Plockton pays tribute to John Don Finlayson

Jon Don Finlayson.

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The sudden death of John Don Finlayson on July 12 came as a shock to his many friends and cast a gloom over a wide area.

John Don was born in Seaview, Plockton on April 26, 1951, to Ian and Katie Ann Finlayson.

When he left Plockton High School he joined the army and afterwards he served his time as a joiner with MacKerlichs in Kyle of Lochalsh. He then went to work at Kishorn, helping to build the world’s largest oil-rig where the workers became known as the Kishorn Commandos.

John Don enjoyed singing and was always ready to burst into the song with his friend

After Kishorn he worked with Bond Helicopters and later went to the Naval Base in Kyle where he worked as a joiner/craftsman until he retired.

John Don took a great interest in the old days of Plockton and had an amazing collection of old photographs and an equally amazing memory.

He enjoyed sailing in the Regatta in his Flying Fifteen and later he bought a yacht which he also made good use of.

He was in charge of the local Cadets for many years and would often brag about how he taught the local children about trees, wildlife and nature.

He married Catherine, a local girl, in 1985 and they had three sons, George, John and Richard. Sadly after a short illness, Catherine died in 2000 leaving John Don to take on the role of mother, father and sole provider, with the help of his sister Sybil and her husband Ewen.

The birth of his first grandson William John, Richard’s son brought him much joy in his later years.

John Don was also a keen fisherman and poacher in both lochs and sea and he had many fishing stories to tell.

He had many friends over a wide area and was loved by everyone, especially his life-long friends Calum, Kenny, Finlay and Brian.

He loved talking to people and Donald (Hibs) tells of the time they went on a weekend trip to Paris. John Don spoke to many people at Inverness Station that when they reached London, Donald said you won’t know anyone down here, but the first
person they met was Sorley MacLean.

In 2016 John Don married Mags, a nurse who he met while recuperating from his first illness. They were married at sea on Calum’s boat and later had their reception in the Haven Hotel. Dancing followed in the Village Hall.

The couple went to live in Isleornsay where Mags had a house in Drumfearn. He regularly visited Plockton to see his yacht and visit his sister.

Earlier this year he was diagnosed with a terminal illness and visited Raigmore Hospital every few weeks for treatment hoping to prolong his life. Sadly it wasn’t to be and he passed away suddenly while Mags was driving him to Broadford Hospital for a medical procedure.

John Don was known for his humour and kindness. He was always willing to lend hand and if you couldn’t find something, John Don always had the answer.

Over the years he made lovely wooden chairs for Plockton babies and latterly he helped his friend Peter on a Mussel Farm in Sleat and planted vegetables on a friend’s croft in Plockton.

The area will certainly be the poorer with his passing and no longer seeing his cheery face coming towards you.

The funeral service was held in Plockton Free Church, conducted by Reverend Fred Vincent, carrying out his first funeral service since coming to Kyle Church of Scotland. Organist was Caterine Will.

Due to the Covid restrictions only 30 people were allowed into the church but crowds stood outside having the service relayed to them through loud speakers. Many people lined the streets in all the villages until the cortege reached the cemetery at Balmacara.

Sympathy is expressed to his wife Mags, sons George, John and Richard and his sister Sybil (Mrs Cameron).

The Plockton community was also saddened by the death of two women in the
same week as John Don.

Kirsty Stanley, aged 74 from 6 Camus an Arbhair, who died on July 14 and her neighbour Teresa Peach aged 77 from 7 Camus an Arbhair who died on July 18.

Two lovely ladies who will be much missed. Sympathy is expressed to sorrowing relatives.