This year’s memorial lecture on Thursday 22nd October at Pairc School, Gravir, will be given by John Norgrove of Uig, Lewis, who knew Angus ‘Ease’ Macleod through his involvement in the project to build memorial cairns in honour of the heroes of the Land Struggle.
John will use slides to illustrate his lecture and will start by describing Afghanistan: its geography and environment, its diverse peoples, cultural wealth and rich history. He will explain how Afghanistan’s singular geographical location as Asia’s crossroads led it to be a buffer between expanding Victorian empires and subsequently resulted in the global ideological conflicts of the cold war and jihad being played out by superpowers and richer neighbours on Afghan soil.
John will explore how a childhood on a croft in rural Lewis helped his daughter Linda to acquire the independence and self sufficiency that enabled her to both study and travel so extensively.
He will then explain how the magic of ravaged, but still highly cultured Afghanistan drew his daughter Linda to work there, and will recount the experiences of the family throughout Linda’s kidnapping and subsequent death.
John and the family jointly decided that they would be defined by how they reacted to these events, rather than being defined by the events themselves. Within days of Linda’s death, they started the Linda Norgrove Foundation to continue the work that was so close to their daughter’s heart.
In the five years since, LNF has transferred over £750,000 to pay for more than 50 projects helping women and children affected by the wars in Afghanistan. John will describe some typical projects and talk of the highs and lows of running a small international charity from a remote croft house on the Isle of Lewis.
Donnie Morrison, Comunn Eachdraidh na Pairc, and John Randall, the Islands Book Trust, joint organisers of the lecture in conjunction with Angus Macleod’s family, commented: “We are delighted and most grateful that John Norgrove has agreed to give this year’s memorial lecture. Like many people, we have been tremendously impressed by the way John and his family have responded to the tragedy of Linda’s death. It is a huge honour that John has agreed to talk on this subject, and we are sure that this will be both a memorable and moving occasion. Please make a note of the date in your diaries now.”