Butt to Barra District News 05-12-13

This Rainbow over Cromore was captured on camera by Finlay Smith.
This Rainbow over Cromore was captured on camera by Finlay Smith.


Death in Stornoway - On Friday the funeral of Donald Murray, Domhnall Araid, Formerly of 37 South Galson was held.

Donald who was ages 81 years passed away in the Western Isles Hospital on Wednesday 20th where he had been taken to on the previous day.

Through the years Donald had been resident in Benside outside Stornoway and the Funeral service on Friday in Laxdale Mission House was taken by Rev Kenneth Iain Macleod assistant minister in Stornoway, who also officiated at the graveside on Habost Machair.

From Ness we shared and extended our sympathy to his wife Barbera, his daughter Heather, the grand children, and we remember his brotherRoderick in Inverness and all close relatives who mourn.

South Dell Death - On Saturday November 23rd the funeral of Donald Campbell, Domhnall A Bhocsair, of South Dell who passed away on Tuesday 19th was held. Donald who was aged 74 years and had been resident at his grand parents home at 33 South Dell, will be remembered with affection by all who knew him.

In his working career he had been for a long number of years in the teaching profession in Lerwick, Shetland, here he made his home after retirement.

The funeral service in Ness Church of Scotland on Saturday was taken by Rev. Iain Murdo Macdonald assisted in prayer by Rev John Macleod retired, Free Church Continuing from Shawbost. Singing of praise in Gaelic was led by Angus Graham Elder Barvas, who is formerly from South Dell, and in English by Chris Barrowman, Elder Eorodale, and Rev. MacDonald officiated at the graveside.

In their time of grief we share our thoughts in sympathy with his daughter Rena, and her husband Philip, who, we are glad to note, was able to be in Ness on this sad occasion, and we remember his sister Christina, his brothers Norman, and Alex John, and all in the close family circle who mourn.

Sympathy From Ness - Following the passing away of John Murdo Graham of Loch Street Barvas on Thursday November 21st, who was so well known to many of us in Ness, we share and extend our thoughts in sympathy to his wife Johanna, Seonag Sheonaidh, formerly of 11 Habost and all in the close family circle who mourn in this bereavement.

The funeral of John Murdo to Barvas Cemetery was on Wednesday November 27th.

Church Service – Harvest Thanksgiving services were held in all Ness churches. In Cross Free Church we were glad to see Rev Kenneth Ferguson retired former minister of the congregation conducting he service there on Thursday evening.

As we give thanks for the abundance of material blessings in which we are able to share we remember and pray that all those in other parts of the world who are not as fortunate as we are would also be able to share in the produce of the harvests of the world.


Outreach officer - A partnership between the Galson Estate Trust and The Energy Advisory Service has led to a successful Big Lottery Fund Grant and the appointment of an Energy Outreach Officer, Brian Whitington, who is now in place.

Brian has the remit of advising residents of the Galson Estate and the wider Western Isles in the community about what they can do to reduce their energy bills, and also about any possible work that can be carried out to make their homes warmer and less expensive to run.

Brian will carry out home visits; drop in surgeries at the Galson Office, TEAS office and the Eilean Siar Foodbank; offer talks at community events and schools and work with media to raise awareness and help tackle fuel poverty & reduce expensive energy bills.

Brian Whitington, Energy Outreach Officer said:

“The chance to work in such a beautiful place, doing very worthwhile work with lovely people was too good to miss. I aim to work very hard to help as many people as possible.”


Festive dinner - This year’s annual village dinner will be held on Friday 27th December at 6.00 pm in the Community Centre.

Tickets will cost £10 for adults, a family ticket will be £30 and OAPs free. Please contact Margaret Maciver on 890 463 or Catriona Maciver on 890 369 by Saturday 14th December should you wish to attend.

This year’s entrance fee will be donated to Crossroad Lewis, so please make an effort to attend to support this worthwhile cause and enjoy a nice evening with family and friends.


Light Lunch - Bethesda Hospice will receive the benefit froma Light Lunch event being held in the M.A.Macleod Memorial Hall, Kenneth Street, Stornoway on Saturday, December 7th from noon to 2pm.


Gaelic award - The ‘Community, Heritage and Tourism Gaelic Award’ has been awarded to the Shawbost Community at the inaugural Gaelic Awards ceremony held at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh recently.

The Gaelic Awards competition, which was organised by Media Scotland with support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, looks to reward all aspects of the Gaelic language and culture across Scotland and to highlight the excellent work being undertaken. Awards also recognise ability, achievement, contribution, effort and excellence.

The Shawbost Community received a number of nominations for the award especially for the inter-generational projects which have been undertaken as part of its work. For example, the local youth group “Tàirneanaich” organised walks throughout the area with adults from Comunn Eachdraidh an Taobh Siar informing them of the history of the area and its placenames.

The whole process was captured on video which was sold to raise funds for the historical society. Over the last two years the Shawbost Forum has run a number of events, especially for the younger members of the area, and also concerts and workshops for the whole community. Iomairt Ghàidhlig Iar Thuath Leòdhais was also one of the three finalists for the ‘Best Contributor” Award in recognition of the work done in the North Lewis area – from Ness to Carloway.

Donald Macneil, the CnaG Chief Executive said: “I wish to congratulate Iomairt Iar Thuath Leòdhais, the Shawbost Forum and the people of Shawbost themselves for this award. I think the example of Shawbost shows us what can be done in a community when they are provided with the means and there is a willingness for organisations and individuals to work together for the benefit of the community and the Gaelic language.

“This also proves that the initiatives which are funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, are effective and are making a difference in communities.

“I wish to congratulate Marina Murray, the officer for Iomairt Iar Thuath Leòdhais for her work on behalf of the Iomairt. I would also like to congratulate all the other winners and nominees in the competition.”

There are now eight Iomairtean Gàidhlig in different communities – five in rural areas such as Lewis, Uist, Skye, Lochaber and Islay and Jura as well as three in cities – Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Each Iomairt is run by a committee with community representatives, a development budget and a development officer.


Christmas Fayre date changed - The Pairc School Christmas Fayre has been cancelled tonight due to the weather but has been rescheduled for Monday December 9th between 7pm and 9pm.


Retirement – On behalf of the many pupils from Scalpay he taught over the years we wish John Mitchell, former Principal Teacher of science in Sir E. Scott School a long, happy and well-deserved retirement. In his place Robert Caldwell, whose wife Chrissie has her family home at Sunnydale, is providing long-term supply cover and we wish him well as he returns to the chalkface (now whiteboard!)

Signing – On Friday, November 22nd, Scalpay was formally signed over by owner Fred Taylor to Simon Fraser, representing the Taylor Charitable Trust.

Directors Donald John Cunningham and Kenny Macleod were also present, together with North Harris Trust Chairman Calum John Mackay, to witness this historic occasion which opened a new chapter in our island’s history.

Correction – In my last news it should of course have read that Annabel Cunningham, Dal Na Mara, was in Raigmore Hospital and we hope she is soon home again.

In Hospital – Ewen Mackinnon, Highcroft, spent some days in the Western Isles Hospital but we are glad to report he is now home again and we send him our best wishes for a quick return to better health.

Test Success – Congratulations to Donna Macsween, whose family home is at number 30, on passing her driving test in Edinburgh recently. Well done, Donna!

Honour – At the Lewis and Harris Association’s annual gathering in Glasgow Annie Macsween, Ness, was the recipient of this year’s Cuach Eilean Leodhas Agus Na Hearadh.

Annie’s husband John has his family home at Number 9 and this cup is a fitting reward for her long and commendable record in education and community projects.

New Development Officer – Anne-Marie Hewitt, whose family home is at Cliasmol, has been appointed Scalpay Development officer with the North Harris trust.

Anne-Marie previously worked in a similar capacity in Uig and we wish her every success as she takes over the duties pertaining to this office.

RNLI fundraiser – Jayne Porteous of the North Harris bistro organised a fund-raising event on Saturday 23rd in the Community Centre to raise funds for the RNLI.

At the end of the day the sum of £688.88 was raised and were done to Jayne and all who helped her raise money for a cause which is so important to us in our maritime environment.

Bonfire Night – Although over two weeks’ late due to inclement weather, the annual Bonfire night was held on Friday 22nd in front of the Community Centre.

Scalpay Community Association are grateful to Marine Harvest, North Harris Trust and NEL Services Scotland for theirgenerous donations towards this event.

Thanks to John Morrison (Ian Stella) and Murdo Macsween for setting up and presenting the amazing firework display (best ever we think!)

Also thanks are due to Kuna and Maighread Morrison, Donald Angus and Arima Morrison for preparing food, Kuna for his barbecue skills, Donna Marie and Joanna for publicity and practical help on the night and all who attended and contributed to make our bonfire night such fun and a great success.


Fund-raising day – On Friday, November 15th, Sir E. Scott School held a day of fund-raising events which raised a fantastic total of £1780.74. This will be shared between the Philippines Typhoon Appeal (£1,000) and Children In Need (£780.74) and thanks are due to pupils, staff, parents and the local community for supporting these worthwhile causes.