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Archive for May, 2017

A Very Special Gathering

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

We knew it was going to be a special meeting as soon as we got off the elevator on the second floor of the Heritage Museum in Astoria – we were not ‘late’, but we found the hallway filled with FOM members and guests chatting and patiently waiting to enter the gallery area of the old, Circa 1904 Astoria City Hall.  We were thrilled to see so many familiar faces – and a number of new faces as well. We – all of the Friends of MacDonald members – are pleased and gratified that our membership stays strong.  It is often difficult for organizations such as ours to remain healthy over the years; that said, we feel that our success stems from the allure Ranald MacDonald himself. As far as historical figures go, I think I speak for all of our members when I say that Ranald is definitely one of the more interesting characters to spring out of the Pacific Northwest, if not America itself.

We began our meeting by welcoming charter member and former FOM Chairman Prof. Stephan Kohl, former chairman Jim Mockford, and author of ‘Ranald MacDonald: Pacific Rim Adventurer’, JoAnn Roe, who, at age 93, drove BY HERSELF to Astoria from Bellingham, WA to be with us at this year’s luncheon. We were also honored to have Consul General and Mrs. Uchiyama of the Japan Consular Office in Portland, Chinook Council Vice Chair Sam Robinson and his better half Mildred (who entertained us with Chinook drums and songs of gratitude to the Creator who watches over us all), and local Chinook artist Charles Funk and his wife Mary. Members of Clan Donald were also in attendance, as well as visitors from Montana and Japan. Jim Mockford reminded us of our history as a Committee of the Clatsop County Historical Society, and – with occasional corroboration from Professor Kohl – told the story of the early days of FOM when Bruce Berney of Astoria and the late Mas Tomita of Epson Portland (among others) work against all odds to establish FOM. ~ Chairman Mas Yatabe