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Duke of Gordon Advertisement

A Days March to Ruin Advertisement

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Scots College. After which we spent an amazing three days with the turtles and birds on Heron island on the Barrier Reef.

      Then thanks to Edna Macpherson Sabato we became part of the Wild Scotchman Festival at Gin Gin. Edna and Narelle (from Manly) and her sister and brother-in-law Robyn and Tom Aisbett made us feel entirely at home in this small but marvellously friendly place. And before leaving Queensland we stayed with Robyn and Tom at "Hillgrove", which is true Bush Country as we had imagined it to be! Miles from anywhere Tom and Robyn showed us their cattle, and endless trees and scrub, and animals and birds of all kinds. And they gave us a wonderful taste of the food and feel of their land.

      On the way down to Sydney we visited Mount Abundance (near Roma in Queensland), and Keera (near Bingara, New South Wales) where my great grandfather Allan squatted the best part of a million acres in the 1840s. What an experience to see those great "runs" and to imagine those early days of Australian settlement before Allan eventually came home to Blairgowrie and severed his links with Australia in 1868.

      Then on to Sydney, where we had a wonderful greeting from Colin and Mary, Bruce and Heather, and our full time planner and minder, Lt. Colonel John L. Macpherson, who with his wife Gwen and others have done so much to revitalise the New South Wales Branch. In company with all of them, and Edna and Narelle and Robyn and Tom who all met up with us again, we enjoyed four days of the lively City of Sydney. A reception at Parliament House, where my great great grandfather, William, was for many years Clerk of the Legislative Council, was a highlight. A trip round the Harbour was special, with Colin piping for us all. And we were honoured to be guests at a most hospitable Clan Chattan Dinner given for us by Mrs Beryl Hardy Nisbett, the Clan Farquharson Commissioner in Sydney.

      Finally we were in the Southern Highlands for "Bundanoon is Brigadoon", a great annual Scottish Festival, attended by 20,000 people, and at least 15 pipe bands! Then on to a late night Ceilidh and dance --- Church on Sunday --- a final Clan barbecue ---- a visit to old friends at Berrima ---- and back to the airport for the long flight home!

      All in all the visit of a lifetime, for which we are eternally grateful to all who so warmly welcomed us.

      Then after a successful and happy Badenoch Gathering we were off again in September to Ottawa and the joint Gathering of the Canadian and US Branches of our Association. Sandy and Catherine from Edinburgh, and John and Iris from Montrose, and Alastair and Penny (now of New York!) joined us for this very successful and enjoyable joint venture. And we all owe a debt of gratitude particularly to Douglas from Oakville, and all the organising committees of both Branches, for another memorable occasion across the Atlantic.

      I end on a sad note to mark the death of Nancy, our Museum Curator Andrew's wife. She was such a great support to Andrew, and we send our thoughts and prayers to him and to all their family, And our most grateful thanks also go to Andrew who retired from his post as Curator only a very short time before Nancy's untimely death. He and Nancy have done so much to make visitors welcome at the Museum. We know that everyone will join us in thanking him, and in extending our sympathy to him and his family.

      All good wishes to you all for 2001!

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CHAIRMAN'S REMARKS

      First I would like to say that as your new Chairman I am deeply appreciative to have been given this honourable position and I will do my very best to continue the fine leadership of previous Chairmen. Next I would thank the Association for providing the very capable back-up Board Members. Together we plan a very active agenda for the future. I am counting on our new Vice-Chairman Catherine Macpherson to represent me in Scotland when I can't always be there for obvious reasons.

      The AGM in Badenoch this past August was again very successful and brought to our attention several very important subjects. First of all the need for a replacement Curator for the Museum. This matter is receiving the utmost attention and is expected to be resolved prior to the next AGM. We thank Andrew for his service until his retirement and extend our sympathy for the recent passing of his wife, Nancy. God bless! The 2K2 effort to provide further financial support for the future continuation and growth of this unique treasure (our Museum) of our Association is already underway with the leadership of Roderick (Rod) Clarke. We would encourage all to assist Rod in any way possible!

      Following the AGM in Scotland this past Summer, Lillas and I attended the joint AGM of USA and Canada in Ottawa, Canada. This was our first experience representing CMA as International Chairman. All went well with the exception of rainy weather.

      Lillas and I are now living in Florida for the Winter and plan to attend many Highland Games in this South-East area of the US. Hope to see many of our CMA Cousins there. By the time this issue of Creag Dhubh gets to you us Floridians may have got all the counting done to establish our new US President.

      We extend our best wishes to all for the new year 2001 and if there is anything we can do for any of you to further improve CMA, please let me know.

Larry Lee McPherson
Placida, Florida-November 2000

      The Millennium Year has seen many changes in the Clan Association, with more yet to come. A glance at page 2 of the book for this year and the previous one will show many new names in the list of office-bearers.

      We are glad to welcome new Chairman, Larry Lee, a long-time and faithful member of the U.S. Branch, along with his charming wife Lillas. It's also good to see a woman occupying the post of Vice-Chairman for the first time, in the person of Sandy's wife Catherine. We also have a husband and wife team, Bill and Jan, as Hon. Treasurer and Hon. Secretary. These two good people have also been of great assistance to me as Editor this year, by preparing camera-ready copy for the printers, and thus also considerably reducing the cost of the magazine.

      One person we are all sad to lose this year through retirement is our genial Curator, Andrew, who has become synonymous with the Museum over the past few years. Our loss has been

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redoubled by the sad death of Andrew's wife Nancy, just after they had moved to a new home elsewhere in Newtonmore. Our sympathy goes out to Andrew in his loss.       One interesting event this year has been the recovery of the sword presented to Old Cluny in 1883, and the remarkable story of how it came about is recounted here by Ewen.

      I have enjoyed being your Editor for the past few years, but think it's time for a new face, or should it be pen, to take over, so this will probably be my last Editorial. However I hope to be around at Gatherings for a while yet, so I do hope you will join me at the 55th Gathering on the first week-end in August at the familiar locations.

      Thanks again to our contributors -- good to see some new names among them this year again -- and to everyone who has helped to put the magazine together.

OUR NEW CHAIRMAN
Larry Lee and his wife of nearly 50 years, Lillas Kaska (Koskie) McPherson were both born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1933. Larry is the only child of Peggy (Berdina) & Melvin McPherson. This McPherson line was primarily centred in the Northern Michigan area from, Saginaw to Antrim County. Melvin's mother and Larry's grandmother Helen McPherson (the grand lady of this family) passed away in mid 1989, 50 days short of her 100th birthday. Lillas has discovered since becoming a CMA member that her roots may be even more Scottish than Larry's. Her great-grandfather (Slimmon) was a politician from Perth, Scotland.

      Larry and Lillas first met in High School in the 10th grade. Somehow they survived the high school sweetheart stage and then married at the early age of 18. Larry went into the Navy and Lillas went to work for the FBI. It was one of those marriages that would "never last". They raised and put two sons and two daughters through college, all married with the girls yielding five lovely grandchildren.

      After four years in Florida and Hawaii growing up together as newlyweds while Larry finished his "over-seas duty" with the USN, they returned to Michigan for schooling, followed by Larry joining the aerospace industry with Lear Siegler Instrument Division. After 24 years working through the ranks from electronic technician to a management position in product support and contract management, Larry decided he had enough of international air travel and decided to "retire" to a sales engineering job, driving 60,000 miles a year all over the mid-west, for a custom gear manufacturer, Gear Research of Grand Rapids. Lillas in the mean time along with raising the family had worked in marketing research until retiring in 1995, the same time Larry retired.

      Larry and Lillas became members of CMA in 1984 through the encouragement of past International Chairman Monroe MacPherson, and first visited Scotland in 1986. When asked at the CMA US AGM in Dearbom, why he joined CMA, Larry's response was "to prove to Lillas that there were other McPhersons that acted like him and his immediate kinsfolk". We expect that this explanation may fit other cousins as well. Larry and Lillas have been very active in CMA affairs in the mid-west and have served as officers in one of the first CMA US chapters, the Michigan Chapter. Larry has served as USA Mid-west Regional Commissioner, US Vice Chairman, US Chairman and most recently as International Vice Chairman until being installed as CMA International Chairman in August 2000. Larry may not have the honour of being the largest member of CMA, but when he was being fitted for his kilt jacket at the House of Macpherson in Scotland, the comment was made "We have never made one larger". This may be why Cluny placed him as anchor man on the CMA tug-of-war team at past Newtonmore Games. As you may have guessed Larry and Lillas really enjoy being a part of CMA because of the great fun and fellowship they have experienced with the extended CMA family. They now live on an island in Lake Huron through the six months of "poor sledding" and then spend the winters in Florida.

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54 TH ANNUAL GATHERING
The Millennium Year Gathering proved to be another successful event in the Clan Association's history.

      After the Council Meeting on the afternoon of Friday 4th August, the main proceedings started off, as usual, with the Reception in the Duke of Gordon Hotel, Kingussie. Immediately following was the Highland Ball, attended by over 120 members and friends. Andrew Gillies, who acted as Master of Ceremonies in his inimitable manner, was congratulated by everyone on reaching his 80th birthday. The music was provided by the Kennedy Brothers, and an outstanding buffet was laid on, with choice dishes from the produce of hills and river.

      The Association's Annual General Meeting, which took place in Newtonmore Village Hall on Saturday morning, was well attended. Reports were received from Branches at home and abroad. Larry Lee McPherson, U.S.A., was installed as the new Chairman, accepting the cromag of office from Alastair Macpherson of Pitmain, who was appointed an Hon. VicePresident. Mrs Catherine Macpherson, Edinburgh, made history when she was elected the first woman Vice-Chairman. William J.S. Macpherson (Bill), Glenfarg, was confirmed in the office of Treasurer, which he had been occupying on a temporary basis since the resignation of Peter Munro. Bill's wife, Jan Macpherson, took on the office of Secretary, following the resignation of Bruce J.S. Macpherson, due to pressure of business. It was announced that Andrew Macpherson was retiring as Curator of the Museum at the end of the season, and a successor was being sought. T.A.S. (Sandy) Macpherson stood down after three years as Convenor of the Museum Advisory Committee, and was succeeded by Ewen S.L. MacPherson. Cluny addressed the meeting and led a vote of thanks to the Chairman.

      In the afternoon, the traditional Clan March to the Newtonmore Games took place in fine weather, with the contingent being welcomed to the Eilan by Sir Thomas (Tommy) Macpherson in his capacity as Games Chieftain. Refreshments were then served in the Clan tent, in the time-honoured manner. Later in the afternoon the Museum hosted an 'At Home', where a presentation was made of a splendid old oak seat in memory of Alistair Macpherson, of Surrey, who died at age 37 in December 1998. Present at the ceremony were Alistair's mother, Mrs Brenda Macpherson Whitmore, and his brother William. The seat was accepted by Larry Lee McPherson, the new Chairman.

      The evening's events were started off at the Duke of Gordon with an informal 'haggis' supper. This was followed by the Ceilidh, with Ian Robb, Montrose, as fear-an-tighe, who got things off to a typical start with Ruth Macpherson and Donald [Duncan] Sinclair performing Gaelic songs. Andrew Gillies followed with his usual comical stories. A stirring rendition of foot-tapping jigs was performed on the pipes by Jerome Leroy-Lewis. George Ellis gave us his impression of Andy Stewart stories. Donald Macpherson had us all in the palm of his hand as he told us of 'Willie Wastle'. The joys of the youthful voice of David Macpherson, Jr., from Australia had us joining in with 'The Skye Boat Song'. Breaking from his previous mould, Ian Robb gave a rendition of Walter Scott's 'Lochinvar'. We were next entertained by Ewen (Talla-shee) with his story of 'The Burns Unit', followed by Thelma Robb showing that all the talent didn't lie on Ian's side of the family! She performed a most amusing monologue entitled 'Meh Granny'. The first half was concluded by Rod Clarke and Tokyo Bill Macpherson, encouraging some community singing.

      The second half was again started by Ruth and Donald with another three songs. 'Young' Andrew Gillies then provided some more of his witticisms. Tokyo Bill returned with the aid of his pipes to show the relationships between some songs and pipe tunes. Then Donald Macpherson related his 'Apology to the Bagpipes'. A highlight of the evening came next when Cluny persuaded Ruth and Pauline MacGillivray to accompany him in song. Ian showed his singing ability in 'Granny's Heiland Hame', and was followed by Thelma with her recitation of 'The Street Orderly'. Last year we had 'The Glory of the Countryside', and Bruce was not to be outdone again when he had us all 'Climbing up Sunshine Mountain', so much that we

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wondered if the ballroom floor would carry the thumping it took! Bill (Glenfarg) relayed his humour with 'The Clan Macpherson Gathering'. We were delighted once again by a newcomer to the Gathering, with the sweet rendition of 'Magic' by Mary Myre. The formal Ceilidh was concluded with a salute of pipe-tunes played by Jerome. With the usual retreat to the back bar of the Hotel, the 'Ceilidh after the Ceilidh' duly went on into the wee sma' hours.

On Sunday morning the church service was held at St Columba's Church, Kingussie, led by Dr Berkeley. The lessons were read by Cluny and Larry Lee. Afterwards a good contingent of members joined in a picnic at the Jubilee Cairn site.

      In the afternoon a pleasant tea was held at Balavil House, generously hosted by Allan and Marjorie Macpherson-Fletcher.       The final event of the Gathering was the traditional walk on Monday morning, this year involving a climb to the summit of Creag Dhubh for the most active participants, with a visit to the memorial cairn to Lady Cluny, wife of Old Cluny, as an alternative.

50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CLAN MACPHERSON MUSEUM
Ewen S.L. MacPherson -- Convenor Clan Macpherson Museum Trust
      In August 2002 we will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Clan Macpherson Museum. Elsewhere in this issue Rod Clarke's article explains what we are striving to accomplish by that date. Arrangements to celebrate the occasion have still to be finalised. However, it may take the form of having a special 'At Home' in the Clan Museum on the Friday afternoon of the Gathering. Cluny will officially open 'The Helen Macpherson Thompson Library' and 'The Lillian McPherson Rouse Archive Centre'.       In addition a continuation tablet to the handsome Na Dìonadairean plaque (see photograph on page 16 of 1996 Creag Dhubh) will be commissioned. This will display the names of those who have generously subscribed to become Na Dìonadairean Clann Mhuirich -- the Guardians of the Clan Macpherson -- since the plaque was unveiled in 1995. The standard fee to become a Dìonadair is $ 1000 (£ 650). In order to have your name or branch included on the plaque and to give the sculptor sufficient time, all subscriptions should be received by the 28 February 2002.

ON TOP OF OL' CREAG DHUBH
by Ruairidh Mor
      The announced destination for this year's traditional walk on the Monday of the annual Gathering was the very summit of Creag Dhubh. Although this is an easily attainable goal for hardy youth, it struck me as being beyond the capacity of my mid-septuagenarian existence. After suggesting this to Sandy, our traditional guide and goal-setter on these walks, he took pity and informed me that there was a subgoal that might be more to my liking or capability -- Lady Cluny's monument. What follows is my recollection of what happened up to the point where those bound for the monument separated from the stalwarts bound for the summit. However, I was able to persuade Tokyo Bill Macpherson (who is now back in Washington, DC and who went all the way to the top on that day) to tell of what transpired among the youthful participants. His story will follow my tale.

      The total turnout of participants this year was immense by the standards of some prior years. The photograph below which shows them standing in the Museum parking lot included only a few of them. In the front row from the left we have Jan Macpherson of Glenfarg (our new Hon. Secretary); Thelma Robb of Montrose; Karen Swain of Napa, California; Dee McPherson of McLean Virginia; Pauline MacGillivray of Edinburgh and Chairman of the Clan Chattan Association; George McPherson of McLean; shown in the back row are George Ellis, a rover of the highways and byways of America; Paul Basu of the Folk Life Museum in Kingussie; Sandy; Ian Robb of Montrose; Bill Macpherson of Glenfarg, (our new Hon. Treasurer); Ken Croker of ---------------------------------------------------------------10---------------------------------------------------------------
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Oakhurst, California; Robert MacGillivray of Edinburgh and Co-editor of the Clan Chattan Journal; Tokyo Bill; and Frank Davidson of Sydney, Australia.

      As is our regular practice, we drove to the departure point on the Laggan road below Creag Dhubh where we parked. After a short walk further along the road we could see before us a monument on the crest of a hill -- that would be the destination of the semi-hardy. A few steps further brought us to the gate house and red sentry box that marks the entrance to the drive that leads to Craig Dhu House on the left. There we were joined by Angus, Valerie and sons Tom and Lachy Macpherson of Craig Dhu House along with their dog, Jessie; Angus Macpherson of Glenbanchor, Chairman of the England and Wales Branch along with his daughter, Myrtle and son, William; Bruce Macpherson, then of Glasgow; Alan Mackie and Courtney Fitton.

      The sky was completely overcast and rain threatened; the summit of Creag Dhubh was completely wreathed in clouds but none of this deterred the semi-hardy, much less the hale. Off we went along the burnside on the gently rising trail that deceptively begins its way to the top. Gradually, the trail steepened as we passed by patches thick with bracken and riotous assortments of wild flowers. By the time we reached the point of our parting from the hale, one could well be assured that things would be easier when we returned,

      Upon separation from the hale pack the few semi-hardies found that the trail had disappeared and any route to the bluff where the monument stands would be steep. The lack of a trail was no deterrent and allowed each of us to choose the route that best suited our capacity. From time to time as we climbed we stopped to catch our breath and watch the stalwarts climbing up the ridgeline that leads to the summit.

      Finally we reached the monument, a fifteen foot or so cairn surmounted by a Greek cross. The cairn is surrounded by a wrought iron fence with a gate. Mounted on the cairn is a plaque inscribed with information about Sarah Justina Davidson, wife of Ewen Macpherson of Cluny, said to be the 20th Chief of the Clan in succession from Gillichattan Mór.

      Oh, how I wish that I had taken a close-up photograph of that plaque, then I could tell you what it offered! But I didn't do it because I thought that Alexander Macpherson's Glimpses

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would reveal everything I needed to know about her. And to my chagrin, the good Provost of Kingussie told us hardly anything about this Lady Cluny. Since then I've struggled to find out more about the Lady in whose honour the cairn was erected.

Sarah Justina and the Davidsons
      About all that Glimpses tells us is that Sarah and Ewen Macpherson were married in 1832. She would bear him four sons -- two of whom would follow their father as Chiefs of the Clan -- and two daughters. [There is some disagreement regarding whether or not their fourth son, Albert Cameron was a Chief. I asked Cluny about this and he said that his father, Alllan David considered him to be, Well, that settled it as far as I'm concerned -- Ewen and Justina had three sons who became Chiefs of te Clan Macpherson.-- RM].      Justina was the daughter of Henry Davidson, Laird of Tulloch, from whom the modem chiefs of the Clan Davidson are said to descend. We know much more about the father than the daughter and wife for, like most Victorian women, she appears to have lived in the shadow of her father and husband, Ewen died on the 11 January 1885; she survived him, dying on the 14 March 1886..

      Ewen was later to be known as 'Old Cluny' but he was a vigorous 28 years of age when he married Sarah. The only picture we have of her is the one shown below along with a 'young' Cluny. They are photographs of a set of four pastel drawings, that hang in our Museum. They must have been drawn about ten or so years after their wedding in that the set includes drawings of two youths of about that age.

      What I find interesting about Sarah is that, so far as I know, her father and she are the first Davidsons of note to have a social association with the Macphersons since the Clan Battle on the North Inch of Perth in 1396. The Davidsons were probably living in Badenoch before the various components of the Clan Chattan (including Clan Mhuirich) migrated there from Lochaber in the 14th century. The traditional home of their chiefs was at Invemahaven, the place where the River Truim joins the Spey. There is a caravan park there today just upstream from the 'Eilean' where the annual Newtonmore Games are held. The Davidsons had been vassals of the Comyns but apparently bonded with the Clan Chattan after the Comyns were proscribed around 1320 for siding with the English against Robert the Bruce in the War of Independence.

      The Davidsons trace their name back to David (Daimhidh in the Gaelic) who was the son of Robert the Red Comyn, Lord of Badenoch whom the Bruce slew in the kirk at Dumfries in 1306. His mother was Slane, daughter of the 6th Mackintosh chief and his descendants and their followers were known as Clan Dhai, as the name of Comyn had been outlawed.

      The story of the battle that took place at Invernahaven in 1386 is well told by A.I.S. Macpherson in his article that appeared in Creag Dhubh 40 (1988). He explains why there were bad feelings between the Clan Dhai and Clan Mhuirich and how this led to their fight to the death on the North Inch of Perth. The outcome of that battle left the Davidsons in pretty sorry circumstances. In fact, it is said that some of the Badenoch Davidsons of that time took the name of 'Macpherson' for purposes of defence. In other cases, the families emigrated from the district.

      Of course, the Badenoch Davidsons were not the only families bearing that surname. It was recorded in the east and north-east towns of Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen before the 14th century. The best recorded of these is the alderman of Aberdeen, Sir Robert, named variously as Davisoun and David Filius in civic records of the day. In 1411, he led a contingent from the burgh to fight at the Battle of Harlaw, where he was killed. He was a friend of the Earl of Mar, a son of the Wolf of Badenoch, and some evidence suggests the possibility that Robert could have been a son or grandson of the eponymous David of Clan Dhai.       History is vague regarding the Davidsons until the 18th century when a Henry Davidson purchased the Tulloch estate from the Baynes in 1762. His son, Alexander Davidson made a name for himself as the town clerk at Fortrose in Easter Ross as well as for his writing. Alexander had two sons. The elder was Henry, Sarah's father; who prospered as a merchant in London and succeeded to the lairdship of Tulloch. Among his many accomplishments he was said to have been the most handsome man in Scotland. Alexander's second son was Duncan who became a Member of Parliament at Westminster and succeeded his brother as Laird of

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Tulloch. He was a great favourite of Queen Victoria, whom he used to visit during her stays at Balmoral and was her Lord Lieutenant of Ross-shire.

      Although we know little about Sarah herself, by inference we can conclude that she had no brothers and that she came to Cluny from a distinguished and respected family. But enough of this. Perhaps someone who reads this tale wilt visit the monument and write a sequel to it in the future. We had made the effort and now it was time to return -- an easy descent even though the wind speed increased noticeably and a light rain began to fall. Up at the summit conditions were more severe. Here is what Tokyo had to say about what they encountered.

Tokyo's Tale
      Ably led by Sandy Macpherson, his son Bruce, and Angus Macpherson, the remaining 15 stalwarts continued up to the ridge tramping through the grass and heather. After climbing over several fences via stiles, we reached the ridge and found a pathway to the summit. The path skirted several smaller peaks on the ridge, one of which required us to scramble up a rocky promontory. As we climbed higher, the wind from the north began to whip around us and brush us with fog. The summit was enclosed in a cloud, and we were climbing into it.

      At last, about two hours after starting, we reached the summit. Many of the party, including yours truly, climbed the last few feet on a cairn that had been erected by many previous climbers, Then we settled down to lunch.

      The retreat down the mountain began as the precipitation began. The rain and some sleet stung our faces as we descended through the cloud; the wind was blowing strongly from the east, over Glen Banchor. We returned via the same route we had climbed, but found that the rocks, grass and heather had become more slippery with the rain. At last, the path dissolving into a sea of grass and heather, we dropped below the clouds and rain. The fifteen who had reached the summit then followed in the footsteps of our companions who earlier had visited Lady Cluny's monument, spending a few minutes in the cold wind paying tribute to the wife of "Old Cluny."

      Following our return to the museum, we all celebrated with tea, scones and other refreshments, generously provided by Catherine Macpherson. The liquid refreshments warmed

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us up. All of us will look back fondly on this rather adventurous "trek" up our namesake mountain.

A TERCENTENARY
      An article by Jim Gilchrist in The Scotsman of 16th November 2000 entitled 'Fiddler on the Gallows served to remind us that James MacPherson, freebooter and fiddler, was hung in Banff on that very date in the year 1700.

      Most clansmen are familiar with the story of James and his fiddle, the supposed remains of which are displayed in the Clan Museum at Newtonmore, along with the works of the Banff Town Clock, which, according to the story, was set forward in order to ensure his demise before a pardon was received.

      Jim Gilchrist's article throws doubt on the story. He consulted fiddle expert Mary Ann Alburger of Aberdeen University's Elphinstone Institute, who said "If you look at the trial records there's no mention of a fiddle, although it says somewhere that Peter Brown [another suspect at the trial] played the viol". There's also no documented evidence for the change in the Town Clock, nor for the pardon-bearing horseman who was supposed to have crossed, too late, the bridge at Banff. Evidently there was no bridge then, only a river ford.

      However, it's a fascinating piece of folklore, and there is at least no doubt that James MacPherson was actually hanged that day 300 years ago, an event which provided the theme for one of Robert Burns' songs.

STOP PRESS!

MEET OLIVE ORMISTON, NEW CURATOR OF THE
CLAN MACPHERSON MUSEUM
      Olive Ann Ormiston will takes up her appointment as the new Curator for the Clan Macpherson Museum on 1st April 2001. The Ormiston family has been resident in the Badenoch area for several generations. They originally settled in Gaick and later moved to Newtonmore. For many years the family owned the Balavil Arms Hotel (now the Balavil Sports Hotel) in Newtonmore. Visitors to the Newtonmore Highland Games will be familiar with the sight of the famous white 'Ormiston' ponies used as 'markers' to guide the athletes in the Hill Race up to the top of Creag Dhubh and then back down again.       Olive was at one time Manager of the Balavil Arms Hotel. In 1968 Olive and her family bought Strathmashie Lodge, Laggan and developed a new business as a country estate with accommodation, fishing, stalking and pony trekking. A busy and complex business. Olive has recently been involved with the Tourist Department of the Moray District Council and is retiring from her current position as a Community Carer of the Elderly with the Grampian Regional Council, Social Work Department.

      Olive's Macpherson connections go back to her child-hood days when she wore Macpherson tartan for Highland Dancing. Living in a Macpherson 'stronghold' at Strathmashie strengthened the connection. However, Olive is a Macpherson in her own right having been named after her paternal grandmother, Ann Currie. Olive's three sons, who live in Newtonmore and Kingussie, are delighted that she is returning from her present home in Lhanbryde, near Elgin to be the Curator of the Clan Museum.

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ON THE SUBJECT OF NA DIONADAIREAN, PROJECT 2K2 AND OTHER THINGS
By Rod Clarke, Trustee and Dionadair
      Since I last reported progress on the subject of the Clan Macpherson Museum and our efforts to meet the challenges it must face in the modern world, nine more members have joined the ranks of Na Dìonadairean Clann Mhuirich, the Guardians of Clan Macpherson, and particular our unique Museum. These are:

      There's a special story that goes with each of these names, a story that illustrates the flexibility which clansfolk have found to provide for the financial support that the Museum so desperately needs.

      When Lachie Mackintosh of Edinburgh retired from the post of Hon. Treasurer, he quietly submitted his donation to Na Dìonadairean fund to the new Treasurer but neither of them told me about the noble deed. Thus, it wasn't until our still newer Treasurer, Bill Macpherson, came across the transaction in the records that Marian's and Lachie's generosity came to light. This is my first opportunity I've had to congratulate them.

      The next name on the list is that of the father of Donald John McPherson of Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. His generosity was his way of honouring the person who made him a Macpherson,

      The next three names are those of the children of Robert G. and Jean McPherson of Fern Park, Florida. Bob is the immediate Past Chairman of the US Branch. Here's hoping that the initiative dispiayed by Bob and Jean will serve as an example for other proud parents.

      Andrew and Ella Pearson are residents of Rotherham in Yorkshire and frequent attendees at Clan Gatherings in Scotland. Andrew is one of the surviving veterans who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944.

      John Stuart Macpherson is a resident of Blackburn in Lancashire. He is also a familiar face at our Gatherings and his gift was presented immediately following this year's AGM, inspired by the award of Dìonadair certificates to Andrew and Ella.

      The eighth person on the list had been awarded a Dìonadair's certificate in 1996 in the name of her late husband, David Howard, longtime editor of The Urlar, the newsletter of the US Branch. Dave had been killed in a tragic automobile accident shortly before our Golden Jubilee Gathering, an accident in which Laura bad also been severely injured. The Association chose to honour Dave's memory by using some of the excess funds from the celebration proceeds to make Dave a Dìonadair. At the Joint Gathering of the US and Canadian Branches in Ottawa, Ontario this past September 2000, Laura presented CMA with a cheque for $1000 -- the standard fee for being appointed to this dedicated group -- so that she could be a Dìonadair in her own right. Our congratulations went out to all of these individuals for becoming Dìonadairean.

More Generosity
      The year 2000 has been marked by a very welcome surge of gifts from individuals who had already joined the ranks of Na Dìonadairean. The first of these was a gift from the late Helen MacPherson Thompson who bequeathed $10,000 to the Museum from her estate. Then clanfolk attending the AGM in the Newtonmore village hall in August 2000 were gratefully surprised.

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when Cluny announced a splendid gift from Lillian McPherson Rouse of Watsonville, California -- stock shares valued in excess of $10,000. These shares were subsequently sold and the proceeds deposited in the Association's account. Her gift was specifically earmarked to support Project 2K2 which seeks to upgrade our Museum to meet 21st century demands. Ordinarily, Dìonadairean fees are invested in interest-bearing securities and only the interest from these investments used to support Museum activities. However, the "newest" eight all agreed that their gifts could also be used to meet immediate 2K2 expenses. Similarly, John Charles Macpherson of Hudson, New York has agreed that his perpetual gift of $ 100 per month can be used for this express purpose as well.

Project 2K2 Progress
      Since my last report we have achieved an important subgoal of the 2K2 Project -- the opening of the library for use by visiting clanfolk and researchers. The books that were previously stored in inconvenient locked cabinets located in the Drumochter Room are now available for browsing on open shelves in a quiet and pleasant atmosphere. The windows are draped with Macpherson Hunting tartan curtains and there are comfortable chairs and a table to facilitate reading and note-taking. There is even a fireplace with an electric-log feature for use in the cold of a Highland winter. This will undoubtedly be welcoming to Jean and Gordon Duffy of Gualala, California who have volunteered to return to the Museum in January 2001 to prepare a computerized catalogue of the Library holdings. And should you be concerned for the safety of these holdings, rest assured that the Library is locked when not occupied and admission is available only to members and authorized researchers.

      The generosity of Cousins Helen, Lillian, John Charles and that of the new Dìonadairean will help us achieve another of our 2K2 goals -- replacing the present obsolete, nearly-defunct boiler. When this is done we'll be able to equip the present boiler room for the proper storage of the clan treasures not presently on display and the beginning of a document archive. Achieving this capability is crucial to maintaining our certification as a museum by the museum authorities in the United Kingdom.

      Progress toward the installation was advanced in late August 2000 at a meeting of Museum representatives and the architects who will be preparing the necessary specifications and other applications required for major construction or modifications by the local regulatory authorities. It looks as though Project 2K2 will reach all of its goals on target.

Other Progress Needed
      The gifts I've reported above have brought the Association closer to meeting the original financial goals of Project 2K2. However, financial goals are moving targets and a number of factors have combined to raise the ante in this game of survival in the modern museum world. First there's the normal wear and tear on the building structure itself that needs attending to. Second, is the need to renovate the Curator's flat above the Museum which has not been attended to for "ages". And then there is the need for advertising to tourists travelling the A9 highway the fact that the Clan Macpherson Museum is well worth a visit. At present there are only the signs adjacent to the building itself to announce its presence and the pleasures that it offers. Certainly not last on the list of needs is that of bringing the Museum exhibits into line with the 21 st Century definition of what a Museum should be and what it must be, to continue to receive certification. Investigation of the financial magnitude of these needs is currently underway by subcommittees of the Museum Advisory Committee and will be described in a later report.

      Your contributions to support these not-so-future costs need not wait. In the UK and all branches other than the USA, the Hon. Treasurer of the Association, William J. S. Macpherson, stands ready to acknowledge your gifts. Send them to Lyndhurst, Ladeside, Glenfarg, Perthshire, PH2 9NZ, UK. The Hon. Treasurer of the US Branch is Grace McPherson of 104 Flanders Road, Stonington, CT 06378. Going through Grace gets around exchange rate ----------------------------------------------------------------16 -------------------------------------------------------------
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problems and avoids reducing the amount of your gift to cover unnecessary bank fees at the Scotland end of the pipeline. Other Branches are encouraged to adopt a similar procedure if this is feasible. [Also worthy of consderation by U.S. givers is the fact that under IRS 501c3 rules, tax-deductability is only vald if the donation is made to the U. S. Branch of CMA. It is the express policy of the U.S. Branch Council that all gifts made in the name of the Museum be forwarded to the International Teasurer.

      The Clan Macpherson Association is a recognized charitable organization in both Britain and the USA. I'm not acquainted with the situation in other countries where other CMA branches exist so I can't comment about the situation there. The tax exempt aspects for the USA have been described in detail in The Urlar and need not be dealt with here. But a recent change in UK laws offers a new opportunity for tax payers of that country. For every £ donated to Clan Macpherson Museurn Trust by the British taxpayer after 6 April 2000, Her Majesty's Government will contribute another 28p provided that Gift Aid Declaration form is sent to the Hon. Treasurer. Our Hon. Treasurer tells me that he will send the appropriate form to achieve this end to any UK member of CMA making a contribution. The donor fills it out and returns it to the Hon. Treasurer who will then inform HM Government who will then send 28p per £ to CMA for any donation; I trust that this will make British CMA members particularly happy. Perhaps it will inspire our Australian, Canadian, New Zealander, South African and other members to investigate the possibility that a similar scheme is available in their countries.

NEWS FROM NEAR AND FAR

Moderator:
Rev. John M. MacPherson, minister of the London congregation of the Free Church of Scotland, was installed as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church for the year 2000-1, in St Columba's Church, Edinburgh, on 22 May 2000.

Pipe-Major:
Chris Macpherson, a member of the England & Wales Branch, has been appointed PipeMajor of 'A' Company, London Scottish, of the London Regiment, T.A., and Honorary Piper to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

Eligible:
Former Secretary of the Association, Bruce J.S. Macpherson, appeared as No. 48 on the list of 50 most eligible bachelors in Scotland, published by 'Scotland on Sunday' newspaper. His attractions include 'playing the bagpipes (badly)'! Form a line on the left, girls!

Lecturer: Princeton history professor James McPherson delivered the 29th Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities on 27th March. The Jefferson Lecture was established in 1972 as the highest honour bestowed by the U.S. Federal Government for distinguished intellectual and public achievement in the humanities. (Taken from 'Cousins in the News', on the Clan Macpherson Website).

Achievement Award: Cluny Macpherson, President of the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, was presented with the Public Gaming Research Institute's highest honour, the Lottery Lifetime Achievement Award, for the year 2000. Cluny runs the lottery operations for the Canadian Provincial Governments of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. He was elected a member of the World Lottery Association executive at its conference in Glasgow this past June. (Also taken from 'Cousins in the News').

Death of Pipe-Major:
Pipe-Major Brian MacRae, who piped Cluny out of the Law Courts on his retiral in 1996, died on 3 September 2000 at age 58. (See report in Creag Dhubh No. 49, 1997). Camera-shy Wildcat:
The Scotsman of 15 March 2000 reports that one or more wildcats have been located in the Abernethy pine forest in Strathspey, Infra-red cameras set up by the Royal Society for the

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Protection of Birds have captured photographs of the shy animals, which are members of a protected species. The photos show the wildcat's distinctive club tail, ringed in black. Marathon Man: David MacPherson, who works with the Church of Scotland's Charis House, completed the New York Marathon in the very creditable time of 3 hrs. 50 mins. 42 sees. David was running to raise money for the breast cancer unit at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh.

Graduate: Graeme R. MacPherson graduated from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh with an M.A. Hons. in Business Organisation. His grand-parents, Allan and Hughla MacPherson, flew over from South Africa, where Allan is Chairman of the South African Branch, to see him graduate. Congratulations! Shown with Graeme are Hughla, Allan, and Anna Douglass.

A Brave VC:
A report in The Scotsman of 27th September 2000 tells of the rededication of the grave of Colour Sergeant Stewart McPherson, who earned the Victoria Cross at Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny in 1857. Colour Sergeant McPherson, from Culross, in the face of fire saved the life of a wounded soldier who had been stranded outside the gates of the garrison. A single piper played as Colour Sergeant McPherson's descendants remembered the man who had brought honour to their family.

Paralympic Honours:
New South Wales Branch Convenor John Macpherson was accorded two significant recognitions recently. For his work as Chairman of the Rotary Paralympic 2000 Working Group, he was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary District 9750 on 20th October 2000. The presentation of the citation and medal was made by Mr Frank J. Devlyn at 'The Big Aussie Rotary Meeting', a meeting attended by 2,600 Rotarians, their families and friends: the only non-Olympic or Paralympic activity held at the Homebush Bay Games Site during both Games.

      As one of seven Rotarians selected to carry the Paralympic Torch, John was one of a group of twenty-four who carried the Torch in Canberra on the day it was lit (5th October) on the forecourt of Australia's new Parliament House.

Japanese Photographs:
A catalogue of photographs known as the "J.W. Henderson Collection, 1864-76", which were exhibited at the Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, N.Y. Gallery, has been received from David Newman, London, at the request of Isamu Takama, of Nara, Japan, whose Macpherson ancestry is narrated in the article by Dr Alan G. Macpherson in "Creag Dhubh", 1998, pp. 33-35.

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      The catalogue includes several photographs of the Kobe Rowing Club crew. Isamu's greatgrandfather, Matthew T.B. Macpherson, appears in Nos. 55, 57 and 58 of the prints, which were taken by the studio of Felice Beato.

     The catalogue will be placed in the Clan Museum.

The Smallest Highland Outfit:
Scotland on Sunday'of 14th January 2001 reported that the world's smallest Highland wedding outfit had been provided for six-month old baby Rocco, son of pop star Madonna and Guy Ritchie. The tiny outfit, which was worn at the couple's wedding in Skibo Castle on 22nd December 2000, was a replica of the groom's Highland dress.

      The Hunting Mackintosh kilt, only six inches long, was made by kiltmaker Hugh Macpherson of Edinburgh. Enough material was left over to provide a stole for Madonna's four-year old daughter, Lourdes.

BIRTHS
To Barry and Caroline O'Neill, Montrose, a daughter , Lucy Rose. Second grand-child for John and Iris Macpherson, Montrose.

MARRIAGES
Macpherson - Davis. On 28th October 2000 at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dr Ewan Andrew Macpherson, currently of Ann Arbor, Michigan, son of Drs Alan and Joyce Macpherson of St John's, Newfoundland, was married to Nancy Beth Davis, formerly of New York City, daughter of George and Florence Davis of Pittsburgh.

DEATHS
Mrs Fiona Macpherson Bailey died in autumn 2000. Fiona had been Editor of the magazine "Harpers and Queen" since 1994. She was married to Adrian Bailey and they had a son Oliver,

Rev. William Cody Harpold, 98, died on 9th August 2000 at home in Hagerstown, Maryland. A long-time Clan Association Member, Rev. Harpold and his wife of 71 years, Drewry, attended the 1998 U.S. A.G.M. in Baltimore. He was active in Mid-Atlantic events until health problems in recent years restricted his activity.

Mrs Margaret Lintott of Sidney, Manitoba died on 2nd September 2000. She was the daughter of James and Christina McPherson, and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Clan Association with a keen interest in genealogy. She loved to sew and knit and generously contributed sweaters and quilts for our Clan raffles, notably the "Cluny Castle" quilt which formed part of our Jubilee raffle at Kingussie in 1996. She will be greatly missed by her friends in the Canadian Branch, and we extend our sympathy to her husband, Bert, and her children and grandchildren.

Mrs E.M.M. Macpherson of Scone, Perthshire died on 17th October 1999. She was one of the oldest members of the Scottish Branch of the Association.

John Martin Macpherson of Troon, Ayrshire died in September 2000, as reported by his nephew, John Macpherson, Montrose.

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Mrs Nancy Macpherson, beloved wife of Andrew Macpherson, Curator of the Clan Museum, died suddenly at their new home, 3 Glen Grove, Newtonmore. Nancy had not been well for some time and just slipped away on the morning of 23rd October 2000. Andrew and family wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the many kind messages of sympathy from Association members world wide. Thank you.

Ronald James Macpherson died suddenly on 11 th June 2000. His son, Euan Macpherson, Dundee, has written the following very personal appreciation of his life:

      He was my father, uncle to John (current Scottish Branch Chairman) and a close relative of several other regular attenders of the annual Gathering.

      My father passed on to me his pride in his Macpherson ancestry. He brought me to the Clan Macpherson Museum when I was ten years old (in vain, we looked for another Euan with the same spelling as mine!) and then took me to Skye, where my great-grandfather (Ewan) had been bom. He also took me to Banff and showed me the Banff town clock.

      Today, hillwalkers think themselves hardy because they go off tramping into the hills equipped with kagoule, rucksack, sandwiches, flask, map and compass. When my father learned to hillwalk in the 1930's, he did it without food and without any equipment. He was hardy by necessity and not by choice. He had been forced to endure hardships during the Great Depression: he could not have afforded proper equipment and so he went without it.

      He once climbed Mount Keen by setting off from Montrose on his bike and cycling to Glen Doll (a journey of about 30 miles). He then left his bike in Glen Doll and walked up Mount Keen. When he came back down later in the day, he picked up his bike and cycled home. He had no food with him for the trip and the only liquid he got was a drink of water from the bum that flows down from the mountainside.

      It is to my father that I owe my interests in Scottish history and hillwalking. He drove me around most of the Scottish Highlands while I was still in primary school. We once climbed Ben Nevis together -- doing it his way without any food or drink. Our supply of liquid had been a bottle of lemonade but we lost it without taking a drink from it. My father dropped it and it hit a stone and exploded. (I was mad at him when he did that!) We were less than halfway up at the time but it never occurred to him that we should turn back. We just carried on, drinking from springs that we found on the way up. Whenever I go hillwalking now, I always find myself supplementing my water supply from springs and bums.

      My father was never one to moan about his problems but always just got on with his life without bothering other people. In the six months before his death, he told no-one about his swollen artery (not even his son!) He was someone who bated wasting time and he died as he lived, rushing off into the next world without a moment's delay. We will miss him."

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David Ian Pearson also known as Robert, Honorary Piper -- Clan Macpherson Association, Born 29 November 1934 at Bexley, Kent. Died 14 December 2000.

      It was as a boy piper with the London Scottish Army Cadet Force that Robert learned the noble art of the bagpipes. This skill was honed during his National Service with The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, 1952-54, whilst stationed at Cameron Barracks, Inverness. The love of this Highland instrument and its music was to remain with him throughout his life.

      Robert joined the Clan Macpherson Association as a 16-year-old in 1951. He joined the England & Wales Branch Committee in 1956 and was appointed the Honorary Piper of the Branch the same year. He was Honorary Secretary from 1958 to 1962, remained on the Committee and was Honorary Piper until moving to Scotland for a few years in 1974.

Appointed as the Honorary Auditor of the Clan Macpherson Association 1975-1976. Following the death of Angus Macpherson in 1976, he was appointed to the prestigious office of Honorary Piper of the Clan Macpherson Association -- a position he held with great distinction until his death.       Robert left an indelible mark on the short history of the Clan Association. He was responsible for composing several pipe tunes respecting the Clan including a March to 'Bailie Hugh Macpherson' (CD1976 p755); 'Cluny's Jig' (CD 1975 p709); 'Clan Macpherson Rally' (CD1983 p18) and a March to celebrate the Clan Macpherson Association Jubilee Gathering in 1996 (CD1996 p4l). He also composed music to the words of a 'Song of Scotland' by Shiona Macpherson (CD1977p786). The music for this was not published in Creag Dhubh.       A member of several bands during his piping career, he had for the past 20 years been Pipe Major of the Ringwood Pipe Band. They performed during the Tea Party at Balavil during the 2000 Clan Gathering.

      In professional life, Robert was involved in the Insurance business and the Clan Association benefited in this capacity from his wisdom and experience over the years. To Robert's wife, Valerie and their daughter, Moira, we extend our deepest sympathy. He was indeed a good and true man who will be recalled with great fondness by all those with whom he came in contact. We are proud that he was our Honorary Clan Piper and salute his memory. Condolences are also extended to his brothers Hughie & Robin, fellow members of the Clan Association. They attended the Jubilee Gathering in 1996 when Robert played such a prominent part during the Cairn Ceremony and the Ceilidh.

Mrs Meta Scarlett died on 2 1st April 2000. Ewen S.L. MacPherson has written the following appreciation:
      "Meta was a most unassuming and charming person. She was the author of that wonderful book published in 1988 -- In the Glens Where I was Young, described as "a first book about Badenoch by a native in more than a century, which tells the history , folklore and traditions of a district rich in all these things". Meta and her husband James were faithful attenders at our Clan Museum 'At Home' on the Saturday of the Clan Gathering. A MacBean by birth, Meta loved Badenoch, and was closely connected with Sandy Macpherson"s family. Her funeral service at Inverness Cathedral was attended by Cluny, Sandy and Catherine."

CLAN MACPHERSON HOUSE AND MUSEUM NOTES
      Visitor numbers were down to 2093 for the season, very much in line with the general trend for this year, making the museum total 268 less than last year. This kept sales down as well to £3867, being £870 less than last year. Contributions through the boxes were £1403, which was only £127 less than last year. For obvious reasons my notes are short this year. I retired officially as Curator on the 31st October, and on the 21st October, after the Museum Management meeting, a presentation was made to Nancy and myself. We had already moved out of Clan House into a cottage in sheltered accommodation in the Glen Grove Complex in

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Newtonmore, thus clearing the way for any renovations to the flat that are required, and the engagement of a new Curator.

      I wish the Clan Macpherson every success for the future.

      I have to acknowledge the following items donated to the museum

1) "Tay Valley Family", by Tay Valley People History Society. Donated by E.S.L. MacPherson, "Talla-Shee"
2) "Corrour. A history of a sporting estate". Donated by Lisbet Koener, due to the Curator's strong connection with Corrour.
3) "Cluny's Land and Other Poems". Donated by John Redmile-Carney, "Dalchurn", Main Street, Newtonmore.
4) "Agate" by Dr. Harry G. Macpherson, author and compiler of these beautiful photographs of semi-precious stones. He was Curator-in-Charge of the extensive agate collection of the National Museum of Scotland.
5) "The Tide Turners" by Colin Macpherson. Donated by E.S.L. MacPherson
6) Display of US military decorations (21 medals) of Sergeant Ronald Macpherson, won during his service in the U.S. Marines, including a Purple Heart. Disptay arranged and donated by his father, Earl Macpherson, N. Beach St., Medford, Oregon, U.S.A.
7) Large photograph of painting of Duncan of the Kiln (19th Chief). Donated by Alec and Mary Jane McBarnet, Maui, Hawaii.
8) Oak arm chair in memory of Alistair C. B. Macpherson (1961 -- 1998), dearly loved son and brother. Presented by Mrs. Brenda Macpherson Whitmore and family, of Hornshaft, Surrey, at the Rally 2000, and accepted by International Chairman, Larry Lee.
9) Two medals belonging to Harry Macpherson Symons: the King's Medal, L.C.C. 1911 -- 12, for attendance, conduct and industry; and the National Union of School Orchestras' Annual Festival, Crystal Palace, 6 June 1912 (Intermediate Orchestra). Donated by Eric Leach, Irvine, Ayrshire.
10) Bone china sugar bowl and cream jug belonging to Capt. John Macpherson (The Black Officer). Bequest by Meta Scarlett, Milton of Moy, Moy, Inverness-shire.
11) "Argyll to Westminster" presented by M. Jean Whitten, Oakville, Canada.

THE GREAT RACE TO AUSTRALIA
By Bill Macpherson, Busselton, W.A.
      In December 1919, a flimsy aircraft touched down on a sports ground beside Fannie Bay Gaol at Darwin in Australia's north, to win the greatest air race the world had yet seen. It had flown more than 17,000 km in four weeks, through fog, snow and tropical storms, using improvised landing grounds and primitive repair facilities.

      For its time, the flight was one of the world's most daring feats of airmanship. The Wright brothers' first flight had been only twenty years earlier, and it was just ten years since Bleriot had flown the English Channel.

      The pilots were South Australian Captain Ross Macpherson Smith and his brother Lieutenant Keith Macpherson Smith, and their mechanics were Sergeants Wally Shiers and James Bennett. They flew an English World War I bomber, a Vickers Vimy bi-plane with a maximum speed of under 180 km per hour. The Vimy was the same model as Alcock and Brown bad used for their pioneering flight across the Atlantic Ocean only months earlier. Its arrival in Darwin caused excitement around the world, and created new heroes for thousands of Australian schoolboys.

      The Smith brothers were sons of South Australian pastoralists, Andrew and Jessie Smith. Smith had been born in Eskdalemuir, Dumfries. Jessie was the eldest daughter of pioneer Western Australian pastoralist Donald Macpherson, who featured in my article on page 20 of the 1996 Creag Dhubh. Donald was born on Dunachton Farm near Kingussie in 1815 and migrated to the Swan River Colony in 1839.

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      The Smith brothers had been educated at Queen's School in Adelaide and at Warriston School at Moffat in Dumfries. But, as brothers, they were quite unalike.

      Ross, the younger, had a remarkable war career. He was wounded at Gallipoli and became a machine-gunner in the Middle East. Joining the Australian Flying Corps in 1916, he was at one time personal pilot to Lawrence of Arabia, and is mentioned in his book "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom". Ross won the Military Cross and Bar, the Distinguished Flying Cross with two bars, and even the Order of El Nahda from the King of Hejaz. On one occasion, he landed to rescue a fellow pilot who had been forced down, and kept the enemy at bay with a revolver while the other climbed aboard.

      Keith, the elder brother, was turned down for military service on medical grounds, but paid his own way to Britain to join the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. His war service was confined to the training of pilots.

      Their youngest brother, Colin, was an infantryman killed on duty in the last days of the war.

      At the end of the Great War, the Australian Government, led by Prime Minister Billy Hughes, had offered a prize of £10,000 to the first Australian airmen to fly from England to Australia. The aim was to apply the aviation technology developed during the war towards opening up air traffic from Europe, and to reduce Australia's isolation from the rest of the world.

      The only Australians with the skills needed were Great War airmen, most of whom were still in Europe waiting to be demobilised. And only the most recent of Britain's war planes were capable of completing the distance, although they could cover less than 500km between landings. By today's standards, the Smith's aircraft was a very basic machine. She had two Rolls Royce engines, cruised at under 150 km per hour and landed at 70 krn per hour. The crew sat in two cockpits open to the weather, the pilots in the front and the mechanics behind. Spares were stowed in every available nook and cranny of the Vimy, even wired to the fuselage.

      Progress of the race was recorded in Australian newspapers as telegrams came in from across the world. Nelson Eustis has described the race in his 1969 book Australia's Greatest Air Race.       The Vimy left London on 12 November 1919. At the end of the runway it clipped the equipment of a press photographer, the first of many narrow escapes from disaster. In the first days, the crew fought their way through frost, fog and snow. At Pisa they were bogged in the rain while trying to take off. To cross the Mediterranean to Egypt, the crew inflated some inner tubes for life rafts in case they came down in the sea. The first week brought them to Damascus, the scene of many of Ross Smith's war-time exploits. The plane was nearly overturned in galeforce winds in Iraq one night, and it was only held down by the weight of fifty soldiers. The crew followed a strict routine at each landing. Ross attended to formalities while Keith located the Shell Oil agent for fuel. They then both refuelled the plane by lifting perhaps 2500 litres of petrol in 20 litre cans up to the fuel tanks and pouring them through a funnel. The mechanics, Shiers and Bennett, worked long, hard hours every evening to make the aircraft fit for another day's flying.

      At Bangkok, they found the facilities excellent. The Royal Thai Air Force had seven planes and a well-equipped workshop, and had flown with the Allies in the Great War. By contrast, most of the landings in Asia were on racecourses and sports grounds, the cause of much worry because they were too short for safe take-offs.

      Singapore racecourse was too small for a safe landing. As the Vimy touched down, James Bennett climbed out onto the tail to slow down the plane. That night the Smiths were entertained with dinner at the Club, and attended the theatre. After a hair-raising take-off the next day, their next landing was at the Bandung base of the Dutch colonial air force. The Governor of the Dutch East Indies flew from Batavia to welcome them.

      HMAS Sydney, patrolling the seas off Darwin, sighted the plane 300kms offshore. When they landed on Australian soil, the airmen were carried shoulder-high to the residence of the governor of the Fannie Bay Gaol. Telegrams were received from the King and the Prime Ministers of Australia and Britain. In the Smith's home-town of Adelaide, flags were flown and the Town Hall bells were rung. The Governor interrupted a game of bowls to send

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congratulations. The four airmen were described, on landing, as clean-shaven and in spick and span uniforms. Heaven knows what efforts it took to achieve that.

      Just before Christmas, the Smiths were knighted, although it was many months before Bennett and Shiers received any proper acknowledgement of their contribution.

      Seven planes had started the race at various times over the English autumn of 1919. Only one other plane reached Australia, taking almost eight months to do so. Two planes crashed, killing their crews, while the other three had to pull out after harrowing experiences.

      The Smiths were not only courageous and highly organised, but also incredibly lucky. Despite the dangers of the flight, their aircraft had been remarkably reliable. But after they left Darwin for Melbourne, their troubles really started. The Vimy disappeared in the hinterland, brought down with a split propeller, but the crew got it airborne some days later. The engine broke down about 700 km before Brisbane and it had to be railed to the Railway Workshops there for repairs. That caused more than seven weeks delay. At Sydney's Mascot Airfield, thousands inspected the aircraft. 50,000 people waiting at Melbourne's Flemington racecourse were disappointed because more engine trouble brought the Vimy down in Central Victoria.

      The Vimy had flown over 22,000 km by the time it eventually reached Adelaide, where it remains on permanent display at the airport. This distance record was not broken until 1924, when Lowell Smith flew around the world in the northern hemisphere. Collectors of old National Geographic magazines will find an illustrated description of the flight in the March 1921 edition, written by Keith Smith.

      The sad sequel to this story took place in 1922. The Smith brothers and James Bennett were in London planning the first round-the-world flight. Ross Smith and Bennett were killed when testing their aircraft, watched by Keith who arrived late because he had missed a train.

      Today Sir Ross Macpherson Smith has been almost forgotten. Had he not died in 1922, he might still be known as one of the world's great air-aces. Sir Keith Macpherson Smith became a high-ranking RAAF officer during World War II. None of the three brothers had children, so their branch of the Macpherson family has died out.

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REELING WITH DELIGHT
>by Lindsey Rousseau
      Andrew Gillies was born into a Dunoon family who enjoyed music, and he showed enthusiasm for Scottish music and dancing from the age of 2. Five years later he was selected by his then teacher, Miss Milligan, also the founder of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, to be a member of the Dundee-based children's Scottish dance team. He continued dancing throughout his school years. When he was based in Forres for National Service in 1939 he was billeted with a family whose daughter taught the local Scottish demonstration team. Andrew joined the team, and spent many evenings entertaining the troops. On service in India in 1940 Andrew found himself in an isolated Services community with no entertainment. He was in proud possession of two Scottish dance records, and suggested starting a dance class. Forty men turned up, and the class was a great success. Miss Milligan sent out a further twelve records, which he was to carry preciously around India.

      After the war Andrew went to train as a teacher in Alnwick, Northumberland. A primary teacher at the College suggested starting an English folk dance group. On sighting the enthusiastic and kilted Andrew, the group decided to change to Scottish dancing, and one of the original members of the class became a founder member of the Newcastle Branch of the RSCDS. As a condition of training at Alnwick Andrew was obliged to stay in England for at least two years. He moved down to London and made it his home. The dancing continued, and Andrew taught a class in Putney, took his RSCDS certificate, and taught London Branch classes. As Scottish dancing grew in popularity and the number of RSCDS branches and affiliated groups expanded, Andrew was involved in forming the Croydon branch, and teaching at classes, day and weekend schools in Britain, Europe and in many states of America. He continued to dance in demonstration teams and cabarets, and has danced his way around Norway, Germany, Switzerland and many other countries. Since retirement Andrew has been able to give more time to teaching Scottish dancing, and has taught in every branch in Australia -- including small classes in the bush.

      Andrew is famous both nation-wide and beyond. In 1986 he found himself dancing in the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony in Edinburgh. The theme for the games was "accent on youth" and 200 dancers were sought from Scotland and the North of England. Andrew had been asked to train the two teams from Dunedin, and had to perform when one of his dancers had to drop out at the last minute. The Queen and Prince Philip may have been a little surprised to spot such a "mature" youth amongst the dancers! (He repeated his performance at the Los Angeles Games two years later!) Andrew was proud to be awarded the Scroll of the RSCDS from the Earl of Mansfield in 1988. He continues to entertain us -- dancing in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral, addressing Bums Suppers (including appearing on a platform with Magnus Magnusson) and continuing to encourage dancers at day schools and classes.

      He is invaluable to Clan events, and is a long serving member of the England and Wales Branch committee.

      The telephone number for the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) Headquarters is 0 1322 53854.

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OLD CLUNY'S SWORD
By Ewen S.L. MacPherson
"He is the genuine type of the Old Scottish Chief, the Chief who loves his people, and speaks the language of the people, and lives on his property, and delights in old traditions, in old servants, in old services, and old kindly usages of all kinds."

      On the 11th January 1883 at a grand dinner held at the Caledonian Hotel, Inverness, the Earl of Dunmore, Lieutenant Colonel commanding the Invemess-shire Highland Rifle Volunteers, entertained approximately 50 officers of the Battalion. A number of guests were present including Lord Lovat, Lord Lieutenant of the County; the Earl of Seafield; Sir Kenneth Mackenzie of Gairloch, Sir George Macpberson-Grant of Ballindalloch, MP and Colonel Ewan Henry Davidson Macpherson, later Chief of the Clan. The occasion was to recognise the considerable contribution that Ewen Macpherson of Cluny, C.B., Chief of the Clan Macpherson, known affectionately as 'Old Cluny', had made towards the Invemess-shire Highland Rifle Volunteers that he had been in command of from its inception over twenty years before. On retiring the command, Old Cluny was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Volunteers and at this special dinner was presented with a sword of "elegant workmanship" to mark the occasion. The Inverness Advertiser recorded a full account of the dinner, including the speech by the Earl of Dunmore, who presented the sword to Old Cluny and his reply -- interspersed with 'cheers' and 'loud cheers'.

      However, all of this was not immediately known when an e-mail by Mhuirich appeared on the Clan List on the Internet. It brought to the attention of the List subscribers that a Presentational Sword was for sale by 'Fine Antique Arms', an antique company in Texas, USA. It was described as "A very fine and rare solid silver hilted (silver gilt) Scottish Presentation Sword. The silver hilt, superbly sculptured with the foliage, including acorns, the crest of the

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recipient and with the royal crown and bugle. All parts, including the pommel, stamped with the silversmith mark SJP, twisted wire-bound sharkskin covered grip. The single-edged blade with single fuller each side, etched with the royal crown V.R. amidst scrollwork. The ricasso, also etched the foliage and the blade maker's name, Firman & Sons Strand London. The scabbard, with panels of strapwork and foliage engraving, with the lower shape deeply carved with foliage and acorns. The lower section of the scabbard, engraved with 'Presented to Lieut. Colonel Cluny McPherson C.B. by the Officers and men of the Inverness-shire Highland Rifle Volunteers on his promotion to the rank of Honorary Colonel of the Battalion. Given in recognition of his service and as a mark of their personal regard 14th January, 1888'. Mhuirich made arrangements for the sword to be viewed on the Clan Association web site.

      There was a great flurry of excitement on the Internet and it was agreed that efforts should he made to secure the sword by way of personal subscriptions. Cluny gave his support to the venture and steps were put in place to ensure that the sword was authentic. However, the date 14th January 1888 proved to he an initial stumbling block. 'Old Cluny' died in 1885 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Macpherson, C.B. Duncan had a long distinguished military career and died war-weary in 1886 shortly after retirement from the army. Ewan Henry Davidson, the second son, succeeded him. Ewan H.D. also had a distinguished military career. He was promoted to full Colonel in 1882 and in 1888 was still serving and in command of the Regimental District at Glencorse, Edinburgh. On retirement in 1890 he was appointed Brigadier General of the Highland Volunteer Brigade, a post he held until his death in 1900. A splendid photograph of Ewan H.D. as the Brigadier General, with over sixty pipers, can he viewed in the Clan Museum. There was no clan or military record of Ewan H.D. being awarded the Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the) Bath (C.B.). A check with the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood at Buckingham Palace and the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle confirmed this.

      It was established from item 135 in the catalogue of the sale of clan treasures at Cluny Castle on the 3rd May 1943 that a 'Presentational Sword, 1883, and two others' had been sold at that time. No further description was available and the 1883 sword was not purchased at that time on behalf of the Clan Macpherson and no trace can be found of the presentational sword from that date onward. Wylie & Lochhead, the auctioneers changed ownership several times and now operate as Funeral Directors. They have no archive records relating to their former business. Firman & Sons, the manufacturers, are no longer in business. A check with the Wilkinson Sword Group, the major company specialising in presentational swords in the UK today, confirmed that Firman & Sons existed in London during the 1880's but it was not one of the companies subsequently taken over by them The Inverness Advertiser indicated that Messrs Ferguson & Macbean, jewellers, Inverness, supplied the sword -- again this company no longer exists. The inscription on the scabbard given in the newspaper was similar but with slight differences from the one on offer. However, it was accepted that newspapers are not always totally accurate in their reporting.

      It was confirmed from the regimental records at Fort George, Ardersier, that 'Old Cluny' had been appointed Honorary Colonel of the Inverness-shire Highland Rifle Volunteers on the 2nd November 1882 having been the Lieutenant Colonel prior to that. The records also indicated that the regiment did not have an Honorary Colonel in 1888. In addition, it was known that 'Old Cluny' had been presented with a special sword to mark the occasion, had previously been awarded the C.B. by Queen Victoria and was well regarded in the Highlands of Scotland. Alexander Macpherson, in [Glimpses of] Church and Social Life in the Highlands, records that at the Royal (Wet) Review in Edinburgh in 1881, at the age of seventy-eight, despite the fearful weather, the brave old Chief, with his courtly and soldierly bearing, was a conspicuous figure in the procession. He discarded even the use of his plaid as protection. Riding along Princes Street at the head of the Volunteers, 'Old Cluny' was singled out for repeated rounds of enthusiastic

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cheering. It also mentions in the Glimpses that on his retirement his regiment presented him with a sword of honour with an "appropriate inscription".

      It was essential to examine the sword and preferably by someone not emotionally involved in the investigation and purchase. We were fortunate that Jack Raines, editor of The Urlar, lives in Texas. Jack, together with Tim Mason, a friend who deals in antique silver and armed with a magnifying glass visited and carried out a detailed examination. Tim concluded that the date was indeed the 14 th January 1888. It was confirmed that the hilt basket was sterling silver with the handle in three parts, all made by the same craftsman. It was identified through silver hallmarks as being produced in London in 1882. The cat crest was confirmed as that of 'Old Cluny', added to the hilt basket as a separate piece and held in place by four, probably brass, silver plated pins and definitely original, having been braided into place. The braiding was contemporary with the 1880's. Tim identified the handle as sharkskin wrapped in silver-plated copper wire. The blade was made of steel and had traces of rust, believed to have occurred within the last few years. Therefore, it was established that the sword was made in 1882 and easily available for presentation in January 1883. We were satisfied that the sword was genuine and the one presented to 'Old Cluny' at the Inverness dinner in 1883. The scabbard is certainly contemporary for the sword. However, we cannot and perhaps never will, be able to account for the date being wrong on the scabbard. A number of speculative theories could account for this, including a simple engraving mistake that was successtully camouflaged at the time with lead and subsequently exposed. This, we conclude, all adds to the mystery and intrigue of the sword!

      The enthusiasm and generosity of association members resulted in the successful purchase of the sword. This is the first occasion anything from that line of the Clan Chief has been purchased for the Clan since the auction in 1943. The sword is currently on display in the United States and Canada. It will eventually find a permanent home in the Clan Museum and join the splendid silver candelabrum presented to 'Old Cluny' and Lady Cluny by Clansmen and Friends on the occasion of their Golden Wedding Anniversary on the 20th December 1882.

CLUNY & SHEILA DOWN UNDER
by Edna MacPherson Sabato
      Cluny and Sheila came to visit us. We can only hope they enjoyed their holiday, as much as we enjoyed their company. They saw only a very small part of our very large country, so, isn't that a good excuse to come back again sometime, to see the rest of it? We hope they will.

      There are lots of memories -- of Sheila finding a green frog in the loo, and Robyn having to get rid of it for her.

      Of Cluny being scratched by the cat, "Funnel Foot", and being told he should have remembered "Touch Not The Cat"!!!

      Of both of them dancing the Chicken Dance, the Hokey Pokey, and that lovely new dance from the Western Isles of Scotland, "MacArena", after which Cluny commented "You Australians are MAD!!!"

      Of Cluny knowing how to switch the Piper off, with a glass of whisky, on the "Bounty", out on Sydney Harbour, with the crewman slapping Cluny on the back, saying "Thanks a lot for that, mate!" in true-blue Australian style.

      Of the 1931 International truck breaking down in Gin Gin, just when the Parade was about to start and having to make do with a Range Rover.

      Of the sight of eighteen Massed Bands on the Oval at Bundanoon.

      Of the walk behind the Piper, from the Australia Club to Parliament House in Sydney, with passers-by stopping to watch.

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      Of all the MacPhersons who came along to each gathering, to meet their beloved Clan Chief, and his lovely Lady.

      Of the Lone Piper playing "The Highland Cradle Song" at Bundanoon. Of the big fish at Lake Monduran.

      Of the aboriginee playing the didgeridoo, and showing his giant blackboy flower.

      Of the re-enactment of the Capture of the bushranger, James McPherson, known as "The Wild Scotchman".

      Of the Bundaberg Pipe Band playing "MacPherson's Rant".

      Of all the times we shouted "Creag Dhubh" at Cluny's request.

      Oh, yes, it was a visit to remember for a long time, for Cluny & Sheila, and for all of the Australian MacPhersons who enjoyed their company.

      We can only say, "Will Ye No' Come Back Again?"

MAJOR DUNCAN MACPHERSON OF CLUNY, 19TH
CHIEF OF CLAN MACPHERSON 1748-1817

      Known as Duncan of the Kiln, he was the son of Ewan Macpherson of Cluny of the '45, 18 th Chief and the father of Ewen Macpherson, of Cluny, 20th Chief, known as Old Cluny. Duncan of the Kiln, 1/71" Fraser Highlanders and Scots Guards. Later Lieutenant Colonel and retired 1791.

      His portrait has been reproduced from an oil painting now in possession of A.J.W. McBarnet of Maui, Hawaii and is almost identical version of the one registered in the Scottish United Services Museum Collections in Edinburgh Castle -- Number M. 1948.18 1.

      It is possible that the oil painting came down through the McBarnets from Mary (Gheocach) Macpherson of Killiehuntly who was the grandmother of Alexander McBarnet of St. Vincent,

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Torridon and Attadale and daughter of Isobell, the sister of the Clan Chief, Lachlan Macpherson of Nuide, father of Ewan Macpherson of the '45 and grandfather of Duncan of the Kiln, making Duncan and Alexander second cousins once-removed.

     Presented to the Clan Macpherson Museum by Alex & Mary Jane McBarnet, Maui, Hawaii.

EWEN MACPHERSON OF THE 99TH REGIMENT
John L. Macpherson

      Ewen Macpherson was born on 16 th October 1794 at Ardersier, near Fort George. The 13 th of sixteen children born to James Macpherson (one time factor to Lord Calder) and Margaret Loggie, Ewen was one of 3 sons who served in the 78th Regiment (Ross Shire Buffs). The other two were Duncan, who became Colonel of the Regiment, and James who was killed in action in 1813 while serving in Surabaya. (Java)

      Another brother John, was a lieutenant in the 1st Royals and was killed at Alexandria in 1801. David was a lieutenant in the 93rd Regiment (Argyll and Sutherland); George became a Captain in the Royal Navy, and Charles died in the Eastern Seas while serving as a midshipman. The seventh and youngest son Henry became a physician.

      One of Ewen's 8 sisters, Caroline, married Neil Currie who became a surgeon with the 78th Regiment.

      Commissioned as an ensign on 21" January 1813 into the 78th Regiment, Ewen served with the Regiment in the Battle of Merxem in January 1814, and was promoted to lieutenant (without purchase) on 5 th February 1814 in Belgium. The Regiment returned to England (Deal Barracks) via Ramsgate in late 1815. Service in Ireland followed before the Regiment moved to Ceylon in April 1826. During his time in Ceylon, Ewen married Catherine Gunn, the daughter of the Regiment's Paymaster, Captain William Gunn, on 30th August 1827.

      In October 1841, not long after the 78 th returned to England, Ewen exchanged his commission in the 78th for one in the newly raised 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment. Over a period of eight years (1842-1850) and on sixty separate sea journeys, elements of the 99th sailed to Sydney, the majority on convict escort duty. The commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Despard arrived aboard the Gilmore on 30th September 1843. The last officer arrived in Sydney aboard the Windemere on 16 th December 1850.

      As a captain, Ewen, with his pregnant wife and family of six children sailed to Sydney on the convict transport, Isabella Watson departing from Dublin on 1st May 1842. The ship called at Hobart (Van Diemen's Land) on 3 rd August 1842 to land 195 male convicts, then continued on to Sydney arriving on 28th August 1842.(1) During the stop over in Hobart, the seventh child David Grant, presumably born at sea, was christened in St Andrew's Presbyterian Church.

     ; For the next couple of years records are vague but it appears that Ewen was stationed at Sydney and Parramatta. His youngest son, Charles Edward was born here in December 1844, but died in September 1850 and is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery near St John's Anglican Cathedral, Parramatta. Ewen also served at Wollongong, 60 miles south of Sydney, and on Norfolk Island, an alternative convict settlement to Sydney.

      It was on Norfolk that Ewen's eldest daughter Anne met and married Captain Robert Hamilton (Royal Engineers) in January 1845. Hamilton completed, among other things, the construction of the Pentagonal Prison at Kingston, the principal settlement and landing place established by Lieutenant Philip Gidley King in 1788 .(2) Hamilton later became a major general.

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      In July 1845, as a Brevet major, Ewen commanded a company of the 991h Regiment as the first assault party against Ohaewai Pa (west of Waitangi, North Island, New Zealand) in the First Maori War. Ewen's own description of the lead up and conduct of the battle is contained in letters to his wife thus:

      Letter dated 7th June (1845) -- before the battle, ' . . . we are now making preparations on a grander scale and expect to sail (from Auckland for the Bay of' Islands, the neighbourhood of the War tomorrow'. (3)

      Son-in-law Alfred Cox wrote that Ewen 'seemed to think that Heke (a Maori Chief) would vacate his Pa when made aware of the strength of force . . . sent to attack it, (and) . . . seemed very confident that there would he no service of danger.'

      Letter dated 7th July, -- after the battle ' . . . he (Ewen) speaks of (this) wound as only a flesh wound, pronouncing it not dangerous.'

     Of the attack itself Ewen wrote; '. . . we advanced upon the Pah about 6 miles distant, and as usual . . . we did not reach our destination till nearly dark just in time to pitch our tents. The next day our great guns opened on the Pah but owing to the outer fence being thickly covered with flax we could not make out what execution had been done; and the same continued to he the case, for many days, At length a 32 pounder was brought up from HMS Hazard but it had no better effect.'

      '. . . At length the Colonel, on the 1st inst. . . . determined to storm in and honoured me with command of the storming party. I am unable to give you all the particulars as while writing I am compelled to keep on my left side in which constrained position it is painful for me to write. . . .. We attempted to storm the Pah about 4 in the afternoon. Beatty of the 99th Reg. with 2 sergeants and 20 volunteers led the forlorn hope immediately in front of my party and supported by parties under Colonel Hulme and Major Bridge (58th Regiment). The vagabonds never fired a shot at us until we gave a shout and then commenced to pull down the flux and fence; they then opened a murderous fire through the loop-holes, in the flax when our men began to drop fast. We had not been many minutes at work when a bullet hit me in the left breast penetrating my shell jacket and belt, but thanks to my handkerchief some waste paper and a sailor's sea shirt, my common shirt and flannel it did not go further; it however stunned

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me and made me sit down for a few seconds. I then got up and was calling upon the men to a certain part of the fence, when I received the wound in the right hip, which settled me.'

      'I got to the rear a few yards by myself the best way I could and ultimately I was supported to the camp, by two of my grenadiers. I had not got 50 yards on my way when I was horrifled at hearing the retreat sounded behind me. I then knew that all was over and that the place could not he taken... '.

      'I reached the ship, the Sloan's Castle on Saturday evening, after having been 10 nights at Wairnate on my way. This circumstance should convince you '(his wife Catherine) 'that I am in better case than the others as none of them have yet come.' (4) (The 'others' he refers to were Captain Grant (58th Regiment), Lieutenant Philpott (Royal Navy), Ensign O'Reilly and Lieutenant Beatty (99th Regiment) who were all very seriously wounded). Some subsequently died.

      Colonel Despard's despatch after the battle to Governor Fitzroy in Auckland made mention of Ewen's conduct thus; '. . . Major Macpherson of the 99th Regiment, who led the principal attack and was severely wounded also deserves every praise for the daring manner in which he led his men to the assault, and though slightly struck on the left breast at the commencement, he gallantly persevered until struck down by a serious wound...'(5)       Rescued by Private Whitethread of the 58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment, and a comrade Jonathan Pallet, Ewen was '. . . said to be 18 stone in weight...' (6)       After recuperating in Auckland, Ewen was repatriated to Australia in September 1845. Subsequently, he commanded a detachment of the 99th Regiment in Newcastle (New South Wales) until he retired on full pay on 8th July 1849.

      He became the Commandant of the Convict Stockade at Newcastle where he and his family lived until 1855. He became an Elder of the Presbyterian Church and laid the foundation stone for the first Presbyterian Church in Newcastle.

      Having decided to migrate to New Zealand in 1855, just prior to his departure he was afforded a glowing testimonial reported in the Maitland Mercury. Delivered by Dr John Stacey; whose daughter Lilla later married Ewen's eldest son, also named Ewen, the testimonial adverted to the warm and friendly feelings exhibited by Ewen to the local inhabitants, and their reciprocation. (7) (Regrettably a copy of the testimonial cannot be located)

      On 7th September 1855, 'Colonel Macpherson took his final departure from Newcastle, in the Hunter for Sydney. A large number of citizens had assembled on the wharf to pay the Colonel a parting tribute of respect. The assemblage testifying that how general was that regard in which he has been held by the inhabitants of Newcastle, whose parting cheers to him as the steamer left the wharf expressively told of the good wishes and of the desire entertained here for his future welfare'.(8)

      With his wife and two daughters; Mary and husband Alfred Cox, and Margaret who later married the Hon. Ernest Gray in New Zealand, Ewen returned to New Zealand, landing at Timaru on the South Island.

      Ewen died in Lyttleton near Christchurch on 2nd November 1859 aged 65. His wife Catherine survived him by 39 years and one day. They are buried side by side in Riccarton Church of England Cemetery. (Riccarton is a suburb of Christchurch NZ)

      Some evidence of Ewen's military service remains today in the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch. A battle sash said to have been woven by his elder sisters Mary and Jane, and bearing blood stains from wounds suffered at Ohaewai Pa, and his red uniform dress coat and white pantaloons are preserved in the Museum. The items are watched over by descendants of Ewen's daughter Mary, Mrs Anna Wood (Havelock North, NZ) and Mrs Tina Smith (Christchurch, NZ). Another descendant of Ewen's second son William Gunn Macpherson, Mrs Helen Lush of Auckland NZ, also maintains a keen interest in extending our research into this branch of the Macphersons of Ardersier.

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      Ewen and Catherine had 8 children. The author of this article is descended from Ewen jnr who married Lilla Stacey at Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle in 1856. In about 1868/69, Ewen jnr and Lilla went to Fiji with three surviving children, Ewen Fergus (b 1857), Lilla C (b 1864) and Herbert J.K. (b 1869). Two other children, an unnamed male and a daughter christened Lilla Elizabeth were born in Newcastle in 1859 and 1862 respectively. Each died in the year they were born. Ewen jnr and Lilla had a sixth child, Arthur who was born in Fiji in 1879. Ewen jnr is thought to have drowned during a cyclone in Fiji in 1890. Lilla and the surviving children returned to Australia soon after.

      Ewen Fergus, (the author's grandfather) like his great grandfather James, had a large family of 15 children, of which the eldest, Ewen Fergus Lord, (born in 1891) was known as 'Lordie'. The youngest, also christened Ewen Fergus Lord, (born in 1917) was known as 'Billy'. Ewen Fergus married Genevieve Louisa Machattie in Brewarrina (New South Wales) on 23rd August 1890. The younger Ewen (Billy) was born not long after the elder Ewen (Lordie) was killed in action in World War I on 10 August 1916 while serving as a subaltern in 64 th Battery, 5th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.

      That Lordie and Billy had 'Lord' as their third christian name, as did their nine brothers, is a story in itself It links their mother, an Australian Machattie of the same Machattie family that originated from Dyke just a few miles away from Ardersier, with the descendants of an English convict named Simeon Lord who came to Australia 'at the King's pleasure' in 1791 aboard the convict transport Atlantic.

_______________
(1) Austin, M, The Army in Australia 1840-1850, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1979
(2) Hoare, M, Elizabeth Robertson's Diary, Norfolk Island 1845, Printed by Newet and Beath, 1988
(3) Cox, Alfired, Reminiscences, (A personal record -- unpublished)
(4) ibid
(5) Bartrop, Michael, To Face The Daring Maoris, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1979. (See pp 202 to 210 for full I extracts of Despard's despatches)
(6) ibid
(7) Supplement to the Maitland Mercury, September 1855
(8) ibid

BRANCH REPORTS

CANADIAN BRANCH
Chairman-- Douglas MacPherson; Treasurer-- Susan McPherson; Hon. secretary -- Mary Margaret Gillies, 32 Dallyn Cres., Scarborough, Ontario, M I K 4V9

      The 51"st Annual General Meeting & Clan Rally of the Canadian Branch was held at the Delta Hotel in Ottawa on September 22 nd to 24h, 2000 in conjunction with the U.S. Branch of the Association. 144 members were present. Douglas MacPherson and Rod Smith were the organizers of the week-end events and everyone present agreed that it was one of our most successful gatherings to date.

      Our honoured guests were, of course, our Chief, Cluny and Lady Cluny, who always, by their cheerful presence, make any Rally a huge success. In addition, we welcomed Sandy & Catherine Macpherson from Edinburgh; John & Iris Macpherson from Montrose; and from the United States Larry McPherson, our new International Chairman and his wife Lillas; and from New York City, Alastair & Penny Macpherson of Pitmain.

      The Canadian Branch was well represented by members from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia and we were especially pleased to welcome Joanne Macpherson from Regina, one of our original charter members; Jean McPherson and

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Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Gillis from Nova Scotia; ]an and Mary McPherson from Victoria, B.C.; Mark & June Macpherson together with their son and his wife and Dr. and Mrs. David McPherson all from Quebec.

      The activities began on Friday evening with a lively reception for Cluny and Lady Cluny where everyone had an opportunity to exchange greetings and renew old friendships. On Saturday morning each branch held their own separate A.G.M. and Andrew Macpherson, the Canadian Branch Chairman, conducted our meeting. He introduced Cluny who brought greetings to the members of the Canadian Branch and then International Chairman, Larry, reminded us of the special 50th anniversary celebration of the Clan Museum in Newtonmore in 2002. Dr. David McPherson of Montreal gave a very entertaining account of his first visit to the Clan Rally in Scotland in August which delighted us all. The election of officers for the next 3 years was held and Douglas MacPherson was elected Chairman with Rod Smith as Vice-Chairman & Registrar; Susan McPherson remains as our Hon. Treasurer and Mary Margaret Gillies, the daughter of Dan Gillies was elected Hon. Secretary, replacing Nancy Macpherson who retires after 6 years as Secretary.

      On Saturday evening a Clan Reception and Dinner was held at the Delta Hotel with Rod Clarke as fear an tighe and with Don Bierens giving the "Address to the Haggis". After a delicious repast we were entertained by an exhibition of piping by Graeme Lemoine, Hugh Macpherson and Bruce Gillis, followed by a "sing-along" of Scottish songs.

      On Sunday, the Association members attended a special church service at historic St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church and, following the coffee hour, we all said our farewells for another year. It was truly a memorable gathering and, on a historic note, the very first A.G.M. of the Canadian Branch was also held in Ottawa in June 1949.

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

ENGLAND & WALES BRANCH
Chairman -- Angus MacphersonVice Chairman & Treasurer -- Lindsey Jane Rousseau; Hon Secretary -- Robert Macpherson, 18 Norcurt Road, Twickenham, Middlesex TW2 6SR Email: robmac@cwcom.net.

      The 2000 Annual General Meeting of the England & Wales Branch was held once again at the Caledonian Club, London with 26 members attending. The meeting followed our preferred format of holding brief formalities, followed by a Scottish supper of Haggis, neeps & tatties.

      The AGM coincided with our issue of our second newsletter which was created and edited by Alex Riley and her sister Rosie Thomas, With this we announced the Branch's donation to Cluny's sword fund and detailed the achievements of Andrew Gillies. The article is reprinted in full elsewhere in Creag Dhubh.       In the summer, Angus our chairman opened his house to the clan for a midsummer party. This was well attended with afternoon tea served followed by reels in the barn. We understand that the cows have not been the same since!

      On Friday I 101h November, 147 members and their guests attended the 2000 London Ball at the Hotel Russell. Albeit that the numbers were slightly down on previous years, we still only just had enough room on the dance floor as everyone attending danced and reeled together. The atmosphere was warm and friendly and organized by Ailsa and Flora Macpherson.

      Two adjoining rooms were used in order to allow the Ballroom to have as large a dance floor as possible. Ailsa and Flora's decorations, including pearls wrapped around the napkins and grapes draped with ivy around the silver candelabras, personalized and created the Ball's ambience. 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.

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      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 noting the exploits of the Black Officer and thanked the organisers of the Ball and those attending.

      Following the meal dancing was held in the adjoining ballroom where we were lucky to have Lindsey Rousseau as MC for the second year in a row. She carried out this difficult task splendidly. 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 Wine, also donated by Vic. 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 another curry evening in the spring and bring members from outwith London and the South-East closer to the Branch's core activities. We will also publish the Newsletter on the web pages and welcome comments from the Branch to continue the dynamism of the past year.

      We send greetings to all our fellow members worldwide.

NEW SOUTH WALES BRANCH
Chairman -- John L. Mapherson

      A very large number of members, families and friends were privileged to meet Cluny and Lady Cluny during their first, and highly successful visit to Australia in early 2000.

      The New South Wales part of the visit started near Bingara, a small country town on the Gwydir River some 600kms from Sydney. Here, Cluny's gt,-gt, grandfather Allan established a property known as 'Keera' in the early 1840s.

      Cluny's family interests in Australia are possibly not well known to many. They could be the subject of a separate article.

      After the 'Keera' visit, Cluny and Lady Cluny attended Clan and private functions in Sydney before travelling to the NSW Southern Highlands for 'Bundanoon is Brigadoon'. The Sydney activities included a reception hosted by Cluny in the NSW Parliament House Library, a room where Cluny's gt,-gt,-gt, grandfather William might have worked after 1829 when he arrived in Australia as Secretary to then Governor Darling. Some 120 Macphersons and guests attended, several of whom had marched along Macquarie St. to the strains of a piper

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leading the way. Access to the Library was kindly arranged by the then Attomey-Gencral for NSW, the Hon Jeff Shaw QC.

      On Sunday morning (2nd April) Cluny and Lady Cluny were welcomed at St Andrew's Cathedral by the precentor, Canon Lawrence Bartlett. After Morning Prayer, which was held in the Cathedral Chapter House, Canon Bartlett escorted the visitors into the Cathedral to view a beautiful stained glass window installed in the 1860's in memory of gt,-gt,-gt, grandfather William. The history of the window is now the subject of some research being overseen by the Sydney Diocesan Archivist, Dr Louise Trott, a Clan Association member.

      On Wednesday 5 th April, a visit to the NSW Legislative Council, (the NSW Upper House) saw Cluny and Lady Cluny seated in the Council President's gallery. An official welcome by the President is recorded in Hansard for the day. Morning tea with the current Clerk to the NSW Parliaments, (an appointment performed by William from 1836 to 1842), the Usher to the Black Rod and the Parliamentary Archivist followed. During morning tea, original documents, including a diary written by William, were displayed.

      A short stroll down Macquarie St. later, preceded a visit to the NSW State Library where the Curator of Pictures had prepared a display of beautiful water colours that had been done by Emma, Allan Macpherson's wife. and drawings of 'Bernera' the property near Liverpool (NSW) in which William lived until his death in 1862.

      The next day, a cruise on Sydney Harbour aboard the replica HMS Bounty, enabled the visitors to see Sydney's best tourist attraction, a must for all visitors. In the evening, Cluny and Lady Cluny were Guests of Honour at a formal dinner presented by the Confederation of Clan Chattan, and Clan Farquharson at the Queens' Club. Cluny's humorous address was the highlight of a pleasant evening.

      The morning of Friday 7th April was spent driving to the Southern Highlands via the spectacular Illawarra coast to Mittagong for lunch, then to Sutton Forest where festivities related to the 'Bundanoon is Brigadoon' Scottish Gathering commenced. As guests of the management of Peppers Mt. Broughton Hotel (south of Moss Vale), Cluny and Lady Cluny were the principal guests at a black tie, charity Scottish dinner arranged by local Scottish personalities in the evening. Again, the eloquence of the retired High Court judge was very evident,

      Next morning, an early start saw Cluny and Lady Cluny travelling in a vintage car, preceded by the Clan Macpherson group complete with Banner, leading the very large 'Bundanoon is Brigadoon' procession, which included 17 pipe bands. After marching from the village of Bundanoon to the local oval, the bands massed in front of the saluting base while the march past of Clan groups followed with Cluny taking the salute. Some 18,000 people attended 'Bundanoon is Brigadoon', the largest Scottish gathering in the Southern Hemisphere.

      Notwithstanding competition from a passing steam train, Cluny challenged all to respond to the Clan War cry. After a hesitant first attempt, the 18,000 responded with a hearty 'Creag Dhubh'. Something to hear!!

      A day long gathering, 'Bundanoon is Brigadoon' attracted Clan Macpherson members and other visitors from interstate and overseas. Many Macphersons travelled from as far away as Maryborough in Queensland, Coffs Harbour (Northern NSW), the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Victoria. An excellent display in the Clan Macpherson tent showed photos of Old Cluny's sword and a number of family trees.

      The Ceilidh held that night in the Bundancon Memorial Hall was a roaring success. Scottish dancing, the Address to the Haggis and piping were the norm. Cluny's entrance accompanied by a very competent 12 year old piper was a highlight, but the piece de resistance was Cluny's rendition of 'Gu Ma Stan Do Na Fearaibh', followed by the Parachute Regiment song and 'I belong to Glasgow. These renditions brought the house down.

      The final official day, (Sunday 9th April) saw Cluny and Lady Cluny attend the 'Bundanoon is Brigadoon' ecumenical Kirkin' o' the Tartan Service in the Bundanoon Uniting Church where

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Cluny read one of the lessons. Clan members then adjourned to nearby Camp Orana for a barbecue lunch, and a fond farewell, the latter accompanied on the pipes by long standing friend of Cluny, Colin McPherson.

      In thanking Cluny and Lady Cluny for undertaking a very onerous, yet enjoyable and relaxed five week visit, NSW Convenor John Macpherson expressed the wishes of all for a safe return to Newton Castle, and asked, 'Will ye no' come back again?

      On other matters, the world knew that Sydney was the venue for the largest, and second largest sporting spectaculars, the Olympic and Paralympic Games. A unique highlight of both Games was the extraordinary support and assistance provided by over 40,000 volunteers. A quick check of the list of volunteers revealed many Macphersons, and other Clan members on the list. Their contribution was rather special and they are to be congratulated for their outstanding contribution to the 'best Olympic and Paralympic Games ever'. Doubtless there were Clan members who had a special role as Torch bearers in the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays, but identifying them has proved difficult. But they know who they are. Congratulations on your selection, and well done!

      Even more mundane, the Clan Association in NSW was incorporated in mid 2000 and the necessary administrative procedures established. We look forward to building on the interest engendered by Cluny's visit and expanding our numbers.       We send greetings to our cousins around the world, and wish everyone the best for the new Millennium!

SCOTTISH BRANCH Chairman -- John Macpherson; Secretary -- Ian J.A. Robb, Strathcarron, 27 Whites Place, Montrose, DDIO SRN

      Since the AGM in 1999, we have continued to pursue the aims we set ourselves. We have successfully achieved getting our membership through the 300 barrier, which has delighted us all. Our current branch membership is comprised of Life Members 211 (195), Annual Members 96 (90), Honorary Members 1 (2) and Junior Members 9 (7), giving us a complement of 317, and we have from other parts of the world, 10 Complimentary (Officials in other Branches). So if we put the two figures together then Scottish Branch has a registered listing of 327 (306) members of the Clan Macpherson Association.

      Over the year we have achieved a number of events that have led to the furtherance of our social activities of the Branch. In January we held our first Bums Supper, thanks to the kind hospitality of Sandy and Catherine, who kindly opene