Butt to Barra District News


Ness Related Death – On Friday, June 15, relatives and friends in Ness were sad when the news came that Agnes Mackenzie, formerly from Stornoway, had passed away in St Columba’s Hospice in Edinburgh.

Agnes, who in her working profession had been a lawyer, was aged 78 years. She will be remembered with affection by all who knew her in Ness as the wife of Finlay Mackenzie CBE, formerly of 4 Fivepenny, where they frequently visited at holiday times through the years.

On Monday, June 18, friends gathered for a well attended wake worship in Craigsbank Parish Church in Edinburgh, and the funeral of Agnes to Sandwick cemetery was on Wednesday, June 20, with the funeral service in the Free Church (Continuing), Stornoway, taken by the Rev Graham Craig, assisted in prayer by the Rev Angus Smith, former minister of Cross Free Church.

Singing of praise was led by Rev Malcolm Macdonald, Callanish Free Church, and Iain Alex Macrae, elder, Free Church (Continuing), Stornoway. The Rev Craig officiated at the graveside in Sandwick cemetery.

From Ness we share and extend our thoughts in sympathy to her husband Finlay, daughter, Christine, and son, Alasdair, the grandchildren, and all other close relatives and friends who mourn in this bereavement.

School Topics – Although we are sad to hear of other threatened school closures, the entire Ness community were glad on the evening of Thursday, June 21, that secondary class education would continue in Lionel Junior Secondary School.


Balallan School - Balallan School Parent Council are commemorating the life and times of Balallan School which closes on 29th June this year 2012.

The Kinloch Historical Society has put together an exhibition about the history of the school which will be open from 3-5pm and 7-9pm until Thursday 28th June.

On the evening of Friday 29th June there will also be an informal gathering at the school from 7pm.

All current and former pupils, staff and the community are cordially invited. Stuart Taylor’s ceilidh Band will be playing. Come along and dance the night away!

Cameron Terrace and Cleascro Road Reunion - The organisers of the reunion would like to thank Billy France and Karachi for the superb curry, thanks to the Lochs Community Centre Committee and the Bar Staff on the evening.

Also to everyone who gave their support, to make the moulding of a Facebook page, into a brilliant Reunion evening.

On the night of the reunion, old friends and neighbours met up and new links were made between the next generation of the Cameron Terrace and Cleasrco Road community.

North Lochs Historical Society and The Silver Darlings over 60s group, would like to record their gratitude to the Cameron Terrace and Cleascro Road families for the generous donation to their funds.

Moran taing dhiubh uile.

Great Bernera

Passing of Prince Robin de lanne Mirrlees, owner of the Great Bernera Estate - The community were saddened to hear of the death of Prince Mirrlees, more affectionately known to locals as The Count.

He died in the Blar Buidhe home in Stornoway and was 87 years of age.

The Count was a very poplar landlord with his tenants and was most generous with developments that took place which required his support.

In the early sixties he became interested in Benera and its islands on hearing that the estate was for sale. He bought it without hesitation.

Later the Count came to Bernera to view his acquisition and was given a tour by the late Hector Macaulay, who remained one of his many friends.

He developed a great fondness for the Island and its people and made the decision to make it his home.

The Count had a brilliant career in the Army becoming a captain in the Royal Artillery, and served in India. He also attended the royal family by being appointed an Equerry to the Queen.

In recent years his health suffered and he was unable to visit the community as he would have wished.

The people of Bernera extend their condolences to his son, daughter in law, and grandchildren who are resident in Germany.

The Count’s cheerful and helpful demeanour will be greatly missed by all. As he personally wished he will be buried in Bosta cemetery amongst his many friends.


Services – Services in Scalpay Free Church on Sunday, June 17, were conducted by the Rev Donald John Morrison, Kyles. Last Sunday the preacher was Innes Macsween, Ness.

School Closure Event – About 300 people filled Scalpay Community Centre on Friday 15th for the school closure event. MC for the evening was Roddy Mackenzie (former teacher) and speeches were made by Aileen Macsween (head teacher), Joan Mackinnon (Director of Education and Children’s Services, and a former teacher), Donald John Morrison (former head teacher), Neil Campbell (former teacher), and the Rev Calum Iain Macleod (former pupil).

Primary and secondary pupils also provided musical entertainment, as did Emma and Claire Macleod, Portree, and Iain Maciver, Adam Johnson, Marion Rae Graham and Chrissie Morrison. A sumptuous buffet was prepared by the ladies from Leac-a-Li and a memorable evening, although tinged with sadness, ended with a dance featuring Anna Fraser and her band. Thanks are due to the School Closure Working Group, especially Liza Macsween, for countless hours spent for preparation and organisational work.

Sponsored Walk – On Saturday 16 a sponsored walk to help raise funds for the annual National Mod trip was undertaken by choir and adult committee members. The walk was in two stages, from Balallan to Scaladale, then Scaladale to Tarbert, with some hardy souls undertaking the whole walk. From Scalpay and Kyles Anne-Marie Mackenzie, Rona Morrison, Rebekah Macleod, Rebecca and Gemma Finnegan and Jacqueline Macaskill all took part and hopefully a sizeable sum of money was raised.

Scaladale Trip – Primary 7 from Scalpay joined their contemporaries from Sir E Scott School and Leverhulme Memorial to participate in a residential trip to Scaladale Outdoor Centre on Monday, June 18 and Tuesday 19.

Open Evening – Scalpay School held their last Open Evening for parents on Tuesday, June 19th, giving them the opportunity to consult with teachers and see their children’s work.

Senior Citizens – Around 40 Scalpay senior citizens were on an outing to Stornoway on Tuesday 19. They spent an enjoyable afternoon shopping, partook of an excellent meal in the Cala Hotel, then returned home in the early evening. Everyone had a wonderful time and are grateful to the Community Council for arranging this outing.

In Hospital – At the time of writing this report Mary Bell Macsween, Tarran House, is hospitalised in Stornoway, and we remember her in our thoughts and prayers, wishing her a quick return to better health.

Presentation – During the school closure event on Friday 15, retirement presentations were made by the pupils of Scalpay School to Christine Macleod, school secretary since 1978, and Rhoda Macdonald, school cleaner since 1996.

On behalf of the community we thank both ladies for their years of service and wish them a long and happy retirement.

Holidays – As our regular bus driver, Duncan, will be on holiday for the next three weeks, Pam will be carrying out his duties and can be contacted on 07909715072 or 560276.

New Resident – Coinneach Morrison, Harris Development Ltd, has moved into no. 10 Cuddypoint. Coinneach has been heavily involved in several community initiatives and we are delighted to welcome him into our midst on a more permanent basis.

Shiants Trip – Scalpay Primary, accompanied by teachers, parents and adult helpers, went to the Shiant Isles on Friday, June 22nd. They spent some time ashore and all had a marvellous time. Thanks are due to Mrs Macsween, head teacher, for organising the trip, and James and John from Sea Harris Cruises for ensuring safe passage and a never-to-be-forgotten experience.


Carloway Football Club - Carloway travelled to Leurbost last Monday evening, where they took on Lochs in a match where victory was imperative in order or Carloway to stay in the race for the League title. Unfortunately, albeit Carloway had a profusion of chances and Lochs starting the game with ten players, the ‘way lost 2-1

Fixtures - Carloway have a busy week ahead, with three games to be played in the space of five days. On Monday 2nd July, the ‘way travel to Rally Park, Tarbert, where they face Harris in the League.

Following Monday’s game, Carloway travel to Barvas on Wednesday 4th July, where they face West Side in another League encounter.

Finally, as a result of Ness playing in tomorrow night’s Jock Stein Cup final, Carloway’s League encounter against the Niseachs, which was due to be played on Friday 29th June (tomorrow), has now been rescheduled for Friday 6th July and will be played at Cnoc a’ Choilich. All of these matches kick off at 7pm respectively. Come out and support your team!