The late Rev Kenny MacDonald never gave up searching for his missing daughter Alison
The passing of Rev Kenny MacDonald has brought ‘much sadness and a great sense of loss’ to those who joined in the search for his missing daughter Alison.
A post on the ‘Let’s Find Alison’ Facebook page today (Monday, January 22nd), reads: “It is with much sadness and a great sense of loss that we learned of the death of Rev Kenny MacDonald.
“It came as a great shock and he will be sorely missed, for his contribution and stewardship, for the church and the people of Golspie. He has gone to receive his eternal reward. Our thoughts, prayers and love are with Reta and family.”
The retired Free Church minister passed away on Saturday (January 20th) at Migdale Hospital, near Bonar Bridge, aged 83 years old. He had suffered for a number of years from Multiple Sclerosis and had lost his sight.
Kenny MacDonald previously lived in Back and worked in HM Revenue and Customs in Stornoway before studying at the then Free Church College in Edinburgh. Latterly he lived with his wife Reta and family in Golspie, Sutherland.
Rev MacDonald had campaigned tirelessly for over thirty years to find his daughter Alison who went missing on the border of India and Pakistan in the early 1980s.
At the time of her disappearance she was a student at the University of Aberdeen and had travelled to India with her friend Liz Merry. The two friends arrived in Kashmir on August 7th 1981 and left on August 17th to continue to Sonamarg in Northern India, where they stayed at the Glacier Guest House.
It was at this point that they agreed to separate for a few days as Liz wished to go on a guided pony trek up the Kolahoi glacier, and Alison preferring to stay in Sonamarg. It was whilst Liz was away that Alison went missing, last seen at a bridge near the border with Pakistan. She was only 19 years old at the time.
In his endless search, Rev MacDonald visited India over 20 times, often accompanied by wife Reta and their sons as the local Indian army, the police, and many influential people aided in the search for Alison, but to no avail.
Update: 3pm, January 22nd -
The Convener of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has paid tribute to former Councillor, Rev Kenneth M Macdonald, who passed away aged 83 on Saturday 20th January 2018.
Rev Macdonald was elected to represent the new Coll ward when Comhairle nan Eilean Siar was formed in 1974, serving until 1976. He then went on to serve in the ministry at Rosskeen Free Church, near Alness.
Convener, Norman A Macdonald, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Reta, the children, the grandchildren, the wider family circle and his friends. We are very much aware of the enormous efforts he and his family made to find their daughter, Alison, who went missing in August 1981 in Kashmir. ”
The Comhairle flag in Stornoway is flying at half-mast.