Obituaries (1977)

Dr. Roderick H. Macdonald OBE MS FRACS of Rigg and Balviquean.

The Clan Donald Society of Australia is much the poorer with the loss on 26th February 1976 of Dr. Roderick Hector Macdonald of Rigg and Balvicquean, President of the New South Wales Branch, in his seventy sixth year.

Born on 10th March 1900, at Ipswich, Queensland, Dr. Roderick was the third son of Colonel Roderick Macdonald MB CM, a direct descendant of Iain Og 1st of Rigg and Balvicquean, Trotternish, in the Isle of Skye; a cadet family of Sleat. (See “Clan Donald” Vol.3 pp.515-517)

Dr. Roderick had his early education at Ipswich Grammar School until his father went overseas in 1915 with the Australian Army Medical Corps when he was provided with a tutor. He entered the Faculty of Medicine at Sydney University and graduated in 1923. He was resident at Sydney Hospital for twenty-seven years and was in general practice at Grafton for fourteen years. He did postgraduate studies and gained his MS (Master of Surgery) in 1938 in which year be was admitted FRACS. He specialised in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Late in 1932, Dr. Roderick enlisted in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps with which he went overseas and was awarded the OBE (Military Division), besides being mentioned no less than five times in dispatches.

Dr. Roderick matriculated arms as “Macdonald of Rigg and Balvicquean’ on 30th April 1965. He was a live member of the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh.

Dr. Roderick married in 1939, Phyllis, daughter of Dr. A.C. Holt by whom he had (a) a daughter who died in 1972 and (b} a son, Dr. Roderick Donald Macdonald, a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology, who is married with two sons. Dr. Roderick is survived by his wife and son.

Major-General Harry Macdonald CB CIE DSO.

This distinguished soldier son of Clan Donald passed away in Skye on Friday 15th October 1976, aged 90 years.

Major-General Harry Macdonald was the son of the late Mr. & Mrs. John Macdonald, Redcliffe, and was educated at Fettes College, Edinburgh before entering the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. He joined the Indian Army in 1906. During the First World War he served in Europe and was mentioned in dispatches five times, was awarded the DSO and the Croix de Guerre with palms. After a spell in the War Office, he was appointed to general staff office, Western Command, India from 1928 to 1931 and later was posted as Commandant of Probyn’s Horse (5th Keo Lancers). From 1936 to 1939 he commanded the 1st (Rispalur) Cavalry Brigade, and on the outbreak of the Second World War he was promoted Major-General, Cavalry, in India. He was in charge of the Meerut District of India from 1940 to 1943 when he retired but was immediately reemployed as Chief Civil Liaison Officer and Director of Recruiting Northern Area, India, a post which he held until 1946 when he retired and returned to Scotland.

He was a Commander of the Bath in 1940 and a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire in 1946.

He was an Honorary Sheriff Substitute for Inverness, Moray, Nairn and Ross and Cromarty for several years and in 1948 was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Inverness-shire. He was also a member of the former Inverness County Council, and of Skye District Council, and was for a time President of the Highlands and Islands Area Council of the British Legion, besides being for many years President of the North Skye Branch.

Standing well over 6 feet; his tall, distinguished, kilted figure was a familiar sight at gatherings throughout the Highlands and Islands and will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

He is survived by his wife, a daughter of the late Brigadier Sir Walter and Lady Ross of Cromarty, and three married daughters. The funeral of Major-General Macdonald took place at Portree.

Major Peter Douglas Kellie MM ACF.

The tragic drowning in a swimming accident on the evening of 28th September 1976, of Major Peter Douglas Kellie, late Queen’s Own Highlanders, known locally as Padruig Mor, came as a great shock to all who know this brave and loveable Highlander.

A colleague has written that: “Peter’s bluff exterior and nervous little laugh concealed a great wealth of shrewd awareness, kindly tempered judgement and concern.”

Educated at Charterhouse and Trinity College Cambridge, Major Kellie served with the 14th Army in Burma during the Second World War, being twice wounded and awarded the Military Medal for “Gallantry in the Field” after leading a bayonet  charge on a Japanese machine-gun post during the battle for Mandalay.

After the war, he studied Estate Management at the Royal Agricultural College, from where he entered the Aberfeldy Estates Office in North Perthshire to complete his practical training.

For more than a decade he was Factor of the Scatwell and Strathconon Estates in Ross-shire, and subsequently Factor for the West Highland Woodlands at Fort William and Newtonmore.

Increasing trouble with his old war wounds forced Major Kellie into early semi-retirement. He was a keen TAVR officer, serving with the Army Cadet Force in first the Black Watch and then the Queen’s Own Highlanders.

He was a founder member of the Dingwall Branch of the Scottish National Party, a staunch upholder of all things Scottish, a Gaelic speaker, a keen piper, an enthusiastic member of the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh and of the 1745 association, on whose behalf he used to lay the wreath at the Memorial Cairn on Culloden Muir annually on 16th April, the anniversary of the battle. It was he who made the arrangements for the erection of the Memorial at Culloden to commemorate the Irish Piquets who died so bravely.

Peter Kellie was a decendant of Flora MacDonald, the Clan heroine and was Bannerman of Clan Ranald.

A loyal adherent of the Scottish Episcopal Church, he is survived by his wife Angela (nee Palmer-Douglas of Cavers, Roxburghshire), a son Torquil Douglas (5) and a daughter Serena Jane (10) to whom we extend our heartfelt sympathy.

Mr. W.P. McDonald.

The Clan Donald lost one of its most enthusiastic supporters when Mr. William Prince McDonald of Frankton Road, Queenstown, died on Friday, February 21st 1977, at Christchurch Hospital, in his 75th year. Mr McDonald was the New Zealand Commissioner for the Clan Donald, appointed to that position by Lord Macdonald of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, and he formed the Clan Donald Society in Invercargill 19 years ago and became a life member of that organization. Mr and Mrs McDonald visited Lord Macdonald at his home when they were in Scotland two years ago.

Born at Heriiot, Mr McDonald spent his early years there where his father was farming. He attended primary school there and his secondary education at Otago Boys’ High School before entering Medical School for three years.

His heart was in farming and, in 1930 he bought the 32,000 acre Ben Lomond station at Queenstown which he farmed for 20 years. In 1950, he took up a 1,500 acre mixed farm at Five Rivers and developed that until his retirement to Queenstown nine years ago.

During World War II he served in the Home Guard at Queenstown as medical instructor, and, while at Ben Lomond station, he represented the Wakatipu district runholders on the Federated Farmers.

Mr. McDonald was a keen bowler, both outdoor and indoor, and took his turn as president of the Queenstown Bowling Club. Reading was one of his favourite pastimes in retirement, particularly Scottish history.

Mr. McDonald is survived by his wife Margaret, three sons and four daughters.