months of every year (dressed in his Hunting tartan kilt) as a guide and game hunter in Tanzania. All the sons have delightful wives, and the fourth generation is increasing annually!

      Malawi is a beautiful and fascinating country, with much variety of scenery and birds and trees and animals. We were able to spend time beside and on Lake Malawi, and on the dramatic plateau of Zomba, at Ewen and Jenny's holiday homes, and at a Game Park south of the Lake. And we owe all the family a great debt of gratitude for their kindness and hospitality. Space does not permit a full account of all that we did and saw, but it was a very special visit.

      After that we went with Ewen and Jenny to Johannesburg for a weekend where we had the delight of two days with Allan and Hughla and their family. Allan is one of the staunchest supporters of CMA, and we were splendidly looked after and entertained by the family. At Allan and Hughla's son Kevin's home on the Sunday there was a mini Gathering of more than 20 members and friends, with an excellent buffet, and a rendering of Tam o' Shanter! It is always a particular pleasure to see cousins in their own territory, and we will have the happiest of memories of this visit to Rivonia.

      Then we spent a lovely week on the Cape, and played golf at Royal Cape, and Hermanus, and Clovelly -- and tasted the fine climate and all that goes with it in that beautiful part of the world. Marred only when our joint treasurer (Sheila!) lost our "kitty" to a pickpocket in Stellenbosch! And then home again to snow and frost -- and a long and enjoyable Blairgowrie spring and summer.

      The Annual Gathering was well attended and successful, and it was very good to see Olive settling into the role of Curator at the Museum. She welcomes all visitors expertly and warmly, and we wish her all success and happiness in the seasons to come.

      Then in the autumn came Texas! Preceded by the horror of September 11th, which has so affected the world. We visited Alastair and Penny in New York at the end of September, and much enjoyed their Manhattan hospitality, while sharing to a small extent the awful impact of that day.

      And so on to Fort Worth, after a short trip to San Antonio, and the Alamo! No praise is too high for the work done by Jack Raines and Jerry Gamblin and their marvellous band of helpers! Every event and every minute went like clockwork, and those who attended this Gathering not only enjoyed the best of company, food, wine and fun, but also learned a lot about our Clan and ourselves and our past; and present! The Museum, set up in a large room, was most imaginative and well balanced, and I have no doubt but that James's Fiddle, and the Black Chanter, very much enjoyed their trip across the Atlantic! It was a joy also to see Old Cluny's sword mounted in a fine oak cabinet made by Jack's brother Ben Raines. The sword and cabinet are now safely home, again with the other travelling exhibits. The weekend was all too short, and there will be other accounts of its events. But Sheila and I feel that Jack has set a very high standard for the future which will be hard to beat. What a challenge! Altogether a Gathering of CMA USA which every cousin attending will always remember.

      And now for another winter in Scotland and the anticipation of 2K2 and the Museums 50th birthday! See you there!

      Finally we note with particular sadness the loss of noted members, and none more so than our Association Piper Robert (David Ian) Pearson who died suddenly in December 2000. He was for so many years a most faithful, cheerful and expert piper, composer and loyal friend. We send all our sympathy to Valerie. And coupled with his name we remember all those who left us in the past year and send our sympathy to their families.

      We are sure that Robert would approve of the appointment of two young pipers, Ewan (son of Alan G. of Newfoundland) across the Atlantic, and Hugo (son of Rory) in the UK, as his joint successors. We wish them both long and musical tours in their new roles with our strong and united worldwide Clan Macpherson Association.

December 2001




      Well with this first full year as your chairman, we feel that we have a good start with many significant activities underway.

      Our 2K2 project has reached its initial goal to the point we do not have to take out a mortgage to finish the museum building improvements. Thanks to all who made this possible! Special thanks must go to Rod Clarke for his supreme efforts in this matter.

      Your Executive Committee has also achieved a major goal in finding a very capable museum curator in the person of Olive Ormiston. She has many new ideas that will be considered for continued growth for this facility! My wife Lillas also came up with the excellent idea of having other Branch exhibits displayed along with the U.S. Branch layout. A major unfinished task is to find a permanent replacement for our retiring Creag Dhubh editor -- Margaret Hambleton. T.A.S. "Sandy" Macpherson is temporarily filling in to do the 2002 edition but your Executive Committee is still looking for a permanent replacement. Please forward any recommendations to any Executive Committee member.

      I am continuing my efforts to update the CMA Constitution with proposed revisions presented to the Executive Committee members for their review and comments. We hope to have the final version ready for presentation for approval at the 2002 AGM in August.

      Of course I cannot close without encouraging "Y'ALL" to seriously consider joining us at the 2002 AGM in Scotland for the special celebration of the 50 year of the Clan Macpherson Museum. This is planned to rival our Jubilee Celebration in 1996 where we had the largest Clan gathering in Scotland in modern history!

      Your Vice-Chairman, Catherine, has put together many special planned events related to this latest CMA celebration.

      Lillas and I wish you all our very best holiday greetings and the hope and prayers for a peaceful New Year to come.

Larry Lee



by Jack Raines
      Last fall, I learned enough about packing, shipping, displaying and customs bureaucracy to last a lifetime. What I thought would be a relatively simple procedure turned out to be considerably more complex and time consuming than I could have imagined.

      The object of the Museum-to-America project was simple -- bring something from the museum in Newtonmore to the AGM for the US Branch. This would serve as the kick-off for the 50th year celebration of the museum, hopefully get some US members interested in going to the 50th anniversary in Scotland and also help to raise awareness of the financial needs of that facility, and maybe raise some funds, too. The second reason was to serve as a backdrop for the presentation of "Old Cluny's Sword."

      As everyone probably knows by now, the sword was purchased by members, mostly those on the 'listserv'[an electronic bulletin board on the wrld-wide web thatclan members suscribe to], but from all over the world. Walter Macpherson in Connecticut found it on the Internet, but it was physically located in an antique shop in Dallas so I had gone to see it and to examine it to verify the advertisement. Many people were involved in the purchase and it was shown originally at the joint US/Canadian meeting in October 2000 in Ottawa. Our plans were to have it presented at the US AGM in Fort Worth to members of the Museum Board who were here, and they could simply put it in a suitcase and take it home to Scotland.


      And, to make it feel at home, we would simply bring the fiddle and chanter, maybe the association banner -- all light weight, small in size, easy to pack into a medium box, ship by air, and put in a couple of display cases along with the sword, no problem! ('The best laid plans . . .")

      Reality strikes! You have to have a shipping and customs broker on both sides of the Atlantic. Packing has to be done by someone who knows how to pack antiques. And, even though they are wood, it seems that the fiddle and chanter have to be packed in acid-free tissue paper, tight enough to hold it all secure but loose enough to allow for "natural flexing." I spent a day at a state museum in Austin to learn that. The brokers who pack and ship from Scotland are in London and all we have to do is pay for them to drive to Newtonmore -- plus two nights hotel. Then ship from Glasgow to Dallas because they have to have someone "with a vested interest" sign for the import, and in the same state where they will be displayed. Time got very short, so I flew to London, rented a car, drove to Scotland, temporarily packed the items, returned to Coventry to have a friend, who is a curator and expert on shipping antiques at a museum there re-pack them. Then to the airport, where, after getting proof of the ages of the items, and verification of the value from the Museum of Scotland, the UK customs folks said: "Oh, as long as they are over 100 years old, you can export them with no problem. No paperwork needed from here."

      Onto the flight, back to Texas, go the next day to get the display cases, which weigh about 75kg each, and are too wide to go through the doors, except by removing the glass. We set up the displays with lots of help. And we attached the new "Old Cluny's Sword" display case. We added lots of "Texas Connection" materials -- it was a Macpherson clansman who was chair of the Constitutional Convention that declared our, meaning Texas, independence from Mexico.

      After the presentation of the sword, everything has to be disassembled and taken to the shipper. Now we had the addition of the sword and the display case. So a crate had to be built, everything packed, and this time, shipped to Prestwick, where the broker there claimed it could not be imported without proof that it had been exported. That took several phone calls from Newtonmore, Edinburgh and Fort Worth to the broker to get that straight. Then, Sandy Macpherson and an Italian Air Force Major (but that is another story) drove from Edinburgh to Prestwick to pick it up, and delivered it safely to Newtonmore. Finally, about five or six members of the Museum Board could breathe again!

      But all the work, sweat and frustration was worth it! Many people saw the exhibits and the goal of greatly increasing interest by the US members was achieved, and all the items, including Cluny's Sword, are at home.

      One last bit of information you might find amusing. As anyone who travels abroad has teamed, Customs officials everywhere are not particularly known for their senses of humour, which everyone can understand, and after September 11, were under even more stress. But, when I was shipping the crate back from Dallas, I guess all my frustration from the paperwork was, perhaps, showing a small amount. Knowing the history of the items, I had shown the stack of papers over and over, and explained over and over how the sword was being justified as "returned UK merchandise," all of the background of the fiddle, why it could be valued so much when it was "broken," -- and the chanter. Yes, I explained, the fiddle was from Scotland, although, no, there is no proof that it was "made in Scotland". Finally, when asked where the chanter was from, out of frustration, and knowing the legend of the Battle of the Inch of Perth, I replied: "The chanter was made in heaven!" The customs agent, with not so much as an inkling of a smile, replied:
"We'll just put down that it was made in Scotland". Only then did I notice that the name tag on the uniform of this fine Texan was -- "Sean McDonald"!


      Don't shoot the Editor, he's doing his best!

      Writing as a temporary Editor, with no experience of the job, I hope that the readers of this journal will be tolerant and patient while I learn the art of Editorship.

      A tribute first to Margaret Hambleton, whom I follow, who has set such high standards of both writing and administration, she is a hard act to follow, and I could not attempt to fill her chair with any of her efficiency and expertise. I know that your readers over the last few years will join me in passing on our thanks for providing such a high standard of magazine produced in such a seemingly effortless way.

      Since going over the material sent in by the various contributors to this year's journal, I have become full of admiration for two things, one new and one old. The new thing is the marvel of modem communications; the ability to receive letters and manuscripts from the other side of the world so quickly and to reply equally as speedily. Technology is an amazing thing and has made the task of editing so much more smooth.

      The other fact that has impressed me has been in reading some of the papers submitted. There has been a lot of material from Australia about its early settlers and I was so impressed by the amazing hardships these people underwent, a voyage of four months in which there were both births and deaths and then landing on a foreign shore totally different from the land they had left. We must admire these resolute families who survived these difficulties to make good. Their stories make inspiring reading and we look forward to hearing more.

      From North America we have the inside story of the removal of the Newtonmore Museum to Texas (and its safe return) and Alan of Newfoundland has produced a wonderful first part of a paper on Canadian Macpherson placenames; we look forward to the continuation next year. Please note that these are just the Macpherson names, associated family names have yet to come!

      It has been a great pleasure working with these and all the other contributions. If this issue is judged successful, it will be because of the strength of the writing, not necessarily the editorship.

      My grateful thanks to Bill and Jan, who have applied more miracles of technology than ever I could, in preparing the text of this issue for the printer.

      Thank you for your support and please form an orderly queue for the job of editing next year's journal.



      The situation of Editor of "Creag Dhubh" is presently vacant and applications are invited for the position.

      The post carries great prestige as the journal reaches all members of the Association and is eagerly awaited and read in many parts of the world.       The main qualifications required are literacy, a keen interest in Association, Highland and Scottish affairs together with great patience and a strong sense of burnout.

      Please apply to the Association Secretary in the not too distant future for this position.


      2001 has been a year with a number of obstacles to be taken into consideration, i.e. how many visitors reached Newtonmore, foot and mouth disease, two hotels closed adjacent to the Museum, petrol station closed for three months, New York disaster and now war in Afghanistan.

      The massive, wonderful alterations to the Clan House went on for months. A new Curator and a Curator who requested time off after having done the job through all the alterations realised a lot of the work has to be done out-with 10:00 to 5:00pm. One day off monthly was not acceptable.

      Weather wise, the Highland glens had been hanging with mist more than usual, not exactly inviting for tourists looking for sunshine. The grey mist blends with the grey of the hunting tartan, excellent camouflage in days of yore.

      All the visitors who did reach us were suitably pleased, delighted and overwhelmed with what the Museum had to offer them free of charge! We are very much dependent on donations to allow further development or preservation of such a special personalised place. All those who ventured on to the Clanlands in car trips taking in castle and cairns loved getting the feeling of belonging to this beautiful area.

      2002 could well be the "cake walk" in comparison to all which we came through last year. (The Cake Walk is a very stylish dance and could well be performed at next year's Ball. Start practicing now!)

      All our figures were up on last year with sales of £5003, donations of £ 1634 and visitor numbers of 2183.

      As I write I am sitting in the Clan House with a Christmas tree twinkling and looking out on a perfect Christmas snow scene.

      I eventually moved in on the 2nd December and feel perfectly at home. Next year will be even more exciting as I shall be ready to welcome all for the Golden Jubilee of the opening of the Museum. I hope that you can all come.


      The following items have been donated to the Museum and I would acknowledge the kindness of the donor:
          1. Banner advertising the Clan Web Site at Highland Gatherings and elsewhere. Donated by George Ellis of California.
          2. Old Cluny's Sword. Donated following its purchase in the United States by financial donations from Association members. It is displayed in a show case specially made by Ben Raines of Texas.
          3. The Ellen Payne Library Plaque honouring the Association US Branch.


          4. Camanachd Association Cup winners cap 1913-14 presented to Thomas James Macpherson. Donated by Dr William John (Iain) Macpherson of Cambridge.
          5. Portrait of 1st Marquis of Montrose by Duncan Brown titled "Venture Faire". Donated by Alan,Younger of Cluny.
          6. Framed photograph of Cluny, Glentruim and Pitmain taken in 1985. Donated by            Alastair Macpherson of Pitmain.
          7. Portrait of Lt Col. Ewan Macpherson (1794-1859) of the 78th Highlanders and an Australian flag. Donated by Lt Col. John Macpherson of Australia.
          8. A piece of Popcom Rock with badge, being one of one million sold. Donated by Richard Barnes of Utah USA.
          9. A crystal, a symbol of peace from the Stewart Clan. Donated by Robert Donald Macpherson.


      The following items have been donated to the Museum Library and I would acknowledge the kindness of the donor:
           1. McPherson Family Tree-Ardnamurchan to Australia. Donated by Colleen and Peter Robinson and Rob Cook of Australia.
           2. Moidart among the Clanranalds by Father Charles MacDonald. A reprint of the 19th century original. Donated by Ewen S L MacPherson
           3. The Scots in Hawaii. Donated by Jack Raines of Texas.            4. The Bridge of Moonlight, a book of poems written and donated by the Rev Ewan MacPherson of Somerset.
           5. A scrapbook of Clan Events during 2000. Donated by Mrs Margaret Hambleton.
          6. The Clan Phail, the History of a People. Written and donated by John Mackfall.

      Many people have donated back numbers of "Creag Dhubh", "Urlar", and other Association publications, these can always be re-cycled.

      We shall always be happy to accept any Clan related family trees and other results of similar research that can be of huge value to serious minded family researchers.

      We would also appeal for copies of back numbers of any Association Branch Newsletters, they are of vast interest and keep us in touch with our cousins in all parts of the world.

      Please remember, when booking for the Gathering we need both Part A and Part B of the form. If you have already returned Part A without Part B, use Part B of the form in this edition and send it to Jan.

      Just to reiterate about tickets, they will not be available at the events. They must be picked up from the Registration desk in the Museum beforehand.

      It's going to be good, we look forward to seeing you.


By Rod Clarke, Trustee and Dìonadair
      The year 2001 has proven to be one of the most successful in the nearly 50 years of the Museum's existence. Since the last report we have installed a new Curator, successfully completed Project 2K2, embarked on a programme of upgrading the exhibits and completed plans for celebrating its Jubilee in August. In addition, we have raised sufficient funds to pay for all this despite the fact that one of the prospective grants of financial aid was not forthcoming.

      Let me address each of these causes for celebration in turn. But before I do, you should know that most of the information contained in this report was provided to me by Ewen MacPherson, the Convenor of the Museum Trustees who has dealt with all the problems of instructing the new Curator on her duties, dealing with the contractors performing the construction as well as several operational problems that have arisen throughout the year. All of this was accomplished in addition to his full-time employment that takes him to many places throughout the United Kingdom. We owe Ewen an enormous debt of gratitude for his service as we do as well for Bill Macpherson of Glenfarg, our Hon. Treasurer, who has struggled with and mastered the financial aspects associated with funding of the Museum operations when it often appeared that the money wouldn't be there when it was needed.

Andrew Retires, Olive Carries On
      The retirement of Andrew Macpherson on 21 October 2000 after serving as Curator for sixteen years was reported in the Creag Dhubh 2001. Also reported was Nancy's sad death just two days later after a siege of illnesses. But despite this loss Andrew carried on throughout the winter months keeping an eye on things for us until our new curator took charge of things.

      Olive Ann Ormiston was also introduced in Creag Dhubh 2001. She took up her appointment on 1st April 200 1, two days before work began to rehabilitate the Curator's flat. This work might have been started much earlier except for the fact that we had applied for a grant to the Scottish Museums' Council (SMQ) who had stipulated that no grant would be awarded if work had already begun on the project. It wasn't until late March that the SMC informed us that no grant would be awarded. However, the Moray, Badenoch & Strathspey Enterprise Company did award us a grant of £ 5000 despite the SMC turndown.

      With all the construction activity going on moving into the flat at that time was out of the question. How Mrs. Ormiston coped with this setback is described below. In the meantime Andrew left to visit his daughter who lives in Zimbabwe. He had returned to his home at 3 Glen Grove in Newtonmore in time for the Gathering and fully participated in the activities as he had in the past.

Project 2K2 Completed
      You'll recall that the 2K2 Project was undertaken to upgrade the Museum to (1) meet the certification requirements of the Scottish Museums Council and (2) make long overdue improvements to the building heating system and the Curator's flat.

      Construction of a new furnace room at the rear of the house and installing new heating equipment was the project's most expensive element. The price quoted in the tender for this work was £21K and the result is a modem and efficient heating plant that will serve both the Museum and the Curator's flat. This work included rehabilitation of the old furnace room so that it is now suitable for storing documents and relics currently not on display.

      Ewen managed to obtain four secure 4-drawer metal file cabinets gratis from his company and, with the collaboration of Bill Glenfarg, he hired a van to collect and deliver them to the Museum for installation in the Archive Centre. These storage units have already been placed in service and provide the needed security for valuable historic documents.

      You will recall that the video player and TV system that Monroe Macpherson created to tell the Clan Macpherson story was located in the Drumochter Room for many years. Because this


venue denied us the use of the display space of that room this equipment and the chairs were moved to where the curator used to do his administrative work at the start of the 2001 season and this proved to be most successful. The curator's position is now located in front of Na Dìonadairean plaque and this location has been found to be quite satisfactory.

Upgrading the Flat
      With the exception of adding double-glazed storm windows a few years ago, very little had been done to improve the flat for many years. The bathroom and kitchen were in a very poor state and the contractor told us that electrical circuits were "an accident waiting to happen."

      In addition, there were several problems with the radiators. But that's all rectified now -- the bathroom has been enlarged and modernised as has the kitchen, the electrical circuits have been corrected and all the radiators have been fitted with thermostatic controls.

      The cost quoted in the tender for the flat was £ 11,000. In an effort to save on costs, eight members of the Scottish Branch undertook to redecorate the flat over a weekend. As an incentive, prizes were offered for the best job and John and Iris Macpherson of Montrose were declared the winners. However, it turned out that there was more than a weekend's work to be done with the carpets rolled back, floor boards up, etc. and they were unable to finish the job. But a stalwart few returned two weeks later and finished the job. Our appreciation to the Scottish Branch for their hard work which saved us about £2,000.

Library Improvements
      Last year's report told of Jean and Gordon Duffy volunteering to make a computerized list of the books in the newly opened Library. Not only did they return in January to accomplish this task but they visited several other Museums in Scotland to get a proper understanding of how books should be classified They identified a system that seemed to best fit our needs and proceeded to employ this system in completing the task. All of this they explained in a comprehensive report that they wrote explaining the methods that they used and highlighting opportunities for improving the collection.

      The Library holdings are still quite small and limited in scope of what they should be if we are to become a recognised research facility. The Museum Advisory Committee addressed this issue at their Autumn Meeting and appointed a Library and Archives Sub-committee to establish guidelines for future accessions and proper care of the expanded collection. In this regard, clansfolk can help by reviewing their own libraries for potential donations to the Museum Library. Books dealing with Highland history and the clans are of particular interest.

Trials and Tribulations of the New Curator
      The only compensation that the Curator receives is the free use of the flat. As renovation of the flat began two days after Mrs. Ormiston started her new job, moving into the flat was not advisable. We are fortunate that she has been able to stay with her son in Kingussie while the work progressed and we have reimbursed her for the petrol she used going back and forth (no small expense at over £3 per gallon), long hours, and paid her the money we are saving on the Council tax by having the flat empty. In addition, she has been excused from duty on Sundays with one of the Trustees covering for her. Next season she will also have a half day off during the week (probably Thursday PM).

      Through all these trials and tribulations, Mrs. Ormiston has done an excellent job on our behalf. At times there was no electricity, water or heating in the building -- the latter for as long as two weeks. Despite these trials she has kept going and was actually showing people round by torchlight. The mess in the flat, car park and ground floor area has been dreadful and the workers, of course, had to use the downstairs toilet. In spite of all this, we've had positive unsolicited feedback from home and overseas visitors regarding the courteous and enthusiastic manner in which she has looked after them. Her knowledge of the local area and people is standing us in excellent stead.


Paying the Piper
      How have we paid for all this, you might ask? Since last year there have been twelve new Dìonadairean appointed. Among these are those underwritten by Cluny and Sheila who brought their three children and two grandchildren into the fold. Following their example to an extent, Marian and I did the same for our three grandchildren and Tokyo Bill McPherson did likewise for his son. Others joining this prestigious group are E. Rod Smith of London, Ontario; Jean and Gordon Duffy of Gualala, California; and Martha McMahan of Concord, North Carolina. That brings to 22 the number of Dionadairean that have been appointed since the first plaque was unveiled in 1995 and their gifts amount to around £15000. You'll find the names of the new 22 listed below. Normally, these funds would be invested and only the earnings used to support the Museum. However, because of the unusual circumstances, each of the donors agreed that their contributions could be used to complete Project 2K2.

      Last year's report told of the generosity of the late Helen MacPherson Thompson and Lillian McPherson Rouse. Their gifts amount to nearly £ 13,800. Then there is the $100 per month that John Charles Macpherson is contributing to the Museum in perpetuity. Others contributing to the 2K2 Project were donations of £2,000 from the AIS (Archie) Macpherson Charitable Trust and £ 1000 from the Canadian Branch. Except for the grant from the Local Enterprise Council we were able to underwrite the 2K.2 project with our own resources and this is an accomplishment that makes me very proud.

Credit Cards Accepted
      The Clan Museum store now has the capability to accept payment for purchases from holders of MasterCard and Visa charge cards. The minimum transaction is £10. We do not have a secure site for e-mail orders, but transmission of card number and related information can be done securely via fax or voice. The voice and fax numbers are the same 01540 673332. Of course, overseas callers need to replace the first 0 number with overseas line access and country code numbers. For the US and Canada these are 0 11 44.

New Exhibits Planned       Several new exhibits are in the planning stages as I write this report in October 2001. If all goes well, I think you will be pleased with what you will find when the new Museum features are unveiled on 2 August 2002. I hope to see you there.


By Olive Ormiston
      The Camanachd Association Challenge Cup is the major trophy in the calendar of the famous Highland sport of shinty. The 1913-14 season final was held between Kingussie and Kyles Athletic at Possilpark in Glasgow with Kingussie emerging as the winners by a score of 6 to 1. The following has been reproduced ftom Kingussie and the Cama (1994) by kind permission of John Robertson.

      "William Wolfenden, the Club President, presided over one of the most emotional gatherings of shinty players the Kingussie club had ever known. The Camanachd Association Challenge Cup took pride of place, in the centre of the table, in front of him and the team from 1914 sat round about. Five players were missing. The meeting had been postponed several times because the club's chieftain, the Count de Serra Largo, had been unable to attend but that evening he had travelled to Kingussie from his home at Tarlogie near Tain. The purpose of the meeting was to give the chieftain the opportunity to present caps to the members of the winning team from 1914, as he felt that shinty should follow the example set by football and award commemorative caps to players.

      The ceremony took place in the dining room of the Star Hotel on Monday, 10th November, 1919. It was perhaps the most appropriate day possible as it was the eve of the anniversary of the day when the fighting ceased. One year earlier at 5.00pm, Germany signed the armistice terms of the Allies and six hours later at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the fighting stopped, The Count de Serra Largo spoke of how the five players missing had given their lives for their country and of how many of the players present had 'gone over the top' during the war. In the shinty world most clubs had lost players and the Beauly club was reported to have lost as many as 25 men. In Skye and Tighnabruaich the shinty clubs lost 18 of their players. In Kingussie the five players who died were Alick B Tolmie, Malcolm McIntosh, Lewis J Macpherson, John Macpherson and the team captain, William Macgillivray. The club's chieftain presented caps to representatives of each of the five players and then handed over a cap to the other seven members of the team: Ewan Ormiston, William J Macpherson, Alistair D Dallas, Finlay I Maclean, Thomas J Macpherson, John Mackintosh and Angus G Mackintosh. The Count concluded his speech by toasting Kingussie Camanachd Club and proposed the health of John C Dallas, who he congratulated on his election to the office of Kingussie Provost.

      Several other speeches followed, all of them tinged with a note of sadness for their friends who had fallen in the war. Towards the end of the evening, Jeremiah Macpherson played some stirring bagpipe tunes and the proceedings were brought to a close with a rendition of 'Auld Lang Syne'."

      Readers may be intrigued as to who the Count de Serra Largo was and why he was the President of the Kingussie Shinty Club. Peter Alexander Cameron Mackenzie was born in Kingussie on the 12 th August 1856 and educated in Glasgow. He travelled extensively all over the world, particularly in South America, on behalf of the Singer Manufacturing Company. In 1894 the King of Portugal, Dom Carlos made Peter Mackenzie a Viscount for services to the Portuguese people living in Brazil and he was made a Count two years later.

      In June 2001, I was delighted to receive on behalf of the Clan Macpherson Museum the commemorative cap presented to Thomas James Macpherson on the 10th November 1919. The cap, embroidered with the club badge and 1913-14 season, is in claret velvet with gold tassel and braiding and with the size 6 7/8 ticket still intact. His son, Dr. William John (Iain) Macpherson of Cambridge, England, has gifted the cap to the Clan Museum.

      To conclude on a personal note, one of the surviving players along with Thomas James Macpherson, was my late father-in-law, Ewan Ormiston.


By Rory Mor
      For many years now, Clansfolk have had the opportunity to participate in a walk to some place of Clan interest on the Monday of the Gathering. This year's Monday had one good thing going for it -- it wasn't raining as it had been on Sunday, so much that the tea at Balavil House had to be served indoors. Of course, it was a great treat to be munching cucumber sandwiches in a Robert Adam dining room. Despite the grey day, fifteen smiling faces gathered at the Museum parking lot to learn the destination that our intrepid leader and walk organiser, Sandy Macpherson, had chosen for us. He had been rather circumspect on the subject all weekend, and when queried on the subject, had always replied "just wait and see".

      But on Monday he could withhold our destination no longer -- he must tell us now. His response this time was "The Red Well". "Where in Heaven's name is that?" we asked. Inscrutably, he responded "Just wait and see". We were a "devil may care" lot that day and it did not really matter where we were heading just so long as it wasn't as arduous as the trek to Ardverikie four years earlier as related in the Creag Dhubh for 1998.

      As usually is the case the first leg of the trek is by auto in deference to those who are not as stalwart as they once were. Out of the parking lot and eastward along the Newtonmore High Street we went, turning left at the Post Office and proceeding up the hill past the Craggan of Clune to Strone, the name of the farm where the walking part of our journey was to begin. At that moment a ray of sun peeped through the overcast but only for a moment. Nevertheless, it was a good sign.

      Here we were joined by further contingents who brought our numbers up to twenty three.

      Leaving the cars we headed out in file in a northerly direction along a rough track that shows as a road on the map, but is not a road I'd trust my car to traverse. However it was a gentle incline and thus no great strain on arthritic knees. To give you some idea of how gentle, recall that the elevation of the Newtonmore High Street is 245 metres. Strone lies just below 300 metres. Before long the track crossed Alt na Feithe Buidhe (Yellow Bog Bum) at 360 metres and travelled another two kilometres before we reached 400 metres elevation. At about this point the bum exhibits a delightful little cataract (eas) and a noticeable increase in the lustiness of


the vegetation. As it is August, the lushness includes many varieties of wild flowers as well as grass and bracken.

      Off to the west we can see Creag an Loin (Crag of the Meal) at 547 metres. (In searching for the translation of loin in Dwelly's Dictionary I found his observation that the Gaels of old, like other primitive societies, had but one meal each day, terms such as badh (breakfast), bnaidhnoin (luncheon) and dinneir (dinner) are modem introductions). Off to the east is Creag Dhubh at 787 metres but this is not the same Creag Dhubh which holds Cluny's Cave and lies to the west of Newtonmore. That Creag is also over 700 metres high and suggests that the Gaels of old didn't worry too much about redundancy.

      Soon after passing an eas the trek had reached 450 meters and steepened dramatically to about 100 metres per kilometre. But we had not far to go before Sandy stopped and pointed downward. Here the track was some 20 metres above the stream bed. To the far side of it by 2 or 3 metres was a small caim, no more than a metre high. Leading away was a reddish streak of water that ran down to the bum. "The Red Well?" we asked "Aye" said Sandy.

      The agile amongst us could not be satisfied by just viewing from afar, they had to inspect at close hand and in some cases taste the effluent. "Rusty nails!" said Christopher, Sandy's nine year old grandson. Of course, it was iron deposits in the water that caused its reddishness and tinged the surrounding soil. That explains the "red" part of the name but why is it called a well? Wouldn't a spring be a better description? No one seemed to know.

      I was not among those whose curiosity impelled them to inspect the well at close quarters. I was perfectly content to sit on the heather at the top of the steep embankment and watch. It was a good excuse for resting and I made the most of it. Soon we were retracing our steps and it wasn't long before we came on the "Angel of the Trail"- Catherine Macpherson with her boot lid raised to dispense scones with jam and a dram to the "not so weary" trekkers. We took full advantage of her offerings. It was a pleasurable conclusion to a delightful stroll into the Monadhliath to see An Tobar Dearg (The Red Well)

The Highland Society of London:       Sir Thomas Macpherson of Biallid is the current President of the Highland Society of London, a prestigious and long-established body. At their Annual Dinner on 21 March 2001, the Toast to "The Immortal Memory of General Sir Ralph Abercromby and all Scotsmen who have fallen in the defence of their Country" was given by Mr Rory Macpherson.

A Future Nobel Prize Winner?
      David McPherson, the founder of HN Products of Inverness, has developed a midge repellent to be applied in the form of an ointment or spray, which he claims can kill midges. The product contains extracts from heather and bog myrtle. This could be the answer to that Scourge of the Highlands, Culiciodes Impunctatus, which makes the life of the tourist to the Highlands in summer a misery.

Californian Official State Tartan:
      Senator Bruce McPherson presented a Bill to the Californian Senate in July 2001 to establish an official State Tartan for California. Wearing Highland dress with a Macpherson kilt for the occasion he reminded his fellow, Senators of the many contributions made by Scots to their State over the years. The new tartan contains blue and green, representing the sky and waterways and mountains and can be wom by Californians of Scottish descent. Senator McPherson was supported by other members of the local Scots community and also by pipers from the City of Sacramento Pipe Band who played to the Senate.

Scotland wins the Calcutta Cup:
      "Scotland on Sunday" listed among its feature "100 Greatest Sporting Moments" the occasion in March 1924, when the Scottish Rugby team, captained by GPS Macpherson,


defeated England by 14 points to 11, to celebrate the opening of the new stadium at Murrayfield, Edinburgh by winning the Calcutta Cup. GPS Macpherson is commemorated by the clock tower standing by the Murrayfield east terracing.

Good News for Drinkers:
      According to an article in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health by Annie Britton and Klim McPherson drinking alcohol saves about 10,000 more lives in Britain than it costs. If everybody stopped drinking, deaths would increase 2.8% among men and 0.9% in women. Because drinking reduces the risk of dying from heart disease, an important cause of death, especially among men, it outweighs increases in other causes of death made more likely by drinking.

The National Trust for Scotland:
      Sandy Macpherson, former Chairman of the Clan Macpherson Association, has been elected a member of the Council of the National Trust for Scotland, Scotland's leading conservation charity.

Open Air Theatre in Broughty Ferry:
      In July 2001 the premiere production of "Blood on the Tay", a play written by Euan Macpherson, based on the siege of Broughty Ferry Castle from 1547 to 1550, was staged in the grounds of the Castle. A local Dundee writer, Euan, who has done a great deal of historical research into the event, the longest recorded siege in British history, hopes that this production will spark off interest into the tourist attractions of Dundee and district.

"Monarch of the Glen":
      Readers resident in Great Britain will be familiar with the series running on BBC television over the last few years, the "Monarch of the Glen" which has borrowed its title, though not the plot, from Sir Compton Mackenzie's comedy of Highland life.

      It is common knowledge that this series is largely filmed in and around Ardverikie on Loch Laggan, originally owned by the Macpherson Chiefs. A photograph is published here of Olive Ormiston, our Curator, in front of the Clan Museum, transformed for the day's filming into the Glenbogle Tea Rooms and Post Office. We still have to lure the cameras into the Museum where we can show the viewers that the Macphersons can show the MacDonalds a thing or two any day!

      In an interview in the "Radio Times" Hamish Clark, one of the stars of the series, who attended last year's Newtonmore Highland Games, says "Macpherson is the big clan around here, and the Clarks are part of the Macpherson Clan, so it was quite something for me to see the Macpherson men walk across the Spey in full fig-bearded Highlanders from Toronto and young guys with green hair and nose studs all together. And it was important to them. They didn't see it as some archaic fun ritual; all those "Monarch of the Glen" things about responsibility and birthright still matter up here"

News from one of our Clan Pipers       Ewan A. Macpherson (son of Dr. Alan G.) of Ann Arbor, Michigan, completed a successful summer of bagpipe competition in 2001. He won amateur piobaireachd events at the Ohio, Chicago, Detroit, and Ligonier (Pennsylvania) Highland games, and for the first of these was awarded the MacCrimmon Quaich by the U.S. Clan MacLeod Society. He was named Grade II Piper of the Day at the Indiana, Ohio, and Detroit games, and won the Advanced Piobaireachd Champion Supreme award from the Mid-West Pipe Band Association. He served as Pipe Major of the Gr. IV Ann Arbor Pipes and Drums who also won several prizes over the course of the season.

Congratulations to Two Williams       William McPherson of Hopeman, Moray, Scotland on reaching the grand age of 100. He has lived in Hopeman for all 100 years. Also to Rev. Willie McPherson Minister of Bo'ness Old Kirk, on his epic voyage for charity from Scotland to Peru in an ex-Navy Tender. See Web site www.amazonferry.com for full details.


By Alan G. Macpherson

      In Creag Dhubh No. 52, 2000, the article "More World-Wide Macphersons: the Surname as Placename" widened the scope of Sandy Macpherson's enquiry in Creag Dhubh No. 46, 1994, and focussed attention on Canada and Australia as the parts of the world where the placename is most prevalent. In this article an attempt will be made to present a comprehensive list of the Macpherson placenames in Canada, organised by province, providing information on location and history and commenting on incidence, prevalence and provenance. It will also demonstrate the different motivations behind the naming of Macpherson places and physical features: whether they reflect local traditions, bureaucratic imposition, or commemoration of individual persons, famous or otherwise.

      Newfoundland was Britain's oldest overseas colony and is Canada's youngest province, having joined the Canadian confederation in 1949. Although it drew a vigorous merchant elite from Scotland to St John's in American Revolutionary and Napoleonic times, and a body of Nova Scotian Highlanders in mid-nineteenth century to its southwest coast -- both groups including some of our clansfolk -- it remains the least Scottish of the Canadian provinces. The island part of the province provides no instance of a Macpherson placename, but there is unofficial record of two on the Labrador coast:
            McPherson Brook and McPherson Rock, physical features in Table Bay and Table Bay Harbour, east of Cape North and eighteen miles east of Cartwright. McPherson's Brook is a short stream entering the head of Table Bay Harbour. They are local names referring to a Nova Scotian salmonier, McPherson, a seasonal interloper who, around 1815, was allowed to settle as a planter and build a house at Cellar Point in the Harbour by Circuit Court order on condition that he obtain supplies from British vessels rather than Nova Scotian for his commercial salmon fishery. McPherson's Rock is where he wrecked his small boat and where he drowned afler rescuing a young lad who was with him. [Lynne D. Fitzhugh, The Labradorians: Voices from the Land of Cain: 134-136, 139, 146. Breakwater, St John's, 1999] His full identity is unknown.

      Prince Edward Island, like Nova Scotia, was deeply influenced by Scottish Highland immigration. The smallest of the Canadian provinces, it contains four instances where our surname denotes a physical feature in the Island landscape:
            MacPherson's Cove and MacPherson's Pond, in Lot 55, King's County [46-deg 04'N; 62-deg 25'W]. Macpherson's Cove is in Boughton Bay and in the vicinity of land owned by Donald and Charles McPherson in 1880, according to Alan Rayburn: Geographical Names of Prince Edward Island, p. 83. The official location, however, placed it behind the Sandy Beach known as Old Ferry Spit where Lewis McPherson owned property.

           MacPherson's Pond, in Lot 6 1, King's County [46-deg 04'N; 62-deg 40'W]. MacPherson's Pond lies on the south side of Highway 318 about one mile west of the Queen's County line and about 21/2 miles east of Glenmartin. In 1880 several farm lots in its vicinity were held by settlers bearing the surname.

            McPherson Creek, in Lots 62 and 64, King's and Queen's Counties [45-deg 58'N; 62-deg 40'W], flows southwest into Northumberland Strait. In 1880 it was known as Little Sands Creek, but it flowed through land owned by Donald McPherson and, in 1925, by John McPherson.

      Note: All of these placenames refer to McPherson families who participated in the large emigration from the Isle of Skye to the Lots or townships in the eastern parts of Prince Edward Island.

      Manitoba is the oldest of the Prairie Provinces, born of the fur trade, the farming frontier and the railway. The clan surname occurs as a placename in six instances, in all cases in the Shield country beyond the limits of agriculture, where physical features, hitherto unnamed, were officially named to commemorate service men killed in World War II:


           McPherson Point [59-deg 37'47"N; 101-deg 04'16"W], in the far northwest comer of the province. This feature was named on March 24, 1995 in honour of Sergeant John Roderick McPherson of Winnipeg, of No. 113 Canadian Hudson Squadron, lost on the 2nd June 1942, listed on the Ottawa War Memorial. He was born 28 July 1917 in Winnipeg, the youngest son of Peter McPherson and Minnie Ann Toye, and was married to Maeve Renahan. A pilot in the RCAF, stationed on the east coast, he went out on a scouting mission and failed to return. His grandfather was born in Missouri in 1869, the son of Peter McPherson (1833-1894), son of Donald (1786-1870) and Susan Graham; Donald was buried in Fort William, Scotland, and was the son of Ewan McPherson (1745-1820). Donald and Susan were married in Kilmallie parish, Argyll, 31 Dec. 1822; two children were baptised there, two more in Ballachulish & Corran of Ardgour, and a fifth back in Kilmallie in 1841, but there is no record of Peters birth or baptism.

          McPherson Lake [57-deg 22'55"N; 99-deg 20'47"W], a lake northeast of the mining centre of Lynn Lake and southeast of Big Sand Lake. The name was adopted by the Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names, 14 March 1963, to commemorate Harold George McPherson, Stoker First Class, Royal Canadian Navy, of Winnipeg, who served on HMCS Algerine; killed on the 14th November 1942 and buried at Bejaia, Reuncon, Algeria.

           McPherson Bay [55-deg 58'4 1 "N; 96-deg 35'39"W], a bay of Split Lake on the Nelson River, named on the 3 1 st March 1995 to commemorate Pilot Officer Murray Langtry McPherson of Myrtle, of No. 626 Lancaster Squadron, who died on the 25 th April 1944 and was buried in Brookfield Military Cemetery, Surrey, England. He was born 10 November 1921 in the Rural Municipality of Roland, Manitoba, the only son of Donald Grant McPherson, farmer, and Annie Maud Langtry, and grandson of Donald McPherson (d. 1891) who farmed at Bronte, Halton Co., Ontario.

          Macpherson Island [59-deg 56'N; 97-deg 42'30"W], an island in Farnie Lake, named on the 13th December 1985 to honour the memory of Flying Officer Donald James Macpherson and Warrant Officer (Class 2) Norman Macpherson, brothers. Donald was an Observer with No. 45 Wellington Squadron and No. 150 Aiei Anomen Squadron; he was killed 9 Nov. 1942, aged 21, on a bombing flight targeting Hamburg and was buried at Jonkerbos, Nijmegen, Holland. Norman was a pilot in the No. 410 Cougar (Beaufighter) Squadron; he died in an air crash one mile north of the acrodrome at Ayr, Scotland, aged 22, 1 Sept. 1942, and was buried with his crew at Ayr.

           McPherson Island [56-deg 34'43"N; -deg 100'41'55"W], an island in Willis Lake, an enlargement of the Churchill River, named on the 20th February 1995 to commemorate Flying Officer William Hugh McPherson of St Vital, Winnipeg, a pilot in No. 434 Halifax Squadron who was lost on the 15th February 1944 during a I 000-bomber raid over Berlin and is listed on the Runnymede Memorial, England. He was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, May 16, 192 1, but in 1926 his family moved to Winnipeg where he was a piper with the Cameron Highlanders' Cadet Band and a successful competitor in the Scottish Games. His father, George Bruce McPherson, was born at Spittal, Caithness, in 1889, emigrated to Manitoba in 1909, and served in France in the First World War; his mother Margaret Ross of Richibucto, N.B. His grandfather was Alexander McPherson.

           McPherson Peninsula (59-deg 48'22"N; 99-deg 25'10"W], a peninsula in Nueltin Lake which lies athwart the 60th boundary parallel, named on the 28th February 1995 to commemorate Rifleman Rudolph McPherson, Royal Winnipeg Rifles, killed 27th September 1944 and buried in the Canadian War Cemetery at Calais, France.

      Saskatchewan, the archetypal prairie province, was carved out of the federal North West Territories in 1905 and was opened to settlement with the arrival of the railway. As in the case of Manitoba, the clan surname is represented by six commemorative placenames: five attached

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to physical features in the Shield region which occupies the northern half of the province, and one close to Saskatoon:
           Macpherson Lake [59-deg 33N; 108-deg 03'W], a lake in the far northwest comer of the province, was named 22 Aug. 1967 to honour the memory of Gnr, James H. McPherson of Prince Albert who died on the 291h November 1940.

           Macpherson Lake [57-deg 28'N; 104-deg 1 5'W], a lake in the centre of the province north of the Churchill River, was named 27 Feb. 1964 to honour the memory of Flight Sergeant Joseph C. McPherson of Wawota, Saskatchewan. He was a son of Malcolm Joseph McPherson, one of the original settlers of the St Andrews district south of Wapella who arrived from Benbecula in 1883 and who died at the age of 83.

           McPherson Lake [59-deg 25N; 103-deg 15'W] 5'W], a lake named to honour the memory of Tpr. James Forbes McPherson who died of wounds on the 24 th September 1944 while fighting with the Lord Strathcona Horse Regiment on the Gothic Line in Italy, and was buried in the Gradara Cemetery between Rimini and Pesaro. He was born at Bredenbury, Saskatchewan, on the 21st September 1922 to Duncan and Laura McPherson.

           McPherson Lake [56-deg 30N; 105-deg 15'W], a lake named after Murdoch Alexander McPherson, Q.C., Attorney General (1929-34) and Provincial Treasurer (1931-34) of Saskatchewan. Born 16 April 1891 to Alexander MacPherson and Margaret Campbell at Grande Anse, Nova Scotia, Murdoch moved to Swift Current, Saskatchewan, in 1913 with a Dalhousie law degree. He served in the 209th Infantry Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in France from 1916 and was wounded at Arleux in April 1917 as company commander with the 10 th Battalion. He chaired the Royal Commission on Freight Rates, 1959-61.

           MacPherson Bay [55-deg 21'N; 104-deg 28'W], a bay in Iskwatikan Lake, was named 3 d Feb. 1950 to honour the memory of Capt. Ian Edgar MacPherson who served in the 7th Gurkhas in Burma as part of Orde Wingate's Chindit force behind the Japanese lines and was killed commanding a Gurkha commando in the invasion of central Burma on the I 8th April 1944. He was born in Regina on the 7 th June 1920, a younger son of the Hon. Murdoch Alexander MacPherson [q.v.]

           Macpherson Island [51-deg 57N; 106-deg 47'W], an island in the South Saskatchewan River near Saskatoon in Township 34, Range 6, West of the 3 rd Meridian, named on the 3 d July 1963 after Angus W. Macpherson (1888-1955), Mayor of Saskatoon, 1944-48. He was born in Orangeville, Ontario, and moved to Moose Jaw in 1912 and to Saskatoon in 1931.

      It is also represented once in the survey settlement nomenclature, the only instance in the Prairie Provinces:
           Glen McPherson, a rural municipality (576 sq. miles) straddling the Pinto Butte in the headwaters of the Wood River cast of the Cypress Hills in southern Saskatchewan. It includes the unincorporated village of Reliance, It took its name from a former post office located on Lot 3 1, Township 5, Range III West of the 3 d Meridian, which was named after a family of early settlers in the district. [E. T. Russell: What's in a Name: The Story Behind Saskatchewan Place Names (3 d Edition), p. 123 ].

      Alberta was also carved from the North West Territories in 1905. To the fur trade, the farm frontier, and the railway it can add oil as a factor in its development. The economic axis of the province is the foothills corridor between Edmonton and Calgary, just east of the Rockies. The provincial toponymy includes three instances where the clan surname was used as a placename:
           McPherson Creek [53-deg 22'N; 117-deg 13'W] flows cast into the McLeod River. The locally established name came from the operations of the McPherson & Quigley Lumber Company in this watershed in 1925. It lies in Section 36, Range 50, Township 23, Meridian W5, west-southwest of Edmonton and near Jasper National Park. [Gazetteer of Canada: Alberta: 89, Ottawa 1974; E.J. & P.M., Over 2000 Placenames of

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Alberta: 119 (1973); Aphrodite Karamitsanis, Placenames of Alberta, Vol.I Mountains, Mountain Parks and Foothills: 161 (1991)]

           McPherson Coulee [51-deg 27'N;114-deg 17'W] , about twenty miles north of Calgary, northwest of Airdrie. This is probably the most intriguing Macpherson placename in Canada. It bears the name of Addison McPherson. Of Scottish descent, Addison McPherson was born in Virginia in 1845 or '46, had been orphaned at an early age and adopted by an uncle, but had run away as soon as he was old enough. Of compact build and medium height, with red hair, blue eyes and a tilted nose, he had operated a bull-train across the United States as a young man, trading as he moved westward, and had settled for a while in Montana where he traded with Indians for furs. He had crossed into British territory in 1867, preConfederation, and had used Fort McLeod as a trading base for trips through Pincher Creek and the Crow's Nest Pass, and east through Coal Banks.

Eventually his bull-team freight service extended to Fort Edmonton, and from there to Winnipeg where he met and married Melanie McGillis, a metisse of Scots and Cree descent, a granddaughter of Angus McGillis, a North West Company clerk. Thinking his wife too young to accompany him back west, be had had her enrolled in the Grey Nuns' School for Young Ladies at St Boniface, across the Red River from Winnipeg, where she was taught sewing, gardening, cooking and painting. He conducted a buffalo-hunting operation south of Fort Edmonton in 1872 and pioneered a post near Carstairs north of Calgary prior to the celebrated arrival of the North West Mounted Police in June 1874. The Coulee was a wintering base for McPherson's buffalo hunters.

In 1877 he purchased 83 acres in the N.E. quarter of section 14-24-1-W5, located near the confluence of Nose Creek and the Bow River, and became the first settler north of the Bow at Calgary. In 1883 he led a party from Red Deer via Calgary and Medicine Hat to the N.W.M.P. headquarters at Fort Walsh in the Cypress Hills in the southwestern comer of Saskatchewan, where two thousand Indians and two or three old-timers who knew Ad. gave a dance in his honour" [W.F. Bredin, "Far West and Far North", Alberta Historical Review, 19(3):12. See also 4(1): 11; 6(3):26; 6(4):8 -9] With the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in Calgary in 1883 Addison McPherson and his partner John Coleman obtained the contract to carry the Royal Mail between that railhead and Edmonton every two weeks; their wagons also carried light freight and passengers [Hugh A. Dempsey, "The Calgary-Edmonton Trail", Alberta Historical Review, 7(4):18]. In 1899 he purchased section 8-20-2-W5 from the Hudson's Bay Company, and developed the Black Diamond coal-mine. He added the SE quarter of section 18-20-2-W% in July 1901 (patented in 1910), and became a naturalized British Subject on November 3, 1901. He was also the first to raise hard-kernel wheat west of the Big Rock. Always a prospector, Addison McPherson's last exploit was to sell up all his assets: cattle, the coalmine, etc. and invest in the risky business of oil-drilling. He died in Calgary in July 1929 aged 83 and deep in debt. ["Addison McPherson" by M. C. Kipling in In the Light of the Flares: the story of Turner Valley oilfields, compiled by the Sheep River Historical Society, Turner Valley, Alberta, 1979: 555-557; and "About Ad McPherson" on the Black Diamond History website www.town.blackdiamond.ab.ca/history.htm 1 and 2]

          McPherson [56-deg 03'N; 116'1 -deg 01'W], a locality

(To be continued)


By Bill Macpherson
      Deep in the deserts of the interior of Western Australia is the rock called McPherson's Pillar, over 500km from the nearest mining town and 200km from the nearest aboriginal settlement. If it were placed beside a mountain it would be insignificant but, on the flat Gibson Desert, it can be seen for forty kilometres. The Pillar is named after Gillies Macpherson, who has been described as one of the great explorer-prospectors of the Western Australian goldfields and one of the giants of the WA gold trails.

      No one unfamiliar with the interior of Western Australia can appreciate the amount of effort, endurance and planning that Macpherson and his associates must have put into their prospecting and exploration. The lack of water, extremes of temperature, and general harshness of the landscape demanded teamwork and self-discipline. A good atlas will give you some idea of what a prospector had to tolerate, and will help you follow this story. Where the map shows little sign of civilisation today, the conditions are sure to be harsh. A lake on the map will certainly be a vast expanse of salt, holding water only on the rare occasions when a tropical hurricane penetrates far enough to bring rain. A great many men died from exposure or disease in the gold-rushes, but Macpherson was unusual in that he not only survived, but also prospered as a prospector.

      He is a truly legendary figure, because most of what has been written about him is anecdotes and interviews with early prospectors, some recorded fifty years after the events. But fragments of his life were recorded in actual news reports as they happened.

      Any mentions of his origins say that he was Scottish. The indefatigable Alan G Macpherson, of Newfoundland in Canada tells me that Gillies Macpherson was bom 1st February 1844, the son of Graham and Isabell, at the Dalwhinnie Inn where his unmarried parents were employed. The inn was at the head of the pass from the south into the upper Spey valley, a bleak and dangerous spot in mid-winter. This would explain why his christening was delayed until 9th


April 1844. His father Graham Macpherson had been born on 1st February 1820 on the small farm of Drumgalvie, above the Braes of Ruthven and the town of Kingussie, and his parents were Donald and Janet McPherson. According to Gillies Macpherson's Marriage Certificate, his father Graham eventually became a postmaster.

      Alan G Macpherson has also found that Gillies Macpherson arrived in Queensland, Australia at the age of 29 in 1873. His prospecting in Australia is said to have started on the Queensland goldfields, and continued in the tin deposits at Greenbushes in the temperate forests of the South West. Rumour has it that he was at the Kimberley goldfield, near Darwin in tropical northern Australia, in its heyday about 1885. The climate there must have been a shock after the southern forests.

      By 1887, he was prospecting successfully with companions in the new goldfield around Southern Cross, on the edge of the deserts, but they also found gold as far as 300km eastwards, past present-day Kalgoorlie. They survived with camels and horses, and with an aboriginal guide to find the rare waterholes and to keep the peace with local nomads. There is an often-repeated story that, about then, he ran out of water while prospecting near present-day Coolgardie with only a guide and several horses. The most colourful version is that all but one of the horses had to be killed and that the guide had to tie Macpherson to the last horse to lead him from the wilderness. They stumbled upon the camp of Arthur Bayley, who gave them help and to whom Macpherson described where he had found a rich gold deposit. During the next mild summer, five years later, Bayley followed the lead and discovered the fabulous Coolgardie goldfield.

      By 1890, Gillies McPherson was exploring the Murchison goldfield, 450km inland from the

port of Geraldton. He and his partner later admitted to having recovered 300 ounces of rich ore at one site, and 500 ounces at another. These early prospectors have been described as being "really gamblers, using the winnings from one venture to finance the next".

      At the time of the Coolgardie strike in 1892, Macpherson and friends were prospecting in the wilderness between present-day Ravensthorpe and Norseman. In November 1892, when he was 48 years old, Gillies Macpherson married 22year-old Elizabeth Wisbey in the South West port of Bunbury. Her father Charles was the Mayor of Bunbury. The newspaper report said that the groom was "one of the most successful gold prospectors in the colony and had acquired considerable wealth from the mines". It also stated that the couple would travel to England and to the Chicago Exhibition, before setting up house. Thirteen months later Elizabeth Macpherson died leaving a two-week-old son. And one month later the boy died. The boy's names, Donald Graham, were the names of Gillies' paternal grandfather and father respectively. The few known photographs of Gillies McPherson show him to be stocky, almost portly, with a full black beard. Apart from the wildness of his beard, he could pass for an affable publican or your favourite uncle. ----------------------------------------------------------------24--------------------------------------------------------------

      After the funerals, Macpherson was back prospecting out from Southern Cross, again with his regular team of companions. Then, in 1895, they loaded six months' supplies onto their camels and trekked across the central deserts from the Murchison goldfields. Near the Northern Territory border their camels ate poison shrubs and, by the time they had recovered, there were insufficient supplies for a return to the west coast. The party continued to Alice Springs and returned to Western Australia by cart, train and ship.

      I have seen no further report on the activities of Gillies Macpherson, except for an 1898 news item that "the veteran prospector W McPherson" had left the Eastern States for the Klondyke goldfields of North West Canada. Ten years later, one of his former companions reported that Macpherson's whereabouts were unknown. After another twenty years, for the first time, a newspaper column of reminiscences suggested that he had died on the Klondyke and, much later, it was said that Macpherson had died in the snow somewhere beyond Dawson City. If this is true, then the man appears to have been born in the snow and died in the snow.

      The man must have had incredible endurance and determination to come from the bleak Dalwhinnie Inn to trek through the deserts of Western Australia, where temperatures can exceed 50-deg . Centigrade in the shade, if any can be found. Many others did the same, but few of them repeatedly found gold and survived.

      The name of Gillies Macpherson is commemorated in the Western Australian landmark of McPherson's Pillar. It was named in 1896 by the Scottish explorer David Carnegie out of respect for Macpherson's achievements. It stands out from the Gibson Desert, near the Northern Territory and South Australian borders and near the route of his last great trek across the central deserts. Carnegie described it as "a huge square block of red rock, planted on top of a conicat mound, perhaps 50 feet high", dominating the surrounding flat parched country. As the author Malcolm Uren has said, "No artist could have conceived a more fitting memorial to Gillies McPherson". Footnote: I can supply further detail by e-mail to anyone contacting me at:



Note: three pages dedicated to registering for the 2002 Gathering have been excluded.







By John L Macpherson (Mittagong, Australia)

Editor's Note:
The original letter which is copied below is in the possession of Mr Graham Clark of St Albans, who has kindly given permission for its publication in "Creag Dhubh"

The commentary is by Lt Col John L Macpherson of Australia, a great-great-great grandson of the letter writer. The career of Herbert Macpherson who won the Victoria Cross during the Indian Mutiny has been described in the 1986 and 1988 issues of "Creag Dhubh"

Capn. Macpherson
78" Regt.
Thorn Cliffe
Inverness 15th. July 1805

My Dear Duncan,
      I have been here with the Culloden Battn. of Vols. a fortnight this day and old as I am, were my mind free from other cares, I would like military duty very well & could pass my time very agreeably. We attend Drill from 5 till 9 in the morning; we dine at four & go to Drill at half past 5 where we continue till 9 in the evening; so that we have but little time at the Bottle, which I am very glad of, as much drink would soon render me unfit for any useful purpose. I have all the time between Breakfast & Dinner to write Letters, read & ride -- in short I pass my time here very much to my mind. -- I went home last Friday where I found your Mother and all well thank God -- I went to Cawdor on Saturday where my poor old Mother has been for a month past -- she is much better in her health than when you left us -- the weather has been remarkably warm, of late, & we have the prospect of an abundant Crop; and I trust there will be a brisk demand for Cattle soon, in which I am much interested, as I must sell off £200 worth in the course of a few weeks, to keep my Credit.

      I have had no letter from George since this time last year, but I think I told in my last that, Niel Smith, in a Letter of date 10th May, informed that George had returned from Malta to the Canopus & that he was in good health. The poor fellow would find two great Blanks in the Canopus by Adml. Campbells having come home for his health and his Cousin Smith having been appointed to Lord Nelsons Ship; but I trust the honest fellow will work his way, if it please God to preserve him -- your Mother and all of us will be very anxious till we hear from or of him. -- No letter from Charles since I wrote to you last, but I believe the Paulette is expected soon in England.

      James has hitherto been very unsuccessful on the recruiting service as well as myself, -- in consequence of my promise to Brigr. General Mackenzie, before James was Gazetted in the 78th I have done everything in my power in order to get sorne good Recruits for that Regt. but I have been disappointed of some good men of my own Volr. Company, who took on in the artillery, as usual. Angus McPherson here told me to say that he will deliver a good recruit to me to-morrow -1 have him & three others on the look out and I trust some good Recruits will be got soon. -- James is ordered to take charge of the party here after the 24 th to relieve Lieut. Bowes who is ordered to join, and my good Friend Adjutant Nicolson promises to give him all the assistance in his power. -- I have frequently mentioned to you my Obligation to Mr. Nicolson. I am very sorry to hear that his son Lieut. Nicolson has behaved himself so very improperly as to have forfeited the good opinion of Col. Macleod, who has written to his father expressing his wish that he should retire upon the half pay or something of that sort. The honest man, who has done every thing in his power for this son of his, is much grieved & vexed that he should have behaved in such a disgraceful manner, and poor Mrs. Nicolson has fretted


herself almost to death and to add to the vexation of his parents, young Nicolson refuses to answer their Letters. -- As I have a very sincere regard for this worthy Couple, I must request that you will let me know particularly how Lt. Nicolson goes on, of late. & whether he is reformed. -- If you can render him any service by your advice or otherwise, I trust you will do it.

      This is a blundering kind of Letter, but as the post is about to depart, I will send it to you as it is.

Believe me
my Dear Duncan,
Your affectionate Father
James Macpherson

P. S. Forget not my best Respects to good Major Steuart &c and write me soon
Mary is still at Fornighty & Anne is up in Strathglass with Mr. & Mrs Fraser of Stonyfield Our relation McGillivray of Dunmaglass is to be married to a Miss Walcot.

Commentary on a Letter Written by James Macpherson Esq to
Captain Duncan Macpherson on 15 July 1805
(by Lt Col John L Macpherson (Rtd), a ggg grandson of James Macpherson)

      The strategic context in which the letter was written is well described in the Queen's Own Highlanders -- An Illustrated History (2nd d revised Edition) by Lt Col Angus Fairrie (Rtd), the Curator of The Regimental Museum of the Queens' Own Highlanders at Fort George. Fort George holds a special place in the history of the Macphersons of Ardersier in that the letter writer James has been recorded as a captain in the Inverness Militia (of which the Culloden Battalion of Volunteers might have been part) and that three sons, Duncan, James (junior) and Ewen all served with distinction in the 78th Regiment, and were most likely commissioned at the Fort.

      In 1793, the 78"' Regiment (1st Battalion) was the first new regiment to be raised after the British government was forced to increase the strength of the army when war broke out with France after the French Revolution. The 2nd Battalion was raised in 1794. The two battalions were amalgamated in Cape Town in 1796, and assumed the title of 78th Highlanders (Rossshire) Buffs. Service in India followed for 6 years during which the 78th was awarded the Battle Honour ASSAYE. Given the threat of attack upon Portugal's colony Goa, elements of the 78th also spent an uneventful period on garrison duty from 1804 to 1811.

      Due to the imminence of an attack by the French in 1804, the 2 nd Battalion was raised again, essentially to act as a feeder battalion for the 1st. One assumes that the 'unsuccessful' recruiting was for the 2d Battalion which had embarked in early 1805 for concentrated training at Hythe in Kent. Clearly the battalion did more than feed the 1st as not long afterward, it served in Gibraltar (1805/6), Sicily and the Battle of Maida (1806), Egypt (1807) then returned to England in 1808 via Sicily, then on to Fort George in 1809.

(Note. Duncan was the father of Herbert who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Lucknow (Indian Mutiny) on 25 th September 1857).

      James was 60 years of age when he wrote the letter. It is curious that at that age he contemplated passing his time in the Militia 'very agreeably' by attending 'Drill from 5 till 9 in the morning' and 'at half past 5 where we continue till 9 in the evening;. . .'.

      It is unclear from current research, to where he 'went home last Friday...' and finding Duncan's mother (James' wife Margaret Loggie) 'all well. . .'. It is quite possible that 'home' was Ardersier Cottage. When he 'went to Cawdor on Saturday where my poor mother (Jean McAndrew) has been for a month past . . . ' it is likely that he went to the Factor's accommodation within or very close to Cawdor Castle.

      The reference to the need to 'sell of £ 200 worth (of cattle) . . . to keep my Credit', is consistent with the view that he was a good factor and ran the Cawdor estates very well in the absence of the Laird and his family who spent a great deal of time in Wales.


      In a history of Ardersier Parish written in 1841, Rev John Matheson records the comments of Rev Mr Campbell of Croy, a native of the parish, viz;
      'Previous to the year 1780, there was scarcely an in-closure in the parish. The mode of farming was wretched in the extreme. The land was scourged . . . (and) allowed, with its accumulated weeds to rest for years . . .. The crops were of the poorest description and many . . . cattle died in the spring. This ignorance and sloth of the farmers was of some benefit to the poorer classes; . . . nettles, wild spinach, wild mustard, and mugwort, of which weeds the poor people made a wholesome and savoury mess, on which they mostly subsisted during the summer . . . About this time Mr (James) Macpherson entered upon the larges farm in the parish. Of this gentleman it may be truly said that; so long as warm benevolence of heart, disinterested friendship and the most conscientious discharge of the all-social duties are held in esteem, his name and memory will long be dear to the people of the parish. Mr McPherson [sic], knowing the capabilities of the soil, commenced on the most approved system of husbandry then known in the north, and in a short time, not only the appearance but the very constitution of the farm was changed The contrast between the crops under the old and new systems was so apparent that the small farmers soon followed the example of their benefactor so that now, and for several years, the poorest tenants labour their ground after the most approved manner.'

      One might assume from this narrative that James moved, or was 'removed' to Ardersier to improve the standard of farming and quality of produce. It appears from available sources that James could have been factor as early as 1774 and remained in that role until 1814 (at the age of 69) when Alexander Stables took over.

      James goes on to mention a son George (b 1787), a younger brother to Duncan who achieved the rank of Commander in the Royal Navy. Niel Smith (son in law) married one of James' daughters Anne (b 1784), and was an assistant surgeon aboard the HMS Victory when Nelson was fatally wounded. Niel and Anne are buried in Cawdor churchyard. Their tombstone and headstone respectively were recently refturbished under the auspices of the 1805 Club with assistance from the Pilgrim Trust.

      Charles (b 1789), also served in the Royal Navy. In 1805 he would have been 16 years old, an age consistent with the knowledge that be was a Midshipman.

      James (junior), who had 'hitherto been very unsuccessful in recruiting...' is another son (b 1788), who also served in the 78th Regt. I surmise that he joined the regiment not long before the letter was written!

      James (junior) served in the 1st/78th Regt which formed part of an expeditionary force that sailed from Bombay to the colony of Java in March 1811. The task (as decided by the British government of India) was to eject the French occupation force which had defeated the Dutch in 1795. This was completed successfully in September 1811. For its service in Java covering the period 1811 -- 1816 the 1st/78th was awarded the Battle Honour JAVA. James (junior) who achieved the rank of captain was killed by insurgents in Java in 1813.

      Angus McPherson is not known to the writer. Major Steuart is also unknown but was most likely an officer in the 78th , as the unfortunate Lt Nicholson is thought to have been.

      In the letter's post script, Mary and Anne are two of James senior's eight daughters. Mary (b September 1779) married firstly, Peter Sutherland then Henry Clayton. She died on 8 May 1872 and is buried in the Kirkton Cemetery at Ardersier. Anne (b 14 August 1784) was the wife of surgeon Niel Smith and died on 12 October 1869. Anne and Niel were married on 28 April 18 13. Both are buried in Cawdor churchyard (see above).

      'Our relation McGillivray of Dumnaglass' could possibly be a son of James senior's sister Anne (born 1748) who married Donald McGillivray in 1768 at Cawdor.

      I am indebted to Graham Clark for making the contents of the 1805 letter known to me. It adds to the collection of documentary evidence describing the capabilities of the Macphersons of Ardersier, and might attract more unsolicited evidence of which all genealogists dream.


By Ian and Collindy Cameron

      Thomas was born circa 1823 in the Shire of Inverness, Scotland to James Cameron, Merchant and Isabella (Christina) Fraser. On various documents during his life, Thomas stated he was born either at Alvie or Kingussie, both in the Highlands of Scotland. My research to date has yet to unearth his birth details or traces of his parents.

      Mary McPherson was born on the 20th January 1830 at Acharacle, Ardnamurchan, in the Shire of Argyll to Donald McPherson, Carpenter and Flora Cameron. Mary was their sixth child, Mary's mother being a native of Argyll, a daughter of Allan Cameron and Flora Cameron.

      Thomas Cameron emigrated to Australia on the Andromache which sailed from Plymouth, England on the 17th July 1848 and arrived at Point Henry, Geelong, Victoria on the 8th November 1848. A passage of 113 days.

.       The ship's register and disposal lists state that Thomas was a shepherd, aged 25yrs, a native of Inverness, that could read and write and his religion was Presbyterian Free Church. He was employed by George D. Hitchuson of Geelong for a period of 3 months with a wage per annum of £22-0-0, with rations.

      Mary McPherson emigrated to Australia on the Bussorah Merchant , along with her parents, Donald and Flora, brothers Archibald and Allan and sisters Catherine and Sarah. Also on board was Mary's married sister, Margaret Gillies accompanied by her husband, Archibald and their children Angus, Alexander and John. John Gillies died at sea on the 8th February 1850, aged one year, soon after leaving Plymouth. This would have saddened the family considerably on their long journey to their new home.

The Bussorah Merchant sailed from Plymouth, England on the 3 rd of February 1850 and arrived Geelong, Victoria on the 26th June 1850. On the shipping register Mary was described as a 19 year old farm servant. She was a native of Ardnamurchan, Argyll, her religion being Presbyterian, who could read and write and was possessed of a bible.

      There was more sadness for the family to follow shortly after their arrival in Geelong with the death of Mary's father, Donald on the 3 rd of August 1850.

      Thomas and Mary were married on the 16 th August 1853 at the Prince of Wales Hotel, Market Square, Geelong. Witnesses to their marriage were John Brodie and Mary's sister, Catherine McPherson. Thomas was living in Ashby, Geelong and Mary was living in Little Scotland, Geelong. The Kildare district of Geelong was known as Little Scotland. At the time of their marriage Thomas's occupation was a carrier.

      During the years 1854 to 1865, Thomas and Mary were blessed with eight children. Christina born 1854, Geelong. Sarah born 1856, Kildare. Flora born 1858, Kildare. Thomas born 18th March 1861, Kildare. Archibald born 1862, Kildare. Janet (Jessie) born 1863, Ashby. And Archibald born 1865, Modewarre.


      Between the years 1856 to 1861, Thomas was the proprietor of the Royal Highlander Hotel in King Street, Kildare. (now Hearne Hill, Geelong West) The rate book of Villamanta ward, Geelong 1864 lists the proprietor of the Royal Highlander Hotel as being Allan McPherson (Allan being a brother of Mary).

      In 1862, Thomas became the proprietor of the Geelong and Ballarat Hotel, Church Street, Kildare, sited near the sale yards. It is now known as the Sale Yards Hotel. In the Geelong Advertiser of the 24th October 1862, the following article appeared regarding the death of their Archibald, born 1862:--
            "Died on the 23d inst., aged one month, Archibald the beloved son of Thomas and Mary Cameron at the Geelong and Ballarat Hotel, Kildare. Funeral will take place at 2 o'clock this day. Friends are respectfully invited."

      On the 23 d June 1863, the Geelong Advertiser reported that the effects of the Geelong and Ballarat Hotel were to be auctioned and on the 2nd of December 1863 it reported that the licence of the Hotel had been transferred on the 1st December 1863 to Miss Margaret Ryan.

      In the years to follow until April 1869, it is not known what Thomas and Mary did or where they lived. However in the Geelong Advertiser of Tuesday l6th March 1869 the following was printed in The Publicans Notes:--
            "Notice of Application for a Beer Licence to the Bench of Magistrates at Mt Moriac, 'I, Thomas Cameron, now residing at Modewarre, do hereby give notice that it is my intention to apply to the Justices sitting at the Court of Petty Sessions to (illegible) at Mount Moriac on the 30th day of March instant., for a Certificate authorising the issue of a beer license in the house which I am occupying, situated at Modewarre, and known by the name of the Bridge Inn containing four bedrooms and two sitting rooms and rented by me from William McKullen, Wine and Spirit Merchant, Geelong. Dated the 16 th day of March 1869. Thos. Cameron.'"

      Between 1874 to 1877 Thomas leased 102 acres enclosed with dwelling from Thomas Yates at the rate of 15 pounds per annum. He appeared on the Shire of Winchelsea rate books as a contractor. On the 21st of August the Geelong Advertiser reported that Thomas Cameron was leaving the Bridge Inn at Modewarre.

      In 1878 Thomas took out land settlement at Bundalong South, near Yarrawonga in the North East of Victoria, and commenced farming. Their house and land located off Angle Road, was known as "Glendale" . At the time of Thomas's death the property was in excess of 1000 acres.

Thomas died on the 29th August 1885. Mary died on the 8th September 1915. Thomas and Mary are buried at the Bundalong Cemetery on the shores of Lake Mulwala, with two of their granddaughters. Their monumental inscription follows:
"Sacred to the Memory of Thomas Cameron who departed this life at Peechelba 29 th August 1885 aged 56 also Mary Cameron The Beloved Wife of Thomas Cameron who died 8 th September 1915 aged 83 years inserted by her sons A. & J.D. Cameron also Mary & Ada Daughters of A & M Cameron"

Editor's Note:
      The authors, Ian and Collindy Cameron, have got a lot of information on their ancestors and can be contacted through The Cameron Family Home Page www.alphalink.com.au/-itcse. They would be glad to hear from you!

      Details on the Bussorah Merchant, in which Mary McPherson sailed to Australia. She was a ship of 530 tons, built of teak in Calcutta in 1818 and belonged to D Dunbar of London and was sheathed in yellow metal in 1849. She sailed from Gravesend, England, on 19 January 1850 when the temperature was just above freezing point. She then proceeded to Plymouth and lay there for ten days taking on cargo and west country and Irish emigrants. She sailed for Geelong on 3 February but bad weather drove her east into Cowes Roadstead, Isle of Wight, where she lay until 27 February.

      After sailing from Comes the weather remained fair until the Cape of Good Hope, where off Cape Leeuwin she ran into gales, after which almost every sail was left in shreds and she lost one life boat. During this long and tempestuous voyage to Australia there were seven births on board and nine deaths.


by R.G.M. Macpherson, FRSA, FSA(Scot), FHSC Niagara Herald Extraordinary
No. 43 Douglas MacPherson (Canada)
      Arms were matriculated in the Lyon Register, Edinburgh, by Douglas MacPherson on the 6th March 2000. As the second son of J. Donald Macpherson of Oakville, Ontario, he was granted the Arms recorded by his father in 1981 (see C-D 1982 p. 16) but with the addition of "a border counter company Or and Azure", that is to say, a gold and blue checkered border. In Scots heraldry, Arms belong to one person at a time and while the eldest son bears the Arms with the addition of a label of three points during the lifetime of his father, all younger sons must rematriculate a "differenced" version of their father's Arms at Lyon Court.

      The Crest is a wildcat seated upon a grassy mound and charged on the shoulder with "a sprig of oak" to represent the Town of Oakville.

      Douglas MacPherson was editor of the Green Banner for several years and is currently Chairman of the Canadian Branch of the Clan Association.

No. 44 Charles Macpherson
      Another recent matriculation at the Court of The Lord Lyon was petitioned by Charles Macpherson, the second son of our senior chieftain, Alastair Macpherson of Pitmain. The Lord Lyon granted Charles the Arms of Macpherson of Pitmain (see C-D 1965, p. 26) "within a bordure counter company Or and Gules", viz. chequered gold and red.

      The Crest is "a cat sejant" or sitting, and the motto is a Gaelic translation of the Chief s famous motto, "Touch not the cat but (without) a glove".





No. 45 Lt. Col. Mark F. Macpherson, CD
      A recent grant of Arms was made by the Chief Herald of Canada in 2002 to Mark Macpherson of Hemmingford, Quebec. The Arms are recorded in The Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada and, like all other Clan Arms, are based on those of the Chief, Macpherson of Cluny.

      The principal charge is a gold "Galley" on a blue field. The upper part of the shield (called a "chief") is "embattled", to suggest the petitioner's military background, and displays two red "Lightning Flashes" to indicate the armiger's interest in the field of "communications".

      The wildcat Crest is "rampant" and holds a "gold Grenade" to represent service as Commanding Officer of the Canadian Grenadier Guards. Included in the same Letters Patent, are two additional shields of Arms granted to Mark's two younger sons, Alexander and Myles. Each shield is surrounded by an appropriate border as a "mark of difference" to indicate each son's place within the family.

      Mark Macpherson is a member of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Branch of the Association.

By Archy Macpherson M.A., LL.B. (Gilleasbuig Lachainn 'Illeasbuig)
      For almost forty years this column has been appearing on the realisation that it is not enough to sport our tartan or only to wear a Macpherson tartan kilt but also to take an active interest in our Clan Macpherson's language and culture and that this can offer a deep sense of fulfilment.

      In October last year, I suffered an accident which left me so ill that I was unable to complete, far less submit, copy for this Column. This made me see the fragility of this effort; so I would be glad if anyone in the Clan Association would be willing to assist me to research and put together this Column and would also be ready to step in to keep this Column going should any other happening befall me in the future.

      My address is Bath House, Trinity Crescent, Edinburgh EH5 3EE, Scotland.

      For too long this Column appears to have taken for granted that the interested reader is a teenager or adult learner or fluent speaker. So we can look at children being taught their lessons through our own language of Scottish Gaelic.

      It is as well to recall that when we came into this world we were unable to speak any language but were eager to be fluent in language and therefore able to enter into the world all around us by doing so.

      Two languages are not really too much to master with complete fluency, namely Gaelic and English. A child in Luxembourg is expected to have mastered FIVE before leaving school, namely, Luxemburgish, French, German, Dutch and English!


It is right that we should learn the language of our ancestors and appreciate their culture. After all, we are a Highland clan. None of our forebears when we were a cohesive clan were monoglot speakers of English.

      It is right that we should wear the kilt as the garb of those from whom we are descended. But it is also worthwhile to seek to learn their language of Gaelic and thereby get an insight into the culture that goes with it.

      The first great step forward in gaining complete fluency, is to start as young as possible and that we assimilate the language through being taught through Gaelic.

      Such bilingualism confers advantages not enjoyed by the child who is monoglot, only fluent in English. A recent study by Professor Dick Johnstone of Stirling University found that, looking at all subjects studies; primary seven children of about twelve in Scotland's Gaelic medium education schools out perform their peers and equals in mainstream monolingual education.

      The basis in gaining equal fluency is the croileagan or play group for preschool infants over two years of age up to five. Thereafter, in Scotland in schools of the kind, teaching is of all the usual subjects but through Gaelic. Parents need not have a word in Gaelic, nevertheless, Edinburgh Education Department has brought out two books at five pounds each which could make monolingual parents feel involved to some extent, A Chiad Latha (The First Day) and Latha Trang ( A Busy Day) both from Wendy Laird on (0131) 469-3328 or wendy.laird@educ.edin.gov.uk.

      The CNSA, 53 Church Street, Inverness, Scotland will advise in every way, including too where the nearest croileagan or Gaelic playgroup for one's child is and if one is not within reach then how a croileagan may be founded. The CNSA will indeed be glad to give all advice to the parents on such matters of preschool children whether these parents have Gaelic or not. Their phone number is 01463-225469.

      CLI, 64 High Street, Invergordon, Ross-shire IV18 ODH, Scotland on the other hand are pleased to advise all, be they school children or adults, on how to master Gaelic and publish a bilingual quarterly magazine COTHROM, a sample back copy of which can be obtained free on application.

      There are two shops that can be visited, specialising in Gaelic books, namely, Gairm Publications, 29 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6BZ on the top floor. It also publishes the all Gaelic quarterly GAIRM. [Both the store and the magazine are now defunct -- RM].       The other is the Gaelic Books Council, 22 Mansfield Street, Glasgow G I I 5QP who are also on www.gaelicbooks.net and run a book club.

      There are three publishers offering interestingly laid out grammars and cassettes. The first is Hodder & Stoughton's, Teach Yourself Gaelic with cassette [now two CDs]. It has something of a cultural approach, by Boyd Robertson and Iain Taylor.

      Hugo's Language Books Limited has the optimistically called Scottish Gaelic in Three Months by 6 Maolalaigh and MacAonghuis. And Routledge has just brought out, like the others with cassette Colloquial Scottish Gaelic. [Both our of print]       Acair, the Stornoway publishers, have, on the other hand brought out a bilingual book, Under the Shadow of the Swastika which is a thumpingly good account, truly telling the experiences of a WWII prisoner of war, Donald Iain MacDonald. With the book are two CDs giving the entire Gaelic text.

      Finally, the Edinburgh firm of Birlinn have published three books of Gaelic interest. An Lasair, a collection of Eighteenth Century Gaelic Poetry, edited and translated by Ronald Black. The original poems and their translations are given in facing pages along with ample introduction and notes. Many of these poems and songs would have been recited and sung at many of the old time ceilidhs among the Macpherson clan.

      The other two are dictionaries, the first is Angus Watson's The Essential Gaelic-English Dictionary"which is also a thesaurus giving words of same or similar meaning. It is designed to make the learner or fluent speaker up to the level of a competent native speaker if systematically learned at say, a page or so a day, perhaps using a cassette recorder. Should pronunciation be a problem one has Robert C Owen's Modem Gaelic-English Dictionary


(Gairm) and Malcolm MacLennan's Gaelic Dictionary (Acair). The other Dictionary is the monumental one by Edward Dwelly but the Birlinn one of his great [Illustrated Gaelic-English] Dictionary has his life story.       It is incredible but true, an Englishman who mastered Gaelic, then compiled the greatest dictionary of Gaelic we have and then became a printer in order to learn how to print the entire work. Then, as if that were not all was given a pension by Edward VII out of his own pocket to finish the second half of the massive Gaelic dictionary.

      Sin Agad e! there you have it!


Reviewed by Sandy Macpherson
      The coming of a new century is regarded by some as a time for forward looking and by others as an excuse for nostalgia. The recently published Laggan's Legacy is however more of the former than the latter, being a carefully crafted history in depth of a district in the Highlands where many Macphersons and associated families originated.

      Compiled as a community project, with no writer being named, the book examines each of the properties, large and small, within the Laggan parish and gives details, where known, of the families and personalities who have lived there.

      The late Meta Scarlett in her book In the Glens Where I was Young calls Laggan "A land of poets, priests and Pipers" and indeed, what an array of characters is revealed.

      As may be expected, the book does not dwell over-long on the good and the great, but it is the diverse personalities who are described who form the real strength of the book. Also revealed is the harshness of agricultural life for the previous generations. Agricultural life has never been easy, but in the days before mechanisation the combination of thin soil and an unrelenting climate produce a life ofbackbreaking toil. To survive in conditions like these must have been character building.

      The book is strongly recommended to all who have ancestral roots in Laggan, it should provide background and realism to the land from which they sprang. Congratulations to the Laggan community for their vast enterprise and imagination in their splendid publication, which deserves to travel far and wide and go to further editions.

To Robert and Emma Macpherson, a daughter, Mollie Elizabeth Myrta, fourth grandchild for Gerald and Joy Macpherson.

To Hamish and Sharon Macpherson, a daughter on 3rd May 2001, Shona Rachel, a second child.

To Robert and Ailsa Macpherson, a daughter on 31" December 2001, Breagh Cecille. First grandchild for Ewen (Association Vice-President) and Margaret MacPherson and a further grandchild for Ann and Colin Macpherson.

To Steve and Alison Simpson, a son on 5 th February 2002, Charlie Robert. A further grandchild for Sandy and Catherine (Association Vice Chairman) Macpherson and first grandchild for Brian and Jean Simpson.

To Helen and Alan Macfarlane, a daughter on 2 1st February 2002. Emma Laura, a further grandchild to Bill and Jan Macpherson (Treasurer & Secretary) and to Bob and Helen Macfarlane.


Macpherson-Whitehurst. On 29th September 2001, Helen Mary Elizabeth Macpherson, younger daughter of Gerald and Joy Macpherson to Philip Richard William Whitehurst. Bride and groom are both solicitors in Liverpool and have set up home in the Wirral.

Jackson-Macpherson-Fletcher. On 7 th July 2001. Elizabeth Anne Macpherson-Fletcher, daughter of Allan and Marjorie Macpherson-Fletcher of Balavil to Nicholas Jackson.

Macpherson-Wilson-Young. Rory Macpherson, former Chairman of the England and Wales Branch to Sally Wilson-Young.

Macpherson-MacNeill. On 11th August 2001, Anna Morag Shearer Macpherson to Mark James Allerton MacNeill. Anna is the daughter of Bill and Jan Macpherson, Association Treasurer and Secretary respectively. As you may notice, this was the weekend following last year's Rally, which probably explains Bill & Jan's distracted look when asked a question at the Rally! Davis-Macpherson. On October 28th 2000. Dr. Ewan Andrew Macpherson, son of Drs. Alan G. and Joyce C. Macpherson of St. John's, Newfoundland, was married to Nancy Beth Davis, daughter of Mr. George and Mrs. Florence Davis of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The ceremony was held at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, and the newlyweds were piped out to "Nancy and Ewan's Wedding March", written by the groom.

Col Bruce D Macpherson of Canada died on 14 July 2001. He was a retired executive of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a former Commanding Officer of the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders (Winnipeg), a former Commander of the Windsor Militia District and an Elder at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Windsor. He was a Life Member of the Association and for many years had been a member of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Branch. We extend our sympathy to his wife Anne and their five children.

Mrs Edith McPherson died in Edinburgh on 2 March 2001. Edith was the widow of the late Kenneth McPherson, former Chairman of the Association (1976-79) and had herself served as Treasurer of the Association. She had been the Treasurer of the Scottish Branch since its formation in 1997. A great stalwart of the Association, actively and enthusiastically involved since the 1950s, her presence and contribution will be greatly missed. Our sympathies go to her daughter Fiona.

      James F Macphearson of Dallas, Texas, died on 13 August 2001. Jim did so much to set up the US Branch of the Association and was Membership Secretary for several years. His work in this field and his Convenorship of the 1982 AGM in Dallas earned him the greatest respect and he was one of the first recipients of the Wildcat Award from Cluny in 1987. He will be greatly missed and our sympathy goes to Doris, his wife of fifty eight years and his children and grandchildren.

Hugh Macpherson died on 29 April 2001, aged 48. Born and educated in Edinburgh, he served in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in various postings until ill health forced him to retire. Following that he found a new career in writing and reviewing poetry, which he did with considerable success. His obituary in The Times referred to him as "a linguist who spoke for Britain as a diplomat and spoke to the heart as a poet."


Hunter McPherson of Santa Cruz, California, died tragically in November 2001, being murdered by a street robber near his home while walking home in the evening. Hunter, who was aged twenty seven, was the son of Senator Bruce McPherson of Santa Cruz. With his family, he visited the Clan Gathering in Scotland a few years ago. Our most sincere sympathies go to his family.

Jane MacPherson nee Sutherland of Causewayhead, Stirling. Died aged 92 on the 14 December 2001. She was born in Ireland in 1909 of Scottish parents who returned to Argyll in 1922. Married on the 25 th December 1929 to her late husband Donald MacPherson. She was the mother of the late Donald, Sheena and Ewen (former Chairman of the Association). A kindly and cheerful person, who was always full of fun. She will be greatly missed by her family and all who knew her.

Dr Harry Gordon Macpherson died in Edinburgh on 17 December 2001. Dr Macpherson had been Curator of Minerology at the Royal Scottish Museum. In Clan Macpherson circles he is distinguished as the discoverer of a new mineral called Macphersonite. This discovery is documented in the 1985 edition of Creag Dhubh. Our sympathies go to his family. Mrs Tryphosa (Phosa) Macpherson died on 23 December 2001 aged 97. The passing of Tryphosa Macpherson in her 98th year marks the end of a long connection with the Clan Macpherson Association.

      Phosa, as she was better known, was born into the world-known piping family. She was the second daughter of John Macpherson of Newtonmore and granddaughter of the renowned Calum Piobair. Her father and grandfather and her uncle Angus (late of Inveran) were all pipers to successive chiefs of the Clan Macpherson. An ancestor, James Macpherson, was piper to Cluny of the Forty-Five and together with his Chief, was one of the few men who were in hiding in the company of Prince Charles Edward, before he sailed for France.

      Phosa's early career was in the Civil Service, and she worked in Newtonmore, Kingussie, Elgin and Dunfermline before being posted to London, where she worked for a number of years. During the Second World War, she was specially enlisted for secret work with the Foreign Office. It was at this time that she met and married her husband Eoin Macpherson, then serving with the Royal Air Force. Eoin, who was born in Alyth in Perthshire, was the son of the Deputy Chief Constable for Perthshire. His career was with the British Linen Bank, latterly at Turriff.

      Eoin and Phosa were active members of the Clan Macpherson Association from the beginning, and they rarely missed an annual Gathering or Rally. It was therefore not surprising that when Eoin's retirement from the Bank coincided with a vacancy at the Clan Macpherson Museum, Eoin with the backing of Phosa, volunteered to succeed as resident Curator. There they remained over 18 years. Initially there was little comfort, as the House had not been materially improved from the time when it had been the Post Office but they were to see the installation of central heating and extensive alterations. Phosa enthusiastically supported Eoin in all his duties and over the years she gave a hospitable welcome to many visitors to the Museum.

      Phosa also found time for floral art, but it was in embroidery that she had the greatest satisfaction. She exhibited every year at the Royal Highland Show and she had many awards, not only at the Highland Show but also at the Embroiders' Guild in London and at International Handicraft Exhibitions.

      Eoin and Phosa retired for the second time in 1983 and latterly moved to Glen Grove in Newtonmore. Eoin died on 3 1st December 1988.

      At the funeral on 27th December, the Clan Macpherson Association was represented by the Chief of the Clan, Sir William Macpherson of Cluny and Blairgowrie.



Andrew Gillies of London died on 8 February 2002 following a long illness. A biography of Andrew was published in last year's Creag Dhubh and a full appreciation will follow in the next edition.




      On 2nd September 2001 Eric and Gwen Leach celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. The previous evening a celebration party was held in Irvine attended by many of their friends representing the various organisations they have been associated with over the years. Both Eric and Gwen have been Life Members of the Association for many years. They can be found at 66 Katrine Place, Castlepark, Irvine, Ayrshire KA12 9LU



Chairman: Douglas MacPherson 1295 Cumnock Crescent Oakville, ON L6J 2N6 Canada
Hon. Secretary: Mary Margaret Gillies 32 Dallyn Crescent Scarborough, ON MI K 4V9 Canada       In trying to raise the profile of the Association among Canadian-Scottish groups in general and within the Macpherson clan in particular, the Canadian Branch participated in a number of activities and events this year.

      In the spring, the Branch hosted "An Evening Together". Organised by former Chairman Gordon Macpherson and Chairman Douglas MacPherson, the Branch held a reception and dinner at the Hamilton Club in Hamilton, Ontario on April 28th, 2001 for members in the Greater Toronto Area. The evening started with a cocktail reception as our fellow clanspeople kept arriving. Following an hour and a half of mingling, mixing and socialising, we proceeded into the dining room to gather for dinner. Gordon concluded the formal part of the evening with a fabulous and well-received talk on the Macpherson tartans.

      The summer saw considerable Branch activity at the Scottish games due to the efforts of Robert and Marlene Archibald. Bob and Marlene represented the Association at the Maxwell Games, the Durham Games and the Fergus Games, which are the largest Scottish games in Canada. Joining Bob and Marlene at the Fergus Games were Douglas and Vice-Chairman Rod Smith. Although small in number, the Macpherson Clan received the loudest round of applause as they joined the others in the Gathering of the Clans on the Fergus Parade Grounds. To attract attention to the Clan tent, Bob had made a poster-size wooden sign listing the names of the Associated Families.

      Realizing the need for ongoing communication, Douglas revived the Branch newsletter, The Green Banner. The newsletter "hit the stands" in August updating members on past activities,


future events and clansmen in the news. The focus of the newsletter is to promote news, past and present, on the Clan in Canada.

      The highlight of Branch activities for the year was the annual weekend Clan Gathering in Trenton, Ontario on September 29th to 30th organized by Douglas. The Branch welcomed International Chairman Larry and Lillas McPherson as the honoured guests for their 52nd Rally. Following registration on the Friday evening, Douglas, Larry and Lillas hosted the Chairmen's reception as the formal start for the rally. The Official Piper, Pipe Major Hugh Macpherson provided the music for the evening with magnificently played bagpipe tunes and requests. As a result of the evening in Hamilton, Gordon was called upon to give an updated talk on the tartans associated with Clan Macpherson. On the Saturday morning, members gathered for the Annual General Meeting chaired by Douglas. In the afternoon, many members attended the Dedication of Stones ceremony by the Royal Canadian Air Force. That evening after the reception, Hugh piped in Larry and Lillas into the dining hall to begin the banquet. Following their entrance, Hugh then piped in the Haggis, which Gordon addressed. The McGilly Highland Dancers gave an excellent demonstration of Highland Dancing following dinner. Throughout the evening, Hugh played the bagpipes. On Sunday, members gathered at St. George's Anglican Church for worship and farewells.

Chairman: Angus Macpherson Vice Chairman & Treasurer: Lindsey Jane Rousseau Hon Secretary: Robert Macpherson, 26 Fourth Cross Road, Twickenham, Middlesex TW2 5EL Email: ailsarobert@yahoo.co.uk

      The 2001 Annual General Meeting of the Branch was held at the Caledonian Club, Halkin Street, London W1 in May followed by a supper of haggis, neeps and tatties. There was a good turn out and we took the opportunity of congratulating Rory, former Chairman of the Branch on his marriage to Sally Wilson-Young.

      In June, Angus held a 2d midsummer party at his home in Hampshire which consisted of afternoon tea and quantities of Dundee cake, followed by supper and reeling in the barn to the strains of McBain's Highland Dance Band. He is hoping that more members might make the trip next year.

      Then in November, we held our annual London Ball at the Hotel Russell in Russell Square which was, as ever, a splendid evening. Our delight was not unduly marred by the fire alarm (which turned out to be a hoax) interrupting the eightsome reel, for some of the bolder among us were equal to dancing the Gay Gordons outside in the street while we waited to be allowed to return to the ball room. This was the last year that Ailsa and Flora are decorating the tables. They have made a wonderful difference over the years and we are truly grateful to them for their contributions. Donald Macpherson addressed the haggis, which was kindly donated by Cluny and piped in by Chris Macpherson. Lindsay Jane was master of ceremonies. David Hall and his band provided the music. So Angus was enabled to summon all of us onto the floor with the less than immortal lines:

            So have a lovely evening, we've all the 'gredients here.
            There's haggis in our bellies. There'll be music in our cars.

      Former Chairman of the Branch Vic Macpherson-Clifford provided the shower of balloons that heralded the evening drawing to its close.

      We are conscious as a Branch of the need to develop our links with members who do not live in London. The newsletter is one source of reaching them, but it is not enough. To that end we hope to hold gatherings of members of the Branch in different parts of the country every year. We hope to appoint members on a local basis who will be responsible for listening to the local membership and liaising with the central committee, so that local functions can be held. There


is a tide of goodwill towards the Association in England and Wales, and it is our responsibility to encourage and foster it.

      We send good wishes to all our fellow clansfolk worldwide.

Chairman: John L Macpherson, 3 Earl Street, Mittagong, NSW 2575 Secretary: Adam de Totth, Chapman, Canberra Queensland Representative: Edna MacPherson Sabato, Maryborough Western Australian Representative: Douglas McPherson, Roleystone, near Perth WA       Activity in the 'Australian Branch' centred on the formal incorporation of the NSW Branch in April 2001. At the inaugural general meeting office bearers were elected, and all agreed that the Branch would act as the 'headquarters' for the Australian Branch. On 29th October 2001 the first Annual General Meeting of the NSW Branch took place at Parramatta and the office bearers listed above were elected. We continue to work with the Scottish Australian Heritage Council, a NSW Scottish umbrella organisation in an effort to help spread the Scottish word, and seek relief from exorbitant public liability insurance premiums that are having a punitive effect on the operations of Clan associations and other not-for-profit organisations. I particularly want to record my appreciation to Heather and Bruce McPherson for their wonderful support and work during the formation of the NSW Branch. Between them they carried the loads of Secretary, Registrar and Treasurer, as well as moving house.

      During 2001 NSW and Old Branches were been involved in 'Bundanoon is Brigadoon' (April), the Australian Celtic Festival at Glen Innes (May), Scottish Week in Sydney (August), and The Wild Scotchman Festival (Gin Gin in Queensland -- March). Bundanoon and Gin Gin provided good opportunities for recruitment, which in the main have been reasonably successful, particularly in NSW. Attendance at activities in other States has been informal but interest is growing.

      Earlier issues of Creag Dhubh have described 'Bundanoon is Brigadoon', the largest Scottish festival in the Southern Hemisphere attended by well over 18,000 people each year where Cluny and Lady Cluny endeared themselves to everyone in April 2000. Bundanoon is a small village in the NSW Southern Highlands approximately 100 miles SW of Sydney and becomes 'Brigadoon' on the first Saturday in April each year. The 25 th Silver Jubilee Gathering will be held on Saturday 6 th April 2002. The festival at Glen Innes is a newer festival held on the New England Tablelands of NSW. Glen Innes is about 4 10 miles NW of Sydney, and 140 miles due cast of Keera (nr Bingarra) (See CD Issue No 53 2001 p6). The Festival revolves around Scottish, Irish and Welsh activities, including dancing, poetry readings, singing and massed pipe bands which this year were led by Drum Major (RSM) Rtd Malcolm Parsons (of Macpherson heritage). The March to the Standing Stones, said to be the first set to be erected for some 3,000 years was very impressive being held in cloudless, bright blue (Australian) sunshine. Made of local granite the stones stand between eight and twelve feet high. The Grand Dinner was hosted by Clan Davidson under the chairmanship of Dr Frank Davidson who attended the CMA Gathering in 2000. Like Bundanoon, Glen Innes now has its own tartan.

      Notwithstanding the tyranny of distance which is well known to Australians, and Cluny and Lady Cluny, to cater for the difficulties this imposes on 'Australian' activities, steps are being taken to identify CMA (Australia) members who will act as the representatives for Victoria and Tasmania, and South Australia and the Northern Territory.

      An occasional NSW Branch newsletter is mailed to members, while Edna Macpherson Sabato in Queensland has developed a good e-mail communication and postal system. Copies are sent to interstate representatives, to affiliated Scottish organisations in NSW, and Council Officers. Douglas McPherson, in Perth keeps the western extremity of the 'wide brown land' well under control.


The updating of the Clan Website to better reflect the membership responsibilities of an overseas branch has been very helpful in recruiting, and attracting occasional contact from 'lost' members. The facility to dump a membership application form is very useful. 19 new members from 3 States were recruited in 2001, mainly as a result of personal contact with individuals who had made contact at the various Clan tents in Bundanoon and Gin Gin. Other potential members were identified at the 2001 Gathering at Newtonmore. I thank the office bearers of NSW Branch for their able assistance in local and Australian matters. Their help and interest has been invaluable. Similarly, Edna and Douglas have provided good representation to the north and the west Having attended the 2001 Gathering, a very enjoyable first for my wife and me, we are extremely grateful for the extraordinarily warm welcome extended to us by Cluny, Lady Cluny, Chairman Larry Lee and Lillas, our overseas cousins and those whom we met during both the Clan Chattan AGM and Dinner in Inverness, and all the activities during the Gathering. It was an experience we shall never forget. Queensland Report The Gin Gin Wild Scotchman Capture Festival which includes a Clan Macpherson Gathering, was held at the end of March 200 1. It was a success, but not quite as successful in a numerical sense as 2000 when Cluny and Lady Cluny attended. It was wonderful however to meet those who did, particularly the younger, stronger male relatives who helped erect Clan Macpherson tent signs. Information on the Wild Scotchman (James McPherson) can be seen at www.sabatech.net. There are 29 CMA members in Qld, 11 of whom have e-mail. I have met and become friends with 9 of these members and spoken to most of the others. Long distances preclude even 'Queensland' activities but I hope that the bulk of the membership who live in the Brisbane/Gold Coast area might get together once in a while. Robyn Aisbett (Mundubbera) and I enjoyed the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards concert in Maryborough in February 200 1. My nephew Johnny who lives in the USA, recently was one of five nominees for an Emmy in the 'Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety or Music Program' category. This was his second nomination.. Johnny's nomination for his work in "Mad TV' episode 610, was up against nominations such as 'The 73rd Annual Academy Awards', 'The 43 d Annual Grammy I wards', The Magic of David Copperfield' and 'Peter Pan'. Johnny lives with this wife Kelly and son Booker in Los Angeles. Johnny was previously a production designer for TV shows 'In Living Color' and 'Alf. He designed 'A Man For All Seasons' for the BBC, and played the lead role in the BBC Players production of 'Candide'. Delayed by the events of I 11th September, the Emmy's were eventually presented and Johnny was not successful. However he said that just to be up there with the other nominees was an achievement and an honour. Donald Alistair McPherson Rodger (Gympie) sent me a poem, entitled "The Ballad of How MacPherson Held the Floor", author unknown, but believed to be Canadian. In an effort to know more about the author I searched the Internet, and soon had the answer -- someone thought it sounded like Robert Service. A few minutes later, another e-mail came, from the same person, telling me that it was Robert Service, and gave me a website to search. It is: www.ude.net/verse/bar_room.htnil. I found that he was born in 1874, in Lancashire, England, to Scots parents. He spent a lot of his life in the States and Canada, had a bit part in a movie with Marlene Dietrich, and died in France, in 1958 where his 84-year-old daughter and 48-year-old grand-daughter still live. An e-mail to the grand-daughter attracted a charming reply. There are a lot of Robert Service's poems on the website -- I have dubbed him "The Banjo Paterson of Canada", because there are so many poems. He wrote "Dan McGrew", which may be familiar to you all. ------------------------------------------------------------------46------------------------------------------------------------

SCOTTISH BRANCH Chairman: John Macpherson
Secretary: Ian J.A. Robb, Strathcarron, 27 Whites Place, Montrose, DD 10 8RN

      Since our A.G.M. in 2000 we have had a very busy and successful year. Our membership is still over 300 with a few new members joining the ranks. In February we held a Bums Supper in Kenmore (where Bums left a poem written on the wall of the local hotel). John & Iris were hosts to over 30 members including guests from America and a very enjoyable night was had by all. In June we held a barbecue at the Blackwater Centre in picturesque Perthshire. The day was unseasonably cool but an excellent afternoon was enjoyed by over 40 members & guests who appreciated the expertise of our chefs, Ian & Ewen. Our presence was obvious at the Clan Gathering in August with the Scottish Branch making sure the hall was ready and, providing the White Heather for the AGM. In all, the Scottish branch was well represented in the weekend's activities.

      Our Ceilidh/Dance in October was held at the lovely Rhu Hotel on the banks of the Clyde. This was our first West Coast venture and although numbers were slightly less than previously it was a really great evening with Cluny & Lady Cluny attending. Our AGM and committee meetings were held the next morning.

We send our very best wishes to all our sister branches throughout the world.

Chairman: Allan D. MacPherson.
Committee: G.W. MacPherson, G.R MacPherson, K.R. MacPherson, J. Cattanach, Ewen Macpherson (Malawi), Willy Gillies (Malawi).

      February 2001, a great occasion marking Cluny's first visit to darkest Africa. For many years we had hoped to see them in South Africa so we were delighted when he phoned from Newton Castle to tell us he was coming to see us.

      They had only three days in Joburg so we arranged for a lunch on 3rd September and a Clan Gathering on Sunday. We met Cluny and Sheila and Ewen and Jenny at their hotel on Saturday and took them to our lunch date with Graham William and Vanessa at their home in Hyde Park. What a great lunch in honour of our Chief which lasted until after 6 pm with much Cape wine and port. Many thanks to Graham William and Vanessa for a lovely day.

      On Sunday Kevin and Terry hosted the Clan Gathering at their home in Woodsend with 40 happy guests, it was a great occasion. All were keen to meet our Chief and Sheila and enjoyed a great day until afternoon when they had to catch their flight to Cape Town.

      Many thanks to Kevin and Terry for another lovely day and also to Cluny for fitting us into their hectic tour and also to Malawi cousins Ewen and Jenny. Come again soon.

Love to all. Beannachd leibh.


Chairman: Mrs Margaret Harding, 107 Matai Place, Invercargill
Treasurer: Mrs Beth Cairns, 312 Herbert St, Invercargill
Secretary: Athole Macpherson, 73A Antrim St, Invercargill

      Our AGM on 12 May 2001 had a small attendance, but we welcomed a keen new member, Justin Murdoch, who is now a committee member. With our younger Vice-Chairman Jeannie Edie Levert maybe we are to breathe new life into our branch.

      Once more Clan Macpherson's name is inscribed on bowling cups -- both winner and runnerup. If we had a handy lake which froze regularly perhaps we could show prowess at curling which thrives in Otago.

      We visited Dorothy on her 80th birthday at Winton and enclose a snap. Both Hector and Dorothy have been Chairman of our branch. We trust Olive Ormiston will have a happy tenure as Curator of our Museum. A busy time to take over, but a great opportunity to meet clansfolk. We hear from Gwen and Bart Gillespie they will be attending the Rally in 2002. When they visit us at the end of November we'll hope to have a small gathering since Life Members don't come our way frequently. With past attendance at the Rally they will be interesting to meet. Isabel and Ian Macpherson's grand-daughter wed Scotsman Graham Blackball from Banchory and now lives in Banchory. The January wedding in Invercargill was attended by two pipers. Both Isabel and Ian were pipers and the reception was at our excellent Pipe Band Hall. Julie (nee Kidd) has been working in Scotland.

      Our clan gathering will be at Twinlaw home of Jeannie and Peter Levert at Wairio when we hope to see the peony roses in full glory. We go by bus and have a potluck lunch. It is a very happy occasion and we thank the Levett family.

      Our Caledonian Pipe Band had a wonderful trip to North America this year and appeared at the Nova Scotia celebrations where they were given a right royal welcome. They have made several tapes and their concerts termed as "Piping Hot" are booked out.

      All good wishes and good health to all Clan Macpherson branches where'er they be.

Chairman: Donald E. McPherson, 395 Waverly Hall Drive, Roswell, GA 30075, USA
Secretary: DeLois McPherson, 11007 West 49th Terrace, Shawnee KS 66203 USA

      Our AGM this year in Fort Worth, Texas was quite the success, Our host Jack Raines and his team did an outstanding job in putting this meeting together and the museum display which included artefacts from Newtonmore was well received. Special thanks to McPherson Wines of Australia for their wine pouring at our meeting! As promised, Old Cluny's sword was presented to Museum representatives and is now on display in Newtonmore. We very much appreciate the attendance of Cluny and Sheila and Sandy and Catherine as well as our US members in view of the troubled times following the September 11th tragedy.

      We did reach that elusive goal of 2000 members this year, albeit briefly, and again fell below the mark because of drops for non-payment of dues. I believe we will attain a sustained 2000 level in the next year in view of the good work being done by our Regional Commissioners. It seems that every year there are new events added to the calendar and our Commissioners have responded well. I believe Clan Macpherson was represented at more Highland events in the USA this year than ever before!

      This past year saw the passing of two US members who contributed greatly to Clan Macpherson Association. James F. Macphearson of Dallas, Texas passed on July 10, 2001. Jim was a Life member, served as Membership Secretary and was a permanent member of the Council. He also convened tents for us in Texas. William B. Gillespie of Tallahassee, FL passed on Oct 3, 2001. Bill served as Southeast Commissioner for a few years and also convened tents for us in northern Florida.

      Dodie and I are looking forward to being a part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of our Museum in August and we hope to see many of you there also. Our next AGM will be in Las Vegas, NV, but the date has not been set as yet. Remember, all CMA members are welcome!

      Warmest regards and best wishes for the New Year to all our cousins throughout the world.



29 Mountain View Road
Timaru 8601
New Zealand

21 October 2001

Dear Margaret,
      Greetings from the South Pacific. Good to be in touch again but sorry to read that you are vacating the Editorship of "Creag Dhubh". Trust that this finds you in good health and spirits.

      Several years back an appeal was made in CD for details about places named after Macphersons or septs. I did some initial delving in New Zealand but have not come up with much information.

      There are a number of streets and roads spread throughout New Zealand named after Macpherson families but one mountain which qualifies as an actual place, other than McPherson's Bush (native forest) near Wanganui in Turakine Valley, which was first farmed by Highlanders in the 1860s. The Bush was gifted by a McPherson family who had come from Badenoch.

      Mount Macpherson is one of the peaks up above the Homer Tunnel and is located on the route between Te Anau and Milford, a popular tourist area. The mountain is named after a Duncan Macpherson who was one of the surveyors who in the early 1900s mapped this part of Fiordland. Searching revealed that his father came from Australia and I am not sure of his links with Scotland.

      However, my other find was regarding a Quentin Macpherson Mackinnon, who in the 1880s was an explorer and guide on our best known tourist walking track, the Milford Track. On the third day along this track the Mackinnon Pass is reached, before descending down to Milford Sound. Many people over the years have completed this spectacular walk and it is very well known. I decided to find out more about Mackinnon, a man who was held in high regard in earlier times, his sudden disappearance in late 1892 being much lamented by his friends. I was interested in his background which several books simply gave as "of a good family and born in 1851 in Argyll-shire". With help I found out that Mackinnon's parents were a John Mackinnon alias Mackinven and Isabella nee Macpherson, daughter of Neil Macpherson and Elizabeth Quentin. John Mackinven married 7 June 1847 Kilmichael-Glassery parish Argyllshire.

      Quite likely then that Quentin Mackinnon's Macpherson forebears were of the small clan which was part of Clan Campbell and reputed to have begun with Dugald the Parson son of Colin mor Campbell of Lochow (Refer page 23 of The Posterity of the Three Brethren by Alan G Macpherson). There were Macphersons on record at Glassery as early as 1355 and 1420, which may surprise many people. Bean Macpherson of Clan Chattan witnessed a bond in 1490 so Clan Campbell are one up on us it seems!

      Regarding their origins and clan affiliations of various Highland families there is much debate. A few years back I read parts of Dr I F Grant's book The MacLeods, The Making of a Clan. On page 68 there are details about a family surnamed Gillies of Strath on Skye whose


lands were inherited through marriage by Murdoch, son of 3rd Chief of MacLeod of Dunvegan. My own view is that, though some Gillies families were indeed part of that clan confederation , others had no kinship with them whatsoever. G F Black's The Surnames of Scotland leads me to this conclusion.

      Coming back to these Skye Gillies families, I wonder if they were offshoots of those who pre 1230 were living in Kintyre. Alexander MacKenzie in his History of the MacDonalds refers to Sommerled's grandson, Gillies who held Kintyre (Dugald holding Lome). Then elsewhere are details about how during the reign of Alexander II (1198-1249) a campaign was made to expel Donald, progenitor of the MacDonalds from Argyll. Donald is reputed to have banished Gillies, his wife's father, to the Glens of Ireland where some of his offspring remain to this day. (Hence MacAleese families in Ulster) Other offspring of this Gillies could have moved north to Skye. As already stated no link with Clan Chattan is apparent though the distance between Strath on Skye and north Lochaber is not great.

      Back to more recent times. The New Zealand Pipe Bands National Contest was held here in Timaru earlier this year. The street march was particularly thrilling and the final combined march a wonderful spectacle. Three bands wore the red Macpherson tartan, a fact that pleased me greatly.

Yours sincerely,
Malcolm J McPherson

Pipe Band du Val de Somme
Mr Jean-Marie HUDELOT
18 Rue des frères Caudron
e.mail: FRANCOISE.HUDELOT@wanadoo.fr

Dear Sir,
      The <> was created nine years ago and the pipers and drummers choose to wear the Clan MacPherson tartan as far as they have risen enough money to buy their first kilts.

      I joined the band some years ago and since, I'm wearing proudly the MacPherson's colours.

      I became for one year the president of the associated musiciens and discovered only recently that none of the previous presidents never took time to write to the Chief of Clan MacPherson, Sir William of Clunny and Blairgowrie, in order to obtain to be authorized to wear the Clan MacPherson tartan. I do hope the MacPhersons would not take umbrage at this omission.

      As a matter of fact, I learnt that the question was only debated when the kilt were bought at Jane MacPherson's shop in Edinburgh, and I was told that they were granted the privilege of wearing the Clan MacPherson's colours by the daughter of the famous pipe maker, the late Hugh MacPherson.

      In order to rectify this mistake -- due to a lake of knowledge -- I would like to ask solemny to the present Chief of Clan MacPherson the permission of wearing the MacPherson tartan and crest badge for all the members of our pipe band.

      Would you please send me the addresse of the present Chief of Clan MacPherson or even pass on this letter to his Lordship.

I thank you in advance

Leis gach deagh dhurachd

Jean-Marie Hudelot
Président du Pipe Band du Val de Nièvre

Editor's Note: This most charming letter is published as it was written


      The receipts from both Annual and Life Memberships have been restored to a healthier level, helped by the fees increase and by a delayed payment from one of the branches for the previous year. They came to a total of £9018.

      The Gathering this year showed a profit of £755, an appreciable increase on previous years, and was the icing on the cake of what was a good Rally.

      The Museum continues to make a loss, the Association this year subsidising it to the tune of about £2500. The income from sales shows a significant increase, and we must congratulate Olive, our new Curator, for being able to increase sales when tourism has been so badly hit.

      The work undertaken to upgrade the Curator's flat, and carry out the 2K2 project upgrade to the museum was a big financial outlay. Although we did get a grant towards some of the museum work from the Local Enterprise Company, and another from the AIS Macpherson Charitable Fund, the vast majority of the £32,000 it cost was made up of donations in some shape or form from our members. A truly spectacular achievement, thanks to the generosity of all concerned!

      The Museum is a Charitable Trust, and as such any donations to it from UK citizens are eligible for the Gift Aid Scheme. This gives a useful bonus to the Museum, so if you have made a gift to the Museum (as the main Association is not a charity, membership fees do not qualify), and are a UK tax payer, and I have missed giving you a form to fill in, please let me know.

      I would like to express my appreciation for the help and support received from our Auditor, Alistair, in preparation for the Audit.