District News: Butt to Barra 27.03.14

This lovely photo of a little robin redbreast was taken by Ali Finlayson
This lovely photo of a little robin redbreast was taken by Ali Finlayson


Carpet Bowls - If you would like to play carpet bowls, please come to a meeting in Balallan Hall on Friday 28th March at 7pm to decide which evening would suit most people.

If you can’t attend the meeting let a member of the committee know your preferred evening (s). Ring 830233/830425

Football Quiz - Friday 4th April at North Lochs Community Centre at 7.30pm. Lochs Football Club are kicking off the 2014 season. Come and pit your wits against the ‘Brains Trust’ of Lochs FC.

Entry is £5.00 per person to make up teams of four. There will be various prizes, raffles and there will be a bar available. The quizmaster is Iain MacAskill from Lochs Football Club.

Balallan Hall - There is a Family Games night every Friday from 7PM, with badminton, football, darts and table tennis.

All ages are welcome to try their hand at a familiar sport or try something new. Tuck shop and teas available.

Coffee Afternoon - There will be a coffee afternoon and a Table Top Sale on Saturday 5th April in Balallan Hall from 2pm in aid of the Hall Running costs.

To book a table phone 830233 /830425 or contact any member of the Hall Committee.

Ceilidh - The Balallan and District Recreation Association will be holding a cèilidh with local artistes on Friday the 9th of May.

This event in Balallan Hall will feature the best of local talent, singers, dancers and musicians. Put the date in your diary now.


Light Lunch - On Saturday 29th March, Comann Eachdraidh an Taobh Siar will host a light-lunch at Ionad na Seann Sgoil, Shawbost, 12.30 to 2pm.

A choice of soup and puddings will be available - with tea/coffee and biscuits to follow.

The Croft History Project is nearing completion and it is anticipated books detailing the vast array of information gathered will be on sale later this year.

As the printing procedure will require a substantial amount of funding a raffle will also be held on the day - so please come along and give your support, whilst enjoying lunch in good company. A warm welcome awaits you at the “Ionad”!

Transported Walks - Clann an Latha an Dè (CaLaD) will soon be heading for the great outdoors on their Transported Walks (NHS Paths for Health) with Chris Ryan, Paths for Health Co-ordinator, as Leader/Driver. It is hoped to undertake one walk each month for the remainder of this year - with a break during June and July.

A schedule of Transported Walks has been distributed to CaLaD members – but if you have not received yours please contact the Secretary on 710257.

The group would like to thank Horshader Community Development and Age Scotland for financial support towards this year’s series of Transported Walks.


Presentation - At a surprise evening buffet in the Tong Community Centre on January 26th, special presentations were made to three retiring members of the Tong Recreation Association (TRA) Committee.

Their resignations from the committee had reluctantly been accepted at the AGM in November.

Tong Community Centre was officially opened in 1975 and on the organising committee at the time was Agnes Hodgart.

Agnes has been on the committee ever since and has been involved in organising a number of fund raising events.

Catherine ‘Bubbles’ MacDonald has also been a long serving committee member of the TRA, first being elected when she was a teenager. Catherine has worked tirelessly over the years and has passed on a lot of her expertise to the younger members of the committee.

When the Moody family came to live in Tong in 1991 the Tong Community Centre was closed for renovations, however when a committee was set up to ensure the smooth running of activities in the hall both George and Christine volunteered to help.

Shortly afier this George became TRA Treasurer and undertook the duties of this role for eighteen years. It was in 2010 that George officially gave up being Secretary and Treasurer of the TRA.

George also undertook the role of Caretaker of the Tong Community Hall, for which he has now handed in his resignation. The committee are currently looking for a replacement for George and anyone wishing to express an interest in this vacancy should contact a member of the Tong Hall Committee.

Prior to this presentation taking place, George was also rewarded for all his hard work when he was awarded the Loch a Tuath Citizen of the Year award for 2013.

Agnes, Catherine and George will be missed on the committee, and the Tong Community would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for all their hard work and dedication over the years, and wish them well for the future.


Sympathy from Ness - Relatives and friends in Ness were sad to learn of the sudden passing away in Glasgow on Friday 27th February of Donald John Mackay.

Donald John, who was aged 66 years, was the son of John Murdo Mackay from Sheshader, and his mother was Annie Morrison, remembered by the older generation in Ness as ‘Anna Bheag a’ Bhodaich’, formerly of 2 Adabrock, both of whom are buried in Habost cemetery.

The funeral of Donald John, attended by relatives, was on Friday 14th March, with the service in Buchanan Church of Scotland, with the interment in Drymin cemetery.

From Ness we extend our thoughts in sympathy to his wife Christine and all close relatives and friends as they mourn in a sudden bereavement.

Memories - As we in the older generation read items in the press related to the annual stone-skimming contest held on the island of Easdale in Argyle, it reminds us of earlier years when Lionel schoolboys would meet the Eoropie schoolboys at the Loch Gorm, which was between Lionel and Fivepenny machair, where the Social Club car park is now.

The purpose of this meeting was to have a stone-skimming (leum logain) contest on the waters of Loch Gorm, with our pockets full of stone slivers suitable for the purpose.

The Eoropie boys were always the winners in that pastime of bygone days.


WW1 Harris community play - Pròiseact nan Ealan’s series of commemorative First World War productions entitled ‘Gairm nan Gàidheal – Call of the Gael’ was in the Isle of Harris with their play ‘An Cogadh Mòr’ (The Great War) last Friday night.

The play, written by Iain MacRae, focused on the tragic affect the Great War had on one particular man from Harris.

The play itself was set within the living room of the man’s house and spanned a number of decades.

There was many flashbacks of his experiences in the trenches and showed him being haunted by a German soldier he killed in battle and left to die in the mud.

Although the cast mainly consisted of community actors the production was assisted by professional actor Arthur MacDonald of Tiree.

As well the community play there was also an array of music and song with local performers Ewen Morrison, Jayne Morrison and Amy MacKay singing, Neil Johnstone playing the cello and Ross MacLeod piping.

Wartime stories, memorabilia, artefacts and records relating to the island were exhibited.

These items will later become part of a larger exhibition to be handed over to the Harris community to be displayed as a lasting commemoration of their island’s sacrifice.

This week sees two of the last three community plays in the Western Isles with Point’s production taking place on the 27th and 28th of March and Uist on the 29th.

Point’s venue will be Sgoil an Rubha and North Uist’s will be in Carinish Hall.

Tickets available at the door on the night or can be purchased at the Pròiseact nan Ealan office. For any more information e-mail iain@gaelic-arts.com or phone 01851 704493.


Communions - The communion season is being held in Scalpay Free Church (continuing) over the coming weekend, when the preachers expected are Rev. Harry Woods, Beauly, and Rev. Alistair Macleod, probationer.

Services - In the absence of the minister, who was preaching in Leverburgh, services in Scalpay Free Church last Sunday were conducted by Duncan Macpherson, Elder, Tarbert.

Film Entry - Well done to Emma Macleod, Highbury, whose short film entry ‘ Cèol Ann An Sgoil Sir E. Scott’ was shortlisted in the ‘Best Gaelic’ category in this year’s Film G competition.

Emma and her mother Donna Joan both attended the awards ceremony in the Glasgow Fruit Market on Friday, 16th March, and we congratulate Emma and her Gaelic teacher David Murray who helped her with her preparation.