Comhairle Convener, Norman A. Macdonald, chaired his final meeting of the Comhairle yesterday, Wednesday 9th March, having indicated that he will not be looking to return in the Local Government elections in May.
Norman studied at The Nicolson Institute from 1968 until 1973. He left school and joined Nash & Warren Steel Erectors as a steelfixer in London for a year. Norman then took up an apprenticeship as a bricklayer with M.M. Afrin & Co Ltd in Stornoway between 1974 and 1977. He undertook a couple of other roles in 1978 and 1979 before joining the Comhairle as Community Education Officer/Youth Worker in 1980, a post which he held until he was elected to the Comhairle in a by-election on 8th May 1997. To put that into context, this year Norman marks 42 years of service with the council – 17 as an officer and 25 as a Member.
Comhairle Leader, Roddie Mackay, said: “In his time with the Comhairle he has had several key roles, including Vice Chair of Environmental Services Committee, Chair of both Transportation Committee and Environment and Protective Services Committee, and Chair of the Board of Sgoiltean Ura LLP. He has, of course, also been Convener of the Comhairle since 2012 and on behalf of the whole council, I’d like to thank him for his companionship and significant contribution to the workings of the authority over many years. Norman always managed to get things done and if it was something which would benefit the community and community groups, he would always find a way. I’m quite sure that his community in Uig are very grateful for his diligent service as their local Member over the past 25 years.”
Norman also managed to fit in other key roles for the islands and the community in Uig, not least Director at Community Learning Scotland, Watch Manager at Highlands & Islands Fire & Rescue Service, Director at Western Isles Enterprise, Director, Urras Studio Alba, Chairman, Gaelic Language & Culture Forum, Director, European Bureau of Lesser Used Languages, Chairman of Community Retailing Network, Chairman Uig Development Trust, Chairman Uig Community Co-operative and Director of Scotland Excel.
Cllr Mackay, concluded: “I know that he is pleased to be retiring. I’m not sure how pleased Pat is that he is retiring but we wish them both well and I’m quite sure that he won’t be idle and that he will have plenty to keep him going, not least his grandchildren, Cara, Lucy, Ali, Charlie, Ciaran, Coinneach, Roisin, Seumas and Peggy who I’m sure will appreciate having their grandpa around more often.”