Memories – On the evening of Tuesday, November 8th, a pleasant gathering was held in Comunn Eachdraidh Nis in the old school in Cross, when former pupils and friends assembled for an interesting and enlightening project related to the history of the school from its opening in 1879 until 1959.
The evening was opened with prayer by a former pupil Iain Mackay, elder, South Dell. After an introductory address by Annie Macsween, another former pupil.
Annie gave a detailed account of the history of the school as given in a book written for the occasion with the title, ‘Sgoil Chrois’, Cross School, volume 1, 1879-1959, which is on sale and available in Comunn Eachdraidh.
The history of the ensuing years until the school closed in 2011 will be published later.
During the evening there was time for refreshments and videos and slides relating to the history of the school were shown.
We thank all who helped to arrange this evening of memories of Cross School as a place of learning in the district of Ness.
Remembrance Services – On the morning of Saturday, November 10th, in favourable weather, a well-attended Remembrance Service was held at the war memorial in Cross.
The service this year, when 10 wreaths were laid at the memorial, was conducted by the Rev Iain Murdo Macdonald, assisted by the Rev Greg MacDonald.
On the morning of Sunday, November 11th, also in favourable weather, after the service at Borve War Memorial conducted by the Rev Paul Ahmed, nine wreaths were laid at the memorial in Borve.
Ness Centenarian – This week we send centenary birthday congratulations to Catherine Smith (nee Murray), Catriona Chalum Fhearchair, formerly of ‘Cnoc Fional’, North Dell, who on Saturday, November 17, celebrated her 100th birthday.
Catherine, who in her working career was a schoolmistress, was the wife of the late Rev Malcolm Smith who was minister of Ness Church of Scotland from May 1941 to May 1964.
Catherine is now resident in the Bethesda Nursing Home in Stornoway, to where we send our grand old lady our good wishes for continuing future good health and happiness.
Award – We again send our congratulations to Peggy Macleod (Peagaidh Dhomhuill Chalum), formerly of 13 Cross, now living in Melbost, on her return from Buckingham Palace after being presented by Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, with the MBE awarded to her in the last Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to nursing and to people with Motor Neuron Disease.
Swainbost Death – The morning of Sunday, November 18th, brought sadness to Ness with the news that Norman Murray (Tarmod Neill), 9 Swainbost, had passed away in the Western Isles Hospital, where, after being in failing health for some time he had been taken to a week before the end.
Norman, who was aged 93 years, born on the night of the Iolaire tragedy on January 1st, 1919, was the last surviving member of a large family of 11 who were formerly at 9 Swainbost.
He was also one of the last Nessmen who served in the RNR throughout the Second World War, and during that time was Mentioned in Despatches in 1944 when serving on a destroyer, ‘HMS Loyal’.
Norman was well-known in church circles as a professing member of the Church from 1947, and an elder in Cross Free Church from 1956.
At the time of writing it is expected that the funeral of Norman will be on Tuesday of this week.
In their bereavement we share our sympathy with his daughter Sheila, son Donald John, and close relatives and friends who mourn at this time.
New Calendar - All Laxdale folk are cordially invited to the launch of a calendar, showing photos collected of the Laxdale Sunday School down through the decades, on Friday 23rd November at 7.30pm in Laxdale School.
Some of the images go back as far as the 1930s. At the evening there will be a slide-show of photos from Sunday School outings over the years, and it is anticipated that there will be much nostalgic reminiscence.
The calendars will be on sale and there will also be a small auction on the evening. Tea and coffee will be served.
Proceeds from the sale of the calendar will go towards the expenses of Stornoway Free Church’s Youth Club ski trip next year.
Senior Citizens Christmas Dinner - The Laxdale Community Association are most happy to announce that the annual Laxdale Senior Citizens Christmas Dinner will be held on the afternoon of Saturday 1st December at 2pm.
This is a social highlight of our community, where old friends gather to renew acquaintance in camaraderie and bonhomie.
All of our older folk are wholeheartedly invited to come, where a warm welcome will await. As in previous years, there will be a musical entertainment interlude.
If anyone is requiring a lift to the Dinner, or needing a wheelchair, please phone Chrissie Macdonald at 70 4450 or Cathie Mary Macmillan at 70 5104.
The Community Association would be most grateful for the help of the womenfolk of the district on the afternoon itself, and for any men who can assist with the assembling of tables and chairs on the morning.
In Hospital – At the time of compiling this, Morag Cunningham, Ardkinglas, is detained in the Western Isles Hospital and we remember her in our thoughts and prayers, wishing her a speedy and full recovery and a quick return home.
Remembrance Day – Several from Scalpay attended the Remembrance Day Service in Tarbert on Saturday, November 10th.
Among the wreaths laid were one from The Scalpay Community Council by Margaret Morrison, and one from Sir E Scott School by Sam Mackinnon and Hannah Macleod, Tarbert.
This solemn occasion gave us, as a community, the opportunity to remember those who made the supreme sacrifice in two world wars and continue to do so in conflicts today.