Ceud mile failte gu Diuranais  A hundred thousand welcomes to Durness

Durness The most north westerly village on mainland Britain Highlands of Scotland   

Marty Mackay Memorial Cycle

Martin Angus MacKay was born on the 15th April 1967, to Martin and Mary MacKay of Sarsgrum in Durness. He married Roberta Laurie in 1993. They were blessed with two sons, Martin and Murray, of whom he was immensely proud. Marty was a son, brother, husband, father and uncle, a popular man with many friends.

On leaving school in the summer of 1983, Marty was apprenticed to McCaughie’s boatyard in Wick where he learned the skills carrying out masterful work in building and repairing boats as well as working with all manner of engines and things mechanical. He was a true craftsman capable of working with traditional and modern materials to construct small boats for loch and sea fishing starting his own business in Durness.

At the age of 16 he began to play football for the Durness team which he would do for the next 26 years. Marty could not only play the guitar, but could sing, compose his own songs and music and inspire others to be musical too. He became a part of a leading Durness band ‘Blue Ridge’, a band which became well known and liked throughout the north. Marty was involved in many things and he understood the value and need for commitment to the Durness community to keep it what it is. He was in the Coastguard for 20 years, the Fire Brigade for ten. He was always involved with the Highland Gathering where he competed as well as helped and was a star of the local Panto both on and off the stage. His willingness to help others stood out, whether it was to fix petrol pump at the shop at a moment’s notice or start a failed engine. He was always obliging and helpful and he had the wonderful ability to galvanise others to help too.

Marty died from renal cancer on the 16th April, the day after his 43rd birthday, at home in Bard Terrace, surrounded by family. His funeral at Durness Church of Scotland was possibly the biggest ever seen with an estimated 700 from all across the North attending.

His friends and Family want to ensure that Marty’s life is celebrated and that other families put in this situation have the support that was shown when Marty was diagnosed and received his palliative care along with helping research into causes and treatments.

Since Marty’s death in 2010 each year in April a cycling event has taken place and money donated has distributed to good causes. Further undertakings in Marty’s memory are potentially possible and to this end the family wish to establish a Memorial Charitable Fund to ensure donations and funds raised make a significant difference too many families in the Highlands during difficult and emotional times.

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