Dolly Doctor

Donald Macdonald, Dolly Doctor, was born in 1891 in Stornoway, eldest son of John Macdonald Carishader and Annie Gillies, Shawbost and Stornoway.  He studied at the Nicolson and at Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and practiced as a specialist in the west end of London.  He married Emily Paul, niece of Lord Leverhulme (then proprietor of the Island) and eventually retired to Gisla.  In his latter years Dolly Doctor was a great collector of the history and traditions of Lewis, and some of his notes were published posthumously as Tales and Traditions of the Lews.  He is remembered fondly in Uig.

From Emily Macdonald’s postscript to Twenty Years of Hebridean Memories.

After my husband’s retirement from the regular practice of medicine, though he occasionally did work for local doctors as long as his health permitted, we went to live permanently at Gisla and kept cows and a few sheep and hens.

I found the quiet pastoral life very much to my taste, and after the war we sold Uig Lodge and were able to enlarge and modernise Gisla Lodge, as we now decided to call it.  However in 1946 owing to difficulties over our health and obtaining labour, we decided to give up the large portion of our land and stock, and we spent more time in Stornoway where my husband had inherited his mother’s house.

A museum of local folk objects, and ancient finds, interesting photographs and books, has been thought out and worked for by my husband who collected a committee together and a great deal of money for the project.

Very sad I am to say that he passed on in October 1961, but though we shall have to wait a while yet for the museum, the book of his collected Tales and Traditions of the Lews which I am having published will be a memorial to him and keep his name before the generations who knew him not nor experienced his kindly help and advice.  He was a founder member of the Stornoway Old Peoples’ Welfare Committee and its President for many years and also chairman of the weekly tea parties started for the old folk of the town.

Much I have perforce left out of this postscript but in closing I must say how very glad I am that I came to Lewis, met my dear husband, and have been blessed in being able to make my home in this beloved Island, and be in my old age amongst its kindly people and beautiful scenery.