Story of Island Roan

This story is printed here with the kind permission of Mr Stewart Mackay, grandson of the author, J.G.Mackay, Borgie, Skerray
I shall, for easier reading, insert the story over several numbered pages.

The links are at the bottom of each page.
All acknowledgements shall be forwarded to him.
With his permission I can forward his contact details

PREFACE by John George Mackay

My reason for putting in book form the story of Eilean-nan-Ron is to help to preserve the memory of this once prosperous and happy little island. I was born on the island and spent my childhood and adolescent years there, and now, with old age creeping over me, and having to spend most of my days alone, I often think of those happy times on the island. Now that the island is desolate and its surviving natives getting fewer, I feared that soon there would be no-one left to recall the old days. The thought grieved me. Why, I said to myself, why allow the memory of my island to die? But then, how was it going to be kept alive? There was no-one left capable of writing the history of its habitation. I knew full well, with my limited education, that I could not do this either. Nevertheless, I decided to try, and I thought, however simply written the book might be, it might serve as a dedication to the memory of the industrious and God fearing people who spent their lives on the island.

J.G.Mackay, Number 6 Borgie, 1962


Eilean-nan-Ron* - there is magic in the name of it. There was kindness there and a welcoming. The visitor, whether on business or pleasure bent, had to call at every house; thereafter young and old conveyed the guest to the top of the almost perpendicular stairway leading to the jetty, and they parted with a blessing. They lived, those folk, near to the sea and close to their God. Some left for the Dominions early in the century. Today a few of the older folk live within sight of the Island; many of the younger have fared forth southwards. Wherever they are, their thoughts must oft return to their beloved rock-girt isle where soothing waves whisper in the calm, and where in the storm the caves resound with the pounding breakers. John George Mackay, a true son of the Island, has, in his semi-retirement, successfully accomplished the task he set himself to pass the winter evenings - the writing of this little saga. It will bring back a treasure of memories to the exile and to the chance reader it will afford a good deal of pleasure.

*Eilean-nan-Ron is Gaelic for 'Island of Seals'

Eilean nan Ron, Eilean nan Ron,

Eilean a's aillte dhomh 'n diugh fo na neoil;

'Se bhi fagail thu falamh d' fhag mo chridhe fo leon;

O is duilich leam 'nis bhi 'gad fhagail.

Donald Macleod M.A., F.S.A., Scot. Schoolhouse, Bettyhill - 12th of October, 1962

LINKS TO EACH CHAPTER ....................    Page: [1][2], [3], [4], [5], [6],[7], [8], [9]