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.
A bilingual islander of crofting stock, nurtured in traditional values, an atmosphere of cultural respect infused in his outlook upon - and attitude to - Highland lore. An inner judgement seat of sensitivity was evident when questions of hearth-reared issues were discussed
“D.S.” engaged with his charges in a relaxed, open forum. No pupil was invisible but no one immaterial. Such an approach easily enabled him to distill complex ideas into measured, understandable language that students with no prior comprehension of a subject were able to digest. Indeed, a clear pathway through the jungle of English literature, the dramatic Renaissance, the pious Restoration, the artistic Romantics, plus other epochs, was plainly exegeted. His was a rich erudite mind, free from conceit, and one which would have secured a wider area of distinction, had he sought eminence elsewhere.
When a request for serious assistance with the knottiest grammatical synthax, in Gaelic or English, was laid before him by an enquiring pupil, it was resolved as easily as Samson unloosed the bonds of Delilah and, may we add, without condescension. The genuine seeker was helped and fed by his bounty. He was a good example.
To his widow Effie, the family of two sons and daughter together with other relatives who survive, we offer our sympathy,