Week in Pictures: 6-11-14

Following the resignation of its chairman, the Stornoway Port Authority (SPA) has faced criticism over a statement regarding the matter.

Chairman Angus Smith resigned from his post following a board meeting on Tuesday, October 28th, after the board found that he had acted in breach of its guidelines for good governance.

Information is currently being sought about the tendering process of the Port Authority’s vessel, Pathfinder, which sank at the pontoons in Stornoway Harbour.

Islanders had their chance for fame and fortune this weekend as Britain’s Got Talent brought auditions to the Scottish islands for the first time.

The Bayhead Bridge Centre and Chili Chili hosted auditions over the Halloween weekend as talented hopefuls tried not to give the television show’s talent scouts too much of a fright.

About 25 acts turned out in Stornoway for the auditions and the Gazette was on hand at Bayhead Bridge Centre on Saturday where nervous and excited performers awaited their time to shine.

Girls from the Sharon Mackinnon School of Highland Dancing had been practicing every day for two weeks for their audition. Ailyn Mackay, Leah Mackay, Kate Macmillan, Mairi Maclennan, Holly Thompson, Ruth Cunningham, Caroline Mackay and Alison Carty impressed the scouts by mixing traditional dance with contemporary music, putting on their dancing shoes for Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj.

Teacher Sharon said: “The girls have had a ball this morning getting all glammed up, and it’s something a bit different to bagpipes.”

Duo ‘Acqua Jane and Delores’, the ones the 60s missed, performed a song by the Kinks and Jane’s original, ‘You Defrost My Heart At One Million Degrees’.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s plan to integrate secondary 1 and 2 students from Lionel School in Ness into the Nicolson Institute has been met with opposition from the community.

Friday November 7th, was the last day that the public can send consultation responses, after which the council will put together a proposal document taking account of comments from written representations, views of pupils and staff and from those attending the public meeting.

The public consulations will be reviewed by Education Scotland who will make their own recommendation to the Comhairle.

All reports will be considered by the Education Committee in February before going to full Council for a decision.

After that, if approved, it goes to the Scottish Government who have time to ‘call in’ the decision.

Pioneers of the old-time Americana resurgence The Wiyos are bringing their unique musical blend to Stornoway next week.

Playing together now for over a decade, the three-piece have toured their folk/swing/blues concoction through Europe and the US, and stop off in an Lanntair on November 12th on their UK tour.

A 26 strong Western Isles Island Games Association (WIIGA) squad gathered at Aviemore recently for a hugely successful training camp.

While the upcoming NatWest Island Games Jersey 2015 wasn’t far from participants’ thoughts, with it being only eight months away, the focus was very much on future games, and creating an on-going development opportunity and pathway.

As well as those who have met the WIIGA standards, this new initiative - organised by the athletics team, led by manager, Mairi Levack - also saw others showing potential given the opportunity to be involved.

There are times in your life that football fans will never forget. Seeing your children born. Watching man take one small step for mankind on the moon. Seeing the Twin Towers collapsing.

And now add to that the moment Rob Jones reacted with the reflexes of Spider-man on Red-Bull amongst a forest of bodies to swivel and smash a loose ball into the Shetland net and boot Lewis and Harris into the promised land of a competitive cup final.

There were more than 91 minutes played on the referee’s watch when Jones’ timely finish bulged the back of the net behind the Shetland No.1.

For a split second, the far travelled Hebridean entourage of players, coaching team, proud parents and supporters stopped but only for the briefest of moments.

By the time Jones turned with his arm raised in triumph, bedlam broke out amongst the Lewis and Harris party. Team manager Billy Flower and Tanky Macdonald erupted in delirium and charged onto the pitch for a spontaneous gallop half-way across the park accompanied by tandem fist pumps into the Golspie sky.

The enormity of the occasion and the success was too much for some as Lewis and Harris FC Chairman Kenny Maciver, so thrilled at seeing his long and hard work at leading the bid for entry to the competition rewarded with a cup final place, broke down in tears on the touchline.

A bouncing, beaming Association president Cab Stewart grinned proudly as he consoled his colleague and old friend in a vice-grip.

On the park Jones was chased down by jubilant team mates before being buried under his relieved, thrilled and tearful colleagues, the noisiest of cup semi-final celebrations beginning with an almighty din.

For the first time the representative select from Lewis and Harris have reached a competitive cup final in mainland football – and at only the second time of asking.