Read Margaret’s story from her Just Giving page below here, or visit her JG page by clicking here.
I am planning to take on a treble challenge over two days (bike, canoe & trek). I am heading to Fort William on 31st July 2021 to cycle 32km and row 13km around Loch Lochy in a canoe. The next day, l will get up early and climb Ben Nevis. I have never taken on this kind of challenge before but I want to raise money & awareness for a charity that means a lot to me and in memory of fishermen close to my heart.
The fishermen’s mission has been an important part of my family’s life long before I was born. I was raised in Brora, a small village in the Highlands where fishing was, at one time, the heart of the community. As I grew up, I was conscious of the mission being in the background but it wasn’t until my late father was diagnosed with vascular dementia that I was able to appreciate the comfort they offered my mother as she tried to come to terms with his declining health and subsequent death in 2014. The fishermen’s mission was to play another crucial part in our lives when my lovely brother died during a fishing accident in 2019. Words cannot describe the emotional pain this caused us all and we are still trying to come to terms with our loss. However, the mission understands the reality and dangers associated with fishing, so when we lose a loved one, especially to the sea, we don’t have to explain or put into words our grief or pain.
My father and brother came from a long line of descendants who dedicated their lives to the sea. My father and uncle were in the Royal Navy Reserves and my paternal grandfather was a Merchant Seaman in 2nd World War. In 2017, my late brother felt very privileged to receive The Arctic Star medal on behalf of our grandfather, to honour the fact he risked his life, to sail into freezing enemy territory, with the Arctic Ship Convoys. My mother’s side of the family also has deep historic connections to fishing.
Both my dad and brother were well known in many fishing communities where they were deeply respected for their dedication, skills and experience as seasoned fishermen. They both learnt from an early age, fishing was a dangerous job but their love for the sea gave them the strength & courage to take the associated risks. I feel incredibly proud of my heritage which includes my female relatives, who over many generations, contributed in so many ways to support their loved ones in this honourable profession. I have attached some photos that capture some of our family history (click on top picture of my dad & brother and slide to the left)
The mission is the only fishermen’s charity that provides emergency support alongside practical, financial, spiritual and emotional care. They help all fishermen, active or retired, and their families. Please donate to keep this invaluable charity available for other fishermen and their families.