Thòisich Sìne NicDiarmaid, à Bhatairnis, ag obair aig Fearann Eilean Iarmain sna 1980an far an robh i ag obair dha Sir Iain san oifis mar rianaire. A bharrachd air a sin bha i ag obair bho àm gu àm san taigh-òsta nuair a bha Effie Cheanadach dheth agus bhiodh i a’ sa bhùth aig an deireadh sheachdain cuideachd.
Bha i air HND a dhèanamh aig an t-Sabhal agus as dèidh sin boa i ag obair air a ceann fhèin airson gnìomhachasan ionadail ach a’ lorg obair nas seasmhaich. Agus sin mar a thàinig i gu bhith ag obair dha Sir Iain, a bha gu mòr airson daoine ionadail, le Gàidhlig, fhastadh.
Mar as trice, bhiodh i a’ taipeadh litrichean dha a bha e air a chlàradh air an dictaphone aige agus a-rèir an iomadh diofar phròiseact san robh Sir Iain an sàs, b’e obair gu math farsaing a bha seo. Bhiodh i cuideachd ag ullachadh an ‘fiddler’s rally’ aige, a bha a’ tachairt trup sa bhliadhna. Chòrd an obair rithe agus bha bliadhnaichean sona aig Sìne a seo.
Na briathran fhèin, “’S e boss uamhasach math a bh’ ann, gu math modhail agus coibhneil. Cha robh e a’ cur a shròin a-steach nam obair idir, ‘s ann a bha e toilichte fhàgail agam fhìn. Bhiodh sinn a’ conaltradh gu tric air am fòn agus an-còmhnaidh ‘sa Ghàidhlig – agus bha a chuid Ghàidhlig nas fheàrr na bh’ agam fhìn!”
Sìne MacDiarmid, from Waternish, beagan working for Fearann Eilean Iarmain in the 1980s when she worked in the office as Sir Iain’s secretary for a time. She also worked in the hotel when Effie Kennedy was off and also manned the shop at weekends.
Having completed an HND at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Sìne worked as a freelancer for local businesses and that’s how she came to work for Sir Iain, who was passionate about employing local, Gaelic speakers.
Her day to day tasks mainly involved typing his letters which he would dictate into a dictaphone. Given the many and varied projects Sir Iain had on the go at any given time, this made for a very varied role. She would also arrange his ‘fiddler’s rally’ event which happened once a year. The work was very enjoyable and Sìne has good memories of her working years here.
In her own words, “He was a great boss, very polite and kind. He trusted me to get on with things and never interfered. We spoke on the phone a lot and always in Gaelic – and his Gaelic was better than mine!”