Melness resident, Georgina MacLeod from Achininver, celebrated her 100th birthday with friends and
family recently at The Craggan Hotel in Melness, with a second party at the Kyle Centre two days later with her lunch club and other friends.
Georgina, one of six children to Jessie and Angus, attended Melness Public School along with her twin sister
Barbara. After completing the Advanced Division, which was the highest standard, the twins left school at
the age of 16 and took up local employment while also caring for their mother. Later, they were
encouraged by their uncle in Edinburgh to pursue nursing as a career, as he had relatives who were
progressing well in this profession.
In 1939, Georgina and Barbara set out for the big city. Despite some illness and homesickness, the girls
successfully completed their training in 1943 at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.
After five years as a staff nurse, Georgina transferred to the Northern General Hospital as Sister of a medical ward, where she remained until her retirement in August 1977.
A glowing accolade for the twins, at their retirement, was highlighted in the Western General’s Newsletter
that month: “At that time nurse training was extremely arduous and the war years brought added pressures to
the hospital work. It is interesting to note that out of the original 12 nurses who started in that preliminary
training school the Misses Macleod were the only two who survived and successfully completed the course
On their retirement, Georgina and Barbara returned to their family home in Achininver, where they enjoyed
a full life. They were active church members, and utilised their strict nursing training whenever it was their
turn for church cleaning or flower arranging, undertaking both with medical meticulousness.
They only resigned from their duties at the age of 91, the same time that Georgina stopped driving. Sadly, Barbara
passed away in 2010. Georgina still lives happily in the family home, built by her grandfather, and remains
a true inspiration to all who know her. Her enthusiasm for life never wavers. Long may she continue to enjoy it!