Obit: Katherine Koster

Kate Koster, bottom left, while teaching in Plockton. Sorley Maclean, back row, 2nd from right.

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Katherine Koster.

The village of Plockton was saddened to hear of the death of Katherine Koster, 23 Harbour Street, who died in Fodderty care home, where she had been for the past two years.

Her husband, David, predeceased her five years ago.

Kate, as she was known, was 92.  She was born at North Strome and went to school in Strome, where there were 15 children.

She recalled her early school days in a room with a small fire and when they were cold, the teacher would give them a few exercises.

She then went to school at Dingwall Academy where highlights were trips to Lochcarron for the Christmas party and excursions to Kyle on the steam train.  She recalled seeing a wee calf in a sack on the train as that was common practice then.

Kate then moved to Glasgow to study teaching, staying in a flat with another girl for £1 a week.

Her mother would send a bag of potatoes down on the train and they bought herring, the cheapest food they could get.

After graduating, Kate got a job at Plockton Secondary School, teaching maths and science.

Charlie MacRae recalls being taught by Kate and remarked at what a brilliant mind she had. She loved Plockton, so she was delighted with the appointment.

She had fond memories of teaching in Plockton, first in what is now the primary school and later in the newly built high school with Sorley Maclean as headmaster.  He asked Kate to teach Gaelic but it was difficult as some children were native speakers.

While in Plockton she met David Koster and they got married and had a daughter, Joanna.

They stayed in Plockton for four years before David, a well-known printmaker was offered a job teaching in Folkstone, where they would stay for 44 years, spending summers in the village before retiring back there.

Kate loved travelling abroad but often alone as David disliked flying.  While in Folkstone, Kate became involved with the charity, Operation Sunshine, which collected clothes for Zimbabwe.

She packed clothes and knitted items. Kate was an excellent knitter and her items have graced catwalks and fashion houses around the world, including fashion designer, Ralph Lauren. She used to see some in Vogue and that gave her a thrill.

Kate was a brilliant scholar and very fond of Gaelic. She also had a great memory and loved to tell stories of the old days.  She was well loved in Plockton and will be much missed.

The funeral service at Lochcarron Churchyard was conducted by Donald Robertson, Kyleakin.

Mary Jane Campbell sang the 121st Psalm in Gaelic and Kate’s daughter, Jo, read a poem written by Kate, entitled ‘I have walked’.

Sympathy is expressed to sorrowing relatives. CM