She was born in 1925 to Archibald and Catherine (Kate McCosham) McDonell. While growing up on the family farm near St. Telesphore, Quebec, she attended the local schools and is a graduate of Maryvale Abbey in Glen Nevis. In September 1945 she married Mervyn MacDonald and together they raised their family of nine children. They settled on their farm near Green Valley and were faithful parishioners of St. Raphael’s Parish.
Anna Margaret’s life reflects her love for her Scottish heritage. As with many of Glengarry’s senior citizens she was a bridge to the past for the younger generation, able to relate anecdotes and details of events as well as provide genealogical background of many entertainers and other Glengarrians.
She was also an entertainer, a favourite soloist at St. Andrew’s concerts and other musical events held throughout the county. She never hesitated to add her voice to a church choir providing the music for a funeral of a former neighbour or friend. In addition to singing Gaelic airs and the old traditional Scottish songs, Anna Margaret set original lyrics denoting local Glengarry characters and events to well known melodies. She composed a number of original songs including “The Glengarry Waltz.”
For a number of years Anna Margaret wrote weekly for the Glengarry News as the columnist for St. Raphaels. She also worked as the editor for the News. In both capacities, her extensive knowledge of Glengarry tradition, history, music and people was evident. All things Scottish were promoted in her columns and editorials. The love she and her husband, Mervyn, had for Glengarry music, dance and people was epitomized in their loyal attendance at local functions.
Mervyn continues to support local events as do many of his family who live in the area.