WEST WORD
Community paper for Glenfinnan, Lochailort, Glenuig, Arisaig, Morar,
Mallaig, Knoydart and the Small Isles

List of Issues online

February 2003 Issue

Contents of the online version:

Top stories
Monthly news from Knoydart, Muck, Arisaig, Rum
Local Genealogy & History

Letters, e-mails and comments are welcome.
Contact Details & How to Subscribe
Sign our Guestbook

100 ISSUES OF WEST WORD and 100 BIRTHDAY WISHES TO PHEMIE
West Word may only be celebrating its 100th issue, but Phemie Ironside celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday, February 2nd 2003!
Deputy Lieutenant of Inverness-shire Iain Thornber came to the party in the Marine in Mallaig to present her with the Queen’s message of congratulation for this momentous occasion. He said ‘Phemie looks so hale and hearty I’m looking forward to presenting her with the Queen’s congratulations on her 105th.’
More on Phemie’s birthday next month!

MORAR ROAD CLOSURE
The access to Morar from the south, near the roundabout, will be closed for the last week in February and the first week in March. When it reopens there will be no roundabout and a slightly different layout.
A three week closure has been sought but a Barr’s spokesman is confident that two weeks should see the job done.
The road will also be blocked at the south side of the Bracara turn off on the river. Residents will have to turn right and travel through Morar to the junction at the north end on the new road

MSPs MEET WITH MALLAIG FISHING LEADERS
John Swinney and Fergus Ewing met with John MacAllister and Hugh Allen, Chairman and Secretary of Mallaig and North West Fishermen's Association and Mr Robert Stevenson from the West of Scotland Fish Processors Organisation on their visit to Mallaig on the 24th January 2003.
Mr Swinney labelled the lack of action by the Labour Government as ‘an absolute disgrace.
Robert Stevenson has written an article for West Word on the current situation affecting our fishermen - see article below.

Brigg Lancaster

BRIGG LANCASTER (July 28th 1971 - January 25th 2003)
Shortly after rejoicing over the arrival of Eigg's newest resident, baby Heather Thomson, born on 6 January to proud young parents Grace and Stuart, the island was plunged into grief. On Saturday 25 January, the islanders were stunned to hear that Brigg Lancaster, the island joiner and founder of one of Eigg's newest business ventures, had suffered a fatal accident when his jeep rolled off the track leading to his home.

Brigg, who was from Keighley in Yorkshire, lived in Knoydart and moved to Eigg, having met his future wife Tasha Fyffe at a ceilidh on the mainland. The couple tied the knot in summer 2000, marrying at the same time as Tasha's brother, in a romantic double wedding which was deemed to have been one of the memorable events of the new millennium on the island.
A talented woodcarver and meticulous joiner, 31 years old Brigg was a stalwart member of the Isle of Eigg Construction Company. His involvement in the renovations of 3 houses in his 4 years on the island will be a lasting legacy. He had also started with his wife Tasha an original craft business restoring and making rocking horses, a skill he learned from his father Brian and which he was keen to pass on to young islanders.
With his outgoing personality and infectious enthusiasm for life, Brigg was a popular member of the island community, teaching karate to the youngsters, taking folks surfing or fishing. A typical example of his spirit of adventure and fun was that he single-handedly hauled a dinghy up to the lochs so that he could go fishing for trout (there hadn't been a boat on the loch for thirty years!) or that he carved a beautiful dug-out canoe out of a mature pine in the Sandavore woods. His "entirely recycled" floating aids on either side of the canoe were much admired, comparable to the best specimen in Fidji or Hawai. Brigg also had a great interest in the island's past and his name will live on as the discoverer of rare Bronze Age moulds near his house.
Well over a hundred people gathered on the island for his funeral, with many from the surrounding area, especially Knoydart and Rum, and from Yorkshire. They joined the grieving families and islanders in a celebration of Brigg's life before carrying him to the graveyard at Kildonnan. Along with the sorrow there was laughter and the warmth of friendship as well as beautiful music from his friends.
Our thoughts are now with Tasha (whose dignity and courage in her grief is an example to us all), and little Mia, their six-month old daughter, Maggie and Wes and Brigg's family, his parents Brian and Jean and his sisters Sarah and Jane.
With Brigg's untimely death, there is a deep feeling that the fragile bridge to our island's future has been damaged. To honour him, we must make sure that it will be made stronger.
Camille Dressler

The Celebration of Brigg’s life was a very moving ceremony, with poems and music.
Here is one of the poems :

You would know the secret of death
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life.
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind and to the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depths of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond.
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
Kahil Gibran


KNOYDART
I shall say no more this month than how shocked and saddened we all were to learn of Brigg’s sudden death. He is fondly remembered in Knoydart for his friendliness and cheery smile and for the expert woodwork he produced for the pub. Our hearts go out to his family at this grievous time.
Anne Trussell

ISLE OF MUCK
Another year has started and our long delayed slipway is back in the news. There is very little work needed to complete Muck (and Rum) even if most of it is under water. But the word is that the tenders received by Highland Council have been far from little. A seven figure sum could be involved.
February 1st saw the AGM of Isle of Muck Power Ltd, the community company which supplies electricity to the island. Not the most exciting evening of the year but the report does reveal some interesting statistics. Of the 66529 units sold, 84% were generated by the wind. These were priced at around 5p each. 12% were generated by diesel. These were priced at around 11p.
On the farm this month I want to tell you the remarkable story of calf no. 131. I have been farming for more than 40 years and I have never knowingly seen a case of tetanus. But there is always a first time and when Simon Graves found a 2 month old heifer calf lying on her side I knew it was something unusual. Soon the calf and her mother were in the byre. Suckling was out of the question so I had to get a bottle. When I tried to get the teat into her mouth it was impossible, her jaws were locked rigid as were her neck and legs. I phoned Chris the vet and he diagnosed tetanus. He said ‘You have a chance, give her plenty of Streptomycin.’ My two vet books both advocated euthanasia!
For two weeks she lay on her side in the pen. I managed to feed her using the side of her mouth. Three times daily I got her onto her feet - quite a problem as her legs would not bend and she was well-grown and heavy. I pivoted her onto her bottom and, holding the base of her tail, heaved her forward using the wall to prevent her falling over again. After a week she took a few small steps and soon she could walk unaided. After 15 days she managed to rise herself for the first time - success was in sight. She is fine now but still on the bottle. Her mother had gone dry as she did not think hand milking was a good idea!
Lawrence MacEwen

ARISAIG
If you want to join the Hall's 200 Club, you can give your monthly £2 to Tommy in the Post Office, or get a form for Direct Debit from your bank. The draw is on the 10th of every month, cheques get sent out the following week. The more people in the draw, the bigger the prizes could be….
A mixed month, with some sad farewells, some good weather and some awful, spring flowers coming up and hungry birds ~ and a splendid night of opera in our own village hall. This event took the best part of a year to bring about, but it was worth the effort, with people coming from as far away as Onich to hear the selection of familiar and new operatic excerpts.
The new application for an arts promotion grant has gone in, so fingers crossed we get most of what we’ve asked for. The past year’s experiment has proved well worth it, with a considerable sum going into the local economy from artistes and audience alike. One difficulty is that many of the performers need single or twin beds and these are few and far between in the village. I’ve tried to share around the overnight bookings but this is a limitation.
I missed the Quiz again but here are the results for the battle of the 17th January: 9 teams fought it out for a possible top score of 97 points.
1st. Desperately Seeking Asylum with 81 points.
2nd. Scarface with 69 points
3rd. Imap with 68 points.
Sorry, I don’t know who was in the teams. An addition to last month’s results ~ Elizabeth Fleming was a Dull Spark in the team which came second!
I hope to make the next Quiz ~ Friday 21st February in the Crofters Rest at 9 pm.
Thanks to those who have given me old ink cartridges to recycle for funds. Please keep them coming!
Brigg’s funeral on Eigg was a very moving occasion from start to finish. As those travelling from Arisaig arrived at Eigg on the Sheerwater, a red kite gave a long display of aerobatics. As we were returning home, a dozen or so dolphins escorted us into the channel. It all seemed part of the day somehow.
Ann Martin

ISLE OF RUM
From the Kinloch Castle Friends Association:
Scottish Natural Heritage have recently received a report prepared by Page and Park, Glasgow, Architects, on conservation, management and business plan proposals for Kinloch Castle. The report is a most positive one, and as an Association we strongly support its proposals for the refurbishment of Kinloch Castle, its policies and contents.
To ensure sustainable use of the castle, it is proposed that some of the front of house bedrooms are brought back into use, and en-suites provided. The hostel would remain as present with some upgrading, and increase in toilet facilities. Within the ground floor, an education and resource centre would be set up. If this were to be established, our Association would be prepared to provide a large amount of research material which we hold on the castle, the island and the Bullough family who owned it.
We hope, as a result of this useful report, and the Scottish Natural Heritage consultations which are ongoing that SNH will be able to prepare a new vision for the development of Rum, and one that is shared by all stakeholders. It is our view that the restoration and development of the castle as outlined in the report will enhance the Natural Nature Reserve, and more importantly, provide at least 7 or 8 jobs. The spin-off from this would create an equal number of additional jobs which would be the major foundation of the community development.
Yours sincerely,
E. Douglas King, Honorary Secretary
Kinloch Castle Friends Association.
Anyone wishing to join the Friends can write to Douglas at 7 Plewlandcroftsouth, Queensferry, West Lothian, EH30 9RG.
Check the website on www.kcfa.org.uk

The Small Non-Isles
With Europe’s new definition of an island, the search is on to find a new name for the Small Isles, of which only Eigg is officially still an island.
In the new classification, an island must be at least one kilometre offshore (sorry, Bute) and have a population of at least 50 and no fixed links. Goodbye, Isles of Muck, Canna and Rum.
Barbara Graves of Muck was on the radio recently to talk about this issue, with very little warning to prepare herself, and it was suggested the Small Isles become the Small Shipping Hazards. Other suggestions have been ‘The Smalls’ or ‘One Small Isle and Three Non-Islandish Coastal Features’. There is a rumour that instead of finishing the Muck pier there will be a three day a week bus service from Kilchoan. Another suggestion was that a bridge could be built of all the EEC paperwork - draft re-works of definitions of islands translated into all the necessary languages would probably reach from Mallaig to Barra.
Appeals by various Councils are of course being made against this criteria being adopted. It all smacks of taking the most fragile communities out of the equation for support and finance. The definition has been dreamt up by the Eurostat department who are quick to point out that these definitions aren’t mean to be imposed, they are being used by statisticians, not politicians. However already a number of Scottish islands have been omitted from Eurostat studies and consequently missed out of any statistical analysis. Policies are often made from statistics.
Send your suggestions for new names for the Small Isles to West Word.


CONQUERING CALEDONIA
Conquering Caledonia is a brand new board game, designed and made by Amema, the Young Enterprise Company from Mallaig High School. For those readers who have not heard about Young Enterprise, it is a project run through schools for young people to give them a chance to run their own company, producing and selling their own products.
Conquering Caledonia is a board game challenging you on your knowledge of the regions of Scotland. The object of the game is answer questions on each of the regions. The first person answering questions correctly for every region, wins the game.
Conquering Caledonia is a game for up to four players, aged 12 or over and is priced at £7.50 (which is extremely good value). If you would like to make an order, please send a note to:
Amema, Mallaig High School, Mallaig, Inverness-shire, PH41 4RG
saying how many games you wish to order and giving your name, address and telephone number.
Cheques should be made payable to “Amema Y.E.S.”. Please remember to include postage and packing of £1.82 if your game is to be sent to you. If you have any queries about the game, or ordering, please e-mail us at: mallaigamema@yahoo.co.uk
Directors of Amema: Lorna MacKay, Trevor MacMillan, Leah Kenning, Amy Carr, Rachel Inglis, Lisa Annette, Karla MacDonald


THE OTHER COMMON FISHERIES POLICY?
by Robert Stevenson, West of Scotland Fish Producers Assn.
Twenty years ago Ted Heath took the UK into what was then commonly known as the “Common Market” – the European Union as we now know it, despite an inconclusive referendum and the UK gave up control of its fisheries under the “Common Fisheries Policy” (CFP). The CFP, and all other EU legislation, is required to maintain the fundamental EU principal of equal access to a common resource laid down in the Treaty of Rome. Because the UK territorial waters held more fish that the rest of Europe’s waters put together, the EU agreed that until 2003 the UK would for the next twenty years get the biggest share of the cod, haddock, whiting, stocks - the mainstays of the Scottish whitefish fleet - and access to previously UK waters would be restricted. This allocation of quota shares of the stocks to member states is know as “Relative Stability”, the percentage shares for each member state being the “Allocation Keys”.
The UK knew that in 2003 it would lose this preferential treatment and that all member states would be allowed equal access to all EU waters. Despite the increase in EU membership with countries such as Spain and Portugal joining, the UK fleet’s position appeared secure since under Relative Stability, quotas could not be allocated to new EU members or members who had no history of fishing in our waters; they would have access to these waters but no quotas to catch in these areas, so they would have no reason to go there - or so we were told.
However, the EU had been paying North African countries to allow a fleet of mainly Spanish vessels to fish in their waters – until around five years ago when these countries ended this deal. Since then the EU has been paying this mainly Spanish fleet not to fish. The EU has also been contributing significant funds to the modernisation of the Spanish fleet. Spain has been accessing these funds by selling vessels to countries outside the EU; reports indicate that many were simply re-registered to sister fishing companies in South America. So at present we have the situation whereby Spain has a fleet that has been sustained by EU funds and whose capacity is far in excess of the available fishing opportunities.
So now at the end of 2002, the Commission is faced with a problem; under the CFP it must allow every member state access to all resources lying in EU waters, ie waters outside twelve miles, but there is simply no room for this European fleet within EU waters. How can it make room for this fleet?
First, we need to look at the decision-making process.
Fisheries Ministers representing each country in the EU meet regularly as the “Fisheries Council” to discuss proposals on fish stock management put forward by the Fisheries Commission, the body un-elected “Eurocrats” given the responsibility – and the power - to manage Europe’s fisheries as they see fit.
Each December the Fisheries Council meets to discuss the “Total Allowable Catch” (TAC) for each of the stocks fished by EU vessels; the TAC is then divided amongst the member states under the Relative Stability shares. At last month’s meeting the Fisheries Commission also asked the Fisheries Council to consider changes to the Common Fisheries Policy, further measures to reduce cod catches (the cod recovery programme) and a scheme to limit vessel’s days at sea in line with the quota cuts.
The clearest evidence yet that the Fisheries Commission is motivated by political ideals, and not as they would have us believe, fish stock conservation, was presented at this December’s meeting.
This meeting was considering the Commission’s proposals for cuts in fishing effort which the Commission deemed necessary to protect the much publicised dwindling cod stocks. The Commission cited the reports of scientists working under the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES); they advised that cod stocks in EU waters were now in imminent danger of disappearing altogether.
The Commission acknowledged that the depletion of cod stocks was not solely due to fishing pressure; it could not regulate the non-fishing factors elements but was duty-bound to do everything it could to conserve the stocks by reducing fishing pressure. In fact, the whitefish fleet, which the Commission has restricted most severely, has the least impact on the cod stocks compared to other factors such as industrial fishing, pollution and, arguably, seismic surveying. But the Commission chose not to restrict the industrial fleet – a policy based on conservation?
After the initial proposals for complete fishery closures were rejected by the Council of Ministers, they were reminded (threatened) by the Commission that failure to agree with any of its subsequent amended proposals would result in the introduction of original closure proposals under its emergency powers.
During the bartering sessions where each country’s Fisheries Minister meets the Commission individually, the Commission “bought off” each with targeted concessions in order to secure their votes. The UK was therefore left in the minority and was forced to accept a deal which discriminates heavily against the Scottish whitefish fleet and which therefore de-stabilises the whole industry. Whitefish vessels that have always used the biggest meshed nets of all the European fleets and which have led the way in introducing additional unilateral conservation measures are to be restricted to nine days at sea per month and have had their quotas slashed by up to 62%. The industrial fleet which uses the smallest meshed nets have been given twenty-three days at sea and an increased by-catch of immature whitefish.
More evidence of the Commission’s political motives can be seen if we look at the situation with the hake stock; this stock is of primary importance to the Spanish industry. Despite the ICES scientists reporting that this stock was similarly in imminent danger of collapse and that hake fisheries should be closed, the Commission did not at any time seek the Council of Ministers to agree on a closure. Furthermore, vessels fishing for hake have been allowed to continue to use smaller meshed nets than our whitefish vessels and are not restricted by the days at sea regime.
The Commission is clearly not driven by the need to conserve stocks but appears to be focused on destroying the UK’s fishing industry to make room for a “European Fleet”.
The Commission chooses to select only that “evidence” which supports its assertions.
What the Commission does not publicise is that one branch of ICES - the “GLOBEC” programme – has, for several year now, been studying the relationship between cod stocks and environmental change around the world. Larval cod in the North Atlantic and North Sea cod stocks rely on a tiny zooplankton called Calanus finnmarchius as their primary food source; more southern cod stocks, those to the south or Eire for example, rely on Calanus heligolandus. Both Calnaus species thrive within a narrow range of sea temperatures, C. finmarchius preferring colder water than C. heligolandus. The GLOBEC programme has established that increased sea temperatures was a significant factor in the demise of the Newfoundland cod fishery. The European Commission frequently refers to the Newfoundland situation when seeking to demonstrate why it advocates such extreme action. However it also chooses not to publicise the fact that the Gulf of St Lawrence cod fishery was in reasonably good health but was closed simultaneously with the Newfoundland fishery as a precaution; this cod stock also disappeared.
Even if we do accept that fishing pressure must be reined-in to protect cod and other stocks, the Commission has targeted the fishery for human consumption even though it uses the biggest mesh size to allow immature fish to escape and grow, and has chosen to ignore the effects of the hugely damaging and wasteful industrial fisheries that use small mesh nets.
Whilst the fishing industry accepts that cod are not as abundant in the traditional locations, they do not accept that reducing the fishing time of the whitefish fleet by some 75% will benefit the cod stocks. A quick calculation shows that in weight terms, the industrial fleet lands as much immature cod for fish meal as a legal by-catch as the Scottish whitefish fleet lands for human consumption.
For example: 40,000 tonnes of cod weighing an average of 3kg each in the human consumption fishery equates to 13.3 million fish; 40,000 tonnes of immature cod weighing on average 100 grams taken in the industrial fishery is 400 million fish; 400 million fish which would yield some 1,200,000 tonnes if they all reach 3kg.
The scientific methods for determining the state of fish stocks leaves an awful lot to be desired; for example because of the need to be consistent, larval sample are taken in the same location year after year, even with the same old fishing gear. You don’t have to be a fishermen to know that fish move and may be there one day and gone the next. Imagine assessing the deer population over 10,000 acres by counting those seen with a torch in ten locations.
The scientific model into which survey and catch information is fed which calculates the size of the stock is based on so many crazy and clearly incorrect assumptions that its impossible for stock predictions to be correct. One assumption is that if the TAC is not caught, the stock is in decline. Another is that the only factor impacting on the stocks is fishing. The scientists also assume that the weight of each fish is directly related to its age, that fish of a certain age produce a certain amount of eggs and that natural mortality is a constant proportion of the stock. In short, they assume there are no variables except fishing.
Alarmingly, at a meeting with scientists at the Marine Laboratory who are part of the ICES group, their head scientist maintained that industrial fishing for immature whitefish was not as bad as it appears since most of these small fish die naturally anyway and it’s as well to catch them at this stage and make use of them!
Surely the scientists cannot be suggesting that the Commission should encourage industrial fisheries targeting immature fish for conversion to fish meal for livestock and fish farming, whilst protecting the adult brood stock by removing the whitefish fleet thereby ensuring a supply of immature fish for the industrial fishery?
We are paying a heavy price for Mr Heath’s mistake.


Mallaig Heritage Centre - by Malcolm Poole
First of all, we have a couple of dates for your diary:
Saturday February 15th is Film Day at the Heritage Centre, when we will have two screens available all day to show anything you would like to see from our collection of film on video.
The collection includes some of the late William-John Manson's film of ringnet and shark fishing, and numerous other films about or including our area.
Film Day will take place between 10am and 4pm.
And, yes, we are still looking for video and film for the archive (see December West Word)
Saturday February 22nd at 4pm
“The Eigg Photographic Archive - evidence for a disappearing way of life” - a lecture by Susanna Wade-Martins of the Isle of Eigg History Society, to complement the Eigg Photographic Exhibition currently on display at the Heritage Centre.
Both the above events are FREE, and admission to the Heritage Centre will continue to be free until the 1st of March.

Little by little...
Putting together an archive and local history collection is a long, gradual process. Sometimes people make contributions that, at the time, seem of little interest but which some time later, fit together with something else to become more interesting. Two examples of this have occurred recently.
Back in 1994, shortly after the Centre opened, we were visited by a Miss MacKenzie of Aberdeen, whose father was manager of the Bank of Scotland in Mallaig from 1917 onwards. He was a keen amateur photographer and Miss MacKenzie very kindly sent us copies of a number of his photographs, one of which showed a group of people at a Nursing Association meeting at Morar Lodge. The term “Nursing Association” meant little to me until a few weeks ago, when I was given a photocopy of the Annual Report for 1913 of the Mallaig and Morar District Nursing Association.
Despite its modest name, the Association appears to have been responsible for providing district nursing services for the whole of Knoydart and North Morar, as well as Kinlochmorar and Meoble, all provided by one Nurse, who, until 17 October 1913 was a Nurse Macrae (not to be confused with the local doctor, who was Jean Macrae and lived at Inverie).
Among other matters, the report mentions the possibility of obtaining a grant to build “a small Cottage Hospital in Mallaig” and summarises the work done by the nurses during 1913: “New Cases, 116, of which were 49 Medical, 49 Surgical, 17 Obstetrical, and 1 Mental. Convalescent, 90; Deaths, 6; Transferred to Hospital, 1; Transferred to other Parishes, 2; Remain on Books, 17. Number of visits, 1868.
And the second example? Well, perhaps I'd better keep that for next month...


A Little Genealogy
Heather Anne Walters of Ottawa was very excited to discover our webpage and read about the Loddies, as she is a double Loddy herself. Allan has written about this in this month’s column.
Heather writes: ‘I was so delighted to see references to the fact that music has been a part of the family. The tradition has continued and there are quite a few professional musicians in the clan, not the least of which is the 'Rankin Family' from Cape Breton, as well as Ashley McIssac (fiddler) I think the connection to these two families is through the Grants, and Gillis families in P.E.I. but am still trying to confirm it. Forgive the poor writing, I'm too excited to type!’

The MacLellans of Cape Breton
Last month we printed a letter from Jo-Anne MacEachern in Vancouver, who had holidayed in Morar several years ago, talked genealogy with Alastair MacLeod, and had gone home to check the family tree, and found she was related to him.

Jo-Anne has sent us a further e-mail on the MacLellans.
‘There were three families. John (the King), John (the Red) and John (D.D.). They brought their families from Morar in 1820 and when they applied for land grants, they received 9 lots of about 200 acres each on adjoining land. The land first settled by those MacLellan families now houses the only single malt whiskey distillery in North America - and it's a pretty nice whiskey too - I have sampled it a number of times just to be certain.... It is called the Glenora Distillery and is in Glenville on what had been the property of John (D.D.) MacLellan.
Of course the property was sold off years ago and was no longer a part of the MacLellan families, but initially it belonged to my great great great great grandfather. As I mentioned, they got land grants on adjoining properties and my cousin still lives on one of them - next door to the distillery. The area was originally known as the Black Glen and was later renamed to Glenville I think the creek was called Black creek. I do know the distillery owners have changed the name of the creek which runs thru that property to MacLellan Creek for the families who first settled there.
If your readers get the chance to go to Cape Breton, it's in a very nice location with a small hotel and chalets which were used to generate income while they waited for their first 10 year old whiskey to mature. It makes a good base camp if you were to go on a vacation there. They would find it just north of the town of Mabou on highway 104 (known as the Ceilidh Trail), on the west coast of Cape Breton. I thought your readers might enjoy that aspect of the history of the distillery as it was MacLellan people from Morar who first settled that land.’

‘The Loddies’ by Allan MacDonald (email: ealasaid6@btopenworld.com)
Early last year I made a distinction between the Loddies and the Lotties, the former having been from Suinsleiter and the latter being from Ardnish.
Ludovick MacDonald, tenant of Suinsleiter, left Arisaig on the 12th July 1790 on board the Jane. With him on the ship was his wife, Mary Grant, and two children under 2 years of age. Also on the ship was his father-in-law, Donald Grant of Kinloid, and is listed as 5 adults and 1 child aged 6—8.
Heather Anne Walters posted a notice in West Word recently and was excited by the article she had found. She may possibly be the same Heather who posted a request for info in December 2000 re Lewis (Loddy), 1770, Arisaig, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, to which a very succinct reply was posted by Leo MacDonald, and I quote:
‘Lewis MacDonald’s name was actually Lodyvick, hence the patronymic ‘Loddy’; he came from Suinsletter which is about 4 miles north of Arisaig, and was married to Mary Grant, daughter of Donald of Kinloid, Scotland, halfway between Suinsletter and Arisaig. For more info refer to Fr Rankin’s ‘History of Antigonish’, page 241. How do I know this? He was my grandfather’s grandfather.’
Another name entered the frame when Ruthie Tenn dropped a line which Elizabeth answered. She confirmed the details ancestors on board the Jane in 1790 and also said she had another ancestor, John Bhán Gillies, who was given land by his brother, which he called Arisaig because it so resembled the land in Scotland.
Heather Anne Walters confirms she is a double related Loddy through her grandmother, who was first cousin to the Premier of Cape Breton and Nova Scotia, Angus L MacDonald, and through her former grandfather’s mother. However, when you look at page 241 of the ‘History of Antigonish’ it very clearly states that Lewis MacDonald got married to Mary Grant some years after arriving in Canada and, according to Rev. Rankin, he emigrated to Nova Scotia on the Hector in 1773. There is no Lodyvick in the Hector passenger list.
A. Grahame MacDonald, FSA Scot, writing in the Clan Donald Magazine No. 9 in 1979 writes: ‘that a Lodyvick MacDonald emigrated from Suinsletter, South Morar, to Prince Edward Island in the Jane in August 1790, and he later moved to Nova Scotia. All the Loddies in N.S. are descended from him. Of the many descendants in Canada, USA and Australia, the most prominent was the late Hon. Angus Lewis MacDonald, former Premier of N.S.a nd later Canadian Minister of National Defence for Naval Services. Angus L. MacDonald was a great grandson of Lodyvick’s daughter Margaret, who married Alasdair Mor of the Kinlochmoidart family.’
The late Colin S. MacDonald wrote in 1954: ‘In Moidart, Arisaig and South Morar, from one hundred and fifty to two hundred years ago, there were certain families noted for their musical talent. One such group, or group of families, were the MacDonalds of Morar, and these families had many pipers and fiddlers ~ the musical talent being handed down from one generation to the other.’
At the International Gathering of the Clans in 1997 in Canada, Rory MacKay of Inverness, Morar and Kintail, said in his address to the Gathering that ‘in the old days, people knew themselves to be members of a group or family and there are for example MacDonalds in Arisaig are known as the Loddies. The important thing to remember is that in difficult times people were sustained and supported and life was more bearable because they had pride in themselves and their institutions.
‘Loddy MacDonalds are known to be living in Morar, Arisaig, Moidart and Lochaber. One such family is that of Allan MacDonald, Kinsadel, Morar, who are fortunate to be living in the district of the origin of the distinctive Loddies.’


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