Butt to Barra District News

editorial image

BENBECULA - Lights, Camera, Action!

Budding film students from across Scotland were treated to a one-off show of work they had completed as part of their Higher, and National 5 Media courses at a unique screening at the Glasgow Film Theatre.

The pupils, who all submitted their film projects as part of the National Qualifications they sat in 2016, were treated to a showcase of the cinematic submissions, covering a host of genres including thriller, comedy, action, horror, documentary, and advertisements.

Among the pupils having their work shown on the silver screen was Iain MacPhee from Sgoil Lionacleit on Benbecula, whose film ‘A Day in the Life of’ wowed the audience.

Casting an expert eye over the pupils’ work was Glasgow based writer, director and producer, Alan de Pellette, who has worked on a number of iconic Scottish TV programmes, including Chewin’ the Fat and Still Game, and has been a prominent elected member of BAFTA Scotland since 2010.

Alan gave the pupils an inspirational speech about his own career, and explained what it takes to succeed in the creative industries.

Alan said that the students’ experiences working for their Higher, and National 5 qualifications in Media would serve them well for potential careers in the creative industries.

Alan added: “I was well into my thirties before I had my first screening at the Glasgow Film Theatre, so all of you who are 17 or 18 now are already well ahead of me!” Janet Brown, SQA’s chief executive was also among the audience at the screening, said: “I’ve been extremely impressed by the creativity, and technical expertise the students have demonstrated as part of their course. “The final products, the films themselves, have been outstanding, and I wish each and every one of them the very best in their future careers.”

Thought of the Week - Help for Syrian families

We have some Syrian ladies who use the knitting group facilities at St Peter’s Church Hall every Tuesday between 11am - 1pm.

This is a wonderful opportunity for them to improve their English language skills, as well as getting to know people in the Stornoway area.

I have been deeply moved by the help that has been extended to all the Syrian families that we now have living on the Island.

So many people have volunteered via the system set up by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, to help them settle in and I hope that this has been a successful venture. The recent events taking place in Syria with the alleged use of chemical weapons is a disturbing step in this continuing conflict. When I see pictures on the television of people affected by, and dying because of the symptoms of this type of attack it really saddens me. War saddens me. Not a day passes when we are witness to terrible suffering somewhere in the world.

Now we have families living among us who may have actually experienced that suffering. I hope they feel safe. I hope they feel loved. I hope they can re-build their lives as we stand by their sides. I thank God each and every day that there are so many good and selfless people on these islands and I pray it continues to be so.

Blessings Always, Reverend Terry Taggart

WESTER ROSS - Arctic Convoys

An exciting new event, the Loch Ewe World War II Festival has been launched in Poolewe, Wester Ross to show-case the intrepid Russian Arctic Convoys that braved the North Atlantic passage to Russia in extreme weather and war-time conditions.

A two-day extravaganza of military and naval re-enactments on May 6 and 7th in Loch Ewe and Aultbea will be complemented with a movie night, Highland Swing band, D-Day Darlings singers to reminisce along with some serious vintage glamour and military style.

This being the 75th Anniversary of the first Convoys from Loch Ewe to Russia, military and cultural representatives, veterans and guests from Russia, Britain and the USA will be attending to mark this momentous era with a special memorial service at Rubha Nan Sasan, at the head of Loch Ewe.

Over the course of the weekend, visitors and WWII enthusiasts alike will have a chance to see war-time vehicles including a Soviet T34 tank, half-track personnel carrier; full-size replica Spitfire and Messerschmitt planes, plus re-enactors in full costume.

The Russian sail training ship “Yuny Baltiets” from St Petersburg will also visit with its crew plus around 40 Russian sea cadets.

Visitors will also have a chance to sail around the bay on the Sealife Glass Bottom Boat.

A contingent of the Royal Marine Band and local pipe bands will be making the event extra special with performances over the weekend.

The festival will also see the official opening of the new Arctic Convoy Exhibition Centre at Aultbea to make the area a dynamic and engaging destination highlighting the naval fleet locations, coastal batteries and billets that will undoubtedly draw people from across the UK and the world to view this outstanding maritime and military heritage.

Find out more about the festival and to buy tickets go to: http://www.theracproject.org/festival2/tickets.php


This Saturday, April 15, a Spring Bazaar will take place between 11am and 1pm in Lochmaddy Hall. A large variety of stalls, home baking, teas and coffees.

Any enquiries to Effie Ann MacPherson on 01876 500257.”


The Great Bernera Community Development Trust are holding their AGM on Thursday the 20th April at 7.30pm in the Hall. Complimentary Light refreshments will be available.

The Agenda will include the Chairperson and Treasurer’s Reports, with updates on the Buyout, the Pontoon/Harbour Project and the situation re. the Shop. There will also be the election of board members (3 current Directors/Trustees are stepping down and we also have vacant places for 2) there will be Local advertising about this for all who may be interested. We welcome all residents and members to this event to hear about all the latest developments.