District News: Butt to Barra 21.8.14

Phil Rowe sent this great snap of a curlew taken a Sober Island
Phil Rowe sent this great snap of a curlew taken a Sober Island
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Port of Ness death - The morning of Wednesday 13th August brought to us the sad news that Norma Smith, affectionately known to us as Norma Tharmoid Phiobar, of 16 Port of Ness, had passed away in the Western Isles Hospital, where she had been taken to from Blar Buidhe Care Home where she had been resident and attended to for the last few months.

Norma, who was aged 80 years, will be remembered as a professing member of the church for over 60 years, who witnessed through the years, in walk and conversation, that her desire was for a better country even an heavenly.

In earlier years she was for some time the teacher in the Lionel Church of Scotland Sabbath School.

Norma was housebound for the last few years, attended to by carers, and those who visited her during that time found it both pleasant and profitable to be with her at 16 Port.

Wake worship was held in Ness Church of Scotland on the evening of Friday and the funeral service there on Saturday 16th was taken by Rev. Iain Murdo MacDonald, who was assisted in prayer by Iain Maclean, elder, Knockaird.

It was the wish of Norma that Psalm 23 and the hymn Amazing Grace would be part of the service and Chris Barrowman, Eorodale, led in the singing of the psalm, and John Hebditch, Cross Skirgesta, led in the singing of the hymn. Rev. MacDonald officiated with solemn words at the graveside.

We share our sympathy with the close relatives in Ness and Bragar where her father came from, Christine Mackenzie, her cousin from Tong, the neighbours and friends who mourn in the passing of Norma.

Swainbost death - The morning of Friday 15th August brought further sadness to Ness with the news that Angus Smith (Aonghas a Mhiseanaraidh), formerly from 40 North Galson, latterly from 21 Swainbost had passed away in Blar Buidhe Care Home where, due to failing health, he had latterly been resident.

Angus, who was aged 92 years, was the last member of the family who were at 40 Galson.

During the Second World War he served in the RAF when, along with a neighbour, Donald Morrison, from 42 Galson, both were taken as prisoners of war during the military operations in Greece.

In earlier years, he, along with his late wife Christina and family was resident and working in Glasgow before coming to 21 Swainbost.

After wake worship in the Free Church Continuing on the evening of Sunday, the funeral service there on Monday 18th August was taken by Rev. Greg MacDonald, assisted in prayer by Rev. Graeme Craig, Stornoway, and Iain Maciver, elder, Skigersta, with singing of praise led by Allan Mackenzie of Fivepenny and Stornoway. Rev. MacDonald officiated at the graveside on Habost Machair.

In their bereavement we share our sympathy with his daughter Anne, his son Donald John, the grandchildren, the close relatives and friends who mourn at this time.


Free Church inductions - Two Free Church of Scotland congregations on the Westside of the Isle of Lewis are set to welcome their new ministers over the next seven days.

Tomorrow (Friday 22 August) Barvas Free Church will host the induction of 26-year-old Rev Murdo Campbell.

And the following week (Wednesday 27 August) Carloway Free Church will welcome 31-year-old Rev Thomas Davis as their new minister.

Both induction services take place in the respective churches at 7pm, all welcome.

Father-of-two Rev Murdo Campbell, who is originally from Stornoway, spent six weeks with the Barvas congregation last summer as he trained to be a Free Church minister at the Edinburgh Theological Seminary.

He has now moved into the Barvas manse along with his wife Alison, 24, and two young sons David and Finlay.

Rev Murdo Campbell said: “We feel that it is a great privilege to be given the opportunity to serve The Lord and the people of Barvas.

“We are looking forward to being part of the gospel ministry which has been in Barvas for many, many years and working with the congregation to continue to build Christ’s Kingdom in this community.”

The 26-year-old added: “It’s certainly an exciting time for the Westside of Lewis, with Callum Macleod in Shawbost having recently recovered from his illness and Thomas Davis soon to be inducted in Carloway.

“We just hope and pray that there will be much blessing throughout the Westside as the Seed is sown.”

New Carloway minister Rev Thomas Davis is no stranger to the Isle of Lewis either, having previously lived in both Stornoway and Back.

Mr Davis has already moved into the manse in Carloway, and has settled into life on the Westside with his wife Una and their three children Tom, 8, John, 6, and Annie Rose, 3.

He is expected to preach for the first time as Carloway Free Church minister on Sunday 31 August.


Transported walks - With funding from Horshader Community Development, Age Scotland and Donations from our local Councillors the Clann an Latha an Dè Transported Walks are set to continue after the summer break. First Transported Walk of this term will be on Thursday 28th August, with the favoured destination being Ness.

Seating capacity on the mini-bus is for 16 plus driver and seats are on a first come first served basis. With this in mind would members of Clann an Latha an Dè who would like a day out, a walk in the Ness area and lunch afterwards please contact Cathie on 710257 to book your seat asap.


Dr Robertson’s Memoirs - Dr John Watt Robertson (pictured) was GP in North Harris for 22 years. During that time he took a keen interest not only in the health of his patients, but in the general welfare and quality of life of the community.

He was involved in Harris Voluntary Service and set up Comhlan Oigridh na Hearadh (an outdoor adventure group for young people).

He played an important part in improving the quality of life for the remoter areas, like the Island of Scalpay and Rhenigidale. In 1985 he introduced the idea of a Crossroads respite care service to Harris and the present Scheme was set up in August 1985 with Dr Robertson as one of its founder members and Medical Advisor.

Dr Robertson has now written his Memoirs and Crossroads Harris are publishing the book with the profits from the sale going towards the work of Crossroads (Harris).

The book will be launched at the Crossroads (Harris) Coffee Morning/Lunch on Saturday 23 August in the Community Centre, Tarbert, Harris. The Coffee Morning/Lunch will be held from 11am until 3pm and the Launch will take place at 12 noon, all being well.

A cordial invitation is extended to all to attend the Launch and the Coffee Morning.

Crossroads (Harris) exists to provide domiciliary respite care to carers of ill, elderly and people with disabilities and support to vulnerable people living alone. Long-term and emergency night respite is also provided.

Western Isles

Queen’s Award - The Lord-Lieutenant of the Western Isles, Sandy Matheson, has today urged islanders to nominate voluntary groups for the Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service (QAVS) 2015.

The QAVS is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities.

The Awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Nominations for 2015 close on 30 September 2014.

Launching a media campaign to promote the Award in the Western Isles, the Lord-Lieutenant said: “Over the past year it has been my pleasure and privilege to have met hundreds of inspiring people throughout the islands who give thousands of hours of their free time to voluntary groups.

“If you know of a voluntary group that makes a difference in the community where you live, please nominate them for the QAVS.

“To date, we have had the honour of two groups in the Western Isles being given the Award – Sporsnis in 2011 and the Eoropie Play Area in 2004.

“There are many other groups like them working tirelessly on behalf of their communities and I would encourage everyone to think about nominating groups for this prestigious award”.

Any group of two or more people that has participated in voluntary work for more than three years can be nominated for the Award.

Full details on how to nominate are available at http://qavs.direct.gov.uk.


Country music favourite returns to Stornoway - Irish singer, Mick Flavin, is performing in Stornoway next Wednesday, August 27th, with a show at the Cabarfeidh Hotel. Joining Mick and his band on the stage will be one of Scotland’s favourite bands, Manson Grant and the Dynamos.

The concert will take place in the Cabarfeidh Ballroom and is expected to be a sell-out, as the artists are always popular in Stornoway.

It’s 28 years since Flavin recorded his first country music album and he has just completed his 19th, the Field of Home, songs from which will feature in the show.

During his career he has played major venues such as Wembley and shared the stage with greats like Tammy Wynnette and Boxcar Willie.

Also with a history of success going back many years, the award winning Dynamos are known to have many Stornoway fans and have now completed their 16th album.

Tickets for the show, which starts at 8pm (doors open 7pm) are available from Reception at the Cabarfeidh – adults £20, concessions £17.