Canon Angus MacQueen, who has died at the age of 95, was a giant of his faith, his culture and of the communities he served throughout the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles over seven decades.
Wherever he went as parish priest, he left a mark not just on the spiritual life of his flock but also on the social and economic interests of places that needed leadership. His Christianity took intensely practical forms, embracing a multitude of projects and innovations, all for the good of the people, always leading by example.
Donald Stewart Macleod, who died recently in Stornoway, devoted his time and energies unsparingly teaching at Bayble Secondary School for 38 years - in fact, his entire professional life.
Always known as “D.S.” he joined the staff there as a young graduate fresh from Edinburgh University. Tall well-attired, good looking and with innate courtly courtesy, he made a striking presence among the youthful milieu who sat in the classrooms.
Dr Colin MacDonald, who has died from a brain tumour at the age of 69, was one of the last of a precious breed – an excellent doctor who chose to apply his expertise in the role of single-handed General Practitioner in a remote Scottish community.
The benefit for the Uig area of the Isle of Lewis was immense. It enjoyed that priceless service for a decade longer than most similar places while Colin also became a key figure in community initiatives including the Suileachan project which created a wonderful memorial to the Riof Land Raiders.
Colin was Hebridean by birth, genealogy and temperament though most of his early life and medical career were spent in Lochaber. His father, Dr Duncan MacDonald, was a Glasgow Gael who, after a distinguished war career, opted for general practice in South Uist which is where Colin was born. His mother was Glaswegian.
On Friday 18 January, a large gathering of relatives and friends from the mainland, Skye, Uist, Lewis and Harris attended the funeral service in the Church of Scotland, Tarbert, Isle of Harris, of the late Rev Roderick M Mackinnon Lth, retired Church of Scotland Minister who passed away suddenly but peacefully in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness on Saturday 12 January in his 91st year.
The previous day, Thursday 17 January, over 400 mourners attended a service in the Church of Scotland, Castle Street, Dingwall, where 70 years ago, Rev Mackinnon became a communicant member of the church and where he had served as an elder for many years. The remains were taken to Luskentyre cemetery and laid to rest a short distance from his twin Murdo, who predeceased him over 30 years ago.
Rev Mackinnon had retired to Conon Bridge on his retirement from the ministry in 1995 and had celebrated 50 years in the ministry in March 2018. The following tribute by Donald Martin, a fellow Harris man and family friend, was delivered at the service in Tarbert.
John Murdo was born on 22 March 1922 at number 4 Port of Ness. He was the second eldest of a family of seven, six boys and one girl, born to John Finlay Macleod from Port and Margaret (Peggy) Finlayson from Skigersta.
John Murdo was pre-deceased by his five brothers. Catherine, the youngest of the family, is now the only surviving member. Having left Lionel School at the age of 14, John Murdo joined his father in the long-established family boatbuilding and carpentry workshop to continue the process, already well under way, of learning the boatbuilding trade of which he was to become, in due course, such a renowned, admired and highly respected practitioner.
He served in the Royal Navy as a shipwright during WW2 and following demob served time in the Clyde shipyards before returning home to resume work with his father.