With lots of visitors on the island and with a full programme of events for everyone, this year’s Berneray Week was a resounding success. 2011 marks 25 years since the opening of Berneray Community Hall and celebrating this significant event gave a welcome additional dimension to this year’s programme.
The week started with a popular ceilidh dance with Calum Iain MacCorquodale providing the music. The 10k race was, as usual, very competitive and greatly enjoyed with the beautiful island course attracting many compliments. Family events included Sports Day on the machair, the Berneray Week Treasure Hunt, the Beach BBQ with an enormous bonfire, and the Sandcastle Competition. Two other excellent ceilidh dances featured the Monach Isles Ceilidh Band, and Iain Angus MacLeod and his band. Quiz Night was a lively, entertaining occasion, contested by around ninety people in about twenty informal teams.
To celebrate the 25th birthday of the Community Hall, Berneray Historical Society presented an evening of reminiscence supported by an excellent photo exhibition. This was followed by a buffet showcasing food from Uist. This promotion of locally produced food, a valuable enhancement of Berneray Week, was made possible by support from Scotland’s Islands.
Gaelic featured strongly in the programme. Bord na Gàidhlig supported successful Ulpan method Gaelic classes this year, and, with support from Comunn na Gàidhlig, popular Gaelic song classes featured in the programme. The week closed with a memorable Gaelic concert supported by Comunn na Gàidhlig. Jenna Cumming and Tormod Macartair, joined by local performers, sang, played and entertained us during an outstanding evening of Gaelic culture. To celebrate 25 years of the Hall, the evening featured a Grand Prize Draw.
Thanks to the enthusiasm and hard work of many Berneray residents, the generosity of many donors of gifts in cash and kind, and the participation of so many friends and visitors, Berneray Week 2011 was one to remember!