Of­fer to put Oban clan in the pic­tures

The Oban Times - - News - MARTIN LAING mlaing@oban­times.co.uk

AN ARTIST from Ar­gentina is plan­ning to present the Clan MacDougall with a paint­ing he did of Dunol­lie Cas­tle.

Mario Ale­jan­dro Mac Dougall, who traces his an­ces­try back to 1825 in Oban, is proud of his West High­land roots and has vis­ited the Oban area twice.

Now Mario is keen to make an­other re­turn to the town to present his art­work to the clan which gave him his sur­name. Mario con­tacted The

Oban Times to ex­plain his idea and said: ‘In 1825 my great-great-grand­fa­ther Hugh MacDougall, with his wife Janet Dou­glas and his chil­dren James, Christina, Cather­ine, Janet and Mary, left Oban to travel to the River Plate in South Amer­ica, which we know to­day as Ar­gentina. I am one of their de­scen­dants.

‘ I don’t know why they left Scot­land. In that time my coun­try was a land of op­por­tu­ni­ties and Hugh was a farmer who ended up with a lot of land. He even­tu­ally had 23 chil­dren with two wives.

‘I have vis­ited Oban on two oc­ca­sions and wanted to see the MacDougall cas­tles at Dunol­lie, Gylen on Ker­rera and else­where.

‘ When I was young I painted fre­quently but my oc­cu­pa­tion pre­vented this ac­tiv­ity for a long time. Then, 30 years later, I started to paint again and did two oil paint­ings. One of them was in­spired by Dunol­lie Cas­tle and other Gylen Cas­tle.

‘ The next time I visit Oban, I will take the Dunol­lie paint­ing with me as a present to the Clan MacDougall.’

Ex­actly when that will be re­mains uncer­tain as Mario is un­sure of his travel plans.

He added: ‘I would like to go to Oban with my fam­ily but it is more ex­pen­sive for us as I have three chil­dren – Alen Maria, 26, Al­wina Maria, 24, and Ian Ram­say, 22.

‘ I am con­sid­er­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of vis­it­ing Ed­in­burgh this year, but I have not thought of vis­it­ing Oban be­cause it is not within my bud­get.

‘ I don’t know if I have any rel­a­tives in Oban but in the ceme­tery of the isle of Seil is the tomb of Mary MacDougall, Hugh’s mother.’

If any­one knows of rel­a­tives who would like to con­tact Mario, email de­tails to mlaing@oban­times.co.uk.

Mario Ale­jan­dro Mac Dougall at the grave of one of his an­ces­tors on the isle of Seil and his paint­ings of Dunol­lie and Gylen cas­tles.

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