District News: Butt to Barra 6.2.14

Captured on his mobile phone Tommy Stewart's shot shows the sunset in the skies above Aiginish, Point.

Captured on his mobile phone Tommy Stewart's shot shows the sunset in the skies above Aiginish, Point.

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Lochs

Games Night - Balallan Hall Committee will host the first Family Games Night this Friday the 7th February. From 7pm there will be badminton, carpet bowls, table tennis, darts, dominoes and board games.

There will be something for all ages and abilities, so come along for the craic and get some gentle exercise. There will be juice and crisps available for the youngsters and a strupag for the adults. Admission is only £2. The Family Games Night will run every Friday at 7pm.

Author’s visit - Alistair McIntosh brought up at Glenmore Leurbost in the 1960/70s, will be giving a talk at the North Lochs Community Centre Leurbost on Thursday 13th February at 7.30pm.

Alistair an activist in the field of human ecology, will talk about his work studying the natural and social environment in communities throughout the world.

Alasdair is the author of the publications of ‘Soil and Soul’ and ‘Pilgrimage and Spirituality’. The Comann Eachraidh extend a warm welcome to all.

UIG

Annual Dinner – The annual Community Council Dinner for Uig’s Senior Citizens was held in the Community Centre as usual on the last Saturday in January which, this year was the 25th.

About 60 people turned out on a cold and wintry afternoon to enjoy a lovely meal in a festively decorated setting. In the absence of Community Council Chairman, John Maciver, the guests were welcomed by Cllr Norman Macdonald, and grace before the meal was said by Rev Hugh Stewart, Parish Minister.

The cutting of the beautifully decorated New Year cake was a joint affair this year, and was carried out by Mrs MD Campbell, Carishader, and Mr JM Maclean, Breanish.

Everyone enjoyed the company at the dinner and it was good to see some new faces present as well as invited guests from other areas although some familiar local faces were missing due to colds and seasonal complaints.

As usual, we all went home feeling very satisfied and glad to have had the opportunity of attending a lovely community function.

On behalf of all those who were there, we extend sincere thanks to the Community Council for organising the event and to all those who freely gave their time to cook, serve and clear up afterwards; with a special word of thanks to our charming waitresses.

Valtos Centre – There was an informative, drop-in session at the Community Centre on Thursday 30th when Council officers, the design team and directors of Urras Ionaid Bhaltois were at hand to show the plans for the new Valtos Outdoor Centre to the public.

A good number of people from the local community took advantage of the opportunity to find out about the project as we really haven’t been hearing very much detail about it up till now and for some, it’s been difficult to accept that the existing Valtos School building has to be demolished to make way for progress.

Those who attended the event on the 30th have been left in no doubt that the plans show a very fit for purpose design, well-planned to make the most of the site.

The new building will have a prominent two-storey front part, similar to the present front schoolhouse but angled more on to Cliff Beach and with wide windows to make the most of the phenomenal view, joined on to a single-storey string of bedrooms, all with scenic windows.

Shower and storage blocks will be sited behind the main building, set round a courtyard.

There are also to be three self-catering pods on the hill above.

The team showed an on-screen presentation of the design/building materials/exterior finishes as well as having a display of the plans laid out on tables and were very ready to discuss every aspect as well as answer questions and take aboard suggestions.

The plans will now be finalised in detail before being submitted to the planning process and it is hoped that actual work on the site will start in the not too distant future.

We all look forward to seeing an innovative new Centre taking shape to replace the former outdoor facility which was well-used over the years and has been so much missed by schools and youth groups in the area and beyond.

Get Well Wishes – Dr Colin Macdonald, Reef, our former well-liked GP, is very much in the thoughts of all in Uig as he recovers from surgery at Raigmore Hospital and we all extend to him our best wishes for a quick return home and a good recovery.

SCALPAY

In hospital - Katie Macleod, Cnoc an Tobair, spent some days in the Western Isles Hospital recently, but we are glad to report she is now home again and we send her our best wishes for a quick return to health.

At the time of compiling this, Jessie Macleod, Number 37, is hospitalised in Stornoway and we hope she too is soon home again and has a speedy recovery.

Playpark - Tonight (Thursday 6th) at 7.30 pm in the Community Centre, and EGM is being held to discuss the future of the play park.

Our local councillor D.J. Macrae has organised this important meeting and it is vital that all with an interest in this invaluable amenity attend.

Correction - In my article last week on the late Dolina Mackenzie, her birthplace was wrongly written as Ardhasaig, when of course it should have been Ardnasaig, where the family home was the present Seaside House.

New signs - We note from the Gazette that signs to warn of otters crossing are to be erected at each end of the Scalpay bridge.

Hopefully these will be more effective than the wind signs we have at present, which often warn of high winds on flat calm days and register nothing in stormy weather! 
SKYE

Family Learning Event at Sabhal Mor Ostaig - The Community Learning & Development Review Group for Gaelic (CLADRG) is pleased to announce that a Family Learning event for Gaelic-speaking families will be held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (SMO) on the Isle of Skye during the week beginning Monday , July 7th.

This week-long event is open to families with children being educated through the medium of Gaelic.

The week offers the opportunity for parents to attend one of the college’s language courses while their children take part in a wide range of sports, arts and other activities (e.g. archery and kayaking) through the medium of Gaelic.

This year’s event will build on the success of the previous ten annual events and the college will again be dedicated to the event for its duration.

Last year 40 families from across the Highlands, Islands and the central belt took advantage of the opportunity to learn and play in a Gaelic-speaking environment at the college in Sleat in the south of Skye and all were enthusiastic about the benefits of the experience.

For more information, and for an application form, families should contact the Project Co-ordinator by e-mail on flw.clad@yahoo.co.uk or by telephone on 0797 273 5413.

Application forms must be returned to the Project Co-ordinator by March 28th at the latest. Places are limited, so early submission of applications is recommended. Families will be advised during April whether their applications have been successful.

Western Isles

AGM - The formal AGM of the Outer Hebrides Tourism Industry Association will take place on February 12th in Stornoway at 6pm - venue to be announced. For more information log on to: www.hebridean-tourism.org