March 2016 Newsletter

The articles in the March 2016 issue of the Friends Newsletter include:

  • Annual General Meeting – Convener’s Report
  • Celebrating 125 Years of Yosemite National Park
  • Dunbar Grammar School’s Next California Visit
  • John Muir Birthplace Welcomes 150,000th Visitor
  • Ohio Rotary Team To Visit John Muir’s Birthplace
  • An Ingenious Whittler – John Muir the Inventor
  • John Muir Coast Festival
  • Muir Is Back and Walking His Way!
  • Festival of Museums 2016
  • Coastword’s Dunbar Literary Festival 2016
  • Membership News

For the complete contents of this newsletter please see FoJMB Newsletter #33. March 2016 or go to the next page for the Scribd version.

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November 2015 Newsletter

The articles in the November 2015 issue of the Friends Newsletter include:

  • Notice of Annual General Meeting
  • Annual Sand Sculpture Competition
  • The Poet Painter and Nature’s Prophet
  • Kindred Spirits?
  • Yosemite National Park – 125 years old
  • Where To Now?
  • More from Martinez
  • The John Muir Concert
  • John Muir’s Birthplace Museum – News
  • Meaford, Ontario – Update
  • Membership News

For the complete contents of the newsletter see FoJMB Newsletter #32. November 2015.

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Annual General Meeting

January 13, 2016
6:45 pmto9:00 pm

Notification of the Annual General Meeting appeared in FoJMB Newsletter #32. November 2015 as follows:

Notice of Annual General Meeting

Wednesday 13th January 2016
at 6.45pm for 7.00pm
Dunbar Town House Museum,
High Street, Dunbar


(i) Report on year’s activities
(ii) Filling any vacancies on Council*
(iii) Other competent business*

Non-members will be warmly welcomed

Following the AGM there will be showing of the video

Mile, Mile & A Half
Hike, Laugh & Inspire on the John Muir Trail

In an epic snow year, five friends leave their daily lives behind to hike California’s historic John Muir Trail: from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the contiguous U.S.). Their goal – complete the journey in 25 days while capturing the amazing sights & sounds they encounter along the way. Inspired by their bond, humour, artistry & dedication, the group continues to grow: to include other arists, musicians & adventure seekers. Before they all reach the summit, hiker and viewers alike affirm the old adage – it’s about the journey, not the destination. Come walk with us.

* Please note that nominations for Council accompanied with the nominee’s agreement in writing and items for consideration under other competent business should be lodged with the Secretary, c/o John Muir’s Birthplace Museum, 126 High Street, Dunbar, EH42 1JJ by Monday 11th January 2016.

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A Colourful Life

A Very Colourful Life
When the Scottish Government decided to mark the centenary of Muir’s death in 2014 by celebrations on his birthday, Dunbar Primary School resolved to be involved. After all, DPS is descended from the school he attended in Dunbar and is the only school that can claim Muir as a former pupil. When the Muirs emigrated to Wisconsin in1849 there were no school for the state was new and part of the American frontier. When schools were built, John as the oldest boy could not be
spared from farm work.
The pupils and staff had to mark his life with something really spectacular. But what? It was a parent-member of the DPS School Council who had the brilliant idea which would involve every class. Eden Blair had lived in Oregon and knew the story of Muir’s life. Could the school somehow recount the story of Muir’s life?
There were 34 classes, so Eden selected 34 key events in Muir’s life and wrote a couple of sentences describing each. Scraps of material, buttons, coloured tape and the like were collected divided up into 34 bundles. Then an event, a bundle of bits, a square metre of canvas, and the challenge to produce a collage illustrating their event were given to the teacher of each class.
Pupils and teachers set to with enthusiasm and inspiration to turn Eden’s words into a picture and gradually 34 original panels began to take shape, each a page in Muir’s very colourful life. On 21 April 2014, they made their first public appearance as part of Dunbar’s John Muir Centennial celebrations.
Then, in early February of this year, Friends offered to finance the production of a book which would make the panels available to a much wider audience. A text to accompany the illustrations would provide a young person’s biography of John Muir.
Professional photographer Rob McDougall, himself a DPS former pupil,
photographed the panels and donated copies of his images. Emma Westwater, of Source Design, who has been involved in all but one of our books, was enlisted to design the 72-page book. A final proof was delivered to the printers in April 2015.
The print run was 3,500 with each of the county’s 34 primary schools receiving a free class set. DPS received an additional 1,000 copies. Selling at £5 per copy, these will provide the school with the resources to maintain the panels for the future.
Copies are available from Dunbar Primary School and John Muir’s Birthplace, or by post by sending a cheque for £6 (£10 overseas for p&p) to Friends, John Muir’s Birthplace, 126 High Street Dunbar EH42 1AQ

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John Muir Concert

2015 sees the 125th anniversary of the creation of Yosemite National
Park. The persuasive writings of John Muir were instrumental in the
legislation passing speedily through Congress and the Park came in to
being on 1 October 1890.

To mark the occasion the John Muir Birthplace Trust and Friends of
John Muir’s Birthplace are delighted to welcome the Andante Chamber
Choir from the Scottish Borders who will perform a number of choral
pieces with an American flavour, including a work specially composed
in honour of Muir. The choir will be supported by four instrumental
guests and there will be readings from Muir’s writings.

The concert will be in Belhaven Church at 7.30 pm on Friday 23
October23 Oct Concert Poster

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July 2015 Newsletter

The July (#31) issue of the FoJMB Newsletter is now available online. Please see the Current Newsletter page for full details. The permalink for this edition is FoJMB Newsletter #31, July 2015.

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April 2015 Newsletter

The articles in the April 2015 issue of the Friends Newsletter include:

  • AGM 2014: Convener’s Report
  • A Prophet is not without honour… Historic Scotland Plaque for Birthplace
  • An idea, a collage and another ‘wee book’
  • A new edition of ‘Walking the John Muir Way’
  • John Muir’s ‘Alaska Book’
  • John Muir Association, Martinez
  • Meaford, Ontario
  • Membership News

The permalink for this edition is FoJMB Newsletter #30, April 2015.

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December 2014 Newsletter

The December (#29) issue of the FoJMB Newsletter is now available online. Please see the Current Newsletter page for full details. The permalink for this edition is FoJMB Newsletter #29, December 2014

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June 2014 Newsletter

The articles in the June 2014 issue of the Friends Newsletter include:

  • Forthcoming Events
  • John Muir Festival – Update
  • Official Opening of the John Muir Way – Update
  • John Muir at Makars’ Court
  • Nature’s Beloved Son
  • Dunbar Primary School ‘Tapestry/Collage’
  • John Muir and the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry
  • New promotional film for John Muir Award
  • Dunbar Primary School’s ‘A Most Unusual Boy’
  • John Muir at Makars’ Court: DPS Pupils’ Report
  • John Muir Way article for San Francisco paper
  • John Muir Way by Rucksack Readers
  • Obituary: Ross Erwin Hanna
  • John Muir DVD for American schools
  • Membership News

The permalink for this edition is FoJMB Newsletter #28, June 2014

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Three Bolts from the Blue

Following Friends’ treasurer Will Collin’s talk to the Gifford Society in late February, he received a phone call from a gentleman in Gifford wishing to donate some books on the history of Dunbar and three John Muir ones to Dunbar and District History Society and Friends.  Will gratefully collected them on 17 March and was taken aback to find the Muir books, all first editions, were ‘The Mountains of California’ and two copies of ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’.

1.  The copy of ‘The Mountains of California’, published in 1894 by The Century Co., is inscribed on the flyleaf “To Rev Hugh Ross with very best wishes of his friend Thomas Magee, San Francisco, Oct 14/96.”

2. One copy of ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’, published by Houghton Mifflin in 1913, has a card attached to flyleaf reading “From Mrs W H Averell, 325 East Avenue, Rochester, New York”

3.  The other copy of ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ is inscribed on the flyleaf “To Mr Thomas T Bisset, with sincere regard, John Muir, Martinez, California, January 1914”.

Thomas Magee and Mrs Averell were friends of Muir although so far no trace has been found of Rev Hugh Ross.  Clearly, though, the most important is the one inscribed in the unmistakable hand of John Muir.  It is doubly so in that the recipient was T T Bissett, a Dunbar photographer of note and publisher of the Bissett Series of postcards some of which are among the Muir Papers at the University of the Pacific. Research on all three is continuing and more details will appear in the next Friends’ newsletter.

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