Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Thursday, 13 January 2005

Grieving relatives speak of loss

The loved-ones of a South Uist family who became victims of storm-force gales on Tuesday night have issued a statement.

The bodies of Archie MacPherson, 37, Murdina MacPherson, 37, Calum Campbell, 67, and five-year-old Hannah MacPherson have been found.

The search is still on for the fifth family member, seven-year-old Andrew MacPherson.

Calum was born in Benbecula in 1937.

He trained to be a joiner in Greenock and returned to Benbecula to work on the family croft, where he married Morag and raised a family of eight children.

He worked first as a joiner and then as a bagpipe instructor.

The MacPhersons' home
The family left their home on South Uist because of severe weather
Piping was central to his life.

He played at many local weddings and was also a prolific composer who had won numerous prizes.

He lost his dear wife in 2001, which brought him even closer to his children, his sisters and brother, and their families.

Murdina and Archie came back to their native Uist in 2002, where they settled in Iochdar with their children Andrew and Hannah.

Archie worked as a self-employed builder, and Murdina, formerly personal assistant to the head of Gaelic at BBC Scotland, worked as a secretary at the local primary school.

They returned home to be closer to their families and to bring up their children in an island community.

They were a close and happy family and will be very sadly missed.

Their families and the whole community are devastated by the tragedy. The respective families would like to thank everyone who has helped and ask for their continuing support.

They also ask that the media respect their privacy and allow them to grieve in peace within the warmth and kindness of their friends, families and the community.

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