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Catherine, known as Kate, born in 1890, was the daughter of Archibald MacLeod and Ann MacKillop of Pol an Oir. She left school at the age of 14 in order to work for a farmer in Appin, before moving to Oban. During the Great War she worked in munitions at Gretna.
At Oban in 1918 she married John Fawcett Dix (Jack) from Sunderland, where they made their home. Together they had three children. The eldest, Millie, was born on Berneray.
Kate’s daughter-in-law recalls:
It was at the start of World War 2 that Kate and the children moved to Berneray and stayed at the family home in Pol an Oir, until such time as they were allowed to take over the old thatched house and croft at 22 Borve.
[It was about 1962 or 1963] when the Nissen-hut dwelling was erected. It became a main residence… The Nissen was popularly known as Taigh Wally. Kate was dubbed ‘a walrus’ because of her swimming ability and Archie had a ceramic nameplate especially made which had pride of place by the front door.
Kate was a keen folklorist, and recorded many of her tales for the Scottish Sound Archive. Many are available online, and probably the easiest way to access them is through her biography page on the Tobar an Dualchais website. A few of her stories have been published in Tocher, issues 4, 8, 20 and 28.