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Dr John Craig Hay
Dr John Craig Hay
John (1931-2021) was born in Paisley, where his father was a general practitioner. During the war he was evacuated to a farm in Ayrshire and he recalled that It was while there that he was inspired by the text on a church notice board - Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. It was a message that motivated him throughout the remainder of his life. John followed his father into medicine and studied at Glasgow University. While there he met and later married Effie Macleod, 17 Garenin. Being of a kindred spirit they decided to devote their lives to Christian mission, signing up for the Overseas Missionary Fellowship. They were posted first to Singapore for language training before serving in Manoram, central Thailand, where John was a surgeon.
In 1970, John, his wife and four daughters returned to Scotland and he worked for a couple of years as a surgeon in Dundee, before taking up the challenging post of general practitioner for Uig and Bernera, single handed and on call day and night. The family lived at the doctor's house at Miavaig before settling at 18b Uigen. John cared passionately for his patients, caring for them medically and spiritually. His Christian faith was at the core of everything he did and manifested itself in his witness within the community, as elder of Church of Scotland, Miavaig, his lay preaching, his many years running the Sunday School and his ‘Thought for the Month’ column in the Uig News
John’s skill with the camera has left a precious archive of island life, both in cine film and still photography. For many years he worked the croft in Crowlista, providing hay and oats for the horse and he also had a vegetable plot and polytunnel. John also had a 1950s BSA 500 motor bike with which he would give children rides on the annual Uig Gala Day. Just a few days before he died, his grandson completed its renovation and wheeled it in for John to see.
At the age of 73, John chose to walk from the Borders to Cape Wrath, 530 miles over a five week period. In 2009, he accompanied his son in law on a working cruise ship to the Falklands and Antarctica.
After many months of failing health, John passed away at home surrounded by his family.