Remembering a much-loved community man

Many in Uist and beyond were saddened to learn of the death of Mohammed Nasib – for many years “the only Pakistani man in Uist” and a much-loved member of the community.

Mohammed Nasib, who was a much-loved member of the North Uist community
Mohammed Nasib, who was a much-loved member of the North Uist community

His son, Asif told the Gazette: “Our dad arrived in Uist as a young man in the early 1960s. Dad told us of his amazing adventures in Uist and how fond he was of the people he met, their hospitality, kindness and warmth. His stories were always told with a smile and whenever he had a chance he would add new and interesting memories.

“Dad would tell us how when he started his business in Uist he was cycling around the island with a suitcase tied to his bike going door to door selling clothes. This is how he became so well known around the islands. As the only Pakistani man in Uist, he always felt welcomed, at home and part of the community.

“In 1968, he married our mother Parveen who moved from Pakistan to Uist. At this time dad was renting a a cottage in Hougharry. He continued providing the community with his wares which he would sell from his van as he travelled around both North and South Uist”.

With four young children, the family moved In 1979 to a new house in Bayhead. “Dad continued his business, which was now well established, with a shop and van and provided the local community with a valuable and essential service to meet their needs.

“In 1985 our family moved to Glasgow and dad slowly wound down his business and sold the house in 1987. He set up a new business in Paisley which he continued to run until he retired in 2005”.

Former teacher Ada Campbell, recalled: “We were close friends, meeting through Tigharry school. We managed to persuade Parveen to do some Curry Classes in the school -while also helping with her English. Everyone in the community who attended them was so happy to be learning the authentic recipes.

“The family were sorely missed when they moved away - but they kept in touch with many friends here and lots of Uist folk got a lovely welcome when visiting them in the Glasgow house at Glencairn Drive”.

Our columnist John Morrison recalled: “Nasib’s shop in Bayhead, which sold everything from boiler suits to boiled sweets, was one of the focal points of the village when I was growing up. As kids we went there to spend any pocket money we had, but also to be part of Nasib’s craic.

“He was a witty and warm man who always seemed to have a smile on his face and an amusing story for everyone who came into the shop. When he moved away to the mainland with his wife and family it left a big hole in the community”

Mohammed Nasib died at the age of 78, after a fall. He leaves Parveen, his wife of 53 years, two sons, two daughters and ten grandchildren. Asif said: “He will be greatly missed”.