Patagonia is a geographic region in the southernmost portion of South America. Located in Argentina and Chile, and integrating the southernmost section of the Andes Mountains to the south west towards the Pacific ocean, and from the east of the cordillera to the valleys it follows south through Colorado River towards Carmen de Patagones in the Atlantic Ocean. To the west, it includes the territory of Valdivia through Tierra del Fuego archipelago.
Sheep farming introduced in the late 19th century has been a principal economic activity for the region.
Many Scottish and English men achieved high-ranking positions of employment throughout Patagonia, island people among them
“Patagonian sheep-farming owed its origins to British farmers in the Falkland Islands but it was the business acumen of shrewd Spaniards like Menendez and Braun that helped it flourish and spread northwards into Chile and the Argentinian Provinces. Instead of setting up in competition with the ever-growing number of successful British farmers, Menendez recognised their ability and expertise and proceeded to recruit them to his own companies’ payrolls. While some remained there as shepherds throughout their working lives, others were groomed for promotion to positions such as foremen and managers of farms, slaughter houses, freezing plants, shipping and banking enterprises. Many Scottish and English men achieved high-ranking positions of employment throughout Patagonia, island people among them.
One of the many Lewis employees engaged by Menendez was Murdo Macleod of 5 Keose, who was acclaimed as one of the company’s best judges and buyers of stock. So much appreciated was Murdo’s dedication to his work that on announcing to Menendez that he was returning to Lewis to be married, Murdo was requested by his employer that Menendez be included in the name of his first-born. Murdo and his wife Christina, set up home at ‘Ropework Cottage’, Stornoway in 1915 and when their first child was born he was duly christened Charles Menendez Macleod. It was in the year 1947 after returning from army service that Charles M. Macleod established the well-known butcher’s shop in the town known as “Charlie Barley” still ably run by his two sons Iain and Charles.”
Extract from the book “Why Patagonia” with kind permission of the author Greta MacKenzie.