Butt to Barra District News 23/8/12


Ministers retirement – On the evening of Wednesday, August 15th, although it was accompanied with sadness, a pleasant gathering was held in the premises of Spors Nis at Lionel School, when the congregation of Cross Free Church along with friend srom other islands areas, gather to mark the retirement of Rev. Kenneth Murdo Ferguson as minister for the past 12 years.

Rev. Ferguson’s induction to Cross was on September 5th 2000. Mr Iain Macsween Elder, North Dell was M.C. For the evening.

After grace was said by Rev. Donald Macdonald, Kinloch, the gathering were treated to a feast of good things provided and prepared by the ladies of the congregation.

This was followed by presentations and speeches, and the esteem in which Rev. and Mrs Ferguson were held in Ness was evident with the number of presentation given to them, both from the congregation and from other local bodies and organisations.

After Rev. Ferguson warmly thanked the gathering the evening was brought to a close by Rev. Roderick J. Campbell, North Tolsta conducting a short prayer meeting, ending with Rev. Ferguson leading the gathering in the singing in Gaelic of Versus 23 and 24 of Psalm 73, followed by the benediction.

As the Rev. and Mrs Ferguson prepare to move across the moor to their residence in Back, our good wishes from Ness follow them for many healthy and happy retirement years.

Sulasgeir – On the early morning of Saturday August 18th, the usual hardy Niseachs left for Sulasgeir on the annual Guga expedition, where we hope they will have a safe and successful stay on the rock until they return with the birds ready for the cooking pot.

Correction – In the item ‘Death in Fivepenny’ in the Ness column published in the Gazette on August 16th we regret that the name of Rev. Donald M. Macdonald retired Free Church Continuing, who assisted Rev. Ferguson with prayer at the funeral service, was not given.

Great Bernera

Sympathy – The late Kenneth Macdonald of Barraglom: We are saddened to report the passing of Kenneth Macdonald (affectionately known as Coinneach Moghadie) of 3 Hacklete, on August 5th at the Western Isles Hospital, at the age of 83 years.

Coinneach was the son of John and Margaret Macdonald. He was born, attended school and resided in Barraglom most of his life. He was an excellent crofter and was especially able at managing stock. Before the days of visiting vets, any animal trouble and Coinneach was called upon to help. He also spent part of his life at the lobster fishing and sea weed gathering industries.

He suffered health problems in recent years but bore his difficulties with great resilience. He always had a cheerful word for those passing him on the road whilst taking his regular constitutional walk.

The funeral service was held on August 10th at the Bernera Church of Scotland, conducted by Rev Calum Macdonald (Callanish) and the Rev Kenneth Macleod (Carloway).

The praise was led by Calum Macdonald (Keose); and the internment was at Bosta Cemetery.

Condolences from the community are extended to sisters Agnes, Catherine, Joan and brother Angus, nephews and nieces and all the family. Coinneach’s friendly presence will be greatly missed.

Great Bernera Community Development Trust – Following a public meeting held earlier this year those interested in furthering development issues met at the Community Centre on August 13th.

A Chairman was appointed, Tom Macdonald; Secretary Calum Macaulay, and Minutes Secretary Joanne George. Treasurer to be appointed when a bank account is established.

The following were made Directors: Barry Inglis, Norman Macdonald, Calum Richings, Angus Macdonald, and Calum Murdo McLean.

The appointments will be held until the first AGM is held at which time all interested parties will have the opportunity to vote on the office bearers and directors. The first AGM will be held in late autumn when advance notice will be given to all residents, of the venue and time.

The WIIC Convenor, Norman Macdonald, also attended the meeting. His advice was welcomed.


Clubs restart – The Tong Caraidean Club will restart on Tuesday, August 28th. All new members are warmly welcomed. And all Tong Youth Clubs have no resumed meeting on Friday nights once again.

Tong Village Fete - Tong are holding their annual Village Fete on Saturday, September 1st at 2.30pm.

All teams are welcome to join with the day’s events. Teams should include someone over 40 and one chold of primary school age and should be a mixture of both male and female. Teams should have no more than six members.

Team events will consist of pillow fights, football, assault course, tug of war etc. There will also be tea and coffee, cakes and barbecue, bouncy castle and much more.

Strongman - As the Highland Games did not take place this year it has been decided that the strongman competition will run alongside the Tong Village Fete on Saturday, September 1.

It has been scaled down from previous years and will be for fun, there will be no money prizes.

Registration will start at 12.30pm and if anyone want more information, please contact Norman MacFarlane on 01851 703076.


Death - Calum Macmillan son of Murdo and Catherine Macmillan late of 14 Lemreway passed away recently in the Bethesda Hospice. Calum carried his illness with calm and courage. Calum spend all his working life at sea spending a number of years fishing in Stornoway, on the Clyde and latterly on the Fraserburgh trawlers, fishing out of Aberdeen. He was a much loved character who would liven any situation with his personality, a desire to get things right, combined with a sense of humour. He will be greatly missed by many. Family worship was taken at the home in Lemreway with pre funeral service at the Church of Scotland Lemerway taken by Rev I D Campbell and Rev D Macdonald Rtd with interrment taking place in Gravir cemetery. To his brothers Angus and Alastair and the relatives and his many friends we remember them at this very sad time.

Sympathy - We send sympathy to the family of the late Chirsty Anna (Ned) nee Macphail who recently passed away in a nurshing home in Canada. While active she visited her native Gravir yearly and we have happy memoried of her visits. To her family in Canada and elsewhere we send our sincere sympathy.


Farewell - As readers will be aware, Rev Kenny Macleod (Carloway Free Church minister) has accepted a call from Dowanvale Free Church in the west end of Glasgow.

Last Friday evening presentations were made to Kenny, his wife Maggie and their family at an informal gathering in Carloway Community Centre. A large crowd gathered to enjoy a magnificent buffet.

The evening concluded with the singing of a selection of praise items. During Kenny’s 8 year ministry Carloway Free Church has developed and grown.

In addition to regular Sunday and midweek services the congregation is engaged in various forms of community and outreach work in partnership with the Church of Scotland congregation.

On Sunday Kenny conducted his last services as minister of the congregation. The evening service was particularly well attended as the Church of Scotland congregation joined with the Free Church for the evening.

As a community, we thank the Macleod family for their contribution to life in Carloway and the work of the gospel on Lewis.

We pray for God’s blessing on them in their new congregation. Tapadh leibh agus a h-uile beannachd.

Co-operative Cup Final - Carloway progressed to their second final this season, after defeating Point 2-1 in Garrabost last Friday.

Goals from Billy Anderson and Dan Crossley, who played outstanding throughout the match, cancelled out Allan MacMillan’s opener for the Rudhachs to send Carloway into the final.

With the final due to be played on Saturday 1st September, Carloway will meet Back after they defeated Ness 3-1 in the other semi-final. Kick off for this must-see game is at 6:30pm.

If the final ends as a draw, then the match will proceed straight to penalties. Come out and support your team as they bid to end their 55 year cup drought!

Fixtures and Results - Carloway played Lochs at Cnoc a’ Choilich in 2nd round of the Lewis cup last Monday.

The ‘Way’ picked up an impressive 4-1 victory to send them into the semi-final of the competiton.

Goals from an Ally “Tolsta” MacIver screamer (goal of the season), Kevin “Gochan” MacLeod (2) and a Domhnall MacKay penalty sealed the victory against the Lochies.

The match report for this game, as well as Carloway’s Co-operative cup semi-final, can now be read on the club’s website - www.carlowayfc.co.uk. Consequently, Carloway now travel to Goathill Park, Stornoway, where they will face Stornoway United in the semi-final.

This is due to be played on Wednesday 29th August. Beforehand, Carloway face rivals West Side in the League on Friday 24th August (tomorrow) at Cnoc a’ Choilich.

Both games kick off at 6:30pm respectively. Come out and support your team!


Funday - There will be a 5K road race, fun run and fun day on Saturday 25th August in Pairc.

Registration for runners and fun run participants will be at Ravenspoint at 12.30pm. The sprinters will run the 5K to Sgoil na Pairc and the fun run will be from Eishal to the school. The fun day at the school will have quads, facepainting and a barbeque. All members of the community will be made very welcome.

Curry Night - The next curry night on Friday 31st August, organised by Nicky and her helpers at Lochs Services will be in aid of the Harris Gun Club.

The club are raising funds to meet a deadline for their Aline Forest project. There is a lot of local interest with 178 people participating in the sport on the range, on the day of the Lochs Show.

Volunteers - Any members of the community interested in supporting the team currently organising and rehearsing the new play at the old Balallan School can contact Anna on 07827314234. The first performance is in Balallan Hall on Wednesday 4th September.

The North Lochs Community Association ran the tea tent at the Lochs Show this year.

The committee would like to thank all those who contributed towards the baking and to those who helped to serve the teas on the day.  Next year we should run a ‘guess how many cups of tea we served’ stall. 

There will a Barbeque and Ceilidh night in the community centre Leurbost on Friday the 7th September.

All are welcome to attend, last year we had a memorable Orcadian Strip the Willow where our youngest dancer wasn’t even school age and the oldest was, well lets just say they have their bus pass. 


Services – Services is Scalpay Free Church last Sunday were conducted by Rev. Dr. Malcolm Maclean, Greyfriars, the former minister of the congregation.

In Hospital – Murdo Macleod, Moorlands, spent some days in the Western Isles Hospital recently but we are glad to report he is now home again and we send him our best wishes for a speedy and full recovery.

New posting – Morag Macpherson, Carragreich, former teacher in Scalpay School is now working in the same capacity in Seilebost and we wish her every success in her new posting.

Wedding – A wedding of local interest took place on Friday, August 10th, on Scalpay when Donna Marie Morrison, Glenview, married Christopher Martin, Scadabay.

The ceremony was conducted by Rev. Kenneth Macdonald and the precentor was Kevin Norman Macdonald, North Harbour View.

Bridesmaids were the bride’s sister Chrissie, her cousin Joanna and the groom’s sisters Carrie and Kathleen. The charming flowergirls were the groom’s nieces Emma and Erin. Best men duties were carried out by Iain Angus Macleod, Manish and Ruairidh Maclennan, Seilebost. The ushers were the bride’s cousin Alistair and brother Alexander and the groom’s brothers Duncan and Sean. The piper at the church was Donald Iain Maclennan, New Haven, and at the reception Stuart Morrison, Tarbert.

After the service the bridal party and friends travelled to the Cala Hotel where, after the minster said grace, a sumptuous meal was enjoyed, followed by speeches by the groom, best man Ruairidh and the bride’s uncle Duncan Macsween, Rowan Cottage. A memorable day ended with the customary musical entertainment provided by Tosh, Tonkan and Willie Campbell.

It only remains for us on behalf of the whole community to wish Christopher, who is employed by Calmac, and Donna Marie, who is employed by GSH Ltd, a long and happy married life together in their new home of Parkview Terrace.

Correction – I was last week even more conscious of my illegible scrawl as Donald and Donna Macleod’s home was named as Uig rather than Highbury.