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Margaret Christina MacLean
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 Port Hood, Inverness County  Birth Place
Margaret Christina MacLean
Margaret ni'n Gilleasbuig Aonghais a' Chlachair
Port Hood, Inverness County

Soft-spoken and gentle, Margaret Christina MacLean enjoyed visitors and welcomed them warmly. During her youth in Mabou Coal Mines, visitors dropped-in daily and nearly everyone in the community spoke Gaelic by preference. A descendant of emigrants from Lochabar, Margaret and her siblings were raised in a home where music, education and religious faith were highly valued. Her father Archie Beaton was the son of a stonemason and her mother Jessie was a fine Gaelic singer who often entertained her children. As a young woman, Margaret attended high school at the convent in Mabou where she helped with daily chores. On the weekends she could be seen at dances where fiddlers such as Donald Angus Beaton and Màiri Alasdair Raghnaill played. A life-long learner, Margaret enjoyed school and eventually earned a teaching licence. For several years she taught in one-room school-houses throughout the county; boarding with local residents and taking what pay the community could afford. While teaching in Long Point, she met her husband, John R. MacLean. Together they raised a family of five and ran a busy general store in the community. An independent woman with a strong faith, Margaret delighted in traditional Cape Breton fiddle music and welcomed the opportunity to share her family history and first language with others. - Shamus 

December 9, 2008 - Comhairle na Gàidhlig received the sad news that Margaret MacLean, Cainnt mo Mhàthar contributor, has passed on at the age of 97. Indeed, her passing is a loss to Nova Scotia's Gaelic community and she has left an empty space after her. Margaret (née Beaton) was a woman of the old stock, knowledgeable about her place of birth and the people to whom she belonged. As was natural for her, she was a great fan of Mabou Coal Mines music. We will remember well her opinions on today's Scotch music, expressed in that distinct accent of local descendants from Lochaber origins. Margaret gave greatly and willingly to the Cainnt Mo Mhàthar project during the recording sessions of 2007. We will be forever grateful for her valuable contribution. Fois Anama (soul peace).



Interviewed by Jim Watson
Camera operated by Shamus Y. MacDonald
November 10, 2006

Total Play Time: 1:01:00

00:58 Margaret talks about the home she is living in
01:48 Margaret introduces herself
03:35 where she grew up
04:40 her parents
05:51 she was born in 1911
07:14 the fiddlers and pipers today play too fast
17:30 Katie Margaret
18:09 18:09 the bear tree in Mabou Coal Mines
22:00 Glen (Gleann) Mac Neacail
23:00 MacKinnon's harbor
27:08-35:20 When she was young; games children played View | Listen | Transcript
35:21 talking about her own children; store in Long Point
41:42-44:03 when she was young; when the Pension started
38:01 you must be able to speak before learning to read View | Listen
44:02-49:19 food on the farm View | Listen
49:20 stores in Mabou
52:00 moonshine and whiskey; people in Mabou

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