When Dundonian Agnes Stiven saw her teenage pen pal off on the Queen Mary as it set sail from Clydebank to New York in 1934, she could not have imagined they would be separated for six decades, or that her friend would give birth to the 45th president of the United States.
Mary Anne MacLeod, who had been back home for a visit after emigrating from her birthplace on the Isle of Lewis in 1930, went on to marry her boyfriend, property developer Frederick Trump, and raise five children – one of whom, Donald, is now arguably the most controversial figure to occupy the White House.
The two women, who began corresponding after Agnes’s prize-winning painting and address appeared in The Courier, went on to live very different lives.
They were only reunited in 1995 after she watched a TV documentary about Donald Trump and realised the Scottish mother it referred to was her childhood chum.
The pair’s friendship will be explored in a new TV documentary on BBC Alba next week.
In Mathair a’ Chinn Suidhe – Trump’s Mother – journalist Torcuil Crichton follows Mary Anne’s journey from a poverty-stricken upbringing on Lewis to her marriage into one of the wealthiest families in New York.
BBC Alba said: “Running like a thread through the documentary is the story of Mary Anne MacLeod and Agnes Stiven, her teenage pen pal (from Dundee), who in later life wrote a beautiful memoir of their relationship.
“Interrupted by a brutal war and the tides of history, the two friends lost contact with each other for 60 years.
“ The strong bond, the separation and the reunion of two friends as they each approached their final furlong are told by Cathy Brett, an artist and illustrator who has been inspired by the life her grandmother Agnes lived.
“The enduring power of this friendship provides a powerful emotional spine that gives viewers a direct insight into the great European migration of the early 20th Century and the modern-day America that Mary Anne MacLeod played such an important part in shaping.”
Mr Trump made few mentions of his late mother while he was a property and media mogul, says the programme, but as president he often references his Scottish roots.
The influence of his mother, her part in the great wave of American immigration and where this leaves the 45th president of the United States are all explored in the film, which will air on Tuesday at 9pm.
The Trump family declined to take part.
Mr Trump’s cousins live in Tong near Stornoway.