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Archive for July, 1991

Gates Ajar – – – Summer 1991

Friday, July 26th, 1991


Friends of MacDonald returned to Astoria in May to celebrate re-publication of Ranald MacDonald’s book, participate in the excitement of Clatsop County Historical Society’s “Jane Barnes Day” and present books to civic dignitaries gathered at the Heritage Museum.

Bruce Hamilton, director of the Oregon Historical Society PRESS and principal speaker, outlined problems and pitfalls involved in re-printing a 1924 book and explained the compromises and capitulations involved.

“The MacDonald book,” he told seminar participants, “fits beautifully into our series of publications for the North Pacific Studies Center.”  Hamilton said financial help from FOM and Epson Portland Inc. also made it possible to stretch available funds.

Chairman Mas Tomita sees book publication as only the beginning:  “We have started an ambitious project to reach many people and institutions by presenting this book,” he said, reporting copies already distributed.  He reminded members that FOM was organized “to promote and preserve Ranald MacDonald’s wonderful story.”

“During our first three years,” Tomita said, “we have made progress toward that goal by maintaining a membership of 150 persons, publishing newsletters, organizing seminars, assisting in research and inquiries, developing pamphlets and a videotape, producing postcards, and creating and helping to fund the bilingual MacDonald monument on the site of old Fort Astoria.

Barbara C. Peeples, FOM Secretary, read a paper outlining Ranald MacDonald’s own futile and frequently desperate efforts, during the closing years of his adventurous life, to see his manuscripts published.

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FOM vice chairman Bruce Berney invites comment on proposals for tour to mark two major anniversaries in Ranald MacDonald’s life:

1 – 1994 will be the 100th anniversary of Ranald’s death, on August 5, 1894, near the tiny community of Toroda, Washington.

Bruce suggests that planning begin now for a tour which would include a visit to the grave site and monument in the Indian cemetery at Toroda, as well as to Spokane, Colvile and other Eastern Washington points where MacDonald-related memorabilia is on display.

2 – 1998 will be the 150th anniversary of Ranald’s history-making trip to Japan.  The question:  is there membership interest in an overseas tour which would include visits to Rishiri, Nagasaki and other areas of specific FOM interest?

Would the Japanese government issue a stamp marking either the 1848 voyage or 150 years of English-teaching in Japan?  Members interested in the possibility of either tour are invited to get in touch with Bruce.

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