Express & Star

Former sailor celebrates his 102nd birthday with gifts from ferry operator

Donald ‘Dolan’ MacAskill was given his own captain’s hat by Calmac to mark the milestone.

Donald 'Dolan' MacAskill

A retired seaman celebrated his 102nd birthday back on board and was presented with a captain’s hat and uniform by a ferry operator.

CalMac staff gave Skye-based Donald MacAskill the presents to mark the occasion.

Mr MacAskill, nicknamed “Dolan”, celebrated his 100th birthday two years ago on the MC Loch Nevis, and said he was delighted with his gifts for his 102nd birthday.

Born on February 6 1922 at Flesherin, on the Point peninsula, Isle of Lewis, Mr MacAskill worked alongside his father making Harris Tweed, later joining the Merchant Navy.

Dolan is pictured with CalMac captain Iain McKenzie from MV Loch Nevis sporting their matching captain’s hats (An Acarsaid Care Home/PA)

Mr MacAskill, a resident at the An Acarsaid care home in Broadford, Skye, said: “I returned to the Isle of Lewis a time after the war and spent many happy years living with my sister, Mary Ann, down in Back.

“I loved going down to the pier and watching the ferries come and go when we went to town.

“Many a journey I enjoyed with CalMac – I have a small picture of the Suilven in my room – the sea and boats have always given me so much joy.”

MV Loch Nevis captain Ian McKenzie said: “It was a pleasure to help Dolan mark his special birthday, I was delighted to meet him again.

“He is a really interesting character who has travelled the world, and me and the crew were privileged to talk to him and listen to his wonderful stories.

“I am from Aird, a nearby village in Point, and it was my pleasure to present the hat and goodies to a fellow rubhach (native of the area).”

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