Butt to Barra district news April 5th


Ness Related Death – On Sunday, March 25, relatives and friends in Ness were saddened with the news that Norman Gillies (Tarmod Young) formerly of 26 Lionel, had, after a short illness, passed away in a hospital in Guildford, Surrey, in England.

Norman, who was aged 87 years, will be remembered with affection by the older Ness generation.

At the latter end of the Second World War he served in the RAF, following which he led a seafaring career in the Merchant Navy, until later he was for a long number of years resident and working in Guildford, where, at the time of writing it is expected that the funeral of Norman will be held on Thursday, April 5.

From Ness we extend our thoughts in sympathy to his wife Margaret, daughter, Ann, and son Alexander, the grandchildren, and we remember at this time all other close relatives who mourn in this bereavement.

School Topics – This week we share our thoughts and sentiments with the people of our neighbouring community from Borve to Ballantrushal as they now see their place of learning, Airidhantuim School, closing down and bringing to an end an era in the history of their community.

As the older generation now retain poignant and happy memories of their schooldays in Airidhantuim, we hope the present younger generation will have healthy and happy schooldays as they join the Barvas schoolchildren in their new Westside school.


Services – Last Sunday the morning service in Scalpay Free Church was conducted by Hamish Taylor, elder, Manish, and the evening one by Angus MacVicar, elder, Leverburgh.

New Baby – Congratulations to Nicky and Kirsteen Morrison, Inverness, on the birth of a baby son, Joshua John Cathel, recently.

Kirsteen has her family home at Failte, Laggandoin, and we remember proud parents and grandparents on this happy occasion.

Condolences – These are extended to the relatives of Ron Stubbings, Leverburgh, who passed away recently.

Ron was part of the Harris coastguard team and, for those of us who had the privilege of serving with him over the years, we are conscious of the loss of an excellent and reliable fellow officer who was a consummate professional at all times and on all occasions.

Community Changes – March 31 marked two events that affected the Scalpay community.

Firstly it was the date Scalpay Care Unit closed after an extensive campaign against this event, although we are glad provision has been made for Margaret Galpin, who is resident there.

Secondly, Scalpay League of Friends, established in 1997 to support the residents of the Care Unit and the then Sheltered Houses, disbanded. Throughout the years a visiting rota was maintained, with volunteers preparing a cup of tea and talking with everyone, a service which was greatly appreciated by all.

The money left in the League’s bank will be given to the Scalpay Association as they have been of great support over the years.

Finally the League of Friends would like to thank most sincerely the Scalpay community for those who were volunteers and those who donated to and attended the various fund-raising events.

Crossroads Football Competition – On Wednesday, March 28, for the last time, a team from Scalpay took part in the annual Crossroads Competition for Harris Primary Schools.

They lost the semi-finals on penalties to the winning Sir E Scott team, and Daniel Macleod and Andrew Morrison were named joint players of the tournament.

The rest of the team comprised Gillian Macsween, James Morrison, Aodhan Finnegan and Amy Mackenzie, and well done to them, the winning team, the organisers, and indeed all the participants who thoroughly enjoyed this exciting event.

Youth Awards – Also on Wednesday 28, for the first time, a Harris Youth Awards ceremony was held in Tarbert Community Centre to celebrate the achievements of young people in Harris.

MV Awards (for fifty hours voluntary service) were given to David Morrison, Blue Cottage, and Chrissie Morrison, Glenview.

Wave Awards (for twenty-five hours voluntary service) were given to Donald Morrison, Blue Cottage, and Michael Macleod, Torman.

Dynamic Youth Awards were given to Rebecca Finnegan, Seafield, Mairi Mackinnon, Highcroft, Ewen Mackay, 1 Ardnakille, Alasdair Morrison, Braeside, Finlay Morrison, Hiorta House, and Rona Morrison, Hillside.

Well done to them, to all the youth of Harris who received awards and to Mairi Maciver, Community Education Co-ordinator, for all her hard work which ensured the evening’s success.

End of Term Assembly – The end of term assembly in Scalpay School was held on Wednesday 28 and was conducted by the Rev Kenneth MacDonald, School Chaplain.

Afterwards the school broke up for the Easter holidays and we wish pupils, staff and ancillary staff a safe and happy holiday.

Scalpay sale of work - Scalpay Community Development Ltd held a sale of work in the local Community Centre on Friday, March 30.

An unexpectedly large number turned out and the atmosphere in the hall was happy as people met and had a chance to chat to each other in a way that is far too rare nowadays.

Several members of the community who are not on any committee appeared to lend a hand in setting up stalls, including pricing items. There was excitement as boxes of baked goodies arrived throughout the day, and later when four of the local fishing crews brought boxes of prawns, a lobster or two, and a few crabs!

When the sale started on the early side of the advertised time of 7.30, there seemed to be no hitches in the serving of teas and coffees, while the stalls were being invaded in the lower hall.

When asked to say a few words at the end I didn’t know where to start as there were so many people to thank. I can do that better here; the Community Centre committee for allowing us to use the hall on a Friday night when it is normally occupied by the Youth Club; members of the SCDL committee for approaching businesses asking for donations, and those businesses who came up trumps and gave us lovely prizes for the raffle and the auctions; local artists who added to that display of desirable items; the bakers – oh, the bakers, whose contributions are never left for long; those who distributed the baking and served the teas; those who manned the stalls and the raffle tickets, and kept tabs on the money; Ewen the Post who dealt so competently with the raffle along with Roddy Mackenzie who patiently persuaded us to pay ‘reasonable’ prices for the auction items.

At the end of the evening some of us were happy to leave the tidying up until morning, but several efficient individuals just got on with it. We cannot thank all of those enough.

In addition we are grateful to the minibus committee for use of the minibus, and to Ewen the Post for picking up people from the Outend and Aird Aghanais, and taking them home later.

The weather was good, but it was nevertheless gratifying that so many turned out. There were many donations of money from those who couldn’t, and although the calculation may not be entirely reliable, a collection of £1,600 is not far off the mark. Special thanks for that is due to the Scalpay community. Sin sib fhèin!

Contributed Morag Macleod


Birthday Wishes - We would like to pass on our belated birthday wishes to Catriona MacDonald, of Doune Carloway, who celebrated her 80th birthday with family and friends at the Breasclete Hall last week. In addition, we would also like to pass on our belated birthday wishes to Duncan MacLeod (Duncan an t-Oighre), of Garenin, who is rumoured to have collected his bus pass on this special occasion!

Light Lunch - Còisir Ghàidhlig Chàrlabhaigh (Carloway Gaelic Choir) will be holding a light lunch in the Carloway Community Centre, commencing at 12.30pm on Saturday 14th April. Entry will be by donation. There will also be a raffle and a baking stall. Come along to enjoy a great lunch and support the local Gaelic choir!

Praise Night - There will be a joint fellowship taking place in the Carloway Community Centre, on the evening of Sunday 8th April at 8pm. Tea, coffee and baking will be served afterwards. Everyone is warmly welcome to attend.

Bun Sgoil Chàrlabhaigh - Carloway School are currently collecting their annual Tesco schools vouchers, where people can receive a voucher for every £10 they spend in the superstore. Vouchers can be used to help purchase school utilities, such as IT and sports equipment. If you have any vouchers, the school would be very grateful to receive them. To contribute, contact the school office on 01851 822889.

Carloway Football Club - Carloway took on West Side in a pre-season friendly last week, with the ‘way leaving Shawbost pitch as the 2-1 victors.

Goals from the MacLeod brothers, Seumas and Calum, sealed the win for Carloway as they prepare for the forthcoming season, due to kick off a week tomorrow!

With Carloway playing Stornoway United last night (Wednesday) in a friendly over in Shawbost, more details regarding that friendly and Carloway’s first game of the season will be available in next week’s Gazette.