Obituaries (1995)


Ernest Allan MacDonald of Sherwood, Brisbane, Australia, who died in January, 1992 had been a Life Member of the Society since 1960 and it was only by chance through correspondence with the then Hon. Secretary, Norman H. MacDonald that he discovered that they were second cousins, once removed. Allan’s grandfather, John MacDonald, who emigrated from Achterneed, Ross-shire to Australia in the 1860s was a brother of Roderick MacDonald, great-grandfather of Norman H. MacDonald. Allan’s son, Malcolm J. MacDonald of Mt. Ommaney, Brisbane and his wife Shirley visited Scotland during the 1970s when the cousins met and they have continued their correspondence since then. Malcolm is a Life Member of the Society.

Mrs. Flora MacDonald Brown, mother of our Honorary Member, Mrs. Margaret MacDonald Campbell died on 11th December 1991. Mrs. Brown, whose maiden name was Flora MacDonald was for many years, along with her sister Miss Johan MacDonald and younger daughter Margaret, a regular attender at the Society’s functions. A nurse by training Mrs. Brown, as a young woman, while staying at the family hotel at Arisaig, was called in to attend the mother of the late Donald J. Macdonald of Castleton, during Tier last illness. Mrs. Macdonald’s husband, the Rev. James A.D.J. Macdonald, 10th of Castleton was then the Church of Scotland Minister of Arisaig.

His Hon. Judge Ian M MacDonell, of Toronto, who had been a Life Member of the Society since 1955, died during the latter half of 1992, in his 98th year. He was actively involved in the formation of the Clan Donald Society of Canada in the early 1960s and was the first High Commissioner for Clan Donald in Canada. Judge Ian was a descendant of Angus MacDonell of Greenfield (of the second family to possess that property) who held the rank of Major in the Glengarry Regiment of Prince Charlie’s Army in the Forty-Five.

Ronald E. Fittes, of Newcastle-upon Tyne, who died in December, 1991, was a Life Member of the Society. Ronnie, a retired school-master, descended through his mother from the earlier MacDonells of Greenfield, was an enthusiastic genealogist.

Archibald P. Alexander, of the “Toytub,” Raeburn Place, Edinburgh died on 2nd April, 1992. Archie, who could claim descent both from the Alexanders of Menstrie and the MacDonalds of Glencoe, was a Council member of the Society for several years up until his death and was well-known to model soldier collectors, many of whom sought his advice when ordering rare or unusual figures. He is survived by his wife Nanette and sons Archie, Jr., and Donald, who are all members of the Society.

Mrs. Elizabeth A. Ross, who died on 26th June 1992, in her 92nd year, was the widow of David J. Ross, of Edinburgh. She and her husband were Life Members of the Society. She is survived by their son Alasdair, daughter Rionna and grandchildren.

Lieut. Colonel William Currie of Balelone, who died on 23rd September, 1992, had been a Life Member of the Society since 1963. He was the author of a history of the Currie family entitled With Harp and Sword. He is survived by his wife Irene.

Chevalier Kenneth McL. Hay, B.E.M., K.C.L.J. who died suddenly, on 22nd September, 1992, was a long standing friend of the Society and of its President, Norman H. MacDonald. He was made an Honorary Member of the Society in 1969 for his enthusiastic efforts to encourage young people to join the Society. He was a man of many parts who generally rose to the top ranks in every organisation with which he was associated. For dedicated service to the Civil Service Sanatorium Society he was awarded the British Empire Medal. He was a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Chairman of the CounciI of the Royal Celtic Society, President of the St. Andrew Society of Edinburgh and Commissioner of Clan Hay. He was also a talented entertainer. Having bequeathed his body to medical research, a memorial service was held for him in St. Michael’s and All Saints Scottish Episcopal Church, Edinburgh which was attended by several hundred of his friends. He is survived by his wife Fiona, nee McDonald, who is a Council Member of the Society.

Lieut. Colonel Gordon D. Leggett, E.D., D.D.S., K.H., K.C.L.J., who died on 22nd September, 1992, had been prominently involved in the Clan Donald Society of Canada since 1960 and was Chairman of the now disbanded Clan Donald Council of Canada. He had practised as a Dental Surgeon in Toronto for 50 years, served as President of the St. Andrew Society, was Rector’s Warden of All Saints Church, Kingsmay, a life member of the Toronto Scottish Regimental Association, United Empire Loyalists Association and of many other organisations. In World War II he served as an officer in the Toronto Scottish Regiment and with the Canadian Dental Corps in the British and Canadian Armies. He is survived by his wife Doris and sons Dr. Gordon Leggett and Dr. William Leggett and their families.

Mrs. Elizabeth W. MacDonald, who died on 1st March, 1993, the widow of Robert MacDonald, C.A., was an Honorary Vice-President of the Society. She had formerly been a very active member, having held office both as Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer at various times. She is survived by her son Lindsay, who is a Life Member and grandchildren.

Mrs. Eyvor von Philp, wife of our member Mr. Clarence von Philp, formerly of Bromma, Sweden, died on 8th March, 1993. Clarence and Eyvor became Life Members of the Society in 1978 and graced our annual gatherings on a number of occasions. Resplendent in Keppoch tartan, they won many friends and admirers with their warm personalities and by their striking appearance. Eyvor, originally from Finland, worked in Edinburgh for a time with disabled people al the former Simon Square Centre and had faultless English. She is survived by her husband, Clarence who has recently removed to Spanga, Sweden.

  1. Brodie Macdonald, of Ashampstead, Berkshire, who died in December, 1994, had been a Life Member since 1972. Mr. Macdonald, who was highly respected, was a former President of the former Clan Donald Society of London. He is survived by his son James.

William (Bill) Allan. It is with deep regret that we record the sudden death of William (Bill) Allan at his home at Otatara, Invercargill on 15th December 1994.

Bill and his wife Elspeth and two small sons arrived in Invercargill, New Zealand from Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, Scotland in 1962. He initially worked for a local Bakery then established his own bakery business which traded under the name “Caledonia Cake Kitchen.” Bill had only retired 2 months previous to his untimely death, just a few days before his 64th birthday.

Bill was involved in the Presbyterian Church and at the time of his death held the office of Session Clerk at First Church, Invercargill. As a tribute to Bill the Church was full of friends and associates for his funeral. The coffin was piped from the Church by a Clan Donald Society Piper. P/M Lang Morton chose as his musical tribute, “The Dark Island,” and played the cortege away from the church to “A Man’s a Man.” A guard of honour comprising Clan Donald Society members from Southland and Otago, together with representatives from kindred organisations was formed at the church door.

Bill joined Clan Donald Society of New Zealand in 1963, was elected to committee in 1964 and became President in 1965. He held this office through to 1967. He became Vice President in 1970 and remained in that position through to 1981 when he became President until 1984. In 1985 he served on the committee through until his death, thus giving 30 years of active support to the Clan Donald Society.

Bill was a gentle gentleman whose dignity, kindness and humour was a great asset to the Clan Donald Society. He had a good understanding of the Gaelic language, tartans and the Clan system.

He will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his wife Elspeth, sons Hugh, William (Billy) Jack, daughter Ainslie and grandchildren Michael and Brittany.

Gus am Brist an latha.

Submitted by Mrs. Joan Gunn, Secretary and William MacDonald, Commissioner for Southland, New Zealand.