District News: Butt to Barra 17-04-14

The Lewis War Memorial was captured from a different angle to normal by reader Jenny Morrison
The Lewis War Memorial was captured from a different angle to normal by reader Jenny Morrison
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Sympathy from Ness - On Friday, 4th April, friends in the older generation in Ness were sad to learn that Duncan Macleod of Applecross had passed away in Nairn where he had latterly been resident.

Duncan, who was 92, was known in Ness in earlier years as the husband of the late Murdina Thomson (Murdag an Torrachan), formerly of Cross Skigersta Road.

The funeral of Duncan to Applecross cemetery was on Friday, 11th April, following the service in Clachan Church, Applecross.

From Ness we share and extend our sympathy to his two daughters Isabel and Marianne, his son Norris and the close relatives who mourn this bereavement.

Bragar and Arnol

Bragar School Building - On March 14th the Bragar and Arnol Community Trust bought over the old Bragar School Building for the community.

To mark this the Trust has a string of events scheduled for this year with the first being a Table Top Sale on April 26th at 2pm - there will also be a Bouncy Castle, Face Painting and Tuck Shop for the children.

The community, neighbouring villages and those from further afield are invited to come along and pick up a bargain or some home baking or just to come along and say hello.

The ‘Old Bragar School Photos Exhibition’ is still available for viewing as well.

If you have anything you want to donate for the sale, the old school will be open on Saturday, April 19th, at 12pm for dropping off items.


Independence debate - A debate regarding this year’s Scottish Independence Referendum will be held in Carloway Community Centre on April 18th starting at 8.30pm.

The event will be chaired by Angus Macdonald of BBC Alba with a panel of two pro-independence speakers and two pro-union speakers.

It is expected that former MSP for the Western Isles Alasdair Morrison and former Government minister Brian Wilson will be arguing the case for Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom while Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan and local businessman Gordon Maclennan will be making the case for Scottish independence.

The audience will get the opportunity to ask questions of the panel during the debate and there will be tea served at the end of the night.

Easter Celebration - Carloway Free Church and Church of Scotland congregations organised a holiday club and two community events over the Easter school holidays.

Over 40 pre-school and primary-school aged children attended the club.

The children were involved in a variety of activities including games, art, drama and music. This year’s theme was Mission Rescue and each day the group learnt about the story of Moses in the Old Testament.

On Friday evening a community BBQ attracted a good crowd and the children who had been at the club entertained those present with actions songs.

On Sunday evening both congregations joined together for a time of praise. A selection of psalms and Easter hymns were sung by the assembled congregation led by members of the Callanish and Carloway YF.


Moderator visit to St Columba’s - The Right Rev Dr Rob Craig, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, will visit Lewis this weekend, accompanied by his wife Karen.

Dr Craig’s year as Moderator has taken him to Rwanda, Burundi and India. He has been Minister in Londonderry, Kilfennan Presbyterian Church, for a number of years and most recently he has contributed to the Haas Talks held in Northern Ireland.

The couple arrive on the island today (Thursday, April 17th) until Monday 21st and during their visit Dr Craig will preach at St Columba’s Church, Stornoway, on Thursday evening (7.30pm) for the Church’s Easter Communion service.

He will then preach on Sunday (April 20th) morning for the St Columba’s Church Easter Day service, and on Sunday evening there will be an Easter Praise Night at 6.30pm when Dr Craig will be interviewed about his faith and the work of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

Dr Craig’s Church – The Kilfennan Presbyterian Church – was the venue of last year’s General Assembly, held during Londonderry’s Year of Culture, and was the first occasion that a General Assembly was held out with Belfast city.


Fundraising pamper evening - A ladies pamper evening was held on March 28th at Breasclete Hall.

At the fund raising event, there were warm bamboo massage, hot stone massage, reflexology, foot whispering, eye brow threading, bra sizing, nails, make up, hair dressing, detox foot spas and a swishing rail. The event was done to raise funds and awareness of two charities, British Heart Foundation and Crossroads (Lewis).

Each received a cheque for £540 from the proceeds raise at Breasclete with the therapies and raffles.


Car wash and Lunch - Come for lunch at Balallan Hall this Saturday, April 19th from 11am till 4pm, and get your car washed too. Balallan Hall committee are also having sales tables, including home baking, tombola and raffles.

Càirdean - Kinloch’s over 60s group are fundraising for their annual trip to the mainland. At the end of June this year their destination is Pitlochrie.

This Saturday at the Balallan Hall lunch, they will be selling the new publication Pòl Gorm Memories in aid of their trip. Pòl Gorm Memories is a collection of Gaelic poetry and English articles, written by the late John Murdo Eachainn of 26 Laxay.

The publication was first made available on Friday 11th April at a Càirdean Còrdail Cheann a Loch event. John Murdo was a regular attender of the sociable fortnightly group, he valued the friendship and cordiality which this volunteer group continues to extend to the residents of the villages in Kinloch.

The event also commemorated 20 years since Càirdean Còrdail was established in 1994 and a gorgeous chocolate cake made by young Rachel Macinnes of Leurbost, was presented to the group by the MacDonald family.

NLHS - The Comann Eachdraidh in North Lochs are having their AGM on Thursday evening at Leurbost Community Centre. Come along and support their endeavours to preserve aspects of the history of life in the villages of Leurbost, Achmore, Ranish, Crossbost and Grimshader.

This meeting is open to everyone living locally, who is interested in supporting the week of events planned to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of World War One.

This is planned for week beginning Monday, August 4th. The CE programme for speakers and walk to places of local historic interest over the next six months will also be finalised at this meeting. Your ideas will be most welcome.


Services - Services in Scalpay Free Church on Sunday 6th April were conducted by Hamish Taylor, Flodabay. On Sunday 13th, the preacher in Scalpay Free Church (Continuing) was Rev. Daniel Mackinnon, Senior Minister of Kilmorack.

Baptism - At the morning service in Scalpay Free Church (Continuing) on Sunday 6th, the Sacrament of Baptism was administered to Kyle, son of Roddy John and Jayne Macdonald, Fernbrae.

New Grandparents - Congratulations to Ewen and Erica Galbraith, Morgan, on the birth of a first grandchild, Fin, recently.

Ewen is our local dental surgeon and we wish grandparents, parents and the new arrival every blessing at this happy time.

Test Success - We are delighted to report that Caroline Mackay, 1 Ardnakille, passed her driving test in Aberdeen recently. Good for you, Caroline, you did really well!

Engagement - We also extend our warmest congratulations to Alistair Morrison, Ebenezer, and Dawn Maclean, Coll, who have announced their engagement and, on behalf of the community, we wish them every happiness.

Permanent Resident - James Macleod, Green Pastures, is now permanently residential, along with his wife Jessie, in Harris House and we wish them and indeed all from Scalpay well in their respective homes of rest.


Public meeting - The Yes campaign in the Western Isles held a very successful public meeting in the lecture theatre of Sgoil Lionacleit on Wednesday night. This was one of a series of events taking place around the islands which seeks to answer people’s questions on independence.

Alasdair Allan MSP, who spoke at the event, commented: “This was a great chance to bring people together from around the Uists and Benbecula who were interested in finding out more about the great opportunity which Scotland has on the 18th September.

“We talked about everything from the future of Royal Mail services in the islands to the Scottish Government’s commitment to maintaining the Hebrides Range after independence.”

Latha na Mara - Arrangements are well underway for the ‘Latha na Mara’ - RNLI Fund-raising Day - on Saturday, May 17th in Lochmaddy Hall.

Stalls will include RNLI goods, home baking, hand-made items, bring and buy / ‘white elephant’ and bottle and can stall.

There will also be a silent auction, raffle, face painting, a variety of competitions, Shetland ponies courtesy of Uist Riding School, and a children’s fancy dress competition (sea theme): ages 2-5 / 6-8 / 9-11.

Refreshments will be available on the day, and entertainment will be provided by talented local musicians including the Lionacleit School Pipe Band, who will lead a procession from Lochmaddy Pier along the High Street to Lochmaddy Hall. Doors open at 11 a.m.

It is hoped that the Leverburgh Lifeboat ‘The Royal Thames’ and HM Coastguard will be in attendance, subject to operational commitments.

Items for the silent auction include: Model of a traditional Grimsay boat; Signed Manchester United football and team photograph; Seascape Canvas by Roddy Mackay/Custom Prints; Two Adult Tickets for an Aberdeen F.C. Home League Match 2014 / 2015 Season; Clootie Dumpling, made especially for the event; Signed photograph of Liverpool FC Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, with Certificate of Authenticity; Family Tickets (Each, two adults, two children) to ‘Satrosphere’, Scotland’s first science and discovery centre in Aberdeen; Voucher from Uist Outdoor Centre for Outdoor Activities for two people on a half-day session, either climbing or sea kayaking; Collection of six miniature crystal pieces (rabbit/ donkey with panniers/owl/oyster shell with ‘pearl’/ perfume bottle/sea lion balancing ball.

Full details of the ‘Latha na Mara’ events will be published in the next few weeks from local outlets. Any contributions for the stall, or for the raffle or silent auction, will be most gratefully received. For further information, or to make bids prior to the auction, contact Stella Evans (01876 500306) or Barbara Jameson (01876 500849).