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A well-loved janitor has retired from an Inverness school


By Louise Glen

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Kinmylies say goodbye to Gerald MacDonald..Julie Fraser, Deputy Head Teacher, Faye Lingard, Head Teacher, Gerald MacDonald, janitor with his wife Peggy MacDonald, Sarah-Jane Hood, clerical assistant, Adele Jobes, clerical assistant..Picture: James Mackenzie..
Kinmylies say goodbye to Gerald MacDonald..Julie Fraser, Deputy Head Teacher, Faye Lingard, Head Teacher, Gerald MacDonald, janitor with his wife Peggy MacDonald, Sarah-Jane Hood, clerical assistant, Adele Jobes, clerical assistant..Picture: James Mackenzie..

"Legend" Gerald MacDonald (59) has left his position at Kinmylies Primary School after 15 years to achieve his dream of living on a croft on the Isle of Lewis.

Mr MacDonald is one of the longest serving members of staff at the school, and says he has seen many changes in his role over his time.

Mr MacDonald, originally from Stratherrick, said: "It is a bitter sweet moment for me. I am leaving a job I love in a school that has been a joy every day to work in. But I am achieving the dream my wife and I have always had, of going 'home' to the croft.

"It is a real mixture of excitement and sadness. I came to the school after 25 years of working in forestry, and I didn't intend to be here for quite so long.

He continued: "The school has grown from 125 children to 369 in the time I have been here. In the beginning I had a lot to do with children, but the job changed and there was much more to do with the building.

"More recently janitors are used in different schools, so it meant less contact with the children and staff.

"When I am dealing with contractors for repairs to the school they will often say the school years were the best of their lives.

"My time at Kinmylies has certainly been that for me."

"Kinmylies is a fun school and it has been an absolute joy to be here. I have had a fantastic time with the staff and it has made every day a pleasure."

Mr MacDonald's wife Peggy is from Lewis, and he said it was like they were returning home to live a life on the croft. He said: "Everyone has a dream about what they want to do with their lives.

"Peggy and I are getting our dream. It feels absolutely wonderful that is happening."

The couple's move is taking place over the next few days.

He added: "I would like to say thank you to everyone I have met through the years."

School teacher Krista Munro said: "Mr MacDonald has been an absolute legend.

"He has worked at the school for the last 15 years and has become an integral part of our team and one we will be sad to lose."

Staff and pupils lined Assynt Road and General Booth Road with their families to cheer Gerald home on his last drive away from the school, when he left last Friday.


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