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Margaret Tait honoured in St Magnus Cathedral

A commemorative plaque for the late filmmaker, Margaret Tait was unveiled in St Magnus Cathedral on Monday, in front of proud members of her family. From the left are: Ann Tait, Helga Tait, Erlend Tait, Ingrid MacKenzie, Karen Pyke, Leslie Tait, Charles Tait, Paul Tait, Aaron Tait, Lord-Lieutenant of Orkney Bill Spence, Sandra Tait and Sigrid Da Silva.

The film-maker and poet, Margaret Tait, has become the first Orkney woman to be honoured with a commemorative plaque in St Magnus Cathedral.

Until Monday, only eight names adorned the wall in St Rognvald’s Chapel, above John Rae’s statue, which commemorates Orcadians of note and, in particular, creatives. All were well-known Orcadian men.

But now — marking what would have been her 101st birthday — Margaret and her work have been celebrated and solidified as a part of Orkney history, as the ninth name on that wall.

The film-maker was known for her films, inspired by Orkney landscape and culture, and her family have worked hard to make sure she is recognised for years to come. They gathered together on Monday, along with Lord-Lieutenant Bill Spence, the president of The Friends of St Magnus Cathedral, to unveil the plaque.

Charles Tait was proud to see his aunt recognised in this way.

He said: “She was an experimental film-maker and poet, and she has become more well known in the last 20 years since she died — but that’s what happens.

“We hope it will be filled with a few more Orkney women in the future.”

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