27 Nov

Did You Hear The One About The Minister And The Priest?

Allanna Brough, Archive

I haven’t posted a Blog for a while because I have been busy trying to complete the biographies for the local original shareholders.

The other week, I was researching Mrs. Agnes Maxtone who bought 5 shares in the Picture House in 1912. Agnes Maxtone, nee Strang, was born in Campbeltown in 1879. In 1904, she married Robert Young Maxtone, who was the Depute County Treasurer for Argyll. Agnes was the fifth of ten children born to Janet and George Walter Strang.

As I have mentioned before, when I research a person I like to build a timeline as well as building a family tree. You never know what exciting stories other family members have to offer…

Agnes was a Minister’s Daughter. George Walter Strang started his ministry in Paisley before moving to Campbeltown where he was Minister of the Lowland Parish at Castlehill. When George died in 1921, his Estate was valued at more than £7000. I thought that this was a sizeable amount of money on a Minister’s wage with ten children to support so I thought that George Walter required investigating…

That’s when I discovered that the Reverend Strang was golf mad. His passion for golf played a pivotal role in establishing one of Scotland’s premier golf courses. On Saturday 11th March 1876, eight men met in the Argyll Arms Hotel to organise and establish a golf club. The Reverend Strang was one of those men. At 10am on Monday the 20th March 1876, the Kintyre Golf Club played its first game over ten holes on farm land at Machrihanish. The joining fee was 10 shillings with annual subs of 5 shillings. The Kintyre Golf Club eventually became Machrihanish Golf Club. The Reverend Strang was also a force behind the founding of Dunaverty Golf Club.

However, the Reverend Strang’s passion for golf landed him in trouble. He was hauled up before the Presbytery on two counts:

  1. For playing golf with the local Priest
  2. For excessive time spent playing golf. His response to the Elders was, “I play with the Priest for ecumenical reasons and I play so regularly for reasons of my health.”

The 14th hole at Machrihanish is named Castlehill in his honour.


Sources : ” Blasted Heaths and Blessed Greens” by James Finegan

Machrihanish Golf Club History Archives

Photo credit: Campbeltown Courier

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