Community saddened by passing of RNLI stalwart

The people of Kyle and the wider Lochalsh area were saddened to hear of the passing of community stalwart Ross McKerlich just before Christmas.

Mr McKerlich (59), widely known as Rossie, played a huge part in the local community, serving as operations officer with Kyle RNLI and as chair of the Kyle Community Council. He was known across the west coast through his building and undertaking firm McKerlich and Sons, his involve­ment in rugby and numerous local groups.

In addition he penned “Restoring Canna’s Chapel”, an account of the 14-month project to restore St Edward’s Chapel on the island, which he led in 1999-2000.

A spokesman for Kyle RNLI said: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm that Rossie McKerlich, the lifeboat operations manager at Kyle lifeboat station, passed away in the early hours of this morning. “Rossie took ill at his home on Wednesday afternoon and was admitted to hospital in Broadford. He was then transferred to Aberdeen where he sadly passed away. “Rossie will be greatly missed by all involved with Kyle lifeboat and the local community. Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.” Mr McKerlich is survived by his wife Annie and children Trevor and Yvonne. A funeral service was held in Kyle Church of Scotland, followed by interment at Balmacara Cemetery.