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John, born c1859, was a son of Norman and Ann nee Maclean from 4 Kneep. As a young man he was very sea-sick on his first fishing trip and vowed never to go to sea again; this earned him the nickname "Seoladair", which translates from Gaelic as sailor. He chose to work on dry land and served his apprenticeship as stonemason in Stornoway.
John left Lewis and gained employment on the Forth and Clyde Canal living in Twechar in tied accomodation. He came back to Lewis to marry Ann Campbell and together they returned to Twechar and lived in a house near the canal called "Elbow Cottage" where they raised a family of six. The acre of ground attached to the house was used to cultivate the vegetables and fruit used by the family and was also home to their hens, ducks, geese and goats.
After Ann's death in 1944 John moved in with his daughter Mary and her family in Kilsyth. The house was near a bowling green and John observed the club members carrying their bowls to and from the green. He bought the necessary twine and large "knitting needles" and made net bags for all the members of the club, using the skills he had acquired as a boy when mending the torn and damaged fishing nets.
John died in 1946 and is buried beside his wife in Kilsyth churchyard.