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The Legend Continues

Click here for the printable version of The Legend Continues

The Legend Continues

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On September 28, Calgary Alberta Canada, members of the Clan MacLeod Society of Canada (Southern Alberta Branch) gathered to witness a very important event.

For 400 years, the MacCrimmon's played their music and perfected the pipers of other clan chiefs at their College of Piping located at Borreraig on the Isle of Skye. Even today, the first name in piping remains MacCrimmon.

They rented their property from 'The MacLeod' for a "Penny and a Piobreachd".

In the 1800's, economic conditions and a personality clash with the Chief of the Clan MacLeod resulted in Donald Ruadh MacCrimmon (8th Hereditary Piper to the Chief) immigrating to Canada where he settled in the Glengarry area of Ontario.

Sir Walter Scott, touring the Highlands knew of the Red Donald, and during a visit to Skye wrote in his diary: "MacCrimmon was a most capital piper, but due to a disagreement with The MacLeod, had relinquished his lands and refused to teach his sons that they might continue the tradition".

At the outbreak of WWII, a young Malcolm Roderick MacCrimmon of Edmonton signed up with the Calgary Highlanders. His uncle Art had told young Malcolm of the great pipers who had gone before him. A piper since the age of eight, Malcolm was immediately made a member of the pipe band.

George Poulter, a student of the MacCrimmon history and member of the Clan MacCrimmon Society of London lived in Surrey, not far from Camp Aldershot. Malcolm's uncle Arthur MacCrimmon arranged for Poulter to meet with young Malcolm. Years of painstaken geneological research assured Mr. Poulter that the young Canadian soldier was indeed from the blood of Donald Ruadh.

In 1942 Malcolm ventured north to Dunvegan meet Dame Flora MacLeod of MacLeod and effectively re-enstated the line. This was a verbal agreement which established Malcolm R. MacCrimmon as the 9th Hereditary Piper to the Chief of the Clan MacLeod.

As a Calgary Highlander, he studied at the Army School of Piping under Sir Willie Ross. Malcolm was later transferred to the famed Scots Guards and again was entitled to attend the piping school located at Edinburgh Castle. As it was a rare thing for a Canadian to be given a transfer to a British regiment, the story was carried in newspapers all over the UK and Canada.

At the end of the war, Malcolm took a bride (Mairi Chisholm) from Gravir on the Isle of Lewis and retuned to Canada. They went into farming just north of Edmonton and Malcolm put his pipes away for a few years.

Malcolm and Mairi had three children...Padruig, Flora and Iain. Every time Dame Flora came to western Canada on one of her many public appearances, the MacCrimmon family was a natural part of the entourage.

In time, young Iain distingiushed himself as a capable musician and member of the local piping fraternity. He studied under many of the luminaries of his day. Added pressure and high expectations became a way of life as Iain gained a solid reputation on the Canadian piping stage. He began with the Edmonton Boys PB then went on to Grade One competition with Viscount Park, Alberta Caledonian and eventually Clan McBain in Calgary. He served as pipe major for the later three and managed to publish two volumes of pipe music.

Tunes like Morison Avenue, Maxwell's Bonnet and many others have found their way into the repertoirs of bands around the world...and a number of World Champions.

Chief John MacLeod of MacLeod came to Calgary on a concert tour with his wife Melita in September, 1978. While in Calgary, the chief agreed to formalize his association with the MacCrimmon family. As Dame Flora had appointed Malcolm as the 9th, it was fitting that his son Iain be handed the torch.

On the evening of September 28th, 1978 in the MacLeod Room of the Highlander Hotel.

To commemorate the evening and preface Iain's Book 2....Chief MacLeod wrote....



Certificate of Appointment
Certificate of Acceptance

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