District News: Butt to Barra 20.02.14


Port-of-Ness Death - The morning of Friday 14th February brought sadness to Ness with the news that Dolina Murray, nee Morrison (Dollag Sheonaidh), of 19 Port-of-Ness, had passed away in Dun Berisay Care Home, Stornoway, where, due to failing health, she had latterly been resident and attended to.

Dolina, who was aged 94 years, and formerly from 17 Eorodale, had been married twice, first to John Macdonald (Iain Riasaidh) of 29 High Street Skigersta, who passed away in January 1952, and then to Donald Murray (An Gashan) of 19 Port-of-Ness, who passed away in April 1997.

Many friends in church circles will retain affectionate memories of Dollag, who was a professing member of the church for 60 years. It was expected that the funeral of Dollag was on Monday 17th February.

We share our thoughts in sympathy with her daughters Margaret and Christina Ann, her son, Angus John, the grandchildren, and we remember at this time her sister Agnes, and all others in the close and extended family circle who mourn her at this time.


Family Games Night - Every Friday at Balallan Hall from 7pm, carpet bowls, football, table tennis, darts, badminton and board games. £2 for adults £1 for children. Bring the children and try something new. Tea, cakes and a tuck shop. Support the Balallan and District Recreation Association to keep the Hall open all year round, for all ages in the community.

21st February - There will be a Gaelic play by the pupils of Sgoil nan Loch in Seall Seo, Daoine Og Deisiel is Deonach. The play written by Duncan Norman Macleod of Leurbost will be supported by Seonaidh Beag MacMillan from the Lochies, The Lochs Gaelic choir and Iain Costello Maciver. The entertainment begins at 7.30. Adults £4.00 children £1.00.

Quiz night - At the Old School in Balallan on Friday 28th February. Kinloch Historical Society will host a charity quiz night at 7.30pm. The event sponsored by Lochs Motor Transport will enable teams of three to win prizes for a local charity of their choice. This is your chance to pit your wits while raising funds for your organisation or group.

Alasdair MacIntosh - On Thursday 13th February in the Leurbost Community Centre, Alasdair mac an Doctair, gave a talk about the history of his own family and his early life at Glenmore and the people who shaped his view of community. Growing up in Lochs in the late 1960s and early 70s continues to inspire Professor MacIntosh in his work as an advisor to rural communities world-wide.

Book launch - A book of secular poetry and songs written by Rev Murdo Smith of 31 Leurbost (1878-1936) is due to be launched within the next few weeks. The composer of popular songs Tè Bhan Tè Bhan Tè Bhuidhe Bhan, Am Bothan Beag Coir, and Fògradh ar Gaidheal. The Rev Smith was the father of late KD Smith former teacher at Leurbost Secondary School.


Sympathy - We send sincere condolences to the family of the late Lesley Mackay, who recently passed away following a period of illness.

Lesley was the daughter of Dolly Mary and the late Archie Mackay (ex Ling). Dolly Mary’s family home is 15 Gravir and when possible, she comes back home on holiday as did Lesley and her children many times.

At this sad time in their lives we send our sincere sympathy.

Condolences - We also send a message of sympathy to the late Kenneth Campbell (Coinneach Phadraig) ex 18 Gravir who recently passed away on the mainland. To his nieces and nephews we send sympathy at this time.


Bus Service - Last week I read with incredulity a piece in a Skye-based publication which stated there was no bus service to Scalpay. As everyone is aware this is patently not true. The only run not in operation is the last one of the evening, as the Council is at the moment operating the Saturday service.

In Hospital - At the time of writing this, Annie Kate Morrison, Lonban, is detained in the Western Isles Hospital and we remember her in our thoughts and prayers and hope she is soon home again.


Congratulations from Benbecula to the ‘Gazette’ staff, on their Highlands and Islands Media Awards and Best use of Digital Media success, when the Gazette, in its new format was crowned Newspaper of the Year recently.

Also well done to the Uist-based ‘Am Paipear’, here in Balivanich, on once again securing the coveted title of Community Newspaper of the Year, and not forgetting Alistair Walker from ‘Fios’ in Ness, on his winning of Young Journalist of the Year.

Held at Nunton Steadings last week a well attended and most positive meeting was occasioned in the venue for the proposed forthcoming and much awaited local radios station An Radio.

Local radio - Various speakers participated with a great many ideas being put forward by them and members of the audience as to programme output of An Radio, such as News, Music, What’s On feature, Package, headlines, Music features, Gaelic features and so on.

Former Mod Gold Medallist Neil Campbell, from this area, also spoke at length - Neil has been a major driving force behind An Radio - and the possibility of Uist celebrities being invited to be present for the opening function, such as from a world famous island rock band.

I had previously written a show dedicated to the memory of the late Roland Buster Pearson, a haemophilliac, who was in charge of the Radio Caroline ‘Monitor’ magazine with Jean Cliff - a close personal friend at one time - with accompanying music, so hopefully this perhaps may come to fruition on An Radio.

Men’s Club - Thanks to Iain, and then later Neil, for ferrying the correspondent to and from Nunton on a cold and miserable evening!

To add to The Monday Club and The Wednesday Club at An Caladh, a Tuesday Mens’ Club is now being held with Colin and Volker presiding, within their offices situated next door to HHP in the Winfield area. This is between 10.30 am and 2.30 pm.

Western Isles

Junior Choirs - An Comunn Gàidhealach are pleased to announce the launch of a new scheme in order to help establish new Junior Gaelic choirs.

The scheme has been undertaken in partnership with Comunn nan Còisirean (The Association of Gaelic Choirs) and aims to increase interest in junior Gaelic choral singing.

Conductor training and workshops will be offered to any new, potential choir as part of the scheme as well as other practical support such as providing and supplying songs and arrangements.

Kenny Thomson, chairman of the Association of Gaelic Choirs said: “The number of Junior Gaelic choirs competing at Mòds has gradually declined in recent years.

“We know that not all schools and areas have the skills, time and resources to be able to start up a choir and through this initiative we hope to be able to support any school or community that wish to do so.”

The scheme will be open to any new, aspiring Gaelic choirs that have a genuine interest and wish to establish a Junior Gaelic choir. Well known Gaelic singer and choir conductor Joy Dunlop will assist An Comunn Gàidhealach in delivering workshops and training for any new, prospective conductors and is looking forward to the prospect of working with new choirs.

Joy said: “I have been involved in Gaelic choral singing from a very early age and continue to be involved as a senior member of a Gaelic choir as well as being a conductor of another Gaelic choir.

“I have gained so much from being part of choirs and choral singing was an important part of my development as a singer.

“The social enjoyment completely outweighs the hard work that is put in and it would be great to see another few Gaelic choirs forming around the country.”

If you are interested in receiving support through this scheme, please contact James Graham at An Comunn for more details: james@ancomunn.co.uk. Tel: 01463 709705. www.ancomunn.co.uk