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Jan 9 15

Preserving Our Clan Heritage

by Glenda Dickson

Ellan VhowThere is an island in the middle of Loch Lomond, Scotland that is known by various names: Elanvow, Ellan Vhow, Eilean A Vow, Island I Vow.

On this very small uninhabited island lie the ruins of a MacFarlane castle. Built in 1577 by Andrew MacFarlane, hero of the Battle of Langside, and once the stronghold of the Clan, this castle had virtually disappeared amidst the overgrowth before the Ellan Vhow Preservation Fund (EVPF) came to the rescue. Below is a picture of the Cellar (Dungeon) entrance:


Cellar or Dungeon EntranceUS high school student, Katherine McFarlin, is credited with having started this independent project under the supervision of local Scottish archaelogist, Fiona Baker. Many more people and organisations have now come to support this project. The Ellan Vhow Preservation Fund have their own website: which covers the history surrounding the castle and the island, updates on the status of the project, and also includes many facts, suppositions and myths surrounding the island. There are wonderful pictures including 3D images of the castle. The only way to visit this island is by boat and our Membership Secretary, Anita Renfrey, was privileged to do so on her trip to Scotland last year.

Preservation work on the island has been slow going due to a number of reasons, financial constraints, weather conditions, and even the need to consider the welfare of a resident bat population! We are pleased to report, however, that the project is now in its third stage but it does need help with donations to progress further.

Our Society has made a significant contribution to the funds, and our members have also responded previously to the call for donations, but hopefully there are many more donations forthcoming to help preserve our MacFarlane heritage. All donors are acknowledged on the EVPF website.  If you are able to help, or would like further information please visit

We have also published information on this project previously in our quarterly newsletter, particulary an article with the same name as this in our December 2012 issue. A copy of this is available in the Members Area.

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Jan 4 15

Victorian Railways – A List of all Persons Employed in the Railway Service on the 31st January, 1884

by Glenda Dickson

The Victorian Government Gazette (No. 64), published on Friday, May 23, 1884 lists all persons employed by the Victorian Railways on the 31st January, 1884.

The list includes the persons Name in Full, their Rank, Position or Grade, and the Branch they were employed in. There seem to be a great number of Scottish names on the list. Some names connected with our Clan are:

McFarland, Samuel – Clerk, Secretary’s Branch

McFarlane, Allan – Repairer, Engineers Branch

McFarlane, Daniel – Signalman, Traffic Branch

McFarlane, John – Lad, Engineers Branch

McFarlane, Thomas – Acting Porter, Traffic Branch

If any of these people are connected with your family, we would be pleased to hear from you.

The full Triennial List of Railway Employees 1884 – 1918 is available free from under the tab Downloads, but please note that it is a huge file (90MB).


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Dec 17 14

List of persons who have received loans of money from the Island and Highland Emigration Society to enable them to emigrate from their native country to Victoria

by Glenda Dickson

This list covers loans dated between 1852 and 1854 and includes the date of the promissory note, name of head of the family, former residence, the ship they arrived by, and the amount due by the family.

To view the digitised record online at the State Library of Victoria, just click on the following link:

There is only one MACFARLANE listed:

Date of Promissory Note: May 17, 1852 – Name of Head of the Family: MacFarlane, Malcolm

Former Residence: Marishadder – Ship Arrived By: Arabian – Amount Due by Family: 31 pounds 2s 2d






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Dec 8 14

Macfarlane Lang & Co.’s – Biscuit Making 1928

by Christine Coe

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Nov 15 14

19th Gathering of the Clans, Norah Head, NSW – Saturday 5 September 2015

by Glenda Dickson

In 2014 11 pipe bands and 17 clan societies and Scottish special interest groups were represented at the Gathering of the Clans at Norah Head in New South Wales, also the venue for the Central Coast National Highland Dancing Titles.  However, in 2015 the organisers are hoping to also welcome more of our ‘Celtic Cousins’ (Asturian, Breton, Cornish, Galician, Irish, Manx and Welsh).

For further information please contact Gathering of the Clans


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Nov 15 14

Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club – End of Year Concert – Sunday 7 December 2014 – Balwyn, Victoria

by Glenda Dickson

Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club

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Nov 11 14

2nd Lieutenant, Archibald Henry MACFARLANE – A. Company, 11th Battalion A.I.F.

by Glenda Dickson


11th Battalion A.I.F. at Khufu (Cheops) Pyramid, Giza, Egypt – 10 January 1915


Cheops Pyramid: Amateur detectives identify Gallipoli-bound diggers in WW1 photo mystery

This is the headline for a story published on 11th November, Remembrance Day, about an ambitious project being carried out by a team of researchers at the Western Australian Genealogical Society Inc. (WAGS). They are aiming to identify all of the Australian soldiers posing on the steps of this huge Egyptian pyramid shortly before they were shipped off to the battlegrounds of Gallipoli in 1915. Many of these men never returned home.

The men pictured were all from the original contingent of officers and men of the 11th Battalion A.I.F. who embarked Fremantle in Western Australia on the 31st October 1914 and joined the convoy from Albany destined for Egypt.

Of the 703 men in the photo, 200 have been identified so far (highlighted in colour in this version of the photograph). The team at WAGS need your help to try and identify the rest of the men by the centenary of the day the photograph was taken, 10th January 2015.

One of the men listed on the Nominal Roll for the 11th Battalion A.I.F. was an officer in A. Company – 2nd Lieutenant Archibald Henry MACFARLANE whose next of kin were from Perth, Western Australia.




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Nov 9 14

Scottish Exhibition and Festival – Immigration Museum – Victoria – 16 November 2014

by Glenda Dickson


On Sunday 16 November 2014, the Immigration Museum will be hosting a special one-day community festival to mark the opening of a new community exhibition exploring Scottish migration to Victoria. It will be a colourful celebration of Scottish culture and traditions still practiced across the state. The festival will feature community performers, speakers, stalls, food, and other activities. 

11am – 4pm

Entry $12 for adults, free for children and all concession holders (inc. seniors, students, carers etc.)

For further information please visit the Museum Victoria website:

or telephone 131102 (Victoria only) or  (03) 9927 2700 (Australia Wide)

Immigration Museum, Old Customs House, 400 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Victoria





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Nov 4 14

Bonnie Wingham Scottish Festival (NSW) – May 2015

by Glenda Dickson

The 11th Bonnie Wingham Scottish Festival will run from Sunday 24th May, 2015 through to Sunday 31st May in Wingham, New South Wales.

The program begins on Sunday 24th May with a Scottish Concert at the Catholic Church followed by a Genealogy Fair on Thursday 28th May at the Wingham Services Club. On Friday 29th May there is a full program commencing with a Bravehearts Poets Breakfast at the Anglican Church Hall, and a District Bus Tour (Wingham Historical Museum) and ending with a Scots Night Out at the Wingham Services Club.

On Saturday 30th May there will be a Street Parade followed by Highland Games at Central Park from 9.00 am to 4.00pm. In the evening there is a Grand Scottish Ball at the Wingham Services Club.

The festivities continue on, with the final event on Sunday 31st May being a Luncheon and Ceilidh/Concert at the Wingham Services Club.

Please see the full program for details, as some events require bookings.

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Nov 1 14

Scottish House Australia – 20th Birthday Anniversary Lunch – Campsie NSW

by Glenda Dickson

Scottish House Australia invite you to join them for lunch to celebrate their first 20 years.

Sat 22nd Nov, 11am-3pm

Campsie RSL Club, Anglo Road, Campsie, New South Wales

Entertainment includes comedienne Toni Stevens, who will “Address the Haggis”, sing, tell a tale or two, and MC. John MacDonald, Scotland’s own international accordion/ entertainer/ comedian, now living in Australia, will have us in stitches. And wee highland dancers the “Pocket Scots” have the “aw” factor. Piper for the day will be Rob McLean.

Cost $35 pp/ Children (12 & under) $17.50, includes delicious roast buffet, choice of sweets and tea/coffee. Drinks can be purchased at the bar. Prizes and surprises. All good clean fun. Families encouraged. Join us to celebrate the first 20 years; may there be many more.


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