Personnel and Bios:
Margie Beaton - Mabou, Nova Scotia (From Eriskay, Scotland)Angus MacLeod – Goose Cove, Cape Breton (From Cape Breton)
Donald John Morrison - Harris, Scotland (From Harris, Scotland)
Catriona Parsons - Antigonish, Nova Scotia (From Lewis, Scotland)Bob Leonard - Fredericton, New Brunswick (from Cape Breton)
Murdina Stewart - Skye, Scotland (From Skye, Scotland)
Davine Sutherland – Easter Ross, Scotland (From Easter Ross, Scotland)
Biographies (Alphabetical Listing)
Margie Beaton is a native Gaelic speaker from the Island of Eriskay, Scotland. She currently lives in Mabou, Cape Breton where she is a Gaelic Teacher and former Vice Principal at Dalbrae Academy in Mabou. Margie graduated from Glasgow University in Scotland with a Master of Arts degree in Gaelic and Geography. She then attended Jordanhill College of Education where she trained as a teacher of Gaelic and geography. Margie has taught Gaelic for over thirty years, and has been involved in Gaelic and Gaelic Studies Curriculum development for the Province of Nova Scotia. She is an advisor and has also taught Gaelic for the AGA. Margie has also taught night classes and immersions throughout Nova Scotia, and has been involved with the Mabou Gaelic Society, the NS Gaelic Council, and Gaelic choirs. In addition, she has organized Gaelic exchange visits with schools in Scotland, and several annual conferences on Gaelic for Nova Scotia teachers.
Bob Leonard is a native of Cape Breton, and he lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and received his accounting credentials through studies at McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario. Bob was the Chair and the Executive Director of the AGA for many years. He completed the Atlantic Gaelic Academy program, and a number of other Gaelic courses. He has also attended numerous Gaelic Immersions and Workshops including many at the Gaelic College in Cape Breton, St. F.X. University in Antigonish, and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Scotland. Bob taught Gaelic language classes in Fredericton, N.B. and for the AGA for a number of years.
Angus MacLeod is from Goose Cove, Cape Breton. Born into a Gaelic speaking home, Angus learned his Gaelic in that environment and from local elders. This was complemented by Gaelic language studies at Cape Breton University in Sydney, C.B., and many immersions and workshops. Angus is a Vice President, advisor, and a Gaelic teacher with the Atlantic Gaelic Academy, and also teaches at other workshops and immersions. He is also an accomplished Gaelic singer and conducts Gaelic song workshops in Nova Scotia.
John Alick Macpherson was a native Gaelic speaker from Harris and North Uist, Scotland, and he lived near Sydney, Nova Scotia in his later years. He was President of the AGA for a number of years. John Alick graduated from Edinburgh University with a Master of Arts degree, and Jordanhill College of Education, where he trained as a teacher of Gaelic and history. He taught Gaelic for many years in the Scottish school system. John Alick also worked for the Gaelic Department of the BBC as a producer, and later was the Deputy Director of the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee. He had been involved in many Gaelic activities including being on the board of the Gaelic Books Council and Acair Publishing. He was also the Chairman of the Scottish Government task force whose findings led to the Gaelic Language Act, which was implemented in Scotland. Other Gaelic activities included writing columns for the Gaelic newspaper An Gaidheal Ùr and the Gaelic magazine An Gath, preparation of Gaelic language plans, and the translation into Gaelic of complex documents for several Scottish organizations.
Donald John Morrison is a native Gaelic speaker who was born, raised, and still lives in the Isle of Harris, Scotland. After graduating from Edinburgh University in Scotland, he trained to be a teacher, and then spent over thirty years teaching Gaelic and other subjects in the Harris school system. He then trained as an Auxiliary Minister in the Church of Scotland, and currently preaches regularly in Gaelic at his local church at Tarbert, Harris, and wherever his services are required. Over the years Donald John has been an advocate of and involved in many aspects of the Gaelic language and culture. He is currently involved in the translation into Gaelic of a children’s story, which will be published shortly.
Catriona Parsons is a native Gaelic speaker from the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, and she now lives in Bayfield, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia, and for most of the summer months in New Campbellton, Cape Breton. Catriona has an MA and a graduate Diploma in Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh. She was a professor in the Celtic Studies Department at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, N.S. for many years. In addition, she regularly teaches the language at immersions and workshops throughout North America. Catriona is an accomplished Gaelic singer, and has produced a Gaelic course for students learning the language. In addition, her Gaelic poetry and prose have been featured in the Scottish Gaelic publications GAIRM and GATH. She is also the Past President of the Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia
Murdina Stewart is a native Gaelic speaker who was born, raised, and still lives on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. She graduated from Aberdeen University with a Master of Arts degree in Gaelic and English, and she received her teacher training qualification from Jordanhill College of Education, Glasgow. Murdina has taught Gaelic for over forty years, thirty of which were in the Gaelic department of Portree High School. Her career also included teaching at schools in the Badenoch and Strathspey areas of Scotland, and in Nova Scotia, Canada. She has taught for the Atlantic Gaelic Academy, and also evening classes and summer courses at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.
Davine Sutherland is from Easter Ross in the Highlands of Scotland. She heard Gaelic spoken by her grandparents’ generation as a child, has had a lifelong love of Gaelic song, and has studied Gaelic systematically as an adult, through Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Atlantic Gaelic Academy, and the Ionad na Gàidhlig agus a Cultar anns a’ Ghearmailt. She has an MA from Aberdeen University and is an “English as a Second Language Specialist” – teacher, teacher-trainer, and examiner. She is also a teacher and an advisor with the AGA. She is active in promoting the regeneration of Gaelic, writing a monthly Gaelic column for her local community magazine, and regularly engaging in debate in and about Gaelic on and offline.