot (including Kingussie and Newtonmore) and was privileged to meet Sir William and Lady Sheila at Newton Castle. In all, he says that he has found no better hospitality anywhere than in Scotland, and would like to return for the Rally some day.

      For now, we are planning to rally at the Scottish Festival held the night before the Kirkin' this coming Saturday for refreshments, dinner and a programme.

Until next year. Scots Aye.

Richard D. Barnes
389 West 100 South Bountiful, Utah 84010
(801) 295-5762


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Treasurer's Report


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