Maurice McMillan Duncan: August 29, 1954 – August 11, 2017

Campbeltown Courier opinion.

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Born to the late Flora and Archie Duncan at Craigard Maternity Hospital, Campbeltown, Maurice became an accomplished fiddler renowned throughout Argyll and beyond.

Maurice was educated at Dalintober Primary School and the old Campbeltown Grammar.

He excelled in mathematics and English. His childhood was steeped in music through his extended family.

He became a piper in the Ceannloch Campbeltown Pipe Band for several years, but then through the influences of the late Tom McGillivray, a teacher at Campbeltown Grammar, he discovered the fiddle.

This became his chosen instrument, but he always kept his pipes in readiness when any occasion arose.

When he was 16 years old he was encouraged to enter the junior fiddle competition at the National MOD held that year in Oban, in which he won first prize.

During the MOD that he was spotted by fiddle maker Donald Riddell from Kirkhill farm near Drumnadrochit, Inverness.  Mr Riddell invited him to Kirkhill to learn the technique of snap bowing used in Strathspey playing. Maurice became extremely proficient and highly talented in Scottish fiddle music.

With his prominence, he was invited one year to join a composite Strathspey and Reel Society under the baton of Glasgow conductor Jimmy Moir for a tour of Carolina in the USA.

On leaving school he trained in the accountancy firm of Easton Simmers in Campbeltown and his time was divided between Campbeltown and Glasgow where he attended college for his accountancy studies.

In Campbeltown, he met his, soon to be wife, Jeanmarie.  They married and soon after they moved to Oban for a new life together.  His move to Oban provided a greater scope and more opportunities to pursue his fiddle music.

For many years he helped entertain thousands throughout the summer season, playing at McTavishes.  His association with the Oban and Lorne Strathspey and Reel Society was constant throughout his years in Oban.

In more recent years he studied through the University of the Highlands and Islands and gained a  BSc (hon) in Rural Development.

Although still working in accountancy at Dunstaffnage Marina until his sudden death, it is for his musical talents that he will be best remembered; we’ll no see his likes again.

Maurice’s funeral was on Friday August 18 at Kilmore and Oban Church of Scotland and he was interred at Pennifuir Cemetery.

He leaves his wife, Jeanmarie, three sons, Scott, Andrew and Ruaraidh and two young granddaughters, Heather and Aria.