Interview with Gloria MacKillop in Berneray


Gloria MacKillop arrived 46 years ago to Berneray, the ‘island of bachelors’, to be a relief district nurse.  Her plan to stay for three months and then go back to Australia fell apart when she met ‘Splash’, her husband to be.  In this lively account Gloria tells us  how she found unexpected family members in Scotland. She speaks  about her first years on the island, how she learned to cope with boats, with crofting life, how life was before the causeway connected the island to North Uist, how Berneray became  ‘home’ (even without ‘cotton bushes’ to hide).

Her love for sheep helped her over the loss of her late husband.  Here we see her on an early April day sorrounded by ewes and lambs.


It is a pleasure to witness Gloria’s lively energy, to listen to her refreshing laughter, to her interesting life story. Who would believe she has lived such a long life!


To listen to the interview click below.  The quality of the recording could be better! This is my  mistake.


About lorianapauli

Born in Italian speaking Ticino/Switzerland. Lived all my life in different parts of that very country till I found my way "home", where I truly belong > the 'Long Island'.
This entry was posted in Berneray people, community, crofting, Island Voices - Guthan nan Eilean, Isle of Berneray, Nature, Outer Hebrides, People of the Uists, seasons and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Interview with Gloria MacKillop in Berneray

  1. Andrew says:

    Lovely interview, thank you. I had no idea there was now a causeway! I recall the slipway at Newton Ferry and once a year we used to use a boat from Berneray to ferry a tank of live trout to a loch on Pabbay, owned by Mr. Plunkett. I also recall the nights out for Berneray people to Langass Lodge. A very pleasant gentleman, from Berneray, used to drive them in a minibus/minivan.

  2. Gordon Wells says:

    Reblogged this on Island Voices – Guthan nan Eilean and commented:
    Loriana records another sparkling Island Voice. She’s making quite a collection!

  3. Pingback: Interview with Gloria MacKillop

  4. Laura Crean says:

    My Mum has written a book and the main character comes from Berneray. It isn’t out yet but will be soon – I’ll post it on my blog as soon as it is. Great interview and I love the images – and the blog 🙂

  5. wgibbs1 says:

    Very interesting interview with Gloria, an amazing place to go and live. I envy her stamina, her croft and her life. I have been in touch with Barbara Huter as I have written a book where Berneray is included. I hope you will be able to read it as you remind me of a lady in it who looks after my heroin’s sheep. ITs called ‘Dark Clouds Rising’ and will soon be published and I shal be sending a copy to Barbara for her help. I live in East Sussex near Eastbourne, far away from you. Mrs. Frances Gibbs.

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