A Point councillor has found an unusual way to pay tribute to the charity which is providing so much for his elderly mother – he’s going to jump out of plane in aid of Alzheimer Scotland.
Norman ‘ Norrie Tomsh” Macdonald is in fact planning an 18,000 foot skydive, the highest jump in the world, during an otherwise relaxing week of golf with friends.
“A crowd of Stornoway golf folk are going on a big trip to Orlando, Florida, where we are going to be playing on TPC Sawgrass, a championship course with an iconic 17th hole which is practically on an island, surrounded by water.
“We’ll be playing golf on alternate days, so on our ‘down’ days we had planned various things such as visiting Cape Canaveral and someone suggested the sky dive. Three of us – Bob Rankin, Allan Macleod and myself are diving and I thought, as long as I’m jumping out of a plane, why not do it for charity?”
The tandem skydive is at Titusville in Florida. Norrie has picked Alzheimer Scotland to support because of his experience with his mother’s illness, which he describes as ‘a fog’ which has come down over her in recent years. Murdina Macleod (Murdag a’ mhate) was a teacher at Aird School for many years, and is well-known to the many children who passed through her hands during a long career.
Norrie told welovestornoway.com: “She can still remember every pupil she ever taught. She’s old school, very proper, believes in discipline and tuts about grammar and punctuation, in English and in Gaelic.”
In his regular column in the West Highland Free Press recently Norrie wrote: “Dementia has robbed her of her independence, her ability to cope on her own and … a little bit of her dignity. From jumping into her car, picking up her friends and going shopping…she is now totally dependent on Joey (Macaskill), her wonderful carer and, to a much lesser extent, her immediates and her ‘weakest link’, me.”
Three visits a week to the Alzheimer Scotland group at Grianan in Stornoway keep Murdag active and alert and, Norrie says: “In all honesty, I don’t know where we’d be without them over the past 12 months.”
For that reason, and because his own daughter Karen Macdonald is the Alzheimer Scotland fundraiser, he’s aiming to raise £1,500 with his jump, and is already half way there.
Characteristically sharp about his effort, Norrie says: “All I have to do is fall out of a plane, which doesn’t take much. They’re looking at changing the electoral representation for local authorities anyway, down to two councillors from three. Maybe they’ll get it sooner than they think.”
You can support Norrie’s fundraising for Alzheimer Scotland at this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/norrietjumpsfromaplane