Butt to Barra District News 10.12.15



Condolences - On November 11th, the sad news spread through the community of the death, at Ospadal nan Eilean after a short illness, of Norman Ewen Morrison, 16 Breanish, better known to all here as Dòla.

He was aged 90 and had lived on his own, with very little help, since the sad and very sudden death of his wife, Peggy, some eighteen years ago.

He was a very successful crofter and weaver and had lived in Breanish all his life except for his National Service years. It’s now very sad to think of an empty, unlit house which, for so many years, was a happy and hospitable family home where visitors were sure to receive a warm welcome. His passing has left a very empty place in the village where he is so sorely missed by his neighbours.

He was a man who held a strong Christian witness from his youth and was the senior elder of the Church of Scotland congregation and the last surviving office bearer of the former Balnacille congregation.

The wake on the Thursday evening, and the very well-attended funeral service on Friday, November 13th were held in Uigean Church and were conducted by Rev Hugh M. Stewart, who was assisted at the funeral service by Mr Murdo Maclennan, Aignish, Point. Interment was to Ardroil Cemetery.

The heartfelt sympathy of the community is extended to his family, only daughter Ann and sons Iain and William, to the grandchildren to whom he was so deeply attached, and to the wider family circle.

Wedding - Emma Hazelton from Erskine ,now Western Australia, and Tim Mckenzie of Morawa, WA recently came all the way to Lewis for their wedding.

They were married at Stornoway Town Hall wth their reception in Uig Community Centre.

Emma is the daughter of Catherine and Rab Hazelton, Erskine, and the grandaughter of Neil and Annie Maclean, of Erskine and Uig.


Dr Neil Radasi Gillies - On the evening of Wednesday 18 November 2015 the congregation lost one of its founding members.

‘Dr Neil’ as he was fondly known, was born a ‘son of the manse’ on 27 August 1926 and was called Neil Radasi Gillies.

The name ‘Radasi’ was after Rev John Radasi, a well-known African minister in the Free Presbyterian church, who was tragically killed in a train accident in Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was then called. Dr Neil’s father loved Rev John Radasi so much he called his youngest son after him.

Dr Neil was converted when he was about 40 years of age, maintaining a steadfast profession for nearly half a century. He was much loved and highly respected throughout the island as a very compassionate and loving man.

As an elder he frequently preached in different places and his sermons were very much appreciated. He was a truly humble and gracious man. He became a very active member of the Gideons International and held most of the offices in the local branch.

A favoured quotation in many of his prayers was: “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” and it was a great encouragement to hear this text quoted at his own funeral by his close friend Ernie Garden.

His wife Marie was saddened that he had to go into a nursing home in his final two years and we extend to her, his son Sandy and daughter Cathann and the wider family our deepest sympathy and love.

“The memory of the righteous shall be blessed”.


Bingo - Bingo night has been changed to Thursday 10th December at 7.30pm. Please come along and support the event to raise funds for the Christmas events and the Community Centre. Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy the event and please donate prizes if you can.

Youth Club - Congratulations go to Jessica Macaulay, Andrew Macinnes and Rachael Smith who have successfully completed their Silver Duke of Edinburgh Scheme Award. This is a great achievement for them and involves a lot of hard work and dedication so well done to them all.

School - The School Christmas play will be on Wednesday 16th December at 7pm and this is always a very enjoyable event. Everyone is invited to attend and the children enjoy it when they have the support of the community so do come along and be entertained.

Medical Practice - There are changes to the Great Bernera Surgery times on Friday which is now open from 12-2pm only with Surgery hour from 1-2pm.


Ceilidh - Comunn tir nam Bean Dun Eideann will be hosting a ceilidh on Saturday, 19 December from 7.30 to 10pm at Augustine United Church,George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.

Admission is only £6: (Members £5) – accompanied children FREE. Tickets available at the door on the night

Tea/Coffee and home-baking served at interval.

Relax and Listen to Lothian Gaelic Choir, Port a Beul Winners National Mod Oban 2015, Solo Singers, Musicians, Luaidh Group – performing Waulking Songs and Piper Neil MacClure.


Moderator visit - Close on 100 London Gaels and their friends met at Lumen Hall, Tavistock Place, Bloomsbury in central London to meet and greet the Rev. Dr. Angus Morrison and his wife, the first Gaelic speaking Moderator of the Church of Scotland for more than four decades.

While guests assembled, Miss Alison Zappert played on her Clarsach, a medley of soft Highland music.

Thereafter, Norman Macleod, Chairman of the London Gaelic Services Committee, officially welcomed the audience and the Moderator with a brief speech in Gaelic and English.

Dr Morrison suitably replied, again in Gaelic and English, for the kind gesture shown to him and his wife in foregathering to such pleasant surroundings and affording him to meet so many exiled Highlanders living in the greater London area.

Lewis born Mrs Joyce Seymour Chalk, presented Dr. and Mrs Morrison with an inscribed quaich to mark the occasion, on behalf of the London Gaelic Services.

A sumptuous supper follwed with a rendition of Amazing Grace sung by Mrs Kathy Kennedy and a composition by a former Moderator, the illustrious Dr Norman Macleod, ‘Farewell to Fuinary’, was sung by Anna Macrae.

In honour of Clan Morrison, Alisdair C. Whyte from Salen in Mull gave a splendid performance of several bardic works of the Clan.

Pictured are the children of the Lewis Independent Christian School are held their annual Winter Cafe on Wednesday 16th December.

On display was some of the children’s recent work, information about the School and a table with a selection of gifts which the children have helped produce at their craft club.

There was also performances from the children with a play featuring well-known South American missionaries Nate Saint and Jim Elliot. Both men featured during a study last term of Missions in South America (The photo shows some of the pupils trying to identify food from South America on a recent visit to the local Co-op.)

A school spokesman said: “Our Winter Cafe has proved very popular over the years as a means of making contact with families and supporters of LICS and providing information about the school to prospective parents.”

In addition to the Winter Cafe the school will also be holding an Open Day on the morning of 19th January.