Clan Donald Magazine No13 (1995) Online
Re-Dedication by Rhondda Martin, Hon
Secretary, Clan Donald Society of New Zealand (Otago Branch)
30th November 1990 dawned bright and clear, but as the day
progressed a cool breeze sprang up.
6.45 pm people started gathering at the Southern Cemetery in Dunedin
NZ to take part in the re-dedication of the memorial to Alexander
Ranaldson MacDonell, 17th Chief of Glengarry who
died here on 2nd
June 1862 aged 28 years.
the skirl of the pipes, played by our Clan Piper Dr. Warwick
Johnson, 100 people including clansfolk, members of the public and
overseas visitors moved towards the bank of trees where a beautiful
new Balmoral granite headstone stood, covered with a plaid of
McDonald tartan and a garland of heath, and guarded by two naval
ratings of the Royal New Zealand Naval reserve (The 17th Chief was a
serving officer in the Royal Navy during the Crimean War).
Dean of St.
Cathedral, the Very Rev. Robert Mills conducted a lovely service and
it was a great honour for me to be asked to unveil the stone. The
piper played "Glengarry's Lament" and at that very moving moment a
hush settled over the cemetery and the wind died right away. It was
very uncanny and there was a feeling amongst us that perhaps the
17th Chief was indeed very delighted with his new headstone.
was a shame that ill health prevented the present Chief of
Glengarry, Air Commodore Donald MacDonell from being with us, but he
sent his warmest wishes, and grateful thanks to us for our efforts
on behalf of his kinsman.
story of the new monument goes back to August 1990, when Douglas
Murdock, High Commissioner Emeritus of Clan Donald USA (who I had
met during a "Down Under Trip to NZ" in 1988) and myself put our
heads together and came up with a workable plan to do something
about renewing the head stone which had been badly weathered and
cracked over the years since it was first erected in 1897.
arranged for our local stonemason, Mr Ian Bingham to look at it and
come up with a suitable sketch for replacement and the costings etc.
After receiving this it was sent, along with appropriate pictures to
Doug in America and he then presented it to the Annual General
Meeting of Clan Donald USA in September 1990. With the very generous
personal assistance of Mr Ellice McDonald Jnr. Hon. High
Commissioner, Clan Donald USA we were given the funds to go ahead
and erect a suitable memorial. Branches of Clan Donald in NZ also
gave some monetary assistance.
Otago feel very honoured that we were able to put together such a
worthwhile project and we feel justly proud of our efforts.
Visitors to Dunedin who would like to view this Memorial could
contact me at 55 Oakland Street, Andersons Bay Dunedin NZ or Phone
(03) 454-4009, and I would be only too pleased to take them to see
it and give them some background history of this son of Clan Donald
resting in this far country.
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