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Roderick MacKinnon was the youngest child of Finlay MacKinnon and Mary MacLeod of 1 Borve. Born in 1901, he started attending Berneray School in 1908. Roderick married Mary MacLeod of 21/22 Ruisgarry (Ben Leva). He later worked as a boat fitter in Glasgow, serving with the Royal Engineers during the Second World War.
His father built him a house at Ardmaree, though Roderick never lived there. In 1948, he and Mary moved to the croft at Ben Leva, which Mary had inherited from her brother.
Ruairidh was an elder in Berneray's Church of Scotland. As well as preaching, one of his roles was to ring the church bell and another was to light the six Tilley lamps hanging from the ceiling.