Four islanders recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

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Four islanders have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Donald Macleod, Coxswain of Barra Lifeboat, has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his ‘inspirational leadership, clear thinking and endurance of the highest order’ in a citation supported by RNLI Chief Executive Paul Boissier.

Mrs Christine MacRae from Lewis has been awarded an MBE for voluntary service in the Western Isles and Mrs Margaret Ann Campbell. Sub Postmistress, Vatersay has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the postal service and the community in Vatersay and Barra.

Professor Margaret Campbell Smith, Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Dundee - who is originally from Skigersta, Ness - was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to Nursing.

The RNLI paid tribute to Mr Macleod along with many other lifeboat crew and fundraisers rewarded for their service in the Queen's Honours.

Donald and his crew are routinely confronted by extreme sea and weather conditions, and the station perform some of the most difficult and dangerous rescues that the charity’s lifesavers face.

In June 2006, Donald and the crew of Barra’s all-weather lifeboat Edna Windsor launched into severe gales and 11 metre swell to rescue stricken mariners and bring them back to safety. Donald’s modest response to the shout was that his crew had ‘completed the service flawlessly’, and that the conditions that day were ‘adverse’. In fact, Donald was awarded the RNLI’s Bronze Medal for Gallantry for his command, initiative and leadership on that day.

Just a few years later, in 2011, Donald was at the helm once more when the island’s lifeboat launched to an ocean-going rower some 58 miles out to sea. After a gruelling nine hours at sea in treacherous conditions, Donald and his volunteer crew were able to bring the rower back to the safety of land.

An offshore fisherman by day, Donald has been a committed RNLI volunteer for the past 17 years, and in that time has become known as a cheerful, reliable leader in the small community of Barra.

Speaking of his award, Donald said: "It’s a great honour to be awarded an MBE. I consider it a team award for the unfaltering commitment of the crew at Barra Lifeboat Station, and the support we get from the local community. I will wear it with pride."

RNLI Chief Executive Paul Boissier said: "We are delighted to see many of our volunteers in this year's Birthday Honours List. Volunteers are at the heart of our organisation and come from many walks of life, but are united by one common goal - to save lives at sea. It is wonderful to see such commitment and dedication rewarded by our patron Her Majesty The Queen."