Marie Mitchell Mackay passed away in the hospital at Inverness, Scotland on Saturday morning, February 24. Funeral services were held in Lairg, Sutherland on Thursday, March 1st, 2007.
Thursday was a bright sunny day and The Church of Scotland Parish Kirk was overflowing with mourners during the funeral service. Brian Mackay Mearns of Rogart, Sutherland piped a slow lament as the funeral procession filed to the nearby cemetery for the burial.
In attendance from the Edinburgh area were: Hon. Elizabeth Mackay Fairbairn, MBE, President of Clan Mackay of Scotland; Council member, Marion Mackay Wellwood, and her son, Alisdair.
An only child, Marie was born in Stonehaven near Aberdeen. She graduated from the University of Aberdeen where she majored in music. Music and sports followed her all of her life and for some time she conducted the Edinburgh Gaelic Choir, which competed in the Royal National Mod, winning the prestigious Lovat & Tullibardine Shield for their efforts. She was very active with her Wardie Singers Choir in Edinburgh, as well as holding a semi-annual ceilidh at her home for thirty odd years. One hundred or more people who enjoyed piping, fiddling, story telling, as well as singing in Gaelic and English usually attended these social events.
Marie married Charlie Mackay, C.B., known as "Charlie Strathmore", in 1955, and they lived in Edinburgh before retiring to the area near Lairg, Sutherland, where Charlie spent his years as a young child. They were also very active in the sport of curling while still living in the Edinburgh area.
She was a long time member of the Council of Clan Mackay of Scotland. Her husband served as President, Honorary Vice President, and Editor of the Bratach Bhan. Both were instrumental in hosting Mackays from abroad during the 1988 Centenary celebration in Tongue and Bettyhill, as well as the 1996 tour to Mackay Country and the Orkney Islands. After the passing of her husband, lovingly known by all as "Charlie-himself," she carried on the tradition by attending functions of the Bi-Centenary of the Mackay Society in Glasgow and Edinburgh last year.
Marie was a faithful Mackay and will be missed by her many friends and admirers worldwide.
A son, Roderick, daughter, Catriona, and grandsons, Brendan and Alexander, survive her.