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Roderick, born in 1888, was the son of Alexander MacLean and Margaret MacLeod of 18 Ruisgarry (Brusda), then 8 Borve. He was passed 8 Borve following his father's death in 1915, later exchanging it with his brother Norman's house in Pol an Oir. Roderick married Catherine MacLeod.
Roderick was in the militia before WW1, becoming a corporal in the army before emigrating to Vancouver. On his return he volunteered for active service with the 5th Cameron Highlanders, seeing action at the battle of the Somme and at Arras.
He worked as a herring fisherman and lobsterman and had the largest boats on the island, owning the Maggie MacLean and later the Anchor.