Butt to Barra District News

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GREAT BERNERA

Bernera Trust - It was announced this week that Bernera has been offered £100,000 from the Land Fund to assist with the purchase of the island.

This award was given to reflect the valuation of the island and it is now hoped that progress can be made to reach an agreement for the purchase from the Estate. The Trust hope to meet with the Estate representatives as soon as possible in order to progress this.

School News - Well done to Andrew Macinnes from Breaclet who was one of the lucky applicants to win a free place at St. Andrews University Summer School.

The four day presentations included evening activities and a very interesting and informative presentation from a NASA astronaut who had spent six months in the international space station and also from a NASA engineer.

This taster course also gave Andrew an insight into University life.

Amy Macleod, Cara Gilmour and Lorna Latimer, all sixth year students at the Nicolson Institute attended their graduation ceremony this week to be presented with their leaving certificates.

We wish them all well in their chosen careers and also to their fellow student Sarah Maclean who is hoping to go into nursing after she finishes her course at Lews Castle College shortly. We also wish Sarah a quick recovery from her operation this week.

Faith Longmuir and Rebecca Macaulay from Bernera primary attended the Nicolson Institute this week for their induction days.

At the other end of the school Leah Sinclair attended for her induction days at Bernera school. We hope all the girls enjoyed their days at their new schools.

Sympathy- The funeral of the late Calum Mackay from Uig took place on Saturday 13 June. Calum’s wife Annette is from 17 Kirkibost and the sympathy of the community is sent to her and her family.

TONG

Survey - During last January’s storms there were quite a number of houses in Aird, Tong which did not have electricity for three days.

At their meetings in May, Tong Community Council discussed what could be done to help people who might have problems dealing with such a situation again.

Tong Community Council will be issuing a survey to all the houses in Tong and Aird, Tong. These surveys will be delivered and collected by some Tong teenagers, as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

For the residential part of this award they are spending two weeks in July helping at an orphanage in Kenya.

Tong Community Council will be donating money to the teenagers to help with the expenses of going to Kenya.

LOCHS

Coffee Evening - Comann Cairdeil Kinloch the Over 60s group, are holding a Coffee Evening in Balallan Hall on Friday 19th June from 7-9pm. The group are fundraising for their annual trip to Nethybridge between 30th June and 4th July. Twenty two members will be participating in the outing.

Table Top Sale - Balallan Hall Committee are hoping to have a Table Top Sale on Sat 11th July at 2pm in Balallan Hall. Anyone wishing to have a table please call 07760348748 by 6th July.

Any Lochs community group wishing to share information on coming events or activities contact Maggie Smith maggiesmith@hebrides.net or 07554665549

HARRIS

Russian Medal - A native of Cluer, Harris has been presented with a commemorative medal and wrist watch by the Russian Government.

Ninety-four year old Donald Mackinnon, better known as Domhnall Sheumais, received this award for his service on the Arctic run during The Great Patriotic War between Russia and Germany from 1941 - 1945.

He reached the rank of P.O. during World War II, but sadly it was at this time that his father James Mackinnon was drowned at sea whilst serving on the MV Pizarro.

The book Survival Against the Odds, written by Donald John Macleod, gives an interesting and sometimes amusing account of Donald’s war years.

Donald has not been keeping well for a while now, and sadly lost his wife Ann, three months ago. As Donald was unable to attend the ceremony, his latest recognition was received by his daughter Morag Wright, on his behalf.

His daughter said: “The family are so proud of what dad achieved and it’s nice to see him get this recognition.”

UISTS

Awards for All - A new local market in Grimsay bringing the highest quality produce to the local community is one of 31 projects across the Highlands and Islands sharing in over £220k from Awards for All Scotland.

The new weekly food and craft market will be set up for people living on the Uists thanks to a grant to the The Grimsay Community Association of £7,300. The market will be held every Wednesday, 3-6pm. The first market is on Wednesday 17th June.

WESTERN ISLES

Gearing up for the Mod nan Eilean Siar 2016 - The Mod nan Eilean Siar 2016 local committee have been busy with a number of events taking place over the past few months aiming to raise as much money as possible in the lead up to October 2016.

Have you attended any of the events? If not, fear not - there are a number of other events lined up over the coming weeks.

On Friday 26 June, there will be a Soup and Pudding lunch at the Newton Centre on Seaforth Road. A wide range of soups and pudding will be available to sit-in or takeaway, for just £5! Later that evening why not head over to the Uig Community Centre for a Tatties and Herring Evening?

The cost will be £10 per person and a ceilidh dance with entertainment provided by the local committee will take place following the meal.

Tickets are available at An Comunn Gàidhealach Office, Perceval Square and the Uig Community Shop.

So please join us for these events and ‘like’ the ‘Mod nan Eilean Siar’ page on Facebook to keep up with the latest news and events!

TRIBUTE

Katie Ann MacLean - Katie Ann MacLean, who died recently in her 102nd year at Dun Berisay Nursing Home Stornoway, was the last of the pre-world war Gaelic Mod Gold Medallists; therefore, her passing marks the end of an era.

In 1938 she was one of the many Highland girls ‘on service’ in the greater Glasgow area, where the Royal National Mod festival was to be held that year.

Katie Ann competed in, and won, the Ladies Gold Medal. The men’s winner was Alexander Brown from the Isle of Luing.

This was the last National Mod before its temporary suspension, until 1946, on account of the War’s upheaval. Nevertheless, during 1939 Katie Ann performed on concert stages at various venues in Scotland and London.

However, the distress of the World War conflict saw her return to Shawbost, Lewis, where she married a local lad, Angus MacLeod, by whom she had a son and daughter.

Thereafter, a life of domesticity followed as wife, mother, and ‘ere she passed away, a great-grandmother. A chuid de Pharas dhith.

Submitted Norman MacLeod