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they did to ensure that the meetings were efficient and that all the social side was so enjoyable. San Francisco Chinatown will not be the same since we all marched, or at least walked, to the joys of Italian dinner and American burlesque through its midst! Before the great weekend we were ourselves delighted to be with Lillian Rouse in Watsonville, and with many members of that splendid part of our Clan which seems to run Santa Cruz and its environs! We send good wishes to Roger and Ruth Dennis, with whom we stayed, who are now in Russia as members of the Peace Corps for a stay of two years. Such is the spread of the influence of CMA!

      The final event to mention is the Northern Meeting Piping Competition held in Inverness in September, which was this year sponsored by our Clan. I am most grateful to those who supported us there. It is fitting that Pipe Major Gillies, Queen's Own Highlanders, should have carried off major prizes.

      We all send our good wishes for 1993, and hope to see many of you at the August Badenoch Gathering. We also look forward with much anticipation to the USA AGM which is this year to be held at McPherson, Kansas, 24-26 September 1993. Why not join us in this visit to the prairies, and the hometown of General "Birdseye" Macpherson?

      Finally, I would personally like to record our most grateful thanks to the United States and Canadian Branches for their wonderful initiative in raising such splendid sums to buttress the finances of our Museum. Rod Clarke's imaginative scheme, together with the Canadian contribution, have done so much in this regard in 1992. Let us follow their example.


      The Editor of our Clan journal has very kindly invited me to say a few words to the members of the Clan Association, following the precedent established by our immediate Past-Chairman, Sandy.

      I must, of course, begin by saying what a marvellous time we had at last year's Rally! This was the first opportunity in 18 years that my wife and I were able to again join our fellow clansfolk at a gathering in the Macpherson country and we are most grateful to the organisers who made the Rally such a successful and happy event. We must also express our warm appreciation for the unsurpassed Highland hospitality we enjoyed during our visit and we returned to Canada not only with many pleasant memories but with renewed enthusiasm to further the aims and objectives of the Clan Association.

      For those of you who have not as yet managed a trip to Newtonmore at Rally time, let me encourage you to plan now to attend at the earliest opportunity. A warm welcome awaits you.

      In September we were privileged to attend the US Branch Annual Gathering in Chicago and what a splendid and enjoyable occasion it was. I'm sure the local citizens must have been impressed to see the Clan, led by Cluny and a piper, marching down Michigan Avenue.

      I would like to remind our newer members of two Clan booklets, published by the Clan History Fund and available from the Curator, Clan Macpherson Museum. I refer to our Clan History, "The Posterity of the Three Brethren" by Alan G. Macpherson, and Part I of "Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands" by Alexander Macpherson. I understand that there are only about 100 copies of the "Posterity" left and this is certainly a book that every clansman and clanswoman will wish to have.

      May I conclude by sending good wishes and greetings to all our members everywhere with the hope that we may meet in Badenoch in 1993.



      The 47th Rally will be held in Kingussie and Newtonmore between 6th August and 8th August 1993, 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 approx 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.

      Before the Ceilidh it is hoped to have a fork supper in the Duke of Gordon Hotel.

      Following the Monday expeditions on foot to places of interest as in previous years, provided there is sufficient support, there will be a Monday walk in the Badenoch area.


      Only three years to go until we celebrate the 50th Annual Clan Rally (1947-1996)! The count down had been officially started and a small Steering Group to consider how the Association should celebrate the event has been formed. It consists of Ewen (ViceChairman), Anne (London), Andy (Durham), Bruce (Edinburgh) and Robert (Perthshire).

      Just how the Association should mark this important milestone in its history is very much in the 'melting pot'. It could possibly take the form of one large event and/or a number of smaller affairs. Several suggestions have already been received and the Steering Group would be delighted to receive any comments and proposals that you may have. The 250th anniversary of Cluny's cave also occurs in 1996 in our Golden jubilee year will make the year very special to the Clan.

      The Golden jubilee will certainly form the theme for the 1996 Rally. If you have been thinking about attending a Rally for some time and have not actually got around to it -- why not start planning now. Suggestions for events and exhibitions should be forwarded to any of the Steering Group or to the address below. Please do not hesitate in contributing to this. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Talla-Shee, Straloch, Enochdhu,
by Blairgowrie, Perthshire PHIO 7PH.

      Television today pervades all of our homes and finds itself forced ever onward to satisfy this force which, like a monster, is for ever on the rampage searching for more to consume.

      This highly opinionative medium is always telling us conclusions and providing proof of this and that. Recently they were, for once, baffled. It was a programme attempting to contrast a rural and an urban environment on the question of the constitutional future of Scotland.

      Fair enough, they started confidently in Possilpark, a not particularly prosperous part of Glasgow. The TV programme makers got pretty much what they had expected. Then they came a cropper. They chose Duart Castle in Mull as their rural community in contrast.

      The occasion was a Clan MacLean Rally. MacLeans from all over the world, most bekilted and almost all sporting MacLean tartan in some form.

      Yet the TV boys could scarcely get almost any one of these MacLeans to discuss the basis of their programme. In desperation they demanded, point blank, the chief of the MacLeans on his political beliefs. Every viewer could see from the chief's took of astonishment at such a question that it was a hopelessly irrelevant, inappropriate thing to ask in the circumstances.

      Why so? Because this was not a gathering for any political purpose. It was a family reunion from every quarter of the world. Many had come because their ancestors, generations back, had fled or left their native land or had been driven out of the ancestral lands of the clan.

      The television crew were clearly confused and puzzled. It had not been understood that here was a family drawn together by ancestry and marriage from the ends of the earth. Their father was their Chief. How else could it be? These clansfolk were walking on the land where their forebears had tread. About them were the fields, the rivers and the mountains that had been familiar to their own flesh and blood. They were amongst their cousins. Many had come across the oceans to be there.

      But the MacLeans are not the only family or clan. About a hundred miles to the North-East, under the shadow of Creag Dhubh, are the lands of another family -- ours. We may not be related in any way to Clan MacLean but like them we are a family united


in the same way. Ours are the same hopes and fears. We struggle to keep our family, our Clan Association, ever onward and we go to all lengths to get to the annual family gathering -- the Rally.

      Every year we have our Rally in Kingussie and Newtonmore with our own Chief in our midst to inspire us. This is our family reunion -- we are all cousins to some degree. Such gatherings go back to the very earliest of days.

      Attendance at our Clan Macpherson Rally once in a lifetime is an unforgettable event. But if health and resources allow, coming every year without fail then the prize is worth more than fine gold. Why? Because year after year we get to know our cousins as we ought and our children get to know those of their own age who one day will have to take on the welcome obligation of strengthening and running our world-wide family of the Clan Macpherson Association.

      Every Rally has a superficial resemblance to those of the past and yet each has its own individuality. Every time it is an all too short adventure where old friends are met again and cousins we never knew existed hove to. Over the years there are those we look forward to seeing again.

      Bi sinn gur faicinn ann -- we'll be seeing you there!



To the Clan Macpherson has been given the honour of being the Clan Sponsor of the 1992 Northern Meeting Piping Competitions

      I am doubly delighted that this is so because I have the privilege of being both Chief of Clan Macpherson and (for the present) President of the Highland Society of London. The Society has a very long association with the Northern Meeting, which is, of course, signalled each year upon the presentation of the Society's Gold Medal for Piobaireachd. The first such Gold Medal was awarded in 1887.

      In 1886 Malcolm Macpherson, piper to Cluny Macpherson at Cluny Castle, won the Prize Pipe (the predecessor of the Gold Medal). Calum Piobair, as he was generally known, thus set up a Clan and family tradition, because two of his sons, John and Angus, won the Gold Medal in 1920 and 1923 respectively. And Angus' son Malcolm won the Medal in 1927 and the Clasp in 1930 and 1937. Such is the bare history of that great piping family from Badenoch, the heartland of Macpherson territory. Nobody associated with the Northern Meeting needs to be reminded of Angus' contribution over many decades to piping and judging all over Scotland. He lived to be over 100 years old, and was until the end a notable and beloved figure in the piping world And amongst his fellow clansmen. During his lifetime he was a piper to Cluny, and also to Andrew Carnegie at Skibo. Later he was host at his own hotel at Inveran. Many are the memories of this famed piper and of his family. The hospitality of Angus and his lady is immortalised in that most tuneful of reels "Mrs Macpherson of Inveran".

      After the Second World War there came onto the piping scene Donald Macpherson, now of Balbeggie in Perthshire. Donald won the Gold Medal in 1954, and he has won no less than nine Clasps. He has also won the Senior Piobaireachd event at Oban on fifteen occasions. A great record from a superb piper. Donald's immaculate technique, tone and musicianship have rightly earned him worldwide fame. He has the remarkable distinction of winning both the Gold Medal and the Clasp on the same day in 1954.

      Another more modern connection with the Clan comes through Sheriff Sandy Macpherson, a distinguished judge both in legal and piping fields of the present day. No doubt the example of these clansmen will encourage others from the Clan and its septs to try to follow


in their footsteps! Playing all the famous Macpherson tunes in Ceol Mor and Ceol Beg. In this context I was myself recently honoured by Pipe Major John Roe (Scots Guards) who composed a new tune called "Sir William Macpherson of Cluny" which he played at a recent meeting of the Highland Society of London. John is piping tutor to my own son-in-law, so who knows but that a member of my own immediate family may not one day play at Inverness! Another more recent composition was that of Pipe Major George Stoddart, who composed "Lady Stewart Macpherson's 100th Birthday", to celebrate that fine Highland lady's Centenary fifteen years ago.

      The Macpherson Clan stems from Badenoch and the upper waters of the Spey. There they prospered in peace and in war under successive Chiefs who bore the style or title of "Cluny Macpherson". From there in 1745 went several hundred men of the Clan to fight with the Prince. And when they returned they hid and cherished their Chief, Ewan of Cluny, for nine years in caves and in their own homes and in the famous Ben Alder "cage" until he too left the Highlands for France. Eventually the Cluny estates were restored to Ewan's son Duncan (known always as Duncan of the Kiln, because he was born in a corn kiln while his parents were "in the heather" after the '45).

      The Cluny Clan lands went from the family at the start of World War 2, but the Chief still bears the patronymic "Macpherson of Cluny". My own home and that of my family since 1788 has been Newton Castle at Blairgowrie, bought by my own direct forebear whose father had been killed at Falkirk in February 1746 fighting with the Prince. There at Falkirk was held the first piping competition after the '45 (organised even then by the Highland Society of London), to celebrate the Repeal of the notorious Disarming Act which forbade the carrying of arms and the wearing of Highland dress and the music of the bagpipes north of the Highland Line. That Repeal and Competition were commemorated by a similar Competition (between 13 chosen pipers) organised


again by the Highland Society at Falkirk in 1981. One of those distinguished competitors was Donald Macpherson himself.

      Over the centuries the music of the bagpipe has surely rung in the ears of all Macphersons! And we are delighted and honoured to sponsor this year's Competitions as a Clan. To Brigadier Rory Walker and all of his team, and to all organisers, judges, competitors, and the vital spectators and listeners we send Macpherson Greetings. Creag Dhubh! Beannachd Leibh!

      We hope that as you travel south you will visit our own Clan Museum at Newtonmore, where can be seen not only many famous piping trophies and medals, but also Clan relics and pictures, including the famous Black Chanter or Feadan Dubh, which legend says fell from heaven during a Clan combat on the North Inch at Perth. Thereafter if the Chanter was present with the Clan in battle it is said that "the Macphersons knew not defeat". That is, however, only part of a long and tangled tale which requires a visit to our Museum and much reading to unravel! The Chanter provides, however, yet one more contact and link between the Clan and the bagpipe, both of which are in evidence and attendance here in Inverness in September 1992.

27th Chief of Clan Macpherson

Extract from the report of the Piping Convenor of the Northern Meeting at Inverness on the event:
      Our clan sponsor this year was Clan Macpherson. Both Cluny and Lady Macpherson were present for the two days together with a small, jovial bodyguard of Macpherson hardmen of indeterminate age who took turns in guarding the legendary "wildcat" positioned in the entrance lobby! We very much enjoyed having them with us and our thanks to the Chief and all the Macphersons for their enthusiastic support. An unusual piece of history occurred at the prize-giving which may be worth a mention. Cluny is a man of many parts, one of which saw him as a past Commanding Officer of 21 SAS and until two years ago their Honorary Colonel. The Piping Convenor, although an ex regular, once commanded 23 SAS and is still their Honorary Colonel. Something very unusual must happen before the Northern Meeting again has to endure two SAS Honorary Colonels on the stage together!

      Dr John A. Macpherson of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, was recently named a Gentleman of His Holiness by Pope John Paul II. This is the highest distinction the Vatican can confer on a layman, and at the present time there are only five others in North America.

      While the position is largely honorary, responsibilities at the Vatican include escorting the Pope to public audiences and introducing distinguished visitors and diplomats to His Holiness at private audiences and escorting them to religious services in St Peter's Basilica.

      For the past four years, Dr MacPherson has been president of the Canadian Association of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Malta, the oldest existing order of chivalry in the world. A member of the Order since 1973, he is now the first Canadian candidate for admission to the class of Justice, which requires profession of religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, in nearly two hundred and fifty years.


programmes by excited football commentators. Indeed he has twenty-five international caps to his credit, 3 Skol Cups, 2 Championships and one Scottish Cup. He lives with his wife Donna and four-year-old son Christopher in Bathgate. Mindful of his roots he has generously donated one of his Scottish international jerseys to the Museum -- a welcome addition to the section on "Macphersons in Sport."

      The wedding of Ailsa MacPherson and Robert Macpherson took place on July 18th, 1992 at St Mary's Parish Church, Winchfield, Hampshire. The parents of the bride, Ewen and Margaret of Straloch, Perthshire and of the bridegroom, Colin and Ann of Fleet,

Hampshire have been enthusiastic members of the Clan Association for many years. This now means that both the Association Chairman, Gordon and the Vice-Chairman, Ewen, have daughters who have married fellow-clansmen. Should this become a prerequisite for the post?

On 6th October 1992, to Pamela and Kirk McPherson of Burlington, Ontario, a son, James Todd Chart. A brother for Andrew and a grandson for Myrna and Neil McPherson of Oakville, Ontario, and Nancy and Gordon Macpherson of Burlington, Ontario.

On Friday, 19th February 1193, to Valerie and Angus Macpherson, Balavil, Kingussie, a daughter, a sister for Tom and Lachlan.

To Mr and Mrs Elizabeth and Ross McPherson, 2 Kendal Court, Rosemary Lane, Mortlake, London SW14 7HG, a daughter, Tessa Elizabeth, on 4th November 1992, at Queen Charlottes Hospital, London.


To Mr and Mrs Fiona and Hendry Rosser, PO Box A260, Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe, a son, Drew Henry, on 15th March 1993, at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness. Another grandson for Nancy and Andrew in the Museum.

The deaths of Donald F. Macpherson, on 5th April, and of his wife, Mary, on 21st October, occurred in 199 1. Both were active in the early days of the Association, the latter as Secretary to the Badenoch Branch in 1948-49, the year in which the first magazine was published. Their elder daughter (also Mary) predeceased them in January 1978.

The death of Hector Macpherson in July marked the passing of an original member of the Southland branch of New Zealand who served the Clan generously and well, being Chairman on several occasions and chosen to be our Chief in 1987. The 1988 issue of "Creag Dhubh" records this:
      With the utmost support of his wife Dorothy, Hector was proud to host Jamie of Cluny with Highland hospitality which we all enjoyed. The -photograph shows Mabel, a former branch Chairman, as was her husband Alex, in her Riverton garden with Jamie, Ron, whose father was our first Chairman in 1947, and Hector, happy in the company of Clansfolk.

      A very innovative gentleman, Hector had a most productive 'no-dig' garden and just last year at 83 made a grand new rockery. Since Dorothy is also a skilled gardener, they often opened their garden to groups, giving and gaining much pleasure.

Duncan McNeil MacPherson's very sudden death at 69 in August deprived Invercargill of a very talented organist and pianist. He was organist for St Paul's Presbyterian Church for 19 years and gave of his talents most willingly. Fellow organists of this city paid tribute to him in a special performance recently.

      Born in Paisley, he gained a Master's degree with honours in history at Glasgow University and was a voracious reader. A very modest man, Duncan had a very wide circle of friends gained as he travelled around New Zealand. He visited the elderly and the sick and assisted all in a very cheerful manner.

      Clan Macpherson and all other Scottish groups here will miss Duncan's beautiful music so freely provided.

By Archy Macpherson, KGOT, MA, LL.B, NP, FSA(Scot)
      In mastering a language there can be a series of stops and starts. There was one learner who made 37 such stops and starts before he reached fluency! Asked how he could be so exact.

      "Well," he said, "each time I took up learning Gaelic again I went round to the local newsagent and bought a new jotter. When the spirit waned I flung it into a corner of my room. As soon as I could hold a fluent conversation, read GAIRM with ease, could understand Gaelic TV and radio programmes and write in good Gaelic, I lost interest in using such notebooks.

      "My wife found 37 of these jotters when she cleared up that corner -- that's how I know how many times I stopped and started!"

      A new beginning might be with the current TV Gaelic learning course called "Speaking Our Language."


It comes in two study packs at �.95 each, three sets of audio cassettes at �.95 each, four video tapes at �.25 in parts or all items inclusive at �. At the same time, one is advised to subscribe to the Information Club for �to be kept in touch by newsletters. Access or Visa cards are accepted.

      Full details can be got by writing to CANAN Ltd., P.O. Box 345, Isle of Skye IV44 8XA, Scotland or telephone 047-14-345 or fax 047-14-322.       A free booklet on Gaelic TV and radio programmes can be obtained by writing to Gaelic Television Committee, 4 Harbour View, Cromwell Street Quay, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis PA87 2DF, Scotland; or consult "Radio Times" or "TV Times" or Scottish published newspapers.

      If one wished to attend short courses on the language, piping, fiddle and clarsach playing, Cape Breton step-dance etc it is worth writing to Gavin Parsons, Short Courses, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Sleat, Isle of Skye IV4 8RQ; tel. 04714-373.

      As a learner one can count on Comann an Luchd-Ionnsachaidh, which is the learner's society which will give you all the advice and support which you might need. Application forms are obtainable from Sheila Gunn, 5 Mitchell's Lane, Inverness IV2 3HQ, Scotland.

      Should one wish to be taught the language by a postal course with a Gaelic speaking tutor the course to write for is "Gàidhlig Bheó", National Extension College, 18 Broadlands Avenue, Cambridge CB2 2HN, England.

      The quality Gaelic quarterly is GAIRM which can be subscribed for from: GAIRM , 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6BZ, Scotland. They will also send a 50 back-issue bargain pack for � in UK and Ireland or � overseas, all post free. They will also send a book list of all Gaelic books in print on request. The Gairm bookshop on the top floor of their above address is well worth a visit.

      A magazine which always carries traditional prose and song in Gaelic with English translation is TOCHER. It can be got from Edinburgh University, School of Scottish Studies, 27 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD, Scotland. They will also sell back-issues on request. Their spelling is modified to allow an insight into the particular informant's speech pattern.

      Four newspapers carry some Gaelic and news about the language: The West Highland Free Press, Broadford, Isle of Skye IV49 9AP; The Stornoway Gazette, 10 Francis Street, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis; The Oban Times, P.O. Box 1, Oban, Argyllshire, Scotland-, the Saturday issue of The Scotsman, 20 North Bridge, Edinburgh EHI lYT. It may be possible to get them through one's newsagent.

      Gaelic is particularly rich in music and song. For a modest subscription An Comunn Gaidhealach, 109 Church Street, Inverness, will advise you on every aspect that you might wish. They also run Gaelic cultural festivals locally and nationally called Mods and support Gaelic drama. They put out two newsletters a year.

      There are two audio cassette companies -- MacDonald-Mitchell Productions, Meldrum House, 40 Tarfside, Glasgow G52 and Lewis Recordings, 3 Millburn Road, Inverness IV2 3PS.

      Blackfriars Music Shop, 49 Blackfriars Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1NB are known to stock Gaelic records, cassettes and CDs.

      The children are not neglected, Comunn An Luchd, Ionnsachaidh, who are referred to above, will advise on where to contact Gaelic pre-school playgroups and Gaelic medium schools. Donnie MacLeod has book and cassette sets based on his TV programmes Seinn Seo and Dotaman published by Acair.

      From the same source there is the children's comic called Is math sin which is also very useful for learners-, back copies can be bought. Acair Ltd, 7 James Street, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis PA87 2QA, also publish books for all ages mostly in Gaelic, but a few in English, and will gladly send their current book-list on request.

      Finally, bilingual calendars, an unpretentious one can be got free (though they would accept postage) from Ealain Chrannhill, 33 Corran Mo Laise, Cranhill, Glaschu/Glasgow G33 3LG. Two conventionally priced calendars are obtainable from "Gairm" publications


above; the beautiful "Scottish Collection" one and an ingenious one with tearaway post-cards and recipes by judges of Hastings. There are several others. Gaelic Christmas cards can also be obtained from Gairm Publications above.

      Overseas enquirers are advised to remember to put Scotland after these addresses as it has been known for their letters to be sent to towns of the same name in their own countries!

      Finally, let it be said, there are more Gaelic items available but enough is as good as a feast.

Sin agad e, mata ... Well there you have it! ... Gilleasbuig.

STOP PRESS: For anyone who wishes to combine a high quality yachting holiday aboard the 50-foot wooden ketch Sealgair sailing out of her base at Crinan in Argyll on one week's course learning Gaelic contact Mrs Joan Bruce, Wave Yacht Charters, 1 Hazel Drive, Dundee DD2 1QQ or telephone/fax 0382-68501, Scotland.

By Roderick W. Clarke, Dìonadair

      he many treasures on display or stored in the Clan Macpherson Museum at Newtonmore are dramatic evidence of our Clan's long and rich heritage. The Museum is our pride and joy, and yet a series of unfortunate circumstances had caused it to be placed in serious jeopardy. The severity of the problem has been substantially reduced by actions which I will describe below. But the natural elements continue to take a toll on an old building that is seriously underfunded. If it is to be preserved for the enjoyment and edification of future generations, we must act now to raise the needed funds to ensure the proper maintenance of our Museum.

      That's the short version of what this article is all about. If you want to know what some of us have done to correct the situation and don't need to know the nitty gritty details of how we got to where we are, skip over the next three sections and start reading the section titled 'Na Dìonadairean To The Rescue' which introduces you to a society within the Association which has been organised to provide the financial support for the Museum on a sustained basis. Its full name is Na Dionadairean Clann Mhuirich (Na Jeen a-dairun Clown Voorich) which means the 'Guardians of Clan Macpherson' in the Gaelic -- the language of our heart and heritage. If you do want to understand what underlies the formation of Na Dionadairean, read on.

The Clan Macpherson Museum
      In 1942, when World War Il was raging in all its fury, a number of the most precious treasures now displayed in the Museum were placed for sale at auction by the heirs of the recently deceased Clan Chief to meet the crushing financial load imposed by the inheritance taxes. A group of Macphersons living in the UK recognised what was at stake and acted quickly to acquire these treasures with their own money and thus prevented them from being purchased by individuals to whom they were not so dear.

      When peace came again to Scotland, those who had acquired the treasures for us recognised that their preservation and enjoyment by all members of the Clan would require a place to house them. The formation of the Clan Macpherson Association, raising the necessary funds and purchase of the core building of the Museum were the result. Few outside Scotland were involved in this major undertaking for obvious reasons. But when most of us became members of CMA, we inherited the Museum and its treasures along with the pride of membership in the Association for only the smallest investment.

      The Museum has undergone a number of expansions since its founding and everyone has had an opportunity to contribute to the appeals for funds needed to achieve these. I'm charged to say that the response to these appeals has been somewhat underwhelming but


nevertheless, the expansions were accomplished and these have resulted in one of the finest museums of its kind in Scotland. We all share in the accolades for having created an attraction that gains the praise of the many people who visit from all over the world. In addition, many members, such as myself, owe our membership in CMA to having visited the Museum in Newtonmore and experiencing the symbols of our heritage that can be achieved nowhere else.

Problems 1990
      As a result of some major flaws in the design of the most recent addition to the Museum buildings, major repairs were required a few years ago. These repairs were so expensive that the CMA treasury including all of our reserves were insufficient to pay for the repairs and a mortgage had to be obtained from a financial institution. The building and its contents were pledged as the collateral.

      The problems facing the Museum management in the summer of 1990 as a result of this action were several. Although the mortgage had been halved, a high rate of interest on the balance due of some �,000 placed a formidable burden on the cash flow accruing from annual memberships. In amortising the mortgage at such a rapid pace, routine maintenance had to be postponed albeit essential repairs were made. The elements of the Highland winter continued to exact their toll and there were no reserve funds to deal with this. In addition, capital improvements to reduce the cost of heating the building and make the curator's quarters more habitable in wintertime had not been accomplished. In summary, the Museum in which we take such a pride and enjoyment was (1) in hock, (2) deteriorating further, (3) lacking reserve funds to deal with future contingencies and (4) being denied important improvements.

Na Dìonadairean To The Rescue
      After looking into the matter in some detail, some of us became convinced that emergency efforts were essential to remedy this situation. Believing it shameful for a Clan as rich and talented as ours to allow such a situation to persist, the Council of the US Branch asked me to chair a committee to come up with a plan for raising sufficient funds to put the CMA Museum on a sound financial basis. The committee deliberated by letter and telephone throughout the following year and submitted the requested plan to the members of the US Branch at the Chicago gathering in September 1991 where it was adopted. It contains four provisions which were put into effect immediately:
     1. The total amount of money needed to support the Museum in the future is not known but $50,000 was set as a reasonable initial goal with a deadline of 31 December 1992 for achieving it. However, the actions needed to assure sustained financial support of the Museum are more similar to running a marathon than a 100-yard dash. Although the amount that we seek to raise in the initial leg of the marathon was much greater than US Macphersons had ever raised in the past we believe that there are sufficient numbers of us who appreciate the gravity of the situation to make it a viable goal. That belief led to the formation of a Museum patrons' group called Na Dionadairean Clann Mhuirich.
      2. Membership in Na Dìonadairean is open to anyone or any family pledging a minimum of $1000 to the Clan Macpherson Museum Fund. We recognise that such an amount might represent a burden that some would find beyond their means as a lump sum. Thus we made provision for pledges to be paid in annual installments. The plan calls for a maximum of four installments but I can't believe that anyone proposing a longer period would be refused. Although there is no deadline for becoming a Dìonadair (one Guardian), we must remember that there is an urgent need to join as soon as you are able. Membership is open to a member of any branch of CMA.
      3. We have agreed that we will not over-manage the funds we raise. However, a minimal custodial group is needed to collect the funds, disperse the proceeds of the Museum Management in Scotland and send out annual invoices to donors who elect to make annual installments. After the mortgage is retired, the balance of the contributed

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funds will be placed in an interest bearing account of high investment quality and the annual earnings made available to Museum Management Committee for their discretionary use.

      4. To recognise those who join us, a distinctive certificate and badge attesting to the importance of their gifts and their generosity will be awarded to each Dìonadair. Cluny has agreed to sign each certificate. These are now being designed by R. G. M. Macpherson, a noted heraldic artist and the International Chairman of CMA. The badge design is shown with the Macpherson cat, sword in claw, guarding the battlements. In addition, a plaque bearing the names of Na Dìonadairean will be displayed prominently in the Museum. The plaque is to be designed so that names of future Dìonadairean can be added as they join.

Solutions 1992
      The response to the Clan Macpherson Museum Fund appeal has been highly gratifying. At a mid-term gathering at Alma, Michigan in May 1992, Cluny was presented with a ceremonial check for $15,000 to highlight the progress we had made up to that point. A short time later a real check for that amount was sent to the Museum by Grace McPherson, Hon. Treasurer for the US Branch, along with a letter urging that this amount be used to retire the mortgage. This combined with operating funds allocated to servicing the mortgage proved to be enough to achieve that purpose and the redeemed mortgage was exhibited at the 1992 AGM in Badenoch. Some suggested that it be immediately carried to the summit of Creag Dhubh were it would be used to kindle a mammoth bonfire to celebrate this most happy occasion. However, it was the consensus of the gathering that it would serve a more useful purpose if it were retained to remind us of what could happen if we allowed our vigilance to be reduced in the future.

      Of course, that is what Na Dìonadairean is all about. But it's not clear that this approach is everyone's 'cup of tea'. In any event help from other sources is most welcome. Such help was highlighted at the same 1992 AGM in Badenoch when J. Donald Macpherson of Oakville, Ontario, past International Chairman of CMA, presented a cheque for $4000 on behalf of the Canadian Branch. In October 1992, the US Branch dispatched a second instalment of $5000 to the Museum along with a letter urging that it be used to establish an endowment, the interest accruing from which would augment the regular operating funds used to maintain the Museum and provide for sorely needed capital improvements.

      In reporting this progress to the 1992 gathering of the US Branch in San Francisco, I pointed out that although we had passed the half-way mark in reaching our goal of raising $50,000 by 31 December 1992, the task remaining to be done is formidable and that we must redouble our efforts. By the time you read these words that deadline will have long past. Whether or not we succeed is not all that important even though its always nice to achieve what you set out to do. What is important is that we reach that goal as soon as we can and continue to recruit Dìonadairean over the coming years. The plaque recognising the contributions of this group that is to be placed in the Museum will have ample space to accommodate the names of those who join with us in the future. Thus, there are neither time nor space limits on who may become a Dìonadair. What You Can Do To Help
      As I have mentioned, the needs of the Museum for financial support are large, much larger than we of the US Branch can achieve alone. I invite the members of other Branches to join with us either directly or through a Branch effort such as the Canadians have done. If any of you have an interest in joining with us directly, please write me at 400 Madison St. #709, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA. Similarly, if other Branches decide to undertake a similar effort, please let me know so that we can coordinate our activities and provide


proper recognition for those who join this noble cause. Whichever path you take, you will be one of Na Dìonadairean.

      Several pages of each edition of "Creag Dhubh" are taken up by the accounts of the Clan Macpherson Association, the Clan Macpherson Trust, and this year, the Clan Macpherson Museum Trust. At the 1992 Rally the Treasurer was asked to explain what these Trusts mean, how they are constituted, and how donations can be made. So here goes -- with apologies for the repetition of what may already be familiar.

      The Clan Macpherson Trust ('CMT') was set up in 1966 to run the Museum, and to own the Clan House and the collection. The Trust is a registered charity.

      In 1991 the British Government issued new regulations for museums. They have required little change to the Museum's procedures: however, certain constitutional changes were needed. In particular, the Museum must be managed by the Museum's Trustees or their delegates, and not by the Association's Museum Committee, as previously.

      The Clan Macpherson Trust deed could not be amended without applying to the Law Courts, which would have been expensive, so a new Trust was set up, the Clan Macpherson Museum Trust, which now manages the Museum. The Trustees include the officers of the Association and members of the previous Museum Committee, and are advised by professional museum staff such as Ross Noble of the Highland Folk Museum in Kingussie.

      Meanwhile the Clan Macpherson Trust continues to exist, in case donations or bequests are made out to it. Donations may be made to the Trust free of tax in the U.K. The methods and their conditions are as follows:
      -- Income. Deeds of Covenant. A net sum is paid for four years after the Deed has been signed.
      -- Gift Aid. Lump sums of �0 or more can be paid once. (In both cases, forms are needed -- available from the Treasurer).
      -- The Trust reclaims basic rate tax. If the donor is subject to higher rate tax, the amount given plus the basic rate tax is excluded from income subject to higher rate tax.
      -- Capital Gains Tax. The gift of objects or investments to the Trust is free of capital gains tax.
      -- Inheritance Tax. A bequest to the Trust is excluded from the value of wills which are subject to inheritance tax. So please consider a bequest to the Trust in your will.

      If you would like more information, please contact the Treasurer who can advise, and who has a stock of the necessary forms.

[The United States Branch of CMA has been registered as a charitable organization under Chapter 501c(3) of the US Code. Thus donations of money or items of value for support of the Clan Macpherson Museum Trust are tax deductable. However, the money gifts must be donated directly to the US Branch of CMA and not to the Museum Trust as such. Only donations for support of the Museum can be accepted and such a purpose should be specified when the donaton is made. Cash donations will be forwarded in the donor's name to the Museum. Items other than cash should be sent directly to the Museum but the Treasurer of te US Branch should be advised of the gift. -- RM]

STOP PRESS: The Treasurer reports that the Christmas mail brought in a legacy of �000 to the CMT from the late Mrs Gwen Macpherson, formerly of Cheshire. Our many thanks to her and her family.

By Andrew Macpherson, Curator
      In the 1992 season 3837 visited the Museum, 16 less than 1991. It is a matter of opinion which was the worse year for visitors, and in any case we are not in the numbers competition business, which do not reflect the amount of contributions made, so it must be quality, not quantity, we want.


      3837 visitors contributed � 1314.37 to Museum funds, a bit down on last year, although from 1st October 1991 until end of June 1992 the average per head was higher, probably caused by the "out of season visitors".

      Improvement in the selection of souvenirs helped to increase sales by over �0 on last year. Most of these souvenirs are still available and a list can be had from the Curator for an s.a.e.

      As a result of achieving registration with the Scottish Museum Council, Clan Macpherson Museum has had the opportunity of receiving a grant from the Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust for Paper Conservation for the renovation of works on paper. We have many such works and Helen Creasy of S.M.C. carried out a survey in November 1991 and has since treated eight prints, which are now clean, new looking, and in good condition and will be on display in 1993. 1 must thank the Gordon Fraser Trust and the Scottish Museum Council for the grant aid received without which this work could not have been done, and Helen and her staff for a good job well done. It is hoped these renovations to our "pictures" will continue next year.

      Also as a direct result of registration I was able to attend a one-day course on the documentation of the relics in the Museum which will become necessary. There were 16 of us from various types of museums from all over the country and I enjoyed the lectures, given in an interesting manner. One cannot pretend to know it all in one day, nor was that intended, but I feel now at least I have a good idea of what is required. I hope to attend another course before next season, this time on care and movement of relics.

       I have to acknowledge the receipt of the following donations:
            Mr Michael J. Kendall, 1 Pinefields, Church Road, Addlestone, Weybridge KT15 1RP (�);
            Chief Justice Donald K. Macpherson, 2425 Victoria Avenue, Regina, Sask., Canada (�0);
            Local History Group (O);
            Mr and Mrs Reg and Joan Ellis, 49 St Mary's Road, Reigate, Surrey (� -- � twice);
            Miss Carol Anne Ellis, 51 St Mary's Road, Reigate, Surrey (�).

      I have also to acknowledge the receipt of the following items:
            A copy of the book "The Gillespie Clan." A New Zealand Family Researched and presented by Mr B. V. Gillespie, 10 Chatfield Avenue, Otanuhu, Auckland, New Zealand.
            Copies of original letters between Alexander Sutherland and his wife Catherine Macpherson from Kildonan, Scotland and Fort Talbot, Upper Canada, early nineteenth century. Presented by Mr and Mrs J. D. Macpherson, 1295 Cumnock Crescent, Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
            The Sublime Savage. A study of James Macpherson and the poems of Ossian in relation to the cultural context of Scotland in the 1750's and 1760's. Thesis submitted for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford 1986 by Fiona Stafford. Presented by Dr Jay Macpherson, 91 Charles Street, Toronto. A history of the Macphersons found attached to a picture of that name, copy of which is in the Museum. Presented by Mrs Cover, The Moors, Filkin's, Nr. Leachlade, Gloucestershire.

      The following books are available from the Museum:
            The Posterity of the Three Brethren, by Alan G. Macpherson. Price 0�95. Postage U.K. 50p, Overseas �
            Part I of Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands, by Alexander Macpherson. Price � Postage U.K. 50p, Overseas �
            The Wandering Highlander, by Hugh Macpherson. Price �95. Postage U.K. 50p, Overseas �


Highland Regional Council Advertisement
Dept. of Libraries & Leisure Services
We who share in Highland blood, wherever we may be, are particularly fortunate to belong to a cultural identity which has survived remarkably intact despite centuries of change. We owe it to those who have gone before to safeguard this inheritance, and the members of the Clan Macpherson Association can be justly proud of the way in which they are preserving their own unique heritage.

Highland Regional Council's Department of Libraries and Leisure Services can help you to extend your knowledge of your family history. Our Genealogical Research Service, based at Inverness Library, has available an extensive range of genealogical research material, and our full-time genealogist-in-residence, Alistair Macleod, is on hand to provide expert guidance and assistance.

For further details, please contact:

Alistair M Macleod
Inverness Library
Farraline Park
Telephone Inverness (0463) 236463

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By Sandy Macpherson
      Since the opening in 1952 the Clan Macpherson Museum has proved to be the "jewel in the crown" of the Association. It is visited annually by our 3,000 members and others and is highly praised both by Museum experts and by all current guide books on Scotland.

      Each year the Curator reports in Creag Dhubh on the previous year's activities in the Museum, including the numbers attending and details of any new and interesting additions to the collection.

      However, behind the scenes, considerable administrative activity has been going on in the recent past and it is necessary to inform members of recent changes and also give a brief description of the present administrative system.

      On examination, the history of the Museum falls into several distinct phases and it is necessary to look at these in detail.
           1952:84: During this period the Museum was the responsibility of the Curator, who was responsible for its day to day running and referred to the Association Executive, and, if need be, to the Council for any major decisions.
            1984-92: An "interim" period, the situation having changed when the Association followed the suggestions made in a report on its organisation commissioned by the Scottish Museums Council, and appointed a Management Committee, which had the special responsibility for the management of the Museum, meeting several times a year on a regular basis and reporting to the Association Council and to the members at the Annual General Meeting.
           1992 Onward: In this year the Museum joined the Museum and Galleries Registration Scheme for Museums, a factor which necessitated various alterations in the administrative system. The Registration Scheme required museums throughout Britain to demonstrate that they met certain standards of display and conservation of exhibits and had positive policies regarding acquisition and disposal of collections. This was coupled with a searching examination of the financial background and legal ownership of the Museum.

      In addition, the management of the Museum became the responsibility of an enlarged Board of Trustees meeting annually, who are advised by an Advisory Committee and are responsible to the Clan Executive and Council. Following a monumental form filling exercise the Museum's application was approved by the appropriate authority and it has now been granted full Registration (which is more than several much more highly powered institutions have achieved).

      The benefits of Registration are many and various. In addition to having "satisfied the examiners" in terms of standards the Museum can now be considered a suitable repository for potential donors to leave appropriate material and it can also be publicised as providing a service suitable for serious scholars and researchers.

      On the practical side, the Museum is eligible for the receipt of financial grants from Local Authorities and Government funded bodies towards revenue or the capital costs of approved projects.

      A recent example of this has been the continuing and very necessary conservation work on our pictures paid for by the Scottish Museums Council and the Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust, the cost of which would otherwise have been out of the reach of our funds.

      The Curator has also been able to attend specialist training courses arranged by the Scottish Museums Council at no cost to the Association.

      The present ownership and administration of the Clan Museum is simple and uncomplicated. The Museum and its collection are owned by the Clan Macpherson Museum Trust, the Trustees of which are bound to promote and preserve the ideals of the Museum.


      The Trustees are as follows, all of whom have either held office in the Association or have a long connection with it:
A. I. S. MacphersonK. N. McPhersonM. A. F. Macpherson of Pitmain
R. W. G. MacphersonR. G. M. MacphersonT. A. S. Macpherson
E. S. L. MacPhersonL. S. MackintoshJ. M. Barton

      To assist in the active running of the Museum the Trustees are all members of the Museum Advisory Committee and have the added assistance of the following nonTrustees:
            John M. Martin -- Hon. Secretary of the Association
            Andrew MacPherson -- Museum Curator
      Ross Noble -- Curator, Highland Folk Museum
            Hugh Cheape -- Royal Museum of Scotland
            Sandy Russell -- Highland Regional Council
            Councillor Miss Yvonne Richmond -- Badenoch & Strathspey District Council

      The Trustees meet annually, but the Advisory Committee meets three times a year to arrive at decisions on the current activities and future plans of the Museum. The Convenor of the Committee makes an annual report to the Association Council and to the membership at the Annual General Meeting. The ownership of the Museum by the Trust has obvious advantages, chiefly financial, for example, the recovery of tax paid on investment interest, and donations to the Trust etc.

      These recent changes should have the effect of strengthening the administration of the Museum and providing a good foundation for any future developments. With the loyal support of the Association membership and the general public there is no reason why the Museum should not continue its successful progress for a long time in the future.

      On a personal note, writing as the one who has had the responsibility for Registration application, I would take this opportunity of acknowledging the vast amount of assistance given by Ross Noble, Curator of the Highland Folk Museum and Registration Advisor to the ffighland Region, and to John Barton, legal advisor to the Association, in this task, without whose help my efforts would have taken considerably longer.

Researched by Hugh Barran of Inverness
Inverness Courier, 10 October 1933 -- 100 years ago.
      "Died at Cluny Estate in St. Thomas in the East Jamaica, John Macpherson, Esq., the relation and heir presumpitive to the chieftain of the clan. The old gentleman in defiance of mosquitoes and everything continued to wear the philabeg of the tartan of his clan; and at the skirl of the pibroch every negro within reach was heard to exclaim, 'God bless the old Massa, he made plenty of music for we.' So universally was the old man respected in the quarter that a holiday was granted all negroes to attend his remains to the 'narrow house', and a poor old Highlandman who could scarcely crawl to his kinsman's grave produced his pipe and played the 'Macpherson's Lament' in a style which was responded to by every Celt present doffing his bonnet."

Inverness Courier, 5 October 1820.
      We learn that � sterling was remitted by Kenneth Macpherson of Jamaica to William Falconer, Esq., of this place, being subscriptions collected at said colony for the Society of Educating the Poor in the Highlands, and that Mr Macpherson intends to continue his endeavours for further aid to the said very useful Institution.

Ed: This was indeed a generous donation equal in these days to a schoolmaster's annual salary. In Watson's "Rosg" one finds a description of such a school.


      We are grateful to Kathy Kajinami, 306 N. Main, P.O. Box 616, McPherson, Kansas 67460 U.S.A. for sending a copy of the McPherson Scottish Society journal for October/ November 1992. She might be able to send a copy of this issue and doubtlessly would be glad of a donation, say a dollar.

      The aims of the Society are given out at the mast-head ... Bringing the sights and sounds of Scotland to the plains of Kansas ... dedicated to the development and appreciation of the Scottish Arts in McPherson ...

      The contents were as delightful ... references to genealogy, Highland dance classes, piping ... then opening the news-sheet we found photographs showing Cluny and Lady Sheila as well as Larry L. McPherson, the chairman of the US Branch and the convenor of the 1992 of the Association, Robert F. MacPherson of Castro Valley, California.

      As if this were not all we find that Kathy and Shingo had been at last year's Rally in Badenoch in 1992 and at Newton Castle ... all a welcome eye-opener for which we are grateful.

Born in Edinburgh, daughter of Robert Macpherson an( Margaret Dykes. Macpherson ancestors originated in Suther land. Educated in Edinburgh, graduated M.A. (Hons.) in 1946. Joined Clan Macpherson Association with rest of fami ly about 1949. Participated in East of Scotland Branch activi ties, was Secretary of Branch from 1954-57. Emigrated to Nova Scotia, Canada in 1957. Married to Arthur Hambleton in 1959. Worked in actuarial side of fife insurance, later a senior economist with N.S. Government. joined Canadian Branch of C.M.A. A. and attended various Clan functions there. Became Treasurer of Halifax Metro Branch at its founding in 198 1. Was first Editor of Canadian Branch Newsletter, started in 1987. Husband Arthur died in 1988. Returned to Scotland to live in 1992.

Have you ever seen a real, live Wildcat? When you next have an opportunity to visit Badenoch, the Clan country, be sure to travel to Kincraig, a short distance from Kingussie, and see the Highland Wildlife Park. There you will find, in its natural surroundings but within an enclosure, a Scottish Wildcat, the emblem of the Clan Chattan.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has established a Species Support Scheme dedicated to the welfare, breeding and conservation of animals, many of which are threatened with extinction in the wild as a result of man's encroachment on their habitat. The Scottish Wildcat is now considered an endangered species and clansmen will be interested to learn that the Clan Macpherson Association has volunteered to support a Wildcat at the Wildlife Park and a small plaque has been placed on the enclosure to indicate this sponsorship. It is, we think, an appropriate gesture for the Clan Association to make.


Ian Chalmers Macpherson Advertisement


Australian Branch
Retiring Chairman -- Gordon McPherson, P.O. Box 130, Altona North, 3025 Vic.,
      The following report shows that the initiative has moved from Gordon to John McPherson of South Australia. Gordon reports:
      It gives me great pleasure to announce that approval has been received from the Executive in Scotland to accept my resignation from the position of Australian representative and the installation of John McPherson, of South Australia, in my stead.

      John was secretary of the South Australian Branch under that great Clansman, the late Wallace Macpherson. Both he and his wife Wendy have already visited and familiarised themselves with the Clan Territory in Scotland. He recently retired as Headmaster of a leading High School and is now devoting time to Red Cross and Rotary.

      We met in Melbourne in January, when all documents pertaining to Australian activities and correspondence were handed over to him. I shall shortly visit him in Adelaide to answer any questions he may have, after perusing and digesting our records.

      In conclusion, I would like to thank all of you who have been so kind and helpful, especially Ronnie in Scotland, and Doug and Margaret in Western Australia, and many others, too numerous to mention here, not only in the UK, but also of the USA, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand.

Badenoch & North of Scotland Branch
Joint Chairmen -- Lady Macpherson, Balavil Kingussie; Duncan Gillespie, The Manse, Newtonmore; Treasurer -- Mrs Helen White.
      A successful year with slowly increasing membership and a popular request to repeat in the autumn the successful children's party sponsored by the branch in the village hall. The branch's second AGM was held in Kingussie at the Duke of Gordon Hotel. In October a coffee morning was held at the Station Hotel, Inverness, to discuss a regular meeting.

      The branch sponsored a lunch available to all clansmen for the rally AGM and it was a great success. Twenty clansmen booked in advance but in the event nearly forty turned up and were fed. Hugo Macpherson helped as an excellent soft drinks waiter.

      This year the lunch will be repeated after the AGM in the school, which is next door to Newtonmore village hall, on the Saturday of the rally, 7th August 1993. The menu was so popular that we are repeating it -- Cock a leekie soup with hot bread; haggis, neeps and mashed potatoes; oatcakes, cheese and butter; coffee.

      The price is �for as much as you can eat. Beer, cider and apple juice will be available, or bring your own.

      Please do try to book in advance with one of the office-bearers to assist in the estimate of numbers for catering.

Canadian Branch
Chairman -- Stuart G. McPherson, 1834 Green Meadow Drive, Burlington, Ont. L6J 2Y9, Vice-Chairman -- Oliver McPherson, 144 Wakefield, Milton, Ont. L91 2L9; Hon. Secretary/Treasurer -- Mrs E. G. MacPherson, 1295 Cumnock Cres., Oakville, Ont. L6J 2N6.
      Members of the Canadian Branch of the Clan Macpherson gathered at the Georgetown Country Club for their 43rd Annual General Meeting on June 13th, 1992. The meeting was


held in conjunction with the Georgetown Highland Games which was honouring our Clan. Consequently, Chairman Stuart served as Chief of the Games. In addition, we set up a tent at the games to not only show our presence but also to provide information on the Clan for all those in attendance.

      Following a very dramatic but tiring day, we rendezvoused at the Country Club for socialising, dinner and our business meeting. After an excellent dinner, new members were introduced and welcomed by fellow clansmen. It was then time for the raffle where Nancy Macpherson, wife of International Chairman Gordon, picked the winning tickets.

      Due to the success of the tent at Georgetown, we decided to use it again- for the Cambridge Highland Games. Unfortunately, rain undermined those games. However, we have decided to attend more games next year.

      A dinner party was held in Halifax to say farewell and thank you to Margaret Hambleton. Margaret, who returned to live in Edinburgh, Scotland, was a very active member of our branch, serving as editor of our first newsletters.

      In addition, a contingent of Macphersons and septs attended the Metro Highland Games in Halifax in July.

      We had an active year recruiting new members and look forward to continuing this through representation at the various Highland Games as well as mailings.

      Greetings to all fellow members in Scotland and throughout the world.

East of Scotland Branch
Chairman -- Mrs Catherine Macpherson, "Caerketton", 39 Swanston Avenue, Edinburgh EH10 7BX (tel. 031445-17529), Hon. Secretary -- Dr Margaret Calder, 43 Braid Road, Edinburgh EH10 6AW (tel. 031 447-7767).

      A very successful Burns Supper was held in the Chairman's home earlier this year. Well attended, it provided a most enjoyable reunion of old friends and Branch members. In addition the individual members continue to give loyal support to the Association in many ways at various events and functions.

      Branch members hold prominent positions in the Association's officialdom and have been able to contribute much to the success of the organisation during the past year.

      The number of East of Scotland members attending events such as the Northern Meeting, England and Wales Highland Ball and the Annual Rally and providing active participation gives good proof that the Macpherson spirit still flourishes in the Scottish capital.

      Visiting overseas members are always welcome to get in touch, please come and see us.

England & Wales Branch
Chairman- Vic Macpherson-Clifford; Vice Chairman- Angus Macpherson; Treasurer- Angus Macpherson-, Hon. Secretary -- Mrs Jerome LeRoy-Lewis, Flat 17, 169 Queen- stown Road, London SW8 3RJ.

      The England & Wales Branch's Annual General Meeting was held on 14th May 1992, at the Royal Scottish Corporation. Mr Vic Macpherson-Clifford was re-elected Chairman, Mr Angus Macpherson as Vice-Chairman and Treasurer, Mrs Jerome LeRoy-Lewis as Secretary and Mrs Lindsey-Jane Rousseau and Miss Flora MacPherson were elected onto the Committee. The evening was well attended by members and their guests and the buffet supper supplied by the 'ladies' was enjoyed by all.

      Our Annual Dinner and Dance was held on Friday, 6th November at the Hotel Russell, for which a large number of tickets were sold. A delicious four-course meal was served, including haggis, which was piped in by Jerome LeRoy-Lewis and was addressed by Donald C. Macpherson.

      Vic Macpherson-Clifford welcomed everybody to the dance and then introduced Rory Macpherson who proposed a toast to the Clan Macpherson Association and their guests. This was replied to on behalf of the guests by Mr James Curren.


      Stan Watts and his band played for us once again and Andrew Gillies was Master of Ceremonies. The venue again proved to be an enormous success and the huge dance floor was well used throughout the evening with everyone dancing Scottish reels into the early hours!

      The whole evening was a great success and extremely well hosted by our Chairman, Vic Macpherson-Clifford. We hope that there will be as many people attending in the coming years and we send greetings to all our fellow members.

South Africa Branch
Chairman -- Allan D. MacPherson, 519 Long Avenue, Ferndale, Randburgh 2194, South Africa.

      Our South Africa Clan Macpherson Rally takes place on Sunday, 7th March 1993, so that is a report we can expect in next year's issue.

Southland, New Zealand, Branch
Chairman -- Beth Cairns; Secretary -- Athole H. Macpherson, 164 Lewis Street, Invercargill.

      At our May AGM Beth Cairns became our new chairman, following in the footsteps of her father Allan.

      Our social function this year is to be a tour of Western Southland to areas settled by Clansfolk. We will be enjoying the gardens, talents and hospitality of their descendants and learn something of the capacity for hard work and vision of these Macphersons who brought with them to the new country the music and culture of Scotland.

      We note you were visited by a Danish Pipe Band. I became curious to know how many New Zealand Pipe Bands wear Macpherson tartan. As far as I can gather there are six -- all wearing Red Macpherson -- one in the North Island and the other five range from Nelson in the north of the South Island to Christchurch further down, another south of Dunedin which we call the Edinburgh of the south and I am pleased to say two are in Southland. One is a few miles north of this city and the other is in Invercargill and is a young, but very enthusiastic band.

      We attended the 21st celebrations of the Invercargill Ceilidh Society recently. Along with other Scottish societies, they have been helping the Southland Scottish Council to refurbish our unique Scottish Hall as we wish it to be recognised for the attractive interior with clan tartans and crests. We want it to be truly on the map for tourists.

      Once again Macphersons won a bowling trophy at our Combined Clans tussle.

      Early next year we hope to join other Clans here for a country picnic. Our Clan used to run its own picnic in earlier days when most members had young children, however these bairns have grown and in many cases left for places further north, so with our older membership in the main we changed our style of gathering. We are always hopeful of attracting younger folk, but as all branches will have discovered there are so many other attractions calling. Still, we remain optimistic.

      We wish all branches continued success in their activities. We enjoy reading reports of your gatherings.

United States Branch
Chairman -- Larry Lee McPherson, 3544 Goodwood Dr., Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A. 49546, Secretary -- Joan Ellis Pierson, 3317 Southern Rd., Richfield, Ohio, U.S.A. 44286.

      It was my great honour to become chairman of CMA-US as of January 1, 1992 and to be recently re-elected as such for 1993. We have been really busy with these responsibilities from the "get go" and find it all rewarding, mostly in the form of the CMA family ties that have resulted.

      CMA-US events this past year really started with the 25 annual Alma, Michigan


Highland Games. Our Chief and his Lady were the honoured guests for this event. This is the first Clan Chief ever given this recognition for this gathering. As always they did CMA real proud and once again demonstrated that we have the best of all Clan leadership.

      Sir William (Bill) even got the crowd to join in with the CMA war cry -- CREAG DHUBH. Bill and Sheila, supported by a large contingency of CMA membership, also marched in the long street parade that started with a 50 degree F temperature drop and mixed showers throughout. It doesn't even get that mean in the Highlands, or does it? We can't be a real authority with only two visits. Alma was followed again this past season by approximately 50 other Highland Games attended by various CMA representatives throughout our country, from East coast to West coast and even out to Hawaii. This is where our CMA representatives and Clan tent activities are able to continue to increase our membership growth, now at approximately 1400 for all of the US.

      In July/August we had the pleasure of returning to Scotland to attend the 46th Rally of CMA for our second visit. Somehow going back is even more enjoyable than going for the first time. I guess it is more of the bonding feeling you get when mixing with our cousins in the homeland. The weather, marching down to the games was a lot like Alma in the US this past Spring. This helps us all to be ruddy Scots, eh? The best news from the AGM, of course, was the fact that through the organisational efforts of Rod Clarke and the response of our membership we were able to come up with the initial funds necessary to pay off the CMA Museum mortgage. The US Branch has a goal to continue this effort for a total of $50,000 by year end to establish a trust fund for perpetual care of our CMA Museum in the future.

      We have recently returned from our 19th CMA-US AGM in San Francisco, California. This was attended by approximately 100 members, including our Chief and Lady Sheila. This gave us the opportunity to meet and visit with them for the third time this year. Aren't they great?

      Bob and Sue MacPherson of Castro Valley, California and their various supporting committees got a great "well done" from Cluny as well as all in attendance. San Francisco is surely a beautiful city, even more so with CMA representatives to dress it up.

      Another CMA-US event most worthy of mentioning was the recent October 10 wedding of our CMA-US URLAR Editor Dave Howard to another of our CMA members, Laura Bierens. This was done in full Scottish style in an outdoor setting. The Pastor's comment was something like "it wouldn't dare to rain with all these Scots around." We did get a few drops, but no problem. We wish them a full life of happiness together!

      Looking forward to 1993, CMA-US will be holding our annual gathering in McPherson, Kansas (right smack in the middle of the US) on September 24, 25 and 26. We invite any fellow CMA members throughout the world to come join with us. We are promising an outstanding programme. Contact any of us in the US if you would like to meet with your US cousins.

      We wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 1993.

Yours Aye.

Larry L. McPherson


129 Friars Croft, Kirkintilloch,
Glasgow G66 2AX
October 16th 1992.

Dear Archy:
      Further to our conversation. at the '92 Rally, I would like to submit my article for "Creag Dhubh".

      All my life I have been proud of my Scots heritage and Clan name. I was born in 1944, the son of Archibald McPherson and Catherine McInnes Smith, with my older brother Archie and sister Elizabeth. From early childhood my brother and I sported our Hunting McPherson kilts. My father was a master cooper and ran a successful business in Glasgow, with a great reputation in the Scots whisky industry.


      Pride of place in our home was a portrait of "Old Cluny" in the familiar pose that we all know. My father had purchased it along with six chairs and a claymore sword at the sale of Cluny Castle. The portrait had the hand-written legend underneath, with the Chief's coat-of-arms, bounded by the figures of Lachlan McPherson, Laggan and Ewan McPherson, Dalquoich. As a child I would imagine I was descended from Cluny or one of his Cadets.

      Oral tradition related that my roots were from the "Isles of Mull". My father was born in Parkhead, Glasgow in 1908, the only son of Archibald McPherson and Christina McKiggan of South Uist. He also had four sisters, Annie, Marion, Annabella and Euphemia. My father was a keen piper with "Beardmore Cadets Pipe Band". My grandfather, Archie McPherson, was born in Maryhill Parish, Glasgow in 1866, and had two brothers, Donald and Hugh, and two sisters, Annabella and Marion. My great-grandfather was the first to settle in Glasgow. He was born Archibald McPherson in Craignish, Argyle, in 1828, and married Marion McMaster of Morvern in 1854 in Glasgow. His parents were Hugh McPherson and Annabella Livingstone, and he had two brothers, Malcolm and Lachlan, and three sisters, Euphemia, Janet and Margaret. Annabella Livingstone died in 1845 at Craignish and Hugh remarried Christian Muir in 1850 at Craignish, and had five more children, Hugh, Alexander McIntosh, Annabella, Janet and John.

      Hugh McPherson was born in 1793 at Craignish, the son of either Malcolm McPherson and Ann McPherson or Malcolm McPherson and Florence Campbell --- at this date there is a question as to which is correct. Malcolm may have been born in 1758, the son of Hugh McPherson. I cannot find my roots before that, as that is the start of the Old Parish Records that remain.

      I would welcome any response from Clan members worldwide who can trace a link back to Craignish in the 18th and 19th centuries. I have found that there were a great number of McPhersons living in the Parish, and 1750 to 1850 was the "golden age" for them, after which they rapidly dispersed, and there are no kinsmen living there now.

      I was introduced to family history research by Robert Pearson of Glasgow in 1989 after meeting him at our Clan Gathering. At the 1991 Rally I was approached by Mrs Emma MacPherson of Vancouver, B.C. and her attractive daughter Kim, who were seeking directions to a plot of land which had been passed on in Mrs MacPherson's late husband's estate in Baillieston, Glasgow. When they told me the location I thought I had found Canadian relatives. Alas, it seems not so. I have a cousin who lived in the house next door to their land. After meeting Emma and Kim in Glasgow I took them to visit my cousin Hugh MacPherson, and he related memories of both our families, but confirmed that we were not related.

      I would like to see more of our clansmen and women tracing their roots and making connections. It is a small world.


Orholtet 4,
1453 Bjornemyr,

Dear Sir:
      I am writing to you because I have been trying to trace my ancestory in Scotland, and I saw your address in the Clan Almanac by Charles MacLean.

      In my research I have had some trouble with finding my great-great-grandmother Sarah Bell MacPherson and her ancestors. I saw your address in the above mentioned book, and I hope your organisation will be able to help me in my quest. This information is what I have managed to find:
      My mother Kathleen Morah Haughan, born 21 May 1944 in Edinburgh, is the daughter of Gordon Dawson White and Margaret Baillie MacLeod, married 1968 in Edinburgh to Mr Odd Haughan, Norwegian subject and son of Arne Kristian haughan and Ellen Louise Nilsen.

------------------------------------------------------------------30 ------------------------------------------------------------

      Margaret Baillie Mac Leod, born 29 October 1922 in Edinburgh, daughter of Alexander MacLeod and Lizzie Campbell Whitton, married 1942 in Edinburgh to Gordon Dawson White, son of William Henry White and Mary Andrew Opray.

      Alexander MacLeod, born 26 June 1894 at Fort William, son of Roderick MacLeod and Sarah Bell MacPherson, married 1922 in Edinburgh to Lizzie Campbell Whitton, daughter of Robert Whitton and Margaret Blair Baillie.

      Sarah Bell MacPherson, born 24th June 1870 in Blaracharion, Kilmallie, Invernessshire, daughter of Alexander MacPherson and Margaret MacIntyre, married 30th June 1891 -- Oban, Argyle to Roderick MacLeod, son of Alexander MacLeod and Isabella Campbell.

      Alexander MacPherson, born 24th September 1820 or 1828, son of Donald MacPherson and Janet MacPherson, married 18 December 1864 at Kingussie to Margaret MacIntyre, daughter of Angus MacIntyre and Isabella MacPherson.

      Donald MacPherson, married 26th January 1815 at Knock of Clune to Janet MacPherson (I do not know who her parents were),- and let me also mentional Isabella MacPherson, married in January 1836 at Kingussie to Angus MacIntyre.

      Angus MacIntyre was the son of Alexander MacIntyre and Marjory MacPherson, who got married 11 January 1802.

      As I mentioned before I would be very thankful if your organisation could help me to find my ancestors, or direct me to somebody who might be able to help me in my further search for my ancestors.

Your sincerely,


A charaid choir:
      I am trying to locate a Macpherson I met at the Rally in 1990. He is fairly short with very blonde hair and an attractive wife. He is in the wine import business and lives in London. I think is name is George, +/- 40 years old.       Thanks.


(This is Allan of the South Africa Branch where his address is to be found).

Hugh Macpherson (Scotland) Ltd,
17 West Maitland Street,

Dear Archy,
      People from all over the world appreciate our heritage. A well known Austrian actor, Herwig Seebock, loves the sound of the bagpipes and plays them a lot. We had a hand engraved sterling silver set of pipes made for him, and a full piper's outfit. He cut quite a dash - waist 53 inches.

      An Argentinian team of Highland dancers toured our Highland Games, and ordered traditional dancers' outfits.

      We donated, via our Prime Minister, "Edinburgh" tartan ties to the European Heads of state, at the Summit here in the summer. The tartan was designed by my late father, Hugh Macpherson, for the Commonwealth Games held in Edinburgh in 1970. We had a letter of thanks from the Prime Minister. My daughter, Alison Ross, has taken a great interest in this tartan, and it is enjoying a revival. I will be going to Maastricht shortly to measure a pipe band.

      My mother, Janet Macpherson, enjoyed the hospitality given by Sandy and Catherine Macpherson at a Burns Supper held in their home, as did I. Many of our clanspeople were gathered there. My mother has happy memories of a certain Burns Supper, as it was at one she met my father in Canada.

      Our Chief asked me to have the Macpherson tweed woven again. It is now on our shelves,

Yours sincerely,






      A standard feature of the Macpherson Badenoch Gatherings in recent years has been the Monday-after treks that we've taken to various points of interest around Badenoch. The first of these I reported on was the journey across the Corrieyarrick in 1989 which appeared in the Creag Dhubh of the following year. My schedule in 1990 didn't allow me to scale Creag Meagardh which probably would have been too arduous in any event. I did participate in the stroll along the old Wade road from Crubenmore to Ruthven Barracks south of the Spey in 1991 but couldn't find the time to report on it because of my involvement with organizing Na D&igrqave;onadairean. That was too bad because it was a most enjoyable walk with pleasant company and allowed us to visit a number of old Macpherson farms that are not accessible by vehicle. It was easy going and the weather was marvellous, enhanced by being enthralled by the piping of Robert Pearson, who was one of our companions.

      The route we chose for 1992 took us around the back of Creag Dhubh into Glen Banchor -- that glen so rich in Macpherson heritage and so well described by A. I. S. Macpherson in his article that appeared in Creag Dhubh for 1990. In contrast to the fine weather of 1991, this year's journey was punctuated by intermittent showers of rain and attendant gusts of wind. But these ardours were eased by the lilting pipes of Robert Pearson who again accompanied us along with Valerie and their two Shelties. Other companions included Sandy Macpherson, our traditional leader on the previous treks, John and Iris Macpherson of Montrose, Elizabeth Rae Cromarty, Margaret Hambleton, Colin Macpherson, Andy Macpherson, John Walker of Hamilton, N.Z. and Sarah Jemieson of Northumberland.

Up the Strath to Allt Madagan Bothy
      The map shows the route of our stroll, about eight miles as the crow walks, starting from Cluny Castle. The leg from the Museum to Cluny was achieved by automobile provided by the good offices of various drivers. We departed the Museum about 9am and after arriving at Cluny spent some time with a stroll around the outside of the Castle. From Cluny we travelled up Strath an Eilich some two and one-half miles to where Allt an Lochan Dubh meets the River Calder. The route was along a farm road for most of the way and rose some


500 feet in elevation. We reached this point at around 11 am and because it was raining quite hard at the time, needed no persuasion to take shelter in a bothy that lay just short of Calder's flow and we were ready to consume the lunches that we had brought with us.

      As is the case with most bothies, this is of quite rude construction but unlike most is sumptuously furnished with overstuffed chairs and a sofa. Granted, this furniture has seen better days but nevertheless is not what you would expect to find deep in a Highland glen. The bothy has several other distinctive features as well of which two made substantial impressions on me. One was the fact that the top of the door frame was less than six feet from the ground, a fact that kept asserting itself each time I entered or left forgetting to duck and cracking my head as a consequence. The other was its guest book to which we all affixed our signatures under a short description of our reason for being there.

      The guest book had a title page announcing that this was the Allt Madagan Bothy. But subsequent visitors took issue with this claim insisting that it was really the Dalna Sealg Bothy, the Allt Madagan Bothy being located some three miles to the west and no longer standing due to the depredations of vandals. Other inscriptions suggested that the name Madagan was the phonetic Gaelic "for 'otter' or madadh-donn." Still another said that was wrong because 'the Gaelic for otter is beast dubh.       Perplexed by these conflicting opinions I consulted several Gaelic dictionaries after returning home and determined that the derivation is more likely madadh-dhon meaning 'brown dog or wolf. The Gaelic for the fresh-water otter or a beaver is dòbhran or biast dubh. In writing this article I consulted the "Half-inch to the Mile' Ordnance Survey map for the area and noted that it showed an Allt Mada Coin about two miles to the west of where this bothy is sited. However, I could not derive a translation of this name. What this all proves is that you should not believe everything you read in bothy guest books.

Down the Glen
      The rain stopped about the same time we finished lunch and we departed the bothy (whatever its name was) to descend Glen Banchor. We elected to cross the Calder there since it would become much wider as we travelled eastward. Crossing was achieved by means of a bridge of stepping stones we constructed for that purpose. This took us onto a moor that alternated from solid ground covered with knee-high heather and bracken to spongy peat bogs that contained mosses of every colour and description in which you could lose a shoe if you weren't careful.

      As one can see from my map sketch, our route took us across at least three burns. It was alongside these that the Macphersons built their 'black' clachans or collective farmsteads that were described in the 1990 article cited above. Little evidence of their prior existence there remains -- only shadows of grass covered stones mark where many of our ancestors dwelt.

      The burns were rapidly rising as we came upon them, swollen by the rains that had fallen shortly before in the Monadh Liath (Grey Mountains) to the north. Although none of them was very deep, crossing them proved to be quite an adventure because they spread out as they rose inundating the adjacent braes and requiring our make-shift bridges to be quite long.

      Across the Calder to the south loomed Creag Dhubh which had cast its shadow on the clachans throughout much of the time when the sun was low on the horizon. Although its northern exposure is less rocky and more forested than the south face that most of us see when we visit, it nevertheless is still an imposing sight.

Into The Home Stretch
      The lower portion of Glen Banchor is easily reached via the Glen road that starts across from Newtonmore Village Hall and winds through several terraces before it reaches the plateau above the village. This destination has always been a place I visit when I'm there because the Calder gorge can be seen from there and it is one of the most beautiful sights that Scotland has to offer.


      The final leg of our stroll was along the rim of the gorge and not long after we reached the paved road which parallels it. We were met by that angel of mercy, Catherine, with hot tea and coffee, home-made scones with butter and strawberry jam, cookies and, of course, uisge beatha of the 'Cluny' persuasion. What a welcoming experience for the weary strollers some six hours after their departure!

      After that sumptuous repast it was literally all down-hill from there. We did make a slight excursion into the gorge to see a particularly interesting pool of the Calder, black with peat as it rushed towards the Spey in full spate. Rather than taking the Glen Road we elected to follow the Calder past Bialid farm and St Bride's Cemetery back to the Laggan Road and on to the Museum. It was a wonderful experience that brought back very pleasant memories as I've struggled to tell of our adventures that day. I look forward to other adventures in the coming years. Why don't you plan to come along with Sandy and the rest of the gang?

      For many it has been amazing how many encyclopaedias give only partial coverage to Scottish culture. From now on they have no excuse for doing so. Three books give a first class insight into most aspects of life.

      Taken at random we look at Trevor Royle's Companion to Scottish Literature, published by Gale Research Company, Book Tower, Detroit, Michigan 48226 -- ISBN 0-8103-0519-4 covers a very great range of our literature, not only in English but in Gaelic. For instance under "Macpherson" we find Ian Macpherson, and of course James Macpherson of the Ossian (there is a separate reference to 'Ossian'), but also to Màiri Mhór nan Oran (Mary Macpherson), and that does not include the septs of the Clan so it serves everyone well who wishes to find a reference to so many aspects of our literature. For we received an enquiry from our Chairman, Gordon of Burlington, Ontario, about the authorship of the "Canadian Boat Song" which is extremely well known, the opening lines:           Listen to me, as when ye heard our father
           Sing long ago the song of the other shores --
           Listen to me and then in chorus gather
          All your deep voices, as ye pull your oars:


           Fair these broad meads -- these hoary woods are grand;
           But we are exiles from our fathers' land.
           From the loan shieling of the misty island
           Mountains divide us and a waste of seas --
           Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides ...

Under "Canadian Boat Song" this song and its likely author is discussed, so the coverage is extensive and under most entries there is an extensive bibliography which can point the way to further reading, a delightful way into the delight of Scottish literature.

The Second Companion is A Companion to Scottish Culture, edited by David


Daiches and published by Edward Arnold - ISBN 0-7131-6344-5 -- which cover a very vast gamut of Scottish life and has also, at the end advice of Further Reading. If a library can't get the book you want from its own resources one can suggest that they get it for you "Interlibrary". That usually ensures that you can borrow a copy, but one would rather purchase each of the three companions. This second companion is astoundingly wide in its topics, yes, Macpherson and Ossian are again here, but everything else from Architecture to the Paisley shawl! It is the sort of companion that one would always hope to share the company, stimulating, readable and deftly illustrated.

      The third Companion and that nearest our heart is The Companion to Gaelic Scotland, edited by Derick S. Thomson and published by Blackwell Reference: Oxford -- ISBN 0-631-12502-7. Here, as befits a Highland encyclopaedia, there are more Clan references. Without going into the septs, as we ought to, there are no fewer than thirteen references to Macphersons. So valuable a guide is this book that it is required reading in at least one university department of Celtic. If there is one objection to be made it is that this is the language and culture of all Scotland as a whole -- Gaelic -- which is also that of our family of Macphersons and their septs. The illustrations are enticing and seldom to have been seen anywhere else. Reading from cover to cover will take one by the hand into the inheritance of the Gael the everyday world of thought of our fathers ... the heroes are listed page after page and the pages of places ... histories . . . orthography . . . folksong collections . . . battles and troubles . shinty . storytelling . . . Need we go on? It is a delight and source of inspiration.

The Celtic Collection by Alice Starmore, published by Anaya Publishers Ltd: London: ISBN 1-85470-118-5, is a book which will delight knitters as it gives 25 knitwear designs for men, women and children for sweaters, jackets, waistcoats and cardigans, all in the delightful patterns to be found in Celtic art on stones and manuscripts . . . totally unique and beautiful; there is aid on every stitch and where throughout the world wools and yarns may be obtained. The book is beautiful and the coloured illustrations a delight to the eye.

The Muster Roll of Prince Charles Edward Stuart's Army 1745-76, edited by Alastair Livingstone of Bachuil and others and published by Aberdeen University Press; ISBN 0-08-030385-4. If one has any feelings at all this book will set our blood racing. We had our own regiment of 400 under the command of our chief, Cluny. From page 186 we have our own section introduced by Cluny of our own day who is well known to so many of us and who bears himself in as gallant a mould today as ever did Ewan, the Cluny of the '45. John Roy Stuart said that had only we, the Macphersons, not been sent out to forage for supplies we would have turned the tide to victory that cold day at Culloden! That's what he said.

Marble Arch Memories by Jean Macpherson: published by Marble Arch Memories, 27 Archery Close, London W2 and obtainable from the Raven Gallery, Newtonmore, Inverness- shire, Scotland (ISBN 0-9520 709-01), �.99 This is the story of a nursery school like Topsy . . . it just grew. It started in the Macphersons' family home in Somers Crescent for the family alone and it just had to expand into larger premises as parents clamoured for their children to be admitted. Its new home was a virtually derelict hall almost opposite the family home. But with Lady Macpherson's charm, ability and dedication more and more children joined this highly regarded school. In time it managed to expand with new facilities, gardens and extensions. But it wasn't easy, Lady jean dedicated twenty-five years to its success. So much for the school . . . it's a good read. But for us the greatest interest is in how the Macpherson family of Balavil, Kingussie form the most vital, warm hearted part. Their photographs and story alone would encourage clansfolk to purchase this book. The dedication photograph of Sir Tommy, Lady jean and family alone would for many make it a good buy. The proceeds of the sale of this sparkling book go to the Hyde Park School Charitable Fund so that help could be offered to parents facing financial difficulties.


By Jack Richmond
      The Clan MacPherson was bound to loom large in the celebration of the Camanachd Association's Centenary. The dominant place of the clan in Badenoch, as a stronghold of the game over the centuries, has meant that individuals of the name constantly feature in the annals of shinty. None were more influential than the Chiefs of the clan and particularly with the "Ball Plays" which they held each year on Christmas day, Old Style, on the meadow between the Spey and Cluny Castle -- keeping alive the traditions of the Ancient Gaelic stick sport through a period when these all but disappeared.

      When the Association was formed in 1893 it was very appropriate that MacPherson of Cluny should be one of three founding Vice-Presidents along with L.A. MacPherson of Corriemony and C.J.B. MacPherson of Balavil. The latter is believed to have been the major driving force, along with Kingussie Camanachd Club, in drawing up the structure of the new body. The final framing probably took place in the old Adam mansion of Balavil, three miles northeast of Kingussie, and this will be the entirely fitting venue for the first function of the 1993 Centenary celebration programme.

      The hosts on that occasion will be Sir Tommy and Lady MacPherson who are of a quite different branch of the widespread family of the MacPhersons but again with the best of shinty, and other, credentials. Sir Tommy's ancestors are from Strone, the township above Newtonmore which, over the generations, has produced so many outstanding players in the blue and white strip. His grandfather James MacPherson was a coal and grain merchant in the village and two of his sons had classic croft to corridors of power careers. These were Sir Tommy's father, Thomas Stewart, and his uncle James Ian -- the former afterwards Sir Stewart MacPherson, and the latter, Lord Strathcarron.


      Newtonmore was part of the Balavil Estate and the laird's mother, who lived as a widow in the dower house there, identified the boys' potential. Again, in storybook fashion, Doctor George Philip, a prominent Edinburgh minister and a regular summer visitor, came on the eleven- years -old Stewart reading a Greek text in a fishing bothy in Loch Ericht. Through his influence the two brothers were sent off to secondary schooling at George Watson's and high performance in Edinburgh and Oxford Universities. Both men had high attainment afterwards -- the one in the Indian Civil Service, the other in British politics.

      They were keenly competitive in sport from the earliest years and in shinty they left their mark both on the field of play and in administrative terms, Stewart MacPherson started at University when he was 17, in the same year that the Camanachd Association was established. He was a contemporary of John MacDonald, the then schoolmaster's son in Newtonmore, known as "Johnny the Master", who became an exciseman. These two, together, are credited with bringing in scientific passing play to Newtonmore and in laying the foundation of the future illustrious history of the club. James Ian played in the team which gained the first trophy honour in winning the MacTavish Cup in 1902; it was he who was the eloquent spokesman for the club when they first won the Camanachd Cup in 1907 and on many such occasions thereafter.

      Sir Stewart MacPherson's own family were all eminent in sport. Tommy's older brother Phil, as "G.P.S." had probably the best known initials in the whole history of Scottish rugby as the three-quarter who captained the first "Grand Slam" winning team in 1925. His three other brothers shared different "Blues" honours at Edinburgh and Oxford.

      Tommy started his own schooling at Edinburgh Academy where he took part in the unique playground game of clacken, the strange sort of illegitimate relation of shinty. He passed on to Fettes and, in spite of the severe difficulty of osteomyelitis, became a running champion of the school and, when at the family home in Newtonmore, joined in the playing of shinty with the local boys.       In 1939 he was commissioned in the 5th Camerons and went off to war on the same day from Newtonmore with later shinty personalities like Gabie Fraser, Lachie MacQueen and


Sandy Russell. The Battalion took camans with them and used them in matches in the early period before departing overseas on even more serious occasions.

      Tommy's war career was an extraordinary one. After transferring to No 11 Commando, he joined the Long Range Desert Group and was captured in the attack on Rommel's headquarters. He escaped three times, eventually getting to Britain through Sweden. He was parachuted to command underground resistance in both France and Italy and finished his war with a most distinguished list of military decorations.

      He had won a scholarship to Trinity College, Oxford in 1939 and, when he left army service, went back to being a student there and gained both a first in "Modern Greats" and a running Blue, along with selection for Britain in the World Student Games.

      In the period since the War, all the Macpherson brothers significantly made their mark in national life. Tommy now culminates a wide-ranging leadership in the boardroom of top companies and national agencies with the Presidency of the European Chamber of Commerce. He has maintained a strong link with the Territorial Army and his knighthood in the last Honours List was particular acknowledgement of his Chairmanship of the National Employment Liaison Committee, so important for the release of telling reserves in the Gulf War.

      His eldest son, Angus, was not at all unfamiliar with shinty as a boy and is now a Major in the Scots Guards, stationed in Edinburgh; his younger son Duncan, has followed his father at Trinity into Bar training; his daughter Isabel is a merchant banker. Tommy obviously rejoices in his resumed residence in Badenoch and his dynamic wife, Jean, has long been an enthusiast for the way of life there. They will be significant hosts for shinty's milestone Centenary occasion on April 2, 1993.

      Elsewhere in this edition the Vice-Chairman has written, giving preliminary information on the celebrations in 1996 to mark the 50th Clan Rally.

      It is hoped to stage an exhibition in the Clan Museum during the summer of that year devoted to the growth and activities of the Association, demonstrating how it started from small beginnings and its growth to its present size and its influential position.

      To assist in the setting up of the exhibition I would appeal to members and friends who possess old photographs, programmes, newspaper cuttings or other memorabilia on the subject of past Rallies or other Clan Branch activities, to please lend them for possible inclusion in the exhibition.

      Please ensure that the lender's name and address are attached and that details of the subject matter, with dates, are included. If they are incorporated into the exhibition they will be returned to the lender, if requested, on completion.

      I am sure that a search through your personal archives in attic or basement will be rewarding -- and possibly amusing.

       Please send to me: Sandy Macpherson, "Caerketton", 39 Swanston Avenue, Edinburgh EH10 7BX. Thank you very much in anticipation.




This conversation is a short extract from a broadcast made about 50 years ago. It adds a little information to the account of the pipers in Creag Dhubh 1992 and has been sent in by Ian C. Macpherson of Guildford, Surrey.

The people speaking are:      
A: Angus MacPherson of Invershin, aged 79.
Q: Calum Maclean of the School of Scottish Studies.
W: William MacLean of Kilcreggan, aged 79


Q: Well, Mr Macpherson, how does it happen that you became a piper?
A: Well, I could hardly escape becoming a piper. I'm the fourth generation in the family and I've heard the pipes and been brought up to piping since I first saw the light of day. My Great Grandfather downwards were all pipers in the family.
Q: At what age were you when you started first on the pipes?
A: Well, of course, I had it well drilled into my head before ever I started to make a note on the chanter. I had it already in Canntaireachd but then probably about 7 or 8 years old. My father started me on the practice chanter.

[According to Dwelly's Illustrated Gaelcic to English Dictionary, canntaireachd is "the ancient Highland manner of noting clasical pipemusicby combining a combination of definite syl