District News: Butt to Barra 28.8.14

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Memorial events - On Saturday of this week 30th August, it is expected that the dedication and unveiling of the fishery memorial, which has been built as a permanent reminder of over 90 fishermen who were lost in the course of their employment in the fish-curing industry in Port of Ness in the 19th century.

In one of these drownings, on 18th December 1862, still referred to as ‘Am Bathadh Mor’ (The Big Drowning), 31 men from five fishing boats were lost on that day.

The event will be held at the chosen site overlooking Port of Ness harbour at 2 p.m.

Correction - In the item Swainbost death in this column last week, the words ‘served in the R.A.F.’, should have been, ‘served in the R.A.F. regiment’.


Agricultural show - The Westside Agricultural Show committee would like to thank all those who came out the week off, the day and the Saturday afterwards to help set up the marquees, stalls, hurdles for the animals, BBQ tent, tea tent, sports area etc.

This could not be done without all the help of all those who turned out. We would like to thank Norman MacDonald (Convenor) for opening the show for us. We would like to thank all those that kindly handed in the baking for the tea tent and the butchers: WJ MacDonald, Macleod and Macleod, E and R Morrison and Alex France who kindly donated towards the BBQ it really is appreciated.

Also thanks go to D. MacKay & Sons, Tech Mobile, Western Isles Fire Protection, Ferguson’s, Angus MacKay Coll, Lewis Crofters , Calmax Construction for preparation and the use of their equipment on the day of the show.

The judges this year had their work cut out for them with the amazing arrangement of exhibits which were received! This year’s show was a huge success and without all the help from the volunteers and all those that turned out on the day, it would not happen. We as a committee could not do it without you, thank you all again. We hope to see again on July 31st 2015 for our next show.


Remembering wartime 1914-18 - The Kinloch Historical Society have collated an exhibition on WW1 which will be open to the public this weekend.

The unveiling of the exhibition on Friday 29th August will be an Act of Remembrance in the Old Balallan School Hall at 7.30pm.

The collection can be viewed on Friday until 9.30pm and on Saturday 30th August from 2pm to 4pm and open thereafter as intimated, for specific events.

This collection of photographs, information and memorabilia focuses on the men from Kinloch: Aridhbhruach, Balallan, Keose and Laxay who were lost during the war in 1914-18.

This week’s exhibition will also include 19 military uniforms exhibited on mannequins along with military artefacts.

These uniforms span from the Zulu War to the Gulf War and have been loaned by Ken Earle-Mitchell living in Gravir.

During the course of the centenary of the War 2014 –2018 Comann Eachdraidh Cheann an Loch, hope to stage a number of exhibitions.

Other events will feature those who served, and the Historical Society would welcome information and artefacts in connection with those who served in the forces and survived WW1.

The last exhibition in the series will be on the HMY Iolaire Disaster on 1st January 1919 and how this tragedy affected those living in Kinloch.

All contributions are welcome and can be contributed to Kinloch Historical Society, The Old School, Balallan HS2 or by email to kinlochhistorical@hotmail.co.uk

Dog Show - The Lewis branch of SSPCA will be holding the annual Dog Show at the Lochside Arena, Lochs Road on Saturday 30th August.

Entry forms are available at Maybury Gardens, the Library, Lewis Crofters, and Hector Low Vets. Come along and have a fund day out with your dog. All money raised is for the SSPCA.


Balivanich meeting - Benbecula North Community Company (BNCC) held their first Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) at Balivanich Hall on August 21st.

Twenty-five full members of BNCC had gathered to vote on a special resolution to amend their Memorandum and Articles of Association.

All the members present voted in favour of the important resolution which adds the definition ‘charity’ to the governing document.

This was required by the Scottish charity regulator OSCR when granting BNCC charitable status in May 2014.

Also on the agenda was the election of a board of directors which now consists of seven highly motivated members of the community in North Benbecula. Again, the vote was unanimous.

Members of the board are: Dave Goss - Company Chairman and Secretary; Volker Labitzke - Company Vice Chair and Treasurer; Dr. Brian Chandler-Lorenz; Martina Goss; Heather Howie; Chrissie MacKay and Angela Murphy.

In a brief speech, Chairman Dave Goss thanked the local community for their fantastic support. He hoped that two successful events - a village clean-up and a well-attended table top sale at the hall - would encourage all BNCC volunteers to continue with their efforts.

Mr Goss promised that now that the company setup was complete the board would focus on the projects suggested by local residents - BNCC’s detailed Community Action Plan is available for download from the company website at www.benbecula-north.org.

As several families and young people had approached BNCC regarding the lack of activities and facilities for children and teenagers in Balivanich, the company has begun talks with potential funders and other local groups to support their SPYCASA project (Soft Play area, Youth Café, After-School Activities).

The directors have just returned from a fact finding trip to Breasclete, Lewis and drew inspiration from a meeting with Breasclete Community Association.Less than half the size of Balivanich, Breasclete has got a thriving community hub which can be called exemplary within the Isles.

A journey to Castlebay will follow soon with a focus on Barra’s highly successful Youth Café.