Glengarry and Ottawa Valley Branch

Clan MacMillan Society


Saturday, September 28, 2002

The past five months have been filled with many branch activities. Our May Dinner was another enjoyable event. My deepest appreciation goes out to Dianne Arril for all her hard work in organizing the event. I must also apologize, I forgot to mention that one of the door prizes, a book titled "How to Be Scottish" was donated from her book store "The Book Stop".

Harold has been very busy muddling along thru Mary Beaton's boxes and trying to make some sense and order with the documents. We owe him a debt of gratitude for all his hard work. I realize that he is the only person that is able to make any sense of these records, because he knows these families so well.

Bill & Carol also have had an extremely busy time as well. They have put together a wonderful array of photos for display and have made a great success with the kit shop. Thank you both for all your time and effort.

The trip to Scotland to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the MacMillan emigration was a great success and a very interesting journey.

The Investiture service at Iona Abbey was a very moving experience, to have such a service in this ancient Abbey was extremely fortunate for all those that attended and took part in the event. Our congratulations for organizing such an amazing event must go out to Blanche & John B. McMillan. Some of our members were involved in the events of the day, Bill played the organ and Paul read The Peace of Quiet Hours, and I was a tartan bearer. Nigheanan Glengarry, with their angelic voices, sang in the original language of our forebears. Hugh Allan MacMillan produced sweet music from his fiddle. If only we could say the weather that day was with us.

The cairn dedication on July 3rd, on the shores of Loch Arkaig at Murlaggan was another moving event. I'm sure the spirits of our ancestors were with us on this special occasion. Cameron of Lochiel joined in the celebrations as well as Rosalind and George Lee, summer tenants at the Murlaggan home. A surprise to all was when Rosalind joined Sandy Macmillan and they played a few pipe tunes together. Not long after the dedication was completed, out of nowhere, the sheep were seen walking through the burial area, as though to remind us the reason our ancestors departed these shores. A side trip taken by a few of us, with many thanks to John B., was up to Glen Dessary so that we were able to view across to Glenpean, where Allan MacMillan resided prior to his departure. What was visible from our vantage point was a Roanoak tree. We were informed by Ian McPhee, stalker for the Grants land, that this tree was about two hundred years old, so it is possible that it was planted just prior to their departure.

Also, in Canada on July 3rd, a Mass was said in honour of the Clan MacMillan at Canadian Martyrs Church in Ottawa. Thank you Jean Carroll for your foresight and thoughtfulness.

The plaque dedication at Finlaystone was another memorable and emotional event. My gratitude to Bill and Duncan for ensuring I held up under the pressure of such an auspicious occasion. Also, my sincere gratitude, to my sister Diane Wood for her guidance and assistance in writing such a moving dedication to our ancestors.

There were many photographs taken during The Great Return 2002, and we have received many copies via snail mail and email. I wish to thank all those here for ensuring that all the events are covered both in our Great Return photo album as well as our website. I must thank Jerry for his countless hours spent scanning the pictures and putting them up on our website. A job well done. We have received many compliments for such a wonderful array of scenery.

Our gift to the Chief, a canoe paddle, was well received and very much appreciated. He was extremely moved when hearing the story of age of the yellow birch and the length of time it had been in the water before being reclaimed. A special note of thanks to Paul & June for taking the paddle to Scotland, since I was unable to.

The Highland Games were another success this year. We were very fortunate to have the MacMillan tartan appear on the program cover, I believe we had some assistance from one of our members. Also included in the Program was an article about the emigration. My thanks go out to Diane Wood, for her writing a wonderful tribute to the ancestors, also Harold MacMillan and Dianne Arril for there collaboration on the article. The MacMillans' were honored to lead the Clan Parade during the Opening Ceremonies.

Our Chief, George was so thrilled when he received a copy of the Glengarry Highland Games souvenir program that he telephoned with his congratulations.

The Executive also attended a couple of other MacMillan functions, one was the dedication and dinner for Harriet Kennedy MacMillan on May 19th at the Bonnie Glen. This event was well organized and attended by the many descendants of Duncan MacMillan and Harriet Kennedy MacMillan. The other MacMillan event was a dinner at Finch, which was also well organized and attended by the MacMillan descendants from the area.

Unfortunately, our plans for August 4th were cancelled due mainly to lack of response. We may consider holding this event at another time.

The Feis, held a couple of weeks ago, was another event held that marked the 1802 migration. A brief of Ken McKenna's pageant was held and Harold and Bill played the parts of Archibald and the reporter respectively. It was also an emotional event, topped off by The Daughters of Glengarry singing "Grove of The Hawk".

We have a few new items to raise funds for The Clan Centre. One is a reproduction of the Great Return Poster, which I purchased at the auction at the end of all the activities in Scotland and the other is a calender with pictures of some of the main events in Scotland. *These items* will be advertised on our website as well. We will also send email to all the participants of the GR2002 in order to acquire full exposure for these items.

We also have raffle tickets to sell and the money will be going to The Glengarry Place for the Arts, which will be responsible for maintaining the Celtic Culture and Heritage, here in Glengarry.

Also, we have recently learned the painting by Stuart McCormick of the three ships arriving at Montreal is for sale, the asking price is $5,000 U.S. We have been asked by the owner to advertise it on our website. If anyone is interested in purchasing the painting you may contact Jacques Leduc at 613-874-2995.

Next year, the North American Clan MacMillan gathering will be held somewhere in New York State, most likely New York City. When further information is available we will pass it along.

Susan Drinkwater - 28 September 2002

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Page edited Thursday, October 10, 2002