The funeral took place yesterday in Morar in Scotland’s west highlands of Lachlan (Lachie) Robertson (61). The service took place in the fishng village of Mallaig before committal at Morar Cemetery.
Lachie was a fishing boat skipper and died on June 24 whilst attempting to save a young member of his crew who had fallen overboard in rough seas in the Sound of Rhum.
Another member of the crew managed to pull the younger man from the icy water, but by the time they reached Lachie, he was in a critical condition. Despite desperate efforts, he could not be revived.
Coastguards received a Mayday call from a fishing vessel around 19:00 on the evening reporting that two out of three crewman on board had entered the water. A helicopter from Stornoway was scrambled to the scene, alongside lifeboat crews from Mallaig and Tobermory.
The pair were rescued from the water and brought back on board by the third member of the crew, before being attended to by the helicopter’s winch paramedic.
Lachie was well known locally as a piper and whistle player. He was long-term subscriber to the Piping Times and donated frequently to the College of Piping. PT Editor, Stuart Letford, said: “I never met Lachie but I always enjoyed receiving his regular, great humoured emails on all matters piping, including praise for the PT and the College. He sent me a great photo of himself piping on board his boat during the 2018 ‘Battle’s Over’ commemorative event. I think it pretty much sums up Lachie’s character.”
Although Lachie had become quite synonymous with the Mallaig district, he was actually born and brought up in Canonbie in Dumfriesshire. He attended Canonbie Primary School then Langholm Academy. Lachie skippered the Mallaig-based boat, the Reul a’Chuain for many years. He was very well liked by all who knew him.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is investigating the tragic incident. We send our condolences to Lachie’s family and friends.
The National Piping Centre is to launch three new online specialist evening classes in September.
Each course will have a structured curriculum from start to finish and lessons will be adjusted to the needs of the students. The classes are also designed to be in line with Level 5 of the PDQB qualification and with the NPC’s teaching principles.
The three new classes are:
• Bellows piping;
• Piobaireachd 101.
The Piobaireachd 101 course will follow the NPC’s Piobaireachd Tutor book and is aimed at introducing non-piobaireachd players to this musical art form. The NPC’s Dan Nevans will be the lead tutor on this course. The lead tutors on the other two courses are still to be confirmed.
The Argyllshire Gathering is hoping to hold in person light music competitions this year to mark its 150th anniversary.
Organisers are gauging interest among competitive solo pipers based in the UK. We understand that due to the fact that there will be no overseas pipers able to participate, the competitions will not count towards grading.
The light music competitions normally take place at Mossfield Park in Oban on the second day of the Gathering.