Butt to Barra District News 27.11.14

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Community Association - Preparations are now well advanced for the annual Senior Citizens’ dinner. This will be the twenty fourth year of the event and the Association anticipates this year’s event will be as successful and enjoyable as all the previous dinners.

The event provides an opportunity to renew old friendships and local talent will provide entertainment. The Association would encourage all Senior Citizens and any now living outwith the area to offend.. The dinner will be held in Laxdale School on Saturday 6 December at 2pm.


New houses - Cal Max have been working flat out on major excavation work on the site in the Winfield area of Balivanich in preparation for the construction of four new HHP houses there.

This project is anticipated to be completed by next Spring.

Winter fair - Benbecula North Community Company held a succesful winter fair sale at Balivanich Hall on Saturday, November 22nd.

The 20-plus stalls were piled high with all forms of goodies and those in charge were all happy with the sales made.

The correspondent is told that a ‘lady from Berneray’, who trains as ‘Crafty Crofter’, sold out most of her several lines of homemade jams, as well as a table with the products of Cregard - a centre in Lochmaddy that runs a workshop for those with disabilities, that includes furniture, framed photgraphs, Christmas cards and many other things.

There were also knitted jumpers, hats and several children also had their faces painted for the day.

Benbecula North Community Company Committee member, scientist Dr Brian Chandler-Lorenz, of Tindil Place commented: “It was nice to see everyone having a lovely time; people meeting up and chatting in a most convivial atmosphere, and we even managed to recruit four additional members to BNCC in the process.”

Dr Chandler-Lorenz philosophically added: “It more than paid for itself.”


Sympathy – The Community has been deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Malcolm Maclean M.B.E. (Calum Murdo) on 7th November 2014 at his family home at 16 Kirkibost.

Aged 80 years, Calum Murdo was the only son of Roddy Maclean, Bragar and Dolina Macdonald, 16 Kirkibost.

He spent his working life in London but retired to his family home in Bernera with his wife Catriona. He was always greatly involved in the local community and was subsequently awarded the MBE for all his voluntary services.

The funeral service was held in Bernera Church of Scotland on 10th November and from there was laid to rest at Bosta Cemetary.

To his wife, Catriona and daughters Fiona, Karina and families we send deepest sympathy from the whole community. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Wedding - The marriage recently took place of Stephen Macdonald, 2 Earshader and Jayne Mackenzie at Cross, Ness with the wedding reception at Bernera Community Centre.

Congratulations go the newlyweds from all in the Community and we hope that they are able to make their home in Bernera soon.


Cross Skigersta death – On Tuesday 18th November, a large number of people gathered at Cross Free Church for the funeral of Allan Smith (Allan Sheonaidh Allan), who passed away in the Western Isles Hospital on the late evening of Saturday 15th, where he had been taken to earlier that day. Allan was aged 82 years. In his working life he had followed a seafaring career.

On the evening of Monday, a well-attended wake worship was held in Cross Free Church, and on Tuesday the funeral service there was taken by Rev. Roderick John Campbell, North Tolsta, Interim Moderator of Cross.

He was assisted in prayer by Rev. Kenneth Iain Macleod, assistant minister at Stornoway Free Church, and Rev. Calum Iain Macleod, Back.

Singing of praise in Gaelic was led by Donald Macleod, Deacon, South Dell, and in English by Donald Morrison, Elder, Cross. Rev. Campbell officiated at the graveside on Habost machair.

In their bereavement we share our thoughts in sympathy with Allan’s sister Jessie, who was resident with him in the former family home in Cross Skigersta, his brother Alasdair, retired minister in Back, and his brother Norman, of 18 Swainbost, who is currently resident in Dun Berisay Care Home. We remember all close family, relatives and friends who mourn in the passing of Allan.

North Dell death – The funeral of Calum Wallace, 3 North Dell, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Saturday 15th November, was held on Saturday 22nd.

Calum, who was aged 57 years, was known to many through his local voluntary work, and also to many outwith the Ness area through his well accepted articles on the game of chess in this paper through the years.

On the evening of Friday, friends gathered in Ness Church of Scotland for worship with the family, and on Saturday the funeral service there was taken by Rev. Iain Murdo Macdonald, assisted in prayer by Rev. Greg Macdonald, Ness Free Church Continuing.

Singing of praise was led by John Hebditch, Elder, Cross Skigersta Road, and Chris Barrowman, Deacon, Eorodale.

At the graveside Rev. Macdonald officiated with words suited to the solemnity of the occasion.

We share and extend our sympathy to his two sisters, Catherine and Joan, and all close family relatives and friends who mourn in the sudden passing of Calum.


Charity Shop - The Blysthswood and Kinloch Historical Society Charity Shop, at Balallan Old School will have new opening hours from Wednesday 3rd December: Wednesday 1-3pm, Thursday 1-3pm and Saturday 11-3 pm.

The committee would like to express their thanks to all those who donate goods and support the shop.

Christmas Fayre - The annual Fayre in Balallan Hall will be on 6th December from 2pm. Santa will arrive at 2.30.

There will be numerous sales tables and a bumper raffle. Tea, coffee, warm mince pies and shortbread available. Contact a member of the Balallan and District Recreation committee to reserve a sales table or ring 07760348748, they cost £10.00

2015 Calendar - Comann Eachdraidh na Pairc have created a beautiful calender of local scenes with photographs courtesy of John J Maclennan. The calender is available from Ravenspoint, Kershader and Gravir Post Office for £6.00.

Lochs Adventurers - The intrepid Captain Ronnie MacLean aged 36 of Leurbost featured on the Gazette front page having commanded in part, a daring expedition to break the world record for the most southerly position ever recorded by a vessel in the Antartic. A great achievement Captain Maclean.

This week we hear of Coinneach Macleod aged 40 originally from Cromore who is bidding for a place in the Fjällräven Polar team challenge.

This is a 300km long, winter adventure north of the Artic Circle. Coinneach MacLeod’s blog says “Growing up on the edge of the Atlantic has always given me a sense of adventure.

“The son of a fisherman and Harris Tweed weaver, I left the island and moved to Russia when I was 19. Having always challenged myself to improve, be it with health, work or learning and turning 40 this year,taking part in the Fjällräven Polar challenge will inspire me to continue”.

Vote for Coinneach Macleod on Fjallravenpolar.com to guarantee him a place on the team.

Although currently in the lead with UK votes, Coinneach still needs your support to get ahead of the many competitors from other countries.

We look forward to hearing more about the intrepid Lochs men completing challenges in North and South extremes.

Pictured above are some of the helpers at a Soup and Sweet lunch organised by the Lewis Branch of Save The Children.

The event was held at the M A Macleod Hall recently and was was very generously supported, raising more than £1,700 for the Ebola Appeal.