An appreciation

An appreciation

Born: July 17, 1914; Died: August 5, 2014.

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ALL on Islay were greatly saddened to learn of the death of Lily MacDougall of Yellow Rock, who celebrated her 100th birthday on July 17 and, at the time of her passing, was the island's oldest resident.

Lily took unwell shortly before reaching her century but was able to celebrate her centenary in Bowmore hospital at a low-key party attended by relatives and close friends.

She was born into the MacEachern family at Heatherhouses in the Caolila district shortly before the outbreak of the First World War and was the fourth youngest of a family of 10.

She grew up to have many interests and hobbies and lived her long life to the full. She was a skilled piper, songwriter and bard, an artist of no mean ability and was a talented needlewoman and embroiderer.

She also enjoyed outdoor pursuits, knew how to handle a gun and rod and took pleasure in her pleasing surroundings.

Her early years saw her working as a door-to-door saleswoman in Glasgow before returning to her native isle where she was on the office staff at Caolila Distillery, before branching out in the fish retail business.

She and her husband Dugie, who died in 2004 and was the Northern Lighthouse Board's boatman on the Sound of Islay for 45 years, had one daughter Christine, Islay's Lady of the Isles, who masterminded the centenary celebrations.

Lily and her family had a lifelong association with the local lifeboat and it was fitting that one of her last public appearances saw her officially opening the RNLI's new station at Port Askaig at the end of June.

Lily's funeral took place in Bowmore's Round Church where the large number paying their last respects donned red coloured items as a token to her favourite colour.

The eulogy was delivered by Lord Robertson of Port Ellen and the service also included bagpipe and fiddle music, readings, poetry and Gaelic song. Lily would certainly have approved of the poem entitled Red, penned and read by her grand niece DeeDee and capturing the remarkable life of a remarkable woman. Lily was a bright and colourful personality who impacted on all who came into contact with her. She knew that life was for living and live it she did. She will live long in our memories.

The island community extends its sympathy to her daughter Christine, grandson Gordon and his family, and to Lily's extended family of nieces and nephews. Also remembered is Lily's surviving sister Isa, the last of that generation of Tigh an Fhraoich MacEacherns.

Thig crìoch air an t-saoghal 's thig crìoch air daoine; ach mairidh ceòl agus gaol (The world will come to an end and people will pass away, but love and music will endure).