|A moving tribute to a well liked lady. "Sìth is Fois air a h-Anam"
On Thursday the 25th of August news came to the village that our good friend and much respected former district nurse had sadly passed away. We did realise that, since she left here in 2004, her health had been slowly deteriorating and she spent the remaining years of her life ‘back home’ in her beloved Lewis among her friends and family. She loved her wee cottage in Airds and who would have thought, least of all herself, that her abrupt departure from there would not see her return.
She was born in Uig on the West Coast of Lewis, where her father was an estate game keeper. Educated at the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway, she did her nursing training at Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow, before returning to Lewis as district nurse for the Back area and then as a sister in the Lewis Hospital.
From there she made the big leap south to the Witchburn Hospital in Campbeltown and in the spring of 1967 came as district nurse/midwife to Carradale, where she spent the 20 years until her retiral in March 1987. That time span has many happy and sad events in any community and Kennina was always anxious to share and support in all of them. In these days night callouts were not uncommon and although she hated driving on ‘that road’ (to Skipness) during icy weather, she recruited good neighbours and friends to help if necessary and never failed to turn out. She particularly loved her babies (seen here with Janice Shaw, Skipness) and the elderly patients. Her generosity to them, especially at Christmas, knew no bounds. She struck up many lasting friendships and always appreciated the help and kindness extended to her. She relished an opportunity to converse in her native tongue with a few people here who still spoke Gaelic (perhaps it’s just as well that the rest of us didn’t understand her remarks! ‘Ach!’ was a frequent expression, and we all understood what that conveyed).
She took an active part in village life and supported all events. She acted as Secretary to the Boys’ Brigade when Walter McDougall ran the company, was a regular attender at Church and was very active doing her retirement, in fundraising for an ECG machine for the surgery. Her powers of persuasion (and probably some arm-twisting) helped raise a tidy sum and thereby saved patients the need to travel to Campbeltown as before.
Her opinions were strong, her standards were high and her kindness never failed. She exercised a ladies prerogative not to reveal her age and she should be allowed to take that with her to the grave. She was laid to rest beside her parents on Great Bernera Island, off the west coast of Lewis. All of us whose lives she touched will have their own memories and are grateful for the time she spent with us. The sympathy of the community goes out to her nieces and remaining family.
Mary McMillan, Molly Dodd and others.
Comments Re: Nurse Kennina Ferguson
What a genuinely lovely tribute. I'm sad that I never had the privilege of knowing her. R.I.P.
I've been reading the Goat for years, used to visit Carradale for
holidays in the Summer as a child.
I thought you'd like to know that "Ar dheis De go raibh a hanam" is in
fact Irish, meaning 'May her soul be on the right side of God', i.e.
RIP, in Scots Gaidhlig it would be "Sìth is Fois air a h-Anam", i.e.
Peace on her Soul, seems a little more fitting seeing as she was a
Leodhasach (Lewis person).
[Thanks Fraser for the correction which I have ammended.It was just a wee bit I added myself. Johnny]