Tributes have poured in for the founder of the North Kessock RNLI branch after her death at the age of 102.
Margaret Paterson of North Kessock died peacefully at the home of her daughter last month and was a well-known and much-loved fundraiser for the RNLI.
Mrs Paterson moved to the North Kessock area with her husband Jim and young family in 1945 and remained in the area for the duration of her lifetime.
She was a valued and respected figure in the local community and was inspired to start up the RNLI branch in North Kessock after attending a talk about the organisation at her local women’s institute.
Mrs Paterson devoted much of her life to the organisation and, in 2015, was awarded the highest possible honorary award in recognition of her loyalty to the service, when she was given the Honorary Life Governor medal of long-standing and remarkable voluntary service.
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She continued to raise funds for the RNLI in Kessock even after she passed the landmark age of 100, raising more than £1,000 worth of donations from those who gathered to celebrate her centenary.
Friends and family gathered at Kilmuir Cemetery on Monday March 25 to pay their respects, with RNLI Kessock’s lifeboat, named Robert and Isobel Mowat, standing off the cemetery in a poignant tribute to the RNLI stalwart.
Alan McDiarmid, chairman of Kessock RNLI Lifeboat Station said: “The respectful approach of the lifeboat to stand off the village of Kilmuir just below the cemetery was as poignant a moment as I have ever seen in 26 years with the RNLI, a powerful tribute to a woman whose contribution was outstanding.
“This was a tribute from the Kessock crew as a mark of gratitude and respect for her work. Margaret’s family all looked to the sea; with her husband and two sons all having maritime careers.
“Margaret’s sense of humour is what will be missed as much as anything else, she had a knack of winning people over which she used well in her work as a fundraiser.
“She was immensely proud of the fact that a lifeboat station was established in North Kessock and she developed a firm working partnership with the station which holds well to this day.”
Angus Watson, engineering and asset management director for the RNLI, started his career at Invergordon and was a founding member of North Kessock in 1993.
He paid tribute to Mrs Paterson by telling the gathered mourners about her contribution to welcoming young and enthusiastic members to the RNLI station and how that special type of bond characterised everything she did.