Scarcely a year passes but we have to notice how the Lord is calling those who were bright witnesses in their own day to be with Himself. Such a one was Margaret Sutherland, who passed away on 6 December 2000. She was born at Fleuchary, Dornoch, on 7 April 1917, the daughter of Charles and Annie Sutherland. Her father was well known throughout the Church as an elder and a missionary; his obituary, written by Rev D J Matheson, who had been his minister for many years in Lairg, appears in the Free Presbyterian Magazine for July 1951.
Margaret was only 17 when her mother died and she undertook to keep house for her father, the family home being by then situated at Balcharn, Lairg. At communion seasons this home was a gathering place for the Lord’s people from various parts of the Church, and within its walls there were gathered many who in their day were regarded as the salt of the earth. Only a few remain to recall the memory of these good days. To the conversation of these companies Miss Sutherland made a valuable contribution, being very well read in the divines and blessed with a retentive memory.
Maggie, as she was better known, made a public profession of her faith in Christ at the Bonar Bridge Communion in August 1940. By grace she was enabled to maintain this profession for over 60 years. She had an intelligent grasp of the distinctive testimony of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland and an unshaken attachment to it throughout her life. We can truly say she prayed for the Cause of Christ and longed for its revival. As well as keeping house for her father, Maggie taught in the Sabbath School in Lairg, and there are still those in this congregation and in the community who can say of some Scriptural teaching, “I heard it from Maggie Sutherland in the Sabbath School”. She is still fondly remembered for her labour of love during these years.
On the death of her father, she obtained work as a clerkess in Lairg Laundry and worked there till her retirement. She continued to worship in Lairg till 1985 when, due to failing health, she removed to Inverness, where she was cared for by her brother Eleneth and his wife Chrissie till she was admitted to Ballifeary Home of Rest. Maggie died at Raigmore Hospital and is buried in Dornoch East Cemetery beside her parents.
We are left only with memories but we remember the promise, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord”. To all her relations who mourn her passing we convey our sincere condolences. We believe that Margaret Sutherland was one of those of whom it could be said, “Whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation”.
(Rev) D J MacDonald