Ness Cemetery – Plot holders in Ness cemetery are reminded that the annual plot fee of £15 for this year is now due and that village collectors will be calling soon related to this.
As we pay this annual fee it reminds us that we are fortunate, and have reason to give thanks to members of the Committee, the caretakers, and gravediggers, past and present, the undertakers who come from Stornoway, the attending church ministers and all who ensure that burials are carried out in a solemn, dignified and professional manner suited to the occasion.
We also have reason to remember with gratitude ward councillors past and present, Mrs Macaskill, Galson, for her work in getting the cemetery road classified for tarring and maintained since then by the council.
Donald Maclennan, Lionel, who worked hard to ensure that our Islands Council assisted with the extension to the east-side of the cemetery in 1991.
Comunn Eachdraidh – We thank Comunn Eachdraidh Nis and those who help to arrange their Thursday afternoon luncheon of soup and sandwiches for the elderly within the community. This luncheon is well attended and appreciated by all who go there for a midweek ceilidh, and some interesting local historical topic of conversation. It is sad that more of our older menfolk do not attend this midweek break, which costs only £4.
Death in Skigersta – The evening of Saturday, March 23, brought to us the sad news that Malcolm Mackay (Calum An Taillear) had passed away at his home at 1A Skigersta, after returning due to failing health from hospital in Inverness and Stornoway.
Calum was aged 75 years. At the time of writing it is expected that the funeral of Calum will be held on Tuesday of this week.
In their bereavement we share our sympathy with his wife, Helen Ann, his sons, Donald and Angus, his sisters, Catherine and Margaret, his brother, Murdo, and all others who mourn at this time.
Clann an Latha an Dè and Comunn Eachdraidh an Taobh Siar. Cò tha seinn an diugh & an dè. Come along to our informal coffee evening and listen to old recordings of local singers and help work out who the singer was! Also, a number of current local singers will perform during the evening. This event will take place at Ionad na Seann Sgoil Shawbost on March 29th at 7.30 pm.
Tong Hall - It would be appreciated if people with articles belonging to the Tong Hall could return them after the school holidays when the Centre will be open every day.
Saturday dates for your diary: There will be a Big Breakfast on April 27. The following two Saturdays there will be Soup and Pudding Lunches. On Saturday, May 18, there will be a Village Clean Up, similar to the annual one held in October each year. On June 22, there will be our annual Village Fête, with team events, stalls and children’s competitions.
Carloway First Responders - A reminder that the First Responders will be holding their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 2nd April in the Carloway Day Centre, starting at 7:30pm. All welcome.
Carloway Football Club - The fixtures for the upcoming football season have been confirmed. Carloway will travel to Rally Park, Tarbert, on Friday 12th April, where they will face Harris in the opening league fixture of the 2013 season. The full fixture list can be seen on the club’s website - www.carlowayfc.co.uk.
Communions - The half yearly communions will be held in Park Free Church from Thursday 11th April through till Monday 15th April, the assisting ministers will be Rev Roddy Morrison (Rtd) and Rev John Forbes.
Good Wishes - We wish all those currently in hospital and those recovering at home following a spell in hospital a speedy recovery.
Easter - Despite the bitterly cold wind our weather has been favourable compared to other parts of the country and we wish all the school children a good Easter break and those home on holiday for Easter a good holiday.
Services – Services in Scalpay Free Church last Sunday were conducted by Iain Morrison, Back.
Communions – Over this weekend Scalpay Free Church (Continuing) are holding their communion services. The ministers assisting are the Rev Alan Murray, senior minister of Rogart, and the Rev Trevor Kirkland, Templepatrick Reformed Church, Ireland.
As we remember these services in our thoughts and prayers, may the Lord abundantly bless all said and done in His name over the coming days.
Condolences – Our sincere condolences are sent to the family, relatives and friends of Donald Morrison, Inverness, who passed away recently.
Donald, or Domhnall Cheois as he was affectionately known, taught Maths for many years in Sir E Scott School, and was latterly Depute Head Teacher there.
As we are conscious of the loss of one who was an excellent teacher, a loyal colleague and a good friend, our prayer is that all who mourn would know the comfort of “the friend that sticketh closer than any brother”.
The Family Fun Day in Lochmaddy Hall on Saturday 23rd March – to raise funds for the Leverburgh Lifeboat Station – was a great success. The pipers and drummers of the Lionacleit School Pipe Band started the proceedings splendidly, marching to the Hall from Morrison’s shop, Lochmaddy, and playing a number of well-known, favourite pieces.
More than 100 people attended the event. There were competitions and stalls, and Cheryl Taylor kindly attended with her relaxing massage chair, giving her time and skills in return for donations to the RNLI.
The Leverburgh Lifeboat crew brought the Lifeboat ‘Royal Thames’ to Lochmaddy Pier and were on hand to explain to people the workings of the boat and their vital role.
Donald MacLean from Berneray led the auction, which raised £1,335. In all, more than £4,000 - a truly magnificent sum - was made, all proceeds going to the Leverburgh Lifeboat Station Fundraising Branch.
The helpers were kept busy on the day. Sheena and Ron were in charge of the competitions: ‘Name the Teddy’, ‘Name the Doll’, ‘Choose the Doll’s Home’, ‘Lucky Square’ and ‘Guess the number of Sweeties in the Jar’.
Chrissie and Anne presided over the baking stall, absolutely loaded with a fantastic array of baking, while Peggy and Effie Anne sold a myriad assortment of bric-a-brac, ranging from garden furniture to books to lampshades. Soup, rolls, teas, coffees and cake were served up by the always unflappable and cheerful Rhoda and Angus Archie, Mary Ann and Lorna.
Ann, Siane, Sue, Isabel and Catriona from the Leverburgh Lifeboat Station Fundraising Branch came over from Harris and cheerfully got to grips immediately with running the RNLI goods stall. Kathleen and Margaret efficiently dished out numerous tickets for the ever-popular raffle and, with his engaging personality, tireless energy and good humour, Donald managed to part people from their money, getting the best possible bids for the auction lots.
The magnificent entertainment was provided by a wide range of talented musicians: as well as the Pipe Band, there were the Feis singers and dancers, Uist & Benbecula Accordion & Fiddle Club, and local groups The Spring Chickens, Na-h-Eileanaich and Vallastrome. John Angus of ‘Na-h-Eileanaich’ not only entertained us with his music, but also set up and managed the sound system for all the performers and the auction and raffle.
We are extremely grateful to the following for donating the fabulous items for auction: North Uist Outdoor Centre, Lochmaddy; Hilton Hotel, Coylumbridge; Cairngorm Mountain Ltd; Celtic Football Club; Rangers Charity Foundation; Runrig; artists Rhodri Evans and Grace Beaton; North Uist Estate; Uist Fish Marketing; Nick Ingledew; the Nicholson brothers; and Angus Macauley.
We would also like to thank Calmac; Langass Lodge; Hebridean Smokehouse; Kallin Shellfish; Iris of Ardmaree Stores, Berneray; Taigh Chearsabhagh; the Café at Taigh Chearsabhagh; Tesco Superstore, Stornoway; Strachans; Ronnie’s Hardware Store; MacLeans Bakery; and everyone else who so generously donated items for the raffle and stalls.
Our thanks go to everyone mentioned in this article and also to the following, who helped make the day such a success: the Lochmaddy Hall Committee for use of the Hall: John MacDonald; the ladies of the SWRI, Lochmaddy; all those who provided such a wonderful array of goodies for the baking stall and refreshments; the staff and customers of Morrison’s Shop, Lochmaddy; the Co-op, Sollas; Bayhead Shop and Clachan Stores for contributions to the ‘Bottle & Can Stall’.
And any other unsung ‘heroes and heroines’ of the day, who fetched and carried, decorated the Hall, cleared up after the event and did anything asked of them – and more!
Last but not least, thank you to everyone who attended and supported the day, giving so generously of their time and money.
The event proved again – if proof were needed – that this may be a small community but it has a very big heart.