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There was standing room only in Tarbert Community Centre on Tuesday evening, as the newly formed North Harris Free Church celebrated the induction of its new minister.

In the picture, Rev David Macleod (right) is welcomed to his charge by his father, Rev Donnie Macleod, (retired).


Deadline for Barvas Estate Area Ballot - A reminder that the Postal Ballot Papers must be received by no later than 4pm today (Thursday) to be included in the Count.

The Counting of votes will take place in Barvas Hall tonight at 7.30pm and the Count is open to the public.


Annual Dinner – the Community Council’s Pensioners’ Dinner was held this year on Saturday, January 31st.

Although the weather outside was very wintry, the Community Hall was warm and welcoming with beautifully decorated tables.

More than 50 people sat down to a lavish and nicely cooked three-course meal, the MC was Cllr. N A Macdonald and grace was said by Rev Hugh Stewart.

This year, the festive cake was cut by John Murdo Maclean, Breanish, and Mrs Jessie Buchanan, Carishader. After the meal, musical entertainment was provided by Cristin Mackenzie, Valtos, on pipes, and friends, on accordion and drums.

It was a very enjoyable occasion, held to be the best ever by some of the guests, all of whom are very appreciative and wish to express their thanks to the Community Council and to all who helped with the cooking and serving of a memorable meal. Our only grumble is that we have to wait a year for the next one.

Demolished – in the wake of the severe storm of early January, workmen have been busy repairing damage to properties all over this area but the old Mangersta School building was apparently damaged beyond repair and has now been demolished.

In private ownership since the early 1960s, when it closed as a school due to falling pupil numbers, it’s been standing on its elevated site above Mangersta road end for over 100 years since it was erected to serve the children of the newly re-settled Mangersta village, and, ten years later, those of Carnish and Ardroil as these villages were re-settled in turn.

It’s sad to see the site now under piles of debris with only the outbuilding in the playground left standing.

Sad death – news was received in Breanish of the death of 85 year old Mrs Catherine Macdougall, at her home in Carradale, Argyll, on 31st January.

She is remembered with affection by relatives and former neighbours with whom she kept in touch and visited on holiday during the many years since she married and settled in Carradale.

Born Catherine Buchanan of 27 Breanish, she was the last living link with the drowning tragedy of 1932 off Mealista Island in which her father, John Buchanan, lost his life.

She was pre-deceased by her two brothers, Calum Iain and Iain, and leaves three generations of her own family in Argyll to mourn her passing.


Bingo Night - On Friday February 13th there will be a fundraising event at Harris Hotel for the Harris Highland Dance Group. The dance troupe are travelling from far and wide to display their dedication to dance lessons and are raising money to help with the cost of travel to mainland competitions.

Dance - There will be a fundraising dance for the Lochs Show 2015 on Friday 20th February. Stornoway band Rock Island Line will be playing at the showground in Laxay. There will be buses running to Stornoway and South Lochs after the dance. There is to be a licensed bar and also food available to purchase. A great night is in store for the dancers.

Family Quiz Night - At Pairc School on Saturday 21st February. Come along with the family and pit your wits against the quizmaster in aid of Pairc Hall.

Social Media - There will be a two hour workshop for tuition on Social Media in the Ravenspoint Centre, Kershader on Thursday the 26th of February from 7-9pm.

If you would like to know more about facebook, skype or other new technology you can register for the workshop with communitylearninghebrides@cne-siar.gov.uk .or ring 01851 822716.


Film and Music night - The weekly music and song gathering on Friday 6th February at the Retirement Centre in Bayhead, Stornoway included several new short films created in the islands since 2007.

From Uist there was the film Machair Life-A Dion Machraichean na h-Alba which demonstrated that traditional crofting practices have a sustainable future.

The film focused on the immensely important conservation value of the unique machair habitat on the west coast of the Hebrides.

Next up was A Gift for King George by Matheson Productions, a humorous look at crofting and island life in the early 1900s. Iain Baba Maciver of Uig played the main character a manic crofter, peat cutter and seaweed gatherer.

The Circle of Life was the subject of Leabhar na Beatha by Keith Stringer and Eric J MacDonald, filmed on the stunning Uig Sands.

The film, set just before World War Two, included in the cast Sean Macleod, Eileen MacLennan and Deirdre MacDonald.

The tragedy of the 1st of January 1919 was represented in a five minute film Iolaire written and directed by Alasdair MacLeod of Aignish Riots, Niall Mason and April Maclean were the main characters with supporting actors, filmed at Arnol Blackhouse and aboard a fishing vessel in Glumaig Bay.

Am/Aite Time and Place had a theme of young love, emigration, inheritance and love rekindled in old age. Among the characters were Cristin MacKenzie and Donald John Macleod. The script by Eric J MacDonald was an Aignish Riots production.

With the exception of Machair Life, all the films were made with no budget. Scripts were written, filming schedules prepared, executed and edited, by creative islanders with a desire to see their own heritage represented visually for the enjoyment of others.

Their dedication will be partially rewarded with regular planned screenings of locally made films.

The new, local short film evening, was very much enjoyed by the Friday teatime audience, young and old alike. There is a plan to show more of the locally made films at the Friday get together during March.

The films were interspersed with live music on melodeon, guitar and keyboard with songs in Gaelic, Irish country music and popular songs.

The musicians and singers on Friday were Roddy MacDonald, Donnie Disco, Alan Farquarson, Tony, Dan and Hazel.

Cabraich the Community Arts group wish to thank Uig Community for the loan of the large screen and Dave Stokes for being the projectionist for the evening.

Western Isles

Comhairle Presented Copy of Newly Published Book on WW1 - At a recent meeting of the Gaelic Language Implementation Committee the Convener of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar was presented with a copy of Going Down of the Sun, a book which covers the effect of WW1 on villages between Ballantrushal and Skigersta in north Lewis.

All the information in the book was collected and collated by Comunn Eachdraidh Nis and was published by Acair.

The book details the history of one community in the Hebrides and the impact the First World War had on those who left to take part in the conflict, but also looks at the impact of those who stayed at home.

The book is a unique collection of interviews, photographs and writing in Gaelic and English selected from the Comunn Eachdraidh archives.