Obituaries

A.G. McDonald, Okoia, Wanganui.

The citizens of Wanganui and the Clan Donald in New Zealand suffered a severe loss by the sudden death on 18th October 1972, of Alexander Gordon McDonald, of “Keppoch”, Okoia, Wanganui.

Gordon, as he was always known to his family and friends, was born in New Zealand, in 1909 and was the eldest son of Edgar McDonald (1882-1945), third son of Alexander McDonald (1837-1910), son of Alexander Robinson MacDonald (1800-1871), who was Attorney General for Tasmania before going to New Zealand. Alexander Robinson MacDonald was the fourth surviving son of Captain Alexander MacDonald of Moy, second son of Ranald MacDonald, 4th of Aberarder, a branch of the Sliochd an Tighe, i.e. the descendants of “Black” John of Bohuntin, third son of Ranald Mor, 7th of Keppoch, and married Anne, second daughter of Alexandrina, daughter of Angus Ban of Insh, son of Colonel Alexander MacDonell, 17th of Keppoch, who fell at Culloden, and Julia (or Juliet), daughter of John MacDonald of Dalchosnie.

Gordon was, therefore, a great-great-great grandson of Keppoch of Culloden, son of the famous “Coll of the Cows”. He was dux of his school, was a keen sportsman and took up farming as a career. He looked after his stock well and had a reputation for his excellent handling of dogs. He served with the New Zealand armed forces during World War II.

Gordon called his farm “Keppoch” and was very proud of his MacDonald ancestry; yet he was a modest and kindly man who had consideration for all and of whom no one spoke ill. One of Nature’s gentlemen he was a founder member of the Wanganui Historical Society and a Committee Member of the Founders Society, to which only those descended from first ten years settlers can belong. He was for many years a member of the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh.

He is survived by his wife, Kathleen and his sons, Alexander Ranald and Cameron John. (N.H.M.)

Ex-CSM Angus MacDonald.

It was with deep regret that we of The Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh learnt of the sudden and unexpected death on 30th September 1973 of our Councl Member, Ex Company Sergeant Major Angus MacDonald at the age of 60.

Angus spent most of his early life in Argyll but returning to Glasgow, the city of his birth, in 1931 he joined the 9th Battalion of The Glasgow Highlanders in which he had become a Sergeant prior to World War II. When the War, began Angus was posted to The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) and soon after joined the 1st Battalion in India and saw a great deal of action. He later joined that unforgettable and courageous band of men who, like Fingal and the Feinne were to go down in history namely, “The Chindits”.

By the end of the War, Angus had been promoted to Company Sergeant Major and on demobilisation he with his wife and family returned to the Isle of Jura, where he remained for several years as stockman on a large cattle ranch. Returning to Glasgow in 1953 Angus was the following year appointed Secretary and Clubmaster of The Cameronian Memorial Club in Lynedoch Place. However, the pull of his native county was too strong and to the great disappointment of the Club, Angus once more set off for Argyll where he and his wife took over “The Tight Line”, a favourite hostelry on Loch Awe for anglers and tourists. From Loch Awe the family moved to Dunoon and finally to Edinburgh when Angus was appointed Steward of the Arts Club, in Rutland Square. Once settled in Edinburgh, Angus lost no time in renewing his membership of the Clan Donald Society and soon became an active member of the Council. It was largely due to his efforts that a very successful ceilidh was held in the Sergeants’ Mess of Edinburgh Caste to welcome the members of the 1st Battalion, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders Association from Canada during their historic visit to Scotland in 1972.

His efforts and suggestions to raise funds and enroll members for The Clan Donald Lands Trust and for The Clan Donald Society, his cheerful manner and wonderful sense of humour, and his striking appearance in his Clanranald tartan kilt will never be forgotten by any of us who had the privilege of knowing him.

He is survived by his wife Isa, now of Edinburgh, his son, Angus Gregor, a Major in the Oman Gendarmerie of the Sultan of Muscat’s Armed Forces, and his daughter, Elizabeth. (N.H.M.)

Rev. Donald Macdonald Millar.

Since our last magazine we have lost a loyal member of longstanding (over 20 years) – The Rev. Donald Macdonald Millar of Maryland. He was in constant touch with us and was very proud of his descent from the Glenmore Macdonalds, cadets of Sleat. He had been in ill health for some time but bore his suffering bravely. I feel a personal sorrow in his death as we corresponded almost every month and I regarded him as a fine loyal clansman, as well as being a real friend. As I write this, a letter from his widow comes to hand with an account of his life. We cannot quote it in full; but facts may interest you.

Born in 1884 in Nashville, Tennessee, worked at first as an architect but graduated to the Episcopal ministry in 1910 in New York. On a visit to London he became interested in Dr Samuel Johnson’s house in Gough Square where the famous Dictionary was written. And made detailed plans of the attic. When the house was destroyed in World War II the plans he had made were sent to London from which drawings it was possible to reconstruct the house. He matriculated arms in Lyon Office as a cadet of the Glenmore branch of Sleat. But he is best remembered for his steadfast ministry for 63 years in the service of his Master, more recently in the quiet country church in Maryland which he restored and maintained till his end. Our sincere sympathy goes out to Marie, his widow, with whom we shall keep in touch. (D.J.M.)

Robert E. McDonald, Leander, Texas.

We mourn the passing since our last issue of Mr. Robert E. McDonald of Glenelg, Leander, Texas the doyen of Clan Donald ever since the formation of the Clan Donald Society of America by the late Reginald H. Macdonald of Kingsburgh. His work for the Clan cannot be over estimated.