A pleasant function took place yesterday at Achnacarry, the ancestral home of the Lochiels, when the young Chief, Donald Sheamus, who recently attained his majority, was presented by the tenantry with a Rigby high velocity rifle and Ross monocular prism glasses. The gifts were handed over on behalf of the subscribers by Mr A. A. Cameron, the noted Lochaber athlete. In returning thanks, the young Chief said that a more pleasant expression of their generosity could not be found, as stalking was the favourite sport of the Lochiels. In the old days it was customary for the eldest son to go into the Army or become a diplomat, but now times had changed, and an industrial future awaited him.
TRIBUTE TO TENANTRY
After the ceremony, luncheon was served in the covered court of the castle, where, in reply to the toast of "His Health," Lochiel himself said that there were no more faithful or loyal tenantry in all Scotland than on the Lochiel estates. He recalled that when he was born there were 19 farmers and 213 crofters on the estate, whereas at the present day there were only seven farmers and 140 crofters. On his coining of age, as at the present coming of age of his son, they were passing through a period of depression in sheep farming. They seemed to be living on the edge of a volcano, but although the Lochiel family has always been dogged by misfortune as far back as one could trace they had always managed to pull through.
Hr had faith in the country, and had no intention of being turned out unless literally chucked out. "J'y suis, j'y reste," was his motto, and he would try to hold the estate received from his father and the father before him in unbroken succession right back to the days of Donald Dhu.
Other toasts were proposed by Mr James Weir, sheep manager; Mr Charles Macintyre, and ex-Provost Mackenzie, Fort-William.
LADY HERMIONE CAMERON
Lady Hermione Cameron, in acknowledging a toast in her honour, said that the watchword of the Lochiels was "Duty," and to such an extent was that observed that even when she and Lochiel were on their honeymoon the latter had packed a book on sheep scab and other diseases of sheep, with the remark that they would read it together - perhaps the only time he had failed in his duty. She would lift the curtain and share the thought that had been with her for the past 26 years with Lochiel, and tell them that during all that time she had known perfect happiness and perfect love. (Applause.)