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Former sailor celebrates 102nd birthday with gifts from ferry operator

A retired seaman was presented with a captain’s hat and uniform from CalMac in celebration of his 102nd birthday.

Donald MacAskill, who marked his 100th birthday on board MV Lochnevis two years ago, was delighted with his new gifts from the ferry operator.

Mr MacAskill, known as Dolan, was born on 6 February 1922 in Flesherin – a small village on the Point peninsula of the Isle of Lewis.

Donald MacAskill and captain Iain McKenzie. Pic: CalMac
Image: Donald MacAskill and MV Lochnevis captain Iain McKenzie. Pic: CalMac

The pensioner worked alongside his dad making Harris Tweed, before later joining the Merchant Navy.

He now lives at An Acarsaid care home in Broadford on Skye.

He said: “I returned to the Isle of Lewis a time after the war and spent many happy years living with my sister Mary Ann down in Back.

“I loved going down to the pier and watching the ferries come and go when we went to town.

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“Many a journey I enjoyed with CalMac. I have a small picture of the Suilven (ferry) in my room. The sea and boats have always given me so much joy.”

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MV Lochnevis captain Iain McKenzie said it was a “pleasure” to help Mr MacAskill mark his special birthday.

He added: “I was delighted to meet him again. He is a really interesting character who has travelled the world, and me and the crew were privileged to talk to him and listen to his wonderful stories.

“I am from Aird, a nearby village in Point, and it was my pleasure to present the hat and goodies to a fellow rubhach (native of the area).”

Sky News Source