Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

9/12/2010

VETERAN MINISTER MAKES THE RECORD BOOKS

A VETERAN Highland cleric, who celebrated his 103rd birthday last month, has been recognised as the longest-ordained minister of the Church of Scotland since the Scottish Reformation. A brief paragraph in the latest Church of Scotland Yearbook reveals that the Reverend Tom Donn, who was ordained at Stornoway over 78 years ago, and now lives at Kingsmills Nursing Home, Inverness, achieved this remarkable distinction on 2 May. On that date he broke the previous record set by the Reverend Alexander Rae Grant, former minister of West Cults, Aberdeen, who was ordained on 20 November, 1923, and who died aged 104, on 7 August 2001, 77 years and 260 days later. A native of Govan, Mr Donn was educated at Bellahouston Academy, Glasgow University and Trinity College, Glasgow. He was ordained and inducted on 14 March, 1932, to his first charge at Martin’s Memorial Church, in his mother’s native Stornoway, where he served until called to Rosehall, Sutherland, in November 1934.
In 1938 he married schoolteacher Barbara Mackay from Inverness, at the burgh’s Crown Church. Both their daughters, Fiona and Deirdre, were born during his incumbency at Rosehall, before the family moved to Strathspey in 1945, when Mr Donn received a call to the charge of Carrbridge and Duthil. He took early retirement in 1969, to allow for a linking of Carrbridge and Boat of Garten charges, but after moving to Inverness, remained active as a supply preacher for many years. A theologian and scholar, Mr Donn also wrote a number of books and loved to recall that he had even penned articles by invitation for Church of England magazines. Mr Donn is also the oldest member of Inverness Presbytery although he has been unable to attend meetings in person for some years.
A theologian and scholar, Mr Donn also wrote a number of books and loved to recall that he had even penned articles by invitation for Church of England magazines. Mr Donn is also the oldest member of Inverness Presbytery although he has been unable to attend meetings in person for some years.

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