Sister’s message in a bottle comes home

The message found in the bottle took months to decipher before the sender could be traced.

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A message in a bottle sent to a much-loved brother has found its way home.

It took months of deciphering the water-spoiled message inside the small bottle that was found washed up near Easdale at the New Year.

Eventually and with the wonder of Facebook connections, the bottle and its contents is finally heading back to its sender.

Tam Conroy and sister Jane Gallacher.
Tam Conroy with two nieces before the Seil hill climb race.

Jane Gallacher had written the heartfelt message to her brother Tam Conroy who spent many happy years living on Seil but passed away in his sleep last April.

Tam, who was living in Perth when he died aged just 50, was well-known on the island for his fundraising exploits.

Although he had Dystonia, a movement disorder in which a person’s muscles contract uncontrollably, he never let it get in the way of life, said Jane.

One of his most memorable stunts was when he took part in a  hill race on Seil wearing leopard skin and carting a wheel barrow.

Jane, who now lives in Stafford, was stunned when a relative living in Balvicar got in touch to say the message had been found.

The last time she saw the bottle was when she threw it into the sea off Seil during a balloon release in Tam’s memory last year.

‘It was a bolt from the blue. I never thought I’d see it again – it’s as if Tam was sending a message back to us. We’ve been having a bit of a tough time recently as a family and although it sounds strange, it was like a comfort to hear from him.

‘In the message I’d written about the lovely times we had as a family when we’d all visit him on Seil. We used to come for the Seil Games. He’d done the hill race pushing a wheelbarrow. Tam had problems with a muscle disorder but he never let that get in his way!

‘The bottle was found by a young man who was visiting relatives and he took it back home to Glasgow with him to try and work out who sent it. When a few words had been worked out, it went up on Facebook and the connection was made,’ said Jane.

‘We’re just waiting to get it sent back to us. We’ll be keeping it this time – it’s meant to stay with us,’ she added.