Always known as Ian, John MacDonald was born in the farm at Cuilaneilan, Kinlochewe, on July 16, 1943, the eldest of three sonsto Duncan MacDonald, who belonged to Invergarry, Lochaber, where the MacDonalds were well known in the farming community.

His grandfather John MacDonald bought cattle in the Isle of Skye, South West Ross and Lochaber, and walked them to the sales in Falkirk. His father died at a a relatively early age, when Ian was still in his teens, and so along with his brother Malcolm took over the running of the farm, reclaiming and draining the farm land and expanding the flood prevention schemes that had only just begun.

They ran a flock of North Country Cheviot sheep and a hard of hill cattle. Not one for extensive travelling, he enjoyed the business and social events at marts and sheep sales throughout the Highlands. He much enjoyed the Lairg lamb and tup sales – he liked to support the sales there and was often seen selling his lambs at the September sales.

He sent a consignment of lambs to the sale in September 2018, but due to ill health he was unable to attend, so so Malcolm sold them for him.

He was a regular buyer of tups at the Lairg sale since 1964, buying from breeders in Sutherland, Ross-shire and the Borders, and he was well thought-off throughout the farming community. He became unwell in 2013, and after a spell in hospital, he made a reasonable recovery.

It was a wrench for him to have to give up the farm in November 2015, although he was still able to stay in the farmhouse at Cuilaneilan and keep some ewes on croft land, and on the Black Isle.

He became unwell again in the summer of 2018, but he was out on his quad bike till mid-November going around his stock, and he was also able to attend the mart in Dingwall selling some stock in early November. He was again admitted to hospital in late November, where he sadly passed away on December 3.

He was a man of deep faith and will be much missed in the community and especially in the family home.

He had a wealth of knowledge about the history of the district and was willing to share this knowledge with any who were interested.

His funeral service on December 17 filled Kinlochewe Free Church to capacity with mourners coming from throughout the Highlands, ansd also from the lowlands and the East Coast of Scotlanbd. A fitting tribute was paid to him by his close friend Ronnie Ross of Loch Rosque. As the funeral cortege passed the farmhouse it paused for a few moments – it was the house where he was born and liuved all his life.

The cemetery in Kinlochewe is only a few hundred yards from the farmhouse and close friends, shepherds and farmers carried his remains to the graveside where on a cold but dry December day overlooking the farm and the snow capped mountains of Beinn Eighe and Coulin that he loved so much, he was laid to rest.

Eight family members and four close friends lowered his remains into the grave. The service at the church and the graveside were conducted by the Reverend Colin MacLeod.

Ian is now gone from our midst, and he was a true Highland gentleman.