No announcement yet.

Newsletter for 31st December 2021

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Newsletter for 31st December 2021

    For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:

    Electric Scotland News

    When I look towards the New Year in 2022 I am convinced that Scotland will continue to move towards Independence.

    Of course I personally hope that doesn't happen as I believe that the SNP are totally inept in their running of Scotland. I'd like those that want Independence to read the report by Think Scotland who based their report on reports from Audit Scotland, a Scottish Government Dept. You can read this at:

    I'd also like you to read the article by Kevin Hague at:

    Having read these two articles I'd really like those that want Independence to write an article for publication on the site that deals with the points raised in them and show how you think Scotland would do better as an Independent country.

    I'm not saying Scotland couldn't do better as an Independent country but I am saying that I doubt it will under an SNP Government.

    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
    Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland and world news stories that can affect Scotland and as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines it becomes a good resource. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time.

    Queen's Christmas message pays tribute to beloved Philip
    The Queen has paid tribute to her husband in her first annual Christmas message since his death.

    View her message at:

    Extinct tree from the time of Jesus rises from the dead
    The fruit of the tree symbolised life and prosperity and was praised in ancient literature for its unique medicinal properties. But the dates of Judea were made extinct by the Middle Ages. Now a team of scientists has succeeded in resurrecting the ancient tree.

    Read more at:

    Brexit Britain's economy soars ahead of France's as world league table announced
    Booming investment in high technology industries is expected to help the UK’s business growth outstrip that of its neighbour and historic rival on the other side of the Channel, says the annual survey from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). And the UK continues to benefit from the economic reforms carried out under Margaret Thatcher’s government in the 1980s, according to the research.

    Read more at:

    Sturgeon slammed as totally irresponsible - you're destroying Scotland's forests!
    Environmental campaigners have aimed fire at Mrs Sturgeon's Scottish National Party (SNP), dubbing its tree-planting policy as totally irresponsible. The SNP has promised to lead the UK on woodland creation by mass tree-planting, which is key to combating climate change by soaking up harmful CEO. But critics say the plans are threatening native species.

    Read more at:

    The Adventures of Alistair MacLean: How Scots author invented the thriller
    Told at breakneck speed, featuring wild action, high body counts, claustrophobic settings and black-hearted treachery, to his fan, Alistair MacLean invented the modern thriller.

    Read more at:

    Murdoch McGregor is the UK Sailor of the Year for 2021 aged 82
    I get great satisfaction from being alone & vulnerable at sea

    Read more at:

    Covid in Scotland: Another record high number of infections
    A further 15,849 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Scotland, by far the highest daily case number of the pandemic so far. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Omicron variant was spreading rapidly and now accounts for 80% of all cases.

    Read more at:

    Is Scottish secession, a matter of When rather than if?
    HIDDEN AWAY in the depths of the most recent Ipsos-Mori poll report are clues to a key trend, overlooked by others, that suggests Scottish secession from the UK is more a case of when not if.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    Diary of Nicholas Garry
    Deputy-Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company from 1822-1835. A detailed narrative of his travels in the Northwest Territories of British North America in 1821. With a portrait of Mr. Garry and other illustrations. (1900) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Some Memories of Dundurn and Burlington Heights in Ontario
    By Sir John G. Bourinot, K.C.M.G., LL.D., Lit.D. (Laval) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    THOUGHTS on a SUNDAY MORNING - 25th of December 2021
    (Yes , I know, this is a Saturday!)

    You can view this at:

    Historica Canada
    A collection of videos on YouTube which are well worth viewing.

    You can view these at:

    Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada (1899) (pdf)
    You can read this at:

    Trade and Commerce in the Stone Age
    By Sir Daniel Wilson, LL.D., F.R.S.E., President of the University of Toronto. (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Electric Scotland

    BETH'S Newfangled Family Tree
    Hi Everyone!

    It's the day after Christmas and we're delighted to have leftovers! Our Christmas was quiet but lovely. We both hope your festive day was filled with love, joy, and great fun!

    This is the first section of BNFT for the New Year. I had a great time building it and I hope you will enjoy reading it.

    For those of you who are shy about submitting items to your own clan publication or BNFT, or any publication there are three pages of "how-to" information in this section. If you have any questions or comments, as always, it's fine to email me or call me at any time.

    There are some interesting stories as well. A hawthorn tree in Scotland has won the annual Woodlands Trust UK Tree of the year! The Royal Military Tattoo will resume this summer if all goes to plan. The Scottish Rugby tournaments start in February. I found Sean Connery's Goldfinger suit while searching for the results of two of his own suits being auctioned. (As of now, the auction has not been completed.) BBC Travel had a story about Eilean Iarmain on Sky and its Gaelic language school, Sabhal Mr Ostaig. A very long time ago, I was on Skye and heard talk about the wonderful new Gaelic school being brought to the island! It has succeeded beyond any expectations!

    If you wish to get to BNFT on the Internet, it's <> You may forward it to as many folks as you would like, or send it to anyone you wish. No strings at all. When you visit that site, you may also play amongst the archives which include publications since 2007. Free.

    Remember, please, about letting me know about changes in your email address. Remember to send me genealogical queries which will be printed for free. Flowers of the Forest are also published at no cost. Just send everything to

    Alastair, Tom, and I, all three, wish you all the happiest of New Year's! Please stay safe and healthy.



    Read the January issue 2022 part 1 at:

    Beth's Video Talks
    December 29th 2021 - Scottish Holidays to enjoy throughout the year

    You can view this at:

    A Selection of Scottish Forfeited Estate Papers 1715; 1745
    Edited from the Original Documents with Introduction and Appendices by A. H. Millar, LL.D., FSA Scot. (1909)

    You can read this at:

    Scottish Painters
    You can read this at:

    Scottish Painters
    A Critical Study by Walter Armstrong, B.A., Oxon (1888) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Our Churches and Why we belong to them (1898) (pdf)
    It might be feared that this volume would emphasize the differences in doctrine and Church government between the various Churches dealt with, and thus tend to separate them further from one another. Such, however, has not been the intention of the contributors. On the contrary, it is hoped that on its perusal the impression left on the reader’s mind will be, that the Churches do not differ so much as is generally supposed, and that many might combine with advantage to the progress of Christianity in this country, and throughout the world.

    You can read this at:

    Christmas with Grandma
    A children's Story which you can read at:

    The Scalacronica of Sir Thomas Gray
    You can read this at:

    How can the Sanitary Condition of the Population engaged in the Coast Fisheries of Scotland be improved?
    A paper by William Paul, Advocate in Aberdeen (1877) (pdf)

    You can read this at:


    McKAY (Mackay), JOSEPH WILLIAM, fur trader, explorer, businessman, politician, jp, and office holder; b. 31 Jan. 1829 at Rupert’s House (Waskaganish, Que.), son of William McKay and Mary Bunn, both of mixed blood; m. 16 June 1860 Helen Holmes in Victoria (B.C.), and they had four daughters and two sons; d. there 21 Dec. 1900.

    Joseph William McKay had deep roots in the northwest: his grandfather John McKay, his uncles John Bunn and John Richards McKay, and his father were active in the fur trade. When he was nine or ten years old Joseph William was sent to the Red River Academy where he remained for five years, boarding with his maternal grandfather, Thomas Bunn; according to family tradition his parents had intended to send him to school in Scotland but he literally missed the boat. He joined the Hudson’s Bay Company on 1 June 1844, at age 15, and was sent to Fort Vancouver (Vancouver, Wash.) together with William Charles* and James Allan Grahame*. The following September he accompanied the British naval officers Captain Henry W. Parke and Lieutenant William Peel on their reconnaissance of Oregon Territory [see John Gordon*]. Having been transferred in November 1846 to Fort Victoria (Victoria), which he recalled as “full of bustle” in the wake of the Oregon Boundary Treaty, he participated in a survey that winter of the area around Victoria and Esquimalt. In 1848 he was promoted to the rank of postmaster, and the following year he was Roderick Finlayson’s second in command at Fort Victoria.

    Though nominally a fur trader, McKay was also involved in the exploration, economic development, and colonization of Vancouver Island. As an apprentice clerk he helped Chief Factor James Douglas in 1850 to negotiate the Fort Victoria treaties with the neighbouring Indians. Douglas noted that McKay possessed "an uncommon degree of tact and address, in managing Indians." During the early 1850s Douglas sent McKay to explore the Cowichan and Comox valleys and to establish the HBC salmon fishery and sheep station on San Juan Island. In August 1852 McKay formally took possession, on behalf of the HBC, of the coalfields at Nanaimo, which had recently been explored by Joseph Despard Pemberton. While in charge there McKay opened a coal mine, a sawmill, a saltern, and a school, so that when Douglas visited the settlement a year later he wrote, “The place has quite the appearance of a little village.”

    McKay applied in the summer of 1854 for a three-month leave of absence in order to manage the affairs of the Vancouver’s Island Steam Saw Mill Company, which had been formed three years previously by a group of HBC officers and clerks but which was not yet operational. When his request was denied by Douglas, McKay quit the HBC and soon opened the sawmill. Although he had officially left the company, he was sent during the Crimean War to Fort Simpson (Port Simpson, B.C.) to ensure that the HBC and the Russian American Company remained neutral. In late November 1855 he rejoined the company at Fort Victoria and bought a farm at Cadboro Bay, which gave him the necessary freehold property to stand in the election the following year to the first House of Assembly of Vancouver Island. At first defeated, McKay contested the election of his opponent, Edward Edwards Langford, on the grounds that he did not possess the necessary property qualification. His complaint was upheld, Langford’s election was annulled, and McKay was elected member for Victoria District in his stead. During this period he also took part in the cultural life of the colony. In July 1857 he played Sir Anthony Absolute in Sheridan’s The rivals, produced by a group of HBC men. The fort’s physician and speaker of the house, John Sebastian Helmcken, remembered him at this time as "a very active young fellow – full of vigor and intelligence,” who “knew every thing and every body."

    Shortly after the beginning of the Fraser River gold-rush in the summer of 1858 McKay was sent by Douglas to search for a route to the gold-fields between Howe Sound and Lillooet Lake. In June 1860 he was made chief trader and placed in charge of the auriferous Thompson’s River district; that month also he was married in Victoria. Two months later McKay left his bride and went to Thompson’s River Post (Kamloops), where he spent six years developing the HBC’s retail provisions business, supplying Europeans, Chinese, and Indians with food and mining equipment in exchange for gold dust, dollars, and furs. McKay welcomed Thomas McMicking’s gold-seeking Overlanders to Kamloops in 1862 and English travellers Viscount Milton [Wentworth-Fitzwilliam] and Walter Butler Cheadle the following year. Cheadle described McKay as an “Undersized man in cowhide coat and breeches, jack-boots & large-peaked cap; like an overgrown jockey.” In 1865, in conjunction with John Rae, McKay conducted a survey of the country between Williams Creek and Tte Jaune Cache in anticipation of the HBC’s proposed telegraph line from Fort Garry (Winnipeg) to New Westminster (B.C.). Between 1866 and 1878 he was in charge of the company’s operations at Fort Yale (Yale), in the Kootenay district, and in the Cassiar and the Stikine mining districts, and he directed its coastal trade at Fort Simpson; he was promoted factor in 1872. Four years later he was made a justice of the peace, an appointment he held until 1885. In the summer of 1878 McKay was dismissed by the HBC, in part because of his substantial business dealings outside the company. Since the Fraser River gold-rush McKay had invested in silver mines, salmon canneries, and timber leases, and just six months before his dismissal he had been prospecting near Bella Coola on his own account. On 28 Sept. 1878 he entered into a two-year agreement to manage the salmon cannery on the lower Skeena River owned by the North Western Commercial Company of San Francisco.

    During the following two decades McKay worked for the dominion government, being appointed census commissioner for British Columbia in 1881 and Indian agent two years later, first for the northwest coast and then for the Kamloops and Okanagan agencies. While agent he urged Indians to take up stock-raising and to grow western crops, attempted to prevent the trespass of Canadian Pacific Railway crews and European settlers on Indian land, and established an Indian industrial school near Kamloops. He personally inoculated more than 1,300 Indians with smallpox vaccine between 1886 and 1888. In 1893 he was appointed assistant to Arthur Wellesley Vowell, the superintendent of Indian affairs for British Columbia. Throughout this period McKay continued to pursue his business interests. The year before his death he applied for a grant of 40,000 acres on Queen Charlotte Strait, on which he planned to establish a pulp-mill, but he died before he could see it in operation. During his last years in Victoria he also lectured and wrote several articles on the fur trade and on the Indians of British Columbia.

    McKay’s varied career, which spanned the fur trade, colonial, and provincial eras, reflects the diversity of the HBC’s interests in British Columbia. In 1872, when requesting a promotion, he had pointed out to the company that he had “been Sailor, Farmer, Coal Miner, packer, Salesman, Surveyor, explorer, Fur Trader and Accountant in Your Service.” Like several of his colleagues, McKay made a natural transition from fur trader to Indian agent, and like most of his contemporaries he exhibited an abiding personal interest in the development of natural resources.


    And this is the last newsletter for 2021 and hope you all have a great New Year in 2022 and if you haven't yet been vaccinated please think of others and don't be selfish and do get vaccinated as it will benefit everyone.


  • #2
    Thanks Alastair, and have a Happy New Year and Hogmanay!


    • #3

      Thanks as always Alastair. Have a great Hogmanay and all the best for 2022.



      • #4
        Thank you Alistair. Happy Hogmanay. May 2022 be a happy, healthy and safe year for you.


        • #5
          Many thanks and a Happy new Year to you both.