Butt to Barra District News

Pupils from Primary Five at Laxdale School with their cheque for �726.50  which they are sending to Wateraid following a sponsored water carrying relay.'P5 pupils were taking part in a project about water and decided to try and raise money to help children in countries without clean water.'The Laxdale youngsters then carried milk cartons filled with water in an hour-long relay-style event in the school gym.
Pupils from Primary Five at Laxdale School with their cheque for �726.50 which they are sending to Wateraid following a sponsored water carrying relay.'P5 pupils were taking part in a project about water and decided to try and raise money to help children in countries without clean water.'The Laxdale youngsters then carried milk cartons filled with water in an hour-long relay-style event in the school gym.


Death in Knockaird – The morning of Tuesday, January 29, brought shock and sadness to the Ness district when it became known that Mary Ann Campbell (nee Macleod) had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at her home at 7 Knockaird.

Mary Ann, who was aged 74 years and formerly from 2 Fivepenny, will be sadly missed and remembered with warm affection in the neighbourhood where she had been resident and by many other friends who came to know her through the years.

After a well attended wake worship in Cross Free Church on the evening of Thursday, January 31, a large number of people assembled there on Friday, February 1, when the funeral service was taken by the Rev Roderick John Campbell, North Tolsta, Interim-Moderator of the congregation, assisted in prayer by Calum Maclean, elder, Knockaird. Singing of praise in Gaelic was led by Alex John Morrison, elder, South Dell, and in English by Donald R Morrison, elder, St Ronan’s Drive.

The Rev Campbell officiated with a solemn address to the family members and the friends gathered with them at the graveside on Habost machair.

In their time of grief we share our thoughts and prayers in sympathy with her daughters Sandra and Nora, her son Murdo, all the grandchildren, her sisters Jessie and Millie, her brother Alex Dan, and all others who mourn in the sudden passing away of Mary Ann.

Weather Topics – We are glad that, to our knowledge, no-one was injured and no major structural damage was done in Ness during the gale force winds of Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, when, we are told, a gust of over 100mph was recorded in Eoropie in the early morning of Wednesday.

With no covering of snow seen on the ground in Ness up to the end of January, we sometimes think that there is indeed a climate change occurring.

Omission – In the item in this column last week related to the passing away of Colina Buchanan of South Dell, we regret that the words ‘our sympathy to her daughter Ann in Edinburgh’ was not given.


Dinner – The Annual Seniors’ Dinner, held on Sat January 26th in the Community Centre, was thoroughly enjoyed by all the 66 people who attended it and the verdict afterwards was that it was one of the best so far, with a very happy community spirit evident throughout. After a formal welcome by Community Council chairman, John Maciver, grace was said by Rev Hugh M Stewart before a three course meal, with a welcome choice of main course, was served. Following the meal, entertainment was provided by the Bernera Highland Dancers, with musical items from Rachel Smith, Tobson, on clarsach, Jessica Macdonald, Erista, on small pipes and Finn Morrison, Reef, on button key accordion. Dr John Hay, Uigean, brought the evening to a close with a speech of thanks to the Community Council, which included a look back at the beginnings of this event when he was Chairman of the pre-1976 Community Association, which preceded the Community Council and started what was then called “the Old Folks’ Dinner”. “The Old Folk” of 2013 wish to record their sincere thanks to the Community Council and all their helpers for this year’s well-organised, well-presented and well-enjoyed event, in fact, we’d be very happy with one such every month!

Skip – the solution to the problem of disposal of bulky household rubbish caused by the abrupt removal of the former community skips, has appeared in the form of a locked, secure skip located right in the public eye, adjacent to À Bhuth at Timsgarry. The solution to keeping the site tidy and well-regulated has also appeared in the person of John Murdo Mackay, Carishader, the new Skip Attendant, who has already earned his stripes by keeping the former skip site by Drochaid Chàiriseadair free of contamination. The new skip, which has been available now for the last two Saturdays, from 10am to 12, has been well-used, and, being under the local management of the Community Council, can be made available at further times if proven demand warrants it.

Condolences – relatives, former neighbours and friends extend sympathy to Mrs Murdina D Laidlaw of Castle Douglas, formerly Macleod of 10 Geshader and Ungeshader, on the loss of her husband, David, which occurred recently following a long period of ll health. Mrs Mary Macleod, Geshader, and family attended the funeral last week in Castle Douglas where the Laidlaws have lived in their retirement, following a working life in London and in Ghana.

We got our say – Comhairle nan Eilean‘s annual consultation meeting on budget cuts which was held here on Thursday, January 31st attracted a good turnout of over 30 local residents to meet Comhairle members and officers and had very worthwhile discussion, featuring mainly on cuts in the education service and road-gritting arrangements, both of which have been strongly opposed by the public during the recent series of Budget meetings, held throughout the Western Isles. The community here felt that this meeting took a long time in coming round to Uig but in the event, it proved to be a useful exercise.

Academic appointment – Congratulations are in order for Dr Daniel F Mackinnon, 1 Ardroil and Kelvin Bridge, Glasgow, who was recently appointed to the Chair of Economic Geography at Newcastle University. A former pupil of Uig Primary School, Uig Secondary School and the Nicolson Institute, he has been in the post of Research Fellow in the Dept of Earth Sciences at Glasgow University and, before that, as Senior Lecturer in Geography at Aberdeen University. He takes up his new post at Newcastle in the summer term.


Services – Services in Scalpay Free Church (Continuing) on Sunday, January 13, were conducted by Calum Smith, divinity student, Stornoway, and last Sunday by the Rev Calum Maclean, senior minister of Tolsta.

In Scalpay Free Church on Sunday 27 the preacher was Joe Macphee, elder, Stornoway and last Sunday was Donald Macleod, Gravir.

Macdonald’s Farm – A documentary on Saturday 26 on BBC2 focussed on the work done by Don and Christine Macdonald from Lewis, caring for the street children of Zambia.

This was of particular interest to us on Scalpay as Duncan Macsween, Rowan Cottage, and Alistair Morrison, Ebenezer, spent the month of January helping them and our prayer is God would continue to bless the invaluable work done by the Macdonald’s in that needy land.

New Baby – Congratulations to Cal and Fiona Robertson, Stornoway, on the birth of a baby daughter, Hannah Macsween, recently.

Fiona’s family home is at Failte, and we remember proud parents and grandparents Iain and Christina at this happy time.


Social Club - Following a break over the festive period the the Pairc Social Club are meeting up again. The club meets every 2nd Wednesday at 1pm in Ravenspoint, Kershader. It is hoped this year to have a guest speaker at the meetings where possible and despite last week’s club being cancelled due to adverse weather the speaker at the previous meeting was Jim Sawer (Balallan) and his witty humour was well enjoyed.

It is hoped that on Thursday 14th February @ 7pm the club will hold a ‘Curry Night’ which will consist of a three course meal but an alternative will be available for those not so keen on curry, followed by entertainment and raffle. A takeaway option is available also. For the sit in meal the cost will be £7.00 and the takeaway £5.00 with the takeaway available to order beforehand, please contact Maureen on 880-200. More details are available as per the posters on the village notice boards. Please come along and enjoy the evening.

Good Wishes - We send good wishes to Kate Mackay, 2 Gravir who is at present spending some time in Dun Eisdean care home, hopefully it will not be to long before she is back with us in the community.

Dinner - Just a ‘wee’ reminder to those intending to go to the senior citizens dinner on Saturday 9th February 1.30pm for 2.00pm sitting. Tt should be a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon as always, see you there!


Còisir Ghàidhlig Chàrlabhaigh - The Carloway Gaelic Choir will be holding a Special General Meeting to elect a new chairperson on Monday 11th February at 7.30pm in Garenin Blackhouse Village Resource Centre (please note the different venue). The choir was unable to elect a new chairperson at their recent AGM in January. This short meeting will be followed by a choir practice. The choir now meet every Monday evening in Carloway Community Centre at 7.30pm unless otherwise intimated. New members are very welcome. Chì sinn ann sibh!

Super Eights - The jackpot for Carloway Football Club’s Super Eights now stands at £1000. To be in with a chance of winning a grand and if you would like to acquire a coupon, get in touch with one of the players or committee members. Coupons must be submitted by 3pm on Saturday 9th February.