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Death of former Inverness Harbour boss Murdo Macleod, aged 80

By Val Sweeney

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Former Inverness Harbour Master Murdo MacLeod has died, aged 80.
Former Inverness Harbour Master Murdo MacLeod has died, aged 80.

The former Inverness Harbour master and retired master marine Murdo Macleod has died, aged 80.

During his tenure, he was involved the harbour's expansion including the £2.1 million rebuilding of the Citadel Quay which was officially opened in December 2001.

His funeral takes place tomorrow at Inverness Inshes East Church at noon. The service will be also live streamed. Interment will be at Petty Tornagrain Cemetery.

Mr Macleod was one of a family of eight children – seven boys and one girl – born to Donald Ewen and Christy Macleod of Leachkin, West Tarbert on the Isle of Harris.

He attended Sir Edward Scott School in Tarbert, after which he attended Lews Castle College in Stornoway where he completed a full Navigation and Seamanship course of study.

He then joined Ellerman City Lines, eventually successfully completing his Masters Foreign Going Certificate at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.

After joining Denholm MacLeay Shipping Company. he was soon promoted to ship's master.

A keen sportsman, Mr Macleod enjoyed golf and is still remembered as an excellent goalkeeper for Harris Football Club while at home on Merchant Navy leave.

He met his wife, Catherine, a Raigmore Hospital nurse in 1974 and they married two years later in Inverness. They went on to become proud parents of Louise, Gordon and the late Martyn.

On occasions, his wife sailed with him on the ship he captained.

In 1981, he received a call from Inverness Harbour Trust to say there was a vacancy for a harbour pilot, a post he accepted that year.

During his 30-year career at the harbour, he went on to become harbour master and chief executive of the harbour board. Latterly, he spent six years as a trustee of the board until 2018.

As well as being a decent footballer in his day and a member of Inverness Golf Club for 47 years, he served as a Church of Scotland elder.

He leaves his wife, two surviving children and three grandchildren.

His brother, Angus, said Mr Macleod had travelled the world while serving in the Merchant Navy while his subsequent job as a harbour pilot involved meeting ships out at sea and helping them into the harbour.

"With Inverness, it is quite a strong current past the Kessock Bridge," he said.

He said under his brother's leadership, the harbour had grown.

"He was a very intelligent man and he was good to everyone who worked with him," he said.

"He was also a big family man.

"He and I were close and we played golf over the years."

Donations in lieu of flowers are being invited for cancer charity, Marie Curie.

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