Butt to Barra District News 2.10.14


Death in Skigersta - The funeral of Mary Smith (Mairi Aonghais), of 12 Skigersta who, as noted in this column last week, passed away in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness on the morning of Monday 22nd September, was held on Friday 26th. Mary was aged 88 years.

A well attended wake worship was held on the evening of Thursday in Ness Church of Scotland, with the funeral service on Friday morning taken by Rev. Iain Murdo MacDonald, assisted in prayer by Rev. Greg MacDonald, Free Church Continuing.

Singing of praise in Gaelic was led by Angus Murray, elder, South Dell, and in English by Chris Barrowman, deacon, Eorodale. Rev. MacDonald officiated at the graveside on Habost machair.

We share our thoughts in sympathy with her daughters Margaret, Johanna and Sandra, the grandchildren and the close relatives and friends who mourn in this bereavement.

Eoropie related death - On Monday 22nd September, we were all sad when news came form Fort William that John MacLeod (Iockie Chalum Raillie), formerly of 5 Eoropie, had passed away at his home in Fort William, where, through the years he had been resident and working.

John, who was aged 85 years, had been in failing health for some time.

He was the last surviving member of a family of 10, three of whom died in infancy, who were originally at 5 Eoropie.

After worship with the family in Cross Free Church on the evening of Thursday, the funeral service there on Friday 26th September was taken by Rev. Christopher MacRae of Kilmallie Free Church, Fort William.

He was assisted in prayer by Rev. Roderick John Campbell, North Tolsta, with singing of praise led by Donald R. Morrison, elder, St. Ronans, and Angus Murray, elder, South Dell. Rev. Campbell officiated at the graveside.

In his address at the service in the church, Rev. MacRae gave a warm and moving tribute related to John as one of his congregation in Kilmallie.

The hearse with the remains went to stop at the family home in Eorpoie before going to the cemetery on Habost machair.

In their time of grief we share and extend our sympathy to his wife Agnes, their sons Calum and Angus, and we are glad to note that his son, John, was able to be in Ness along with the family at this time.

We also remember the grandchildren and all others who mourn in this bereavement.

Sympathy - Neighbours and friends in Ness were sad to learn of the recent passing-away of Ann Wood, who was known to many as one on the nursing staff in Borve Medical Clinic.

She was aged 59 years, and was latterly resident at the chalet at 131 Cross Skigersta Road.

The funeral of Ann, to Bragar cemetery, was on Monday 22nd September, following the funeral service conducted by Sister Clare in St. Moluags Temple in Eoropie.

From Ness we extend our sympathy to close family relatives who mourn at this time.

On the evening of Tuesday 23rd September, relatives and friends in Ness were sad with the news that, after a lingering illness, Marion MacPherson, nee Morrison, (Mor Tharmoid Plo) had passed away.

Marion formerly of 35 Lionel, had passed way at her home in Killin, Perthshire, where, along with her late husband Richard and family, they had been resident through the years.

The funeral of Marion is expected to be held on Thursday 2nd October. Marion was aged 76 years.

We share and extend our thoughts in sympathy with her daughters, Mairi and Ann, her sons, Tarmod, Richard and Iain, the grandchildren, and we remember her sisters Dolina in Lionel, Johanna in Alloa, Mary in Killin, and Etta in Inverness, and the close relatives who mourn.


Sympathy - We send sincere sympathy to the daughters of the late Catherine Macleod who recently passed away at the Western Isles Hospital. Catherine who had strong Cromore connections was married to the late Shonnie Murdo Loui, Gravir.

Pre-funeral services took place in the Free Church Seminary, with interment taking place in Gravir Cemetery.

To her daughters, Louise and Muriel and her sisters and the extended family we send sincere sympathy at this sad time.

Communions - The half yearly communions take place in the Park Free Church from 16th - 20th October.

The visiting ministers will be Rev Dollan Macdonald (Rtd), Prof John L Mackay and Rev Iain D Campbell.


Music and Song - Island visitors and islander dwellers have enjoyed traditional music and song at the Retirement Centre in Bayhead, Stornoway at teatime each Friday, throughout the summer months.

Visitors from as far as Chicago, Australia, New Zealand and Vancouver Island enjoyed a taste of island culture, through piping, Gaelic and English songs, melodeon music, mouth music and psalm singing.

The get togethers organised by volunteers, continued into September, promoted by Hebtember, an initiative to extend the tourist season.

One visitor said: “I am from San Francisco. There was a friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the centre with great music, songs and stories.

“I was able to ask questions about island life and meet some of the local people. It is the unique experience visitors are looking for and I really hope it continues in the future.”

The local audience who have attended over the summer, would now like to continue the Friday teatime get together, with a mix of traditional music, popular Scottish and Country music sing-alongs, but volunteers are urgently required to meet and greet, make the tea and assist behind the scenes

The event co-ordinated by Cabraich Community Arts since mid July urgently needs new volunteers to enable the event to continue, due to popular demand, over the next few months.

This event is not just for the over 60s but is open to everyone.

There is an open-mic arrangement for musicians and singers and every week is fresh.

If you like meeting new people and can help with some of the tasks behind the scenes, contact Maggie on 07554665549. On the other hand, if you would like an evening of live entertainment and meet new people, come along to the Retirement Centre on Fridays from 6-9pm.

Bayhead Community Association - Those of you who were disappointed that the afternoon teas for the over 60s in the ward were cancelled last month, will have the opportunity to come to the one arranged in the Bridge Centre, Stornoway on Saturday, October 11th between 3 and 5pm. Do come, we will be delighted to see you.

The long awaited planning consent for the enhancing of the area at the Bridge Centre has now been confirmed, so a start on this work is expected in the next few weeks.


Service - The next Gaelic Service in the Dingwall Community Centre on Tulloch Street will be on Sunday the 5th of October.

Conducting the worship on this occasion will be the Rev K D Macleod minister of Invergordon Church of Scotland. As always the service begins at 3pm and all are most welcome.


On Saturday 20 September the Gaelic Society of London held its annual Suipear nam Bard at Crown Court Church in Covent Garden.

This year’s guest was Frances Dunlop from Greenock. Her chosen topic was Mairi Mhor MacPherson, the Skye Bard.

Accompanied by excellent visuals, Frances took an enthralled audience through her subject’s momentous life, performing songs which richly illustrated the historical period. Particularly delightful was the accompanying singing by members of the London Gaelic Choir.

For many of us our grasp of the lyrics was fragmentary but they were skilfully put in context by Frances. Chrissie MacLeod Webb (Society President) chaired the event, with the evening’s guests including past President Iain MacLeod and various members from across London.

A gourmet meal was served by master chef Alastair Boyd from the Church galley kitchen. And the evening fully reflected the continuing work of the Society in promoting the Gaelic culture and language in the Capital, retaining a Highland flavour of hospitality and friendship.

The chorus of ‘Soraidh Leibh is Oidhche Mhath Leibh’ followed by the raising of the three cheers resounding firmly under the ancient timbers of Crown Court Church Hall brought a memorable night to a close.