4363: Donald Macaulay, Reverend

Donald (1926-2006) was a son of John Macaulay and Isabella Macdonald, 2 Kirkibost.

Donald crewed George Clark’s lobster fishing boat, the Mairi Dhonn. In September 1952, the Mairi Dhonn became the first vessel to be chartered, with a crew of George Clark, Murdo Maclennan and Donald, to transport the gannet harvest back from the island of Sula Sgeir, as part of the annual guga (young gannet) hunt. George Clark was instrumental in raising the alarm for the rescue of hunters stranded on the island in severe storm conditions.

In 1954 Donald bought the Mairi Dhonn from George; under Donald’s command she continued to fish lobsters from Bernera. In 1963 he sold the Mhairi Dhonn to his brother-in-law Donald Macleod of the Port of Ness.

Extract from the Stornoway Gazette June 2005:

The Reverend Donald Macaulay, JP, OBE

Planning to take a well earned second retirement from the ministry of the Church of Scotland, is Bernera man, the Reverend Donald Macaulay. Donald, is the son of the late Ian and Ishbel Macaulay ( Ian ‘an Neill and Ishbel Dholl) formerly of 2, Kirkibost, and his first career was that of a fisherman working from the Kirkibost harbour. He spent many years of his youth working the west coast of Lewis, the Flannan Islands and St. Kilda. In 1945 he was called up for National Service which he largely served in the RAF. Unfortunately on one of his home leaves, whilst erecting a fence, a splinter from a post entered his eye. The result was that sadly he lost the eye. Though to most people this would have been a serious setback Donald took the problem in his stride, and carried on with his life. In 1962 he felt his life was incomplete and that he needed to follow a different calling, that of preaching God’s word. This called for great dedication as by now he was married with a young family. He started on the path of training for the ministry and attended Aberdeen University, and was ordained in 1968. His was appointed to the Lemreway congregation where he spent 22 years, until his retirement in 1992. Bernera has been without an appointed minister for some years, and Donald, in his retirement, has steadfastly supported the community by maintaining both Gaelic and English services for the last five years. He has always been dutiful in attending to the needs of his congregation, and visiting those who could not attend the church services. Donald has served the ministry long and diligently, and has certainly earned his retirement for the second time.

Donald has always been a man of the people. He has always felt that the people of the Islands should represent themselves, and to this end he took on the mantle of Councillor for the Uig and Bernera Ward. He served for some 20 years as Councillor and, a measurement of his authority was his appointment as Convenor, on the formation of the Western Isles Council, in 1974, and served in this post for 8 years. In this post in served with considerable honour to the effect he was made a Member of the OBE in 1980, for his hard work and his contribution to the development of Education in the Highlands and Islands. Donald’s work within the Comhairle was recognised in 2004 when he, and the Vice- Convenor who served with him, Father Calum MacLellan, were granted the freedom of the Western Isles; a great honour well deserved! He was also appointed a Justice of the Peace arising from his position of authority within the community. Donald is always at the forefront of developments in Bernera and the Islands, and is a strong believer in autonomy for the people. We sincerely hope that though he has retired from the ministry for the second time he will find the time to help and advise people as he has done in the past.

It would not be possible to talk of Donald without complimenting his wife Catriona. She, a Niseach from the Port of Ness, worked diligently alongside Donald in all his endeavours, and together they raised six of a family. Whenever there is a function for the Church, the elderly or the youngsters, Catriona will be found, as often as not, leading events.

They are an indomitable team who have contributed greatly to Bernera and the Western Isles progress, and we wish them both a long and happy second retirement together.

Record Type:
Also Known As:
Domhnall Chlapper; Domhnall Iain an Neill
Date Of Birth:
27 Feb 1926
Date of Death:
30 Jan 2006
Brothers Keeper Reference:
Minister; Fisherman; Councillor
Record Maintained by:

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