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Donald Macrae (1851-1924) became headmaster of Balallan School from 1873-1874. He was the son of Alexander Macrae and Catherine who came from Plockton, Ross-shire. He made a very strong impact in the community during his short stay of two years. He was a strong Land Leaguer and he helped the crofters in every possible way, including the measurement of their crofts following the Crofters Act of 1886. The penury of the crofter touched him very much - so much so that he organised the Park Deer Raid, 1887 at considerable risk to his professional standing.
He was one of six charged in Edinburgh with riotous behaviour but all six were acquitted and Donald Macrae was carried shoulder high through the streets of Edinburgh. On the following day in Glasgow, he gave a spirited oration to Highland supporters.
In 1891, Macrae agreed to defend the men who had attempted to resettle Orinsay Farm, in the Orinsay Trials.
Below is the inscription on his gravestone:
Erected by his fellow Highlanders at home and abroad as a tribute of respect
to the memory of
Born, Plockton, Ross-shire, 13th February, 1851
Died, Glasgow, 14th February, 1924
One who sacrificed the best years of his
life in the cause of Land Law Reform and
the emancipation of the oppressed and
landless Highland Crofters and Cottars.
"A man who had the courage of a Chieftain,
the mind of a Statesman, the heart of a
Patriot, and the faith of a Christian".
Gus am bris an la