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James K (Jim) MacLean Sr

Jim MacLean Sr. passed away on February 6, 2010. A founding member of Clan Maclean Atlantic (of which he was president twice), Jim was a true Scot. He will be missed not only by his family, but also by his many friends and particularly by Clan Maclean Atlantic. Jim's obituary may be found at the bottom of this article.

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Jim has been heavily involved in things Scottish for over 25 years.  He has been an initiator of Scottish organizations, has performed (well) many executive functions in different Scots organizations, and perhaps most importantly, has been a worker for and with many Scots events and functions.

Jim was one of the founding members of Clan Maclean Atlantic in 1979, and also one of the founding members of the Scottish Societies of Nova Scotia (1980), which is now the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia (I note the NS Federation website says NSFSC was formed in 1982, but perhaps the name difference is what is confusing).  He was also instrumental in getting Clan Maclean to join the Federation in 1981.

Jim has been President of Clan Maclean on two different occasions from 1981 - 1983, and from 1994 - 1996. He has also served as area Vice President, and other executive functions.  Jim worked hard to make our Association broader than a Nova Scotian organization, as we were supposed to be. For example, he initiated, and took part in our (Clan Maclean's) initial involvement in Highland Games in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Our presence in those  provinces and Newfoundland has been ongoing since then. Jim has also contributed articles to our Clan newsletter when asked.  When we were honoured by a visit from our Chief Sir Lachlan Maclean in 2002, Jim hosted and helped arrange events in Pictou, including a tour of the Hector, a church service at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, and a "Meet and Greet the Chief" at the St. Andrews Church Hall. He was honoured by the Chief, and presented with one of only three "Founders" awards by Sir Lachlan.

Jim was not only involved in initiating the NSFSC, but has also been involved as a director for the NSFSC for at least two terms, and has been an active supporter over the years.

Perhaps even more importantly he has been, and is, a tireless worker at Scottish gatherings and functions, representing, on different occasions, Clan Maclean and the Federation.  Last year for example, he attended the Culloden ceremony, the Summerside Games, the Halifax Games, the Antigonish Games, and the Pipers Picnic!

The Ship Hector has been another one of Jim's interests, and he has been actively involved in that project, both as an individual citizen, and as a representative of Clan Maclean.

Curling is the quintessential Scottish sport, and here too, Jim has been involved, as a participant, volunteer, executive member of the Pictou Curling Club, and as a teacher.  Jim has for a number of years given willingly of his time to teach junior curlers, the skills, and etiquette of the "roaring game".

Also benefiting from his volunteer time has been the Heatherbelle Pipe Band, the all girl pipe band that has represented Pictou County and Nova Scotia so well.

Harder to describe is Jim's commitment to and interest in all things Scottish, and his willingness to promote and support any such efforts. The fact that his son and daughter are both very interested in their Scots roots is a clear indicator that this interest began through Jim. His wife, Geraldine, lost a tough battle with cancer, but needs to also be acknowledged as Jim's partner and supporter in all these activities, as they did most things together - as a team. 

Jim had countless friends among those Nova Scotians who are interested in things Scots. Jim was an institution in our Association, and we will miss his sense of humour and willingness to help.


James Kenneth MacLean, 78, of Pictou, passed away peacefully in the Palliative Care Unit, Aberdeen Hospital on Saturday, February 6, 2010.

Born in Pictou, Jim was the only child of the late Kenneth MacLean and Kathleen (Roach) Semeniuk. Jim lived in Pictou and Branford, Ont. While in Brantford he obtained his plumber's license and met and married his wife of 40 years, Geraldine Grey. In 1972, he and his family moved back to his home province where he continued his work as a licensed plumber.

After retirement, Jim joined the Pictou District School Board where he worked as a custodian. After retiring from the school board he worked as the custodian and maintenance person for the Convent of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

A true Scot, Jim was very proud of his Scottish heritage and willingly shared his love of Scottish history and was one of the founding members of Clan Maclean Atlantic. The Federation of Scottish Clans awarded Jim "Scot of the Year" in 2008 for his leadership and dedication to the clans.

The Caledonia Curling Club was another love of Jim's, where he was a lifetime member and was always there to lend a hand or to offer advice. Jim also spent several years helping to organize Curl for Cancer in Pictou.

An avid gardener, Jim grew beautiful rhododendrons and roses at his home in Bayview and on Gill Court. Jim was also a parishioner of Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church.

Jim will be sadly missed by his children, Susan (Darius) Irwin, Ennismore, Ont; James (Lynn) Scotch Hill; Brenda (Dan) Barrett, Victoria, B.C; and Kathleen (Brian) Edwards, Cavan, Ont; nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. James was predeceased by his wife, Geraldine.

The family will receive visitors from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, February 9, 2010, in McLaren Funeral Home, Pictou where funeral service will be held on Wednesday, February 10, at 11 a.m. with Father Evo DiPierro officiating. Interment will be in Seaview Cemetery. A reception will follow at his son's home at 1365 Heathbell Rd. In lieu of flowers donations, in his memory may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia or Palliative Care Unit of Aberdeen Hospital.