District News: Butt to Barra 19.12.13

This stunning photo of a stag on the Lewis moor was taken by Ali Finlayson
This stunning photo of a stag on the Lewis moor was taken by Ali Finlayson


Last month news came to Ness from Perthshire related to the passing away at the beginning of October of Donald Morrison Thomas, D.S.M, whose mother was Magdaline Morrison, affectionately know to an older generation in Ness as Maggie Liza, a sister of Donald, Dolaidh Liza, who were formerly at 44 Habost.

Donald, who was aged 93 years, served in the Royal Marines during the second world war and was a highly decorated and distinguished veteran of the Marines during that time.

A detailed tribute related to Donald will be in the next issue of the Comunn Eachdraidh magazine ‘Croimagan’. From Ness we share and extend out sympathy to his daughters Jane and Donna, his granddaughter Magdaline, who wrote the tribute, and all in the close family circle who mourn on this bereavement.

Cross Skigersta Death - On Wednesday December 11th we were all saddened with the news that Effie Macleod, Nee Murray, Oighrig An Seordaich, of 4 Cross Skigersta had passed away in the Western Isles Hospital.

Effie who was aged 88 years, and predeceased by her husband Norman in August 2007 will be remembered with affection and sadly missed by all who knew her through the years.

Condolences - The first week of December was a sad week here with the death and funeral of Calum Iain Macneill, 10 Carishader, who passed away on the 4th, at Ospadal nan Eilean, where he had been a patient for several weeks.

He was 85 and the last surviving member of the Macneill family of 11 Carishader, his brother, Malcolm Duncan, having passed away last February.

Their two houses, now both left dark and empty, and the yard and steading by the roadside, are a poignant reminder to all who knew them that they have passed on and are no longer with us but the sadness of the local community is tempered by memories of lives well-lived.

Calum Iain and his wife, Katie Ann, formerly Macdonald, of Galson, who sadly predeceased him six years ago, lived in Glasgow after they were married.

They then came to live at Carishader where their home provided hospitality to holiday makers and visiting family with Katie Ann employed as cook-in-charge at Uig School for many years and Calum Iain running school transport for Bays as well as his concrete-block making business.

Calum Iain Macneill was always known for his bright and cheerful personality, never without a humorous remark at the ready, and he is very much missed from the neighbourhood at Carishader and also from the congregation of Uigean Church where his place at the means of grace was never empty as long as he was able.

The heartfelt sympathy of the community is extended to his nephews, Angus, Murdo and John Norman Murray, of Skigersta, Ness, and Glasgow, and to their families.

The funeral was held in Uigean Church on 6th December and was conducted, in the absence of Rev Hugh Stewart, by Rev Paul Ahmed, Barvas. Interment was to Ardroil Cemetery.

Deep sympathy is also extended to Mrs Gwen Hoskins, (Goodge) Miavaig, and to all her family, on the very sudden death of her daughter, Sue Foster, which occurred at her home in North Tolsta, also on 4th December, news which very much saddened the local community here when it became known.

This funeral was held in Inverness on the 12th.

Festive Greetings – Seasonal greetings for a Merry Christams and a Happy New Year are extended to all readers of this column, wherever you may be

Watchnight Service - There will be a Watchnight Service on December 24th at 11.15pm at St Columba’s Church in Stornoway. Hot chocolate will be served and all are welcome to attend.
Bragar and Arnol

Exhibition - An exhibition of class photographs and other memories will be held in Bragar School over the Christmas holidays. Photographs from the early 1920s until the school closed in 2012 will be on display, and most of the pupils in the photographs have been named. Also displayed will be pages from the log books, class lists and other artifacts to do with the school. A real trip down memory lane for all those with Bragar and Arnol connections.

The School will be open at the following times: Monday, 23rd December, 2pm – 4pm, 7pm – 8pm; Friday, 27th December, 2pm – 4pm; Saturday, 28thDecember, 2pm – 4pm; Monday, 30th December, 2pm – 4pm, 7pm – 8pm; Friday, 3rd January, 2pm – 4pm; and Saturday, 4th January, 2pm – 4pm.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served, and donations taken at the door for the Bragar and Arnol Community Trust, who organised the exhibition.

This project is also being supported by Comann Eachdraidh an Taobh Siar and Tasglann nan Eilean Siar (Hebridean Archives) with funding support from Bòrd na Gaidhlig.

Get Well - We send get well wishes for a speedy recovery to Mary Ann Matheson, Gravir who a the time of writing is in Raigmore Hospital.

Good Wishes - Here we are again at the time of year where we all look forward to celebrating Christmas and New Year, looking back on the year that has passed, good times and sad times.

May we wish the readers of the Pairc News at this time a good Christmas and a Happy Prosperous New Year when it comes.

Gaelic Choir - The high standard achieved by Lochs Gaelic Choir at the Royal National Mod In Paisley, culminating in them winning three trophies, was praised by conductor Ronald Murray at their AGM.

Their trophies included the Calum Robertson Trophy for Gaelic in the Puirt; the Hamish Graham Trophy for the highest marks in Gaelic over the three competitions in which they competed, and sharing the trophy for the highest marks in Music in the Lorn Shield.

Mr Murray said he was very pleased with the choir’s performance at the Mod, an opinion echoed by the adjudicators in their high marks.

Before the formal business and in Mr Murray’s comments, sadness was expressed at the death of former choir member Hector Macdonald of Laxay. Many from the choir had attended services to pay their respects, and sympathy was extended to Hector’s family and close ones, including his partner Roseann, also a member of the choir.

President Donnie Macinnes outlined the various activities undertaken by the choir in the past year, including being placed at the Inverness Local Mod, despite the strong competition.

The choirs also entertained at a number of functions over the year, and more are planned for the year ahead,

Mr Macinnes praised the organisers of the Paisley Mod, highlighting the excellent venues such as the Paisley Abbey, the Town Hall and the Coats Memorial Church.

On behalf of the choir, Mr Macinnes expressed thanks to the conductor for his hard work and dedication throughout the year, ensuring the choir reached a high standard for the Mod. He also spoke highly of Gaelic adviser Ann Macleod. Her tuition had resulted in the choir winning the trophy for the highest overall Gaelic mark in the three competitions they entered.

Office-bearers elected at AGM were:

Conductor – Ronnie Murray; Deputy Conductor – Iain Begg; President – Donnie Macinnes; Vice-President – Jane Ann Macarthur; Treasurer – Marilyn Hanlon; Asst Treasurer – Seonag Matheson; Mod Secretary – Christine Morrison; Secretary – Murdina Mackenzie; Assistant Secretary – Christine Morrison; Independent Examiner – Lorna Eller; Gaelic Adviser – Ann Macleod; Committee members – Iain Begg, Mary McDowall, Margaret Graham, Mary Mackay and Fiona Begg.

New baby – Congratulations to Peter and Kathelle Macleod, Alford, on the birth of a daughter Eilidh Joan, recently. Kathelle’s family home is at Rowan Cottage and we remember proud parents and grandparents Duncan and Donna at this happy time.

Graduation – Iain Maclennan, New Haven, has graduated with a HND in Marine Engineering from South Sheilds Marine College, Tyneside.

Congratulations – To Iain on this achievement which is a fitting reward for his dedication and hard work and, on behalf of everyone we wish him every success in his marine career.

New Resident – Katie Mary Morrison, Seaforth Villa, has moved into Leverburgh care home and we wish her every blessing on her stay in that excellent facility.

Pantomime – On Thursday, December 12th, Sir E Scott Primary held their annual pantomime ‘Chi mi’n tir’ in the school. Addhan Finnegan, Amy Mackenzie and Martin Macsween all took part in an excellent production which was thoroughly enjoyed by the large attendance.

Well done to all who participated, organised and helped, ensuring a successful and memorable event.