Glencoe Commemoration Ceremony, 1987

The 295th anniversary of the Massacre of Glencoe was commemorated on Friday 13th February in fine weather conditions which allowed most of those who took part to dispense with the usual precautionary wet weather gear and march to the Monument in full tartan array. The column, as usual, was headed by Major Eric Moss, Glencoe, clad in ancient MacDonald hunting tartan complete with balmoral bonnet and Great Highland Bagpipe on which he rendered an appropriate selection of traditional pipe marches. Close behind the pipes came the Rev. Kenneth Wigston, Rector of Glencoe who was followed by Ray L. McDonald, North Texas Convener, Clan Donald USA, from Arlington, Texas, who attended with his wife and on this occasion carried the Banner of the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh, marching shoulder to shoulder with Norman H. MacDonald, the Society’s Hon. Secretary, who acted as Banner-man to the Chief of Glengarry, Air Commodore Donald MacDonell CB DFC, who with Lady Glengarry flanked Ellice McDonald, Jr., CBE (Hon.), Hon. High Commissioner, Clan Donald USA, representing Clan Donald USA, it being the turn, by rotation, of that Society to sponsor the wreath of remembrance (cuimhnich). On the other flank were Donald M. Macdonald and William MacDonald, Presidents, respectively of the Clan Donald Societies of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The ceremony of laying the wreath was performed by Ellice McDonald, Jr., CBE (Hon.) at the Memorial at noon which was followed by the Lament — The Flowers of the Forest played on the pipes by Major Eric Moss. The service was conducted by the Rev. Kenneth Wigston who recalled the sad events of the Massacre but stressed the importance of looking to the future rather than dwelling too much on the past. After leading the assembled company in singing The Lord’s My Shepherd to the psalm tune Crimond, Mr. Wigston concluded with a prayer in Gaelic. Ellice McDonald Jr., in addressing the company expressed his great pleasure to be back once more at the ceremony in the land of his ancestors who were of the Glencoe Branch of Clan Donald (Clann Iain Abrach) and conveyed greetings from the MacDonalds in the United States of America. Donald M. Macdonald, President of the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh, thanked those assembled for having taken the trouble to attend and formally announced the conclusion of the ceremony.

A party of 40 persons attended lunch at the Glencoe Hotel as the guests of Ellice McDonald Jr., when greetings messages were read from John F. McDonald, Jr., High Commissioner, Clan Donald USA, Mrs. Nan McDonald, NSW Commissioner, The Clan Donald Society of Australia, Mrs. Marjory E. Walker, Picton, New Zealand, Mrs. Jean MacDonald Clarke, Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Ronald Kelly, Hon. Secretary, The Clan Donald Society of London and the South of England, Miss Ella McConnell and Mrs. Florence D.C. Macdonald, both of Edinburgh, Mrs. Margaret Munn, Glasgow, Mrs. Lena MacEachern and Mrs. Isla MacEachern, The Clan Donald Society of Islay, Port Askaig. The President paid tribute to the late Mrs. Donald J. (Bunty) Macdonald of Castleton, widow of Donald J. Macdonald, 12th of Castleton, a distinguished past president of the Society and historian of the Clan, for her long and devoted service to the Society and the Clan Donald Lands Trust. Among those who attended were Air Commodore Donald MacDonell of Glengarry and Lady Glengarry, Rob McDonald Parker, International Director, The Clan Donald Lands Trust, Sleat, Isle of Skye, Harry Matthews, Metropolitan New York Commissioner, Clan Donald USA, Mr. & Mrs. Ray L. McDonald, North Texas Convener, Clan Donald USA, Donald M. Macdonald, President of The Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh, his wife May and son Alan, William MacDonald, President of the Clan Donald Society of Glasgow, and his wife Ruth, Miss Barbara Fairweather, Invercoe, miss Christian Aikman, Ardgour, Angus MacDonald, Hon. Secretary of the Clan Donald Society of Glasgow and his wife Margaret, Mr. & Mrs. Alan McDonald, their son Kenneth and two granddaughters, Norman H. MacDonald, Hon. Secretary of the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh, Miss Elisabeth I. MacDonald, Hon. Treasurer of The Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh, Mrs Elsa Jones, Duror, Major & Mrs. Eric Moss, Glencoe, The Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Wigston, The Rectory, Glencoe, The Rev. & Mrs. Archie Russell, Glencoe St. Munda Manse, Ballachulish, Mrs. Emily Galbraith, Penicuik, Miss Helen Macdonald, Miss Mary McDonald, Mrs. Jean Macdonald, Dr. Hector Macdonald, Mr. & Mrs. Alastair Cherry, Chevalier Kenneth McL. Hay, Finlay Morrison and Mrs. Sheila Duffy, all of Edinburgh.

After lunch many of the guests returned, by kind invitation from Miss Barbara Fairweather, to Invercoe House for afternoon tea und a conversazione before setting out for home. The verdict, a highly successful and memorable occasion.