It is now a certainty that the body found in the Steinish area of Stornoway is that of our missing teenager Liam Aitchison.
Liam will be remembered fondly by many and none more so than his friends and family, while the exact circumstances surrounding what is essentially being treated as Unexplained remains unknown at this time.
Liam’s facebook page is filled with anecdotes and cherished memories, a fitting memorial written by a John MacLeod truly stands as to the true character and nature of this young lad taken from us so soon in his life.
John’s message, a story of a chance meeting that resulted in a friendship. John writes:
I met Liam Aitchison on a Tuesday in late September, as we waited for the ferry from Berneray to Leverburgh – I was returning from Uist Communion – and ended up giving him a lift to Stornoway. He was engaging, smart, funny, had quite a back-story, a strong handshake and was eerily old for his years. Thereafter he would hail me on the streets of town (usually to tap me for fags) and, two weeks ago, we met up for a scoff at HS-1, the cool Stornoway diner, where I took down reams of notes to get a c.v. together for him. (He had a looming date before m’lud for some juvenile mischief and we felt finding Liam a ‘situation’ might help.) He had visibly lost weight in these weeks; looked rather flat, tired. Picked at his food; inexplicably declined pudding. ‘I’ll Facebook you,’ he said; but he didn’t; nor – after that night – did he touch Facebook again; and his mobile stayed stubbornly locked on voicemail. Liam went missing a few days later. We know – unbearably – the rest.
Let’s remember that this was a lad disadvantaged in many ways in the race of life, but who had worked hard in the Pollachar Inn and on four fishing boats, had earned six Standard Grades, was a drummer in Uist Pipe Band (and who could play a bewildering range of instruments, especially enjoying the guitar), completed the John Muir Award in 2009, had sat in the Children’s Parliament, and was a keen cook who made a mean Thai curry. Not a ‘ned’, a ‘chav’, a ‘loser’ or a statistic – a young man worth meeting; brimming with such potential for life – but such as we will never know, for it will never now be lived.
…fearachan bochd nach laigheadh suil air; cha b’ Alasdair a Gleanna Garadh – is thug e gal beag air mo shuilean…
God Rest Liam and all of our sympathy goes out to all of your friends and family.