Butt to Barra: District News 12-3-15

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Pamper Night - The Pamper Night is on this Friday 13th March at North Lochs Community Centre, Leurbost from 7.30,

Facials, foot whispering, manicures and a swop rail of bags, clothes and shoes.

The charity being supported this year is the British Heart Foundation. Payment of £10 will be taken on the door - this will cover the cost of a glass of bubbly, canapés and will guarantee a treatment.

Meal night - At Ravenspoint Centre this Friday, the South Lochs community group, are hosting visiting chef Kenny Dan. The dishes on the menu are Thai and Indian. Booking is essential.

Play Areas - All community groups and members of the public are invited to attend an event to discuss the future sustainability of play areas across the islands .For Harris and South Lochs play areas, the meeting is at Tarbert Community Centre on 24th March 2015 at 7:00pm.For Uig and North Lochs play areas, the meeting is at Breasclete Hall on 25th March 2015 at 7:00pm

Harris Gun Club - On Saturday 7 March 2015 Harris Gun Club opened their 2015/16 shooting season with a club competition in what could only be described as sensational weather conditions. Congratulations to Colin Knape who won the Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd cup, which was first presented to the club in 1935. Neil MacInnes took second place and Iain ‘Lava’ MacLeod third.

First Aid - A First Aid for the Under 5s workshop.will be held at Crossbost Free Church Hall, on Wednesday 18th March from 7-9pm. Costs £5.00 and you can register for the workshop with communitylearninghebrides@cne-siar.gov.uk or phone 01851 822716


The public meeting to discuss the feasibility of the buyout was fairly well attended on Tuesday 3 March despite the very bad weather that evening.

The meeting was chaired by Tom Macdonald from the Trust who reminded the group that it had been a long process and a lot of work by the Trust Committee to get to this point. He also corrected the assumption that committee members were paid and stressed that all the work done was entirely voluntary and that any future Trust members would also have to work unpaid as per the constitution.

It was pointed out and assumed that the initial purchase of the estate would be 100% covered by grants from the land fund and other lenders as the estate should not have a high cost value. There should also be grants to start projects for the development of the estate. Projects would not be approved if not feasible and the worst outcome for the community if they went ahead with the purchase of the estate was that they would be liable for the sum of £1 per member. They also reminded the group that one way or another the Bernera Estate would have a new landowner.

If the community owned the estate they would have more control over development and access to funding that a private landlord could not.

The Group appointed to do the study were of the opinion that it would be feasible for the community to run the Estate and outlined some of the possible proposals that could be taken forward.

Calum Macleod from the consultant group gave a very informative talk on some of the options and these include housing projects, buying hatchery, land development, stock club, etc.

Estate rents and land sales normally cover the cost of factoring. Henrik Micski outlined all the various renewable options that had been looked at and concluded that in the short term the most viable option would be wind power.

The main possible profitable short term project could be from renewable energy which could give an income to the Trust to develop additional projects, save additional costs if used on community buildings and give possible rental income to grazing associations. If the purchase was to go ahead funding could be achieved to appoint a development officer who could progress approved projects for the community and help run the Estate.

There has been a summary document prepared from the report which should have been distributed to all households. If you haven’t received one you can contact trustbernera@hotmail.com and you can also get a copy of the full reports by email.

The full reports were not quite ready for the meeting and it was explained that the meeting and ballot had been rushed through as it was the last opportunity to get the ballot done before the general election. Householders should now have received their ballot papers and you are urged to vote whether yes or no and to return these urgently as they must be received by Election Office by 4pm on the 19th.

It is extremely important that all voting residents take an interest and vote in this ballot in regards to the future of our island. The ballot will be counted in Bernera Hall after 7.30pm and this will be open to the public where the result will be announced that evening.

Should a yes vote be achieved it is hoped then a committee would quickly be elected to take forward this project as soon as possible and help ensure the future of our community.


From the Butt to Ballantrushal the people from Ness have taken a prominent part in the Glasgow Lewis and Harris Association since its foundation. Glasgow and West of Scotland based people of Ness has been the source of Presidents, Members of Committee, Singers and entertainers and also as enthusiastic supporters. Their involvement has been one of significant importance.

This long term affiliation will certainly be evident on the evening of Saturday 21st March 2015.

Usually this night is entitled Orain is Oraid and while the title remains the same there are happenings on the evening which will give an extra special flavour.

At the core of this evening will be the Glasgow Launch of the comprehensive book giving a very emotive account of the suffering of the Ness community and beyond one hundred years ago.

“Dol fodha na Greine – the Going Down of the Sun” reflects the pain and suffering which hit this community with a lasting effect on that and future generations and Ness and the world was never the same again.

The tireless members of Comunn Eachdraidh Nis have spent countless hours accumulating and assessing the information and presenting it all in readable form in Gaelic with English translations Interviews, comments, observations are woven in a tapestry of facts figures and families of yesteryear forever associated with Ness and the Niseachs of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The effort and enthusiasm was beyond price and a vital addition to the archives of the Island and Ness and the value can best be judged by recognising that were it not for the dedication of Comunn Eachdraidh Nis much of the contents of this book would have been lost forever.

Many of the photographs are the last record of the cream of a generation who marched and sailed to war never to return.

The meaning of “Man’s inhumanity to Man making countless thousands mourn” is certainly reflected in the pages of Dol Fodha na Greine (published by Acair). The updated Roll of Honour is also included.

The work of Comunn Eachdraidh Nis has been recognised by the Glasgow Lewis and Harris Association when Chair Person Annie MacSween was awarded Cuach Comunn Leodhas agus na Hearadh in recognition of her involvement with this prestigious organisation and a life long commitment to the protection and promotion of her beloved Ness.

Present on the evening will also be Donald A Morrison Editor of this new publication. Adding to the occasion will be an informal Ceilidh and Joan Morrison will be singing some of the songs which are published for the very first time in the new book.

Murdo John Macleod and Kenneth Nicolson will be amongst the entertainers on what promises to be an excellent evening of entertainment and information.

Although the evening has a distinctly Niseach theme everyone is invited and a free Buffet is being organised.

The evening in the Crawford Halls in Beith Street , Partick, on Saturday 21st March will begin around 7.30 pm and to ensure parking space arriving in good time is recommended.


Summer Mountain Leader - There is an opportunity to sign up for the proposed Summer Mountain Leader course, due to be held this summer in Lewis and Harris. Mountain Leader is the national governing body, for the qualification for taking groups out mountain walking in the UK in summer conditions.

Following the training course and a subsequent assessment, the qualification will enable participants to lead Duke of Edinburgh Award groups, other youth groups, school groups, and adult walking groups.

Proposed dates are Monday 8th to 13th June and the course currently needs more participants to register. More information from Isi Oakley at Isi.oakley@cne-Siar.gov.uk or 07470 376246,

Creative Works - Honeycomb the Creative Works Programme based in Inverness, will bring several free information and training events, aimed at creative companies and individuals, to Western Isles venues this month.

On Thursday 19th March, a leading independent broadcaster will be at MG Alba Studios, Stornoway to share the process of creating entertainment formats for TV programmes. On Monday 23rd March at An Lanntair, Creative Businesses already using Digital Marketing, can learn how to overcome challenges and get to grips with new opportunities.

Honeycomb takes a Radio Skills event to Uist on Saturday 28th March, which focuses on compliance and creating content for local audiences. The venue is An Caladh, East Camp, Balivanich. This will be the venue for a Networking Event in An Caladh the same evening.

Enabling fellow creative practitioners from the area to exchange ideas and develop collaborations. There will be further Radio Skills workshops at Cothrom, Ormiclate, South Uist on Friday 17th & Saturday 18th April.

Places on the Free Honeycomb Creative Works workshops are supported by ScreenHI & XpoNorth and can be booked on www.eventbrite.co.uk.

Voice Theatre - Three exceptional voices jumping between sound worlds, bring playful, poignant theatre to the Outer Hebrides shortly. Mmm Hmmm by musical director Verity Standen, builds on her critically acclaimed performances at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Bristol Old Vic.

The performers in the unique Mmm Hmmm use intricate vocal techniques and rich harmony, whilst holding up a magnifying glass to snapshots of everyday life.

The original a cappella songs evoke the awkward, heart-breaking and hilarious moments that characterise what it means to be human.

More information on April dates on www.artsnaneilean.co.uk