WEST WORD
COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR 2005
Community paper for Mallaig, Morar, Arisaig, Lochailort, Glenfinnan
Glenuig, Knoydart and the Small Isles

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September 2006 Issue

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Top stories
Monthly news from Knoydart, Muck, Rum, Eigg
West Word ten years ago

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Knoydart children greet Minister and Councillors at Inverie

LIFELINE LINKS COMPLETED
The final links in a £30 million investment in transport infrastructure for Knoydart and the Small Isles have now been completed and the new piers formally opened by Transport Minister Tavish Scott. On Wednesday 23rd August the Minister travelled to the Isle of Canna to see the £3.2 million ferry terminal, and on Thursday it was the turn of Inverie's £4.6 million pier.
These piers mark the end of the project which has already provided upgraded facilities to the islands of Rum, Eigg and Muck, supported by the Scottish Executive's Piers and Harbours Grants Programme. The islands and Inverie can now be fully accessed by vehicles providing essential services.
Knoydart previously had been served by a pier in poor condition, unable to take vehicles and heavy goods were landed by a former tank landing craft. At low tide a flit boat had to be used. Now the new pier and slipway provide access at all times. Canna's pier has been extended with additional dolphins, a waiting room and toilets, and a new slipway will allow ro-ro access to CalMac's ferries.
Accompanying Mr Scott were Councillors Charlie King and Michael Foxley. Councillor King said: 'This is the culmination of twenty years of planning to bring these two remote communities into the 21st century. They were difficult and complex projects in environmentally sensitive areas.' He went on to praise RJ McLeod and Pierse Construction for their workmanship. Councillor Foxley thanked the Scottish Executive for sharing the Council's commitment to this fragile and remote part of the Highlands and concluded 'The investment will help sustain these communities for many generations.

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Minister Tavish Scott (left) and Councillor King on Canna

WORK OF ART GIFTED TO MALLAIG
A striking statue of an eight foot tall fisherman, holding a young girl's hand and pointing out so sea, has been given to the port of Mallaig by its sculptor, Mark Rogers of Airor in Knoydart. Mark originally used a chicken wire base onto which he moulded cement to make the figures, the biggest piece of work he has done so far. But when he knew they were going to be erected on Mallaig Pier he cut off the legs and cast them again in concrete, to withstand gales. Mark has lived at Airor since 1999, starting up Knoydart Sculptural Services. A statue of the fisherman alone stands on the jetty at Airor.

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UIST - MALLAIG ROUTE WILL BE INCLUDED IN TENDER
A last minute addition is being made to the list of routes of Hebridean and Clyde ferry services which will be going out to tender in about four weeks. Transport Minister Tavish Scott has pledged to include a new route, between Lochboisdale and Mallaig. An Executive spokesperson said 'It is up to the companies tendering to show they can run that service and all the other routes.' Local businesses and Councillors in both ports have campaigned to forge the link, which they see as helping tourism, haulage firms and fish farms. The run would take only three hours as opposed to nearly twice that between Lochboisdale and Oban. Only CalMac and V Ships are preparing to bid for the 26 routes in the tender document.

AUCTION HALL
Work is virtually complete on Mallaig's Harbour New Fish Auction Hall and it is hoped that it will be operational in 4-6 weeks time. A full report on the Auction Hall will appear in next month's West Word.

LIFEBOAT NEWS
Members of the Mallaig Lifeboat Crew recently raised funds for the RNLI via a sponsored parachute jump with The Red Devils. Hugh Cameron, Jeff Lawrie, Hugh MacIntyre and Allan Benson are pictured at Kingsmuir Airfield, St Andrews, with the Red Devils' support team. Unfortunately fluctuating weather conditions prevailed on the 5th July - the date when they were all scheduled to do their tandem sky dive - so only Jeff and Allan got to jump on the day. The two Hugh's got their 'adrenalin rush' on Tuesday 8th August. A figure in excess of £4250 was raised for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution by the brave parachute jumpers. Well done lads! The Mallaig RNLI Skydive team, Hugh, Jeff, Hugh and Allan, wish to thank everyone for their generous donations of sponsorship.


KNOYDART
Just a wee column this month - I'm horribly late with it, so am hammering something out in the hope that our poor embattled editor can squeeze it in at the last minute....
The Knoydart Fun Day / Games / Ceilidh thing took place at the start of the month. Despite the weather looking threatening (which may have kept some away), it stayed clear for the day, leaving people to enjoy attractions such as the bottle stall, various races (including a completely bonkers dads' sack race), horizontal bungee run, "use the digger to balance the pail of water on the post", raffle etc etc.....Great time had by all, with campers, holiday-let visitors, locals and day-trippers all enjoying the atmosphere together. Many thanks as usual to those who donated raffle prizes - I'm looking forward to spending my Eclipse voucher next time I'm in Mallaig.
Of course, the other big occasion this month was the opening of our new pier. Tavish Scott MSP, Minister for Transport was accompanied by various other dignitaries (including Charleses Kennedy and King) when he came over on the Western Isles for the official unveiling on 24th August. A few short speeches later, and Inverie Ferry Terminal was open for business. The schoolchildren helped with the catering for 100 people, looking very professional in their apron uniforms. The Minister for Transport was given a guided tour of the peninsula, during which the state of our public road was pointed out to him! He very quickly declined to comment, stating that he wouldn't like to embarrass the local council...
Everyone seems to agree how the pier is much safer and easier to use. It's been a long time coming, and a long time needed, and will make Inverie more accessible without, one hopes, losing the sense of remoteness which still draws the visitor.
A sad postscript to be noted: Bill Henderson, who worked with Highland Council on-site during the pier construction, passed away the day after it was opened. He loved Knoydart, and was friendly with many locals here. He expressed a wish that he would be better in time for the pier opening - sadly, this was not to be. The community passes on their condolences to his family.
Tommy McManmon

ISLE OF MUCK
Highlight of the month was the double christening on the 4th August of Archie James MacKinnon and Duncan Roddie Henderson. July's hot weather did not last into August and it was a damp, dreich afternoon when Father Barrett and many guests arrived on Sheerwater from Arisaig. The schoolroom was packed for the ceremony and for good measure Jake Henderson celebrated his first communion. Many of the guests were able to to stay the night and spend the evening in the craft shop.
The 12th was the date of the Small Isles Sports which took place on Eigg. Muck was strong in the Junior section and soon piled up the points. The seniors however were very thin on the ground and we had no-one who could compete with Eigg Athletes such as Colin Carr and Alick Boden. So Eigg were able to carry off the shield-well done!
On the farm August was a difficult month as Sandra Mathers found when she tried to make her hay - few days were completely dry. Silage is finished and at 800 bales appears to be similar in quantity to last year which is a surprise - the crops appeared to be heavier. One operation which was not carried out this July was bracken spraying. Bracken is a particular problem on basalt soils and left alone spreads steadily. The end would be the whole 'green' part of the hill infested as has happened on Ulva off the west coast of Mull. Muck is far from that stage but I must do better in future!
Lawrence MacEwen

ISLE OF EIGG
August started off on a high with Eigg winning the Small Isles Games. The races were very well organised by Donna McCullough, Grace Fergusson, Stuart Fergusson, Gwen Sherrif, Christine Booth and Pam MacDonald from the Highland Council came over especially for the occasion. However when it came to the Tug o' War, Eigg was beaten by 'The Rest of The World'. Refreshments were beautifully served from the back of a horsebox by Alec Boden (thanks for the Pimms). A delicious barbeque was organised by Donald and Mairi. We then made a smooth transition to the ceilidh in the hall , where music was provided by Ross Martin and friends. A great raffle was organised, including a night in Lady Monica's bedroom in Kinloch Castle on Rum, won by Bryony Kirk. Great craic had by all
John Cormack and Alistair Kirk both received medals for 20 years service in the Coastguard. So excited was John to receive his he was still wearing it when he woke up the next morning. John and Alistair were joined by Sue & Eilidh Kirk, Ben Cormack, Stuart Miller, Rachel Weldon for a quick spin in the Coastguard helicopter. … and of course a celebratory shandy.
Stuart and Kathleen's dog Dileas has given birth to seven puppies, mother and pups all doing well. Diesel is the proud father and has taken a few days off to rest. Prospective parents for the new pups are all excitedly awaiting their bundles of joy. We all had a great night at Lucy and Eddie Scott's house warming, which they wisely held before the house is actually finished. Its going to be stunning, Grand Designs eat your heart out.
This week a party of university students from Portugal are repairing the wall around St Donan's Church supervised by Wes Fyffe. They are also painting inside and attending to the drains, which will make a big difference. Work has finally started on the school and is progressing at a rapid rate and looking good to be finished on schedule early next year.
Thanks to John the Bird for the next bit: Overall a pretty typical low key end to the summer as regards wildlife though the continuing warm weather allowed several bird species some very late breeding. A few pairs of Swallows were still feeding young in the nest at the months end & several other species of small birds were seen with late broods.
In general though things were pretty quiet with most summer migrants fast disappearing &, a few Storm Petrels & Arctic & Great Skuas apart, little of note offshore. Early migrants were mostly restricted to waders with a few Dunlin, Sanderling & Greenshank passing through though a couple of Merlins, a late Cuckoo on the 21st & a Sand Martin were also recorded.
Offshore it was the same sad story as last year with an almost complete dearth of Minke Whale sightings - can it only be a couple of years ago that visitors could be almost guaranteed whale sightings galore around the Small Isles in August ?? On the plus side Ronnie Dyer recorded several Common Dolphins & an excellent sighting of four Rissos Dolphins from the MV 'Sheerwater'
Some creatures though really enjoyed the heat with numerous sightings of Common Lizards recorded & exceptional numbers of Peacock & Red Admiral butterflies & Highland Darter dragonflies on the wing. Insect of the summer though would undoubtedly be the Hummingbird Hawk-moth reported from the Caves in late July.
Happy birthdays to Grace Fergusson and to Sue Hollands who reached her half century.
Kay Kirk

GLENFINNAN
The highlight of the month was, of course, the Glenfinnan Gathering and Games. On Saturday 19th August a crowd of 2,500 locals and visitors gathered in the glorious sunshine amidst scenic splendour to watch the athleticism of the competitors on the field. The Chieftain of the Games was Robin MacLean from Ardgour and Margaret MacLellan sang at the opening ceremony. The hard work of the games committee and local volunteers was evident as the games were a great success and the field looked magnificent.
There were lots of stalls including one from the Glenfinnan art class. We were bold enough to exhibit some of our work and sold a few paintings too! We are going to use the money to buy more materials. We also had a great success with the paint a slate for children and eventually ran out after selling 48. The children were very industrious and enjoyed creating their own piece of art to take home.
Cat Hunter (by name, not profession!) and family had a bottle stall and home baking to raise money for the Special Care Baby Unit at Raigmore Hospital and the Aberdeen Maternity Hospital. They raised £570. On behalf of the family, they would like to thank everyone who donated to the stall for their generosity and for helping to raise this money.
We were well catered for. Mary was there as usual flipping burgers and hot dogs with the help of her sister Sharon and Duncan Gibson had a spit roast on the go which was very tasty. He sold out in 3 hours after selling 5 whole gammons in hundreds of rolls. DJ and Joan's caravan was very handy for nappy changes, storing things, having a sit down and a chew on roast venison courtesy of DJ. Thank you!
In the midst of it all there was a magazine fashion shoot taking place. The models were wearing 'typical' highland tweeds and cashmere ensembles and the pipe band were persuaded to be part of the shoot!
After a break last year local man Iain MacKellaig returned to compete in the hill race and won a very respectable 3rd place. The heavyweights wowed the crowd with their strength and there were good crowds interested in the piping and the dancing. The track and field events were popular too with adults and children competing.
People had a good time gathering in the sunshine and meeting old friends. It was a memorable day with a warm friendly atmosphere. In the evening, visitors and locals took to the floor and danced the night away to the sound of the Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band in a marquee on the lawn at Glenfinnan House Hotel. It was a late night ceilidhing after hours with the folk from Mallaig.
I noticed the boardwalk has been started so I am hoping it won't be long before we can enjoy walking to the other side of loch. The path starts at the path to the monument and leads to a bridge over the river Callop. In September we can look forward to a couple of Blas events in Glenfinnan:
Sunday 3rd at 3pm in St Mary & St Finnan's Church. Mary Ann Kennedy, Chaz Stewart and Coisir Og Lochabair. Donations. Saturday 9th at 9pm in Glenfinnan House Hotel. Local Lochaber and Glenfinnan musicians. Free Event.
Eileen O'Rua

ISLE OF CANNA
At last some news from Canna…The sun shone once again for the official opening of the pier by Tavish Scott, MSP. With livestock due to go to market this week and building contractors already using the slipway, the new facilities will no doubt be of tremendous benefit to the island.
It's been a busy summer for visitors. Holiday lettings have been going as well as ever, there have been quite a number of visiting yachts and the cruising season's not quite over yet. Everyone enjoyed Wendy and Packy's barbecue at the Square; although the band didn't make it over we were entertained on fiddles and whistles. Special mention goes to Bob Swan for his interesting and informative renditions (!)…thanks also to Fiona Macintyre for the songs and tunes. Caroline was a star on the tin whistle, too. After much huffing and puffing a new swing frame was installed at the school and is proving popular…thanks to Awards for All and everyone involved in the fundraising efforts. Works began also on the roof, and continues apace. Kathryn started at the High School this term; we're all missing her and wish her the best of luck.
Farming news…lambs due away on the boat for the sales in Fort William. This will be the first time the slip has been used for the lorry so hopefully all will run smoothly and ease the process of moving livestock about. Let's hope the newly appointed Pier Officer doesn't slip up and ensures that the slipway doesn't.
Another meeting to look at proposals for renewable energy on the island was postponed; once again high winds forced the visiting party to cancel their trip…is someone trying to tell us something?
So…perhaps more news next month.
Geoff Soe-Paing

ISLE OF RUM
Despite a low turn out from the Rum squad for the Small Isles Games, the team put all their effort into coming last and we did it well! Sorcha and Nell, our children's team, were also facing an uphill battle against the hoards from Muck, but it helped that in the under 8s, Nell was the main contender as the majority of her opposition were half her height. The sun stayed out and it was windy enough to keep the midges at bay, but too windy to prevent my poor tent from managing to stay up properly - we abandoned it and headed for Cleadale. With the exception of Rhys, the rest of the Rum squad Ian, Annie, Chloe and Emma battled with an assortment of cowpats to find a place to pitch the tent, but judging by the smell of poor Chloe, they didn't manage too well. The Ceilidh was great, Rum's offering in the raffle was 'a weekend for one full board at Kinloch Castle' and won by the delighted Bryony Kirk, aged 10, Bryony came over for the weekend the following week but we thought three nights at Faulty Towers by herself but would be a bit scary (she can come again and bring her mum), so stayed at mine instead.
The games will be on home territory next year, so maybe that will shoehorn a few more Rum locals out of their houses.
No more news on the Phoenix Trust - Kinloch Castle regeneration proposals, we're told it's with the SNH Board who are reviewing the final proposals and making the final decision on whether the project's to go ahead.
Dave 'chainsaw' Beaton has finally moved up here from Edinburgh on a permanent basis, for those of you who don't know Dave, he's responsible for the wooden sculptures that have adorned the village over the last couple of years - seesaw, the throne and the sea eagle. You can reach him at 'The Caravan', Isle of Rum.
The latest bit of excitement is the BBC coming over soon for a while to film some of this year's Autumn Watch, the production team are still getting used to the whole 'rural island' kind of thing as most recent enquiries were about the locations of the laundrette and the cash point machine - just wait till they find out about the midges, the rain, the roads and no pub !!!
Fliss Hough

THE BULLOUGH MAUSOLEUM, ISLE OF RUM
In 2003, a Kinloch Castle Friends Association work party reported that the Bullough Mausoleum, at Harris on the remote southwest coast of Rum, was in a worrying deteriorating state. The Association were informed by the Bullough Trustees that they had been unable to find contractors willing to undertake work in such an isolated place and West Word appealed for anyone who might be interested in tendering to contact us. The story was taken up by other newspapers and a few firms came forward. Work was due to start in 2005 but was further delayed when the successful contractor was informed that they would not be able to transport the necessary equipment, scaffolding etc, as the road was considered impassable.
However all problems seem to have been resolved and Mr E Douglas King, Honorary Secretary of the KCFA, reports that Cummin & Co of Perth have now commenced work on the Grade A listed mausoleum.
Mr King says 'Exploratory work started about a month ago, when scaffolding was erected against the west gable. Both east and west gables will be taken down and re-built. On this occasion, they will be properly tied into the roof and masonry, to prevent this problem recurring in another 100 years. The roof timbers are constructed with oak. They are sound, and are not being replaced, but are being treated with preservative, some of which has already been applied. The concrete steps, although sound are being upgraded with a suitable stone finish, more in keeping with the building. The wording on the three Sarcophagi will be replaced (in other words they will be highlighted in black or gilt).
'Chains have been sourced to replace those on the inner fence, and one of the hooks has been removed from the sandstone pillars on this fence, so that exact replicas can be produced. That is currently in hand. Finally a new outer fence, of a higher quality than the existing one will be erected at the end of the job. All in all it will be a high quality job which will be rather expensive. Historic Scotland has been involved, and because this is a Grade A listed building, they are insisting on the highest quality of restoration. Money does not seem to be a problem, and I gather that the Trustees have managed to secure some grants. That was the main reason for the delay.
'Harris Shooting Lodge is being used to accommodate the builders, and SNH transport materials over to them as required. The bulk of this was brought from Kinloch by helicopter, and the rest has been brought over by SNH Land Rover. Work should be finished by the end of summer.'
The Mausoleum was built by George Bullough to house the body of his father John who died in 1891. John had bought the island for £35,000 in 1888 but it was George who built Kinloch Castle. George died in 1939 and joined his father in the edifice. When the island was sold to the Nature Conservancy Council 1957 (for £23,000) the Mausoleum was not included in the sale and was retained by the Bullough Trustees. George's widow, Lady Monica, died in 1967 at the age of 98 and was also laid to rest there.

ARISAIG
Autumn is certainly here but many of the flowers in the garden seem to think it's early summer, some blooming for the third time. The Peacock and Red Admiral Butterflies have been particularly numerous this last month Our swallows left the nest safely and will soon be heading south with the rest - I do hope they return to nest in our eaves again. How that bit of mud stays stuck with three large nestlings and a parent bird in it beats me!
Some of us once had fears that the bypass would turn Arisaig into a ghost village. Well, the fears have been unfounded and this year I think the village has been busier than ever. Many have commented too on the fine view all the yachts at their moorings. There have been a number of stunning double rainbows stretching all the way across the Moss, seen clearly from the bypass, the last being right at the end of August.
Without meaning to, September has turned out to be 'Drama Month' in the Astley Hall. A bi-lingual family music and mime production, Mull Theatre with a lady clown in spandex, and Dogstar's 'The Heretic's Tale'. But we start off the month with our Blas concert which is the final one of the Festival, which has been selling out in other venues. So make sure you get your tickets - on sale in Arisaig Post Office or from me. There's a licensed bar and a raffle which includes CDs of the bands featured. The decoration has been done by pupils of Arisaig Primary School who have drawn themselves! See who you can recognise! As you go into the Hall now you will see in front of you the bright and colourful Under the Sea collage made at the Art Fun Day at the beginning of August by local and visiting children. If I can find out all the names I'll put them up - it's very eyecatching and bright, well done all.
We were very sorry to hear of the death of Jean MacLeod last month. She did an outstanding job keeping the hall spotless from the time we reopened until she gave up due to ill health at Christmas. Our sympathies go to her daughters and family..
Ann Martin


Large Pink Bear Sighted in Lochaber
No, no need to go on the wagon - it's Gaynor Bear, touring the country in aid of The Pink Fund and Cancer Research UK. And she's been seen in Glenfinnan….
In September 2004 Gaynor Fear and Diana Hennis, members of Genes Reunited the genealogy website, set up a registered charity called The Pink Fund, because Gaynor had been diagnosed with breast cancer. By the beginning of April 2005 £10,000 had already been raised, by genealogy meet ups, auctions and raffles.
In April 2005 members were called together to help send a beautiful pink teddy bear all around the UK in the form of a relay. The relay would be dedicated to Gaynor Fear, now terminally ill, and the bear was named Gaynor Bear. Gaynor Fear knew of The Gaynor Bear Relay, and it was hoped she would get a cuddle from her namesake before she started her tour of the UK, but sadly Gaynor died just a few days beforehand.
The Gaynor Bear Relay started on 23rd April 2005 from Tynemouth in the north east of England. GB as she is now known, has visited numerous places of interest, schools and hospitals, far too many to mention, starting with the Angel of the North. She worked her way down the country to London, wearing beautiful outfits made for different occasions. From London to the West Country, up through Wales and finally to Scotland, every where she has gone she has met mayors, MPs, even the love of her life, Beau Bear. Every area she reaches she tries to raise the funds by any donations.....buckets included!! And she has raised £3500 already since the beginning of the year. In October she heads off to New York!
At Glenfinnan she met up with a group of folk from Scotland who have been chatting on the Genes Reunited website for a while now and who decided they wanted to meet. Who better to invite along than Gaynor!
For pictures of Gaynor's trip to Glenfinnan, visit the Gaynor Bear Relay web site
Thanks to Janet Ritchie for the information - hope you enjoyed the Glenfinnan Meet, Janet!


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RNLI fundraising cycle
Ali Lindsay-Bethune and her friend Gussie Peile undertook a sponsored cycle ride from Inverness to Inverie as a thank you to Mallaig RNLI. Eight years ago the Mallaig RNLI crew saved the life of Ali's brother when he fell from his bike into a swollen burn and was swept into a culvert at Inverie. David, who was only four at the time of the accident, was taken by Lifeboat to an air ambulance helicopter and taken to Raigmore Hospital. The girls covered 101 miles, cycling to Kinlochhourn where they travelled by boat and then covered the last few miles to Inverie Pier to be met by the RNLI crew. So far they have raised £3440 of their target of £4000. If you wish to donate, go to www.justgiving.com/agbike

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The Gurkhas were in Mallaig again on August 14th on their annual fundraising 'yomp' over the hills. The members of the Gurkha Welfare Trust were taken by the Western Isles to Knoydart to start their 200 mile trek to Loch Arkaig, Corrour, Dalwhinnie, Braemar, Lochnagar and finally Stonehaven, halting at the Commando Monument at Spean Bridge on the way to lay a wreath. Trust founder and event organiser Neil Griffiths was joined by his brother, Ewen, and five Gurkha soldiers from the the Gurkha Demonstration Company based at Sandhurst.
Mr Griffiths is in line to complete his seventh long-distance event to raise awareness of the needs of former Gurkha veterans of World War II in the Indian Subcontinent, who have no pension or welfare state entitlement, He also spent his 50th birthday on the march. They have collected more than £120,000 so far. The annual expeditions have raised over £500,000 in total to assist the former Gurkhas.


West Word - ten years ago
The majestic Sgurr of Eigg dominated the cover of the September 1996 issue of West Word with the adjacent story headlined The Isle of Eigg Trust Launch Public Appeal. Pages 2 (via Council Corner) and 3 (A View of Eigg by Andy Wightman) told of the fundraising campaign and the eventual 'local buyout' plan. Editor Jill de Fresnes ended her editorial with the words: 'Meantime, what about Knoydart?'
The licensing of Invermectin for use on fish farming sites was condemned by M&NWFA's Hugh Allen in his Fishing Scene column and it was also a front page story expressing concern that such a toxic substance could be used to control sea lice on salmon. Page 4 brought the news that The Highland Council was seeking Government funding for their plans to bring the Small Isles and Inverie into the 20th century via construction of jetties/slipways at each location. Estimated cost - in the region of £14m.
Many months of planning by Mallaig High School Teacher Paul Haynes had resulted in a successful Go Kart Roadshow with the pupils (and teachers) enjoying the chance to drive the Karts round a special track at Cross Farm.
Alistair MacKellaig, John MacVarish and Ewen MacDonald revealed their sightings of Morag, the Loch Morar Monster, while Inverie Primary School page told of their new Nature Garden. Mallaig High School page told of the food hygiene certificates won by pupils, the upcoming High School Inspection and a poem on drugs by Mallaig's Alexander MacMillan - a winning entry in a drug education programme.
A graduation picture of Niall MacDougall at Glasgow University sat alongside one of the marriage of Ina and George Alick Coull, 50 years before in Fraserburgh. To celebrate their 50th anniversary, wife Ina arranged a microlight flight for her hubby with Hamish Smith and there was a nice account of the flight and a thank you to both wife Ina and pilot Hamish from the 'surprised' George Alick.
A photo of pupils of Lady Lovat Primary School, Morar, a là 1975, adorned page 20 while on pages 26 and 27 an article headed 'In Living Memory' on the collection of oral history was accompanied by a photo of Mallaig's Bella Muir with Allan MacDonald (Glenuig) who was collecting old Gaelic poems and songs which been passed on to Bella from her father. On the same theme we printed a Gaelic song about Arisaig written by Iain (The Tailor) MacIntyre, who lived above the Post Office, dating back to the 1890's and recently discovered by Allan MacDonald.
Alison MacDougall reviewed Terry Pratchett's Discworld series of books and Aunt Prudence (rumoured to be some relation) provided her Astrological Advice.
In the Personal Angle column Bob Burt's critique of the film Breaking the Waves was blunt and succinct. 'A lot of it just went over my head' (so that's what happened to his hair).
Why Did All the Lugworms Die? asked Ross Campbell in the Environmental page and Geraldine MacKinnon's Trekking Holidays on Canna were highlighted via an article and photo of the Highland Cross ponies. Mallaig Police were urging attendance at a Road Safety/Better Driving Course to be held later in the month and a look back at Police operations 50 years ago was achieved via a peek in the Mallaig Police Log Book of 1946.
Mallaig & Morar Highland Games and the Knoydart Games were covered and Swimming, Golf, Fishing and Football adorned the sport's page with a poignant report on the Mallaig FC victory over a Strathclyde Fire Service XI for the Angus MacDougall Memorial Cup.
Ian Smith provided a summary of a rugby playing trip to the Land of the Long White Cloud (New Zealand) and Rum teacher Kate Davidson told of her visit to Vancouver.
Finbarr Harte, Manson Grant, Sharon Turley and Jolene & Barry were the acts lined up for the winter season of the Mallaig Country Music Club at the West Highland Hotel (ah, those were the days!) and a big thank you was accorded to all who had helped Maisie and Elizabeth raise £3620 for the Yorkhill Family Unit during the previous month's Fun Day on Mallaig Pier. Plum Crumble and Apricot Amoretti Crumble recipes were provided on page 24 while Keith William Robertson's poem entitled 'Natasha's Farewell to Inverguseran' told the tale of Iain Wilson's pet lamb.
This snippet caught my eye, proving that romance is not dead but alive and well in Arisaig…congrats to Susan Grant and Graham MacLellan on their engagement, celebrated over a romantic meal for two - a carry out on the late train!!!
RMM


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