District News: Butt to Barra 15-05-14

A beautiful view of Sheilbost Beach looking onto Luskentyre, Harris, by reader Leanne MacDonald
A beautiful view of Sheilbost Beach looking onto Luskentyre, Harris, by reader Leanne MacDonald


Port-of-Ness Funeral - On Wednesday 7th May the funeral of Mary Macfarlane, nee Macleod (Mairi Sheonaidh Chalum) was held.

As noted in this column last week, Mary, who was aged 90 years, passed away on Sunday 4th May at her home at 21 Port-of-Ness, where she was latterly attended to by her daughter Joan.

Mary, who was predeceased by her husband Murdo in February 1993, will be sadly missed in the neighbourhood where she had been resident.

After wake worship in Ness Church of Scotland, where Mary was a professing member, the funeral service there on Wednesday was taken by Rev. Iain Murdo Macdonald, assisted in prayer by Iain Maclean, Elder, Knockaird, with singing of praise led by Chris Barrowman, Eorodale, and Donnie Maclean from Barvas, who is formerly from Knockaird.

Rev. Macdonald officiated with solemn words at the graveside in the cemetery.

In their bereavement, we share and extend our thoughts in sympathy with her daughter Joan, her two sons John Murdo and Donald, the grandchildren, and all close relatives and friends who mourn in the passing of Mary.

Memories from the Gazette - With only sheep, lambs and pet horses now seen grazing on most of the crofts in Ness, an item on the nostalgia page of this paper on Thursday 1st May, “80 years ago”, brought back memories of a momentous occasion in Ness, when Donald Macdonald, 18 Habost (Domhnall Rosag) got the first Fordson tractor, which could now do all the work on the crofts being done by the household working horse. Those of us left in the older generation remember the interest aroused seeing this wonderful machine working on the Ness crofts. We now see plenty of tractors, but very rarely do we see a tractor with a plough behind it.


WWI - Contributions for the World War One commemorative exhibition can be taken to Leurbost Hall tonight, Thursday, May 15th, from 7.30pm.

This exhibition on the lives of local men who fought at the front from 1914-1918 is being prepared now for the North Lochs Historical Society event at the beginning of August.

New Charity Shop - The charity shop in the Portacabin at the Old Balallan School Buildings will open at 11am on Saturday, May 17th.

The shop, operated by the Kinloch Historical Society and Blythswood, welcome donations and volunteers.

Opening hours will be Wednesday 11-4pm, Friday and Saturday 11-4pm. There will also be an external collection bank where donations can be left at any time of day.

The Comann Eachdraidh are to be congratulated on setting up this facility for the community.

Bingo Night - The North Lochs Community Association and Sgoil Nan Loch will be holding a Bingo Night on May 30th.

Old Folks Dinner - The North Lochs Community Association will be providing the annual old folks’ dinner for the Over 60s living in Achmore, Leurbost, Crossbost, Ranish and Grimshader on Saturday, May 31st. Anyone wishing to go to the dinner should contact Robbie on 860233, Dolag 860567, or Maggie 860283 to give their details. Transport can also be arranged for you.

Ceilidh - The very talented youngsters who played, danced and sang at last week’s ceilidh in Balallan Hall were: Alice MacMillan from Point, giving a beautiful rendition of Amhran Peigi Eachainn from Cromore, written mourning the loss of her son during wartime.

Innes Begg of Gravir told a humourous story about his teacher and his brother Murray sang on the stage and then all brothers sang in harmony in the audience, adding their tuneful voices to the tenor and alto parts of the Lochs Choir song selection. Billy Campbell from Seaforth Head performed an unaccompanied challenging version of a popular song. Well done Billy!

Singer Mairi MacLennan from Balallan entertained the audience, then joined the other dancers Molly and Ciorstaidh, also from Balallan, to perform a fine Highland Dancing display.

Ewan Ferguson from Laxay, continuing the Ferguson piping tradition, played tunes on the chanter.

The very talented musicians and singers in the Sgoil nan Loch Folk group also performed and will be appearing at the local mod in a few weeks’ time. The ceilidh programme also included a supporting act of local adults and the Lochs Choir. Another excellent night of entertainment in Balallan Hall.


Fundraising Day - With only a day or so left before the ‘Latha na Mara’ RNLI Fundraising Day on Saturday 17th May in Lochmaddy Hall! Why not join the procession, led by the Lionacleit School Pipe Band, from the Main Pier, Lochmaddy, to the Hall, where doors will open at 11am?

There will be a children’s fancy dress (sea theme) – ages 2-5, 6-8, 9-11; and a variety of stalls. There will be two Raffles - a Main Raffle and a separate Raffle for a radio-controlled 1:20 scale model of a Severn Class Lifeboat.

In addition to the Pipe Band, visitors to the event will be entertained throughout the day by many other talented local singers, dancers and musicians.

There are now 14 exciting Lots for the Silent Auction, 12 of which are listed in the Programme of Events available now. The two additional items are: Lot 13: a model clay boat (measuring approx. 8”x3.25”x3” (20cmsx8cmsx7.5cms)), hand-made and smoke-fired in seaweed and sawdust by Kirsty O’Connor; Lot 14: a mystery item hand-made for the event by Angus Archie Dingwall.

Shetland ponies from the Uist Community Riding School will be on the green outside the Hall between 2p.m. and 4p.m., and the Leverburgh Lifeboat ‘The Royal Thames’ will be at the Main Pier, Lochmaddy (operational commitments permitting). RNLI Coastal Safety will also be present, with advice and information on safety at sea.

Keep an eye out, too, for RNLI Mascot Stormy Stan, fresh from his success at the Leverburgh RNLI Fun Day last Saturday!

For further information or to make bids before the Day itself, contact: Stella Evans (01876 500306) or Barbara Jameson (01876 500849).