Mov­ing to en­joy a drier cli­mate

The Oban Times - - Community News -

THERE is an old Morvern say­ing: ‘if you can’t see Mull it is rain­ing and if you can see Mull it is go­ing to rain’.

This year was a fine ex­am­ple. So much so I hear quite a num­ber of folk are selling up and head­ing south, if not to the sun at least to a drier cli­mate. And who could blame them?

I of­ten won­der if some of the 19th cen­tury vol­un­tary em­i­gra­tions to Aus­tralia and New Zealand were due in part to the weather.

In 1837, a ship called the ‘Bril­liant’ sailed from Tober­mory with a large num­ber of em­i­grants for New South Wales. Most of the pas­sen­gers were from Ar­gyll and many of them were Camerons.

The story was told of how an ob­server, read­ing of the ar­rival of the ves­sel, said to some friends: ‘Look here, the Camerons will soon be fill­ing the coun­try, over 200 of them have ar­rived in one ship.’

One of them was a Don­ald Cameron, who was more than 60 years old when he left his na­tive Ard­na­mur­chan. He had been mar­ried twice and was the fa­ther of 15 chil­dren, 11 of whom went with him to Aus­tralia.

Don­ald left be­hind a daugh­ter in Scot­land who mar­ried a Dun­can Macpher­son, Stron­tian, who also em­i­grated to Aus­tralia. He was a skilled road and bridge builder em­ployed by Sir James Miles Riddell on his Ard­na­mur­chan and Su­nart es­tate.

Shortly be­fore he em­i­grated, Dun­can was pre­sented with a gold medal by Sir James as a to­ken of his out­stand­ing work.

Drim­na­tor­ran Bridge, lead­ing to the public grave­yard of the same name, is one of Dun­can Macpher­son’s con­struc­tions. It cost £100 and is as sound as the day it was built.

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