From Silver Medals to Oor Wullie Mod week marches on

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The Royal National Mòd (Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail) continues today (Tuesday) as children’s competitions ramp up to their grand finale.

Contests will take places across singing, poetry, reading and storytelling, with the coveted Traditional Silver Medals being handed out.

New to this year’s competition is the Charlie MacColl Memorial trophy.

Charlie was chairman of the Lochaber Local Organising Committee the last time it played host to the Mod in 2007, and was a great champion of the Royal National Mòd.

A lifelong supporter of the Gaelic language and culture, and particularly the encouraging of young Gaelic learners, he spent over thirty years fundraising for Mòds throughout Scotland.

Charlie’s memorial award will be presented to the person who achieves the highest overall mark in the boys and girls Traditional competitions (ages 16-18) today. His son Calum is set to compete in a traditional singing competition tomorrow – carrying on the Gaelic tradition in a fitting legacy to his father.

Another memorial award new for 2017 is the Cuach Aonghas Neacal, donated by Coisir Lunnainn (the London Gaelic Choir) in memory of the late Angus Nicol – it will be awarded to the winner of the poetry recitation competition (ages 11-12).

Angus Nicol, was a renowned expert on bagpiping music and lore, distinguished Gaelic scholar, and advocate for Gaelic culture – another huge loss to the Gaelic community.

The fringe brings a treat for fans of the old classic, Oor Wullie, as it can be enjoyed in Gaelic for the first time at the Lochaber High School.

The book, which launches today, is published by the non-profit Cuilean Craicte (Crazy Puppy), was painstakingly translated into Gaelic by Donald W Stewart and Mairi Kidd, with speech bubbles edited by designer Julie-ann Murray.

In the evening, Nàdar will bring the music and songs inspired by the nature of the Highlands and Islands to locals and visitors – featuring performances from some of Scotland’s leading musicians.

John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “It really is special to see youngsters of all ages so engaged in Gaelic culture at the Mòd, and today’s competitions will round off the contest for the under 19s.

“We’re delighted to be able to award a trophy in the name of both the late Charlie MacColl and the late Angus Nicol – both were stalwarts of the Gaelic community, and the trophies are a fitting and lasting legacy.

“The level of competition already this year has been outstanding, and the rest of the week promises to live up to expectations.”