NS5063 : Stone from the Gaelic Chapel Graveyard

taken 4 years ago, near to Paisley, Renfrewshire, Great Britain

Stone from the Gaelic Chapel Graveyard
Stone from the Gaelic Chapel Graveyard
See NS5063 : Stones from the Gaelic Chapel Graveyard for context and for more information. That picture shows two rows of stone. The row on the left (the southern row) contains the gravestone that is shown in the present picture. Its inscription is as follows, where I have included the lair number at the top of the stone:

"№ 158

The property of
John MacCallum
Helen MacCallum
and their heirs

Do làithean air an àireamh ta,
'S gun tàmh a' gabhail seach,
Is gairid gus an d'thig an uair
A ni do'n uaigh ar teach."

The Gaelic verse on the stone is, with only very minor changes, taken from "The Psalms of David and Paraphrases of Several Passages of Sacred Scripture" ("Sailm Dhaibhidh maille ri Laoidhibh air an tarruinn o na Sgriobtuiribh Naomha"). I have relied on this to fill in the parts that are illegible. The particular verse that appears on the stone is from the paraphrase of Job 14:1-15.

The Gaelic verse that appears on the stone has been rendered into English verse of a similar style, as follows:

"Determin'd are the days that fly
Successive o'er thy head;
The number'd hour is on the wing
That lays thee with the dead."

- - • - -

This visit to the cemetery was not without incident. Anyone who enters a cemetery, and who pauses to read a memorial, would expect, there of all places, to be left in peace. However, when I looked at the stones here, a very presumptuous middle-aged lady came over and started making accusations, and telling me what I should and should not do(*). She herself was very evasive, and I had to ask her three times before she admitted that she was not one of the cemetery staff.

[(*) I should add that I had not been taking any pictures when this happened; I had not even taken my camera from its bag in the time since I had entered the cemetery. I was simply reading what was on the stones, and, by all appearances, I might have been visiting a relative's grave. I should also emphasise that the cemetery staff (the genuine ones) have absolutely no objections to my taking pictures.]

I went off and reported the disgraceful incident to the cemetery staff, in their office beside the main entrance. A man had been with the busybody woman, and, although he had not approached me during the initial incident, he had, since then, been trailing along behind me, following me at a distance. Whatever he may have had in mind to do, he scuttled away as soon as it became clear that I was reporting what had happened.

The staff in the head office were very helpful. Here, as in other cemeteries in Renfrewshire, I have nothing but praise for the people who work there.

My reason for recording this incident here is my hope that, by doing so, I might reduce the likelihood of anything similar happening to others: I certainly would not wish something like this to happen to a bereaved person who visits this cemetery.
Stones from Gaelic Chapel Graveyard
The stones are from St Columba's Gaelic Chapel Graveyard in the Oakshaw area of Paisley. That graveyard was in use from the 1790s to 1949, but was cleared in 1969, when the stones were moved to their present location, the north-eastern corner of Hawkhead Cemetery; they were subsequently laid out there in two rows. The original graveyard, now overgrown, serves as a small nature sanctuary.
Hawkhead Cemetery
The cemetery is operated by Renfrewshire Council. It opened in April 1891. Within its grounds are a war memorial, a memorial garden, and a monument commemorating the seventy-one children who lost their lives in the Glen Cinema Disaster of 1929.
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NS5063, 53 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Monday, 1 September, 2014   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 2 September, 2014
Geographical Context
Burial ground, Crematorium 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 5035 6338 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:50.4214N 4:23.4834W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 5035 6338
View Direction
South-southwest (about 202 degrees)
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Gaelic Inscription 

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