Thursday, February 23, 2017

John MacDonald of the Ardveg (1933 - 2016)

I just learned of the death of John MacDonald on Christmas Day 2016. I only met John once. It was at the Uig Community Centre on June 29, 2013 for the launch of his book An Trusadh - Memories of Crofting in the Ardveg.

Regular readers will know that the Ardveg is one of my favourite places in the isles. It is so remote, that staying there is akin to a retreat on an island in the sea. I've been privileged to have visited Ardveg on three occasions. On two of those I camped next to the old blackhouses, one of which John lived in before his father built a new house nearby in 1934.

A.A.MacGregor's photo of Ardveg in the early 1930s
Ardveg in 2001
An Ardveg campsite
I can't think of a better island experience that reading John's book An Trusadh (which means the gathering), and then making the long hike in to see Ardveg first-hand. We are fortunate John left a fascinating record of what life was like growing up in Ardveg before he passed.

My condolences to John's family. He was a remarkable man who will be missed. See this Northern Times page for an excellent article about his life, and this link which will take you to posts on Ardveg written over the past four years.

Photo of John MacDonald at Ardveg from the back cover of An Trusadh

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