District News: Butt to Barra 20-03-14

Reader Brian Whitington snapped this image of the sun setting behind Stornoway Harbour
Reader Brian Whitington snapped this image of the sun setting behind Stornoway Harbour


Relaunch of Befriending service - Befriending Lewis is seeking new recruits to provide a service to people on the island who may have trouble getting out and about.

Befriending involves providing a way for people to have more social contact through matching them with a suitable befriender.

Contact can be once a week or once a fortnight and meetings are usually informal and arranged to suit both of you. It may involve meeting someone in their home, going on outings or social events.

The purpose of befriending is to let people who may have become a bit isolated to have the normal social contacts in a way that suits them best.

Befriendees may be older people who are at home a lot or younger people who want to have someone to go out with – to the cinema or for a cup of coffee and a chat or to go to the gym or the football.

Full training is given over two evenings and the next round of training will be held on April 28th and May 5th. Befrienders will then be matched with a befriendee very soon after this.

If you would like to be a befriender or if you know someone who might benefit from befriending, contact Anne Sobey or Tina MacLeod at Third Sector Hebrides, 30 Francis Street, Stornoway HS1 2ND Tel: 01851 702632 or e mail befriending@tshebrides.org.uk

Take away success - Gaidhlig San Dachaigh of Breascleit, Isle of Lewis, has held a highly successful take-away evening at Breasclete Community Centre and sold 155 meals for a profit of £374.

They were helped by a very generous donation of burgers by Alex France, Butchers, of Westview Terrace, Stornoway.

Gaidhlig San Dachaigh is the only continuously operating Gaelic language course in the Western Isles and holds classes on Tuesday evenings (intermediate standard), Wednesday mornings (advanced conversation) and Thursday evenings (for beginners).

They have two excellent tutors, Janice Ann Mackay and Dolina Monaghan, and the aim is to learn Gaelic in a relaxed, informal environment so that classes are enjoyable as well as educational.

They are keen to promote a social aspect to classes, and organise fundraising events to become a more integral part of the wider community.

The group not only want to learn Gaelic, but also to promote its use among the increasing numbers of non-Gaelic-speaking incomers to the islands.

Anyone wanting to join our friendly classes can ring 621315.

AGM - The revised date for the Comunn Eachdraidh AGM is Monday 24th March at 8.00PM in Ravenspoint.

The AGM will be followed by a slide show of photographs of historical interest to everyone in or connected to the Pairc area and all are welcome. Admission is free. 

‘Latha na Mara’ ( RNLI Fundraising Day ) - An event to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is planned for Saturday 17th May in Lochmaddy Hall, North Uist.

There will be a ‘silent auction’, raffle, children’s fancy dress (sea theme), Shetland ponies, stalls, competitions, refreshments, and entertainment from local musicians.

It is hoped that the Leverburgh Lifeboat ‘The Royal Thames’, and HM Coastguard will be in attendance on the day (operational commitments permitting).

Items for the silent auction so far include: stunning model of a traditional Grimsay boat, hand-made especially for the event by Reverend Donald MacQuarrie; a signed Manchester United football; two adult tickets for a 2014 /15 Aberdeen Home League match; a magnificent clootie dumpling; two family tickets for ‘Satrosphere’ Science Centre in Aberdeen; signed photograph of Liverpool FC goal-keeper Simon Mignolet.

For more detailed information - or to make bids prior to the Auction - contact Barbara Jameson (01876 500849) or Stella Evans (01876 500306).

Light Lunch - Samaritans of the Western Isles will hold a light lunch in St Columba’s Church Hall, Lewis Street on Saturday, March 29th from 12 - 2pm. There will be a door collection and all are welcome to attend.

Run for charity - Local runners and walkers will have the chance to take part in two events in one weekend next month.

The MacLeod & MacLeod Pentland Road 10K & 5K will take place on Friday 11th April in aid of local Crossroads.

Then the following day Saturday 12th April there will be the 5K event, ‘Motivated by Mervyn’ in the Lews Castle Grounds.

Both events are very worthy causes and will offer entrants a different type of run with the Pentland Road likely to appeal to runners looking for an improvement to their Personal Best time at 10 or 5K.

While, the Motivated by Mervyn run will draw both the serious runner and leisure walkers coming together to celebrate the life of Iain Mervyn MacLeod and raise cash and awareness for the Arrhythmia Alliance.

The MacLeod & MacLeod Pentland Road 10K and 5K are known to be the fastest race routes in the Western Isles and entry is now available online at www.srac.org.uk , though entry is limited to 80 in the 10K and 40 in the 5K.

Entry will close on Saturday 5th April, so if you plan to run either of these races which will start simultaneously at 6.15 pm on Friday 11th April, get your application completed!

All runners are invited to the complementary BBQ at Stornoway Golf Club following the run and all proceeds of the event will go to Crossroads (Lewis and Harris).

Crossroads is a voluntary home based care agency providing respite through short breaks/longer periods of support for carers and personal care for individuals finding it difficult to cope living alone. Crossroads services are accessible to carers of all ages throughout the island, regardless of their disability or illness.

Whether the person being cared for is a loved one with terminal cancer, a relative with dementia or someone close living with a disability requiring lifelong care.

Event details are on Stornoway Running and Athletics Club web site and Face Book pages.

The Motivated by Mervyn 5K through the Stornoway Castle Grounds starts at the all together civilised time mid day and is already attracting entrants from all ages and levels of fitness.

In fact fitness is not an issue at all for this relaxed event around the trails of the wonderful Castle Grounds.

Entry £10 adult, £5 child, under 5s free. Registration 11.15a.m. on the Castle Green. All proceeds going to Arrhythmia Alliance to help tackle the UK’s biggest killer sudden cardiac death.

Come along, you can run or walk the route, push a pram or take your dog. Primary age children must be accompanied at all times by a responsible adult.

Entry forms are available in Sports Centre, Rangers Club or via Facebook.com/Motivated By Mervyn.

The weekend of April 11 / 12 looks set to be a very active one for the community to the benefit of worthy causes. So get walking, running or racing and play your part in this active community weekend.

New CD - A new CD of English and Gaelic psalm and hymn singing entitled ‘By the Still Waters’ is for sale in Scalpay and Harris shops.

It features local singers Kevin Norman, Joshua, Donna Marie, Chrissie, Jayne, Iona, Emma, Rebekah, Claire and the group and our prayer is it will be a source of great blessing to all who hear it.

In hospital - An unusual occurrence in our community recently was that Donald and Rachel Macsween, Rosebank, were both detained at the same time in the Lewis Hospital.

We are glad to report they are now home again and we send them our best wishes for speedy and full recoveries.

We also remember John James Macdonald, North Harbour View, who is home after having been hospitalised for a few days and, on behalf of everyone, we hope he too is enjoying better health.

New operator - The North Harbour Bistro in Scalpay which was previously successfully ran by Jayne is now being operated by George Lavery, Tarbert. Opening hours have been extended, and there is an extensive takeaway menu. Curries will be available on a Tuesday evening.

On behalf of the community, we wish George every success with his new venture which is being looked forward to by all.

Death in Cross - On Monday 10th March the Ness community and many outwith the Ness area were saddened with the news that Alexander MacDonald (Alasdair Beag), had passed away at his home at 25 Cross after having returned from the Western Isles Hospital where he had recently been attended to.

Alasdair, who was aged 82 years, and had in earlier years been a shepherd, was known to many in latter years as a successful competitor at sheepdog trials.

The funeral of Alasdair attended by friends from other island areas was on Wednesday 12th March. The service in the Ness Church of Scotland, taken by Rev. Iain Murdo MacDoanld, assisted in prayer by Alex Dan Murray, Elder, North Dell.

Singing of praise was led by John Hebditch, Elder, Cross Skigersta Road and Chris Barrowman, Deacon, Eorodale.

Rev. MacDonald officiated with words suited to the solemnity of the occasion at the graveside.

In their bereavement we share our thoughts in sympathy with his wife Margaret Ann, sons Donald and Iain, the grandchildren and all close relatives and friends who mourn in the passing of Alasdair.