District News: Butt to Barra 29-1-15

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New minister - Rev Dr Wayne Pearce, currently a Minister of the APC Church, is to become the new Minister of Stornoway High Church of Scotland.

The Induction of Dr Pearce to the charge of Stornoway High takes place on Friday 6 February 2015 at 7.00pm with a social event to follow in Stornoway Town Hall.

Stornoway High Church has been without a Minister since Rev Willie Black retired early in 2011.

Formerly a United Free Church congregation, Stornoway High Church became part of the Church of Scotland in 1929 and enjoys a long history of faithful Gospel witness from its buildings on Matheson Road.

The Induction Service will be taken by Rev Tommy Macneil, Moderator of Lewis Presbytery and Minister of Martin’s Memorial Church, who will preach the sermon.

Also participating in the Service will be the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Right Rev John P Chalmers, Rev Ian M M Macdonald and Rev T K Shadakshari.

On Sunday 8th February, Dr Pearce will be ‘preached into’ his new pulpit by the Moderator Designate of the Kirk’s General Assembly, Rev Dr Angus Morrison, formerly Minister of St Columba’s (Old Parish) Church.

Dr Pearce is currently the APC Minister for Skye and Harris.

He is married to Margaret and they have three children. Musical Extravaganza


Community Centre - The Senior Citizens Christmas Dinner was held on Saturday 17th January at 2pm and was enjoyed by all.

Entertainment was provided by the school children and an enjoyable afternoon was had by all despite the cold weather. Many thanks to all who helped make the day a success.

No date has yet been set for the AGM which is due to take place shortly but it is hoped that this will be well attended in order to secure the future of the community centre.

Community Council - A reminder goes out to all of you who may have some memorabilia, photos or articles regarding the war memorial.

We are looking for these items to help record the history of the project and for information which may assist with the restoration work.

This historic information is also required in order to access the grants for the project.

If you can help please contact Catriona or CJ or any member of the Community Council or Historical Society who can help ensure the information is recorded.

Weather - Grateful thanks to all those who helped out in the recent bad weather. A special thanks to all those who helped the most vulnerable in our community including all the neighbours, carers and local coastguard who were in the area.

Whist - There will be a whist night in the café on Friday 30th January at 7.30pm. Please come along and enjoy. There will be prizes and refreshments.

Happy Birthday - Among those recently celebrating birthdays were: Ishbel Smith (Ishbel Blue), Linshader – 99 on January 19; Jackie Maciver – 50; Shona Macaulay – 40 Enjoy New York! Many happy returns to all.


The Harris Charity Shop, Pier Road, Tarbert had a very successful year in 2014 and at their AGM in December the committee decided to make the following annual donations: Bethesda £2,000; Crossroads (Harris) £1,000; Macmillan Nurses £1,000; Harris House £250; Leverburgh Home of Rest £250; Tarbert Day Centre £300; Heart & Stroke £300; Alzheimers (Musical Memories Group, Harris) £250; Parkinsons £250; Action for Children (Stornoway) £500; MS Society (Western Isles Branch) £250; PHAB £250; Ardseileach Hostel (Stornoway) £500; RNLI (Leverburgh) £250.

The committee thank all their local supporters and voluntary workers that make the shop such a success and look forward to raising more funds for local charities in 2015.


Sad deaths – the news of the death, at Ospadal nan Eilean, following a short illness and surgery at Raigmore Hospital, of Nora Macdonald, a member of the large and well-known Macdonald family, of Gràsabhaig, Geshader, was heard with great sadness by all who knew her.

She was 83 years old and had been living in Stornoway, at Kirkcare Flats, for several years after returning to the island from Edinburgh where she had been working for a long time.

She was one of the last left of the locals who found employment at the RAF Camp, at Aird, Uig, where she was on the NAAFI staff, transferring from there to Machranish and eventually to Edinburgh.

During her time in Stornoway, she was a member in the Stornoway Free Presbyterian congregation, where a service was held on Monday, 12th, followed, on the Tuesday, by the funeral service at Miavaig Church.

Both services were conducted by the Rev James Tallach, Stornoway. Interment was to Ardroil Cemetery.

The sympathy of the community is extended to her two brothers, William and John, the surviving members of the famous Geshader triplets and both living in Ayrshire, and to the large extended family of nieces and nephews.

It was also very sad to hear from Glasgow of the death of Angus Kenneth Macdonald, formerly of Carishader, who passed away suddenly at his Glasgow home on New Year’s Day.

The sympathy of the Uig community is extended to his widow, Malina, to his daughter, Fiona and family, and to the extended family of nieces and nephews.

Angus K., the last surviving member of the family of Farquhar and Effie Macdonald, 6 Carishader, was noted for his outstanding general ability as a pupil in Lochcroistean School and in the Nicolson Institute.

After leaving school, he served for a short spell as teacher of the side school at Ardbheag before joining the Glasgow police where he had a long and distinguished career in the CID and was a well-respected member of the island diaspora in Glasgow.

He suffered the great misfortune of losing his wife, Christina Stewart from Skye, far too early and in the years after he married Malina, from Harris, they spent long holidays in his family home in Carishader where they were warmly welcomed by the neighbourhood and where they have been greatly missed since failing health stopped them coming.

His funeral service was held in Gardner St Church, Glasgow, where he was an elder and the interment took place in Skye.


Isles FM Fundraiser - On Saturday 31th January, Aird Community Centre in Point, is the venue for an evening of Musical Extravaganza.

The event is in aid of Isles FM community radio and begins at 7.30pm.

In view of the close relationship that the people of Point have, with Isles Fm broadcasts, to get the necessary Braighe updates. It was decided to hold the station’s first fundraiser of the year, on the peninsula.

Playing on the night will be the The Guga Cafe Orchestra. They will be supporting The Shed whose recent appearance at the Woodlands Centre drew great praise from one and all.

Apart from a few medleys of classic covers, the numbers are all their own compositions. Get a Shed taster on https://plus.google.com/109592199641152784106/videos

There will also be a few surprises with music being provided by some very talented musicians and of course there will be representatives from Isles FM, who will also be getting into the swing of things including one sharply dressed man!

Tickets are only £5, available from Buth an Rubha, Events, Isles FM and www.youtube.com/user/gerryshedband/feed. Get your tickets now to avoid disappointment!

Bring a contribution to the raffle to help raise the coffers of Isles FM and have a great night. Even if you are not from the Point district do come along, tides have been checked and happily there is no reason why you cannot get there and get home again without a police escort. 


Burns Supper - The traditional Burns Supper held on Friday 23rd January in Berneray Hall, to raise funds for the RNLI, was a great success!

Despite the - at times - rather inclement weather, more than 70 people turned out to take part in the proceedings, and the atmosphere in the Hall was warm and welcoming.

A delicious three-course meal of soup, haggis, neeps and tatties (or poached salmon) and raspberry cranachan or cheese and biscuits was provided by Ewan MacLean and his team from ‘Stepping Stone’ Restaurant, Benbecula, who also ran the cash bar. A full programme of music, poetry and song from some very talented local people was enjoyed by all.

Barbara and Stella would like to thank all who made the evening such a success.

This includes the team from ‘Stepping Stone’ Restaurant and the splendid performers who regaled everyone with poetry, prose and music, as well as Angus John MacInnes for his musical contribution and management of the sound system.

Thanks, also, to Chris Spears for his thoughtful, humorous and interesting Address to the Lassies and to Barbara Hunter for her equally thoughtful, witty and inspiring Response on behalf of the Lassies. Thanks to Donald who carried in the haggis so proudly.

The raffle raised a magnificent £251. The final total raised for the RNLI by the Burns Supper will be announced shortly, once all bills have been paid. Thank you, all.

In other news from the Uists - The Leader and the Convener of Comhairle nan EiIean Siar have paid tribute to the work of Mr Archie Campbell who is stepping down as a Councillor with effect from 12 February 2015.

A former teacher, Mr Campbell was elected to the Comhairle in 1999, representing the Paible ward and took up the position of Vice-Chair of Sustainable Development. He became Chair of the Committee in 2003 and was re-elected to that position in 2007 and 2012.

Angus Campbell, Leader of the Comhairle, said: “Archie has been a good colleague for many years and his hard work and humour will be missed on the Comhairle.

“He will also be missed as a local representative by his constituents for whom he worked diligently over the past 15 years though I am sure he will continue to be a valued member of the community. I wish Archie a long and happy retirement and I am sure I will see him during visits to North Uist.”

Convener Norman A Macdonald said: “Archie enjoyed a long career as a teacher, starting at Paible school in 1967 before moving to Iochdar and then to Lionacleit in 1988 where he served as the Principal Teacher of Guidance.

“He retired in 1997 and is a Fellow of the Educational Institute of Scotland. Archie served the people of North Uist and Benbecula well during his time on the Comhairle and he also served the people of the wider Western Isles in his role as Vice-Chair and then Chair of the Development Committee.

“Archie will be remembered during his time as a Councillor as someone who would weigh up the arguments of a particular discussion, reach a decision and stick with that decision.

He always did so with good humour and respect for his Comhairle colleagues.

“Archie has had a long, successful professional and political career and he now deserves to enjoy more time with his wife, Ada and their children Eilidh, Sarah and Alasdair and their 6 grandchildren.”

Cllr Archie Campbell said: “It has been a great privilege and a wonderful experience to serve the local community as an elected member of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar over these 15 years.

“It has also been a pleasure to work with my colleagues in the ward, Cllrs Uisdean Robertson and Neil Beaton and I wish them every success in their continuing role in the council.”


DVD - Newly available DVD featuring music, local songs and poetry, performed as part of North Lochs Comann Eachdraidh’s, World War One Commemorative Events, in August 2014.

Local songs from the WW1 era were sung by local singers at the event in Leurbost Community Centre.

The singers included: Seonaidh Beag MacMillan, Kenny Nicolson, Angus Nicolson, Ruth Mackay, Torquil Macleod, Iain MacRae and Mairi Mackenzie.

The DVD costs £5.00 and is available from committee members or by email from macleod-ranish@supanet.com or Jean 860431

Leurbost placenames - The Comann Eachdraidh are currently recording Gaelic placenames around the village of Leurbost.

If you are interested in the stories of landmarks around Leurbost and would welcome assistance from those who know the hillocks, streams and shoreline.

We would particularly welcome some of the younger generation, who could devote some time to typing up information, taking pictures, logging GPS references and using new technology to digitise information which already exists in the archives and relates to the Leurbost district.

There are very interesting gory stories such as alledged murderer, Mac an t-Sronaich, said to have spend time on the run on the Leurbost/Keose moor.

Also the story of two school boys hunting for bird eggs at Creag a Bhodaich, having a difference of opinion and only one walked away alive.

There are lots of mysterious stories to record also, if you can give a few hours to help contact Maggie 860204. Or maggiesmith@hebrides.net

Burns Supper - The Kinloch Historical Society held the first community Burns Supper in the Old School at Balallan on Friday 23rd.

A good number of people turned out on a blustery evening for the traditional fayre.

The Haggis was piped in by Miss Catriona Ferguson, Laxay . Toasts were by Mr Donald Martin, Isle of Harris, Mr Jim Sawers Balallan and Mrs Jan Gold , Keose. Mr Kenneth MacKay Balallan, Comann Eachdraidh Chairman was MC for the evening.

Entertainment was by Master Stephen Drummond on accordion, two of his young friends from Stornoway’s band Faram on guitar and fiddle and a Highland Dancing display by Miss Mairi Maclennan and Miss Ruth MacKay both from Balallan.