Butt to Barra District News March 22nd


Ness Related Death – On Saturday, March 10, relatives and friends in Ness were sad to learn that Alexander George Nicholson had passed away in a hospital in Reading, England.

Alastair Wallace, as he was affectionately known, was aged 73 years. He was a son of the late Rev Wallace Bruce Nicholson, Free Church minister, and his late wife Annie, who, in their retirement years were resident at 5 Aird, South Dell.

In his work career Alastair was a financial consultant and was a keen aviator.

The funeral of Alastair in Kiltarlity, Inverness-shire, was on Friday, March 16, with the funeral service in Kiltarlity Free Church.

From Ness we extend our sympathy to all in the close family circle, and we remember at this time his sisters Sandra and Margaret, his brother John, and all others who mourn in this bereavement.

Death in Barvas – The morning of Tuesday, March 13, brought further sadness to us with the news that Fiona Macfarlane (Fiona Mhurchaidh Mhurdie) formerly from 21 Port, had passed away suddenly at her home in Heatherhill, Barvas. Fiona was aged 61 years.

The funeral to Habost cemetery was on Thursday, March 15, with the service in Barvas Church of Scotland taken by the Rev Paul Ahmed, assisted in prayer by the Rev Malcolm Macleod, Shawbost Free Church, and the Rev Iain Murdo Macdonald, Church of Scotland, Ness.

Singing of praise was led by Donnie Maclean, deacon, and John Angus Smith, elder, both from Barvas. Rev Ahmed officiated with solemn words at the graveside on Habost machair.

In their sudden bereavement we share our thoughts in sympathy with her four sons, John Murdo, Lewis, Scott and Mark, and we remember on this sad occasion her mother Mary, her sister Joan, and her two brothers John Murdo and Donald, and all others who mourn in the sudden passing of Fiona.

Sympathy – Following the sudden passing away of her brother, Donnie Morrison, in Aberdeen, on Wednesday, February 22, we condole with his sister Chrissie Smith who is resident with us at ‘Druim Fraoich’, North Dell.

The funeral of Donnie, who was aged 51 years, was in Barvas on Friday, March 9.

We also remember at this time his other sisters, Mary and Dolina, and his brother, Donald Norman.


Condolences - As a community we sympathise with Mr Murdo Maciver and Cena no21 on the loss of his sister Murdina Donn (Murdag Niceal) and Sandra Maciver (ben Tarbert View) on the loss of her sister-in -law in Oban.

The funeral took place in Oban on Friday March 9th.

We also sympathise with her three sons and the extended family circle, she was predeceased by her husband and two sons.

Communions - Services were held in the Free Church on the weekend of March 11th. Thursday services were conducted by Rev Calum I Macleod (Back) and remaining services by Rev Malcolm Macleod (Shawbost) and Rev Donald Morrison (Lochgilphead).

On Friday (the tradititional latha na ceisd) the text given by Mr John M. Macdonald Elder was from Songs of Solomon chp 6 v -3 and eight brethen spoke in reply and gave their testimony. The weather remained favourable throughout.

Golden oldies - The group enjoyed a lunch at Eleven on Tuesday, March 6th after a period of not meeting due to a lack of venue.

Our thanks to the staff and also to John A Maciver who drove us there and back safely. We hope our venue will soon be ready for all to meet as it has been much missed.

In hospital - Best wishes to Donald A Mackinnon 22 New Tolsta who is in Western Isles Hospital at the time of writing.


Congratulations - to John MacKay, from Glasgow, after he was named as an Olympic torchbearer ahead of this year’s London Olympics. John, who is the main anchor of STV News down in Glasgow, has strong Carloway connections on either side of the family (Kirivick and Garenin).

He will be joining the torch relay at Stranraer on Friday 8th June, with the flame heading towards Inverness via Glasgow. Meal-do-naidheachd, John!

Sports Relief - Everyone in the community is invited to take part in a ‘walk-a-mile’, with donations of £1 per person going towards Sports Relief. Starting at 10:30am on Saturday 24th March, the walk will progress from the Carloway Bridge towards Pentland Drive, where it will complete the mile-long circular by continuing through Heather Street and finishing at the Carloway Free Church. Tea, coffee and refreshments will be served afterwards in the Carloway Community Centre. Everyone is very welcome to participate!

Tolsta Chaolais Service - The monthly service at Tolsta Chaolais Meeting House will commence at 3pm, on Sunday 25th March. All welcome.

Carloway Football Club - Following a successful evening with Torridon last Friday, Carloway F.C. will be travelling down to Castlebay, Barra, where they will participate in a tournament consisting of Barra and two teams from both Skye and Oban respectively.

The tournament takes place throughout the weekend, commencing on Friday 23rd March (tomorrow). We wish the ‘way all the very best in the tournament.

Meanwhile, the draw for the Highland Amateur Cup will be taking place in Dingwall on Saturday 24th March. More details in next week’s Gazette.


From the Hall – The first public dance to be held in Tong for many years was held on Friday, March 9. It was run by the parents of the Youth Club and was an extremely successful night socially and financially.

Next week the Tong Community Council meets on Tuesday at 7.30pm while the TRA meets the same night but at 8.30pm.

The postponed AGM for the Grazings Committee meets on Friday night at 8pm when a new committee needs to be elected.

The TRA will be holding a car wash on Saturday, March 31, from 10am to 12 noon. Please come and help us raise money for the upkeep of the hall.


Communions – These are being held over the coming weekend in Scalpay Free Church (Continuing).

The assisting ministers (DV) will be the Rev William Macleod, Thornwood, Glasgow, and the Rev John Keddie, Bracadale, and our prayer is God’s blessing would follow all said and done in His name over the communion season and, indeed, throughout the year.

Nonagenarian – Congratulations to Sarah Macleod, 4 Scalpay, who celebrated her ninetieth birthday recently.

Sarah is resident at this time in Leverburgh Home of Rest and, on behalf of the whole community here, we wish her all the best as she reaches this momentous milestone in her life.


The Association have an excellent line up of good talent for the Ceilidh on Saturday 24th March. This time the location is different to many previous Ceilidhs in the Partick area and is being held in the Crawford Hall Beith Street and is an ideal location for this type of event.

The scheduled start time is for 7.45 pm and good advice to follow is to get there in good time because of any potential parking problems.

£5.00 for an evening’s traditional entertainment is good value for money and there is a treat in store with singers and musicians such as Gordon McKeeve,Catherine Tinney, Ainslie Hamill,Alistair Macarthur and the superb piping of Alistair Paterson. Collectively they represent many “airts and pairts” and that will all lead to an excellent evening.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Although the Royal Scottish Academy for Music and Drama traces a long established connection with Glasgow and the Glasgow Athenaeum of 1847 there has been a name change to the new title of The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Although the name has changed the aims and objectives remain the same and the emphasis on quality continues. The Glasgow Lewis and Harris Association and other Highland and Island Associations in the City take great pride in the young persons who are progressing through the professional stages.

Many of them have entertained Association audiences and they are always most welcome inclusion on any programme.

The Herring

There never was a fish that was so linked in with trade and Industry in the Highlands and Islands that could match the Herring.

Generations were involved and long before the modern technology existed there was a thriving industry based on a never ending source of supply.

Vast quantities were netted in the seas by hardy men who sometimes put their very lives at risk to reap “the silver harvest of the sea”

This herring fishing was certainly not limited to Hebridean waters and around many coasts the industry flourished.

In many Lewis and Harris households there are still amazing souvenirs of items brought home by “Clann Nighean an Sgadan” (the lasses of the fishing) who travelled to distant ports to exercise their proven skills in cleaning the herring. Although significantly diminished in terms of catches there is still a great interest in all the aspects of the fishing industry and the impact it had on many communities. Around mid April on a date to be finalised there is the usual Orain is Oraid evening held by the Glasgow Lewis and Harris Association.

The subject matter is “The Herring” and Rhona Mackenzie who will give the talk can be assured of a very attentive audience because each and everyone of them will have had a close association with The Herring Fishing.