The following death notice appeared in Cape Breton yesterday.

Joseph Peter MacLean

342980-joseph-peter-macleanHello, if you are reading this I am gone from the earth. I am here with my parents Charlie and Katie (Campbell) MacLean, also my baby sister Mary Margaret is here too. I never had a chance to know her on earth as she died when she was one and a half years old.

I lived for 67 years, it was a good life. I enjoyed playing music and speaking my beloved Gaelic — my native tongue. I played with the Boisdale Trio, the Cape Breton Fiddlers Association, made a CD, “Back to Boisdale” and had several trips to Scotland. It is great here, lots of Gaelic music too.

I leave behind my cousins and many wonderful friends. To those who are working on keeping the Gaelic alive, I say keep at it. I loved helping people learn the Gaelic and helping people with playing music, especially the children. I had no children, but really loved children, they are so open and free.

I want to thank everyone who helped or tried to help me, the nurses and doctors, those who got me out of the apartment. I especially want to thank my dear friends Paul and Jane and my cousin Dougie. Dougie , thank you so much for all the hospital visits. Thank you to Flora, even though she could be difficult, she loved me and came through when the chips were down. Janet, thank you for putting up with me, also Sandra and Stephanie for being nice to me.

To everyone, enjoy life, don’t sweat the small stuff and be good to each other — Joe P.


Joe Peter died last Friday. In a remarkable coincidence, his friend and fellow tradition bearer, the Gaelic singer Peter Jack MacLean, died the same day. Both were raised along the Christmas Island-Boisdale shore of the Bras d’Or Lake. CBC Cape Breton’s Wendy Bergfeldt interviewed Rodney Chiasson, manager of the Highland Village in Iona, about them.