Duke of Gordon Advertisment

A Days March to Ruin Advertisment







Posterity of the Three Brethren", upon which we all rely. Professor Alan also wrote the excellent book "A Day's March to Ruin" in 1996, a work which has been rightly much admired within and outside our Association. In his head and among his documents and publications there is a vast store of knowledge which he readily shares with all of us.

         Supreme in the field of Heraldry is R. Gordon M. Macpherson, of Burlington, Ontario. Gordon has advised many of us who have matriculated Arms, and his painting and drawing of all those Arms make a most important contribution to our Museum. In October Gordon was appointed "Niagara Herald Extraordinary" in the Canadian Heraldic Authority by Governor General LeBlanc of Canada. That authority exercises the Royal Prerogative in heraldic matters in Canada, and is the equivalent of our Lyon Court. Such recognition is long overdue, and we all congratulate Gordon on this appointment. The Canadian National Post in October noted that Gordon's painting and his bookplates have been "a major influence in Canadian heraldic art". My own bookplate, composed by Gordon in 1984, reflects facets of my life, and is a permanent


source of joy to me. How fortunate we are that Gordon and Nancy still figure strongly in the Association's affairs!

         After Kitchener we went to Kansas City [MO] for the U.S.A. Annual Meeting and Gathering, which was superbly organised by Gerald and DeLois Macpherson, of Shawnee [KS]. We enjoyed the great company of over 100 members and friends, and together with Alastair and Penny and Sandy and Catherine we dined and wined and toured the City of Fountains, and talked and sang long into the night! Yet another splendid occasion to remember.

         We have seen many members here at Newton during the year, and we much look forward to Badenoch 2000 and to many more visitors in the new Millennium.

         Good fortune and health to you all!


Blairgowrie, November 1999


As Chairman of the Clan Association, I am often introduced as International Chairman and this has been a particularly appropriate adjective to describe a year that started with a visit to Australia and ended up with the Pitmains moving to live in New York. I am penning these remarks from our new apartment in Manhattan where we will be based for the next two years, during which time I hope to see more of our North American Clan members.

         Our trip to Australia, via Singapore and Bali, was a great success and apart from the delights of Sydney and Hayman Island, one of the highlights was the Reception expertly organised by John L. Macpherson of Strathfield, N.S.W, It was a splendid get-together of Macphersons of all generations, some of whom had travelled considerable distances to attend. John is putting his considerable energies into organising the New South Wales Branch and is looking forward to entertaining Cluny and Lady Cluny in the near future.

         The 1999 Rally in Badenoch was a "warm-up" for two North American Rallies in the autumn which we attended together with the Clunys and Sandy and Catherine. The Canadian Branch meeting in Kitchener, Ontario, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Branch and it was a real pleasure to meet up with many Canadian members who have devoted so much of their energies over the years to the Clan, including Donald and Betty, Gordon and Nancy and John and jean Whitton. The next weekend it was on to Kansas City for the U.S. Branch A.G.M. which was meticulously organised by Gerald and DeLois Macpherson, before we all headed back to the U.K. for a much needed rest.

         By the time you read these remarks we will be well into the next Millennium. Penny and I send you all our best wishes, and as my term of office draws to an end I would like to express my gratitude for all the support and encouragement I have received from Clan members all over the world. It has been an honour to serve as your Chairman.


New York, December 1999


After all the excitement of anniversaries over the past few years, 1999 has been a quieter year for the Clan Association. However the year has not been entirely uneventful, as we have welcomed our new Treasurer, Peter Munro, and made a start to refurbishing the Museum's facilities, in line with the ambitious plans outlined by Rod Clarke in last year's issue.

         One unexpected event has been the departure of our Chairman, Alastair of Pitmain, from London to New York, where he expects to be domiciled for the next two years. Britain's loss is America's gain - a temporary one, we hope, from this side of the Atlantic!

         Congratulations to the US Branch on the success of their website on the Internet -- their tally of one million visits in its first few years' existence is quite astonishing. You will find an excellent description of it in Rod Clarke's article, which will whet your appetite to make your own visit, if you have not yet done so.

         Plans are already underway for an excellent Millennium Gathering in the year 2000, following the well-tried pattern of past years. To make things easier for new visitors to the Gathering a map of the Badenoch area, showing the locations of the various events, has been included in this issue. Hopefully, name badges will also be provided this year, to make for easier identification and assistance of Clan members, especially those attending for the first time.

Once again thanks are due to the many people who have provided their contributions to the magazine, and to those who gave their help by checking and proof-reading.

(Adapted, with kind permission, from the Editorial by Ian J. A. Robb in "Macpherson's Rant", The Scottish Branch Newsletter, Vol. 2 No. 2.)
The 1999 Gathering is over, and here we go to press again. All who attended I am sure will agree it was a wonderful event. The Ball on Friday was attended by 97 members and friends, and the full range of dances were called by Andrew Gillies, in his usual impeccable manner. A sumptuous spread was provided by the Duke of Gordon, and many new friendships were made.

         On Saturday at the AGM in Newtonmore, which was very well attended, and chaired by Alastair Macpherson of Pitmain, we welcomed our new Treasurer, who gave us an excellent report on our financial position. However it has become necessary to see us increasing our fees, which we have not done for a considerable time. The new fees will not take effect until after next year's AGM, so those who wish to take advantage of our Life Membership at the existing rate should do so promptly. The new rates will be Annual Membership �and Life Membership �0. The other rates were left as they were at this moment in time.

         On the other side of the coin we had good news and bad news. First the bad news, we had to accept Bruce Macpherson's resignation as Secretary, however he will remain in


office until the end of the current financial year, and at that time hopefully he will have found an acceptable successor. The good news is that we awarded two Honorary Memberships, to our new Treasurer, Peter Munro, and to Dr Seamus Grant, from the University of Aberdeen. Gifts were presented to Cluny and Lady Cluny, from the Association, by Pitmain, and from the Scottish Branch, by John Macpherson, to mark Sir William's completion of 30 years as Chief of the Clan. Naturally we hope that they can see us through another thirty years! We also heard of the exciting proposals to leap into the 21st century with the Clan producing its own Internet web page. Scottish Branch Chairman John Macpherson and his wife Iris distributed the White Heather which we all proudly bore for the rest of the Gathering.

         The March to the Newtonmore Games was once again completed in fine style by the 'kilted' members, with the welcome being given by Sir Thomas Macpherson of Biallid who had the honour to be this year's Chieftain.

         4.30p.m. at the Museum saw a presentation being given to Andrew Macpherson (our Curator) and his wife Nancy, to mark their 50th Wedding Anniversary. We then made our way to the 'Duke' to participate in the traditional 'Stovies Supper', followed by another successful Ceilidh. A change of fear-an-tighe was the first noticeable difference. Into this role stepped the trusty Scottish Branch Secretary, Ian Robb, who hopes he didn't make too much of a mess. (Ed. He did a fine job!)

         As usual we started the entertainment with Ruth Macpherson and accompanist Donald Sinclair, with a rendition of Gaelic songs. This was followed by young Donald Macintosh playing on his pipes 'Highland Cathedral' and 'Mist Covered Mountains'. He was promptly followed by Donald McPherson bringing us back down to earth again with an 'Apology to the Bagpipes'. Andrew Gillies told us his witticisms, and nearly had us rolling in the aisles. The penultimate turn of the first half was provided by Bill and Jan Macpherson of Glenfarg, who sang of the wonders of their 'Wedding Night', whilst Rod Clarke and 'Tokyo' Bill Macpherson led us in a selection of familiar Scots songs.

         The second half was again started by Ruth and Donald with another three songs. Young Donald then stepped up and played 'Scotland the Brave' and 'Mairi's Wedding'. A further recitation from Donald McPherson told the tale of 'The Wee White Ba". Marian Clarke then related a children's tale about the 'Golden Windows'. Now artistes were beginning to come out of the woodwork. Ian Robb recited 'The Octogenarian's Prayer' and 'The Loch Ness Monster', Brenda McFaul sang and Donald Macintosh displayed his other hidden talent by singing 'The Siren Song'. Then came our own Song Contest, with the family MacTrapp, who sang 'The Glory of the Countryside'. This was enchantingly followed by Sarah McCabe leading us into 'You Canny Shove yet Granny off the Bus'. Ronnie delighted us once again with the 'The Old School Car', and following another short sing-song the concluding item was Cluny's 'Gu Ma Slan Do Na Fearaibh'. A vote of thanks was given by Alastair of Pitmain. Ian Macpherson Middlemass' jazz piano selections led the way into the Ceilidh after the Ceilidh, which duly went on until 5 a.m., we are reliably informed.

         The Clan was well represented at the Church Service in St Columba's, Kingussie, on Sunday morning, which was led by Rev. Peter Millar, with the theme of 'Religion in Public Life'. The readings were given by Cluny and Alastair of Pitmain. The Service was followed by a pleasant picnic at the Cairn at Shanvall, and later by afternoon tea at Balavil, for which our thanks go out to Allan Macpherson-Fletcher and his family, who put up with our intrusion.

         Fourteen worthies completed the Gathering with the traditional Monday Walk, round the 'Trail of the Wild Cat'. All I can say to close is that the Gathering 2000 can't come round too quickly for me!


Ring Around Newtonmore or Traipsing Along the Wildcat Trail
By Ruairidh Mor
The High Street of Newtonmore is a familiar scene to anyone who has attended a Macpherson Gathering or just passed through the village. Most of those folks are also likely to have attended the Newtonmore Games on the 'Eilan', the area where the River Calder meets the Spey. Many of us have ventured up the Glen Road to the plateau above the village and the Calder where the foundations of the old croft houses are still visible. That is where most of the inhabitants lived before the 'new town on the moor' was developed with the coming of the railway in the 1860s. Some of us have visited, the railway station or played eighteen holes at the adjacent golf course. But all those places comprise only a small part of Newtonmore.

         This year's trek took us to parts of the village area where few have visited before but many are expected to do so in the future. At least that is the hope of the Newtonmore Woodland Trust which has created the Wildcat Trail. The accompanying map shows this ring around the village which is about 10 kin long and links 40 hectares of woodlands. The trail crosses several properties which has entailed erecting numerous deer and rabbit fences, stiles and 'kissing gates'. Not satisfied with the extent of the existing tree cover the Trust has planted another 24 thousand trees adjacent to the Trail.

         This year's trekkers were really pioneers in that the Trail is still being developed. Much work remained to be accomplished before it would be officially opened sometime before the great Newtonmore Millennium Celebration. Among the missing items are the interpretive signs that will make the Trail a self-guiding adventure. But we were privileged rather than deprived because we had the President of the Trust as our guide -- James D. G. Davidson, an exceptionally pleasant fellow who not only gave us a running account of what we were seeing but also patiently answered all our questions.

         As best as I can recall from my notes, (which seemed adequate at the time but now appear to be quite lacking), the trekking Macphersons were Jean and Gordon Duffy of California, Ian and Thelma Robb of Montrose, John and Iris Macpherson of Montrose, Donald McPherson of London, Fiona McPherson of Sydney, Australia, and Sam 'bogdodger' Leslie of Washington, D.C., Sandy Macpherson and myself. I've examined the photos I took that day and think I've accounted for every participant. Nope -- the photo of the party taken at the start shows four others -- Jim Davidson, his two granddaughters, Alice and Catriona, and a gentleman named Alec Morrison. Our traditional 'angel of mercy', Catherine Macpherson was there to see us off as was that veteran clansman, Ronnie Macpherson and Jean and John Whitton of Oakville, Ontario.

Up the Calder to Glen Banchor
         The trek began as usual at the Clan Museum around 10 a.m. on the Monday of the Gathering weekend and we walked southwest along the Laggan Road until we came to the left bank of the River Calder, one of the several starting points for the Trail. From there we started climbing along a path that skirts the river until we reached the plateau that is the beginning of Glen Banchor.

         From there we headed northeasterly across the glen through several gates and over as many stiles as we crossed property lines. Jim Davidson told us about the places we were seeing but I was enjoying myself and note-taking would have been a bother. Besides, it isn't easy taking notes as one treks along at a fairly fast pace.

         Our northeasterly trend ended at the right bank of Aultlaurie where we turned southeasterly downstream until we came to the Kingussie Road. Here we turned to a southwesterly direction hugging the road shoulder, This stretch along the road was the most dangerous part of the walk because a tree-lined bend blocks the view of cars coming out of Newtonmore until they are right on top of any walkers there. However, we were


told that this problem will have been much alleviated when the Trail is officially opened. Nevertheless, one will still have to be alert even then.

Along the Spey

         After crossing the Kingussie Road we proceeded southeasterly skirting the golf course and passing through fairly dense woods. Eventually we reached the left bank of the River Spey and turned southwesterly to proceed upstream. Here we were passing through


territory that has been designated as environmentally sensitive by the European Union because, among other things, it is the home of seven different varieties of orchids. I must confess that I was completely unaware of the Highlands being known for orchids but we were assured that it is true.

         Continuing upstream along the Spey we passed through a culvert under the railway tracks and skirted the boundary of the caravan park across the road from the 'Eilan'. We had to climb up the embankment where the automobile bridge crosses the Spey to get


across this road and then continued along the left bank of the Spey again. Not evident from the road are the huge dikes located here. These are constructed of loose rocks of 10-12-inch diameter and walking on them is not the steadiest pathway. The Spey is prone to flooding in the Spring and these dikes are there to protect the Eilan. It isn't clear to me why this area is so designated because it really isn't an island at all. Perhaps part of the area was once an island under flooding conditions before the dikes were put in place. Although footing along the dikes is uncomfortable, we soon reached the Calder and turned northwesterly again continuing along its left bank until we reached the Laggan Road. Then it was back to the Museum where that great angel of mercy awaited us with a dram and biscuits and tea for abstainers. The trek took about three hours all told and I, at least, was ready for a hearty lunch.

         I'm looking forward to travelling the Wildcat Trail again in the next century or sooner. And for those of you who might shy away from a six-mile walk, the nice part about the Trail's design is that there are at least twelve starting points which are also stopping points. Thus, if you choose, circuiting Newtonmore can be done in successive segments as leisurely as you like. Doing it that way will allow you time to visit the many other attractions that are shown on the map.


President of Students' Union:
Graeme R. MacPherson has been elected President of the Students' Association/ Union at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh. Congratulations! He is a Life Member of the South African Branch of the Clan Macpherson Association, and he carried the Clan Green Banner at the Clan Gathering in 1995. He has now completed his third year of study for the degree of M.A. (Bus. Mgt.) He is the eldest grandson of Allan MacPherson, Chairman of the South African Branch of the Clan Association.

Royal Warrant:
In an article in the Sunday Times of 19th September 1999 it was revealed that Drew McPherson's company 'McPherson Atlantic' based in Tomintoul has been awarded a Royal Warrant by Prince Charles to supply mushrooms to his household.

         Drew was introduced to Prince Charles six years ago as an expert who buys in high value mushrooms from a network of amateur pickers. Some of the fungi he sells is picked on the Balmoral Estate.

Employer of the Year:
As reported in 'Maui News' for 18th April 1999, Alex McBarnet, founder of Maui Oil in Hawaii, was named Employer of the Year by the Kahului Rotary Club. He was cited for sympathetic treatment of his employees an customers, for stepping in where other businesses feared to tread and


for supporting many non-profit agencies. His company assists and subsidises child care for single-parent workers, subsidises and gives time off for employees upgrading their education and holds quarterly "customer appreciation days".

         Alex is a descendant of Capt. John MacPherson, the famous 'Black Officer of Balachroan' (see article in Creag Dhubh No. 48, 1996), and his wife Mary-Jane McBarnet is a regular attender at Clan Macpherson Association Gatherings.

"Super-model" visits Scotland:
Famous Australian "super-model" Elle Macpherson recently visited Scotland, when she stayed for three days as a VIP guest at Craig Dhu House near Newtonmore, the home of Sir Thomas Macpherson of Biallid and Lady Macpherson.

         Although not a Macpherson by birth -- she adopted the name from her stepfather -- Elle can claim Clan membership through her natural father's name of Gow, a Clan sept.[what we now call 'an associated family' -- RM]

         While staying at Craig Dhu House, Elle took part in a photo shoot for 'Tatler' magazine. Sir Thomas said: "I was impressed by how professional she was in her job -- even when the midges were eating her, she kept on going. [A copy of that photo is currently displayed in the Clan Macherson Museum at Panel 54. Click here to view-RM}.

         Elle has been honoured in a set of eight postage stamps based on photographs of her, issued in Antigua and Barbuda to commemorate the 1999 World Stamp Expo held in Australia.

         The photographer was the Hon. Andrew Macpherson, son of Lord Strathcarron.

Ambassador for Scotch Whisky:
A feature article in 'The Scotsman' of 2nd August 1999 covered the recent move to New York of well-known clansman Evan Cattanach. He has taken up residence at a cottage set in 40 acres of ground, just an hour away from Manhattan. Evan is continuing to act as ambassador for Scotch whisky across the United States, wearing his Macpherson kilt wherever he goes.

Compliment to the Museum:
A note in 'The Edinburgh Academy Chronicle' for 1998 tells us that as part of a school History Department trip to explore some of the main Jacobite sites a short visit to the Clan Macpherson Museum at Newtonmore was made. The article goes on to say the Museum 'is heartily recommended -- full of memorabilia very well laid out and labelled'.

Cluny Honoured:
Clan chief Sir William Macpherson has been honoured by being awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Dundee, on 9th July 1999.

To Hamish and Sharon Macpherson, on 2nd June 1999, a daughter, Heather Sarah, a first child.

To Mark and Leslie Zornow, on 14 September 1999, a daughter, Abagail Copeland, first grand-daughter for Donald L. Clarke of Pittsford, New York.

Brennan -- Macpherson. On 18th September 1999, at St Joseph's College Chapel, Hunters Hill, NSW, Fiona Macpherson, only daughter of Lt.-Col. (Retd.) and Mrs John Macpherson was married to Damian Anthony Brennan, only son of Mr and Mrs Paul Brennan of West Pymble. 120 guests, including friends of Fiona who had travelled from Japan, Indonesia and New Zealand, attended the reception held at Avondale Golf Club. During the wedding ceremony, the Frensham School Madrigal Group sang two choral items. Fiona was until July 1999 a teacher at Frensham at Mittagong, NSW.


L -- r: Mrs Bruce Douglas Macpherson, Colonel Bruce Douglas Macpherson and the Bride and Groom. Fister -- Macpherson. On 12th December 1998, in Coquitlam, B.C., Elizabeth Anne Macpherson, daughter of Colonel and Mrs Bruce Douglas Macpherson, of Harrow, Ontario, was married to John Fister.

Dr. L Macpherson Dunn, of Inverell, New South Wales, died in February 1999. John Roger McPherson, of Adelaide, South Australia, aged 65 years, died suddenly on 20th December 1998 after a short illness.          John was born in Adelaide, the fourth of five sons, on 22nd June 1933. On completion of his secondary education at Unley High School, he attended the Adelaide Teachers' College and University, where he graduated with Diplomas in Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree.

         John had an extensive career with the Education Department and was a School Principal for twenty-seven years. He retired from the Education Department in 1992 and was appointed to a position in the Australian Red Cross where he worked in the area of International Humanitarian Law. He undertook this position with great enthusiasm, becoming a popular guest speaker, especially with education and service groups. John served on various committees, including Crime Prevention and Refugee Committees.

         John was a very active member of Rotary and in the words of the President "He was a friend to all and will be long remembered for his commitment to the ideals of Rotary, his friendly smile and caring nature".

       John was an active and enthusiastic supporter of the South Australian Branch of the


Clan Macpherson Association in the early years. His support contributed to the success of the Branch. He was Secretary of the South Australian Branch and became the Australian Representative in 1993. John and his wife Wendy attended the 1984 Gathering at Newtonmore and his diary notes for August 4th of that year read: "I was given the honour of being one of the guards for Cluny, marching at the head of the procession carrying my ancient claymore sword in a vertical position -- a moving experience."        On Christmas Eve 1998, John's family and friends farewelled him with a Scottish funeral which was attended by several hundred people. The Clan Macpherson flag was draped over his coffin and a piper played traditional Scottish music at the service. John's monument at the cemetery has the motto of the Clan Macpherson inscribed on it.

       John is survived by his wife Wendy, his children Julie and Scott and his only grandchild Aurora McPherson Smith.

Miss Marion Macpherson, 74, a founding member of the Canadian Branch, died in Ottawa, Ontario on 30th October 1998. Born in Moose jaw, Saskatchewan, she obtained her B.A. in history and economics from the University of Saskatchewan and an M.A. in economics at the University of Toronto. She wrote the admission examination for the Canadian Foreign Service in 1947, the first year that women were permitted to do so.

       After initial postings in Ottawa, in 1954 she became the first female diplomat to serve on the International Commission for supervision and control in Vietnam, which implemented and supervised a cease-fire between North and South Vietnam.

       Subsequently, she worked for the Ghana High Commission as First Secretary, later becoming the High Commissioner to Sri Lanka in 1973. Marion became Consul-General in Boston, Ambassador to Denmark, and finally, High Commissioner to Zambia. She served on the Canadian delegation to the United Nations and as Deputy Commandant of the National Defence College.

Thomas Ewen Macpherson, 67, died in Edinburgh on 12th April 1999. Ewen was the elder son of the late A. Fraser Macpherson, former Secretary and Hon. Vice-President of the Clan Association and his wife Minnie.

Mrs Helen Leota Macpherson Thompson, died in Harlingen, Texas, on 14th October 1999 in her 94th year. Born in Nebraska, she spent some years in Canada before returning to the United States, where she obtained degrees in teaching and librarianship.

       Following the death of her husband John in 1951 she worked for the United States Air Force as a librarian, serving in Florida, Guam and Japan for twenty years before retiring to Harlingen to follow a multitude of interests, many of them associated with her beloved Clan Macpherson and Scotland.

       She will be best remembered by her appearances at Clan Gatherings in Badenoch, travelling light from across the world with one suitcase and taking the keenest of interest in all proceedings. Her story-telling at Ceilidhs became legendary, holding her audience of adults and children alike spellbound by sheer personality and presence.

       Helen was extremely generous to the Clan Museum. On one early visit, when noticing that if the Curator opened both doors of the Museum to create a welcoming presence to visitors it was nevertheless losing valuable heat to the open air, she immediately donated a large sum for the construction of porch doors to conserve the warmth within. [In arranging forthe settliment of her estate, Helen bequeathed $10,000 to the Museum. In recognition of her generosity the Museum Trustees dedicated the improved library in her name. -- RM]

       She will be greatly missed by her multitude of friends in many parts of the world, and Gatherings will never be quite the same again without her presence.

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Project 2K2 Update -- October 1999
By Rod Clarke

In last year's Creag Dhubh No. 51 (1999) (pace l3), I described how the Clan Macpherson Museum Trustees had launched Project 2K2 to meet the requirements of the British government for recertification of our Museum as a registered charity. At the same time this project is a particularly apt way to celebrate the Museum's golden anniversary which will occur in 2002. Thus the derivation of the name -- Project 2K2.

       At its inception, the project called for raising some �,000 ($28,000) to fund the upgrading of the Museum facilities to provide missing research and storage facilities. The article then described the five sequential steps needed to achieve the desired capabilities. Step 1 -- erecting shelving in the utility room for storage of excess materials then taking up valuable space in the room that was to become the Library. This was accomplished in October 1998; step 2 -- moving the extraneous printed materials then stored in the Library to the storage room -- was achieved over the winter by the Curator, Andrew Macpherson.

       At the meeting of the Museum Advisory Committee held in March 1999, Robert Macpherson of London, a registered architect and Museum Trustee who agreed to oversee the project, presented a detailed plan of how the remaining three steps could be accomplished in a timely and economic fashion. His plan was adopted by the Committee which also authorised implementation of Step 3 -- construction of bookcases in the Museum Library. This action was made possible through the very generous donation of the necessary funds by Prof Alan G. Macpherson of St Johns, Newfoundland.

       The work to accomplish Step 3 was placed under contract in September 1999 and is expected to be completed soon after the Museum closes for the season. Accomplishing Step 4 is a multi-part process. The first part calls for moving the collection of books previously located in the Drumochter Room to the Library. It is expected to be accomplished by the Curator over the winter months. The other parts of Step 4 -- removal of the glass-fronted bookcases and storage cabinets located in the Drumochter Room and modification of the room to better display the video telling the Macpherson story -- await the necessary funding. The amount needed to complete this step is �50 ($2850) [Step 4 was ultimately cancelled in favor of using part ofthe previous administrative area for the theatre function. This permitted the whole area of the drumochter Room available for assemblies and special displays-- RM].Of course, the funding for the accomplishment of Step 5 -- complete revision of the Museum heating system to provide for more efficient operation and additional storage space -- will be a much bigger hurdle to overcome -- �,000 ($24,500). But there are more than two years remaining to meet this goal in time to celebrate the Museum' s fiftieth anniversary, and I believe in making progress a 'bite at a time' in such matters.

       That's where you can help make the Project 2K2 a success, Now that CMA is a tax-exempt organisation in both Britain and the USA, contributions in the U.S. are tax exempt and can be deducted dollar-for- dollar from your taxable income.

       There have been several innovative ways proposed for achieving this financial goal. The one that certainly earns our sincerest admiration is that put forward by John Charles Macpherson of Hudson, New York. He has ordered his bank to send $100 per month -- in perpetuity -- to the Treasurer of the U.S. Branch to support the Museum. Initially, this amount will be forwarded to Scotland for support of Project 2K2; when the project is completed the monthly contribution will go into the Guardian Investment Fund, the interest of which is used for Museum operating expenses.        This idea may appeal to others although the amount need not be as generous as John's. All one needs to do is to submit a banker's order for some monthly amount to be paid to the Hon. Treasurer, Clan Macpherson Association for some specified period. Your bank will do the rest for you, debiting your account and sending a monthly cheque to C.M.A. for as long as you specify. In the U.K., the Treasurer is Peter Munro, 15/17 High Street, Kingussie, PH21 1HF; in the U.S.A., the Treasurer is Grace McPherson of 104 Flanders


Road, Stonington, CT 06378. For U.S. members, going through Grace gets around exchange rate problems and avoids reducing the amount of your gift to cover unnecessary bank fees at the Scotland end of the pipeline. Other Branches can participate as well by making the necessary arrangements in a similar fashion.

       Another scheme worth considering is the '100 Club' proposed by Rob Macpherson. Each branch would sell monthly tickets for a drawing for a prize of a specified amount depending on the price of each ticket. There would be no limit on the number of tickets held. The balance of the proceeds would be paid to a Museum Fund. This is being considered by the Scottish and England and Wales Branches but the details haven't been worked out as yet.

       Don't forget that contributions of $1000 (�0) or more earn you the right to proudly wear the badge of Na Dìonadairean Clann Mhuirich (The Guardians of Clan Macpherson) and that such contributions can be made in four annual installments. These funds will be added to the Guardian Fund investments, the derived interest of which supports Museum operations. In addition to the handsome certificate and pin that is awarded to Na Dìonadairean in recognition of their generosity, their names will be added to the plaque that is prominently displayed on the Museum's wall.

       Not part of Project 2K2 but very welcome news is the announcement that a group known as the 'Friends of the Clan Macpherson Museum' has donated a new personal computer system to the Museum for the use of the Curator. The system has a Cyrix 333 MHz processor, a 4.3 GB hard disk and 1.44MB floppy disk drives, 32MB of RAM, onboard graphics and sound, speakers, a 14 inch monitor, keyboard and mouse, a 56kps modem, and an HP420c Colour Printer. The system operates under Windows 98 and has Lotus Smartsuite Millennium Edition installed. In addition, the Friends have agreed to coach the Curator in learning the use of this capability and to see to its maintenance should anything become amiss. They will also help establish an e-mail account at no expense to the Museum.

       Of course, all the computer-savvy clansfolk will recognise the significance of this capability. Not only will it permit more effective communication with the far-flung clansfolk, it will eventually allow the creation of a more accessible database of Museum holdings, facilitate the cataloguing of new items and offer clansfolk various items of clan significance that are available for purchase. However, it is expected that initial efforts will be dedicated to learning how to use this tool for correspondence and the preparation of more accurate and timely reports.

One Million Visitors and Counting
       The new Museum computer is not C.M.A.'s first contact with the computer age. The official Clan Macpherson website on the Internet -- www.clan-macpherson.org -- predated it by several years and welcomed its millionth visitor in early October 1999. The webmaster is J. David Murdoch of Phoenix, Arizona who created it for the U.S. Branch to describe its role as part of an international family. In the years that followed the content of the site became more 'international' in focus. Recently it was recognised that this site could serve as the official International C.M.A. website if it were modified and links were provided to the associated sites of each of the constituent organised branches of C.M.A. in Australia, Canada, England and Wales, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, and the U.S.A. Many of those modifications have now been made.

       The principal objective of the C.M.A. website is to inform potential members of the Association's existence, make them better aware of their heritage and facilitate their joining with us who already enjoy the privileges of membership. What you will now see when you log onto the C.M.A. site is work in progress as the original composition is further modified to meet the changing needs of the International organisation and the


constituent branches. These modifications will continue as new needs are identified and dynamically illustrate the power of the Internet to deal with change in a way that the printed page can never match. I know full well that much of what I write now in the Autumn of 1999 may be different in the Spring of 2000 but at least I describe the concept.

       The first page you will see after summoning the site with your browser is the Welcome Page. As presently configured, it presents some brief introductory information about C.M.A. emblazoned on a background of Modern Macpherson Red tartan with an invitation to proceed on to the Menu Page. There you'll see the Association Coat of Arms surrounded by a wide array of menu options, again on a background of Modern Red. Among these options are descriptions of the C.M.A. organisation -- the national branches and international officers, the Museum and its contents, our annual publication and the annual Gathering schedules. In addition it offers the opportunity to read about our Chief and his home in Blairgowrie, our wildcat mascot, the Clan homeland, our heraldry -- the armigers, badge and tartans, and the names of the families associated with the Clan. The backgrounds for each of these optional pages are tastefully consistent with the topic being addressed. In addition there are many coloured photographs to illustrate the topic.

       Most prominent of the options on the Menu Page are those that invite the reader to learn more about one or more of the national branches. Each branch has the freedom to decide what the contents of its page will be. Usually it will provide the names of the branch officers, branch activities and an invitation to become a member. To facilitate this an application blank (that can be printed out and completed manually) is provided along with a schedule of dues for the various categories of membership.

       If you are not among those who have access to the Internet, have no fear that any of the time-tested means of communications will be discontinued. The foregoing description of the Clan Macpherson website is intended only to inform you of what the Association has been doing and what you may be missing.

Casualties from the Database of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
1914-1918 and 1939-1945

By Ewen S. L. MacPherson

As an expression of appreciation for many happy times spent with members of the Clan Macpherson at Badenoch and Blairgowrie, Graham McIntosh has presented the Clan Museum with a list of casualties from World War 1 (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945) with the surname Macpherson. Taken from the database of The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and ever mindful of the sacrifice of those named, the list has been bound in a blue hard cover and with gold lettering.

       This splendid catalogue of names reminds us of the great debt of gratitude we owe to former Clan members and others who gave their lives in the cause of peace during the two conflicts. The names are recorded over 89 pages and listed below one of the 40 countries where the respective cemetery, crematorium or war memorial is sited. Both World Wars are included together. An examination of the contents makes stark and humble reading and fills one with a sense of deep sadness and regret for the loss of so many young men and women of two generations. At the same time, it is with a feeling of pride that one turns the pages and is struck by the realism that so many of our Clan, from different walks of life, came together to fight a common enemy -- as in days of old. Many, whose ancestors left their native shores of Scotland for far-off lands, appear together on war memorials.

       Many of the entries have limited details, with the first name, age, next of kin, sex and hometown frequently not shown. For the purpose of carrying out the analysis, where the sex is not recorded but they served in the infantry, for example, they are assumed to have


been of male gender. A total of 778 by the name of Macpherson (or variant) are recorded as lost during both World Wars: 494 in the First War and 284 in the Second. A breakdown of the figures shows that the Army lost 458 in the First and 136 in the Second, the Air Force lost four in the First and 77 in the Second and the Navy 24 in the First and 35 in the Second. The Mercantile Navy lost eight in the First World War and the Merchant Navy 19 in the Second. A total of 17 civilians are recorded as killed during the Second World War, with nine being female and eight male.

       A breakdown of the countries involved records that Australia lost 61 Macphersons in the First World War and 43 in the Second World War. Canada lost 80 in the First and 52 in the Second; New Zealand eight in the First and 16 in the Second; South Africa six in the First and two in the Second and the British West Indies lost three in the First World War. The United Kingdom lost 336 in the First and 171 in the Second.

       The youngest recorded serviceman in the database is John Eden McPherson, Boy 2nd Class, of HMAS Tingira. From Victoria, Australia, he was aged 14 when accidentally drowned on the 16th March 1919. Private James McPherson, of the 105th F Bn. Canadian Infantry, was aged 15 when he died of measles on the 13th May 1916. The eldest serviceman on record for the First World War is Second Hand George McPherson, aged 56, from Banffshire, who was accidentally drowned while serving on HM Drifter Pittendrum on the 13th January 1917. Duncan McPherson, from Stirlingshire, a Mercantile Marine Steward aboard SS Normandiet, was 67 when he died as a result of an attack by an enemy submarine on the 21st April 1918. During the Second World War, many young men aged 18 and 19 are listed in the records. The eldest serviceman and most senior in rank was Colonel Harry Lyall Macpherson, M.C., aged 59, of the Veterans Guard of Canada. From Ottawa, he died on the 16th October 1943. Master Donald Macpherson of the Australian Merchant Navy, was also 59 years of age when killed on the 24th April 1943.

       There are two service women registered as lost, with one in each war. They were Nursing Sister A. Macpherson, of the Canadian Army Nursing Service, who died on the 30th May 1918 and is buried at the Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt- Somme, France and Third Officer Florence Macpherson, H.M.S. Cormorant, of the WR.N.S., was lost in active service in the SS Aguila. The latter was the wife of of Lieutenant Martin Hugh Macpherson, R.N., who was lost in active service when serving in H.M. Trawler Northern Rover on 5th November 1939.

       The service ranks varied from Private to Colonel, Leading Aircraftman to Wing Commander and Ordinary Seaman and Marine to Lieutenant, R.N. and Captain, R.M. Sixteen Macpherson names appear on the Runnymede Air Force Memorial, Surrey and 15 on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire. Seven Macphersons are inscribed on the Tower Hill Memorial, London for Mercantile Marines and nine Macphersons on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent. Six Second World War Macphersons appear on the Alamein Memorial and seven on the El Alamein War Cemetery In the First World War, 19 Macpherson names are displayed on the Arras Memorial -- Pas de Calais, 14 on the Loos Memorial and 29 on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, with a further one on both the Ypres Reservoir Cemetery and Ypres Town Cemetery Extension. Private James McPherson of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, aged 19, of the 2nd Bn. Seaforth Highlanders, who lost his life at Ypres in 1915, was one of eight brothers serving. Private Robert Macpherson, of Wishaw, Lanarkshire, aged 22, of the 2nd Bn. Royal Scots Fusiliers, who died in 1918, was the youngest of five brothers who served. Several native Scots died serving with Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and South African Forces. Five Non War dead are also catalogued and they are likely to have been dependants or with very close connections.

       Macphersons lost whilst serving with overseas forces included Lieutenant Duncan Stuart Ross Macpherson, aged 25, killed in action at Festubert on the 23rd November 1914, and recorded on the Bethune Town Cemetery -- Pas de Calais as serving with the 7th Gurkha Rifles. He was the only son of Major General Sir William Grant Macpherson

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and a first cousin of Clan Association Vice President Ronnie Macpherson. The medals of Lieutenant Duncan and Sir William are on display in the Clan Museum. Captain Ian Edgar Macpherson, from Regina, Saskatchewan, who served in the 3rd Bn. 6th Gurkha Rifles, is named on the Rangoon Memorial in Myanmar (Burma) on the 18th April 1944. Lance Corporal Kenny Macpherson, an Australian, with the Fiji Military Forces, is shown on the Rabaul Memorial, Papua New Guinea on the 26th March 1944 and Second Lieutenant Robert Macpherson, from Worthing in Sussex, who served with the 2nd Bn. Rajputana Rifles, is recorded under the Basra War Cemetery in Iraq, on the 25th August 1941.

       The civilians included Alexander John, aged 18 months and Catherine Macpherson, aged three, of Kensington, London, killed on the 23rd September 1940. Catherine, aged three, David, aged four and Mary Macpherson, aged five, of Glasgow, were killed on the 13th March 1941. Catherine Munro Macpherson, a Nursing Sister at the General


Hospital, Singapore, was killed when the SS Tangiong Penang was sunk on the 17th February 1942.

       Many of the Scottish hometowns recorded will be familiar to regular readers of Creag Dhubh and attendees of the Clan Gathering in Badenoch. They include Kingussie, Newtonmore, Laggan, Catlodge, Balavil, Boat-of-Garten, Aviemore, Elgin, Banff, Blairgowrie, Ballindalloch, Shielfoot, Strontian, Glendale, Craignish, Sutherland, Thurso, Killin, Crieff, Falkland, Glenrinnes, Alyth, Paisley, Davidsons Mains, Jura, Benbecula, Uists, Kyle of Lochalsh, etc. Many other parts of the United Kingdom are mentioned in the account, from Sussex in the south to Durham in the north of England, Monmouth in Wales and Larne, Londonderry and Newtonstewart in Northern Ireland.

       This record is a valuable addition to the shelves of our Clan Library and will be an excellent source of reference to Clan Association members seeking representatives of their own families and others who may be carrying out military research. The book is available for examination at the Clan Museum on request to the Curator.

By Archy Macpherson

I wrote to the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, and informed her that McAleese was a Macpherson name, and sent her a copy of this year's Creag Dhubh inviting her to send in any article or message she wished.


       Her Secretary replied that the President was not able to respond positively to the large volume of requests and messages she has received . . (but) . . . The President hopes you will understand and sends warm good wishes to you and to everyone in the Clan Macpherson.

       As to the 1999 copy of Creag Dhubh she wrote .. "Thank you most sincerely for your kind gift. Your thoughtfulness and generosity are very much appreciated."

       The President is married to Martin McAleese and they have a family of three. Prior to her becoming President she had a distinguished career as a barrister in Belfast and Dublin, as a Professor of Law in Trinity College, Dublin and as a TV presenter.

By Colonel J. A. Hislop

Colonel Jimmy Hislop composed the pipe music in honour of Katie and Donald Macpherson who served in Malaya during a particularly difficult period from 1949-1981. Donald and Katie now live in Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbrightshire and presented the capping stone of Dalbeattie granite for the Cairn in 1996.


By Archy Macpherson MA, LLB, (Gilleasbuig Lachlainn'llteasbuig)

The news that Cluny is learning Gaelic and sang "Gu ma slan do na Fearaibh" at the Ceilidh at this year's Gathering could well create an upsurge of interest in the language of our Clan Macpherson ancestors.

       Compared with the lack of facilities for mastering the language when this column was founded thirty-three years ago we are today spoiled for choice . . . all we need is to select the right course and keep at it. The only thing needed is staying power and some dedication. There is no need for sudden over enthusiasm followed by a giving up. A little every day ... time put aside daily and as sure as guns one will become fluent in time . . . and anyone no matter where in the world has access to the means of fluency.

       One of the most enjoyable ways of learning our language is by use of videos and we may remember "SPEAKING OUR LANGUAGE" which not only taught but also did a delightful tour of Scotland. The Sabhail Mór Ostaig shop in Wentworth Street, Portree, Isle of Skye might yet have the whole series in stock. A version on Interactive CD-ROM Macintosh/PC at �95 is available too. Both may also be available from Càman, PO Box 345, Isle of Skye IV44 8XA.

       Two great institutions are in existence. One is specifically designed to help and advise would-be learners, namely, CLI, 62 High Street, Invergordon, Ross-shire IV18 0DH, Scotland, which will do its best to answer any questions from learners on Gaelic Clubs, Courses, Classes and Tutors from its database. It publishes each quarter a magazine called "COTHROM" free to its members. It is bilingual with parallel columns in Gaelic and English with an audio tape of the Gaelic in each issue for a mere �plus postage and packing.

       The other is the Gaelic College, Sabhail Mor Ostaig, Slèite, Isle of Skye IV44 8RQ. They offer the opportunity to become fluent in Gaelic within one year with a choice of two BA degrees taught through Gaelic, one "Gaelic language and culture" the other "Gaelic with North Atlantic studies", a Diploma in "Television and Multimedia" and HNC Business Administration with Gaelic. Their telephone is 01471-844373 and fax +44-1471-844383 and E-mail oifis@smo.uhi.ac.uk.

       The lucky parts of Scotland to get Radio nan Gaidheal can listen in to a learners' letter on 103.5 -- 105 FM on Fridays at 11.50 and rebroadcast on Mondays at 19.30. The text is to be found in "The Skye Free Press" and their address is BBC, Radio nan Gaidheal, Church Street, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, and on http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/gaelic.

       In the States there is An Comunn Gaidhealach -- America, PO Box 5238, Takoma Park, MD 20913 USA. They are on www.acgamerica.org.

       A steady flow of Gaelic CDs, music and records is available from such shops but if one cannot be traced Blackfriars Folk Music, 49 Blackftiars Street, Edinburgh I might be able to help.

       Now to the printed word: Owen's Gaelic-English dictionary is perhaps the best for the beginner. The other one also with some sort of a pronunciation system is MacLennan's. Likewise the Thomson English-Gaelic to start with and then An Stor-Data and finally Dwelly.

       "TOCHER" which is published by the School of Scottish Studies, 27 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD usually has Gaelic and parallel columns in English and is drawn from the oral tradition. "GAIRM" on the other hand tends to be contemporary and can be obtained from the Gairm bookshop at 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow. Back copies of each would make a good basic library. The other specialist Gaelic bookshop is run by Comhairle nan Leabhraichean, 22 Mansfield Street, Glasgow GI 1 5QP

       If books with cassette back-up are required Hodder & Stoughton publish "Teach


Yourself Gaelic" and Hugo "Scottish Gaelic in three months" sounds a bit too optimistic.

       If one wishes to work up to eventually gaining one's Highers in Gaelic the place to contact would be Edinburgh's Telford College, Crewe Toll, Edinburgh EH4 2NZ who operate Gaelic distant learning courses.

       If one lives in Scotland and has a child of between two and three then there are Gaelic playgroups, croileagan, that lead on to their being taught through Gaelic and later Gaelic and English so that after primary school they are equally fluent in Gaelic and English. For such information one would contact CNSA, 53 Church Street, Inverness IVI 1DR, Scotland.

       Places of Sunday worship in Gaelic, immersion courses, Gaelic ceilidhs have not been mentioned but CLI at Invergordon whose address is above, might be able to advise.

       Well, sin agad e! There you have it! Given steady dedication over time you will win mastery over the language of your ancestors of the Clan Macpherson.

MORE WORLD-WIDE MACPHERSONS -- The Surname as Placename By Alan G. Macpherson

Sandy Macpherson's article "World Wide Macphersons" (Creag Dhubh No. 46, 1994) raised the question of incidence, prevalence and provenance of the surname Macpherson used as a placename. He was inspired by his 1993 visit to the town of McPherson in the State of Kansas, and noted that the adjacent state of Nebraska was toponymically endowed with McPherson County. He might have added that McPherson, Kansas, is the principal centre of population in McPherson County, and that the state of South Dakota is also graced with a McPherson County. His ascription of the name to Brig. Gen. [Maj. Gen. -- RM] James Birdseye McPherson, a native of Ohio and a Civil War hero, equally applies to the South Dakota placename. He mentioned Fort McPherson at the head of the delta of the Mackenzie in the North West Territories, as named for Murdoch McPherson, a Gairloch man who served as factor of the Hudson's Bay Company and who retired to Nova Scotia to join kinsfolk in Pictou County. He might have added the only other occurrence of the name at atlas scale in Canada: Lake McPherson, which lies north of Mount Logan in the southeast corner of the Yukon Territory, and which may also commemorate the HBC factor's career. But if one looks at large-scale geodetic maps one can add seven more Macpherson Lakes: one in Guysborough Co., Nova Scotia, which also gives its name to the unincorporated area around it; one near the fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton Island; one in the Timiskaming area and another east of Lake Nipigon, both in Northern Ontario; and two in Saskatchewan, one in the far northwest corner of the province, the other in the centre north of the Churchill River, both on the Canadian Shield. In addition to these, there are two McPherson Points, one inland in the far northwest corner of Manitoba, the other at the northwest limit of the Queen Charlotte Islands off British Columbia. Glen McPherson is a rural municipality in southern Saskatchewan in the headwaters of the Wood River east of the Cypress Hills.

       Sandy's speculation on the provenance of the Macpherson Range on the eastern end of the boundary between Queensland and New South Wales in Australia was answered by the Hon. Mr Justice B. H. McPherson's article, "The McPherson Range of Queensland' in Creag Dhubh No. 48, 1996, identifying Major Donald Macpherson, 39th Regiment, as the individual so-honoured on the 28th August 1828, and by his further identification in Roddy Balfour's article "Macpherson/McBarnet Families", so brilliantly juxtaposed with Mr justice McPherson's piece by our esteemed editor, and in Ewen S. L. MacPherson's "The Macphersons of Strathmashie" in Creag Dhubh No. 51 1999. Sandy's mention of Mount Macpherson at the northern end of the Throssel Range


south of the Great Sandy Desert in northern Western Australia led Mr Justice Macpherson to speculate that this too was named in honour of Major (later Lt.-Col.) Donald Macpherson, but this still awaits confirmation. Macpherson's Strait in the Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal, also noted in Sandy's article, still awaits explanation, as does McPherson Point on the north coast of Christmas Island, an Australian possession in the West Australian Basin south of Java.

       The three placenames just mentioned, however, do not exhaust the quest in Australia. There is a Mount Macpherson on the upper Darling southwest of Bourke in the northwest corner of New South Wales which was named by the explorer Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell on the 20th August 1825, and a Mount McPherson northeast of Cloncurry in northwestern Queensland so-dubbed by John McKinlay on the 28th April 1862. And finally, Macpherson's Pillar is a prominence at or near the northern end of the Alfred and Marie Range which marks the eastern edge of the Gibson Desert in castcentral Western Australia. The Range was named by Ernest Giles on the 23rd April 1874 in honour of the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh; the Pillar was named by the Hon. David Wynford Carnegie in September 1896 "after a well-known and respected prospector who crossed from west to east prospecting". Our unnamed clansman had evidently duplicated Giles' expedition of 1875-76 which passed the Pillar, as yet unnamed, on the 25th June of the latter year; Carnegie named it as he passed northward twenty years later.

       Canada clearly outstrips all other parts of the world in paying toponymic tribute to our clansmen, though Australia runs it a close second. To rephrase Sandy's plea, can we hope that someone or other will enlighten us on the identity of the clansmen commemorated in the Canadian landscape and in the Andaman Islands and Christmas Island placenames, and that some of our Australian members will tell us the stories of those so-honoured by Mitchell, McKinlay and Carnegie.

Atlas of Canada, Ottawa, 1957: "Rural Municipalities -- Western Canada" Geographic Names Board of Canada website: http://GeoNames.NRCan.gc/ca/english/
National Geographic Atlas of the World
Australia's Last Explorer: Ernest Giles, by Geoffrey Dutton. London, 1970
The Discovery and Exploration of Australia, by Erwin and Gerda Feeken and O. H. K. Spate. Nelson 1970
Australia Twice Travelled: the Romance of Exploration, Vol. II, by Ernest Giles. London, 1889

By Andrew Macpherson, Curator
There have been 2361 visitors during the year ending October 1999. That is 360 less than for the same period last year. Of these 209 were Macphersons. This count is everyone irrespective of age, and who spent �37 on souvenirs, which is �06 more than last year. I get the feeling that our range of souvenirs could be wider and so more selective. Through the year these visitors also contributed �30, which is �8 more than last year, working out at approximately 70p per head freely given.

       I have to acknowledge the following donations:
            From Evelyn McPherson, Diamond Heights Blv., San Francisco, $100 U.S., after exchange �.38
            From Mrs Noble, Haddington, East Lothian, �
            From Mrs Goodwin, Wirral, Merseyside, �
            From Mrs Janet Cattanach, Montreal, Quebec, Canada �.


             From Mrs Jean Grant, Melbourne, Australia.[sic]
             Thanks are due to Jim McPherson, Eastbourne, for the gift of a fax machine to the Clan Museum.

       At the very beginning of my acknowledgement of items received I must apologise to Kevin Gillespie, U.S. Branch, for not acknowledging his purchase of the Museum flagpole which he dedicated to his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Robert L. Gillespie in 1991. I have a photograph of the group around the flagpole during the ceremony but after our efforts to get a United States Flag for the occasion (which was tied up in good old Navy style so that it broke at the head of the flagpole when the cord was given the required tug by Kevin), no-one it seems was able to get a photograph of the flag. My apologies to Edith McPherson of Edinburgh for not acknowledging the set of Creag Dhubh magazines saved over the years. Thank you Edith.

            (1) Medals belonging to Harry Macpherson Symons:
                   (a) The Kings Medal, LCC 1911-12 awarded by London County Council for attendance, conduct, and industry during the year.
                   (b) National Union of Schools Orchestras' annual festival Crystal Palace. June 8th 1912. (Intermediate Orchestra.) Presented by Eric Leach.
             (2) The Chiefs of Clan Macpherson, by Macpherson of Dalchully. Purchased from Mr Harold Wilks, Stockton-on-Tees.
             (3) Large framed photograph of the Holbrek Pipe Band, Denmark. In Macpherson Hunting tartan. Donated by Hans Frick Murtensen, Holbrek, Denmark.
             (4) Marble Arch Memories, by Lady Macpherson of Biallid. Donated by Red Cross.
             (5) Tacitus on Britain and Germany. A translation of the Agricola and Germania by H. Mattingly. With reference to the Chatti tribe. Acquired by Museum.

             (6) Shanklin Chine, small booklet advertising the Isle of Wight past and present. Makes mention of the estate of Francis Cameron Macpherson 25th Chief. Acquired by Museum.              (7) "Readers Digest", July 1989, with book choice page 145. "Louis and Antoinette", with reference to Count Ferson, Swedish Colonel of Macpherson extraction. Acquired by Museum.
             (8) List of names of members and places from which the stones to build the Memorial Cairn to Ewen of the '45 came displayed in the Book of Gold in a glass topped table in the Museum. Donated by a combination of effort by E. S. L. and R.G.M. Macpherson.
             (9) Macpherson-McPherson. Casualties from the Database of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
             First World War 1914-1918
             Second World War 1939-1945
This splendid catalogue of names of those who gave their lives in both these conflicts has been bound in a hard blue cover with gold lettering. Donated by Graham A. McIntosh of Hawkwell, Essex.
             (10) Original list of books received from the Estate of the late A.I.S. Macpherson (Archie) of Speyville. Copies in acknowledgement have been sent to his executor Sir Thomas Macpherson of Biallid.

             (11) Ancient History in a Modern University. Donated by Edna Macpherson Sabato, Maryborough, Australia.
             (12) From Gaelic to Romantic- Ossianic Translations. Donated by Dr. Fiona Stafford, Somerville College, University of Oxford.
            (13) Shepherds' Calendar by Ian Macpherson. Donated by E.S.L. McPherson, TallaShee.
            (14) Tales of the Covenanters; Guy Mannering; Ivanhoe. Donated by Nancy Macpherson, Clan Macpherson House.


             (15) The Old Stones of Kingston: its Buildings before 1867. Donated by Alan G. Macpherson, Newfoundland, Canada.
             (16) McPherson (A Genealogical Search). Donated by March Cox, Virginia,Illinois, U.S.A.
             (17) In the Glens Where I Was Young. Signed copy from the author Meta Scarlett.
             (18) Argyll-to Westminster. A beautiful compiled album donated by M.J. Whitton, Oakville, Canada.
             (19) Scrap-book 1997-98.This has become a regular gift from Mrs Margaret Hambleton, the Editor of Creag Dhubh.
              (20) Arms of the Grampian Police Pipe Band. Presented to the Chief on the Eilan, 7th August 1999, to mark 20 years of consecutive attendance at the Clan Rally and March.
             (21) 18th Century Highlanders. Donated by Mary Jane McBarnet, Maui, Hawaii.
             (22) A complete set of Clan Chattan Annuals donated by Malcolm Macpherson, Oban, Argyll.


The following can be ordered from the Museum.

Terms: Payment with order in money order or cheque which should be drawn on a UK bank as there are additional charges for collecting from a foreign bank, normally ET With the exception of A Day's March to Ruin orders will be sent 2nd class mail inland and surface overseas, unless otherwise arranged. Prices include post and packing, and while every care is taken, the Museum cannot be responsible for damage in transit.

By John Macpherson

Monday had been and gone and we were well into Tuesday with very little going on, this promised to be a very boring week at work indeed. I checked the diary and noticed that apart from a visit by one of our Reps from Saudi, nothing was planned, but over the weekend was the Macpherson Clan Gathering.

       I have often-wanted to attend the Gathering, but have never been able to get around to it. I there and then resolved to do so this time. I booked the time off from the evening of Wednesday, 4 August through to Monday morning and went home to check the e-mail address for "Creag Dhubh".


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       Next morning in work, I e-mailed Mrs Margaret Hambleton for any information on local campsites. Margaret very kindly tried to get back to me, but I was long gone! Working in Blackburn is OK, but I never stay there any longer than I need!

       Being unimpressed with my surroundings very early on, I invested in a motorcaravan, of a size big enough to stand upright and lie down in. I had owned one earlier and did not enjoy having to get out of the vehicle to pull my trousers up!

       Wednesday evening found me plodding up the M6 motorway (average 65mph) towards Scotland. I spent that night on the Edinburgh "Caravan Club Campsite", but too late to savour the night-life and be fit to drive in the morning, so I took a walk along the bank of the Firth of Forth, the other side of the road to the campsite, had some supper and went to bed.

       Thursday morning, I woke up with the sparrows, had a leisurely breakfast, and caught the bus into Edinburgh for a quick walk around the new Museum of Scotland. By midday I was back on the road heading north again. Time for a quick stop off in Dunkeld and a visit to the Museum of the Scottish Horse, (Grandfather Macpherson had served in it during the Boer War). Unfortunately it was closed, so I returned to the "van" parked

by the river and bad a cup of tea and took in the views. I bad noticed on the map that there were a number of campsites around Badenoch, including a Caravan Club Site at Invernahavon, which being a member, I could almost certainly get into, so starting off again, I decided to drive past Invernahavon and Newtonmore to Kingussie and work my way back, checking the other sites out as I went.

       The first site I visited was behind the "Duke of Gordon Hotel" in the grounds of the Golf Club. Whilst it was a nice location, I decided against staying there and moved on to Newtonmore, where the site is down by the River Spey opposite the Eilan Games Field, (the owner is Angus Leslie, of a long family of blacksmiths). As the Marquee was already in the process of being erected, this seemed ideal, and what is more, on making enquiries, the charge was only �per unit per day. So I moved in! There I met Eric and Gwen Leach, who have been using the site, on and off, for about thirty years and are members of the Clan Association.

       That evening I walked into Newtonmore, had a walk around, and felt obliged to sample a dram or two in each of the hostelries.

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Friday, up with the sparrows again, a leisurely breakfast, followed by a walk out to the Cairn near Invernahavon, where I took a few photos, back to the "van" for lunch, into Newtonmore, where I found a cap badge of the "Scottish Horse" in the antiques shop, one of the few items missing from the militaria handed down to me from my grandfather. I returned to the "van", had a chat with Eric and Gwen and then sat down to consider what next. Being single and the shy retiring person that I am, but mostly because by now I was somewhat tired, I decided to give the "Ball" a miss and start my weekend in the "Glen Hotel", where I met Andrew (from the Museum) and his wife, Nancy and their family celebrating their anniversary. I went to bed (relatively) early and very tired.

       Saturday, those sparrows are at it again! Breakfast, nice day again! I took a slow amble to the railway station to check up on the times of trains to and from Kingussie in order to get to and from the Ceilidh later in the day. When I arrived back at the "van", I was accosted by Eric Leach resplendent in full regalia, asking if I was going to the AGM, (at 10.30 hrs) this was ten to eleven and me in jeans and "T" shirt! After brief directions on how to get to the Village Hall, Eric set off and I disappeared into the "van", emerged in my "kit" and set off down the road at full pace after Eric. After the AGM, Eric and I took a slow walk back to the "Glen Hotel" where we met up with Gwen and had lunch and a couple of pints of "heavy".

       The three of us then returned to our respective "vans", had a tidy/freshen up and headed for Old Ralia. Gwen stayed by the bridge, camera ready for our return. As we gathered at Old Ralia I met Cluny for the first time. He greeted me like a long lost friend, me being me and a diplomat of surpassing (?) tact, introduced myself as an ex-policeman. There was an almost indiscernible period of silence, realising what I had said, I claimed that was a long time ago and had since been in the Army, anyway it was not the "Met" that I had been in. We chatted further and I was greatly honoured when he asked if I would march as escort to the Association Colours.

       We marched to the Eilan behind the Pipes and Drums, after which we were treated to a dram of Cluny Whisky. I was looking for somewhere in the Clan Tent to stash my claymore, when I was introduced to the Pipe-Major (designate) of the Pipes and Drums and found that we had both served in the Army Air Corps. Although he is much younger than me, we each knew many of the names and characters in the Corps. After a couple more drams, I helped clear the Clan Tent and walked to the Museum for "Happy Hour", a few more drams and a presentation to Andrew and Nancy on their Anniversary. By now I had missed the train to Kingussie (1812 hrs), so there was now no hurry to do anything in particular, except get to Kingussie by about eight o'clock, how I was going to do it, I didn't really know. I adjourned to the "Glen Hotel" with a vague plan of asking about taxis. While standing at the bar in the "Glen" in my "Dress Tartan", I was approached by a female German tourist, who asked what had been going on. As I explained in long unpractised German, she said, "John, it really is you, isn't it" and introduced me to her husband and son. I had no idea who she was until she explained that the last time we had met was at the "Varenholz Waterski Club" in 1981. I had my lift to the Ceilidh!

       I attended both the Ceilidh and the "After-Ceilidh", met many new friends and hope to meet them all again next year. Early Sunday morning I decided that I should leave and ordered a taxi back to the Campsite. The taxi driver said, "You won't get much sleep yet, the party is still going on in the Marquee!" He was right!

       Sunday, those b***** sparrows again! Breakfast, a chat with Eric and Gwen. I was still unfit to drive and had to be back at work on Monday, so a brisk walk, a few gallons of water, a few visits to the little room in the van and back to bed!

       Next year I shall take the Monday off as well! I would have liked to have made the Kirk Service, but in this year prudence demanded that I gave it a a miss. I'm sure the Lord understands, nor have I any intention of standing before Cluny for any other reason than being a Clan Member!


       Thank you one and all for making my weekend so enjoyable, I hope to see you next year! Possibly this article will encourage other Clan Members, who have not yet been to a Clan Gathering, to pack their "vans" and come to the first Clan Gathering of the twenty-first century.

John Macpherson
Phone contact: 01254 768748 (work) 01254 691710 (evening/answerphone)
e-mail: []HYPERLINK mailto:john.macpherson@bae.co).uk
Address: "Annwfn", 20 Notre Dame Gardens, Blackburn, BB1 5EF, England, GB.
(I am happy to answer any questions on the subjects raised by the above article -- but please give me leeway in response time, as I am not often at home -- inferred in the above text!)

Caravan Club
Phone contact: 01342 327410

Invernahavon Caravan Site
Phone contact: 01540 673534 (Site open end of March to beginning October)

Eilan Camp Site
Phone contact: 01650 673275 (Site thought to be open all year)

Taxi Company
Phone contact: G.R. MacDonald, Kingussie Taxis, 01540 661343 (fare from the Duke of Gordon to the Eilan after midnight �

By Douglas MacPherson
The Canadian Branch celebrated their 50th Anniversary with a record number of clansmen and women participating in events lasting over the weekend of September 24th-26th at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in downtown Kitchener, Ontario.

       The Chief's reception kicked off the Rally hosted by our Chief Cluny and Lady Cluny as well as our International Chairman Alastair and Penny Macpherson of Pitmain.

       On Saturday morning the Branch got down to business with their Annual General Meeting chaired by Branch Chairman Andrew MacPherson. That afternoon Debra



       Bartlett from the Debra Bartlett School of Highland Dance conducted lessons in Highland and Country Dancing for those interested.

       Early Saturday evening, the banquet began with a cocktail reception progressing into a four-course dinner. Afterwards dancers from the Debra Bartlett School put on a demonstration of Highland Dancing. The evening wound down with a fiddler and accordionist providing music for those wishing to dance. On Sunday morning, the Clan marched proudly through the streets of Kitchener from the hotel to St Andrew's Presbyterian Church led by their Chief Cluny and Lady Cluny. During the church service, Cluny read one of the lessons. After church the Clan marched back to the hotel, again led by Cluny and Lady Cluny. On both occasions heading the march was the official piper for the week, Nigel Moore, who piped at all events.

Standing: L-R: Majory.PC, Macpherson M. C; Mrs Rizvrs-Macpherson; Colonel Gillies; Major J.A.C. Macpherson; Colonel E.R. Rivers-Macpherson OB.E., (Honormy Secretary and Founder); Miss Marion Macpherson;,7oan Sanders; Mr. Sanders. Seated: Mrs. J.A. C. Macpherson; Miss Henderson: Mrs Sanders.        Macphersons from across Canada joined in the 50th Anniversary celebrations including Ian and Mary McPherson from Victoria, B.C., Alec Jack and Barbara McPherson from Vancouver, B.C., Jean MacPherson from Halifax, N.S. and Charter Member Joanne Macpherson from Regina, Saskatchewan.

       Guests from outside Canada included International Vice-Chairman Larry Lee and Lillas McPherson from Cedarville, Michigan, Don, Mickey and Michelle Macpherson from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Sandy and Catherine Macpherson from Edinburgh, Scotland.


By Ron Macpherson

Some sixty-odd years ago James Macpherson after an extended holiday in Rarotonga came back enthused with the game of bowls. His working life was over because of wounds from World War I and his brother Dan suggested they establish a bowling green. Andrew Macpherson donated a corner of his farm for the project.

       A public meeting was held and such was the support that the go-ahead was given. As a lad of fifteen Ron Macpherson can well remember the two major working bees with horses and drays, wheel-barrows and shovels. After a period of eighteen months the green was ready for the opening on 25th October 1936.

       Jimmy was by now well established in new living quarters and the bowling green was to become his life for the next twenty years as greenkeeper.

       At the same time as this happened at Waianiwa, the district of Waimatuku was contemplating forming a pipe band. (These farming areas are a short distance from Invercargill.)

       On hearing of the bowling green official opening, they asked whether they could come together as a band for the first time and play. They piped the large crowd around the green which was duly opened, but as yet unnamed.

       Thanks to donations from the Macpherson brothers and those present the band members were enabled to buy the tartan which they wear to this day -- the Red Macpherson.

       Eighteen months after, the members wished to become involved in competitive play which meant being affiliated with the Invercargill centre, and a name deemed most fitting was the James Macpherson Bowling Club.

       The lad of fifteen, Ron Macpherson, became Clan Macpherson Chairman, as was his father Dan, and James and Andrew were members for many years. A cousin of Ron's, [an, and another cousin, Don McKerchar of the Waimatuku band, were the Clan's official pipers.

By Marjorie Vincent
            I am an ancient rock
            My soul, so old,
            I saw the birth of days before the yore.
            I once cried out across these valleys
            With a voice so strong and sure,
            But I whisper gentler now.

             This river, this lake, these standing trees
            Are all my friends, you see.
            Our roots go deep and are existing just to be.
            So feel our pulse and our heartbeat strong
            Ever powerful, life incarnating,
            For all eternity.

            Sit quietly by this river, friend,
            Tread softly o'er my slippery mossy layers.
            Run your fingers o'er cracks, and clefts.
            Treat us with care
            And remember us with thoughts undimmed
            When we are no longer there.



Margaret attended the inaugural meeting of the Clan Macpherson in Southland in 1947 as a young girl and follows her cousin Ron into the chair.

       She lives six miles north of Invercargill on forty acres leased for grazing sheep. "Robynlea" has an attractive large garden and tennis court which will be the setting for her son Ian's early December wedding. She also has a daughter Kerry and two granddaughters.

       As well as being very active in many spheres from senior citizens to Inner Wheel, she has artistic talents including pottery, dancing and singing and cake icing with a club which last year took first prize with a plaque representing New Zealand culture.

       Margaret's husband Joe came from Northumberland and they visited the United Kingdom during his lifetime. Margaret's last visit was to CMA Annual Gathering in 1997. This year she joined a group travelling to the United States.

       During her term of office Clan members have enjoyed lunches at Margaret's home followed by outdoor activities and we have been happy to share in her enthusiasm and fresh ideas.


In one of his last acts as the Queen's representative in Canada before the installation of the new Governor-General, the Rt. Hon. Roméo LeBlanc appointed two Heralds Extraordinary.

       One of the new Heralds is R.G.M. Macpherson of Burlington, Ontario, who becomes Niagara Herald Extraordinary. Heralds date to feudal times and are responsible for devising and granting coats of arms. In 1988, the Queen transferred heraldic powers to the Governor-General so that the Canadian Heraldic Authority now exercises the Royal prerogative in Canada.

       R.G.M. Macpherson is a former International Chairman and Honorary Vice-President of the Clan Association.


NEWTONMORE MILLENNIUM PROJECT The village of Newtonmore has decided for its millennium project to undertake a sort of village Domesday Book -- an intimate portrait with photograph of the house and the family story of every dwelling in the village, on vellum pages in a volume which will be sealed in a glass cabinet for 100 years. It will be a fascinating view in a century's time of a single moment in the community's life. Imagine being able now to look through a similar record of life in 1799! Valuable living history.

       An example is this two-sided page for Craig Dhu House. Similarly the text for Biallid House recalls that it is the oldest continuously inhabited house in Newtonmore/ Kingussie. The Huntly rent roll of 1504 registers the "renewal" of the wadsett of Biallidmore, so it certainly dates from the XVth century


Extract from Folk Tales and Fairy Lore collected by Rev. James Macdougall and edited by Rev. George Calder, published by John Grant, Edinburgh, 1910

[The 'glaistig' is a mythological creature of which half is a beautiful woman and the other half a goat. It wears a long green robe to conceal its goat parts. By some legends the glaistig is malevolent who seduces men into dancing with her, then sucking their blood); by others it is benevolent -- a guardian of cattle or children.-- RM]

There was in one of the past centuries a smith of the Clan Pherson dwelling at Strontian. He was accustomed to put the smithy in order, and lay aside all the iron bars and tools before he would go home at night. But when he would return next morning, and open the door of the smithy, he would find everything taken out of the place where he had left it, and scattered all over the floor. He could not understand the cause of this confusion, and he resolved to stay a night in the smithy to see if he could find it out.

       He stood in a corner at the back of the door with the sledge-hammer between his hands, awaiting what should happen. He stayed a good while without noticing anything; at length a big Glastig came rushing in at the door, and, without a moment's delay,


began, in a mad frolic, to pitch hither and thither, over the house, all the iron bars and tools on which she could lay hand.

       In her company was one having the appearance of a little child. This one, noticing the smith standing behind the door, instantly said: "The Ghost is in the corner, Carlin! the Ghost is in the corner." Without waiting a moment, or casting one look in the smith's direction, she answered: "It is only Little Shambler. It is only Little Shambler."

       At length the smith, having got a good opportunity as she was passing him, struck her with the big hammer with all his might. He drew it again to strike her another blow, but she cried to him to stay his hand, and that she would not trouble him any more. He did as she wished; and as soon as she got out of danger, she told him that everyone of his descendants, taken by the beard in through the door of the smithy, would henceforth be a perfect smith.

       It happened as she had said. There was none of his descendants who did not acquire his trade in this easy way, and the race were famous smiths in the district for many generations after.

By Peter M. Fish

In an effort to show that the Macphersons are truly a rugged Highland clan, Peter McPherson Fish is trying to do his bit in the U.S. He is shown here standing on top of Mount Marcy (New York State's highest peak at 5344 ft.) celebrating his 500th ascent in September 1998. He has worn his Hunting Macpherson kilt on seven of these ascents; Macpherson tartan (blanket, scarf or other) and crest were present on the rest.

       The usual, and minimum trip, is a day's hike, or ski, of 14.8 miles up and back from Adirondak Loj near Lake Placid. At the least, this amounts to 7,400 miles traversed. The longest trip of 22 miles took in eleven peaks, nine of which exceeded 4,000 ft. and took twelve hours.

       Adirondak Loj is at 2,200 ft. in elevation, leaving a minimum ascent of 3,144 ft. for each trip which calculates to a total of 298 vertical miles.


       He has also made kilted ascents of numerous other Adirondack peaks, Mounts Washington and Monroe of the Presidential Range of New Hampshire in September's snow and Ben Nevis and our own Creag Dhubh in Scotland. His most recent kilted ascent was of the Adirondack's Cascade (4098 ft.) and Porter (4059 ft.) Mountains in his own backyard on Tartan Day (April 6th) of 1999.,

Canadian Branch
Chairman -- Andrew K. P. Macpherson; Treasurer -- Mrs. Susan McPherson; Hon. Secretary -- Mrs. Nancy Macpherson, 193 Waldoncroft Crescent, Burlington, Ontario L7L 3A6.

       The 50th Annual General Meeting and Clan Rally was held on the 24th, 25th and 26th September 1999 at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Kitchener, Ontario. Over 100 clansmen were present to celebrate this special anniversary, many coming from distant parts of Canada to attend. We were especially pleased to welcome Joanne Macpherson from Regina, Saskatchewan, one of the original Branch Charter members; Mr. and Mrs. Ian McPherson of Victoria, B.C.; jean MacPherson, Halifax, N.S.; Mr and Mrs Alex Jack McPherson, Langley, B.C.; and Mrs. Mark Macpherson and Dr. and Mrs. David McPherson from Quebec; and Mrs. Audrey Collins, the daughter of Major Hume Macpherson, a Charter Member and former Branch Chairman. In addition, there were several new clansfolk who had never attended a Clan Gathering before and it was a pleasure to meet them.

       The highlight of the Rally was, of course, the presence of our Chief, Cluny and Lady Cluny, who travelled to Canada especially for this important milestone in our Branch history. They were accompanied by Alastair and Penny Macpherson of Pitmain, our International Chairman and Senior Chieftain in the Clan, and Sandy and Catherine Macpherson of Edinburgh, an Hon. Vice-President.

       The celebration began with a reception for Cluny and Lady Macpherson on Friday evening where everyone had an opportunity to meet our guests of honour. One clansman wrote to us afterwards to say what a great privilege it was to shake hands with the Chief of the Clan. As a special salute to the occasion, Cluny and Alastair "hosted" the bar for the evening and we can report that a good time was had by all.

       The Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday morning with our Chairman, Andrew Macpherson, in the Chair. Encouraging reports were received on the success of the "internet" as a means of recruiting new members and all agreed that a Branch "web site" should be established. Mention was made of our proposed joint Canadian/United States Branch Rally which is scheduled for September 22nd, 23rd and 24th, 2000 at the Delta Hotel in Ottawa, Ontario.

       On Saturday afternoon, there was an instruction session on Scottish Country Dancing and this was followed by a Reception and Dinner on Saturday evening.

       The Chairman called on Sandy (Edinburgh) to "address the Haggis" and then Cluny and Alastair brought greetings to the assembled clansfolk. Larry Lee McPherson, the International Vice-Chairman from Michigan, expressed good wishes on behalf of the U.S. Branch and then presented a suitably inscribed ceremonial claymore to the Canadian Branch Chairman as a gift from our American cousins to be used to maintain "good order and discipline" at future AGM's. Earlier in the day, Sandy (Edinburgh), informed the meeting that a special Cromag was placed in the Clan Museum at Newtonmore by the Scottish Branch for the exclusive use of the Canadian Branch Chairman whenever the current Chairman visits the Clan country.        Douglas MacPherson acted as fear an tighe for the evening and introduced Debra


Bartlett and her group who performed a series of Highland Dances and this was followed by a number of lively Scottish airs played by our accordionist and fiddler. A vote of thanks was expressed to Douglas and Rod Smith for all their hard work in organising the week-end events and the evening concluded by the singing of Auld Lang Syne.

       On Sunday morning, the members led by our piper, paraded two blocks to St. Andrew's Kirk where Cluny read the Scripture lesson. After lunch, we all said our farewells for another year while looking forward to the joint-Rally in Ottawa in 2000.

       As a postscript to this report, may I add this brief historical note. Although this was the 50th anniversary of our first AGM, the Canadian Branch was actually founded in 1948 when Colonel E.R. Rivers-Macpherson, O.B.E., a retired British Army officer, emigrated to Canada with a Charter from Tom Macpherson, M.P, (first Chairman of the parent Clan Association and later Lord Macpherson of Drumochter) to form a Branch here in Canada. This he set about doing enthusiastically by means of a country-wide mailing campaign directed to all clansmen listed in the telephone directories of our major cities. This resulted in the formation of the Canadian Branch in March 1948 with the Hon. Ewen McPherson, Chief Justice of Manitoba, as the first Chairman and Colonel Rivers- Macpherson as Hon. Secretary. The first AGM was held at the Hon. Secretary's home in Ottawa on the 4th June 1949.

       We send good wishes to all our fellow clansfolk at home and abroad.

England & Wales Branch
Chairman -- Angus Macpherson; Vice-Chairman and Treasurer -- Lindsey Jane Rousseau; Secretary -- Robert Macpherson, 18 Norcutt Road, Twickenham, Middlesex TW2 6SR. Email: robmac@cwcom.net.
       The 1999 Annual General Meeting of the England & Wales Branch was held on 20th May once again at the Caledonian Club, London. The meeting was well attended and followed our preferred format of holding brief formalities, followed by a Scottish supper of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties. The defining moment came when it was decided to open the wine at the start of the meeting, which ensured a convivial and lighthearted atmosphere.

       In June we launched our first newsletter which was created and edited by Alex Riley and her sister Rosie Thomas. This was a great success in informing the membership of future activities and in setting up a register of genealogy. We will issue our next newsletter in February.

       One of those events launched in the newsletter was a curry night. This was held in Soho, London, on the same night as riots broke out in the square mile! The rioters however were not gatecrashers trying to spoil our evening, but part of the "reclaim the street" protest and our evening was not upset by them. Due to the success of the evening we will be holding a Mexican Burns night, again in central London. We would like to express our thanks to Flora for organising these.

       On Friday 12th November, 174 members and their guests attended the 1999 London Ball at the Hotel Russell. Two adjoining rooms were used in order to allow the Ballroom to have as large a dance floor as possible where a four course dinner was served which included Blairgowrie Haggis most generously and kindly gifted by Cluny. The Haggis was piped in by Jerome Le-Roy Lewis and addressed splendidly by Donald MacPherson.

       Angus our Chairman accepted and led the toast to the Haggis. Angus toasted the Queen and Clan Macpherson and at the end of the meal made an entertaining speech and thanked the organisers of the Ball, Ailsa and Flora Macpherson. Their hard work created some excellent table and room decorations as well as arranging the whole event, which ensured a relaxed and fun atmosphere for members and their guests.

       Following the meal dancing was held in the adjoining ballroom where we were lucky to have Lindsey Rousseau step in as M.C. at the last moment. She carried out this


difficult task splendidly. The evening allowed for a demonstration of the men only foursome reel by the 'Rousseau Quartet' which we all enjoyed. Vic Macpherson Clifford kindly donated a balloon shower at the end of the evening with one lucky balloon containing a ticket for a bottle of whisky. All in all a wonderful evening was held which allows the branch to take pride in its continuing achievements.

       We hope to continue to hold some smaller events during the year to allow those who do not live close to London to participate in branch activities and we will use the newsletter to announce these. We will also publish this newsletter on our web pages and welcome comments from the branch to continue the dynamism of the past year.

       We send greeting to all our fellow members worldwide.

Scottish Branch
Chairman -- John Macpherson, Linksvale, 8 Dorward Place Montrose DD1O 8RU. Tel. 01674 673569. Fax: 01674 675584. Secretary -- Ian J. A. Robb, Strathcarron, 27 Whites Place, Montrose DDIO 8RN. Phone & Fax: 01674 672263; Mobile: 0411252346. E-mail: irobb@sol.co.uk..

       We have now completed two years since the inauguration of the single Scottish Branch. As reported at the last Annual Report, we set out with three objectives, all of which we were proud to report we had achieved. At that time we intimated that we hoped to set ourselves new targets, that would sustain our initial efforts. It was hoped that these would include 1) the organisation of another event in the late Spring or early Summer, and 2) taking the membership through the 300 barrier.

       Following on then, to report on our activities over our second year, we held our Ceilidh Dinner Dance and first AGM in the Dewar's Rinks, Perth in November 1998. A very enjoyable evening was held with music supplied by Bill Black and his Band from Stanley. An excellent repast was partaken of by the 50 attendees. The evening was enhanced by the services of Andrew Gillies, who acted with his usual efficiency as Master of Ceremonies.

       The following morning we had a good attendance at our first AGM. It was agreed at this meeting that as long as we were in a position to do so the Scottish Branch would undertake to supply the White Heather for the Annual Gathering. It was also agreed that we would continue to keep an eye on St. Kenneth's Graveyard, and when necessary organise a work party to carry out any further restoration work.

       In conjunction with our AGM, John and Ewen Macpherson conducted a mail drop on Perth and the surrounding area, and this resulted in us increasing our numbers to 273,


from our annual return of 259. A further exercise was carried out in the Spring by Shelagh Noble and Bill Macpherson on the Edinburgh and Central Area, which returned a further 14, plus two at the Museum and brought us to a figure of 289 members. However previous promises of registration were chased up catching the magical one, which achieved 290. So near, yet so far, from the magic of our target. Shelagh and Bill have tried even further to recruit in the central belt, and this has not proved quite as fruitful, but they did achieve two new members.

       The election of Office Bearers returned those serving, and this was unanimous. Additions to our committee numbers were Jamie Macpherson and William Macpherson.

       In March, we introduced our Whisky Miniature, which has sold sufficient to recoup our initial investment, and it is hoped will result in further sales at the Gathering. In June we held a Clan Picnic at Doune Castle, with an attendance of 32, including Cluny and Lady Cluny, and it appears that this was very successful. The Newsletter continues, but under the new title of "Macphersons Rant", following a competition. We have arranged our second AGM to be held at the Royal Hotel, Bridge of Allan on Saturday 30th October, at 10.30a.m. preceded the night before by the Annual Ceilidh Dinner Dance.

       Once again we would express that we are not satisfied with our achievements, and seek to set further targets to be achieved in the coming year. We have organised a Burns Supper for January 2000 and already we have sold half the available tickets. We hope to repeat the Picnic, but this time the suggestion is that we seek a northern venue, and secondly we would like to see us increase our membership to break the magical barrier. It is further hoped that we may be able to include a Bar-B-Que in Summer 2000.

       It should be reported that all recruitment attempts have been restricted to the surname of Macpherson, and have not included the Gillespie side of the clan, nor has it included any of the other septs. We will seek to look at these avenues when we have completed the Macphersons.

       The support we have been given for this year's annual event is a little disappointing but hopefully we will see a growth in the future which will see our Branch of the Association becoming more active, as it was in years gone by.

South African/African Branch
Chaiman -- Allan D. MacPherson, G. W. MacPherson, G. R. MacPherson, K. R. MacPherson, J. Cattanach, Ewen Macpherson (Malawi), Willy Gillies (Zimbabwe), Stuart MacPherson (Cape Town).

       Very little to report, we hope to have a good one for Y2K. Willy Gillies contacted us en route from Zimbabwe to the Cape, where he spent Christmas with his daughter at Gordons Bay. Eric MacPherson was another who kept in touch from Jefferies Bay. Other regular events: the Ostroskis from their Game Farm in Zululand, Cherissa in Cape Town. They (all Janet's family) have moved to Hout (?) Bay, where Janet bought several acres, and they are now building homes there.

       Graham William MacPherson is still in Jo'burg. Graeme R. Macpherson has started his Fourth Year at Heriot-Watt College, and Hughla and Allan will be coming to Scotland for his graduation in October, and we hope to see many of our Clan cousins.

       Cameron MacPherson has done very well in a Nation-wide Schools Science competition. He obtained first place and a Gold Medal for the Gauteng Schools area. More details in the next issue.

       We send our love and very best wishes for the New Millennium to the Chief and family and all our Clan cousins, and say "Well done" to the new Scottish Branch, which is very active, thanks to John, Shelagh and their great team.

Beannachd leibh.

Southland, New Zealand Branch
Chairinan -- Mrs Margaret Harding, Lorneville PO; Treasurer -- Mrs Beth Cairns, 312 Herbert Street, Invercargill; Secretary -- Athole Macpherson, 73A Antrim Street, Invercargill.        Last November Otago/Southland celebrated the 150th anniversary of Scottish settlement with the main events in Dunedin -- our Edinburgh of the South, with the Lord Provost and his lady as our special guests. There had been various events during the year and this was the climax, ending with a Tattoo. It was a grand sight with tartans to the fore and all venues busy.        I believe there are more Scottish Country dancers here than in Scotland and more pipe bands, at least six wearing our Red tartan.

       We had a clan booth which attracted good attention and I enclose a snap with Athole, Beth Cairns, Mark Macpherson and Life member Malcolm McPherson who had come from Timaru. Malcolm is a keen genealogist and it was good to meet him and his wife Margaret. They intend visiting Scotland next year.

       This year we have been busier since we were in the chair for Combined Clans Council gatherings. Maybe I am a trifle biased, however, I felt the dinner was the best I have attended and we were fortunate in having the skills of Margaret and Beth giving the Scottish Hall an attractive appearance. Margaret had worked to have more young folk than usual and we hope they may join our ranks.

       Did you know that Wellington is to have The Edinburgh Tattoo in 2000? Tickets sold out in record time for three performances. Perhaps you will see it on TV sometime. It is such a mammoth effort and we feel honoured to be hosts.

       We have been catching glimpses of Edinburgh with the Rugby World Cup which in rugby-keen New Zealand is top viewing just now.

       Our outing at the end of this month is a lunch near the Stirling Point signpost at Bluff.

       In January we enjoyed the brief visit of Ruth and Roger Deacon [Dennis] of San Jose and next month we meet John Robert McGowan, now living in Auckland, who was a clan member while living in Phoenix, Arizona

       Greetings to all Clan Macpherson branches and good health to you all.


United States Branch
Chairman -- Robert G. McPherson, 1910 Collier Drive, Fern Park, FL. 32732, USA. Secretary -- Mary Lee Russell, 1501 Ely Road, Hixson, Tennessee 37343, USA.

       The year 1999 provided the U.S. Branch with many challenges and we did accomplish several of them. Our members attended and established tents at more Highland games and Festivals this year, which resulted in an increase in new memberships. However, we did lose several older members with a net result that we finish the year at about 1800 members. A programme for better retention will be a goal for 2000.

       We did receive approval of our filing as a non-profit association under section 501c3 of the IRS code on June 28, 1999. This will give rise to many benefits to invest in our Clan both in the U.S. and Scotland.

       After attending another great AGM in Newtonmore, we only had a few weeks to prepare for our 26th AGM in Kansas City, Missouri on October 1st through the 3rd. Prior to this meeting former U.S. Chairman and presently the International ViceChairman, Larry Lee McPherson and his wife Lillas attended the 50th Canadian AGM in Kitchener, Ontario. The Canadian Branch was presented with a splendid engraved Claymore Sword from the U.S. Branch to celebrate the occasion. The following weekend we welcomed Cluny, Sheila, Alastair and Penny along with Sandy and Catherine for a grand meeting in the "City of Fountains".

       On Saturday night's banquet we presented Cluny with a beautiful Basket Hilt Sword to commemorate his 30 years as our Chief The U.S. Membership earlier had elected Donald E. McPherson Chairman, William B. Smith, Vice Chairman, and DeLois McPherson, Secretary for the year 2000.

       All in all it was a good year and on behalf of the U.S. Branch we send our best wishes to all of our fellow members both in the U.S. and around the world.

West Australian Branch
Chairman -- Douglas McPherson; Secretary - Margaret McPherson.        We are sad to report the passing of John McPherson, our Australian Chairman. He and Gordon, our "Foundation Chairman" were great friends and no doubt are forming a Branch "tip there".

       We present this poem, written by my mother, to his memory, and for his wife and family who miss him so much.

By Emma Una McPherson

            'Tis sunny, sunny morning,
            Was it only yesterday?
            I saw them slowly, mournfully
            Send my dearest away

            Friends and strangers seem to pause
             silent sympathy;
            And was it I, in grief alone,
            Asker, Should this come to me?

            'Tis sunny, sunny morning,
             The rain drops on each leaf,
             Stand still, than fall without a sound
            And such must be my grief.

Greetings and love to all of Cluny's family.



39 Swanston Avenue,
Edinburgh EH10 7BX.
2 November 1999

Dear Margaret,
       I wonder if you could publish this letter in the pages of "Creag Dhubh", which might produce an answer to a Clan mystery.

In 1845 Robert McIan produced, in conjunction with James Logan, that splendidly spirited work "The Costumes of the Clans of Scotland" dedicated to Queen Victoria, which epitomised the popularity of all things Highland and tartan of the period. The volume was commissioned by the Highland Society of London to commemorate the centenary of the 1745 Jacobite rising.

The illustration of the Clan Macpherson Chief, clad in white dress tartan and complete with pistols and feathered bonnet is well known to most Clansmen.

       It is however, in Logan's text describing the history of the Clan that the mystery is to be found. He writes of Cluny Castle and details of some of the relics to be found there, Prince Charles Edward's targe, the Green Banner and the Black Chanter all of which are well known to us. He then refers to "a leathern belt of red morocco, called the Crios breac, which has been so called from its numerous silver studs. These represent the Agnus Dei and the head of St John alternately with other ornaments; and there can be little doubt that it was brought from the Holy Land, by Murdach, or some other chief, who had made pilgrimage thither".

       Can any clan historian or researcher trace the origin of this relic, which must be totally unique in character? The chances of a distant chief going to the Holy Land on a crusade would appear, on face value, to be somewhat mythical. What then was the origin of this relic, obviously much valued?

       The belt is also mentioned by Joseph Mitchell, the railway engineer, in his autobiography when describing Cluny Castle. Unfortunately, Queen Victoria, who visited Cluny when on her momentous wet holiday in Ardverikie in 1847, did not publish an account of her reception at the Castle by her landlord, Old Cluny, so no clues can be obtained there.

       That is only one part of the mystery. What happened to the belt and where is it now? Prince Charlie's Medusa targe was sold in 1928 to Mr John Murray of Clava who presented it in memory of his grandson killed in the Second World War to the National Museum of Scotland, where it can be seen today. The Green Banner and Black Chanter are proudly displayed in our own Clan Museum in Newtonmore, but the belt cannot be traced. As it was not sold in the sale of contents of Cluny Castle in 1943 was it sold earlier, if so, who was the buyer?

       Who can help in the solving of this mystery? Answers are invited from all.

Yours sincerely,


3 Ilford Close, Luton,
Bedfordshire LU2 8JT
8th October 1999.

Dear Mrs Hambleton,
       As a member of the England and Wales Branch of the Clan Macpherson Association I was reading issue 51 of "Creag Dhubh" recently and I wondered whether the achievements of my son Iain Macpherson earlier in the year might be of interest to other readers.

       He is a Cross Country runner, and a member of the Vauxhall Motors team which


competes in the Chiltern League. Earlier this year he represented his school in the Luton Schools Cross-Country Championships for school years 10 and 11. Being a year 10 pupil he would face boys who could be almost two years older. He had an outstanding race winning it comfortably.

       This led to his selection for the Luton Schools Team in the Bedfordshire Championships, an event to be held in Ampthill Park over a notoriously difficult course. Our expectations in this event were not high as the field included all of Bedfordshire's finest runners from years 10 and 11.

       Iain however was undaunted by such stiff opposition and determined to make a good impression. He started the race strongly and for the first quarter was never in less than fifth place. At that point the runners disappeared from the spectaters' view into a thickly wooded area. When they reappeared at the other side Iain was in the lead. He stayed in first place for the rest of the race coming home to win with a considerable margin over the second placed runner.

       Thus he became Bedfordshire Cross Country Champion at his first attempt in the twoyear age band.

       Another runner called Macpherson, who may be one to watch out for in the future?

Yours sincerely,



8 Bourtree Crescent,
Kirkcudbright DG6 4AX

12th August 1999.

Dear Mrs Hambleton,
       I am writing with reference to the article entitled "Let's Learn Gaelic" in issue 51 of "Creag Dhubh".        Archy Macpherson translates his name into Gaelic as "Gilleasbuig Lachlainn Illeasbuig". It has always been my understanding that "Gilleasbuig" translates to "Gillespie" and has the meaning "servant/follower of the Bishop". I learned this at a very early age from my late Gaelic-speaking great-aunt, who hailed from Sutherland. According to the authoritative "Surnames of Scotland" by George F. Black, "Easbuig" is a borrowing from the Latin "Episcopus". Black writes that "for some mysterious reason the name (Gillespie/Gilleasbuig) is regarded as the Gaelic equivalent of Archibald, in some quarters. The late Dr. Macbain suggested that the "Arch" since it appears in archbishop, may have suggested the correlation of the name, which, otherwise have no connection either in sound or roots".

Am I really David Archibald?

With a recorded ancestry, as "Gillespie", going back so far, to circa 1680, 1 would really like to know!

Yours sincerely,

Membership No. 6062.

Bath House,
30 Trinity Crescent,
Edinburgh EH5 3EE.
30th August, 1999.

Dear Mrs Hambleton,
       David Gillespie's scholarly letter was a delight to read in respect of Gillespie/Gilleasbuig. It was both factual and accurate.

       Certainly David can change his name to Archibald, but why exchange one's silk for hemp. The name Gillespie/Gilleasbuig has a long and honourable place in history. It


goes back to the days of the Celtic Church when only the bishops were celibate and without a wife a bishop would need a person to work for him. We all know that the Celtic church was undermined and more or less destroyed by Margaret the wife of Malcolm Canmore. It was very like the Greek Orthodox church in many ways, for instance our Scottish saltire flag and our St. Andrew were associated with the Greek church. As if that were not all, our national language even shows the influence of the Celtic church in the three middle days of the week ... Diciadain . . . the day of the first fast . . in English, Wednesday.. . Diardaoin ... the day between the fasts . . . Thursday . . . Di-h-aoine ... the day of the fast . . . Friday. To this day Wednesday and Friday are fast days in the Greek church. Yes, the Gillespies have a name to be proud of!

Mise, le spéis,


6B Lewis Terrace,
Dundee DD4 9SP
Tel 01382 506915.
June 1999.

Dear Editor,
       How do I start this piece of correspondence and what, I bear you say is a "Dade" doing writing to "Creag Dhubh" anyway.

       Let me say that it must be some 30 years or more since my wife Brenda and I started associating with the "Clan Macpherson Association". This was through "Clan Chattan" and the tenuous links of "Davidson". My father whilst stationed at R.A.F. Kinross was in the process of research of the "Macdade" side of things, but as with all servicemen, along comes another posting and winds up in South Wales. (Hence my doubts first expressed.)

       There is some talk within the family of a Huguenot connection from the days of the persecutions in what were known as the Low Countries, but this seems to be more tenuous than the "Davidson". I must admit there are times when I am feeling in a state of limbo -- I think that is the right word.

       I wear the "Davidson" and oppose any opposition to that. I feel that I have the right attitude and I hope that those who read this will agree.

       Finally I would on behalf of Brenda and myself like to thank Cluny and Sheila, Alastair and Penny and all whom we meet at Kingussie Gatherings for accepting us into the family as their own.

Thank you all,


The Highland Folk Museum,
Duke Street,
Inverness-shire PH21 1JG,
Tel/Fax: 01540 662435
e-mail: homecomings@scotweb.org

Dear Margaret,
       Clan members may be interested in participating in a research project based at the Highland Folk Museum in Kingussie, Inverness- shire. The project, 'Highland Homecomings', has been set up to explore cultural connections between people of Highland descent dispersed throughout the world and their 'old country', particularly journeys made to ancestral places, attending gatherings, pursuing genealogical research and so on.

       Although the remit is Highland and Island-wide, it would be especially rewarding to


have the support of the Clan Macpherson considering the location of the project 'headquarters' in Badenoch. Clan members, wherever their place of ordinary residence, are invited to visit the project web site at http://wwwscotweb.org/homecomings where they may find full details of its objectives, a number of articles, an on-line questionnaire, email discussion list and so forth. For those without internet access, correspondence is welcomed by ordinary mail.

       Overseas members who are intending to visit Scotland in 2000, whether to attend the annual Gathering or at other times, are encouraged to make contact: it would be wonderful to set up a meeting, either at the Museum or, better still, at a site associated with their ancestors. I am quite happy to travel to an appropriate location.

       The themes that underlie the project concern the relationship between landscape, narrative and identity. I am keen to learn about Macpherson family histories, stories passed down through the generations -- particularly relating to ancestral homelands and emigration -- as well as accounts of more recent journeys to such ancestral places.

       Although an academic project, the intention is to stage an exhibition based around the research which will tour throughout the Highlands and perhaps abroad too.

       I do hope Clan members will be interested in the project. Theirs will be an important and much valued contribution.

       With best wishes to "Creag Dhubh" readers for 2000.

Your sincerely,


White Hart Inn.
4th June, 1999.

Dear Margaret,        Enclosed is a photocopy of part of an article as appears in the Journal of the Clan Chattan Association (Vol. X, No. 4, 1998). Robert McIntosh is my great- grandfather. I was wondering whether you will have space to print the last two paragraphs in the next issue of Creag Dhubh.

              A daughter of James McIntosh and a sister of Robert McIntosh, Jane/Jean born atKincardine O'Neil in 1834 married a Joseph MacPherson born about 1834, at Banchory Ternan, Kincardineshire on 23 March 1856. Joseph MacPherson was the son of Hugh MacPherson and his wife Ann Nelson, a Farmer at Haughhead, Strachan, Kincardineshire. Hugh MacPherson died at Auchattie on 12 June 1873, aged 79, his wife Ann died on 19 January 1892, aged 90. It appears a son Charles MacPherson, and a brother-in-law to Jane/Jean died at the age of 91 in 1912, and is buried with his father and mother at Strachan.

       I have no knowledge of what happened to Joseph and Jane MacPherson after their marriage in 1856 but suspect they, like many other Scots at the time, emigrated to one of the many countries that then made up the British Empire. Should any of their descendants read this, I would be delighted to hear from them.

Yours Sincerely,


P.S. (Jan. 2000). Latest information received is that they settled in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Nairn, IV12 5JD.
11th March 1999.

Dear Mrs Hambleton,
       Visiting cousins should be told about, if they have not already been so, the magnificent new Museum of Scotland which was recently opened by Her Majesty the Queen. From


a visit -- actually more than one is really needed -- they would learn so much about our wonderful country there and see some 10,000 fantastic treasures some over 7,000 years old!

       As luck would have it, I had time to kill last Saturday and arrived at the Museum at 2p.m. in the afternoon to hear an announcement that there was to be a short "orientation" tour at 2.15 so I thought I would join it. Can you imagine my delight when I discovered that our own Sandy was the person conducting the tour.

       It was excellent, of that there is no doubt. Sandy's knowledge and history is outstanding and if anyone wants a tour they should, I suggest, try and make sure he is ,on duty' when they go. In fact I am quite sure Sandy would be delighted to arrange a special tour for any Macphersons who happen to be in Edinburgh in the weeks before or after future rallies.

Yours sincerely,


P.S. Actually I had 'inside' knowledge of Sandy's involvement since we had his 'boss' who recruited him as a guide staying with us the week before but it was pure chance that I happened to be visiting the Museum on one of the afternoons he was there. What luck!,.

Room 3076, State Capitol,
Sacramento, CA 95814.

Dear Mrs Hambleton,
       I am the California State Senator representing the 15th Senate District that includes more than 800,000 people in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties, and a portion of Santa Clara County

       Every year at the State Capital in Sacramento there is a Legislature and Staff Bowling Party.


Dressed in McPherson "dress" kilts, my office won the "best dressed team" for the second year in a row. We didn't win the bowling tournament, but we had the best time -- and looked the best -- of any of the Legislature offices -- 40 state senators and 80 members of the California Assembly.

       I am pictured on the left of one of the photos, along with legislative aide Steve McShane. In the other photo, left to right, are McShane, Mary McDonald, Alicia Belmontes, and me.

       I purchased my kilt during a 1959 visit to Scotland, and the other three kilts were purchased by my family in 1988 when we went to the annual "Games".




From Gaelic to Romantic: Ossianic Translations, is the title of a book edited by Fiona Stafford and Howard Gaskill. The book is a collection of essays which attempts to chart the cultural currents that flowed into James Macpherson's texts, and to examine their peculiar energy. Scholars distinguished in many fields of cultural studies have contributed to this exploration of Macpherson's achievement. The book includes the results of important new research into the traditional Gaelic sources as well as discussion of the political impetus of his poetry, and studies of the reception of 'Ossian' far beyond the bounds of Scotland. Included in the book is an essay entitled "'On the Death of Marshall Keith'and the Clan Consciousness of James Macpherson", by well-known Clan member Dr Alan G. Macpherson of St. Johns, Newfoundland.

       A copy of the book has been placed in the Clan Museum's Library.

            E ditions Rodopi B.V.
             Amsterdam/Atlanta, GA, 1988. XIV, 264 pp.
             (Textxet 15)
             ISBN: 90-420-0781-8 Hfl. 80,/U.S. $42.

The Association's receipts from both Annual subscriptions and Life members have dropped slightly from the level of the previous year. In 1998 these totalled �316 and in 1999 the total is �220.

       However savings have been made in the running of the Association and this has resulted in the annual surplus increasing from �8 in 1998 to �741 in 1999.

       The costs of maintaining the Museum continue to rise. Despite trying to control costs, approximately �000 had to be spent on the overheads of the property. Essential maintenance accounted for �435 of this total but no funds were available to continue the refurbishment of the prints and water colour pictures held in the Museum.

       Apart from the sterling work done by the Curator, who has managed to create more sales of goods within the Museum and thus making a valuable contribution to the overheads, the other sources of income come from a small amount of investment income,


donations received, and a grant from the Highland Council. The total income from these sources does not cover the running cost of the Museum and in this year there is a deficit of �757. This deficit is met in part by a transfer of funds from the Association and in this year �000 was transferred across to the Musuem.        To allow the development of the building to continue other methods of funding will have to be found, either from the members of the association or from other funding bodies.


The Clan Macpherson Association's 54th Annual Gathering will take place in and around the Highland villages of Newtonmore and Kingussie over the weekend commencing Friday 4 August. Both villages are on the A9 and are well served by public transport from Scotland's major cities.

       The first event, a reception hosted by the Association, takes place at 8pm in the Duke of Gordon Hotel, Kingussie. At it, the Chief, Sir William Macpherson of Cluny, his wife Lady Cluny, and the Chairman and his wife will welcome members of the Association to mark the start of a weekend of festivities.

       The Highland Ball, at the same venue, follows immediately afterwards. For those not necessarily acquainted with the niceties of Scottish Country Dancing, the ever-youthful Andrew Gillies will be at hand to guide them through their steps. The dress code for the Ball is 'black tie/highland', and included in the price of the ticket is a buffet supper.

       Tickets for the Ball can be purchased on the Friday from either the Museum or at the Duke of Gordon itself. Those intending in coming are asked to fill in the attached , return slip' and send it to the Museum.

       The Annual General Meeting of the Association takes place the following morning in Newtonmore Village Hall, to which all members are invited. Reports from the Association's representatives around the world are always well received. The meeting begins at 10.30am and is likely to be over by midday.

       Lunch is an entirely informal affair, although the Mains Hotel, opposite the Museum, is always a popular choice.

       The Clan March, for all kilted male Macphersons and Association members, leaves Old Ralia at 2pm. Assembly is fifteen minutes beforehand. Old Ralia can be found south of the Games Field (the Eilan) on the A9 as it heads out of Newtonmore, a brisk fifteen minutes walk from the Museum.

       For those eligible to march but not in possession of a kilt, inquiries should be made at the Museum, AGM and Ball. Gate money for the marchers will be collected at Old Ralia; others should pay at the entrance to the Games Field.

       The Chief, at the head of the Clan March, is officially welcomed onto the Eilan at approximately 2.15pm, after which free drams are served up in the Clan Tent. Those wanting to take part in one of the highlights of the Games, the hill race up Creag Dhubh, are advised to abstain from the drams and instead make themselves known to a member of the organising committee.

       At 4.30pm, the Museum hosts an 'At Home' for Association members and invited guests from the local community and beyond. This is followed by an informal, traditional Scottish supper at the Duke of Gordon Hotel at 6.30pm.

       There is a nominal charge for entry to the Ceilidh, also in the Duke of Gordon, which starts at Spin. Contributions, whether in song, music or verse are most welcome. just let yourself be known to the fear-an-tigh as soon as possible.

       At the conclusion of the formal ceilidh, the 'After Ceilidh Ceilidh' takes place



elsewhere in the hotel. This has been known to last until breakfast time, and for some, the effects of it last until lunchtime.

       Members of the Association are invited to join the parishioners of St Columba's Church in Kingussie at their act of worship at I lam on Sunday. Afterwards, there are no formal lunch arrangements, although in recent years a number of people have taken to having a picnic at the Jubilee Cairn site. Directions to the Cairn should be sought, as the location is quite isolated.

       The last official event of the Gathering is hosted by Allan and Marjorie MacphersonFletcher when they generously invite the Association to Balavil House, just north of Kingussie. This takes place at 4pm.

       For those who remain in Badenoch after the Gathering officially ends, there is an opportunity to walk off the excesses of the weekend on the Monday morning. The rendezvous point is at the Museum, 10am.

       Members wanting further details about the Gathering should either consult the Association email service, ListServ, (clan - macpherson at listserv@home.ease.Isoft.com) or alternatively contact the Hon Secretary or Curator at the addresses listed elsewhere in the magazine. Further details for new-comers should also be available from the Museum and Duke of Gordon Hotel immediately before the Gathering.


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