Butt to Barra District News 3/10/13

editorial image

Pictured above are: Jack Walsh from Coláiste Eoin, an Irish-medium school in North Dublin, Peigi Ann Scott from The Nicolson Instutute and Cuisle Nic Liam from St Dominic’s Grammar School in Belfast. See report of Peigi Ann’s success at Ri Chèile competition in the Nicolson Institute news below.


Ness Funeral – Following a funeral service in Urray West Church of Scotland on Monday September 23rd, the funeral of Alastair Macsporran to Habost Ness Cemetery was held on Tuesday September 24th.

As noted in this column last week Alastair was aged 76 years, of Mary Bank Ross Shire, passed away in the Highland Hospice on Wednesday September 18th. At the grave side on Habost Machair, where friends gathered with the close family circle Rev. Iain Murdo Macdonald Ness Church of Scotland officiated with reading of scripture and solemn prayer suited to the occasion.

We again condole with Alastair’s wife Christine, whose parents where from Skigersta, and all close relatives and friends who mourn at this time.

Memories – As we now have the pleasure in seeing a variety of beautiful horses, from the handsome Clydesdale, to the small ponies, being ridden through our village by their women owners, who are expert and familiar with the fitting of the harness and saddle, it reminds the older generation of when the working horse in most households was solely the domain and responsibility of the men in our villages.

Church Services – On Sunday September 29th we were glad to have with us in Cross Free Church, Rev Kenneth Ferguson former minister of the congregation conducting 50th morning and evening services in the church.

Reminder – The A.G.M of the North Lewis War Memorial Committee will be held in Comunn Eachdraidh Nis on Friday October 4th, all interested are welcome to attend the meeting which is at 8pm.


Bayhead Ward Community Association - Active for over a decade, the Bayhead Ward Community Association has been involved with other bodies to revamp the Bayhead Play area, which is much used now with a variety of equipment available to pass the time and relax.

The committee meet every month to discuss various points relating to the area, and this month hold their AGM.

In the past number of years attendance at the AGM has dwindled, and it would be heartening to the committee if more people would attend and offer new ideas for discussion.

The ideal situation would be representatives from the various areas of the ward to be part of the committee as some of the existing committee have indicated that they will not be continuing as committee members.

There are various projects for improvement in the pipeline and these will be discussed, along with other matters, at the AGM.

A good turn out is required to boost the enthusiasm of the committee to proceed with these projects.

The AGM will be held at the Bowling Club, Bayhead, on Monday, October 9th at 7.30pm.


New appointment - Horshader Community Development is delighted to announce the recent appointment of Elaine Murray as Administrative Assistant.

Elaine brings with her a wealth of experience having been employed in the family business in Irvine before moving to the Isle of Lewis.

She commented: “I am very excited about working with Horshader Community Development and being part of the team that helps our community to develop and grow.

“My family and I have already experienced the benefit that HCD brings through the support they give to local projects such as the rural transport initiative.

“We are looking forward to working with them on their forthcoming projects to develop a community growing area and farmer’s market initiative, as well as their proposal for a play area for our youth. Exciting times!”

Horshader Community Development is the first community group in the Western Isles to have built a community turbine wholly for community benefit, having been in operation and generating for nearly a year now and having built up sufficient reserves they anticipate the opening of the Community Fund later this month.

Further details about the fund can be obtained from Angela Macleod, Community Development Manager, Horshader@btinternet.com, or 01851 710241.


Public speaking - Peigi Ann Scott, a pupil from The Nicolson Institute, won the award as the Best Speaker in the Scottish section of Ri Chèile, the Scottish/Irish public speaking competition.

Peigi Ann’s topic was the importance of establishing a Gaelic-medium secondary school in Lewis. Peigi Ann spoke passionately on the need for creating an environment which enabled and supported young people to grow up fully fluent and comfortable in Gaelic and stressed the importance of a Gaelic-medium secondary school, even for young people like herself from strongly Gaelic-speaking families on the West Side of Lewis.

Peigi Ann won the Scottish section of the competition, Cuisle Nic Liam from St Dominic’s Grammar School in Belfast won the Ulster section while Jack Walsh from Coláiste Eoin, an Irish-medium school in North Dublin was the overall winner.

Allison Kennedy, a teacher from the Nicolson Institute, who accompanied the pupils said: “The pupils had a wonderful opportunity to meet other pupils from Scotland and Ireland at Ri Chèile.

“It was an excellent trip which gave our pupils a good insight into Irish culture and the part the language has in their everyday lives.”


Pairc has got talent! - A great day and evening was had by all who turned up on Saturday for the Party on the Pitch to celebrate 40 years of Pairc School.

Many thanks to Finlay Macdonald Builders for sponsoring the event and to all the performers and supporters on the day.

The Hall committee raised over £700 and the various stall holders raised funds for their causes too. It was great to see such a crowd of people supporting the event and it was fantastic to see how many talented performers we have in the community.

Happy Birthday to Pairc School, here’s to the next 40 years.


In Hospice – On Tuesday September 27th, Donald Macleod, Fairwinds, was removed to the Western Isles Hospital and, at the time of writing this, is detained there.

We remember him in our thoughts and prayers, wishing him a quick return to better health.

Work experience – During the week beginning Monday 16th sixth year pupils from Sir E. Scott School were involved in work experience in Stornoway. Will Macdonald was with British Telecom and Philip Coghill was with Anderson, Macarthur and Co and we are sure both enjoyed and learned from the experiences with these companies.

New baby – In our ‘New Baby’ news item two weeks ago the name of the new baby son of David and Chirsty Macleod, Back, should of course have read Joshua David and we wish him, his parents and grand-parents John and Rhoda at Seaview every blessing on this joyous occasion.

Condolences - The heartfelt sympathies of the community are extended to the family, relatives and friends of the late Murdo Morrison, Back. Murdo lived on Scalpay for some years when his late father Rev. Calum Morrison was Free Church minister here and a number attended the funeral services.

As we mourn the passing of another whom god had called home our prayer is that others would be raised up to take the place of those being taken into the Lord’s eternal service from our island congregations.


Dingwall Gaelic Service - The next Gaelic Service in the Dingwall Community Centre on Tulloch Street is on Sunday October 6th.

On this occasion the Rev Angus Ian Macdonald [Rtd] will conduct the worship. Mr Macdonald, affectionately known as Aonghas Iain, hails from Uig on the Isle of Lewis and was minister in the East Church in Inverness for over twenty six years.

The service to which all are welcome begins at 3pm.