Friends of The Nicolson

A trust fund supporting pupils of The Nicolson Institute to travel to further their education through educational and participation events.

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Donald Martin


Lord-Lieutenant for the Western Isles, Donald Martin is a native of Harris who for 32 years served in a variety of administrative posts in the civil service in Edinburgh and Inverness and local government in the Western Isles.

Prior to the establishment of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar in 1975, Donald left Harris when he was 14 to continue his secondary school studies in Inverness. His three children, Alan, Eilidh and Campbell attended The Nicolson Institute.

He previously held the posts of Clerk to the Lieutenancy, Deputy Lieutenant and Vice Lord-Lieutenant prior to his current appointment as Lord-Lieutenant in 2016.

Zena Stewart


Living in Eagleton, Point, Zena Stewart attended The Nicolson Institute as a pupil before returning to the school in 1974 as a teacher, following further education at Edinburgh University and Moray House College of Education.

Zena spent 36 years at The Nicolson, working as a Geography teacher, a Guidance teacher, and latterly a Depute Headteacher before her retirement in 2010.

During her time at the school, Zena escorted pupils on numerous education trips to locations in Scotland, London, France, Italy, Finland, China, and to The Nicolson’s sister school in Pendleton, South Carolina, USA.

Donald John MacDonald


Born and brought up in the Church of Scotland Manse in Leurbost, Donald John MacDonald went to Leurbost Primary School before attending The Nicolson Institute during the late 1960s.

Donald John went on to join the Royal Bank of Scotland in Stornoway, and returned to the branch again in 2004 until taking early retirement in 2008.

Two years later, in 2010, Donald John went back to work as an Office and Finance Manager in Stornoway.

Agnes Rennie


Living on the family croft in Galson with husband Frank, Agnes Rennie is Manager of Acair Publishing in Stornoway and Chair of the Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn Board, the community owned Galson Estate.

A former pupil of The Nicolson Institute, Agnes served as a Comhairle councillor for a number of years and worked with the council during the construction of the new Nicolson Institute building.

Both of Agnes’ two daughters were educated at The Nicolson, and her youngest experienced the state-of-the-art facilities offered by the new Nicolson Institute secondary school.

Jackie Mackay


Born in Newmarket, just outside Stornoway, Jackie MacKay first attended Laxdale Primary School before moving up to The Nicolson Institute in the 1950s.

He remembers the ‘new’ Nicolson school being built in 1956, which gave hugely improved facilities to pupils at the time.

Jackie entered accountancy in 1960, working in the vocation until retirement. He was married to the late Kay MacKay MBE, retired nurse and former long-standing chair of the Cancer Research UK Lewis Committee and is father to twin sons Roger and Gregor.