Item T-107 - Dan Alex MacDonald and Neil MacDonald

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Dan Alex MacDonald and Neil MacDonald

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CA BI T-107

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1 audio reel

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Biographical history

Mother St. Margaret of Scotland (Sister Margaret Beaton), in her role as Librarian at Xavier Junior College, recognized that many documents of historical and literary significance to Cape Breton Island were being lost due to neglect and the lack of an appropriate repository. In a pro-active response to this challenge Sr. Beaton began collecting Cape Breton related documents and artifacts with the objective of preserving materials of historic significance for future scholars.

It all began in 1957 with the acquisition of the first manuscript – The Minutes of the First Agricultural Meeting in Cape Breton. Today, the Beaton Institute is recognized in the archival community as having a rich regional collection.

This collecting, in the beginning, was sporadic and unplanned – more serendipitous in nature, but fruitful all the same. By 1966, Sister Margaret turned her attention to building Cape Bretoniana and the College of Cape Breton Archives on a full-time basis. Cape Bretoniana grew substantially during these years with several appeals to the local community for donations of archival material. As a result there was the on-going need for additional space for the archives, first housed within the library then in the MacDonald Arts Building on George Street in Sydney, followed by a move to the MacLeod Building on Nepean Street in 1967 and then to the Logue Building at George and Pitt Streets in 1970.

In 1975, Cape Bretoniana was expanded to include two main divisions: the Archives and Institute Library, and the division of Ethnic Studies, Folklore and the Social and Cultural History of Cape Breton Island. In the same year the Archives was struck a blow with the sudden death of Sr. Beaton as a result of a car accident. The direction of the Archives was taken on by Dr. Malcolm MacLellan as an interim measure until the appointment of Dr. Robert Morgan as the permanent director and archivist. The Archives was renamed, the Beaton Institute, in honour of its foundress and as a pledge that the work of this outstanding woman would continue.

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Dan A. MacDonald (Framboise):

"'Se Ceap Breatunn Tir Mo Ghraidh."(Patriotic Song) Composed by Dan A. MacDonald.
'Laithean Sona M'Oige.' (Song of his youth) Composed by Dan A. MacDonald.
"Tell us something about your early industries, schools, churches, etc." Very interesting early history.
Angus and Donald - Travel. (Anecdote--Humour) Related by Dan A. MacDonald.
"Summer Time." Composed and sung by Dan A. Macdonald (Pastoral Song)
Life in early Framboise (Narrative about frolics and pie socials; no pipers in Framboise).

Introduction to our interview by Mrs. Neil MacDonald of Forchu.

Neil MacDonald (Forchu):

"D.A. MacDonald looks in the mirror" Composed by D.A. MacDonald about himself. (Humourous Song)
'O Chanada' (Neil MacDonald) (Patriotic Song)
Talented people in Forchu - Composed Poetry even at work; gifted in every way.
Early life in Forchu - History
"Spinning Wheel" (Anecdote)
"Tell me about the early religious life in Forchu - is the early Baptist Church still extant?" All Protestants are now members of the United Church.
"We would like to have a few words about your early schools."
There is a little story about Captain Hooper. (Anecdote)
"In the Sweet Bye and Bye" - Gaelic - Neil MacDonald accompanied by his wife on a seventy-year-old organ. (Hymnology)
"Nearer My God to Thee" - Gaelic - Neil MacDonald accompanied by his wife on a seventy-year-old organ. (Hymnology)

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Item is available for online streaming:

T-107 side 1 [Audio mp3]:

T-107 Side 2 [Audio mp3]:

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