At the evening meeting on 1st November, the Rotary Club of Lochaber welcomed Bill Cameron who gave a most interesting talk and slide show on his visits to, and his study of the life and people of, St. Kilda. Last summer, he fulfilled an ambition to run a marathon on the island.
He talked about the history of St. Kilda and the reasons behind the evacuation of the island by the 36 remaining residents to Lochaline in 1930. Bill recalled the several conversations he had with Nancy Macdonald, who was the widow of Glen Nevis forester Lachie MacDonald. Lachie was one of the 36 who were evacuated and who spent most of his life in Fort William.
Bill told the meeting that he had ran a half marathon on St Kilda in 2015, but had always wanted to try the marathon. He said, “As far as I am aware, I’m the first person to run a marathon there”. He plotted his route carefully, leaving supplies of water and food at strategic spots along the way.
The main problem during the run was not the extreme terrain or the weather, but the skuas who consistently dive bombed him. He completed the marathon climbing a total of 9,000 feet.
The vote of thanks was given by Alan Kirk. Although Bill is now a teacher at Lochaber High School, he worked for many years with Alan in McTavish’s Kitchen. Members responded with a very hearty round of applause.