the start of Mòd nan Eilean Siar 2011 is a mere six months away, and the local organising committee has begun its search for willing volunteers who will help with stewarding duties during Mod week.
The new Convenor of the Halls and Stewarding Committee, Iain MacArthur, who hails from Carloway, is optimistic about the challenges facing him and his committee in the few months that lie ahead.
As Iain explained: “The role of the steward is crucial to the smooth running of this prestigious event and many are needed, in particular at the beginning of the week for the children’s competitions.
“With up to 30 venues being used at the same time, it is important that we have a healthy bank of enthusiastic and willing stewards. Being a steward is also an excellent way to get actively involved in Mòd nan Eilean Siar 2011 and soak up the fantastic atmosphere. We would welcome anybody who has an interest in the language, music and culture to come forward and offer their services”.
Iain was delighted to receive an email from California several months ago from a lady who had attended the 2009 Oban Mod and was interested in being a steward at Mòd nan Eilean Siar 2011.
Jeanne Pendergast was brought up in New Jersey and Florida but now resides in northern California. Through the music of Donnie ‘Large’ MacDonald, Jeanne became interested in Gaelic in 2005 and is now a competent speaker of the language.
Her main tutor is Michael MacKay, who lives in Virginia. Many will be familiar with Michael as he is a regular contributor on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. Jeanne will be attending the Mod with her friends, Cam MacRae and Anne Landin, and they will be staying in Barvas for the duration of the Mod, residing with a Gaelic speaking host.
Having visited Scotland several times, Jeanne is very much looking forward to her trip to the Western Isles in October: “Finding a whole town full of people who speak Gaelic, or at least are supportive of the language and culture, is most exciting for someone from an area where there’s not a single other Gaelic speaker or serious learner within a hundred miles or more, as far as I know. It is also a heart-warming opportunity to reconnect with a number of workshop teachers and others who feel like friends now, and also to make new friends”.
If you are interested in being a steward please contact An Comunn Gàidhealach on 01851 703487 and Peigi or Marina will pass your details to Iain MacArthur and the Halls & Stewarding Committee.