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> Issue 16 > Inside Front Cover - How Hughie MacPhee made Peace with the Campbells

Inside Front Cover - How Hughie MacPhee made Peace with the Campbells

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1977/6/1 (769 reads)

How Hughie MacPhee Made Peace with the Campbells My father, Hugh MacPhee, was very proud of his Scottish ancestors, clannish and de? voted to those of his own clan. Any book dealing with history of the Scotch would find favor with him. Clear of a year or two spent in the United States in his early youth, he lived his entire life in the town of Glace Bay* He was a very good friend of A.B.MacGillivary, who was the to'vn's first magistrateo In matters dealing with Scotch history, A.B. and my father were very much alike. Should you be a stranger in town and walk into my father's bar and start a conver? sation in Gaelic, no matter what your fa? vorite brand of liquor was the bottle and glass went on the bar and you were told to pour your own drinks. Should you be a Liberal in politics, my father would soon find out. If so, that along with being a Gaelic speaker assured you of a standing invitation to pay a visit anytime you were in town. As far as my dad was concerned, the above two covered a multitude of sins. Now for all the Scottish history my dad read, for some reason or other he did not cherish the history of the Campbells. Now I as his oldest son broke the ice when I married a Campbell. On the morning of my marriage my dad gave me his best wishes for a happy married life but he could not help adding, **Watch out for yourself, son. She's one of the Cajnpbells are coming." On my last day at home before going over? seas, my dad spent the afternoon and even? ing with my wife and two children. He made me promise that should I get the opportu? nity I would spend a leave in Scotland, where I would try to find out all I could about the MacPhee Clain. Well when the op? portunity arrived, I just requested a leave to Scotland and when my pass was handed to me it was made out for a seven day leave to Glasgow. I had a long weekend off duty which gave me a total of nine days. Well I did get to Glasgow where I spent a wonderful leave billeted at the • home of Neil McCuish, a shipyard foreman, who took me to a Glasgow library to carry out my dad's request and get the real in? formation in regard to the MacPhee Clan and Tartarn. Upon my discharge and arrival home, dad was the first to arrive and welcome me back home. He placed a bottle of Scotch whiskey on the table. After some talk and several drinks, he brought up his favorite subject--Scotch history. He was very an? xious to know what I found out about the MacPhee Clan while visiting Glasgow, Scot? land ? I told him the MacPhees were a very small clan who from the time of their first chief seemed to always be getting into trouble. Down through the years the his? tory of our chiefs was not good. And it seemed as one chief passed on, the next chief to take over was worse than the pre? vious chief. This went on until we got a chief who committed murder, was tried, found guilty and hanged. Now try to imagine my dad as I continued • to unfold this very unfavorable history of his beloved clan. After the hanging of the last chief, there was a meeting of the different chiefs of the larger clans who were to decide just what should be the fu? ture of our clan. Now the clan being small it was decided at this meeting the best thing to do for the future of the clan would be to break it into two sections. Half of the MacPhee Clan would be put un? der the protection of the MacDonald Clan; the remaining half put under the protection of • you guessed it • the Campbell Clan. Well, that did it. It was bad enough to be put under the protection of the MacDonalds but when I mentioned the Campbells, that was too much for my dad. He jumped up, hit the table with his fist. "History or no his? tory," he said, "that's a God-damned lie!" '' 1 -M
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