7084: Norman Macdonald

Norman (1882-1952) was a son of Donald Macdonald and Mary Ann Maclean of 11 Kirkibost. Norman settled on the family croft; he loved making up poems about people, especially locals. One day, whilst on a boat with six fellow villagers, he was asked if he could make up a poem featuring the seven on the boat at the time; quick as a flash he made up na Seachdnar

In 1914 Norman married Marion Macdonald of Luachair. The couple settled at 11 Kirkibost and had three daughters and three sons. Norman had a shop at 11 Kirkibost known locally as “Shed Thormoid Dhol”.

Excerpt from A history of Kirkibost by C.B. Maclean, Stornoway:

…My most frequent errand to the shop was for an ounce of black twist tobacco and a box of matches. I got three half pennies change from a shilling for this purchase. Tarmod Dhol had two notches on the counter, he stretched the tobacco along these markers to measure one ounce. Each night the Kirkibost men met there for a Ceilidh after the day’s work was done.”


An article from The Stornoway Gazette of January 1952:

The Late Norman Macdonald, Kirkibost

The death of Mr Norman Macdonald, 11 Kirkibost, Bernera, which occurred in the Lewis hospital on Thursday 24th January, has removed from our midst a well-known member of the community. He had been in failing health for some length of time and on Saturday, 19th January was removed to the Lewis Hospital and underwent an operation the following day. Although he rallied for a day or two after the operation, he gradually became weaker and passed away on the evening of Thursday the 24th.

Aged 69 years, he was the eldest son of the late Mr and Mrs Macdonald of 11 Kirkibost, Bernera. In his early days Norman was a fisherman and one of those hardy men of Bernera who, in those days, followed the ling and herring fishing as well as lobster fishing. Being a Naval reservist, he was called up at the beginning of the first Great War and served as a sea-gunner on one of H.M. ships. When the ship on which he was serving was torpedoed and sunk, Norman managed to cling to a piece of wreckage until he was picked up.

In 1924 he commenced a general merchant’s business at the cross-roads at Kirkibost and many will remember him for kindness, help and sympathy shown them on various occasions and for his service to the villagers and to others who visited his shop. He had a keen sense of humour and could hit back with a ready answer any time the occasion demanded. He was also possessed of the bardic wit and could compose songs with ease. One of these, composed to his nephew, the late piper John Macdonald, killed in France in the last war, appeared in an issue of the “Stornoway Gazette” in “Cuil nan Rann”.

Mr Macdonald was a member of the Church of Scotland and his home was a haven of hospitality to all, and especially to the Lord’s people. Both he and Mrs Macdonald gave a hearty welcome to all and entertained liberally friend and stranger alike. He will be very much missed in the community, yet how much more so by Mrs Macdonald and family to whom he was so near and dear.

On Saturday, 26th January, a large concourse of mourners attended the funeral. The service at the house and prayer at the graveside was conducted by the Rev Mr Macdonald, Bernera. We offer our heartfelt sympathy to Mrs Macdonald, three sons and three daughters, and to the deceased’s two brothers and three sisters in their very sad bereavement.

Record Type:
Also Known As:
Tormod Dhol
Date Of Birth:
2 Apr 1882
Date of Death:
24 Jan 1952
Brothers Keeper Reference:
CEBL 372
Record Maintained by:

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