District news January 19th, 2012


Sympathy – We send condolences to the family, relations and friends of the late Mary Ann Smith, who passed away recently.

Mary, who was originally from Lemerway, made her married home in Plasterfield where all were made very welcome, latterly becoming a resident in Dun Berisay Nursing Home.

Pre funeral services were held in Free Church Seminary, Stornoway, with internment taking place in Gravir Cemetery.

Dinner – The annual Senior Citizens Dinner will take place on Saturday, February 4, in Ravenspoint, Kershader, 1pm for a 1.30pm sitting.

In order to get an idea of numbers attending and for catering purposes, could all intending to attend please contact your village representatives or Nellie on 880394 or Donnie on 880456 before Monday January 30.

Congratulations – We send congratulations to Calum Alex and Angela Macmillan on becoming the proud parents of a baby boy Finlay Neil John.

The proud parents have strong Lochs connections, Lemreway and Cromore, and Calum Alex is well known in the singing circuit and we say congratulations to the proud grandparents in Point and Inverness also.

Birthday Wishes – We send Birthday Wishes to Kate Mackay, 2 Gravir, who recently celebrated her 97th birthday. Many Happy Returns.


Eoropie Death – On Tuesday, January 10, we were sad with the news that Johanna Murray of 4 Eoropie, Seonag a Characain, had passed away in the Western Isles hospital.

Johanna, who was aged 90 years and formerly of Skigersta, will be missed and remembered with affection in the Eoropie neighbourhood where she had through the years been resident until due to failing health she was, for the last few months, resident and attended to in the home of her son Kenneth at 21 Port.

After wake worship in Cross Free Church on Wednesday, January 11, the funeral service there on Thursday was taken by Rev Kenneth Ferguson. He was assisted in prayer by Norman Smith, Elder, Lionel, with singing of praise in Gaelic led by Calum Maclean, Elder, and in English by Donald A Morrison, Elder, Cross Skigersta. Rev Ferguson officiated with a solemn address at the graveside on Habost Machair.

In their bereavement we share our sympathy with her daughter Dena, her son Kenneth, the grandchildren and all others in the family circle and friends who mourn at this time.

Death in Oban – Sad news once again came to Ness on Tuesday, January 10, with the news that Angus Campbell affectionately known in earlier years as Angaidh Iain Ruaidh, of 14, and later of 31, Lionel, had passed away suddenly at his home in Oban.

Angus, who was 71 years, had in his working life been in Marine Engineering.

The funeral of Angus, attended by family relatives and friends, was in Oban on Friday, January 13, with the funeral service in Oban Free Church taken by Rev James Beaton, who also officiated at the graveside in the cemetery.

From Ness we extend our thoughts in sympathy to his wife Elsie, daughter Fiona, sons Derek and Innes, the grandchildren and at this time we remember his sister Anne in South Dell, brothers Donald in Liverpool and Rev Roddy John in Tolsta, and all others who mourn in a sudden bereavement.

Ness Centenarian – This week we have pleasure in sending our congratulations and good wishes to our eldest Ness citizen, Williamina Campbell of 8 Port of Ness, who on Monday, January 9, celebrated her hundredth birthday.

Mina, as we all know her, is now in Lochcarron where her two daughters Ann and Christine are resident, and where we hope our ‘Grand Old Lady’ will continue to enjoy good health and happiness.


Lewis Highland Games – The Highland Games Committee has called an AGM to be held on Monday, January 30 at 7.30pm in the Tong Hall.

As a number of current members of the committee are resigning at this AGM it is essential that anyone who is prepared to work for the Games to go ahead this year, must attend the AGM and help form a new committee.

If not enough people indicate a willingness to join the committee, then the Games Company will have to be wound up.

Senior Citizen’s Dinner – It was a welcome sight to see over 50 people attend this function and for everyone to have a great meal as well as to enjoy the entertainment provided.

It was a truly community effort with thanks to the TRA who organised the afternoon. Youth Club members were thanks for serving the meal, while the greatest thanks must go to the younger ladies of the village who prepared and cooked the meal.

Outside organisations – We welcome back the Stornoway and District Round Table to another ‘Themed Night’ this Saturday. Any other organisations wishing to use a room, a small hall or the main hall, should contact George Moody on 07789 548323 to view the accommodation and the kitchen facilities the Centre can provide.


Services – The Free Church Services on January 1, were conducted by Innes Macsween, Pre-Divinity Student, Ness. On January 8 the preacher was Donald Mackinnon, Tolsta, and last Sunday the services were conducted by Billy Macleod, Stornoway.

In the Free Church (Continuing) the services on January 8 were conducted by Rev Daniel Mackinnon, senior Minister of Kilmorack.

In Hospital – At the time of writing this Jean Cunningham, Limepark, is hospitalised in Stornoway and we remember her in our thoughts and prayers, hoping she is soon enjoying better health.

Congratulations – Congratulations to Maggie Cunningham who has been appointed Chairperson of MG ALBA.

Maggie, whose family home is at Fairview, has been involved in the media throughout her professional career, and on behalf of her many friends and relative here, we wish her every success in her latest prestigious position.

Condolences – These are sent to Rachel Cunningham, Stornoway, on the passing of her mother Jessie in Glasgow at the age of one hundred and one.

Jessie, whose father was Fionnlagh Mhic Alasdair and mother Raonaid Mhor, had her family home in Rhu Glas and, although many years away from her native island, always kept in touch and was eager for news from Scalpay.

As we mourn the passing of the oldest lady from here we extend our sincere sympathies to all the family and especially Rachel, who mourns the loss of her mother so soon after her husband Neilly.

May God strengthen and uphold her as He alone can.


SWRI - Regretfully the December meeting of the Harris SWRI was cancelled due to very bad weather conditions.

The first meeting of the New Year took place in Leverburgh School on January 10. Mrs Liz Struthers presided.

Our guest speaker was Mike Walker who brought along his search and rescue dog Druim. Mike gave us a practical insight into the training and independent assessment of dogs that qualify to locate people who have had accidents in difficult terrain.

The victims maybe dead or alive, however the dog finds his ‘body’ by its scent carried on the wind, but is not a tracker animal. The dog handler also has to have had considerable experience as a member of a mountain rescue team.

The Western Isles have now gained a further asset with Mike and Druim for they can be called on by the Police or Coastguard to help in an emergency.,

The vote of thanks was given by Liz Struthers. Mr Walker kindly judged the competitions as follows: Peanut Butter Brownies - 1st Marlene Mitchell; 2nd Cath Dodd; 3rd Gill Scott-Forest, and Aran Knitted Cushion Cover - 1st Cath Dodd; 2nd Gill Scott-Forest; 3rd – Billie Emsden.

The Raffle was won by Cath Dodd. The hostesses for the evening were Liz Power and Val Tombling.


Sad Death - On Saturday December 31st the funeral service of Jim Mattison, Islivig was held in Uigean Church, conducted by Rev Hugh M Stewart and with a large congregation present.

Jim’s untimely death, at the age of 63 and following a short illness, came as a huge shock, especially to the neighbourhood of Islivig and Breanish where he and his wife, Agnes, had come to live a good many years ago in a lovely new home.

It is very hard for all who knew him to come to terms with the fact that he has been removed so suddenly from our midst as he was a friendly and outgoing person, very much involved in community matters and always ready to help his neighbours in any way he could.

He was a pillar of the Uig Community Council and could always be relied upon to represent the local interest at public meetings. A business man with a very progressive outlook, he supported any development that would benefit the community and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Ionad Hiort initiative from the very beginning.

We are going to miss Jim greatly and we extend heartfelt condolences to Agnes, their daughter Amanda and her family, their two sons Jason and Anton, Irene, Jim’s sister and all relatives and friends. Interment was at Ardroil Cemetery.

Funeral - On Monday 2nd January we were back in the same place for yet another sombre and painful occasion, the funeral of 50 year Donald John Maclennan, only son of Marion and the late Calum A Maclennan, 11 Valtos.

Uigean Church was packed to capacity for the service, testifying to the esteem with which Don Don, as he was better known, was held by all who knew him.

An experienced tradesman, he had worked on building projects throughout the island over the years and being a very pleasant and sociable person, he was well known and very well-liked. He passed away at Bethesda Hospice, where he had been cared for towards the end, following a long and relentless illness which he bore with acceptance and fortitude, a very hard providence which has been a source of great sorrow to the community.

It’s difficult to find words to express the sense of loss felt by all, and again, we can only say that Don Don will be greatly missed and that, as a community, we are very much the poorer when we lose not just the old but the middle aged and the young as well.

His funeral service was conducted by Rev Hugh M Stewart, assisted by the Rev William Macleod, retired minister of the Church of Scotland congregation.

Very great and sincere sympathy is extended by all the community to his sorely bereaved mother, now left alone in the home at Valtos, the aunts and cousins, friends and neighbours.

Passed away - On the morning of the above funeral, we heard of the death of our second centenarian within a fortnight, 100 year old Mrs Catherine Flora Macaulay at Bethesda Care Home where she had been very well looked after over the last three years.

Kate, as she has always been known, was the second eldest and last surviving member of the Maciver family of four sisters and one brother of 2 Ardroil and the widow of Donald N Macaulay, [Durlo] of Stornoway, Calgary and Uig.

Kate, who celebrated her 100th birthday at Bethesda last April, was, as she often recounted, born at Valtos, the family moving to Ardroil as part of the 1921 resettlement so that she was the last surviving link with that event of our parish history.

In her youth, she trained as a nanny and worked for years in London where she had many friends in the pre-war Lewis community there, before returning home to look after her elderly parents, a period in her life when she undertook all aspects of croft work. On moving to Calgary after her marriage, her services as an English-trained nanny were much in demand and there was a Gaelic-speaking circle of friends for company.

Holidays were spent in the United States, always visiting Uig friends - on driving south to the American border, as she used to say, they turned left for Montana or right for California! On their retiral, the Macaulays returned to Uig, and settled at Eristeadh, where Kate generously supported all community events with an endless supply of her beautiful craftwork.

Her funeral service was held at Uigean Church, again conducted by Rev Hugh M Stewart, with interment at Ardroil. Kate is survived by her nieces and nephews and their families, all of whom were very mindful of her in her last years and to all of whom sympathy is extended. Her closest relatives in Uig are Mrs Christina Macritchie and family, Mangersta.

Laid to Rest - The interment of 93 year old Neil Angus Morrison, formerly of 29 Breanish and resident for many years in Plasterfield, Stornoway, who passed away on December 31st at Ospadal nan Eilean, took place at Ardroil Cemetery on January 3rd after a service at the Free Presbyterian Church, Stornoway.

Neil Angus and his wife, Katy Mary [Macleod, formerly of 8 Aird] who passed away last year, only moved to Dun Berisay in the last two years, having lived independently in their own home at Plasterfield until then.

Resident there for all their married life, they continued to maintain their close links with the Uig community and are both much missed by relatives and friends who have very pleasant memories of past times.

Sympathy is extended from the community to Neil Angus’ sister, Mrs Catherine Matheson, at Blar Buidhe Care Home, sister in law, Mrs Buchanan, Islivig, brother in law Calum Iain Macleod, Aird, his nieces and nephews and all the close family circle.


Community Survey - For those of you living in the community, between Tolsta Chaolais and Dalmore, who have not completed the important survey regarding development for the Carloway area, there is an opportunity for you all to complete it online.

A link to this survey can be found on the Carloway Community Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/carlowaycommunity.

The aim of this survey is to gauge the level of community confidence and participation in a number of communities throughout the Highlands & Islands.

It includes questions about your attitude to local services, employment opportunities, housing and your aspirations for the development of your community. The work is commissioned by Highlands & Islands Enterprise and is being undertaken in close cooperation with participating communities. The results will be made publicly available. The survey will be repeated in three to five years. Your input is important and will help to shape the future of your community.

FilmG 2012 - The annual Gaelic Film awards have recently nominated videos, where the public can now vote for the best one in the competition by accessing the following link - http://www.filmg.co.uk/gd/films/. Votes must be submitted by Tuesday 31st January.

This year, Tormod MacLeod, of Knock Carloway, has submitted a video called “A-muigh”, which can be viewed on the link provided. We would like to wish Tormod all the very best in the competition, everyone in the community will be voting for you!

Christianity Explored - will be starting on Monday 30th January at 7:30pm, in the Carloway Free Church Manse. This is a seven week course which is open to everyone in the community. Please come along and enjoy the gospel, explained in an informal way with an opportunity to ask any questions that you might have.

Church Fellowship – Catriona Macdonald was the guest speaker when both churches came together for a time of fellowship on Sunday evening. Her talk was based on the acronym; ANDRES. (assist, numbers, development, relationships, English, Spanish). These headings gave the audience an insight into her life and work as a teacher at San Andrés School, Lima, Peru.

Carloway Junior Club – The next Junior Club evening will be a DVD night, commencing at 7pm on Monday 23rd January at the Carloway Community Centre. The children will be able to watch themselves performing in their Christmas panto, “ Fred comes to Carloway”, which was held last month in the Carloway Community Centre.


Gaelic Play - In the community centre Leurbost on Saturday the 21st January at 2pm. The Comann Eachdraidh and the Community Association are organising an event with a new local play Os Mo Chionn Sheinn an Uiseag. The play has a historical theme but is also about events in our community today. The play written by local writer Eric MacDonald was on Radio nan Gaidheal on New Year’s Eve. Tea will be served afterwards and entry is by donation.

Evening Classes - Season has come around again.There are a range of options available:

Boxercise on Tuesdays from 7.30-9pm for 6 weeks from February 6 at Leurbost Community Centre. Register on 01851 822716.

Quilting class on Thursdays 7-9pm for 6 weeks from 26th January at Kershader Resource Centre, ring Roseanne Macleod 860378.

Beginners Conversational Gaelic – Wednesdays 7-9pm for 6 weeks from January 25 at Kershader Resource Centre or Balallan Hall. Contact Maggie 860204.

Pilates Wednesdays 6.45-7.30pm from 16th January at North Lochs Community Centre. All ages & abilities welcome. Kirstie 07715499552

Zumba – Wednesdays 7.30-8.15pm from 16 January at North Lochs Community Centre. All ages & abilities welcome. Kirstie 07715499552 .