All posts by Richard K. Munro (Auld Munro)

Like Russell Kirk, I am a great admirer of the late Gilbert Highet. I am the president and founder of the Gilbert Highet Society (on Facebook) which includes many scholars and authors. I was intensely homeschooled as a boy learning English phonics, drama, and oratory as well as the history of the Raj and British Empire where my people prominently served as Empire builders in the Merchant Marine, Indian Civil Service or Highland Regiments. My people specialized in building ships, trains, bridges and were interpreters or scouts for the British Army or Navy for generations. For many generations, it was the desire of each son of Munro, Fraser, MacFarlane or MacKenzie to go a-soldiering far "frae the hame" and to return to marry a woman of his faith "and race and line" and by that was meant to marry a woman of the Gaeltacht (Gaidhealteachd). Two things changed this pattern forever. 1) the depopulation of the Highlands from 1790-1890 meaning there was no place to go home to and 2) the Catastrophe of what we called An Cogadh Mor (the Big War) and An Cogadh Hitler (the Hitler War) 1914-1945. This led to the biggest catastrophe of all -the British Empire went smash and so we became "Orphans of Empire." But the old Highland prophecy sang "Is gearr gach reachd ach riaghailt Dhe" (Each realm is short but the Kingdom of God. " We have seen many Empires rise and fall. I am a teacher of English, Spanish.& history. Author of Spying for the Other Side, KIM PHILBY &The Historic El CID. I have authored one-act plays such as "Euripides' Trojan Women (Calliope),"Romans on the Rhine", "Clad in Gold Our Young Mary" "Beneath Alexandria's Sapphire Sky" among others. Certified teacher in history, Spanish and English. MA Spanish Literature. BA with Honors (NYU '78) winner of Helen M. Jones Prize for History. ISI Fellow UVA 2004-2005. Board of Advisors PRO-ENGLISH I have edited galleys of several books but especially CHURCHILL WALKING WITH DESTINY for my dear friend Andrew Roberts with whom it was my honor to serve. I consider this biography to be the greatest biography of our time both for history and as literature. I Have taught Spanish for Native Speakers, AP US HISTORY, AP Spanish as well as English for Learners in the USA and Spain. My specialty is English literacy for newcomers (emphasizing phonics, diction, and grammar) and sheltered English immersion Social Studies (history) for English learners. I believe in sheltered English immersion for newcomers (English language books, notes, tests and quizzes with some translation and bilingual glossaries available. I have a New Wine Credential. I am married with three children. Two of our children are teachers and one is an engineer. I am proud to have served as a peacetime "Ice Cream" Marine (reserves) and to hold an honorable discharge from USMCR. My people served in the Armies of many Allied Powers 1914-1945; we served under the King's and Queen's Colours of the Red, White ,and Blue of the United Kingdom in every generation since 1707. No one "in my race and line" (to use the old expression) was ever conscripted or press-ganged into service. The graves of my kith and kin who answered the call are found in American and Allied cemeteries around the globe. Spain. Italy. Greece, Belgium, France, Germany. Guadalcanal, North Africa, Burma, India. I have made pilgrimages to many of these places. Perhaps the saddest are the Menin Gate (Ypres), Normandy and Dunkirk. Dozens of close family friends and relatives were killed there including the entire football team of my father's youth. Along with the 51st Highland Division, every single man was killed, wounded or captured. There was no evacuation for them. Captain Patrick Munro was a POW for five years. Many died "fo sgail a Swastika"(under the dark shadow of the Swastika) as slave laborers in the mines and factories of the 3rd Reich. NE OBLIVISCARIS...do not forget. Caisteal Folais Na Theine; the signal fire was set and we answered the call. (An Gairm). The Brave will be tried and no hero is proof against wound. God made man strong only for a while so that he could serve the Chief and help others. Never seek a fight but never shun one either. Touch not this cat but with a glove. My parents emigrated to the USA when young in 1923 and 1927. The war destroyed the fragile economic communities from which they came and essentially no one ever returned. They became US citizens and were Americans by choice. Both graduated from public high school and were the first and only members of their families to graduate from high school and go on to college. My mother was an RN and came from a strict Free Church Calvinist family. My father had a BA in English and French Comparative Literature and was a Roman Catholic. They were married in two separate Catholic and Anglican ceremonies. No one in my mother's family came to either wedding and during the entire war period, my mother had no contact with her mother and family. Needless to say, from a young age I was exposed to great sectarian hatreds and prejudices and this almost destroyed my Christian faith altogether. What saved me? The love of good Christians; the forgiveness of good Christians. I am a direct descendant of the recusant Gaels of Ferindonald baptized by the martyr Father Robert Munro in the 18th century. My father's mother was baptized in Oban, Scotland by Father Allan MacDonald and my father by Father Collins (St. Anthony's Glasgow). Both religious were graduates of the Scots College in Valladolid (Spain) and spoke fluent Italian and Spanish. In the 20th Century, my family emigrated to the Americas (Chile, Canada, and the USA) My uncle worked in Chile and Argentina circa 1914-1936 and my father was an American officer in Texas, Louisiana and the Pacific Theater during WWII. My father was a notable amateur linguist ( reading ancient Greek, Latin, speaking Tagalog, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian). I grew up in a multilingual cosmopolitan household and cannot remember a time when I spoke, sang or heard only English. My mother played the piano and sang in five languages. I lived and studied in Spain and got my MA in Spanish Literature there via the University of Northern Iowa under the legendary Adolfo Franco Pino. I first visited Spain and Italy in 1964. My primary interest is in classical literature (chiefly English and Spanish), history, music, and poetry particularly the music and literature of the Scottish Highlands and Lowlands. Cuimhnich air na daoine bhon tainig mise (I remember the people I came from...the Gaels of Cioch Mhor in Ferindonald). Most of my family today is Spanish-speaking (Spain, Mexico, Chile and the USA). Most of us follow the faith of St. Maelrubha, St. Columba, St. Patrick and St. Mungo. Of course, no Highlander ever recognized St. Andrew as a patron per se as he was later accretion of lowlanders as worthy as St. Andrew is. I was married in Spain and my son was married in Mexico. Every marriage in our family for centuries has a direct or indirect connection to Spain either through marriage in Spain or marriage by priests educated in the Scots College in Spain or Rome. I believe in the policy of the Buen Vecino (the Good Neighbor) and in la conviviencia (peaceful coexistence) of different cultures, languages and religions. I realize I am the very last of my race but am glad to be the father of a new race of Americans whose blood comes from the peoples and races of four continents. Hyphenations can be good descriptors but they are usually a temporary condition like bilingualism. Monolingualism, cultural diffusion and assimilation are the natural tendency of the human race.
A Mhairead òg, ‘s
tu rinn mo leon
Young Margaret, you are the cause of my grief
Gur cailean bhòidheach lurach thuA bonny, lovely girl you are
Gur guirme do sùil a’ mhadainn chiùinYour eyes are bluer in the calm morning
An dearc air chùl
nan duilleagan
Than the blueberry amongst the leaves
Gur gil‘ thu
ghràidh na ‘n sneachda bàn
You’re more radiant, my love, than the white snow
A’ cur air àird nam monaidheanThat falls on the moorland
Och __ mo
nighean donn
och my dark-haired lassie!
___AULD MUNRO is descended from a long line of Scottish recusants on one side and fanatical Free Church
Calvinists on the other. As a little boy I found the’
Mass soothing and the Calvinists frankly scary.