Butt to Barra District News 30.4.15


Parent and toddler group - A new Gaelic parent and toddler group has been established in South Harris providing five spaces for children from birth to four years of age.

Bord na Gaidhlig awarded Somerville Enterprises CIC, a grant for resources and a Gaelic worker to establish a bilingual parent and child group in the Leverburgh area.

The Obbe Parant is Paiste is based in Kerri Ramsaidh’s home, where she and the newly appointed Gaelic worker provide a gentle and nurturing environment for pregnant mothers and children from birth to four years of age accompanied by a parent or caregiver.

The group meets weekly throughout the year on Mondays, 9.30 - 11.30am.

As a Steiner inspired group, the session begins with creative free play while parents engage in simple craft projects and snack preparation and a healthy snack is then shared.

The morning ends with a short story or puppet play before singing a goodbye song. The children and their parents are then free to play outside in the garden for as long as they like.

Obbe Parant is Paiste intends to provide additional support for parents and caregivers through friendships, study groups, one-to-one conversations, parenting workshops, a small lending library and a calendar of festivals and community events.

Obbe Parant is Paiste is hosting an open day event for all interested parents and carers.

Everyone is welcome and there is no need to book. The open day is being held on Saturday 9th May 10 - 12pm, 18 Northton, South Harris.


Celebration- Lochs Football Club will be launching its 80th Anniversary Magazine, ‘A Celebration of 80 Years’, on Saturday 9th May at 5pm in the North Lochs Community Centre. Refreshments and a bar will be available.

Charity Shop - At recent meeting of the Kinloch HS/ Blythswood Charity Shop in Balallan marking the end of a successful first year, the management committee was enlarged to ten members.

In welcoming the new members group chairperson Chirsty Macleod said: “The shop’s success, which is far beyond our expectations in the first year, was primarily down to the community support and the number of volunteers who gave so willingly”.

The charity shop hours will change for the summer from May 6th. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 1-3pm and on Saturdays from 11-3pm. Outwith these hours donations can be left in the recycling bin outside the shop.

The Lizard: The Radio programme Dòmhnall Macleòid agus a Lizard was on the shortlist in the Radio Documentary section at the Celtic Media Festival awards in Inverness last week. The BBC Radio nan Gaidheal programme focused on the First World War experiences of Donald Macleod, Lordaidh Sheonaidh from Leurbost.

May Holiday Walk - The North Lochs Comann Eachdraidh walking enthusiasts will be heading for some of the more remote part of Lochs on Monday 4th May. Car share from Cameron Terrace .This is the first of a series of walks over the summer.


Bernera Community Association - The AGM took place on Thursday 23rd April in the Bernera Hall and despite letters to each household it was still poorly attended by most in the community.

Fortunately many of those who took the time to attend agreed to go on the new committee with the first meeting to take place on Wednesday 6 May at 8pm. If there is anyone who would still like or is willing to be on the committee they would be very welcome at the meeting.

Events - The polling station for 7 May election will once again be the local community centre so don’t forget to come along and vote.

Also that evening to be held in the hall is the play ‘The Straw Chair’ which it is hoped will be well attended.

These events have been excellent in the past and this should be an entertaining evening.

We are privileged to have these events locally mainly thanks to work by Tom and Susan and these events are held by Arts nan Eilean. The cost is £8 per person and refreshments should be available.


Traditionsal music in Barvas - The monthly Traditional Music live session in Barvas and Brue Community Centre will be on Saturday 2nd May. Melodeon players and enthusiasts are welcome. The evening begins at 8pm.

Knitting Exhibition-Uig

The May exhibition at Comann Eachdraidh Uig in the Community Centre at Timsgarry, features a range of knitted geansaidhs on loan from the Moray Firth Gansey Project.

The fishermens’ knitted woollen jerseys had to be warm, hard wearing and comfortable.

Traditionally each village or family had their own distinctive knitting patterns and the project’s original aims were to record and conserve the Moray Firth gansey patterns and pass on the knitting skills to a new generation.

A Comann Eachdraidh Uig committee member said: “We are delighted to host the Gansay exhibition and hope it will bring back memories of the many knitted garments made here in the islands.

“We’d be interested to hear if anyone living locally has any stories or particular patterns that may relate to the Uig area.

“Also, if any family has a knitted garment which may have been made by one of the herring girls who may have brought patterns from other areas they worked in as they followed the herring shoals around the Scottish mainland.”

The exhibition can be viewed at Uig Museum between 12-5pm Monday to Saturday until the end of May.


Gaelic service - The next Gaelic Service in the Dingwall Community Centre on Tulloch Street will be on Sunday the 3rd of May. On this occasion Mr Angus Mackay who is an elder in Dingwall Free Church will conduct the worship. As always the service begins at 3pm and all are most welcome.


Gaelic Drama - The new Gaelic drama Coinneach Tarmod- Mo Dhuine created by Ness writer Alasdair Campbell, has been performed for several island community groups recently.

The humorous monologue performed by Maggie Smith of Cabraich Community Arts has entertained over one hundred and seventy people at the weekly rural Over 60s clubs in the Isle of Lewis.

The drama forms part of the hour long Gaelic programme, which also includes, poetry, story and song. The event has visited Cairdeas a’ Bhac, Club na Greine Charlabhaigh, Able Bodachs and Cailleachs Bhreascleit, Lunch Club Comann Eachdraidh Nis, Càirdeas Tholstadh and Clann an Latha an De Shiaboist.

The twenty minute drama Coinneach Tarmod- Mo Dhuine has been recorded by Uig Media and is now available online at: http://youtube/vZpyXxJ4YgI

A spokesperson from Cabraich Community Arts said: “The mature Gaelic speakers enjoy seeing their own culture represented in plays and poetry, the items are often the catalyst for great stories afterwards.

“Funders have requested that this year’s new plays are filmed and made available online to help develop the Gaelic drama audience.

“The next series of Gaelic drama events for community groups, will be available from September 2015 and we look forward to selecting new material for our regular audience in the Over 60s groups.”

Cabraich plays are performed with support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig and CNES


Harbourmaster appointment - Stornoway Port Authority has announced the appointment of Mr. Tony Morrison to the position of Harbourmaster.

Mr. Morrison was educated at the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway, and is a Marine Engineer by profession and is also a certificated RNLI Coxswain currently serving as Depute Cox on the Stornoway Lifeboat. He and his family live in the village of Sandwick near Stornoway.

Mr. Morrison’s working life to date has focused largely around Stornoway Harbour and he already has many years of experience in dealing with a significant number of the Port Authority’s customers and stakeholders.

Chairman of the Port Authority, Captain Robert J M Frater said he was delighted that Mr. Morrison had accepted the position and he and the Board very much looked forward to working with him as part of the team at Stornoway Harbour.

Gaelic Circle - The Friday afternoon Cearcall Còmhraidh (Gaelic Conversation Circle) at the Retirement Centre in Bayhead, Stornoway will recommence on Friday 1st May at 4.30pm.

Native speakers and learners are welcome. This will include Cearcall Seinn (Singing Circle) to learn easy singalong Gaelic songs.

This learning opportunity supported by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and CNES will run for four weeks. Friday 1st, 8th, 15th,22nd May.

Live music will follow after 6pm as part of the weekly Friday evening music and song gathering at the Retirement Centre.

Western Isles

Postal voting - The second batch of postal voting packs for the Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency were issued to electors on April 27th.

When you receive your pack make sure that you follow the instructions. Remember to complete the Postal Voting Statement with your date of birth and your signature, unless you have been granted a signature waiver. Complete the Ballot Paper by putting a cross in the box next to your chosen candidate.

Postal Votes have to be received by the Returning Officer by 10pm on Thursday 7 May 2015. If you have left it too late to post, you can drop it off at any polling station within the constituency or at the Main Council Offices, Sandwick, Road, Stornoway.

Bilingual twitter at election count - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will become the first local authority in the United Kingdom to run a bilingual twitter account, in Gaelic and English, at the 2015 UK parliamentary Election count.

The twitter account, which will provide live feed updates from the count beginning at 10pm in the Lewis Sports Centre on Thursday 7th May, will add to the Comhairle’s extensive Gaelic coverage at elections.

The Comhairle includes bilingual information notices in polling stations, produces bilingual press releases and the Returning Officer delivers the declaration in Gaelic first and then in English.

All correspondence from Na h-Eileanan an Iar election office has details in bilingual format.

Cllr John A Maciver, Chair of the Gaelic Language Implementation Plan Committee at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: “The Comhairle has been, and continues to be, very supportive of the Gaelic language in all of its operations.

“We have taken the lead on the use of Gaelic and have also steadily increased the usage of the language during election periods. We have received a lot of positive feedback about the usage of the language at polling stations throughout our islands.

“This new bilingual twitter feed will give the language even more exposure and we hope that Gaelic speakers throughout the Western Isles, and indeed Scotland, will utilise this method to keep an eye on updates from Na h-Eileanan an Iar count.”

The Twitter page can be found by searching ‘Western Isles Election’ or @eileanansiar