Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly Page

A Byornar Chiel

In Myndin o James S Adam (4 December 1907 - 16 Aprile 2003)
Listen to this in Real Audio read by Marilyn P Wright

It wis wi mukkil dule at A read o the daith in Cymru o ma guid fier James S. Adam. Seumas wis a maist byornar chiel - a leal Scot, skeilie makkar i the thrie Leids o Scotland an warthie furst jynt Oliver Brown Awaird winner in 1998, alang wi his lyfe-lang fier Sir Alastair M Dunnett. Wi the passin o Seumas, 'The Canoe Boys' anerlie nou lieve i the herts o aw wha kent thaim baith.

A Dundonian, wi a Aiberdeen, Buchan an Hielan back-grun, James Adam wis at hame wi the Mither Tung an wi a loe o his cauf-kintra -

'Whan the sun throws its licht
on prood peaks o great hicht
there's a lowe i yer breist,
an ye mind ye were taen
tae staun aa yer lane,
    on the tap o the Law'
 frae 'The Tap o the Law'

He fun tyme i a thrang lyfe fir ti leir Gaelic an his kennan o Scotland's furst Leid wis sae guid, at  his skreeds an poems kythit in 'Gairm'. His monie braw poems in Scots kythit in monie publickations sik as 'Lallans', 'The Scots Magazine', 'Life and Work', 'Radical Scotland'  an 'Scots Independent'. His buiks sik as 'Gaelic - Scots Wordbook' an 'The Declaration o Arbroath' pruivit fir ti be best-sellers. Deed ay, his owresettin o 'The Skreed ti the Pape frae Aberbrothack' intil Scots, Gaelic an Suddron, alane, wis coft bi owre a 1000 Scottish schuils. Makkan sikkar at noo kithends o Scots wad ken the inspeerin wirds o 1320.

In 1933 twa yung Scots gied up their sauf darg in bankin an wittinsblads, fir ti lench an ouklie magazine fir Scottish louns, wi the teetle 'Claymore'. Wi the forder o anither thrie fiers, James Adam an Alastair Dunnett no anerlie skrievit bit leivit the ploys whilk kythit i the blauds o thair braw buikie.

Whan a want o siller stoppit publickation, thai set aff oan the ploy whilk wad mak thaim baith faur-kent - the 1934 canoe traivel frae Bowling oan the Clyde, up the wast coast heidin fir Stornoway. Happit i thair philabegs, thai set aff, an war telt aw alang thair road at it wis 'too late in the year'. Thai paiddled oan, skreivan reports ti the 'Daily Record' oan thair wey fir ti pey the costs, bit it pruivit fir ti be owre late i the yeir, an thai cryed a halt whan thai cam ti Skye. A towmond oan, Seumas, hislane, feenisht thair journey an waitin fir ti tryst wi him in Stornoway wis his fella 'Canoe Boy' Alastair Dunnett. The tee-name 'The Canoe Boys' folloed thaim aw thair days. Seumas tuik mukkil delicht in tellin o a crack he owre- hard i Tobermory in 1996 - "One of the 'Canoe Boys' is on Calve" - Seumas Adam wis at 'Boy'.

James Adam went oan fir ti wark in wittinsbalds an wis editor o 'The Weekly Scotsman'  - he wis the furst editor fir ti prent ma skreeds ti the 'National Press'. Whan at braw wittinsblad closit doun, A still hae the hindmaist copie, he becam General Manager o Scotsman Publications, afore feenishin his warkin days i fremmit pairts. Efter exile he retourit ti Scotland fir ti organise the furst-evir International gaitherin o the Clans in Embro in 1977 -

'Come back to Albainn then
my scattered children all
receive and bring
the hundred thousand welcomes
ceud no ciad mile failte
wherever heard it speaks one heart and warm.'
 frae 'The Gathering of the Clans'

It wis sik a success at Seumas sinsyne wis inveetit ti, an gied forder ti, the furst-evir International Gaitherin o the Clans in Nova Scotia.Throu his darg wi the Scottish International Gathering Trust, James Adam wun fiers aw owre the warld.

James S Adam wis proud ti be a Scot, he wis the best o Nationalists an Internationalists. He loed Scotland an her fowk an i his buik 'The Spirit of Scotland' he skrievit o his fella Scot an thair weys -

'pride of race; a sense of adventure; a natural concept of democracy; an instinctive egalitaranism; and a basic humilty.'

- at weill descrives James S Adam hislane, fir deed ay, Seumas  wis 'The Spirit of Scotland'.

                                                                                                                    Peter D Wright 

Return to Poetry/Quotes/Stories


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus