District News: Butt to Barra 26.6.14

Ronnie MacAlpine, Point, braved the midges one evening to walk by Loch Tiumpan and managed to snap a pair of ducks against the sunset
Ronnie MacAlpine, Point, braved the midges one evening to walk by Loch Tiumpan and managed to snap a pair of ducks against the sunset


Knockaird death - On the afternoon of Tuesday 17th June the entire Ness community and many outwith the Ness area were united in sadness when the news came, that following serious injuries sustained in a road car accident at the crossroads in Lionel, at the junction of the road from Eoropie and the main road through Lionel, on the morning of Saturday 14th June, lain Ruaridh Gillies of Cnoc Fianuis, 11 Knockaird had passed away in the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, where he had been taken to on Saturday.

Iain Ruaridh, who was aged 24 years, was a car mechanic to trade, latterly employed in Scotts Garage in Stornoway, was well known and respected, and will be remembered with affection and sadly missed by all who knew him.

Latterly Iain was resident at his late grandparents home at 7 High Street, Skigersta.

The respect with which Iain Ruairidh was held, was evident with the large gathering in Cross Free Church for wake worship on the evening of Friday, conducted by Rev. Donald Morrison, retired former minister of Lochgilphead, who is supplying the vacancy in Cross for three Sabbaths.

On Saturday 21st June, when one of the largest gathering of mourners seen in Ness assembled at the church, the solemn and moving funeral service was taken by Rev. Kenneth Ferguson, retired former minister of Cross.

He was assisted in prayer by Rev. Kenneth Iain Macleod, Stornoway Free Church, and Rev. Donald Macdonald, retired former minister of Kinloch. Singing of praise was led by Innes Macsween, North Dell, a close friend of the deceased.

At the graveside of Habost Machair Rev. Ferguson officiated with an address suited to the solemnity of the occasion.

In their time of grief, we share our thoughts in sympathy with his mother Ann, his father Iain, who is the former head teacher of Lionel School, his brother Donald, his sister Joanne and her close friend Paul, and we remember Iain’s close friend Kara, who is from Point, and all in the near family circle with our prayer that they would know the God of all comfort who promises grace to help in time of need.

Galson death - On Thursday 19th June, we were sad to learn that Murdo Macleod (Murchadh Dulan) of 27 South Galson, had passed away.

The funeral of Murdo, who was aged 88 years, was on Saturday to Barvas Cemetery.

The funeral service in Borve Free Church was taken by Rev. Paul Amed, Barvas Church of Scotland, who was assisted in prayer by Rev. William Macleod, retired. Singing of praise was led by Donald John Smith, elder, Barvas, and Donald John Macarthur, elder, Barvas. We condole with all the close relatives and friends who mourn in this bereavement.

WW1- North Lochs Historical Society will have a week long commemoration early in August, of the beginning of World War One.

This time in our island history, left empty places around the fire in most island homes.

If you had a relative who served during 1914-18 and would like their war service acknowledged and remembered, please contribute pictures or other memorabilia by contacting a Committee member.

All pictures and letters will be scanned and returned. The week will commence with a service at the War Memorial on Monday 4th August.

Kinloch Historical Society are also gathering material for a similar commemoration, which will commence 29th August.

If your family member (s) came from Kinloch, your contribution would be valued by the committee. Enquiries to the Old School Balallan, or kinlochhistorical@hotmail.co.uk.

Gaelic poetry - A large number of people attended the launch of Bannaimh Nach Gann, the Gaelic poetry collection of the late Rev Murdo Smith, on Saturday 17th June.

The collected works were donated to Comann Eachdraidh Ceann a Tuath nan Loch by Mrs Rosemary Smith, Onich, widow of the late K.D. Smith, the son of the bard.

Due to ill health Mrs Smith was unable to attend, but both she and her daughter Kenna Rutland send their best regards, to the company, assembled at the North Lochs Community Centre.

The poetry was written at a time when travel was by boat, service men were returning from WW1 to find the land was not ‘fit for heroes’ as promised.

It is hoped that in the future more of the songs and poetry within the Bannaimh Nach Gann collection will be heard at island gatherings.

The publication is available locally at Lochs Services, Old School Café Balallan, Uig Historical Society, Roddy Smith’s and the Gaelic Books Council in Partick Glasgow.


Funeral - The funeral service of the late Catherine Macritchie, last surviving member of the Macritchie family of 15 Breanish, was held at Uigean Church of Scotland on June 5th.

Aged 97, she had lived in her own home until three years ago when she moved into a care home in Gourock, in the area where she had spent most of her life working in the nursing profession but with spells in Breanish helping in the family home when needed.

She is affectionately remembered and missed by her nieces and nephews and the close family circle as a caring aunt and great aunt, the sympathy of the local community is extended to them all.

Her funeral was conducted, in the absence of parish minister, Rev Hugh Stewart, by Rev Iain Murdo Macdonald, Ness, and praise was lead by Iain Hector Macleod, Crowlista.

One of a family who were loyal adherents of Balnacille Parish Church, Catherine made a public profession of faith at an early age and had been a faithful member for the remainder of her long life. Interment was to Ardroil Cemetery where the Rev Iain Murdo Macdonald officiated at the graveside.


Isle of Lewis’ Back School is amongst the first beneficiaries of the TSB Football Travel Fund having being awarded a grant of £165.60 towards their football travel costs this season.

Back qualified for the fund having travelled to play in the recent TSB Soccer Sevens event in Glasgow.

The fund caters for secondary and primary school teams, as well as Scottish Schools’ FA (SSFA) regional associations, competing in TSB supported competitions during the 2013/14 season that face exceptional travel costs to fulfil fixtures.


Call to Minister -Last Tuesday, Lewis Presbytery of the Church of Scotland unanimously granted Permission to Call (a Minister) to Stornoway High Church of Scotland.

The High Church has been vacant since the retirement of Rev Willie Black in 2010 and was recently at the centre of a controversy over the Church’s position on Civil Partnerships and the Ministry.

Following a long period of uncertainty, a number of Parishioners left the High Church on 22 April to set up a separate fellowship.

A sizeable Church of Scotland congregation continued in the Matheson Road building and, although a previous Permission to Call had expired, applied to Lewis Presbytery for reinstatement of that Permission.

Session Clerk in Stornoway High Church, Mr John Cunningham, said: “This is an answer to prayer and we are thankful to God and to our friends on Presbytery for allowing us this opportunity.

“The search now begins, under God, for a man of His choosing to become Minister of the Stornoway High Church congregation.

“Whoever is called to this post will be rewarded by the opportunity to work with a warm, loving and receptive congregation to bring the Gospel to the people of Stornoway”.

Holiday Club - A Holiday Club for kids will be held at Martin’s Memorial Church Hall, Stornoway next week.

From July 1st to July 5th, activities will be held in the Church Hall for pupils from primary one to seven. The club will run from 10:30am to 12:30 each day and all children are welcome. For more information contact Zander on 07747723335.


Lewis Carnival - To view a float taking part from every parish in the islands is the desire of this year’s Lewis Carnival committee.

The 2014 Carnival is set to take place on Saturday, August 9th – and the call is out for groups and organisations to get together and get a float in this year’s parade.

Float registrations forms can be picked up from Events newspapers at 3 Clinton’s Yard, Rigs Road.

The Carnival Committee – made up of the Stornoway and District Round Table and local volunteers – are pleased to announce also a new Facebook page (www.facebook.com/isleoflewiscarnival) and Twitter (@lewiscarnival) which let you keep up to date with all the preparations; and a new email address (www.lewiscarnival@outlook.com).

“We’re looking for volunteers to marshal the parade and run a couple of the committee stalls,” explained a Committee member.

“If anyone is interested they can contact us via the email or Facebook addresses or through the Volunteer Centre in Stornoway – either pop into their offices on Cromwell Street or email kathryn@volunteeringwesternisles.co.uk

“And local businesses are more than welcome to set up a stall also on either South Beach or the Town Hall, just get in touch.”

With the Stornoway Amenity Trust Harris Tweed Hebrides Tattoo taking place on Friday August 8th, the Pipe Bands performing the night before will join the Lewis Carnival parade.

On Carnival day there will also be a Fair in South Beach Car Park, as well as stalls in the Town Hall and the Continental Market in Perceval Square.


Carloway call - Rev Thomas Davis is set to become minister of Carloway Free Church on the Isle of Lewis after accepting a call to the vacant congregation.

The 31-year-old father-of-three only recently completed his studies at Edinburgh Theological Seminary, and was licensed for the Free Church ministry last week at Back Free Church by the Western Isles Presbytery. Mr Davis accepted the call in person at a congregational meeting in Carloway last night (Monday 23 June).

The congregation on the west side of Lewis had been without a minister since Rev Kenny Macleod left in September 2012 to go to Dowanvale Free Church in Glasgow.

A date for Rev Thomas Davis’ induction will be announced in due course.