Gavin sent me a couple of links to websites that contain information and an image of Paddy Boyle and Duncan Buie, good friends and both sadly passed in 2007. Although I never met any of them in person I think it’s good to mention them here on this blog. They played an important role in the life of many people on Jura, if not all, and will be remembered by many for a long long time. The regular readers will remember that I wrote about the Paddy Boyle memorial website some time ago. Paddy was a good friend of Duncan but in this post I will stick to Duncan and the information and links supplied by Gavin, for which I’m very grateful.
The first link contains some snippets of information of Jura dating back to 1948 but it’s the last item that is of interest in this respect. It’s an obituary written by Willie Cochrane Jnr as it was published in The Oban Times on Thursday, July 5, 2007. For the sake of being complete I will publish the full obituary below:
To many, Jura without Duncan Buie will be like Jura without the Paps. He was not just part of the island’s community, he was part of the island itself. Its character. His sudden, untimely death at just 56 is another painful bodyblow for the 180 or so islanders who knew and loved him. Just four weeks earlier, this most close-knit of communities had been left stunned by the loss of another of Jura’s favourite sons, Paddy Boyle, who passed away suddenly at the age of 45 on May15. Duncan and Paddy were good friends and spent many a long night putting the world to rights from the comfort of their favourite stools in the Jura Hotel. As someone said at Duncan’s funeral: ‘They’re back together now — imagine the hoolie in heaven tonight.’ One thing is for sure, Jura will never be the same without either of them.
One, of the last ‘true’ Diurachs, Duncan was born on March 7, 1951, the only child of Tottie and Dougie. He lived on the island most of his days, leaving only for a few short years to do his apprenticeship at the Stag Garage in Kilmartin and to work as a lorry driver for McNair and Cameron of Dunoon. He also had a spell in Lochaline with perhaps his greatest friend, Ian Keith. Their exploits would become the stuff of West Coast folklore. But Duncan could not stay away from his beloved Jura long. He returned and took up a job at the distillery, where he worked for the past 31 years while filling voluntary roles as island’s chief firefighter, head of coastguard, undertaker, assistant registrar and lighthouse watchman.
In the early 1990s, his many occupations on the island landed him the star role in a Japanese TV documentary about Jura. His television appearance earned him cult status in the Far East. In fact, when one visitor from Tokyo arrived in Craighouse and spotted the familiar bald head and neatly trimmed beard he could barely contain his excitement as he exclaimed: ‘Duncan-San! You big star in Japan!’ But Duncan was an even bigger star on Jura. He loved socialising and would often be the first to greet a newcomer or visitor to the island, putting to good use his uncanny ability to make a complete stranger feel like an old friend.
Now Duncan is with some of his very oldest friends. Ian, Lindsay, George, Charles and Paddy. A generation who grew up together, played together, worked together, lived together. All taken from their families, friends and from their beloved Jura over the past four years, not one of them older than 60. All sadly missed, but never forgotten. Duncan is with them now, raising a glass to Jura.
The second link points to a forum where Duncan is described as last of the Buies on Jura. The third link gives a lot of background information on the name Buie: “Historical data indicates that family name Buie originated about 1475—1500 on Jura and was initially used more or less informally for a few generations. It is not known if the Buies of Jura were actual blood descendents of the mighty Somerled. A progenitor of the Buie family has not been identified in the genealogy of the branches of Clan Donald. The name was not uncommon among the McDonald chiefs, however.” I can recommend this page highly, it contains a lot of information on the Buies, the Isle of Jura and the migration to America. The fourth link points to a page on bebo.com and shows the image of Duncan and Paddy I used in this post.
Friends in Port Askaig told me a lot of stories about Duncan, Paddy and some of the other characters on Jura, hence this post. I know they will be sadly missed and I hope some of the readers will appreciate the links and information given.