District news January 26th


Congratulations - To Jane and Derek Macleod, of Kirivick, on the birth of their daughter, Melissa. A little sister for Matthew. The proud grandparents are Calum Iain and Cathie Ann Macleod, 6 Kirivick.

Christianity Explored - A reminder that this will be starting on Monday 30 January at 7:30pm, in the Carloway Free Church Manse.

This is a seven week course which is open to everyone in the community. Please come along and enjoy the gospel explained in an informal way with an opportunity to ask any questions you might have.

Evening Classes - There will be evening classes starting this month and the next across the district. Mucky Magic (Mother and Toddler Art), a five week course, will be running every Friday between 10:30am to 12:30pm in the Carloway Community Centre, starting from the 27th January at a cost of £30 per family.Calligraphy lessons, a six week course, will be taking place at the Carloway Community Centre.

Every Tuesday evening between 7pm and 9pm, starting from the 7th February at a cost of £35 per person.

Gardening techniques, a monthly course, will be taking place at the Blue Pig Studio, Upper Carloway, starting from Saturday 18th February, between 2pm and 4pm, at a cost of £5 per session. If you are interested in any of these courses, you can register for these Community Education classes at www.cne-siar.gov.uk/commed/clh or phone 01851 822 716. All welcome.

Carloway Football Club - Fixtures for this season’s Lewis & Harris League have been published. Carloway’s first league encounter will be taking place in Leurbost, where they take on Lochs, on Friday 13th April.

To find out the rest of the fixtures, go onto the club’s website - www.carlowayfc.co.uk. Meanwhile, the Eilean Fhraoich Cup draw will be made on Monday 30th April, at the County Hotel, Stornoway. You can find out who Carloway will be facing in next week’s Gazette.

Còisir Ghàidhlig Chàrlabhaigh - A meeting and practice will be taking place at Carloway Community Centre, on Tuesday 31st January at 7:30pm.

Items on the agenda include preperations for the Royal National Mod, which takes place in Dunoon this October.

Anyone who is interested in joining the choir is encouraged to attend this meeting, or make themselves known to a current member of the choir. All welcome.


Calling all Community Groups - Come along to the North Lochs Community Centre on Thursday 4th February from 7pm to hear all about funding opportunities from the Heritage Lottery Fund, SRDP, and BIG Lottery Fund.

Also hear from representatives from the Community Co-Operative, Highlands & Islands Equality Forum and from Keystone which is an excellent resource for any group involved in running a village hall or community building – lots of help and information on offer.

For more information contact Helen Sandison, Lochs Community Development Group, 880296 or helen@lochslewis.org. The event is free and open to everyone, no need to book. See you there!

Speaker - The Comann Eachdraidh in North Lochs have an open evening on Wednesday 1st February in the Leurbost Community Centre at 7.30pm.

Guest Speaker will be John Maclennan who worked for the Stornoway Port Authority for several years All welcome, this event will be held in the Conservatory with tea and baking served afterwards.

Meeting - The Kinloch Comman Eachdraidh monthly meeting will be on Tuesday 31st at Taigh Eachdraidh Laxay at 8pm. Members of the community are invited to come along to help with researching and recording the history of the Kinloch area.

Play - Those who braved the stormy weather last Saturday the 21st January, were treated to a wonderful piece of theatre performed at the Community Centre in Leurbost.

Os Mo Chionn Sheinn an Uiseag was written Eric John Macdonald from Uig and performed by Maggie Smith from Lochs.

The play compares life in a present day island community to the hardship and camaraderie of the Lewis women who followed the herring in the 1930s.

Eric John and Maggie are part of Cabraich the community of writers, singers and musicians based in the Isle of Lewis.

Thanks go to the ladies of the Community Association and Comann Eachdraidh who prepared a feast of baking to go with the tea served afterwards. Also to both these groups

who were instrumental in bringing this play to North Lochs.


Death in Cross Skigersta – The morning of Thursday, January 19th, brought sadness with it with the news that Katie Ann Morrison, nee Mackenzie, had passed away at her home at 69 Cross Skigersta road.

Katie Ann, who was aged 88 years and the last member of the family of seven who were originally at 45 Habost, will be remembered with affection by all who knew her at home and in Glasgow, where is earlier years she and her late husband John, Iain Sheonaidh Dhaidh, had been resident.

After wake worship in the home on the evening of Friday, the funeral service on Saturday, January 21st, was taken by Rev Kenneth Ferguson, assisted in prayer by William Mackenzie, a relative of the family and elder from Back.

Singing of praise was led by Donald A Morrison, Elder, and Rev Ferguson, who also officiated at the graveside on Habost machair.

In their bereavement we share our thoughts in sympathy with her daughters Mary, Catherine and May, her son John Murdo, the grandchildren, and all close relatives and friends who mourn at this time.


Sympathy – We send condolences to the friends and relatives of the late Donald Carmichael, late of 10 Lemreway, who recently passed away in Harris House aged 86 years.

Donald was the last surviving member of the family of the late Neil and Dolina Carmichael, and had spent his working life labouring and working on the Hydro Dam schemes along with being a postman; until his eyesight failed him and he could no longer work.

He spent a number of years in the Gravir Care Unit until latterly he was moved to Harris House Care Home where he passed away peacefully.

Ravenspoint – The attractive new loch-side cafe at Ravenspoint (open throughout the year Mondays to Saturdays) is being well used by locals and visitors alike, and many regular and one-off special events are now established or planned.

The emphasis throughout is on high quality freshly cooked meals using local produce where possible.

The Chip Shop Suppers are each Friday evening (4-7pm) are proving extremely popular, particularly for takeaways, and orders can be phoned in advance.

And a traditional Burns Supper will be held at 7.30pm on Saturday, January 28th.

A meeting with local food suppliers to discuss future opportunities as the cafe menu is further developed will be held at 6.30pm on Tuesday, February 7th. For further details of all these events and bookings, please contact Ravenspoint on 01851 880236.


Sad news – On Friday, December 23rd the whole island was saddened to hear that Ewen MacDonald, Green Lane, had passed away peacefully at home at the age of 76.

Although in indifferent health for some time his final passing was keenly felt by us all as he was such a well-known and well-respected in our midst.

In common with many of his geeration Ewen spent his life engaged in the fishing industry.

He worked firstly on the ‘Scalpay isle’ before going to Aberdeen where he gained his skipper’s qualification, enabling him to take command of the newly acquired family boat the ‘Jasper’, a sixty foot vessel with a crew of six.

For many years thereafter they were successfully involved in the ring net herring fishing during the boom times of the Scalpay industry.

After the ‘Jasper’ was sold Ewen bought a smaller craft the ‘Christina’ with which he fished until the onset of ill health.

A hard-working man of honesty and integrity Ewen was never idle and held in the highest regard by all who sailed with him throughout his career.

His beautiful home bears witness to his DIY skills as he extended and improved it over the years.

On a personal note Ewen was my immediate neighbour for the past 12 years and before that when I lived for a short time at number 40. As my family grew up Green Lane was a home from home for us all with baby-sitting services, practical help and endless hospitality extended to us from Ewen, his wife Annie and their family.

Above all Ewen knew the Lord as his own personal saviour. He was a communicant member in the Church and for those of us who had the privilege of knowing him we will never forget the brightness of his faith which shone more and more as he saw the day approaching when God would call him home.

As we mourn his passing our prayer is that other would be raised up to take the place of those being taking into the Lord’s eternal service from our communities.

His funeral service on Monday, December 26th saw a huge crowd gather in adverse weather from all over Harris and Lewis which showed the high esteem the deceased was held in.

The service was conducted by Rev. Kenneth MacDonald assisted by Rev. Calum Iain Macleod, Back, whose family home is at Camus Beag.

The praise was led by Rev. Kenneth Macleod, Carloway, whose family home is at Green Pastures and Duncan Morrison, Blue Cottage.

At this time of great sadness we extend our prayerful sympathy to his widow Annie, his children and the wider family members.

In hospital – On Monday January 9th Mary Ann Morrison, Grianan, was taken to the Western Isles Hospital and at the time of writing is still in hospital. On behalf of everyone we wish her a speedy and full recovery and hope she is soon home again.

Marie Curie – The annual collection which Mar Finnegan, Seafield, carries out in the Ardnasaig and Bayhead areas for Marie Curie Cancer care raised the sum of £90 and thanks are due to her and all who donated so generously to this worthy cause.


Lewis Highland Games – Readers are reminded of the important meeting of the Lewis Highlands Games next Monday, January 30th at 7.30pm. Unless new members come forward to join the committee the Games company will probably disband.