Glencoe Remembrance Ceremony 1984 by Norman H. MacDonald FSA Scot

The 292nd anniversary of the Massacre of Glencoe was commemorated at noon on Monday 13th February, at the memorial in Glencoe.

In a steady drizzle, the large company which had gathered at the bridge at Upper Carnoch set off shortly before noon on the march to the memorial, headed by Major Eric Moss playing Pibroch o’ Donuil Dubh and other stirring marches on his pipes, followed, in order, by the chaplain, the Very Reverend Ian G. Wilson, Episcopal Dean of Argyll and the Isles and Rector of Glencoe, the Banner of Glengarry carried by Norman H. MacDonald, Hon. Secretary of the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh, then abreast Air Commodore Donald MacDonell, Chief of Glengarry, Lady Glengarry and Donald M Macdonald, President of the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh carrying the wreath, and thereafter Miss Barbara Fairweather, Invercoe, Mrs Elsa Jones, Duror, and a strong contingent from the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh among the large company which included four members of the newly formed Clan Donald Society of Islay, five persons from Aberdeen and one from Caithness.

The proceedings commenced with the singing of the 23rd Psalm to the tune of Crimond followed by the laying of the wreath by the President of the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh, it being the turn by rotation of the Edinburgh Society to sponsor the wreath, after which Major Moss played part of the piobaireachd Mort Ghlinne Chomhainn – The Massacre of Glencoe. A service was then conducted by the Dean after which the Edinburgh Society President, addressing the company, paid tribute to the innocent clansmen, women and children who had been slaughtered in an act of political expediency on that cold winter morning 292 years ago by Government soldiers who had lived among them as guests for nearly a fortnight. The President then paid tribute to one of his predecessors in office whom he regretted he had never had the pleasure of meeting, Donald J. Macdonald of Castleton, who, when Secretary of the Edinburgh Society, had been the prime-mover in instituting the present annual remembrance ceremony in 1959 and who had passed away peacefully at his home in the Isle of Skye only the previous morning. Author of Slaughter Under Trust, the story of the Massacre, he would always be remembered and his name be associated with this ceremony for many years to come. The President then asked Major Moss to play a lament for Donald J. Macdonald of Castleton. Thereafter the Edinburgh Society members and their guests and members of their kindred society of Islay adjourned to the Glencoe Hotel which had graciously opened specially to provide lunch for the party.

A company of 31 persons sat down to lunch, including the Society’s immediate past president, Mr Alan McDonald and his wife Betty, Mrs Florence Macdonald, Edinburgh Hon. Treasurer. Seamus Alex MacDonald and his wife, and Mrs Isla MacEachern, Hon. Secretary and her mother, all of the Clan Donald Society of Islay. The President included among his intimations messages from Ellice McDonald Jr., Hon. High Commissioner, Clan Donald USA, Douglas Murdock, High Commissioner, Clan Donald USA, Bill McDonald, President of Victoria Branch, Clan Donald Society of Australia, and Miss Mary McDonald, Edinburgh, which were read, and conveyed the apologies for absence of Ronald Kelly, Hon. Secretary of the London Clan Donald Society and a telephone message from Mrs Marjory Walker, New Zealand. Glengarry paid tribute to the late Donald J. Macdonald of Castleton whom he described as one of the greatest clansmen of our time and recalled how that after the death of his own father in 1941 he had looked on Donald J. as a second father to advise him on Clan affairs. After lunch, many accepted the kind invitation of Miss Barbara Fairweather to go back to Invercoe House for tea and biscuits before departing for home.