Gazette Letter 09.01.14

Picture of the Week was taken by Phil Rowe. He said: "Recent work in the Castle Grounds to clear the rhododendrons has revealed some dramatic new views near the Creed mouth."
Picture of the Week was taken by Phil Rowe. He said: "Recent work in the Castle Grounds to clear the rhododendrons has revealed some dramatic new views near the Creed mouth."
Share this article

Broadband - North Uist bypass

I see that it took 150 men armed with sticks to shut down Libya’s main internet supplier, what did it take to shut down, the weekend!

Yes, yes, I know all about the Act of God, whereupon lightning struck the mast, but if had spent some of the millions of pounds of public money they’ve received in employing engineers to work over the weekends, instead of just shutting their operation down, we would have been back on air two and a half days earlier than we were.

Now I see that BT is being paid more millions to give broadband to the Western Isles via telephone cables, all of the Isles that is except North Uist, a whole Island bypassed by the creaking, BT who took four months to fit my landline!

Vaughan Bellman

16A Knockintorran

Isle of North Uist

Thanks for your support

With the start of the New Year, we wish to thank everyone who has supported Meningitis Now in 2013.

Only through people’s kind help can we fight the dreaded disease on all fronts – funding preventative research, raising awareness and supporting survivors and their families.

We’re amazed by everyone’s generosity and dedication, especially considering the economic climate.

The year has been very positive for the fight, with the first vaccine for Meningitis B – the most common form of bacterial meningitis in the UK – receiving its licence.

It was also made available privately earlier this month, but we continue to argue that it should be offered to all youngsters for free on the NHS.

However, you may’ve seen some tragic, high-profile cases in the media recently and cases peak during winter.

These stories sadly show that we need to keep developing new and improved vaccines for all strains of meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning).

We will not stop until everyone is protected, but until then people should know the symptoms and urge readers to make a New Year’s resolution to fight meningitis.

A fundraising challenge is the perfect way to make a difference.

We’ve many awe-inspiring activity ideas including daredevil skydives, tremendous treks and fantastic foreign adventures.

Meningitis Now, formed after Meningitis UK and Meningitis Trust merged earlier this year, needs to raise £10,000 a day to keep saving lives and rebuilding futures.

Meningitis can strike anyone, of any age, at any time.

It kills more under-fives than any other infectious disease in the UK, and survivors can suffer life-changing after-effects such as limb loss and brain damage.

To donate, for a free symptoms information pack or more information, call us on 0808 80 10 388 or visit

Thanks again and best wishes for 2014.

Sue Davie

Chief Executive

Meningitis Now

Satisfactory answer?

“But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it. Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honour and another for dishonour?”

These verses form part of the Apostle Paul’s extended treatment of the question raised by Iain M Macdonald (26/12/13).

Mr Macdonald makes reference to the fairness and justice of the Almighty with respect to the doctrine of predestination.

Man is finite. His sense of fairness and justice is therefore finite.

When one considers that every faculty of man’s being has been ruined by sin the absurdity of man questioning the fairness and justice of a Being who is infinite in all His attributes and good in all His ways becomes the more manifest.

Sheep are often alluded to in the Bible. An illustration, albeit very imperfect, may help. A crofter has a flock of sheep. He decides to leave some on the common grazing but send others to the abattoir.

Were the sheep blessed with a small measure of rationality the decision to leave some and send others might seem to them arbitrary and unfair. But the crofter has a reason and purpose far above their ability to comprehend.

Furthermore, he has a God-given dominion over these sheep. The sheep has no right to question the choice of the crofter.

God has a far higher and absolute dominion over all His creatures, including man. God also has an eternal decree and purpose hidden from man and far, far above our puny, fallen, finite minds’ ability to comprehend.

God only reveals to us only what we need to know. There are many things we cannot know and many others we could not understand.

Unlike the sheep every man deserves God’s eternal wrath. And none, not one, are worthy of His grace.

And yet He sent His Son to die for all who will believe in The Lord Jesus Christ.

Cavilling at the doctrine of predestination while rejecting the free offer of salvation in Christ would have the most stupid sheep take that man for a fool.

I am not sure this answer will satisfy Mr Macdonald. Sadly, I suspect not.

For not every question is actually seeking a satisfactory answer.

Donald Mackay

0/2 87 Minard Road

Glasgow, G41 2EJ