Recalling Scots mourning for the thousands fallen at Flodden Field on 9 Sep
1513, Flowers of the Forest is the name of a pipe tune and a later poem, and
now is traditionally used for a roll of clan members who have gone on before.
The following appeared in Volume 2 of Litir à Clann (Family Newsletter),
R.M. "Mac" Sinclair of Kingston, Ontario.
Diana, Countess Caithness
Tragedy at Chipping Norton: On January 15th, the eve of their 19th
wedding anniversary, Diana, Countess Caithness, wife of Malcolm, the
20th Earl of Caithness (Chief of Clan Sinclair), committed suicide.
There are two surviving children: Iona, Lady Sinclair, age 15, and
James (sometimes known as Alexander), Lord Berriedale, age 12.
Newspaper articles have portrayed this marriage as having become
"loveless" and sterile, burdened with an unusually heavy
political commitment that probably strained it to the limit. We knew
Di to be a fun-loving wife and mother a few years ago, when we were
making visits, and they seemed to be a typical young family, struggling
somewhat, but not unduly harrassed.
Lady Caithness's background was steeped in royal tradition, with
an ancestry linked to the Queen Mother. Her father, Major Richard Coke
D.S.O., M.C., is one of England's foremost landowners, heavily involved
in forestry. Di was related to the Queen Mother through her
great-grandmother, the Countess of Leicester, making her a distant
Lord Caithness is suffering from this tragedy as well. It will be
difficult for him to give the parental leadership that is so badly needed
at this time. His political career is at a standstill, if not ended.
"It is typical of him that he has given up office to put his children
first..." as one newspaper article has put it. And, he was known as
a "top all-rounder", able to fill in on any bill in the
Upper House at a moment's notice.
Let us all pray for Lady Diana and for the children; and let us all
pray for the rejuvenation of Lord Caithness, may he find solace in
the knowledge that his kinsmen stand with him as he struggles to rebuild
his family life. President Gordon and I have written to assure him
Katherine Stone Sinclair
We make note of the fact that Katherine Stone Sinclair, wife of
Dr. Gordon A. Sinclair of Toronto, passed away last December, and
we extend our sympathy to him and the family.
Roselma (Lake) Sinclair
The death of one of the charter members of our Association,
Roselma (Lake) Sinclair occurred at the home of her son, Rory,
in Toronto on March 3rd, 1995.
She was one of the founders and always a great participant
at our meetings and in our projects; one whose "input"
was always thoughtfully given and carefully considered. During
her lifetime she had been active, and excelled in many fields
-- municipal politics, charitable societies, sports, bridge and
Her husband Dr. Edward G. and a son, Edward (Sandy) predeceased
her. She is survived by a daughter, Heather Dwyer, and two sons,
Dr. Ian and Rory. The Clan Sinclair Association (Canada) was a real
part of her family.
Lindsay M. Sinclair
In a short note from his son, John M. Sinclair of Vancouver,
we also received word that Lindsay M. Sinclair of Pointe Claire, Que.
had passed away, suddenly, in late January 1995. Lindsay was another
of the Sinclair clan whose forbears settled in Scotch Corners,
Lanark County, ON, in the early 1800s.
The Rt. Hon. Viscount Thurso of Ulbster
I have just been informed that Lord Thurso (Robin Sinclair) died
on May 29th. He had had respiratory problems for several years and was
somewhat restricted in the carrying out of his appointments and duties
of late. Members of our Association who travelled to Caithness in 1989 and
1994 in organized groups, and independently on other occasions, will
be particularly saddened at this news.
Lord Thurso will be remembered as a most gracious host who made sure
his Canadian visitors saw the important "Sinclair" sites and,
with his lovely wife, Margaret, made each one feel special about his visit
to Caithness. Lord Thurso will be greatly missed by Sinclairs everywhere.
We received a sad notice from Margaret (Sinclair) Hunter of
Burlington, Ont., that her husband, Elmer, had died on
February 3rd. Margaret, age 90, is a cousin of our president,
Gordon Maxwell Sinclair, LLD., B.S.A.
On Friday, July 7th, 1995, Gordon Sinclair, esteemed president of
Clan Sinclair Association Canada, was killed in an automobile accident.
He had been on a business trip in Manitoba and was returning home.
Just four years ago, Gordon was elected president of our Association
at a general meeting in Nova Scotia. He impressed everyone immediately
with his friendly enthusiasm and desire to help the Association grow
and develop further contacts throughout areas of Canada with which
he was particularly familiar. His objectives were accomplished with
gentle good humour, but firm determination. He was always considerate
of others, as a true Scot would be. We are so sorry to lose him.
Gordon's leadership talents were recognized by many. He had been
particularly active in co-operative endeavours in Manitoba and with
his expertise, his advice on agricultural matters was sought by the
Provincial government. Nationally in the co-operative movement, Gordon
had been president of Co-Operators, a major insurance company
in Canada, and a director of several co-operative financial
Prairie farming was Gordon's first love; he and his wife, Donalda
(Donnie) with their two sons, Sam and John, operated a farming operation
of some 2,600 acres, specializing in seed growing and many special crops.
He was born and raised in Strathclair, graduated from the University of
Manitoba (Winnipeg), and received an Honourary Degree from St Francis
Xavier University at Antigonish, Nova Scotia. In addition to the family
members mentioned above, he is survived by his daughter-in-law, Jeanne,
and grandson, Ian. A sister, Janey, and a brother, Jim, are also
members of our Association.
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