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Sir Murdoch Macdonald


1866 - 1957

Civil engineer and politician. Born in Inverness, Macdonald was educated at Dr. Bell's Farraline Park School in Inverness (now Inverness Public Library). He joined the Highland Railway initially as a clerk, but later he was apprenticed to the Chief Engineer. Macdonald served as engineer to the Black Isle Railway (1891-94) but left for Egypt in 1898 to work on the Aswan Dam. He later advised Egypt's Ministry of Public Works on irrigation and drainage. During the First World War he advised on the defence of the Suez Canal. Formed in 1927, his engineering company - Sir Murdoch Macdonald & Partners - heightened the Aswan Dam and designed the Ness Bridge. It merged to form the multi-national Mott Macdonald Group in 1989.

He was elected as Liberal Member of Parliament for Inverness-shire in 1922, serving until 1950, latterly as an Independent Liberal.

Macdonald was knighted in 1914, created a Freeman of Inverness in 1930 and became President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1932. He was convinced there is a Loch Ness Monster and persuaded the Secretary of State for Scotland to issue an order to protect it.

His bust is displayed in Inverness Town House and a plaque was unveiled outside his former school in 1990.


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