Well-known Skye GP dies aged 90

Dr Calum ‘Òg’ MacRae, one of Skye’s best-known medical practitioners, has died this week at the age of 90.

Dr MacRae was known and respected to scores of families having served for almost 40 years as GP in north Skye.

A native of Kyleakin, Dr MacRae overcame a case of suspected teenage TB before completing his schooling at Portree and then heading to study medicine at Aberdeen University.

He completed national service in the mid-1950s and was set to take up a position in obstetrics in Dunfermline before being asked to provide holiday cover for his uncle, Dr Allan MacDonald, who was the doctor in Uig and oversaw the local maternity hospital – which was then based in the north Skye village.

The young Dr MacRae never left, and when his uncle retired Calum ‘Og’ took over the practice in 1961, holding surgeries throughout the north end of the island as part of a job that involved being on call for 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week.

He also had periods working out of Portree and continued doing some locum work after retiring from the practice in 1992.

Dr Calum and wife Sadie, who he married in 1961, had six children.

Away from medicine he had an active and influential role in several facets of community life, and his interests included the Rotary Club, the Skye branch of Cancer Research UK, angling and politics, while he was also an accomplished watercolour painter.

A huge crowd is expected at Dr MacRae’s funeral service, which takes place at Uig Church of Scotland this Saturday at 10am.