Sad memories from the past – On the evening of Tuesday, December 18th, 150 years after what was probably the saddest day in the history of Ness, about 40 people gathered in the Old School in Cross where, under the auspices of Communn Eachdraidh Nis (CEN), assisted by willing helpers a project has been arranged related to that date in December 1862 when 31 young Ness fishermen were lost in what is still referred to in Ness as ‘Am Bathadh Mor’ – The Great Drowning.
The evening was opened with prayer by Norman Thomson, Elder, 40 Cross Skigersta, followed by an introductory and welcome address by Ann Maleod, C.E.N.
After this Colin George Morrison, Barvas, sand the song ‘Oran an Iassaich’, related to the fishing industry in Port of Ness in earlier years, and this was followed by Annie Macsween, C.E.N, giving a summary of all the Ness drownings from 1836 to 1900, with emphasis on the Great Drowning of December 18th, 1862, and its aftermath on all the Ness villages.
This was followed by Mary Smith MBE, Mairi Cheocaidh, giving a rendering of a tape recording of the song composed by Catherine Murray, Catriona Dhonn, 39 Habost, whose husband and his two brothers were lost on that fateful day.
Donald Murray, Domhnall a Ghasain, retired head teacher of Tarbert, Harris, who is formerly from 19 Port of Ness, gave an address on the purpose of this long-delayed project, and the proposed Memorial Cairn to be erected later in the Harbour area of Port.
Although accompanied by sadness, we thank all who helped to arrange this project.
Bliadhna Mhath ur Dhuidh – As we enter the unknown future of another year, we wish readers of this column, where ever they may be, health and happiness throughout the coming year.
Services – Services in Scalpay Free Church last Sunday were conducted by Iain Morrison, Back.
In Hospital – At the time of compiling this Donald Macleod, Fairwinds, and his brother William Macleod, Fairhaven, are both detained in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, and we wish them quick and full recoveries and hope they are soon home again.
Condolences – We extend the sincere condolences of the community to the Rev Alistair and Chrissie Smith, Back, on the passing of Chrissie’s sister, Catriona, recently.
Rev Smith was our minister in Scalpay for thirteen years and Catriona’s many visits meant she was well-known and well-respected on the island.
As they mourn the passing of a much loved sister, sister-in-law and aunt, our prayer is that the family, relatives and friends would all be conscious in these difficult days that ‘the eternal God is their refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms’.
New Resident – Catriona Macsween, Port A’ Bhàta, who has lived for the past while with her daughter Annie and son-in-law Donnie in Stornoway, has entered Blàr Buidhe Care Home, and we wish her every blessing in her stay there.
Scalpay Linen – It is interesting to note characters in the Hobbit film, ‘An Expected Journey’ are wearing outfits made of Scalpay linen, produced by Sheila and John Finlay at no. 37.
Their materials have previously been worn in other films such as ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ as well as on Broadway and Austrian National Opera productions. It is good to see local products so highly thought of in the media world, a testament to Sheila and John Finlay’s skills and marketing expertise.
End of Year – As this is the last news column of 2012 we wish all our readers every blessing for the year ahead and thank everyone (especially Roddy our Outend correspondent) who gave us information over the past year.
Remember what we don’t know we can’t write about, so please continue to phone us with any snippets of news in the community you have.
Carloway Football Club - will be holding their annual dinner/dance at Doune Braes Hotel on Friday 28th December (tomorrow) at 7:30pm, which will be a special occasion following an historic and successful season for the club. After reaching three finals, the club finally managed to win not only their first major trophy but also their first cup double in over half a century - the Co-operative and Lewis cups - both of which will be on display on the night. Before the dance, the buffet and players’ presentations will be held, with the Player of the Year, Player’s Player of the Year and U21 Player of the Year awards to be presented. Tickets for this event cost £14 per person and can be acquired from committee members. Come along and enjoy a night with the players as the club celebrates the achievements of season 2012, an event no supporter will want to miss!
Quirry Night - This fun family event - a combination of a quiz and curry night, hence the name “quirry” - will be held in the Carloway Community Centre on Saturday 29th December as of 6:30pm onwards. First, the curry will be served with mince and tatties on offer as an alternative. Following this, the quiz will take place with teams of at least two people participating. Admission for this event is £5 per person and £3 for children of primary school age. Raffle tickets will also be sold on the night. Come along for an evening of fun!
New Year’s Day Walk - Comann Eachdraidh Chàrlabhaigh will again be hosting the traditional walk to the top of Beinn Ìomhair. Everyone will meet at the Carloway Community Centre at 1pm on Tuesday 1st January, ready for the piper-led procession to set off at 1.30pm. The Carloway Flag will be unfurled on top of the hill, with refreshments to be served to welcome the New Year. In addition, there will be community singing led by members of Còisir Ghàidhlig Chàrlabhaigh – all of which will be weather-permitting, of course, but we haven’t been beaten yet! All welcome.
The community was saddened to hear of the passing of Annie Macaulay of 2 Kirkibost on the 27th November 2012 who passed away peacefully at her home at the age of 82 years.
Annie was brought up in the family home of 2 Earshader daughter of Aongas , Aongais Bheag and Catriona Murchaidh Calum Ban and was one of 5 sisters. She attended primary school in Crulivig and continued her education at the Nicolson in Stornoway. On completion of her education she went to Glasgow where she did her nursing training at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and her midwifery training was carried out at Simpsons in Edinburgh.
She married Neil John Macaulay (Niall Iain Clapper Skipper F.V. ASTRONAUT) in 1953 and they raised a family of four Cathel, Mary, Iain Angus and Neil. Sadly Neil was lost at sea in 1984.
Annie was well known as a gentle, kind and helpful person especially to local fisherman who regarded 2 Kirkibost as the centre of fishing activities in Bernera. Many the Fisherman was given a cup of tea, pancake, and a kind word of encouragement in their home. Annie was an adherent of the Church of Scotland and attended church throughout her life.
The community extend their heartfelt condolences to her family and especially her sister Murdina.
The funeral took place on Saturday 1st December conducted by Rev Ian Murdo Macdonald and the praise was led by elder Finlay Maciver. The internment took place at Bosta Cemetery.
Annie will be greatly missed for her warm and supportive nature by neighbours and the fishing fraternity. She was one of the generation that gave Bernera it’s reputation of hospitality and a warm welcome.