Obituary – Neil ‘Nonny’ MacInnes
1970 - 2017 NEIL ‘NONNY’ MacInnes was known for many things – his shinty accolades, his charitable work and running Coasters bar – but to his family he was so much more than that.
He was a family man, the life and soul of the party and a practical joker right up to the end.
Nonny passed away on Tuesday March 28, aged 46, following a battle with cancer. But he left behind a legacy that will help others defeat the dreaded disease.
He founded the DMI Cancer Trust charity after losing his dad to the illness.
DMI raised around £47,000 through three charitable concerts titled We’ll Walk This Road Together, which featured Scotland’s top traditional music bands. His wife, Karen, will now continue the tradition in memory of Nonny, as will John Scott, who organised a charity football match We’ll Play This Game Together.
Nonny was born in Oban on December 26, 1970, and went to Rockfield Primary School, before attending Oban High School. It was in primary school that his love of sport developed. Over the years he accumulated a number of medals playing the sport he loved – shinty.
His most prestigious award came in 1996, when he captained Oban Camanachd to victory in the Camanachd Cup final, beating Kingussie 3-2.
Upon leaving school, Nonny served an apprentice painter and decorator, attaining his qualification at Clydebank College.
However, this career wasn’t for him and he started working in fish farms, where he remained for around a decade.
Proving that he can turn his hand to anything, Nonny worked his way up to become site manager in his time there.
In 2004, the opportunity arose for him to take on a new challenge – running Coasters. This came about after Karen saw that it was for lease and convinced him to get into it.
The original plan was that Karen was going to run the bar, but Nonny took to it like a duck to water and in the end it was he who was more suited to the role. Karen said it was a massive change from what he was used to – standing at the other side of the bar.
As a child, Nonny was a keen singer and accordion player and, in his younger years, he competed in competitions such as the Royal National Mòd. His competing days might have stopped as he got older, but his love for music remained.
Karen recalls one party in particular where he played ‘the box’ until ‘stupid o’clock’ in the morning, playing the same song on repeat – one that he had composed himself.
Another major part of Nonny’s life was travelling and going on holiday – whether it be bathing in the sun, or visiting his family in Barra and exploring the island. He went from not being able to sit in the sun, to loving it ‘as long as he had his music and a pint’.
Throughout his illness, Nonny’s friends provided him with a great amount of loyalty, in particular Jocky Martin and his family.
Jocky and Nonny were best friends since they met each other in primary one – and throughout his final illness they remained close. Jocky and his family continue to be there for the MacInnes family. The Oban Times extends its deepest sympathy to Nonny’s wife Karen, daughters Jenna and Kirsty, his mother Rhoda and brothers Ian and Ally, as well as the extended family.
Neil ‘Nonny’ MacInnes.