Butt to Barra District News 30.5.13

Lewis Pipe Band managed to raise more than  �2,000 towards funds for competing at the Europeans by climbing the Clisham. The band would like to give a huge thank you to everyone who sponsored them, all donation are greatly appreciated.
Lewis Pipe Band managed to raise more than �2,000 towards funds for competing at the Europeans by climbing the Clisham. The band would like to give a huge thank you to everyone who sponsored them, all donation are greatly appreciated.
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Death in Clydebank – on the morning of May 21st the Ness Community were saddened to hear the sudden and tragic news that Gormelia MacDonald nee Macleod, formerly of Eoropie had passed away at her home in Clydebank on the evening of May 20th.

Gormelia was aged 86, and was affectionately known to us all as Millie Mhurchaidh, had along with her late husband Donald John, who was from Scalpay, been resident in Clydebank for many years.

At the time of writing it is expected that her funeral will take place to Habost cemetery at the beginning of next week.

In their time of grief we share our thoughts and sympathy with her two daughters Joey and Ann and with son Iain, the grand children and her sister Christina in Stornoway, and brother Donald in Canada and friends who mourn in this sudden bereavement.


Sympathy - The Bernera and Tir Mor communities were saddened at the passing of Calum John Maciver (Calum John Chalum Fhionnlaidh), on the 16th May, at the age of 80 years.

Calum John died peacefully at home after a prolonged illness lovingly attended to by his wife, Jessie Margaret (Jessie – nighean Murchadh Mhurchaidh Chalum Bhain) Linshader.

Calum John was the eldest son of Calum Fhionnlaidh and Mairi (Iain Tharmoid) of 9 Hacklete, Bernera.

Calum John, Jessie and their son Murdo lived in Gisla where they resided for many years. On retirement moving to Crulivig, Bernera.

Calum John started his early career as a carpenter with his Uncle, the late John Maciver of Breaclete. He became eligible for National Service and was called up into the RNR, and continued service with the Royal Navy Auxillary until the late 70’s.

Calum John was especially able at electrical and mechanical work and was appointed to look after the Gisla Power Station in 1960.

Condolences are extended to Calum John’s widow Jessie Margaret, his son Murdo and daughter-in-law Catherine. Their two sons Colin and Derek, Colin’s wife, Rebecca, great grandson,Calan, and all members of the extended family.

Calum John was a kindly man and particularly helpful to his neighbours. He served as Chairman on the Uig Community Council, also as Chairman of the Council of Social Services in Stornoway and was a Justice of the Peace and Chairman of the Bernera Historical Society.

His funeral took place on the 18th May and was conducted by the Rev.Ian Murdo Campbell and the praise led by Kenny Angie Mackay (Uig). The interment took place at the Bostadh cemetery.


An Gazette Beag – Congratulations to the Gazette team on producing their paper in its innovative new format and best wishes for its continuing success.

We have to say it looked odd on the rack in Uig Shop compared to its predecessor but it’s certainly “user friendly” - much easier to handle and find your way around and also appears to contain more news. Can we have more compact district news, please – make more of a feature of it, perhaps?

Also, this seems a good opportunity to thank the Uig community, at home and away, for their support and interest in this column and to say that hopefully, there will soon be an e-mail address to which news for inclusion can be sent – in English or Gaelic.

Sympathy –the news of the death of Calum John Maciver at his home at 6 Crulivig, on May 16th, was received here with great sadness and regret. Calum John who spent his working life at the Hydro Electricity Station at Gisla was, for many years, a valued and well-respected member of the Uig community who was very much missed when he and his wife, Jessie, moved from Gisla to Crulivig, on his retirement.

On behalf of all here who knew and came into contact with him during these years, we would like to record our appreciation of the unfailingly good service he gave this community, both in his working capacity and as a founding member and later, chairman of Uig Community Council.

He was a very able man who could always be relied upon to have a firm grasp of any situation and the underlying issues, and with the ability to make clear-headed and fair decisions and to retain his pleasant and courteous manner, no matter how difficult the situation.

We extend our condolences at this sad time to Jessie, their son Murdo and his family, and to the wider Maciver family circle.

Art on the Hill – A very special event took place at Reef on Friday, 24th when the new “Suileachan” monument was ceremonially opened and dedicated. It is a large and very symbolic structure of stone walls and circles, connected by an archway made of huge stones.

It was designed by eminent sculptor Will Maclean and his wife Marian Levin and built by talented stone mason, Iain Smith, Stornoway.

It has been erected to commemorate the people of the area who struggled with different aspects of land issues through the years from the 1840s to the 1920s. And particularly in honour of the ‘Reef Raiders’ of the early years of the 20th century whose campaign to win the lands of Reef Farm back for families to settle on was eventually successful, after a long and hard campaign involving fines and imprisonment.

The Chairman of Urras Bhaltois, Dr Colin Macdonald, Reef, gave the initial speech of welcome and was the Master of Ceremonies for the event; Prof Jim Hunter of UHI, gave an address on the historical import of the Land Movement; the Convener of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Cllr Norman Macdonald, made a speech, initially and very fittingly in Gaelic; Shona Mackenzie, Kneep, eldest daughter of Sandy and Tinie, gave a beautiful rendering of Peigi Eiric Smith’s masterpiece, ‘Sgir’ Uig’ and the Rev William Macleod, Barvas, retired minister of Uig, dedicated the monument with Biblical reference and prayer. Finally, the formal opening was carried out by Brian Wilson, who spoke initially in Gaelic. He was assisted by six year old, Mark Macleod, Reef, the youngest member of the village community, representing both the future and the past.

This part of the event finished with a toast by Marian Levin, who spoke on behalf of herself and her husband, Will Maclean.

The event then moved on to the Community Centre where a well-attended and very enjoyable evening followed, with a buffet, ceilidh and dance with music by The Vatersay Boys.

Community Survey – The community is reminded to complete and hand in their Shop Survey forms by the end of this week.

The Shop Management Committee needs to know what the community thinks about the service provided by the shop so as to take action on what needs to be done to ensure its continued existence. They have promised to take account of all wishes, ideas and concerns expressed in the returned forms.

This is an opportunity for all the customers, including those who may not be shareholders, to have their say and, to do so frankly, as the survey is completely anonymous. You can post them or hand them in at the shop in the envelope provided for the purpose.


Big Lunch - The Laxdale Community Association would like to remind the district of the Big Lunch 2013 celebrations on Monday, June 3rd in the Laxdale Hall. There is a change to the time of the Senior Citizens China Tea Party in the afternoon – now taking place at 2.30pm. The family barbeque with céilidh band starts around 6.30pm.

An historical exhibition will be open for viewing throughout the day. The Hall will be open from the morning onwards for donations of baking and we reiterate: anyone requiring a lift to the events, should call Murdo Macleod at 700129, Cathie Mary Macmillan at 705104 or Chrissie Macdonald at 704450.

There is no entry charge, but there will be buckets for donations in various places. Any money raised will be ploughed back into Hall facilities and resources.


Coffee Evening - On Friday the 31st May at 7.30pm at Balallan Hall; Cairdean Cordal Ceann a Loch invite you to come to the hall to meet old friends and make new ones. There will be raffles, tombola and a sales table in aid of the Kinloch Over 60s group funds.

Over 60s Lunch - Fifty five people attended the Over 60’s Lunch at the Community Centre in Leurbost on Saturday 25th May. A great time was had by all and a big thank you from the diners, to those who helped to organise the lavish spread. A very special thanks to the young girls who provided the musical entertainment.


Demise - Murdo Mackay, No 3 Kershader, passed away recently in the Leverburgh Home of Rest where he had been a resident there for the last three years.

In his younger days he was employed as a merchant seaman and following retirement from his seafaring days he worked on the family croft. Murdo could be described as a very pleasant, quiet, unassuming gentleman. Pre funeral services were held in Kinloch Free Church by Rev D Macdonald with interment taking place in the Garyvard cemetery. To his relations and friends we send our sincere sympathy at this sad time.

Sympathy - The community were saddened to hear of the passing of Margaret Campbell, ex 18 Gravir, who recently passed away in Blar Bhuide nursing home.

Margaret or ‘Boidag’ as she was better known was the widow of the late Peter Campbell. Boidag could be described as a true and loyal friend and was a delight to be around always with a kind word for everyone, you could never visit her without sampling her cooking or her baking.

She was a communicant member of Park Free Church for numerous years and her kindness was testament at communion times when there was always a full house. Pre funeral services took place in Gravir church with interment taking place in the nearby Gravir cemetery.

To her daughters Joan and Dolina, her sister and brothers and the extended family we send our sincere sympathy at this sad time in their lives.


Rangers Supporters Club Visit - On a recent sojourn to Stornoway, tug skipper, Iain Goodall, and Julia Macleod of Winfield Close, Balivanich, attended a special function held at the Lewis and Harris Rangers Supporters Club branch, when Ibrox legend and devoted current skipper Lee McCulloch and ex-Rangers star from the 60s Ronnie MacKinnon were in attendance.

It was a memorable occasion for Iain and Julia, as they had their photo taken with McCulloch, which was topped off with the signing of a Rangers top and his autobiography for Julia.

Monday Club – The cafe at An Caladh (The Haven) which is situated at the East Camp in Balivanich has closed, the centre however remains open for the Monday Club. A new format is planned for the Club, along with new furniture, prayer meeting and Church service.

The Monday Club is welcome to all and has in the past been a favourite haunt for patrons who have come to enjoy lunch, games, chat and counsel.