District News - Butt to Barra

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STORNOWAY

Convention meets - The Scottish Women’s Convention is coming to Stornoway, putting such issues as housing, employment, welfare and health in the spotlight. The Convention will be held on Tuesday, August 23, from 11am-1.30pm in Stornoway Town Hall. The event is free with lunch provided.For more information or to register email info@scottishwomensconvention.org or call 0141 339 4797.

UIG

Annual gala - Uig Community Centre Association would like to thank absolutely everybody who supported our annual gala at the beginning of July. Hosting the event each year involves a great deal of advance planning and preparation, and it simply would not happen without the involvement of different people at different stages. Our thanks go to those who prepared the site by setting up the marquees and stalls with everything we needed to get the gala up and running, and who, at the end of the afternoon, still had the energy to dismantle the whole site again and leave it spotless; folk with assorted trailers, tractors, machinery and muscle power; the stall holders, who set up their pitches and kept the gala going for the afternoon with energy and enthusiasm; everybody who generously donated prizes for our raffles and the tombola; the use of the burger van; those who organised and ran the food stalls and everybody who baked for our tea tent; all the agencies and clubs who came to entertain us; Seatrek for the toilets, trailer and the thrills of the boat rides; Scottish Salmon Company for its generous support, and special thanks to absolutely everybody who came to Uig to share our afternoon in the sunshine and to help us raise funds for our community centre. Every year, we are amazed and touched by your generosity, good humour and patience. We appreciate each and every one of you! The net amount raised this year was just over £10,000.

NORTH UIST

Family fun day - A fundraising event in aid of the RNLI will be held on Saturday, October 1, in Lochmaddy Hall from 11am to 4pm. A programme of music and dance is planned, together with various stalls (including the RNLI stall, home baking, bric-a-brac) and competitions, children’s fancy dress, a raffle and silent auction, plus refreshments. Subject to operational commitments, the Leverburgh Lifeboat will be at Lochmaddy Pier for people to visit. This promises to be a fun event for all the family. Watch out for further details in future issues of the Stornoway Gazette.

WESTERN ISLES

Your views wanted - Have you, a family member, friend, or someone you know had, or is having, an issue with alcohol or drug misuse? If so, the Outer Hebrides Alcohol & Drug Partnership wants to hear from you about the services you, or someone you know, have experienced.By sharing your experiences and thoughts, your information will help identify gaps in local alcohol and drug misuse services and build a detailed listing of the alcohol and drug support services offered throughout the Outer Hebrides. We want to know: If you received the help you needed when you needed it?; What services helped you?; What did you find useful and helpful?; What did you feel was missing or could have been done differently? What further support could be offered to those affected by alcohol and drug misuse? Please come along and share your views and experiences at one of our drop-in sessions: Lewis – Wednesday, August 31, from 10am-3pm, The Shed, Francis Street, Stornowa; Harris – Thursday, September 1, from 11am-3pm, The Harris Hub, Tarbert; Uist – Wednesday, September 14 from 10.30am-3.30pm, Cothrom Learning Centre, South Uist; Barra – Tuesday, September 13, from 2.30-5pm and 7-9pm, The Youth Cafe, Castlebay.

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK

Over the past several weeks I have had the privilege to conduct four weddings; one at St Peter’s Church in Stornoway, the other three at St Moluag’s Church in Eoropaidh.

I don’t use the word ‘privilege’ lightly.

Officiating at celebrations such as these gives me the opportunity to meet and talk with the extended families and friends of those being married and it really is a joy to do so because the likelihood is that, in most cases, our paths may never cross again in this lifetime.

I endeavour to make the best of my time finding out about where they’ve travelled from, their association with those

being married and, of course, whether they enjoyed the service! Fortunately, to date, there has been no discouraging feedback.

Over the course of a few hours, there is so much we can find out about each other and its nice that people are prepared to share stories with me.

One thing I have learned and continue to hone in my ministry though is the art of listening.

When someone really listens to you then there is value in their company that can provide so much comfort.

When it’s your turn to listen, try to do so with respect and empathy because if you do, you will not only understand what a person is experiencing but you will also walk a mile or two in their shoes.

And maybe that is just what they want you to do. Blessings always.

Submitted by Rev. Terry Taggart