a three day symposium was recently held to celebrate the centenary of the founding of the village Geirnis in South Uist.
A photographic exhibition was created by the village giving the history of each croft from first settlers to present day.
The exhibition was held in the Taigh Ceilidh at 4.00pm and opened by Mrs Dolly MacIntyre, the oldest resident of the village, alongside Amelia Morrison the youngest resident.
Linda Fabiani MSP, who has close connections with the village, gave the formal address to declare the event open to a crowd of 70 people and visitors have been in every day since/
Sunday Mass was celebrated by Bishop Toal, Fr Michael MacDonald, Fr Donald MacKay, Fr Calum MacLellan and Deacon Martin Matheson in view of the ruined site of Garryfluich of the first post Reformation Catholic Church in Uist. More than two hundred people attended the service on a bright sunny afternoon, with wonderful music.
Dr Mary Low and Jo MacDonald, broadcaster, gave their talks on Sunday afternoon and evening to a full house of 60 people.
Monday morning’s talk by Fr Michael MacDonald on the history of the village from Estate and Parish records was riveting and will be repeated in the evening of 11th August at Gerinish.
Mary Bremer gave an interesting talk on life in the village as she grew up there in the 50’s and 60’s and more than 40 people went on the Machair walk led by Anne MacLellan, CNE-Siar biodiversity officer.
The Monday evening piping concert was a full house at Iochdar Hall, with some of the local young pipers being given the opportunity to shine, Mairi MacInnes, Fiona MacLellan, Michael Steele and Haley MacKay.
Pipe Major Donald MacPhee whose grandfather came from Gerinish before emigrating was a true master of his craft and was given a standing ovation. Fred Morrison and Mathew Watson brought the evening to an even higher level and their encore was outstanding.
Tuesday opened with Donald MacKenzie giving a talk on Rangehead which was well attended as was the discussion following. The school’s history was visited and discussed at length before going on another walk this time towards East Gerinish on the moor side to contrast with the machair.
The Grand Ceilidh hosted by Morag MacDonald BBC Radio nan Gaidheal was a complete sell out with standing room only offered to late arrivals. The line up was again outstanding with three local singers taking the stage: Josie Burgess, Seumas Campbell and Peggy ‘Lexy’Campbell followed by the young dancers from Dochas Abby and Stephanie MacPhee, Hugh Patterson, Ailsa MacDonald and Chloe MacDonald, and Isabel Patterson on the fiddle.
Gillebride MacMillan launched his new CD ‘Air Forladh’ to great acclaim after hearing him sing two of the tracks. Donald MacPhee played his Pipes with Gerinish tunes by John MacDonald, Shores of Loch Bee and the Road to Gerinish, Deoch n Dorus played a couple of sets.
The evening contained a tribute to Tom Sloss who grew up in Gerinish, with film supplied by MNE which was appreciated by all and this was followed by Nollie playing some of Tom’s favourites with Paul Sloss.
The evening was brought to a close with sets by Fred Morrison and Mathew Watson which brought the house to its feet. It was a fantastic few days in the north part of South Uist matching the verve and humour found in the southern part of Uist during Ceòlas week.