Sheep Dog Trials- On Thursday July 18th, in favourable weather the annual Sheep Dog Trials were held on Lionel Machair when competitors from home and away, again gave a demonstration of what one man and his dog can do. We are indebted and thank Donald Macritchie, and all others who help year after year to arrange the interesting spectacle and the skills associated with it on Lionel Machair.
Memories- An item in this paper last week that Tigh An Uillt Port of Ness was for sale brought back memories to the older generation of the activity associated with the post office there in earlier years, when, before cheques and plastic cards were heard of, the old post office with the post master Gordon Macleod was the only way where the old aged pensioners of ten shillings per week could be collected by those who were entitled to it.
We hope that Tigh An Uillt with its impressive stone wall surroundings will remain as a reminder to coming generations of a post office service, which is still in Port at another location, and which according to old diary records opened, at what is now Ocean Villa, on the 12th of July 1888 with postal orders beginning in April 1890.
Condolences - The following tribute was written by John MacNeill, of Garenin and Glasgow, in memory of the late Coinneach Uilleam Domhnallach: “The sudden death of Coinneach Uilleam Chalum Neill was a huge shock to his many friends in Glasgow, Carloway and Shawbost. Although he had many health problems during the last years few of us expected the end to be so quick.
Coinneach Uilleam was the youngest of three sons of Calum Neill and Mairi Choinnich of Gearrannan. His mother died from TB when he was only four years old and it couldn’t have been an easy childhood although Coinneach was always a cheery and pleasant personality. He did his National Service in the RAF and afterwards joined the Glasgow Police. When he left the police he spent a lot of his time helping in after school clubs in disadvantaged areas of the city.
He later took a course in Community Education and graduated in Jordanhill College of Education. Coinneach was a long-time member in the Tron Church of Scotland and in latter years he attended Dowanvale Free Church of Scotland evening services.
He also attended the monthly Gaelic services and he was always in the Saturday cafe where he was a good communicator and a willing listener to the many problems which troubled many of the people who came to the cafe.
Many of them gravitated to Coinneach because of his pleasant and helpful nature. Our sympathy goes to his surviving brother, Finlay, who has many health problems of his own,to his sister-in-law, Chiorstaidh Ann, and to his nephew Calum, and his niece, Mairi. As for me, his death removes another stone from the wall of my Gearrannan childhood and almost all that remains is memories.”
Summer Club - The Carloway churches are running a holiday club for pre-school and primary children everyday from Monday 29th July to Friday 2nd August, between 10:30am and 12:30pm in the Carloway Community Centre. All children are welcome to attend.
Carloway Football Club - Carloway travelled to Uist last Saturday, where they took on Eriskay in the Quarter-finals of the Co-operative Cup.
Impressively, Carloway ran out 9-3 winners, thanks to goals from man of the match Kenny “Dokus” MacDonald, who scored five, Dan Crossley (2), Fraser MacLeod and Seumas MacLeod.
Following this big scoreline, the ‘way took on Stornoway Athletic last Monday at Goathill, in the Lewis & Harris Football League.
With Carloway seven points clear, despite playing two games more than their nearest challengers, a win against the League champions was crucial if they were to enhance their chances of winning that coveted first-ever League championship.
After a strong performance, Carloway ran out 3-0 winners thanks to a stunning goal from Murdo “Squegg” MacLeod, as well as goals from goal-machine Fraser MacLeod, who has now scored an incredible 44 goals this season, and Kevin “Gochan” MacLeod.
The important victory leaves Carloway ten points ahead as of Monday 22nd July, with Aths to play their game in hand against Harris on Wednesday (last night).
Match reports for both matches can now be read on the club’s website - www.carlowayfc.co.uk. Carloway now have five League fixtures remaining, with Lochs being the next in line to face Carloway.
This fixture will take place on Friday 26th July (tomorrow) at Cnoc a’ Choilich. Kick off at 7pm.
Meanwhile, the draw for the Co-operative Cup Semi-finals was held last Monday. Carloway will take on Lochs again at the same venue as Friday, on Monday 29th July. Kick off at 7pm. Come out and support your team as they bid to retain the Co-operative Cup and edge closer towards the League title.
Many bonds of camaraderie were forged and old acquaintances rekindled on Monday June 3rd at the Laxdale Hall, at the second Big Lunch celebration and exhibition organised by the Laxdale Community Association.
This event was part of the Big Lunch national UK-wide initiative to bring neighbours together, in which almost 10 million people took part.
Buoyed by this aspiration, a team of willing and tenacious helpers gathered from early on that morning in the Hall.
In the spirit of co-operation, seasoned with good humour, the work was accomplished in such a way that the hours flew past until our guests started arriving for the Senior Citizens Afternoon Tea Party.
We were especially gratified to see two of our former residents who are now in nursing home facilities join us, bought by their solicitous families.
The musical contributions of the Laxdale School were much enjoyed by all, before everyone tucked into the bounty of cakes, irrigated by numerous cups of tea and sparkling conversation.
After a while viewing the extended and re-arranged historical exhibition of Laxdale Community life, everyone came back into the Hall to watch the restored video of the 1992 Christmas Dinner in the then newly re-built Laxdale Hall.
This was most poignant for everyone, as much loved faces from our past seemed to be communicating – and singing - again to us.
This was filmed that day by the late Mr Donald (Dana) Macphail, 76 Newmarket. What a precious legacy that film of his is to us as a community.
In the evening, a large number of families came for the barbecue and céilidh. Thankfully, the evening was dry – how often God’s hand is in these things – so everyone was able to enjoy their burgers in the balmy evening air.
The skirl of the 4 Macs Band got everyones’ feet tapping and was a great soundtrack to the rhythm of conversation.
As was the case in the afternoon, folk were interweaving between the barbecue and the exhibition.
Considering how rare it is to see children playing on our streets, drawn as they are to the television and computer games today, it did the hearts of many of us good to see the Newpark road filled with children from the top to the bottom.
Village halls were built to enrich the lives of families – and it certainly was a hub for all the generations that day.
Almost before we finished, Maggie Ann (Tàcan) Macdonald, brought up at 122 Newmarket, won her first ever raffle hamper, to everyones’ delight ( not least to her two brothers and sister who were with her).
The night came to a close by everyone gathering on the street to watch the Chinese Lanterns being lit, and then soaring (mostly) into the sky.
The Association was especially gratified on the day to have an evocative booklet of memories of life in the district sent to the event by Mrs Catherine Montgomery-Blight, formerly of the Old Schoolhouse, Laxdale School.
She is the daughter of the late Mr Murdo Montgomery, Headmaster of the School in the 1930s’.
We are indebted to Mrs Blight, now resident in Cornwall, for the effort she has taken for this. We hope to procure more copies of the booklet for the community in the near future.
We now look forward immensely to next year’s event. Until then, may the garland of friendship be evergreen, cultivated by the ties of kith and kin.
In loving memory of our cherished neighbours and friends Joey Mary Macdonald, Katie Ann Mitchell, Muranne Macdonald and Calum Graham.
Pairc Social Club - This years annual Sale of Work took place on Saturday 13th July in the Pairc School Gravir with this years sale being organised by the Pairc Social Club.
As always a good crowd came out to show their support. Before the official opening Melissa Jeffery, a member of the Kilbarchan Pipe Band entertained the crowd with a few tunes on the bagpipes.
The show was officially opened by Maretta Campbell. There was all the usual stalls, including ‘Guess the weight of the Salmon and dumpling, guess the number of sweets in the jar and plenty raffles. It was good for all, old friends and new to meet and catch up over a cuppa.
Thanks go to the community for their support, all who helped in various ways, gave donations, special mention to those businesses outwith the area who also gave their support, all helping to raise the magnificent sum of £735.00.
Holidays - Once again its nice to see old friends and new home for the holidays in the South Lochs area and the weather is particularly favourable. It is hoped that one and all have an enjoyable, relaxing holiday whilst with us.
Members of Comann Eachdraidh Cheann a Tuath nan Loch made their way to the deserted village of Steimrebhagh in the Pairc district on Saturday 29th June.
The weather was glorious for the society’s first summer walk. On Saturday 17th August there will be a walk on the coast between Barvas and Brue.
If you would like to join the walkers for fresh air and a leisurely stroll meet at Cameron Terrace at 10am to car share to the Westside.
The Comann Eachdraidh and friends would like to wish Happy Birthday to former NLHS Chairman, Donald Morrison Domhnall Caley (Grimshader) now living in the Garrabost Care Unit. Donald will be 90 years young this week.
Lochside Arena: The new indoor facility opened by Princess Anne two weeks ago, is the venue for the Riding Club Camp this week.
The Arena is soon to play host to a fully incorporated Riding for the Disabled Association. It is hoped that the Lochside RDA is going to be up and running by the end of the summer.
The committee need to finance new equipment, instruction fees and the initial costs of setting up the RDA group.
So your fund raising ideas are welcome! Or if you would like to assist as a helper at the new club, contact email@example.com.
Lochs Show: The Show is on this Saturday at Laxay Show ground from 12pm. Admission is £4.00 for adults and children are free.
After the show from 6-8pm there will be curries available. This will be followed by a dance with The Cast Ewe Ceilidh Band.
Lochs News - If you would like to see your club or community organisation’s event mentioned in the district column send details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Services - In the absence of the minister, Services with Scalpay Free Church last Sunday were conducted by Donald John Morrison, Maaruig.
Garden Party – Donald John and Lisa Macsween, Dunarin, attended the Queen’s Garden Party in Edinburgh recently along with several others from Harris and a number from the Western Isles.
New Babies - Congratulations to Marc and Alison Young, Inverness, on the birth of a son, Ethan John. Alison’s family home is at Failte, Laggandoin, and we remember proud grandparents John and Christina at this happy time.
We also send best wishes to Finlay and Anisha Macdermid, Kyle, on the birth of a son, Bobby William James.
Finlay’s family home is at No. 24 and we wish him, his wife and the new arrival every blessing on this joyous occasion.
In Hospital – Since my last news William Macleod, Fairhaven, and Mary Morrison, Doune Cottage, spent some time in hospital but we are glad to report they are now home again and we wish them a speedy and full recovery.
At the time of compiling this Neil Macleod, 8 Parkview Terrace and Mrs Annie Kate Morrison, Lonban are in hospital in Glasgow and in Inverness and we wish them a quick return to better health.