Item T-656 - Joseph L. MacDonald. Hugh F. MacKenzie and Joe Gillis: Gaelic Stories

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Joseph L. MacDonald. Hugh F. MacKenzie and Joe Gillis: Gaelic Stories

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  • Sound recording

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Item

Reference code

T-656

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1972 (Creation)
    Creator
    MacDonald, Joseph Lawrence
    Place
    Christmas Island (N.S.)

Physical description area

Physical description

1 audio reel

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Name of creator

(1910-1997)

Biographical history

Joe Lawrence was the youngest child of John J. MacDonald and Margaret Gillis of Rear Beaver Cove. His father was a blacksmith who moved the family into Ironville and open a new forge. Joseph's father as well as his mother's uncle, Archie Larry Gillis both composed songs. It is said that Joe Lawrence's uncle Donald John Lachlan was one of the last people to leave Rear Beaver Cove when he went to live with the family in Ironville. Joe Lawrence credits this uncle rather than his own parents with passing on a love and knowledge of Gaelic. His parents did not speak the language to their children, whereas his uncle (although able to speak English) chose to speak only Gaelic. Joe Lawrence taught himself to read and write Gaelic.
Apart from farming and a stint working at local quarries, Joe Lawrence learned the trade of blacksmithing and continued to operate the forge following his father's death. He married Mary Bell (Isabel) MacKenzie of Christmas Island and the couple went on to have 5 children.
Joe Lawrence collected extensively for Sr. Margaret Beaton and much of his material is held at the Beaton Institute. He worked tirelessly to preserve and celebrate Gaelic language and culture in Cape Breton. A founder of the Senior Citizen's Organization of Boisdale (a club that served as a gathering point for native Gaelic speakers), he also co-founded the Gaelic Society of Cape Breton.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Hugh F. MacKenzie (Christmas Island):

Story - A Lost Old Lady
Story - Old Maids and Bachelors
Story - Big Donald and the Member
Story - Donald Halifax and the well
Story - Digging for Gold
Story - Donald from Uist
Story - Neil and the Bishop
Song - Horan ho 's na hi iu o

Joe Gillis:

Story - Blessing of Seed

Hugh F. MacKenzie:

Ghost story
Story of the rum seller
Story of the devil's death
Story of the Old Scotsman
Story of foresight
Ghost story

Joseph L. MacDonald:\

Story of St. Stephen's Day
Church dues
Old-time wakes
Story of Stephen MacNeil

Joe Gillis:

Donald's Story

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General note

Item is available for online streaming:

T-656 [Audio mp3]: http://beaton.cbu.ca/atom/audio/T-656.mp3

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