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Soutter Strachan
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 Framboise, Richmound County  Birth Place
Soutter Strachan
Iain Soutter mac Sheòrias 'ic Iain
Framboise, Richmound County

When the first Strachan settled in Framboise, he spoke hardly a word of Gaelic. Within a generation, his descendants were fluent and the family was producing some of the finest traditional singers in Gaelic Cape Breton. John Soutter Strachan, named for a friend his father met in New York, has traveled extensively during his long life. A former fisherman, carpenter and hard-rock miner, he now lives with his daughter on the rural property where he was born. Often recognized for its rich Acadian heritage, Richmond County was characterized by Gaelic settlement as well. In Strachan's youth, the language was spoken daily in Framboise and Gaelic singing, both recreational and spiritual, was practiced to a high degree. Family worship on Sunday, psalm singing in church and storytelling at home formed impressionable parts of his youth. Strachan and his wife raised a family of seven and often went berry-picking together in the rugged lands behind their home. Today, Soutter remains agile, energetic and ready for visitors. Well into his ninth decade, his tall frame stands straight as an arrow and he looks forward to his sisters' annual trip home. Forward thinking and positive, Soutter has recently begun helping his daughter Jeannette learn Gaelic - perhaps better than most, the Strachans know it can be done. - Shamus

Interviewed by Jim Watson and MaryJane Lamond
Camera operated by Shamus Y. MacDonald
October 20, 2006

Total Play Time: 1:32:07

00:14 Soutter introduces himself
01:24 his father, grandfather
05:21 singing Gaidhlig, presenting
06:10 going to the States
07:01 Gaidhlig was all he had when he went to school
08:51-12:57 he didn't forget his Gaidhlig; he went away to work; learning to read the Gaidhlig View | Listen
13:00-18:34 speaking about Framboise; going fishing View | Listen
18:38-28:18 fishing for cod and lobster View | Listen
30:26 his mother and the first of her ancestors who settled here
35:59 his mother
38:20-40:46 the winters they had when he was a child View | Listen
40:48 the Lake at the church
41:44 the drift ice
45:13 working in the woods
47:16 cutting trees
50:45 berries
54:40 shoes
56:54 working in the mines
1:01:54 the time he fell in the mine
1:05:05 carpentry work
1:06:16 Johnny Allen MacDonald
1:09:22 folks from Grand River, Danny Kate Sarah
1:11:51 the summer
1:12:44 he’s still feeling healthy; all the types of work he has done
1:20:38 the word for zipper
1:21:22 singing, presenting
1:25:20 Soutter’s dog

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