Leverburgh RNLI Branch today (Thursday March 9th) confirmed receipt of a £335,377.18 legacy, from the estate of the late Mary Aida (Maida) MacLeod MacAskill of Edinburgh, who passed away in September, 2015.
Ms. MacAskill spent her life in Edinburgh, but here, in the islands, she would have been known as Màiri Nèill Iain Bhàin Nèill Gobha, of Berneray.
This legacy was left to the RNLI for use on the west coast of Scotland, and on consultation by RNLI (Scotland), Ms. MacAskill’s executors kindly agreed that it be used for on-shore work at the Leverburgh station.
It is locally known that Ms. MacAskill’s grandfather, Iain Bàn, her grand-uncle, Iain Òg and one or possibly two of their nephews were lost in a boat tragedy between Lochmaddy and Berneray in 1900. It appears that knowledge of this accident was influential in the family’s decision on the bequest allocation.
Leverburgh Lifeboat station is already well into an appeal process to raise £60,000 towards the cost of a fixed pontoon facility, which, once built, will allow safer crew access to the Lifeboat.
The station says today: "This bequest is a very generous sum, which will no doubt be extremely useful in the continuing development of the station in the future."
Leverburgh RNLI Branch has been in direct contact with Ms. MacAskill’s executors to express its deep appreciation of their thoughtful generosity.
Local RNLI Honorary President, Hamish Taylor said: “Whilst the local Lifeboat station is located at Leverburgh, the communities of Berneray and North Uist have taken ownership of the lifeboat in a very supportive way, and this legacy, from a family whose roots are embedded in Berneray is further tangible evidence of that generosity”.