Lachann Mac an Lìosa
Gleann Dà Ruadhail
‘S e Lachann Mac an Lìosa am fear a b’ eòlaiche anns a’ ghleann a thaobh na Gáidhlig. ‘S e Domhall Mac an Lìosa athair agas rugamh Lachann ann an Àird a’ Chìrein Mhóir sa Ghleann. ‘S ann á Loch Carrann a bha a mháir agas ‘s e Nic·Ill-Fhìnein a bh’ oirre.
Bha bràthair aige, Domhall, ‘s chaidh e·san a-sìos a Lunainn fa robh e na chief cashier aig Armour & Co a reinn corned beef. Bha a mhac·san anns an aona dhreuchd, ach le Colman’s. Ré an darna cogaimh, bha e na phaymaster air an Abhainn Chluaidh.
Cha do phòs Lachann riadh. Bha e ‘m beachd dol na mhinistear, ach cha do thachair sin. Bha e tabaidh ‘s ceòlach, duine aig an robh comas seinn air a’ phìob ‘s bha gu leòr a dh’òrain aige.
Bha e na phost anns a’ ghleann ‘s chóisich e dusan mìle gu Ormadail a h-uile latha a’ giùlan nan litirean.
Nair a bha e na bu shine, bha e fanachd ann an taigh ris an abramh ead The Cottage, làmh ri Tall’ a’ Bhaile.
Shiubhail e mu 1945.
Lachie Gillies was the most knowledgable man in the glen in terms of the Gaelic language. His father was Donald Gillies and Lachie was born in Ardachearanmore in the glen. His mother, a MacLennan, was from Loch Carron.
He also had a brother, Donald, and he went down to London where he was chief cashier at Armour and Co. who made corned beef. His own son was in the same trade, but with Colman’s. During WWII, he was paymaster on the Clyde.
Lachie never married. He had intended to become a minister, but this didn’t happen. He was clever and musical, was able to play the pipes and he had plenty of songs.
He was a postman in the glen and he walked the dozen miles to Ormidale every day in order to carry the letters.
When he was older, he was living in the house which they call “The Cottage”, next to the Village Hall.
He passed away around 1945.
Lachann ‘s Beathag (by kind permission of Johnnie Gillies)
‘S e Beathag Nic an Lìosa a phiuthar. Bha ise fanachd leis nair a tháinig Holmer. Bhitheamh i beagan na b’ òige na Lachann. Chuir i gnothaichean air dòigh anns an talla, leithid tì nair a bha dannsaichean a’ dol. Ghleidh i an taigh air son Lachann ‘s e·san ag obair. Shiubhail ise beagan an déidh dha·san falbh. Cheannaich Domhall, am bràthair The Cottage dhith an déidh don oighreachd a bh’ ann dol a reic. Shin agaibh an dearbh taigh fa robh Máiri Nic an Lìos’ a’ fanachd nair a tháinig Fred Mac-Amhlaidh a bhruidhinn rithe ann an 1954.
Bha Lachann agas Beathag nan co-oghaichean do Mháiri agas da bràthair Donnchamh Mac an Lìos’ aig an robh Àird a’ Chìrein Mhóir bho 1938 gus an do shiubhail e mu 1950. Cha do phòs e·san na bu mhotha. Chuir Holmer seachad ùine bruidhinn ris·san cuideachd. Bha bràthair aige, Lachann, a shiubhail an déidh greim-cridhe tighinn air. Bha baile Bhealach an Droighinn aig Donnchamh ‘s Lachann uaireigin san t-saoghal. Bha bràthair eile ann, Alasdair, a shiubhail nair a bha a mhac, Deonaidh Mac an Lìosa, 4 bliana dh’aois. Tha Deonaidh beò thathast ‘s a’ fanachd ann an Dùn Omhainn. ‘S e Clann ‘Ille-Bhàin ás a’ Cheathra’ Chomhghallach a mhuinntir·san cuideachd.
Becca Gillies was his sister. She was living with him when Nils Holmer came. She would have been a little younger than Lachie. She organised things in the hall, the likes of tea when there were dances happening. She kept house for Lachie while he was working. She passed away a little after he did. Donald, their brother, bought the house for her after the estate there was sold. There you have the very house where Mary Buchanan Gillies (later Simpson) aka “Polly Fisher” was living when Fred MacAuley came to speak to her in 1954.
Lachie and Becca were cousins to Mary and to her brother Duncan Gillies who had Ardachearanmore from 1938 until he died in 1950. He did not marry either. Nils Holmer also spent time talking to him. He had a brother, Lachlan, who passed away after a heart attack came upon him. The farm at Bealachandrain was run by Duncan and Lachlan at one point in time. There was another brother, Sandy, who passed away when his son Johnnie Gillies was only 4 years old. Johnnie is alive yet and is living in Dunoon. The Whyte family from the Kerry peninsula are also connected to Johnnie through his mother.
Na thog Nils Holmer le Lachann:
Briathran a’ Ghilleasaich
Caoidh Mhic an Tóisich
Caoidh Mhic-Neachdainn an Dùin
Ciste Dhomhaill Bhàin
Colla mo Rùin
Domhall ‘s Mórag
Hó-ró, mo Bhobag an Dram
Mo Chaora Cheanann
Òran do Leanabh Altram
Moladh don Ghàidhlig ‘s don Phìob-mhóir
Nils Holmer material from Lachie:
Words of the Gillies (title unknown)
Blond Donald’s Chest
Coll my Love
Donald and Morag
Ho-ro, my Pal the Dram
Glasgow Lass (title unknown)
My Pale-headed Sheep
Song to a Foster Child
Praise of the Gaelic and the Great Pipes