Rogart Heritage

Archaeology & Heritage


Accolade for John Macdonald

Professor Neil Simco, vice principal, research and impact, University of the Highlands and Islands, presents John Macdonald with his honorary fellowship. Picture: Duncan McLachlan, John O’Groat Journal

Saturday 14 September 2019 saw local historian and author, John Macdonald being recognised for his contributions to the community and university by being awarded an Honorary Fellowship at St Peter’s and St Andrew’s Church, Thurso .

Professor Neil Simco presented the award to John Macdonald, Little Rogart, for his work in history, music and crofting politics to support community education, academic research, public service and cultural work for over 50 years.

Avid collector

John Macdonald has also collected an archive of photographs, stories and artefacts which were used in his many public talks and guided walks.

His careers as railwayman and postman as well as his life-long residence in Rogart has given him an enviable network of informants and an intimate knowledge of place, attributes which most professional historians lack.

He was instrumental in the development of the Sutherland Accordion and Fiddle Group as well as Rogart’s heritage society.

He has encouraged many people to understand more about their local history and the archaeology of the ground beneath their feet. He also a mentor of postgraduate students, helping to show how they can apply their theoretical knowledge to “on the ground” evidence

5 Responses to Accolade for John Macdonald

  1. Susan Arn says:

    What a wonderful inspiration he is for grad. students to enable them to make the connection between the ‘book learning’, the local people and the archaeology of the area. It is people like him who make learning interesting. People usually retain the information more readily when given such well rounded and in depth information.


    Congratulations to John. We have known him quite a few years as a musician and friend. He has filled our many visits with musical opportunities, historical perspective and welcomed us to the Rogart family. Cheers Roger & Helen

    • Christina Perera says:

      Many thanks Roger and Helen. I will give John your message and perhaps we’ll see you at one of our events?

      • ROGER POLANSKY says:

        Well, it’s a long way to Pittintrail from here in New York State, USA. Worth the trip though. If only we could just drive over for the evening. Roger & Helen

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