The man who has served the island’s farming community as artificial inseminator has retired, and farmers from across the island met on Friday night in the Victoria Hotel to offer their thanks and congratulations.
Ronnie Taylor - known to many as Midnight - joined the Scottish Milk Marketing Board AI Unit at South Barr in 1972, although he started his working life as an apprentice painter following his education in Lochgilphead where he lived from the age of four.
He would later rise to the rank of AI manager in Oban, but unfortunately demand for the service in Oban fell away and the local office closed in 1978.
After the service closed Ronnie moved back to Erskine, where he’d been born. By this time he had become a well known figure in Scottish Farmer publications through an advertising feature by the Scottish Milk Marketing Board.
In October 1989 the vacancy for the Bute job became available and Ronnie and wife Betty came to stay at Academy Road in Rothesay, and the rest as they say is history.
President of Bute Agricultural Society, Robert McAlister, made a special presentation to Ronnie at the surprise social in the Victoria Hotel, as a token of the Bute Agriculturalists’ appreciation for his work over the years.
In a speech written by Robert Macintyre, (who was unable to attend the evening due to health matters), Mr Macintyre said: “He enjoyed his game of darts in the Criterion Bar and the team members used to tell their wives when they were being chastised for being late home, ‘Oh no I wisnae late, I wis home before Midnight’.
“You may wonder why he got the nickname Midnight, which was given to him by the late Dochie Keith. There are several explanations, but they are all too complicated to tell just now!”
He concluded: “Ronnie, we hope you enjoy a long retirement.”