Cuimhnich (Remember)

When the last of the winter snow melted in Glencoe it laid bare a wreath which bore the Clan Donald crest, the date 1692 and the Gaelic word Cuimhnich – remember.

The Clan Donald Societies had once again carried out their self-imposed duty of remembering the anniversary of the Massacre of Glencoe. Maintaining tradition, it was one of the descendants of the Macdonalds of Glencoe, Miss Hilda Macdonald Duffus, who in the grey dawn of 13th February placed the wreath at the base of the Celtic cross.

The Rev. Andrew Wilson, Rector of St John’s, crystallised the simple dignity of the ceremony with these words:

“We gather here, not all to fix blame or to indulge in the cheap luxury of fruitless recriminations but rather to remember before God the souls of those who perished in the winter cold of this day so many years ago. Many more have since suffered similar and not less terrible fates, and no doubt many more will do so in whatever ages lie ahead of us.

“Yet victory is to the vanquished and shame to the oppressor. Let this lesson be written in our hearts, that bitterness shall be displaced by piety, and enmity removed by peace.

“If the unmerited deaths of the Macdonalds of Glencoe, and the sufferings of all the innocent the world over, could move us to forswear what is base and mean in our own hearts, and to seek after the good and the true, to seek to let the peace of God reign over men, among the nations of the world and in our hearts, then they did not die in vain.”

In May the Glasgow Society and in June the Edinburgh Society paid their personal tributes to the dead in the Glen of Weeping.