Associated People: MacKinnon, Mr Donald, Balevullin (1857 - 1926)

2004.84.3

Colour photograph of the travelling desk presented to Donald MacKinnon of Balevullin by the people of Tiree in 1888.

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Donald MacKinnon, a miller in Balevullin, was one of twelve men arrested in 1886 after a period of land agitation on the island. He was released and decided to emigrate to New Zealand in 1888. Before leaving he was presented with a travelling desk with an inscription which read: ‘Presented to Donald MacKinnon Balevullin by friends of Tiree on his leaving for New Zealand in recognition of his services in advocating their rights to the people and as a token of their respect and regards 16th March 1888.’ Donald eventually settled in Western Australia where he worked on the railway and raised a family.

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Margaret Padbury with her grandfather’s travelling desk

Photograph of Margaret Padbury of Kojonup, Western Australia with her grand-father’s travelling desk.

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Courtesy of Mrs Margaret Padbury

Donald MacKinnon, a miller in Balevullin, was one of twelve men arrested in 1886 after a period of land agitation on the island. Four of the ringleaders, including Donald and the Land League Chairman, were released without charge.

However, Donald’s prospects on the island were blighted and he decided to emigrate. He was presented with a travelling desk with an inscription which read: ‘Presented to Donald MacKinnon Balevullin by friends of Tiree on his leaving for New Zealand in recognition of his services in advocating their rights to the people and as a token of their respect and regards 16th March 1888.’

Donald eventually settled in Western Australia where he worked on the railway and raised a family. His grand-daughter, Margaret Padbury of Kojonup, described him as ‘a man of the highest principles, who lived by the word of God and brought up his family the same way.’

Colour photograph of Margaret Padbury in Western Australia in March 2004.

Margaret Padbury of Kojonup, Western Australia with the desk presented to her grandfather Donald MacKinnon of Balevullin who was involved in the Greenhill ‘riot’ of 1886. The inscription reads: Presented to Donald MacKinnon Balevullin by friends of Tiree on his leaving for New Zealand in recognition of his services in advocating their rights to the people and as a token of their respect and regards 16th March 1888.