OT: 17 May 1913 – Fred T. MacLeod “MacCrimmon Memorial”

The Oban Times, 17 May, 1913

MacCrimmon Memorial

18 Mentone Terrace, Edinburgh, 10 May, 1913

Sir,–I know of no paper which has taken so keen and sustained an interest in the music, history, and traditions of the MacCrimmons of Boreraig, Skye, as “The Oban Times.” The correspondence upon the subject published by your paper would, alone, form an interesting and instructive volume. It therefore goes without saying that among your readers the wide world over there are many to whom the name and fame of the MacCrimmons appeal. To those this letter is addressed. We may differ upon the question of the alleged origin and the MacCrimmon system of notation as preserved to us, but I think I may affirm with confidence that every academic disputant will at once fall into line when the matter of the reputation the MacCrimmons have borne for generations is under consideration.

Your own columns, both Gaelic and English, have referred to the fact of the existence of a scheme for perpetuating the memory of the MacCrimmons by the erection of a suitable memorial in their honour in the Island of Skye, but so far the response has not been quite what was expected.

That a memorial will be erected within the next twelve months, humanly speaking, is certain; the only question is what the quality of that memorial will be. A sum of about £50 has already been subscribed, in which is included a moderate estimate of the subscriptions promised, but not yet received. The subscriptions very from the wealthy man’s five pounds to the crofter’s sixpence. Is it too much to expect to raise an additional sum of £50 within the next few months? Highlanders are often asked to subscribe (and they subscribe willingly) to schemes which have little connection with the Highlands. This time they are asked to honour themselves by showing honour to a family of men of rare musical genius, the inception of which is concealed from us by the mists of antiquity, masters of their art in the highest sense of the term, founders of a College of instruction, in which pupils from many clans far and near were perfected in the playing of the pipes, and composers of pibrochs which today are unrivaled in majesty of conception and sweetness of melody.

I shall be delighted, on behalf of my Committee individually to acknowledge any subscriptions forwarded either to me at the above address or to you. Perhaps you might be willing to open a subscription list in your columns.–I am, etc.,

Fred. T. MacLeod