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Skye Pioneers and "The Island"


I am honored in being invited by the publishers to write a word or two in the form of an introduction to this most interesting volume from the pen of my good friend Malcolm A. Macqueen.

The author is a successful lawyer and man of affairs, as well as a facile writer, but he is more than that-he is a Highlander, with that pride of race surging through his blood-stream that has for years stimulated his people to high ideals and noble action-and that in brief has brought to the Gael the respect of all other peoples. Though three generations have separated him from the land of his fathers, the Isle of Skye, his enthusiasm has not grown cold, but rather have his affections for all that the Highlander stands for as a citizen of the Empire and a factor in the world's civilization been intensified. He combines with a strong admiration for the early Scottish Canadian pioneers, a mystical and spiritual love for all that is beautiful in life - a truly Hebridean characteristic.

The book will be received with a real joy not alone by his many friends throughout Canada and by his ain folk in his beloved Island home, Prince Edward, but by all who admire the perseverance, endurance and nobility of character displayed by those who faced the struggles of an unexplored land.

The narrative goes back to 1803 when Lord Selkirk arrived with his first Canadian settlement of Highlanders. Graphically and tenderly he takes up the story from the moment of the landing and traces his people in genealogical succession as well as their influence throughout all parts of the continent of America.

For this masterly labor of love no amount of research seemed too great or too tedious for the author. Indeed he has placed all of us whose hearts still go out in warmth to the old home across the seas, under a very deep obligation. While all other peoples manifest a regard for the place of their birth and the ashes of their fathers, it seems to me that in the Hebridean this worthy sentiment finds its most beautiful expression. Time and distance in his case do not weaken it-neither do generations efface it.

It was because of his admiration for those who set the path and blazed the trail that we are privileged to read a book of this nature-and a more worthy subject he could not have chosen.

Fortunate indeed is Canada or any other land that has among its intellectual citizens men like the author, who from the pressing exactitudes of professional, commercial and social life, take time to preserve memories that will always be an uplifting and patriotic influence.

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