Ninety-three-year-old Norman Macleod from Portree is delighted with the haul of gifts he was presented with last week to mark the 75th anniversary of the Arctic convoys.
Unable to attend the recent celebrations on board the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh, Norman was visited by David Taylor of event sponsors the Scottish Salmon Company. Among the presents was a special bottle of 17-year-old single malt distilled by Macduff Distillers — which comes in at a whopping 56 per cent alcohol-by-volume.
“I’m still looking for a small enough teaspoon to try some,” joked Norman, who lives in Rathad na Sobhraig. He was also presented with a tweed rug containing the tartans of both Macleod and Mackenzie (clans in the Loch Ewe area, from where the convoys set off during World War Two) combined with the Russian flag; a silver teacup holder, a commemorative book and a hip flask.
“I’m very pleased with my gifts, not only with their value — it’s good quality stuff — but with the imagination that went into choosing them. It is the thought behind them that makes them worth so much. I’ve been told that the whisky is very expensive, so I’m tempted to keep it because it will be worth so much more.”
Norman took part in one convoy to deliver essential supplies to Russia but says he only remembers one date — 8th May 1945. “That was VE day and it was the date we arrived back on the Clyde,” he said. “We had set off on another convoy but were called back after three days because the war was over.”