Mr. Rennie was in on Saturday afternoon for a bit … Did I tell you that his second daughter went to Canada with the emigrants … Stornoway 15th May 1923

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson, 15th May 1923

During the spring of 2023, the Gibson posts of the Tasglann blog will mark the centenaries of the sailings of the SS Marloch from Lochboisdale on 15th April 1923 and the SS Metagama from Stornoway on 21st April 1923. Several hundred young islanders, seeking broader prospects, emigrated to Canada in these sailings, in the wake of the HMY Iolaire disaster of 1919, and subsequent economic hardships. We will skip ahead in our publication schedule to reproduce accounts from 1923 which touch upon these significant events. In this week’s letter, Mrs Gibson mentions an acquaintance’s daughter having emigrated to Canada; she is also looking forward to an imminent visit from Labour party activists, and recounts details of new housing developments. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments:

Dear Sheann,

Your letter of Sunday received this morning.  You seem to be having just the same kind of weather as we have here, – hail, rain and cold with occasional bright sun, really bright sun which makes you almost doubt that you were in such cold and gloom so shortly ago.  The daffodils are all over now and the white narcissus is on the way.  Mr. Rennie was in on Saturday afternoon for a bit and going out remarked that ours was the only green grass he had seen anywhere, a polite exaggeration of course.  Did I tell you that his second daughter went to Canada with the emigrants – the oldest is married.  He says he means to retire in two years when he will be 60.  Speaking of retiral Mr. Gunn, Leurbost has been so broken in health and spirit that he is retiring on a breakdown allowance.  The Authority are [sic] very decently bringing it up to what will be equal to half salary for him.   He is getting one of Leverhulme’s Goathill houses where he will have as near neighbours Mr. Macrae and Lillie and also Mr. and Mrs. Robertson who at present live in Mrs. (Capt) Maclean’s low flat.

Two new houses are to be built I hear – one for Kenny Maciver and Cissy Carnegie who are to be married at Christmas and another for Macaulay’s oldest son and a Miss Rough whom I don’t know.  So!

We are looking forward very much to the visit of the Labour men.  Today Papa hears that all the Sy. trade unions are arranging a meeting for them and propose asking Mr. Burns to preside.  He would be very suitable.  When I mentioned about the Labour men in Dina’s the other day she said “It’s to be hoped the supply of rotten eggs is low otherwise – !  You can imagine how Dina regards Labour.  It will be interesting to see just how the thing goes off.  I didn’t know that Maxton was married to Miss Allan of the millionaire Allan Line family.  Isn’t it a funny world!  His father was headmaster at Barrhead, and he has a politically very advanced sister who also is a teacher.

Mrs. Waldie comes on Thursday night to remain for ten days so Lewis is to be put through its paces evidently.

Out of consideration for your poor feelings I haven’t sent you your washing sent yet. Soon.  When you wear your tennis frocks don’t be too careful of them; we can wash them so very easily at any time.

We sympathise with you in your financial stringency.  Please make me your pattern in these matters and not your Pa – a very unsafe guide!  I winner at ye!

Mrs. Morisons’s letter is so like her, kind and throughithery and disjointed and again kind.  I am still sorry about not seeing Maud.  Have you heard from her?

Flora was to have gone to the assembly but was stopped two nights by the storm.  May have gone now.  Poor Annie Macleod has been in bed for more than a month you will be sorry to hear.

Hope Edin. will be nice.  Be good to Sheann for us.  Your loving Ma.

(Italics written in left margin of letter)

Ref: 1992.50.64vii/L46

Transcribed by Dawn MacDonald, Archives Collections Assistant

This entry was posted in Gibson collection and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.