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Murdock MacNeil
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 Rear Christmas Island, Cape Breton County  Birth Place
Murdock MacNeil
Murchadh mac Dhòmhnaill 'ic Sheumais a' Chùil
Rear Christmas Island, Cape Breton County

Murdock MacNeil seems as much a part of Christmas Island as the farms, fields and church. A life-long resident of the area, he still lives in the home where he was raised - on land his great-grandfather acquired not long after leaving Barra. For much of his early life, Murdock was immersed in the Gaelic language and culture of his community. Brought-up by his maternal aunt and two uncles, English was seldom spoken at home and storytelling was a common pastime. Today, sitting in his easy-chair next to the stove, Murdock can relate stories and beliefs that go back generations. The retired captain of the C. Monty MacMillan, a ferry that once linked Iona and Grand Narrows, MacNeil enjoys reminiscing about his days and nights on the water - occasionally dodging ice-packs and riding out high waves. An easygoing man with a strong faith, MacNeil is an active volunteer in the community who can often be found working around the graveyard and church. He and his wife are long-time supporters of local Gaelic concerts and programs designed to encourage language learners. A gifted storyteller and fluent Gaelic speaker, Murdock MacNeil shares his stories, language and talents generously. - Shamus

Peter Jack MacLean and Murdock MacNeil
Interviewed by Jim Watson
Camera operated by Shamus Y. MacDonald
September 26, 2006

Total Play Time: 1:37:51

03:22 talking about the well, the water is going dry; greeting and saying hello
06:27-08:50 Peter Jack's story View | Listen
08:54-09:57 talking about the Càinnt mo Mhathar project View | Listen
16:29-17:56 Peter Jack's story about Mickey Ceataidh View | Listen
21:10 they introduce themselves and say where they're from
34:37-37:14 how they made a living on the land View | Listen
37:15 where they went to school
40:52 priests who spoke Gàidhlig
42:20-47:16 Murdock's story about the pipe and the priest View | Listen
47:18 religion in the home
49:00 who were they married to
51:42 Peter Jack went working in Boston
53:08 Murdock lived in Christmas Island his whole life
55:31-57:34 differences between then and now View | Listen
57:41 work the first people faced when they immigrated
01:03:06-01:07:32 animals in the woods, insects, fish View | Listen
1:07:33 question about children's games
1:20:38 names for things

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