District News: Butt to Barra 12-06-14

The deep reds of the evening sky above Stornoway Harbour were pictured by Ali Finlayson
The deep reds of the evening sky above Stornoway Harbour were pictured by Ali Finlayson


Death in New Zealand - On Wednesday 28th May relatives and friends in Ness were sad with the news from Wellington, New Zealand, that John Murray (Iain Lobster), who was formerly from 18 North Dell had passed away there.

John, who was aged 92 years, will be remembered with affection by the older generation in Ness. After serving in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War, John settled and had been resident in New Zealand since 1948, where latterly he was employed there with the Wellington Harbour Board.

Through the years he was well known to many as one of the large Gaelic-speaking group of islanders which is now getting smaller. John’s brother Norman is one of those still resident among this now small Gaelic-speaking group in Wellington.

Iain, along with close members of the family have visited and retained close touch with the old home in North dell through the years.

From Ness, we share and extend our thoughts in sympathy across the seas to his wife Margaret and family, all others in the near family circle, and his brother Norman in Wellington, and we remember at this time his brother Alex Dan in the old family home in North Dell.

Death in Glasgow - On Thursday 5th June we were again saddened with the news from Glasgow that Dolina MacWhinney, nee Macdonald (Dollag Alasdair), formerly of 9 Eorodale had passed away in the Western General Hospital, where she had been taken to from the care home, where, due to lingering illness, she had been attended to for the past few years.

Dolina, who was aged 83 years, was the last member of the family who were at 9 Eorodale.

Through the years, along with her late husband Bill and family, they had been resident in Glasgow where, after the funeral service in St. Jude’s Free Presbyterian Church, the funeral was expected to be on Tuesday of this week.

In their bereavement we share and extend our thoughts in sympathy from Ness to her six daughters, Christine, Sandra, Isabel, Ann, Margaret and Laura, her son Billy, the grandchildren and others in the near family circle who mourn at this time.

Childrens outings - school children from other island areas have been enjoying their annual outing in Ness, and we are glad to note that Cross Free Church Sabbath school children, along with their teachers and adult helpers, had their enjoyable outing to North Tolsta on Saturday 7th June.

Lottery grant - Uig Art, Isle of Lewis, has recently been awarded a grant of £4,351 through Awards For All Scotland, from the Big Lottery Fund, to enable a twelve month project with the theme of ‘Homecoming’.

The award comes on top of a grant of £700 from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Arts and Culture funding.

The grant will be used to increase the capacity of the group by providing new equipment, materials and taught sessions with professional tutors. By running a one-off ‘taster’ workshop in October, Uig Art is also hoping to attract new members.

The group will be holding local exhibitions and a closing event and exhibition at the end of the project.

Chair of Uig Art, Elaine Hayes, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this significant sum to enable us to run our project in Scotland’s year of Homecoming, and are grateful to both the Big Lottery Fund and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for such generous help.

“The theme of our project is broad and open to wide interpretation. Our members are already pursuing some novel and interesting ideas by asking themselves questions such as ‘where is your home?’, ‘what is your home?’ and ‘who is your home?’.

“We hope that others in the community will be inspired to come along and join us in our classes, at exhibitions, or both.”


The Big Jump - Donna Macdonald is doing a Tandem Sky Dive on the 28th of June. ‘The Big Jump’ is in memory of her father Hector Macdonald (Hebrides Haulage) who sadly passed away on the 22nd of November from Cancer of the Oesophagus, leaving her and her brothers with plenty of fond memories.

In conjunction with Donna’s challenge a raffle and auction night will be held in the Sea Angling Club, Stornoway on Saturday, June 14th. Proceeds will go to the aid of the local Macmillan Cancer Support Team.

Island MSP Alasdair Allan will open proceedings on the night and following the auction and raffle local band the Links will be playing till late.

The auction includes:

3 Night Stay at Gearrannan Black Houses

2 days Fishing for 2 Rods at Borve Lodge Estate

4m Harris Tweed from Kenneth Mackenzie Ltd

Leisurely Motor Bike Ride, return trip from Stornoway to Tarbert

3 Mushroom Stools from the Stornoway Trust

Lamp from Macgillvery’s

Rug from Carpert World

Rug from Floor to Floor

2 hours Mechanical Labour from Stornoway Spares

Made to Measure PVC Door (Cost covered up to £500) from Angus Clintons

Female and Male Tweed (one of each) from Harris Tweed Hebridies

Wheel Barrow (garden ornament) from Al Mowet

The Raffle Includes:

Salmon from Islander Shellfish

Teddy from Celtic Clothing

Stones from Lewis Loom Centre

Football from Sportsworld

3 Face the West Cd’s from Wee Studio

Carrie Elspeth Jewellery from Mosaic

Jewellery from Gemini

Jewellery from Christina’s Gems

Vouchers from: Camerons, The White Rooms, Crofters, Perfect Fit, M+M Pup Dates, Tech Mobile, Macleod + Macleod Butchers, Influence, Carpet World Warehouse, WJ Macdonald Butchers, Harris Tweed Hebridies Shop

Keep an eye on the Facebook page the Big Jump for more updates, any donations can be made through paypal to macmillanskydive@outlook.com

Tickets are on sale in the Sea Angling Club


Coffee Evening - At Balallan Hall on Friday 13th at 7pm will be in aid of Cairdean Cordail Over 60’s annual trip to the mainland.

The group meet fortnightly on a Tuesday at 2pm at Balallan Hall and welcome the young at heart living in Kinloch. Admission to the coffee evening is by donation.

Sgoil nan Loch - Congratulations to all the Sgoil nan Loch pupils who participated in the Local Mod last week.

This week primary seven pupils will be attending the induction days at the Nicolson Institute in preparation for the 2014-15 term.

Primary six and seven pupils will be going on their school trip to Inverness next week and the term ends on Friday 27th June.

Lochs Show - The Lochs Show will be on Saturday 26th July. This is the time to plan your contribution or entry for the crafts, livestock, vegetable or other category in the show. If you wish to book a stall at the show the cost is £15.

Please contact admin@lochsshow.org.uk as soon as possible, as places are filling up.

The raffle tickets for the show’s Vauxhall Corsa will be on sale shortly. Dust down your dancing shoes as the Tiree band, Trail West are playing at the Show Dance this year.

Lochs Football Club are playing home games at Creagan Dubh this season. Saturday’s game against Westside resulted in a draw 3-3.

Lochs are now in second place in the league with 13 points. The team will be playing several games in the coming weeks. Come along and show support for your local team.


Crossroads (Harris) AGM - In introducing the Annual Report to the AGM, Crossroads (Harris) Chairman, Mrs Catherine Morrison, expressed her gratitude to the funders, Comhairle and NHS Western Isles, and to the community for their continued support.

She paid tribute to the office staff and care attendants, whose professionalism ensured a high quality caring service at the point of delivery.

She expressed the Scheme’s sadness at losing a loyal member of the Committee, Annabel Cunningham, who had been a Community Nurse in Harris before joining the Committee and Joan Macaskill, who had been a faithful care attendant with the Scheme since it started in August 1985.

As well as providing a service to carers, the elderly and those with disabilities, the Scheme had held a successful Carers Outing and the Annual Primary Schools Football Tournament during the year.

The Co-ordinator, Morag Munro, reported on another busy year, having provided 2,446 hours of care to 34 individual clients for a variety of services, ie respite care, support, activities and transport.

The Scheme had attained the CROQAS award – Crossroads (Scotland) Quality Standard and had been graded 6 – Excellent in all three categories of Care in the Care inspection held in January.

The Scheme was facing a number of challenges in the years ahead, the need for care attendants to register with SSSC and the requirement for qualifications and the impact which government initiatives like joint commissioning of services, integration of services and self-directed support would have on funding.

The Treasurer, Ronnie Morrison, reported a surplus of income over expenditure, which was mainly due to the high level of donations received this year – over £7,900, which along with the local fundraising over £2,300 meant that £10,200 had been raised in the community.

Although the finances were stable at present, he sounded a note of caution, pointing out that the Scheme does not have administrative staff, the co-ordinator’s post being voluntary.

He also had concerns about the effect which new developments like joint commissioning would have on funding.He thanked the staff of Harris Voluntary Service for their support with payroll and administration.

Western Isles

An illustrated booklet titled ‘Opportunities of Independence for Island Communities’ will be published by the Islands Book trust as a contribution to the referendum debate.

The booklet is a lightly edited version of last year’s Angus Macleod Memorial Lecture by Kenny MacAskill, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice in the Scottish Government, given on 25th October at Pairc School, Gravir, Lewis.

Mr MacAskill has close family links with South Lochs and other parts of Lewis, and the lecture outlines how this background has influenced his political philosophy and values.

Commenting on the publication, John Randall, of the Islands Book Trust, said: “We are delighted to publish this permanent version of the lecture to stimulate discussion in this referendum year.

“We believe that it is one of the main purposes of the lecture series to encourage debate on topical issues, including those affecting the future as well as the past of island communities.

“We feel certain that Angus Macleod MBE, in whose honour the lecture was given, would have approved of the topic.”

Copies of the booklet are £6 plus P and P and are available from the Islands Book Trust by phoning John or Mairi on 01851 880737 or through The Islands Book Trust Website.