Butt to Barra District news 21/2/13

The Pupil Council members of Sgoil an Taobh Siar recently took the initiative to raise funds for the Yorkhill Children's Foundation. The proceeds from the door sales on the night of their Christmas Concert, together with a 'Christmas themed' stall, raised the magnificent sum of �400. The pupils and staff would like to thank everybody for their generosity.
The Pupil Council members of Sgoil an Taobh Siar recently took the initiative to raise funds for the Yorkhill Children's Foundation. The proceeds from the door sales on the night of their Christmas Concert, together with a 'Christmas themed' stall, raised the magnificent sum of �400. The pupils and staff would like to thank everybody for their generosity.


Lionel Death – The morning of Sunday, February 10th, brought sadness to us with the news that Margaret Macfarlane, nee Morrison (Mairead Mhurchaidh Plo) of 35 Lionel had, after an illness borne with fortitude, passed away at the home of her daughter Johanna at 2 St Ronan’s Drive, Lionel, where she had latterly been attended to.

Margaret was aged 71 years. In earlier years she had been resident in Greenock, where close friends there, along with her friends in Ness and other places will now retain affectionate memories of Margaret.

The funeral of Margaret to Habost cemetery, where she was laid to rest beside her late husband Joseph, who passed away in May 1994, was on Tuesday, February 12th.

The service in Cross Free Church, attended by a large number of people, was taken by the Rev Roderick John Campbell, North Tolsta, who is formerly from Lionel. He was assisted in prayer by the Rev Iain Murdo Macdonald, Ness Church of Scotland, singing of praise in Gaelic was led by Donald R Morrison, elder, St Ronan’s Drive, and in English by Angus Murray, elder, South Dell. At the graveside the Rev Campbell officiated with a short solemn address to those gathered there with the family.

In their bereavement we share our sympathy with her daughter Johanna and husband John Wilson at St Ronan’s Drive, her son Murdo, the grandchildren, and we remember at this time her sister Mary in Helensburgh, her brother Calum in Gourock, and all close relatives and friends who mourn in the passing of Margaret.

Criomagan – An interesting edition of the Comunn Eachdraidh Nis magazine ‘Criomagan’ is now available at their premises in Cross and in the usual outlets.

Correction – In this column last week we regret that the age of the late Annie Mackay, 19 Eorodale, given as 90, should have been 92 years.


Sad News - We’ve had a time of intense sadness during the last two weeks, a sadness focussed on Carishader with the passing of the village’s two oldest people, members of neighbouring families, who passed away within a week of each other - but a world apart at the end. Malcolm Duncan Macneill, no 11, passed away on February 5th in Ospadal nan Eilean, where he had been an in-patient since just before his ninetieth birthday last November; and Annie Macleod, no 8, who passed away shortly after her 91st birthday, in Perth, Western, Australia.

With the death of Calum Dhonnchaidh, everyone who knew him is aware that a bright light has gone out in Carishader, that his like won’t ever be seen again and that as life goes on without him, we have enduring memories of his exemplary record of Christian witness, goodwill and friendship towards others.

A long-standing office bearer in the Uigean Church of Scotland congregation, he had a Sunday School at Lochcroistean over many years, conducted prayer meetings whenever he was called on, was always a faithful visitor of the sick and housebound and a generous contributor to good causes.

During his working life in the Janitors’ department of Lews Castle College, he was also active in the High Church Gaelic congregation during the week and right up to the end of his life, he had clear recall and expression of the events and personalities of his long life with a distinctly individual slant on life which ensured that his conversation was always interesting and worthwhile.

He was one of the last of the men from Uig called up to serve in the Second World War, drafted into the Royal Artillery, he saw service in Europe and the Far East and in due time, was very active on the local committee which erected the War Memorial at Timsgarry.

In his later years, following the passing of his sisters and sister-in-law, he became an accomplished housekeeper and cook, giving these matters the same detailed attention he gave to his handiwork which resulted in useful items of furniture, both for the home and the church.

We’re sure no other community has anything like the storage facility for the funeral bier that he constructed at the back of Uigean Church where his own funeral was held on the 7th February.

The funeral service was conducted by Rev Hugh Stewart, minister of the congregation, assisted by Rev William Macleod, former minister of the congregation and Rev James Macdonald, Point. The large congregation present was testament to the esteem in which Calum Dhonnchaidh was held by all who knew him.

The sympathy of the community is extended to his brother, Calum Iain, now left on his own in the home at Carishader and to nephews, Angus, who has been the mainstay of the Macneill household in recent months and to Murdo and John Norman and families on the mainland.

Death In Australia - Just a few days later, the news of the passing of Annie Macleod in Australia, after a short illness, was heard here with great sadness.

At the age of 91 and living in her own home in Perth, Western Australia, among friends, she kept in close touch with her family here and had been visited very recently by Carishader neighbour, Mrs Thelma Maciver.

Annie’s long life was one of Christian witness and service as a nursing sister and hospital matron, in this country, Canada, USA and in Australia, both in Tasmania and in the Outback, where she coped with characteristic fortitude with all the situations that met her.

The story of her life, were it written down, from the time of her conversion as a young woman in the pre-war Balnacille Church congregation, would make very interesting reading; all who knew her and of her, will cherish her memory.

The sympathy of the community is extended to her sister, Mary, in Ontario, Canada, her sisters-in-law, Mrs KM Macleod, Carishader, and Mrs Evelyn Macleod in England, and to all her nieces and nephews.

Her funeral will be held in Perth at the end of this month and family members have arranged to travel out to attend it.

The lives of these two Christian friends, from the same neighbourhood and close together in age, demonstrate to us all the truth of the scriptural promise that the righteous will flourish and bear fruit into old age.

Community Appraisal – The postal appraisal circulated by the Ionad Hiort Development Group has now been finalised with the analysis of the results showing a very positive response from the community of 47% questionnaires returned, with 72% of these affirming support for the proposed development, especially for the possible economic benefit.

The appraisal was the last phase of the project to be carried out by the BLIH group which has now ceased to exist. Its members have now joined the Ionad Hiort Board as directors for the purpose of taking the project plans forward to fruition. The full report of the Appraisal will shortly be available from the Board.


Eilean an Fhraoich Cup - The draw for the coveted EAF cup was made on Monday evening in Stornoway. Carloway will face Harris in the 1st round of the competition, with the first leg to be played at Rally Park and the return leg to be played at Cnoc a’ Choilich. The winner of that tie will face Lochs, who received a bye in the first round, in the semi-finals.


The preferred site for the new Pairc Hall has been identified after the results of the public questionnaire in December came back.

Most members of the community said that they would prefer the Hall to be placed ‘immediately out-with the Pairc School boundary’. The committee would like to issue their thanks to everyone who contributed to the questionnaire.

There will be a meeting which is open to the public in Gravir School on the 21st of February at 7.30. The meeting will include discussion and feedback about what people would like to see in the hall.


In conjunction with Zero Waste Western Isles, Kinloch Community Council recently took delivery of the new lockable skip for the Kinloch area.

The skip is situated at the Laxay Showground site and is open every Saturday from 10am to 12noon. The lockable skip is for the disposal of items of bulky household waste and deposit of waste is only permitted while the skip is unlocked and supervised. Local volunteers supervise the skip eachweek on a rotational basis. The Community Council would encourage other volunteers and anyone interested should forward their names to the Clerk Sandra Macdonald, 830 289.

Residents in Kinloch are strongly encouraged to make good use of this facility to enable this valuable service to be kept in the community.


The monthly meeting of the Harris SWRI took place in Leverburgh School on February 12th. Mrs Liz Struthers, President, introduced our guest speaker, Cathie Macleod. Cathie skilfully demonstrated how to make filled chocolate sweets and fondant cake decorations.

She brought along a big selection of the newest food products on the market to use in different forms of cake icing. The whole demonstration was so useful and enjoyable (especially as we could sample the sweets).

Cathie kindly judged the competitions as follows:

Marmalade: 1 Jackie Wallace, 2 Margaret Morrison, 3 Gill Scott-Forrest.

Purse: 1 Pippa Stevens

The vote of thanks was given by Liz Struthers. The Institute raffle was won by Katie Margaret Morrison. The iced cake, generously donated by Cathie Macleod, was won by Vonette Howe.

The hostesses for the evening were Flora Macleod, Katie Margaret Morrison and Mary Ann Macsween.


Services – Last Sunday the morning service in Scalpay Free Church was conducted by Angus M Macleod, elder, and the evening one by Hamish Taylor, elder, Manish-Scarista.

Evening Events – Jayne and Liz at the North Harbour Bistro and Café had two very successful events recently, a Burns Supper and a Valentine’s Dinner. Both were thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended and we wish the ladies continued success in their excellent and extremely popular catering venue.

New Baby – The congratulations of the community are extended to George and Katie Margaret Macleod, Agnes Water, Queensland, Australia, on the birth of a daughter, Catherine, on January 25th.

Katie Margaret has her family home at Morgan, and we remember proud parents and grandmother Jessie on this joyous occasion.

Manager Leaves – We are sorry to report that Alastair Morrison, Ebenezer, has left his job as manager of the Scaladale Centre. For a number of years Alastair’s name has been synonymous with the fantastic success of the Centre with youngsters and adults throughout the Western Isles, and indeed the whole country having a never-to-be-forgotten time in North Harris thanks to the efforts of ‘Ally Scally’ and his team.

As we wish him well for the future we thank him on behalf of school, Sunday school and youth organisations for his invaluable help to us on numerous occasions.


Buffet ceilidh - On Saturday 23rd February the Association is holding one of their very popular Buffet Ceilidh evenings.

Partick Bowling Club which is in Fortrose Street and in close proximity to Partick Burgh Hall is an excellent venue for this type of function and the evening begins at 7.45pm.

Good entertainment is in place with accordionist John Maclean accompanied by keyboard player Alana to provide appropriate music for the occasion.

From Harris there are two singers Jayne Morrison and Catherine Ann Macleod and a welcome return also by Calum Angus Macdonald from Breasclete.

As always a value for money evening priced at £10 and this includes an excellent Buffet.

It is said that in a certain city on the East coast a greeting is “You will have had your tea” but for this occasion in the Bowling Club having had or not having had “tea” do leave room for the treat in store.

March Ceilidh - This is scheduled for the 23rd March at the Crawford Hall, Beith Street, Partick and the programme is in final planning stages and will be published shortly.