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Murdo Macfarlane: Wikis

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Murdo Macfarlane(15 Feb 1901 - 1982) (Gaelic: Murchadh MacPhàrlain) known as 'Bàrd Mhealboist' (the Melbost Bard) he was a published poet and campaigner for Scottish Gaelic.

Born and brought up in Melbost, Isle of Lewis, he was taught Latin, English and French but received no education in Gaelic. He spent some time working for Lord Leverhulme on various schemes but eventually left to travel to North America in the 1920s and spent many years in Manitoba but did not like the place. In 1932 he returned to Scotland and went on to national service in World War II during the years 1942-1945. Following the end of the war he spent the rest of his life in Lewis and never married.

His poetry was taken up by a young band Na h-Oganaich in the 1970s this exposure led to bands such as Runrig and Capercaillie being inspired by his work.

He was also a strong campaigner against the enlargement of Stornoway Airport into a NATO base in the 1970s. He is the subject of a BBC documentary 'Murchadh MacPharlain; Bard Mhealaboist' which won the Celtic Film and Television Festival Award for best Arts documentary in 2001.

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