Very spe­cial men

The Oban Times - - Letters -

THE last­ing ef­fect that some peo­ple leave on life af­ter they are gone can be sig­nif­i­cant and last week two of the best were buried.

On Tues­day, Nonny MacInnes was laid to rest in Oban and on Thurs­day Bernie Smith was given a fit­ting send­off on Tiree. Never have I at­tended such large fu­ner­als in their re­spec­tive lo­ca­tions and never have I been aware of such pos­i­tive feel­ings ex­pressed so widely as for these two giants of the West Coast.

Both fought bravely with ter­mi­nal ill­ness and both passed away with the dig­nity and pos­i­tiv­ity that re­flected their ap­proach to the lives they led.

There are so many com­mon cliches used to praise those who die and, in many ways, that is a strong part of the griev­ing process, but these two men re­ally were ex­cep­tional hu­man be­ings who are ab­so­lutely worthy of the huge amount of praise and lov­ing thoughts and com­ments that have been shared over the past week.

None of us knows how long we have left in this life and in the grand scheme of ex­is­tence, when we go, I don’t think is par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant.

What is im­por­tant is the im­pact we have when we are alive and the peace and hap­pi­ness we can feel be­fore we travel on.

To be loved by those we want to be loved by, to be re­spected by those we want to be re­spected by and to have led a life that can be looked back on with joy and sat­is­fac­tion – these are the dreams of life for which we all should strive, and both Bernie and Nonny epit­o­mised those who to­tally con­quered these great and rich achieve­ments.

The fol­low­ing lyrics are from one of the older Skip­in­nish songs and as both Nonny and Bernie were mu­si­cians and gen­er­ous sup­port­ers of mu­sic, the theme is fit­ting.

Many a late night of mu­sic, good com­pany and fel­low­ship so many of us had with these two very spe­cial men, and the mem­o­ries of their warmth and great char­ac­ters will, like love and mu­sic, live for ever. Farewell We now must say farewell, but with warmth I will tell Our meet­ing will stay with us till the end; So fill the parting glass, this song must be our last, In the glow­ing hope we’ll some­day meet again. Cho­rus We sat that night till the morn­ing sing­ing ‘Mairidh gaol is ceòl.’ If love and mu­sic live we may never die at all. Many win­ters have passed on since those sum­mer nights have gone But our lives are richer for the time we’ve had; And in the evening of our days, though our time was soon away, We’ll re­call those olden glo­ries and be glad. Our des­tinies di­vide and, there­fore, live we all All live to die, and rise to fall; No sad­ness now or blame but a mem­ory and a flame To burn be­yond the pass­ing of us all.

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