District news

Stornoway Primary Parent Council's annual balloon race. Lauren Macdonald, 7, and her granny Laura, accept their balloon race prizes from David Morrison.
Stornoway Primary Parent Council's annual balloon race. Lauren Macdonald, 7, and her granny Laura, accept their balloon race prizes from David Morrison.


Death in Cross - On Tuesday, January 14th we were sad with the news that Alex John Morrison, Alick John Ruaridh, of 82 Cross, Skigersta Road had passed away in the Western Isles Hospital.

Alex who was aged 84 years had in earlier years been resident in Australia, before returning to Ness where he will be remembered with affection by all who knew him through his work in the local building industry.

After wake worship in Cross Free Church on the eveing of Thursday, the funeral service there on the morning of Friday, January 17th was taken by Rev. Kenneth Ferguson, retired former minister of Cross, assisted in Prayer by John Mackay Elder, South Dell.

Singing of Praise was led by Donald Morrison Elder Cross, and Rev. Ferguson officiated at the graveside in the cemetery.

In their bereavement we share our thoughts in sympathy with his wife Margaret and daughters Margaret, Rhoda and Norma, son Alasdair, and we remember at this time his sisters Dolina and Chirsty Ann, and all other close relatives who mourn at this time.

Knockaird related funeral - On the afternoon of Friday, January 17th the funeral of Moira Catherine Cowan, who passed away suddenly at her home in Glasgow on Friday, January 3rd was held in Habost cemetery.

Moria who was aged 55 years was a daughter of Nora, nee Maclean, Nora Dholaidh, formerly of 9 Knockaird, and her late husband Donald who passed away in 2005.

Her many friends will have warm memories of Moira, who in earlier years was a frequent visitor to Ness at holiday times.

The funeral service in the Church of Scotland, Cross was taken by Rev. Iain Murdo MacDonald, assisted in Prayer by Kenneth Morrison Elder Free Presbyterian Church, Stornoway.

Singing of Praise was led by two first cousins of the deceased Donald Macleod, from Point led the singing in Gaelic and Donald Maclean from Barvas in English. Rev. MacDonald officiated at the graveside on Habost machair.

From Ness we share and extend our thoughts in sympathy to her mother Nora, sister Annette and brother Colin and all the close relatives at home and away who mourn in the passing of Moira.


Dinner/dance and Prizegiving – Carloway Football Club will be holding their annual dinner/dance and prizegiving ceremony at the Breasclete Community Centre on Friday 31st January, starting at 7:30pm.

We are delighted to confirm that former Scotland, Rangers and Carloway player Ronnie MacKinnon will be attending the event, where he will present the prizes to the players.

Carloway Football Club have also been kindly presented the Forbes Cup by Mr and Mrs Ian Forbes, of Inverness, which will be used for Manager’s Player of the Year category.

Entertainment on the night will be provided by the Stuart Taylor Ceilidh Band.

Tickets for this must-attend event cost £20 and can be purchased from committee members.

If you require further information, please get in touch with Cobby on 01851621400 or 07515896122.


Museum - The Old Balallan School building is now managed by the Comann Eachdraidh as a facility for the community.

The committee are preparing the building inside and out, for the opening of the museum at the beginning of the tourist season.

The last Saturday of each month is a Volunteer Day and this is your opportunity to do your bit. Please feel free to join us at any time on Saturday 25th January any time between 10am-4pm.

There are many tasks such as stone work, painting, joinery, cleaning and kitchen work.

We will endeavour to match volunteers to their chosen skill/trade.

Please let us know if you are able to attend or if you require further information telephone Anne on 830778. The office is open 9am-5pm (closed Wednesday and Sunday).


Sympathy - An immense wave of sadness was cast over the community of South Lochs and beyond following the untimely tragic death of Finlay Smith, Cromore aged 51 years.

Finlay who spent a number of years working on the fish farms and latterly in the oil industry could be described as a quiet, gentle natured individual who was always pleasant with a good word to all when you came in contact with him, always willing to help anybody.

Following a very difficult week for the family and friends pre funeral services took place in the Gravir Free Church, following interment to the Crossbost Cemetery.

To his aged mother Mairi, wife Meg, sister Ann Ishbel, brother Murdo and the wider family we send our sincere condolences at this very difficult time.

Sadness - News of another passing within the community was received with sadness following the death of Angusina Morrison (better known as Aggie, banntrach a Laddie) late of Parkview Gravir.

Following a number of years living with her daughter Anna in Inverness, she was latterly in a care home in Inverness and had reached the good age of 95 years.

Aggie could be described as a quiet, gracious lady, always welcoming to all who visited her and lived for her Saviour which she demonstrated in all walks of her life.

Pre funeral services were held in Gravir Free Church with interment taking place in the nearby cemetery.

To her son Donnie, his wife Ann, daughter Anna, and her grandchildren and the extended family we think of them at this sad time in their lives.


Harris Charity Shop - The Harris Charity Shop Committee is pleased to announce donations for 2013: ‘Lucky 2 B Here’ (contribution towards purchase and installation of defibrillators in Harris) £3,000; Bethesda £1,000;

Crossroads (Harris) £750; Leverburgh Home of Rest £250; Harris House Comfort Fund £250; Macmillan Cancer Support £500; Chest Heart and Stroke £250; Tarbert Day Centre £250.

For this year only the number of donations has been cut back.

This is due to the possibility of funds being required to safeguard the shop’s continued presence in Tarbert.

A very busy and successful year was promoted only by the work of all our volunteers and the support of contributors and patrons of the shop and the Committee wishes to thank you all.”


Public Meeting - North Harris Trust will be holding a Public Meeting at Scalpay Community Centre on Monday 27 January at 7.30pm.

The meeting will be an opportunity for the Trust to introduce the newly appointed Scalpay Development Officer.

Trust staff and Directors will be at the meeting to answer questions, and listen to ideas, that members of the community might have on proposals for future Scalpay developments.

North Uist

Exhibition - The North Uist Agricultural Society are going to be holding an exhibition of memorabilia related to the North Uist show. If you have any relevant artefacts be it pictures,trophies or medals which you would be happy to loan to the society for the exhibition please contact Joan Ferguson on 01876580327 .

Society AGM - North Uist Agricutural Society AGM, 8th February 2014, 8pm at Hosta Hall . Tea and coffee will be served and all are welcome to attend.


Using Gaelic - Are you interested in receiving some support to encourage the use of Gaelic in your area?

Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s funding scheme Taic Freumhan Coimhearsnachd is now open to new applications, to assist projects which will encourage and increase the learning and usage of Gaelic.

Further information and application forms are now available via the Bòrd na Gàidhlig website www.gaidhlig.org.uk/bord/en/funding-opportunities/taic-freumhan-coimhearsnachd.php or by calling 01463 225454, or email tabhartas@gaidhlig.org.uk. The closing date for applications is Friday 14th February 2014.

Blythswood Shoe Box Appeal - Blythswood Care’s 2013 Shoe Box Appeal produced 118,000 gift-filled boxes.“It’s so heart-warming to see again the generosity of people around the UK,” says Blythswood’s chief executive James Campbell. “Many of those who fill boxes have young families of their own and have to watch every penny they spend. But still they have made the effort to contribute personal and practical gifts that will bring joy to a stranger in need far way.

“On behalf of Blythswood and of those who received the gifts I want to say thank you to everyone who supported our 21st Shoe Box Appeal.”

Containing toiletries, clothes, sweets, toys and other every-day items, they were distributed in eight countries in Eastern Europe before Christmas, going to orphanages, schools, hospitals, care homes and gypsy villages. Nearly 15,000 were also sent to Pakistan.

“About one and half thousand volunteers have worked in sorting stations from the Isle of Lewis to Somerset,” says James Campbell. “Without their help we just couldn’t handle it and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude too.”