Butt to Barra District News 19.6.14


Church Service - The Wednesday evening prayer meeting in Cross Free Church on 11th June was conducted by Rev. Donald Morrison, retired former minister of Lochgilphead, who is doing pulpit supply with us in Cross for three weeks.

Also present with us that evening was Major Iain A. Macdonald, area representative for S.A.S.R.A. in Scotland, who is well known to us in Ness.

After a short introduction by Rev. Morrison, Major Macdonald gave an enlightening address on his work, along with others, related to the spiritual needs of our servicemen, both in the barrack room and in the field of conflict.

Swainbost death - On Sunday 8th June relatives and friends were sad when the news came from Glasgow that Marion Campbell (Morag Phuilean), of 44 Swainbost, had, after a lingering illness patiently borne for the past few years, passed away in hospital there.

Marion, who was aged 68 years and was in the nursing profession, had through the years been working and resident in Glasgow where the funeral is expected to be held.

In their bereavement we share our sympathy with her sister Murdina, brothers Donald John, Angus and Norman, and all close relatives and friends who mourn at this time.

Sympathy from Ness - Friends in Ness were sad to learn of the passing away on Wednesday 28th May of Dolina Maclean, who will be remembered with affection by the older generation in Ness, when in earlier years, she, along with her late husband, Murdo Rickman, of 15 Eorodale, who passed away in 1967, were resident in the old police station in Lionel.

The funeral of Dolina, who was aged 85 years, was in Kinlochleven.

From Ness we extend our thoughts in sympathy to her daughter Mary in Crowlista, Uig, her grandson Murdo, and all others in the near family circle who mourn in this bereavement.


Outing - The annual Comunn Eachdraidh na Pairc outing this year will be to the old village of Cleiter at 11.00 am on Saturday 28th June. Cars should park by the roadside adjacent to the old village.

Instead of our usual barbecue a buffet lunch will be available afterwards at the Loch Erisort Inn for around 1.00pm. As usual everyone is welcome to join us for this annual event.

No booking is necessary and there is no charge although we welcome any donations to support the work of the Comunn Eachdraidh.

Trip Away - The Pairc Social Club had just returned from their annual trip to the mainland. This year’s destination was to Fort William. Good weather and good accommodation added to a very enjoyable week. During the trip the group visited Mull, Iona, Oban and Glencoe. During other excursions some chose to go shopping to Inverness while others decided to scale the heights of Ben Nevis by cable car. All in all a good trip was had by all.

Dates for the Diary - Future events for the Social Club include a trip to Uig on Saturday 5th July and a Sale of Work in Pairc School, Gravir on Saturday 12th July. More details on the Sale of Work will appear nearer the time but all volunteers willing to help just get in touch with any member of the Social Club.

Sympathy - We send sincere condolences to the wife and family of the late Alex Smith better known as Alastair Dubh who recently passed away in Gartnavel Hospital aged 94 years. Alex and his wife Morag were frequent visitors to their native South Lochs during summer holidays. Following services in Pairc Free Church interment took place in the nearby cemetery. To his family and relatives we send our sincere sympathy in their sad loss.


Communion - Over the coming weekend Scalpay Free Church are holding a communion season, with services on Saturday and the Lord’s Day, all conducted by the minister.

Manageress leaves - Joanna Macaskill, our popular community shop manageress, has now left the position to pursue further career options and we thank her for her service and wish her all future success.

Garage changes - The Harris Garage, which was formerly run by Norman Mackay, will now be operated by John Struthers.

We wish John All the best and thank Norman and his team of Jim, John, Jimmy, Clive and Kate for their unfailing helpfulness to the community over many years.


Clan MacMillan International will be holding a Hebridean Homecoming Gathering on the Isle of Benbecula from June 23rd to 26 preceding Homecoming Scotland on June 28th to 30th at Bannockburn, Stirlingshire.

The Chief of Clan MacMillan, George G. MacMillan of MacMillan and Knap will be present. There will be people from Scotland, England, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

They will arrive at Lochmaddy on the evening of June 22nd and will be touring many sites from Vatersay to the Callanish Standing Stones on Lewis, leaving on the morning of June 27th.

Their itinery includes: A beach walk, tour of Benbecula, visit to ruins of Temple Monastery (North Uist) and the fishing village of Ceallan on Grimsay. That evening there will be a Ceilidh.

Day trip to southern isles via South Uist and ferry from Eriskay. Visit MacNeil’s island fortress of Kisimul Castle, the Barra Heritage Centre and walk to ship-wrecked emigrant’s memorial on Vatersay.

Day trip to northern isles via North Uist and ferry from Berneray. Visits to medieval church at Rodel on Harris and to the Standing Stones of Callanish on Lewis.

South Uist visit to chapel ruins at Tobha Mor (Howmore) and the Kildonan Museum.

There will be a Worship and Investiture Service in the Benbecula Church of Scotland, Griminish, at 2pm on Thursday afternoon.

Candidates for membership into Clan MacMillan’s Community of Honour, ‘The Community of the Tonsured Servant (CTS)’ will be invested.

CTS supports the Clan MacMillan International Centre at Finlaystone, Renfrewshire, Scotland, home of the MacMillan Chief, and provides educational materials and events for Clan MacMillan around the world. All are welcome to attend this service led by Chief George MacMillan and Blanche McMillan, Abbot of CTS.

This year is the 19th Anniversary 1995-2014 of the founding of Clan MacMillan’s ‘Community of the Tonsured Servant’ (CTS). As of this gathering, a total of 131 have joined CTS in six countries.

The Grand Clan MacMillan Banquet will be held on Thursday evening.

The Outer Hebrides are home to many Macmillans. The earliest documented Macmillans in the Hebrides are all churchmen: John MacMoylane, Chaplain of St Oran’s, Iona, in 1542; Fingon Makmulane, who was the Rector of Benbecula in the same year, and later Dean of Mull (in 1573); and Donald Macmillan, Minister of The Uists in 1626 (when he was said to have been “a very auld man”).

It appears that the more learnt about the Macmillans on the islands, the more discoveries will be made about the rest of the clan, and hopefully the 2014 Gathering in the Hebrides will turn up more interesting information.

For more information about Clan MacMillan go to the website at www.clanmacmillan.org


An exceptionally good turnout to hundreds and gathering at Benbecula Fire Station for an open day there on Saturday afternoon, June 14, beside the delectable setting of Balivanich beach and panoramic views over the ocean on a fine and sunny day, contributed to a friendly and relaxed occasion, showing a real sense of true community spirit as visitors and firefighters alike cajoled together to background disco-like musical accompaniment.

A car wash had been held the previous week, prior to which came the conclusion to a 10-week High-Flyers course for 12-15 year-olds, designed to promote firefighting skills, personal safety and confidence building, held at Balivanich Hall. All participating had passed the course.

A buffet lunch was laid on, and course director Iain Bagley informs that this has been in operation bi-annually since 2008.

At the end of the open day a fantastic £3,007.54 was announced as having been raised through this event and the car wash.

Delights enjoyed included a bungee run, bouncy castle, bottle stall, face-painting, beat the goalie, teas, coffees and home baking, sales, prizes, barbecue stall, sumo suits donated by local businesses and so on. At the bouncy castle, for instance, much mirth and hilarity were engendered amongst children and the not quite so young due to trips and falls made on the slide downwards! All safe, though, it must be said.

The money raised is to be divided between three organisations - that of the Fire Service Charity itself, Maggie’s Cancer Care home for Highlands and Islands, and CHAS (Children’s Hospital Association Scotland), a body that caters for disabled children enabling parents respite and time off from looking after them.

Benbecula Fire Station crew manager Iain Bagley, was happy when he spoke with the correspondent following the open day.

As a family day out for the community he commented: “All the hard works we have put in in order to realise £1,000 each for charities in such a small space of time has been satisfying.

“We would wish to do this type of event on more than an annual basis in the future, and all the firefighters - including two from Bayhead and one from Lochmaddy - are to be congratulated on doing a fantastic job, and for their commitment into organising and attending the charity events.”

He added: “As crew manager they are a brilliant bunch to work with and easy to manage!

“Importantly, I would also like to give thanks for the assistance of family and friends who gave of their time in running the show alongside the fire crew, so that if we had been called away that afternoon - which happily was not the case - things could still have gone ahead as planned.”

Iain concluded: “A big thank you goes to the businesses that donated prizes towards the Fire Station on such a nice afternoon, full of warmth and conviviality. Thank you everyone!”

As part of a Rights Respecting School, Balivanich Primary School took part in the National Brake’s Giant walking Bus on Wednesday, June 11, when the correspondent met up with a procession of teachers, support staff and over 100 children, complete with ‘GO SLOW’ banners and local police as they made their way from the school, along the main road, past the garage, shops and hospital, before making their way back to school. He was impressed!

By taking part in this national event you are helping to engage children in road safety, raise awareness of the dangers of traffic, and encourage drivers to slow down around schools, homes and shops as part of Brake’s GO 20 campaign. Well done to all.


Supper Ceilidh - The Lewis Retirement Centre in Bayhead will be holding another of the popular supper ceilidh’s on Saturday 21st June.

The event beginning at 6.30pm will feature music and Gaelic song from Tonkan Point, Murdo Dan and Broadbay Sound, Chrisann MacDonald and The Country Gaels.

Funds raised will support Lewis Retirement Centre refurbishment costs. Contact Maggie 07554665549 to reserve a ticket.