Thanks to an introduction by e mail from Colin MacDougall, Liam Griffin made telephone contact with Canadian couple, Faye and Rob MacDougall, visiting Oban. The couple had heard of Clan MacDougall’s historical connection with Kilbride, and were keen to visit the site.
On Saturday morning, Liam rendezvoused with our Canadian visitors, agreed on a programme, and the three set off in Liam’s car for the first stop at Dunollie War Monument. The various plaques on the plinth record the many names of those Oban men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.
MacDougalls are among the honoured. But so is “Private Hugh McIntyre, 48th Highlanders of Canada.” Hugh, a stonemason by trade, emigrated from Oban in 1912 to Ottowa, Canada. As recorded earlier on our web site, on the outbreak of war in 1914, Hugh volunteered for the 48th, trained in Salisbury Plain, England, visited his parents in Oban, and was then drafted to the trenches of Flanders Field, where, eventually, he made the ultimate sacrifice. That sacrifice is recorded on the War memorial’s Canadian plaque, but also on the Gravestone of the McIntyre family, which stands in Kilbride.
The group then visited the Lerags cross, which stands on a prominent hillock just a couple of hundred metres from Kilbride. The monument’s elevated position allowed Liam to point out various features, associated with MacDougall history, and the monument’s role in that history. A couple of minutes’ walk, saw Faye, Rob and Liam arrive in Kilbride Kirkyard, where they spent an hour or so taking photos, examining various artefacts and absorbing Clan history. They viewed Friends of Kilbride’s film, “Kilbride: a Past too rich to have no Future.” They also viewed recorded footage of the BBC Alba news item that featured the story of Hugh McIntyre, and film of the 2017 memorial service held at Kilbride in Hugh’s memory.
The trio rounded off their day by lunching at the nearby Barn Bar restaurant, before Liam dropped the couple off in Oban, in plenty of time to visit the various gift shops.
Friends of Kilbride thank Faye and Rob for their interest, enthusiastic comments and generous cash donation toward the Kilbride Preservation Fund. Bon voyage, and haste ye back.