2005 News archive

Fire Averted

Thanks to the efficient working of the outreach technology fitted to a pensionerís phone, the volunteer fire fighters on Lismore were able to prevent a pan fire becoming something very serious. The phone picked up the smoke signal and sent it down the line to Glasgow where they immediately alerted the Lismore Brigade. Duncan Brooks said it was gratifying to see that the system worked so well averting damage to person and property.

Afternoon Tea for Seniors

The Staying Put project is now in full swing and all of the older residents are benefiting from the transport which allows them to take part in the island's many events as well as visiting Oban for various appointments. Their first afternoon tea was well attended and greatly enjoyed.

Trafalgar Day celebrations 21st and 22nd October 2005

A barbecue, fireworks and a three course meal were parts of the celebrations. More information and photos here.

Petrol solution – 7th October 2005

There is now a solution to the fuel crisis that has been running since February. More information and photos here.

Butterfly Day on 5th October 2005

After a very successful visit on a very sunny day in June, Tom Prescott from Butterfly Conservation Scotland made a return visit recently to continue his work of helping to preserve the Marsh Fritillary, which he called Lismoreís special resident and one of the most endangered butterflies in Britain.

The Marsh Fritillary was once widespread in Britain and Ireland but is thought to be declining at about 10% per decade with an identical decline in Europe. However, Argyll and the Argyll islands now hold some of the most significant populations in Europe several of which are on Lismore. On this visit he was pointing out the conspicuous webs where the caterpillars live communally on their sole food the Devilís-bit Scabious. Because the butterfly is only found where its food is abundant, usually on damp grassland or open moor land, it is important that these sites are grazed ideally by cattle to retain and promote the scabious. We were also urged to monitor the species at all stages of its development so that accurate records of its progress can be kept.

CELM visit to Morvern Historical Society – October 2005

Members of the Comann Eachraidh Lios Mòr visited the Morvern Historical Society. More information and photos here.

Archivist comes to Lismore – October 2005

At the invitation of the Comann Eachdraidh Lios MÚr, Murdo MacDonald, Argyll and Bute archivist, gave a talk in the hall. He spoke on four topics: the Clearances and the different ways that evictions were carried out; the Redcoats and the route they regularly took when moving between garrisons at Fort William and Castle Duart on Mull via Lismore; the limeworkings and their importance to the community and, lastly, he spoke about various ministers of the church on Lismore including the Rev. Donald MacNichol 1766 – 1802 and the Rev. Gregor MacGregor 1836 – 1885. The talk was informal and interactive with the audience contributing from their own local knowledge and family histories. It was a most enjoyable and informative evening.

The vote of thanks was given by Archie MacColl, vice chairperson of Comann Eachdraidh Lios MÚr.

Fire Station opening on 1st October 2005

There was a great turn out to see the opening of the new fire station. More information and photos here.

CELM Whist drive on 24th September 2005

On Saturday evening, the Comann Eachdraidh continued their fund raising for the Gaelic Museum with a whist drive and raffle.

Glensanda visit on 24th September 2005

A fascinating look at our near neighbour and a different perspective on the island. More information and photos here.

Hall Fund Raising Weekend 23rd to 25th September 2005

The Hall committee was very busy over the September holiday weekend running a dance on the Friday and a produce day on the Sunday afternoon. More information about, and photos from the produce day can be found here.

Consultants appointed September 2005

Work on making the Gaelic Heritage Museum a reality is continuing in many directions and recently Comann Eachdraidh Lios Mor appointed consultants Liz Buckle and Mel Whewell to design interpretative panels and produce a visitor management strategy for the project.

At the same time Lismore and Appin communities have appointed a firm of consultants to produce an interpretative and visitor management strategy for the combined communities. The successful team – Small Town and Rural Development – will report in December 2005. The work is being funded by Scottish Natural Heritage and the contract is being run by Comann Eachdraidh Lios Mor and a steering group consisting of themselves, Lismore Community Council, Comunn Gaidlaig na h-Apainn, Appin Community Cooperative Ltd, and community representatives.

Residents of Lismore and Appin will be extensively consulted and it is hoped that in working together untold benefits will accrue for both. Making the area attractive to visitors while at the same time improving the social and economic wellbeing of the residents will be seen in the context of sustainable development. It is hoped that as many people as possible will take part in the consultations which will probably take the form of questionnaires and meetings.

Lismore alone has so much to offer the visitor already (although not yet the cup of tea they all want), but at the moment someone stepping off the ferry at Achnacroich or Point with no prior knowledge through the website or guide book, is lost.

Job at Lismore Primary School

Lismore Primary School (13 Pupils) needs a reliable and caring person to undertake a range of duties within the school including the preparation and service of healthy school meals, the maintenance of a high standard of kitchen hygiene and the general cleaning of the school. The main focus of the catering is the preparation and service of healthy meals to support the whole school approach to healthy living. There is a basic administration element including ordering, records and budget control. The focus of cleaning is to ensure that children enjoy a clean, healthy and safe environment. Keyholding, security of the premises and its contents, lighting, heating, porterage and handyperson duties are also involved. Candidates will be required to undertake training on an ongoing basis.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order as amended will apply and the post is subject to disclosure from the Scottish Criminal Records Office.

The post will be advertised in local press with closing date. Packages can be obtained from Argyll House, Alexandra Parade, Dunoon, Argyll, PA23 8AJ or email Dilys.Leckie@argyll-bute.gov.uk.

Hours of Duty: Monday to Friday, 27 Hours per week term time (41 weeks per year). Weekly Paid: MW3 Hourly rate £5.9138

LIO5MOR for sale – September 2005

We have been asked by the owner of the above number plate whether anyone on Lismore would be interested in it. He has offered to make a donation to the Computer Group funds in the event of a sale which is the only reason we have decided to allow it on the news. Normally this is not a market place but as it is for island funds and no one person is to gain, an exception has been made.

So if you fancy driving about letting everyone know where you come from and that you have £600 to spare to advertise this great island get in touch with a group member.

Youth Club Indian Meal on 20th August 2005

It was billed as a Hot Summerís Night Indian Meal and it certainly lived up to its name. As with all the other community meals Beth Campbell and Tony McLarney have organised to raise funds for the Youth club, this was a great success: well attended, well organised and well lit. The Hall is not an exotic setting but Beth and Tony had made it look very intimate with discreetly placed candles and attractively dressed tables and the paintings around the walls from the art exhibition enhanced their work. As usual the highlight was the food, all home cooked and served in prime condition. Pakoras, samosas, pappadoms, salads and dips for starters; beef, chicken, lamb, fish and vegetable korma, bhuna, jalfrezi and Madras curries served with rice and bread; and the hit of the evening was the chili and chocolate ice cream served with a fresh strawberry puree. The subtlety of the chili complimented the ice cream and it was pronounced utterly delicious. Thanks Beth and Tony for this chance to meet in such an enjoyable way. Makes a change from committee meetings.

Birthday Barn Dance on 19th August 2005

Lilian Colthart celebrated her birthday and raised money for charity. More information and photos here.

Art and Photography exhibition – 14th to 23rd August 2005

This years art and photography exhibition also gave the children an opportunity to show their work. More information and photos here.

School Fête on 13th August 2005

The weather was kind to the School Fête again this year. More information and photos here.

Isle of Lismore 2006 calendar

Following the success of the 2005 Calendar, the Lismore Photography Club has produced a 2006 Calendar with 12 stunning photographs taken on the island. The calendar is available from Lismore Stores

Sorry but the calendars are now all sold.

Guild Coffee Day on 11th August 2005

The Guild continued their successful fund raising this summer. The Coffee Day was greatly appreciated by locals and visitors alike as the island is no longer able to run a Summer cafe due to staff shortages! It raised £313. See also the Sale of Work item.

Donald MacLean 1945 – 2005

The island was greatly saddened on the recent death of Donald MacLean. One of the most versatile workers Lismore has ever known, Donald was able to turn his hand to anything, solving problems that others had pronounced insoluble. He was often so inventive that whatever he was dealing with – a water supply, an engine, central heating – was better after he had fixed it than it had been before. A great crowd from Oban, Tiree and Lismore gathered at his home for a traditional funeral after which one of the longest processions of cars ever seen on the island wound itself to the Parish Church for his interment.

Donald was born in Glasgow but grew up in Tiree after moving there to be fostered in the 1950s. He went to Balemartine Primary School and then on to Cornaigmore Secondary School and when he left he worked on his foster parentsí croft. His musical talent was noticed early and he loved playing his accordion and singing at Ceilidhs. After he was appointed shepherd on the common grazing in the Township of Barrapol he was often to be seen on his way to work with his collie dog sitting on the petrol tank of his BSA Bantam motorcycle. Once when his motorcycle developed clutch problems and spare parts were not available, a friend suggested that the trouble lay in the cork clutch pads and so Donald found some cork and set about making them. It was for such skills that many a Lismore motorist was forever grateful.

In the mid 60s Donald went to Glasgow to work in haulage. It was here while working as a machine operator for a construction company who had their works camp on the Glenmore Road midway between Craignure and Bunessan, that he decided during a howling gale to use his machine to hold down his caravan with the excavator bucket! In the early 70s Donald signed up for the Puffer Trade serving for a number of years in the haulage of pulpwood from Mull Forests to the Scottish Pulp and Paper Mill at Corpach where they uplifted return cargoes, such as limestone and building materials for delivery to various islands on the west coast of Scotland. Around 1979 Donald began working on the Oban-Lismore ferry. It was on this service to Lismore that he met his second wife Alison.

Donald helped to run the farm after Alisonís father, the late Joe Stewart, died and then he was self employed handyman. There arenít many houses on Lismore where Donald didnít do something, whether it was putting on new roof or repairing a leaking one, replacing windows, making garden gates and walls, repairing cars and tractors, in fact anything at all, even putting in septic tanks. He worked right up till the last month before he passed away on 8th August, 2005. Donald loved to hear his three Lismore children – Carol, Duncan, and Flora – learning their Mod songs and poems. Being a Gaelic speaker he was a natural coach and he was also helping Flora to learn the accordion. His two children from his first marriage, Anne Marie and Donald live in Oban.

CELM Ceilidh on 5th August 2005

A rich and varied continuation of last yearís very successful ceilidh raised funds for the new Gaelic museum. More information and photos here.

Gaelic Ceilidh on 1st August 2005

Despite Lismore having had a very busy social weekend of dances, sports and a barbecue, a good crowd turned up on a Monday night to hear three young singers, Mary and Gillibride MacMillan with Sineag MacIntyre. Before the Ceilidh the three gave a Gaelic singing workshop. Most of the evening programme consisted of songs from their home island of South Uist with some from Mull and ending with Leaving Lismore. Donald Black introduced the singers and in reply they promised that their next visit would consist of a lot more local songs as they were now very glad to have a copy of Margaret Lobbanís "Bards of Mull and Lismore".

Barbecue and Barn Dance on 30th July 2005

Donnie and Anne's final Sports Day event attracted a huge crowd. More information and photos here.

Sports and Raft Race on 30th July 2005

A record turn out and an international dimension for this year's event. More information, photos and results here.

Archaeologists at work – 2005

The archaeologists have been back this year. More information and photos here.

Guild Sale of Work on 22nd July 2005

The Guild had a very successful fund raising day raising over £997 from the sale of local produce, baking and bric-a-brac, a raffle and donations. See also the Coffee Day item.

Jessie Stewart celebrates – 21st July 2005

Jessie Stewart celebrated her 80th birthday with her family. More information and photos here.

Clipping course on 6th July 2005

Balure hosted this very useful event. More information and photos here.

School year end on 29th June 2005

Prize giving was held on 29th June and the Head, Freda MacGregor, reported that they had had an excellent year in the school. They said goodbye to Murray Willis and Kieran McLarney who are going to Oban High School and Joe Derham who is off to Ardnamurchan High School.

School sports on 28th June 2005

Lismore Primary School had another successful Sports day. More information and photos here.

Butterfly Conservation Day on 28th June 2005

Two experts came to Lismore to speak about the plight of the Marsh Fritillary. More information and photos here.

Moonwalk on 25th June 2005

A successful moonwalk to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer was held. More information and photos here.

Church Moderator's visit on 22nd June 2005

The Right Rev David Lacy visited Lismore Parish Church. More information and photos here.

School concert on 18th June 2005

The children performed their Mod entries in the Hall. More information and photos here.

School Guide dog visit – June 2005

The children were captivated when Anna MacCorquodale, a former music teacher at Lismore Primary School visited with her guide dog. They watched in rapt attention as she put the dog through her paces demonstrating how reliable guide dogs are, and how they totally become their owners' eyes. Many would never have seen a guide dog in action.

Live Music on 15th June 2005

Live Music Now performed at the school. More information and photos here.

School Mod results – June 2005

The children enjoyed considerable success at this yearís Mod in Oban. More information, photos and the results here.

Playground Poets – June 2005

Seven school pupils have had their poetry published. More information and the poems here.

Primary Shinty success – June 2005

The final round of the Oban Area Primary 6-a-side Leagues took place on 5th June 2005. More information, the team and the results here.

The tale of the peahen – June 2005

Priscilla has finally returned to the Old Manse. More information and photos here.

Balure's winning steak – June 2005

A charolais cross heifer bought in Oban in 2003 from John Livingstone, Balure, has been selected in a blind test as this yearís winner of the annual McIntosh Donald-Tesco Scotch Steak competition. The Banffshire farmer, Jimmy Edwards of Meilkle Ardone, Keith, who took first prize said he always knew she was good beast and the steak drew warm praise from Nick Nairn, chairman of the judging panel. Jimmy Edwards wrote a warm letter congratulating John on his part in the raising of the heifer. Congratulations John!

School appointment – June 2005

Caroline Willis, a Liossach returning to live on Lismore, has been appointed to the dual position of School Secretary and Classroom Assistant starting in August. Welcome back Caroline.

Gaelic Heritage Museum funding – June 2005

Congratulations to the Comann Eachdraidh Lios Mòr who have announced that, as all funding is now in place, work on the Gaelic Heritage Museum can commence. It will be built alongside Taigh Iseabal – the reconstructed croftersí cottage above. The whole complex will provide a focus for preserving the islandís past and forging a viable future. At last there will be a place to house Lismoreís rich archive, currently in the School House at Achnacroich, as well as providing facilities to meet, to study, to socialise, and to enjoy teas, coffees and meals.

Taigh Iseabal is now open for the season thanks to the generosity of the many islanders who are acting as guides. In good weather the ferry is already busy with cyclists and walkers who can visit the cottage every day (except Wednesday) from 11am until 4pm. A ticket also gives entry to the archive at Achnacroich.

Landrover stuck on 29th May 2005

A Landrover had to be rescued from mud. More information and photos here.

Youth Club Pasta Nite on 27th May 2005

The young people's Pizza and Pasta Nite was a roaring success. As with all young people they eat and go so the meal was over in one and a half hours! They had lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, carbonara, pasta with tomato sauce and spicy meat, margarita & pepperoni pizzas and salad all served with garlic bread. This was followed by chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice-cream with strawberry or chocolate sauce. Everyone helped to clear up after the meal and as usual every single child came and said thank you without anyone asking them to. They brought their own music and had a good time chatting and singing along. The meal was financed with the profits from the Adult Italian Night.

Churchyard–Wormleighton wedding dance on 21st May 2013

Mike Churchyard and Jenny Wormleighton celebrated their marraige at a dance in the hall. More information and photos here.

Red Reel Band workshop on 21st May 2005

The Red Reel Band held a workshop in the hall. More information and photos here.

Comann Eachdraidh Gaelic Weekend

Twelve Gaelic students enjoyed a weekend on Lismore having classes, socialising, and touring places of interest. They all came from Edinburgh but originally one had come from Austria, one from England and one from the North West Territories of Canada. They arrived on Friday evening and on Saturday they had classes with their tutor assisted by Paddy MacNicol of Port Appin, a graduate of Sabhal Mor Ostaig, and Margaret MacDonald. In the afternoon in glorious weather they toured the island, and in the evening they got together with Comann Eachdraidh members for a ceilidh.

Duncan Livingstone's 70th birthday on 20th May 2005

Anne Livingstone decided to celebrate her husband Duncanís 70th birthday with a surprise party inviting friends and well wishers not just from Lismore but from far and wide. Needless to say the Lismore rumour mill meant it was not quite a surprise but Duncan, a Liosach, a crofter and well known for his Gaelic singing, was greatly pleased. The Red Reel Band, on the island for the weekend, joined with the locals in an impromptu ceilidh. After the cutting of the cake, Duncan thanked Anne and all those who had helped to make it a memorable evening.

Lismore School says farewell on 20th May 2005

The school said farewell to Penny Derham and Dawn Sanderson. More information and photos here.

Country dancing on 14th May 2005

Dancers from the mainland joined with Lismore for an enjoyable evening. More information and photos here.

New fire engine on manoeuvres

On 9th May the new fire engine was out on manoeuvres. More information and photos here.

Italian night on 7th May 2005

An Italian meal was well attended and raised money for the island Youth Club. More information and photos here.

New Community Council and fuel update 5th May 2005

At the inaugural meeting of the new Community Council the following Office bearers were elected: Chair – John Carmichael, Vice Chair – Archibald MacGillivray, Treasurer – Duncan Livingstone. Dr Amanda Currie was co-opted as Secretary. Among other items discussed was the continuing fuel crisis. Reporting from the Fuel sub committee, Julian Worlmleighton said that, after negotiations, Argyll and Bute Council and the Argyll and Islandsí Enterprise had agreed to continue until the end of June to fund the delivery currently being undertaken fortnightly by Foster Yeoman. Gunns garage have also agreed to continue their invaluable part in the scheme. A vote of thanks was proposed for the hard working sub committee. Elaine Robertson said that this fuel crisis was an excellent example of efficient partnership between the Argyll and Bute, the Argyll and the Islandsí Enterprise, Foster Yeoman, Gunns Garage and Lismore islanders and she congratulated the outgoing council. More about this meeting will appear when the minutes are posted.

Update: Here are the minutes of the Community Council meeting on 5th May 2005

Music and Dance Festival on 28th April 2005

The Lismore school recorder group were very disappointed when they arrived to catch the ferry only to see it turn back half way across in stormy weather which meant they could not take part in the second day of the Highlands and Islandsí Music and Dance Festival. Coached by Katy Wright, they had worked hard on the Habanera from Bizetís Carmen and were excited at the thought of performing. Fortunately the ferry ran the previous day when the whole school, including 4 year old Shona Wright, danced with great enthusiasm in the country dancing. In the large Junior Fiddle class Joe Derham was awarded third place and praised for his sweet tone and rhythmical playing.

Update: the Habanera was performed at the School concert in June

Fuel crisis – April 2005

(Previous information.) Update on 7th April 2005:

Following advice from Argyll and Islands Enterprise about the best way to solve the petrol crisis, Lismore Community Council has appointed a consultant to look into all the options that may provide a permanent sustainable solution. Meanwhile Elaine Robertson suggested getting a quote from Foster Yeoman for a continuation of their fortnightly interim service, and, after negotiations, Argyll and Bute Council and the AIE have agreed to fund 50% of the costs each for the next 3 months. Gunns garage have also agreed to continue their invaluable part in the scheme.

At the latest Community Council meeting outgoing Secretary Julian Wormleighton suggested that a petrol subcommittee be formed to continue the committed work he and Chair Mairi Perkins and Roger Dixon-Spain had been doing to keep the islandís cars on the road. This committee will be ratified once the new Community Council meets.

Speaking as Nurse Practitioner, Mairi Perkins said that Foster Yeoman had agreed to keep the medical services in petrol at no extra cost while the current crisis lasts.

Staying Put Project Starts on 4th April 2005

Argyll and Buteís Better Neighbourhood Services recently appointed two outreach workers – Janette Stewart and Peter Walker – to run their Staying Put Project in Lismore. The project aims to reduce isolation by offering services to keep older people in their homes, allowing them to live independently and to participate fully in island life.

When the wheelchair accessible transport arrived on the island on 4th April, Maureen Robertson, Development Officer for the project, was on hand to introduce the scheme. Janette and Peter will work half a week each and provide the following: a keeping in touch service so people have access to social activities, services, and can visit friends and family; the installation of Telecare Technology Equipment to add safety in the home; a lunch and social clubs; short breaks for carers; and information and support to claim the benefits they are entitled to. The service, which is funded by the Scottish Executive, is for those over 65 with no access to private transport and who cannot access public transport.

Councillor Elaine Robertson, who fought hard to get Lismore included in the scheme, said it was a great day for Lismore and that it would be a boost to the quality of life and complement the care given by the medical staff, home helps etc. Nurse Practitioner Mairi Perkins, who will be supervising the scheme, agreed and said that she already had many ideas about how the scheme will work but will welcome input from workers and service users.

School Readathon – March 2005

All fourteen children in Lismore Primary school recently took part in Readathon. By reading as many books and magazines as they could in three weeks, they raised, through sponsorship, the amazing sum of £266.48. The youngest children mainly listened to taped stories although some of them also accepted the challenge of reading books.

The money raised will go to the Roald Dahl Foundation for sick children and their families and Sargent Cancer Care for Children. It will be spent primarily helping children and young people in Scotland suffering from cancer, Hodgkinís disease, leukaemia, epilepsy, blood disorders or acquired brain injury

School Easter Egg comptetition – March 2005

The Easter Egg competition was judged this year by Jenny Ainsley. The pize winners were John Carmichael (P4 to P7) and Kara Willis (Pre5 to P3).

Lismore Public Hall AGM – March 2005

At the recent Lismore Public Hall Annual General Meeting, islanders were shown a range of possible plans produced by the feasibility study the committee commissioned to look into the best way to improve the existing hall. The study, which will be completed in May, is seeking input from the various hall user groups so the best possible design, meeting the most needs, will result. The committee would also like to hear from anyone with design and fund raising ideas.

Chair Julian Wormleighton thanked office bearers Ann Sanderson and Anne Livingstone, the former resigning as Treasurer after 9 years and the latter as Secretary after nearly 3. They had both done invaluable work he said. Also resigning was Penny Derham who regretted that her commitments will make meetings impossible.

Four new members were elected unopposed: Jennifer Allan, Duncan Brooks, Hubert Sadhana and Gilly Dixon-Spain. Denise Willis was elected Secretary and Hubert Sadhana Treasurer.

Charity Tea on 6th March 2005

Tess Meddes wanted to organise an afternoon tea for Comic Relief, and Beth Campbell one for The Meningitis Trust so they combined forces and held it on Mothering Sunday. Tess, Josie, and Ruridgh Meddes with Sara Black – all Oban High students – helped bake and serve the tea and cakes. They raised £120 which was split equally between the charities. They also organised a Find the Comedy Programme Board which raised a further £20 which paid for the hire of the Hall. Roger Dixon-Spain won the £20 prize for the board. The younger children raised £30 by dressing in something silly and red and coming to the tea. Calum McGillivary made a great effort on the day.

Primary Shinty success – 27th February 2005

The final results are in for the Oban Area Coaching Committee's First Shinty League. More information, photos and the full results are here.

Fuel crisis – February 2005 (Part 2)

(Part 1 is here.) From the meeting on Tuesday 22 February:

We appear top have been given the briefest reprieve. Foster Yeoman have agreed to a request by the Community Council and Elaine Robertson to carry 200 litres per week for 2 weeks provided the petrol was in totally sealed containers and that a representative meet the vessel at either end to load the empties and pick up the full cans and remove them immediately from the slip at Point.

Julian Worlmleighton said he and the Chair Mairi Perkins had been working non stop to find a solution. Officials at Argyll and Bute were quoted as saying that the petrol issue as far as The Lismore was concerned was insoluble, although they may agree to try and sort out something with goods and bicycles which so many tourists rely on the travel about the island. The Maritime Coastguard Association (who issued the order) speaking from Glasgow and from Southampton said that The Lismore was totally unsuitable to carry petrol.

Clearly, Mairi Perkins said, we are being very much left in the lurch by Argyll and Bute with no suggestions as to how we can get fuel and no explanation as to why the boat is suddenly so unsuitable after all these years. No matter what long term solution is found it will take some setting up and in the meantime the island could grind to a halt with no fuel for vital services. And even were a way found to give fuel for the essential service these relied on the labour of islanders (teachers, cooks etc.) so this was not going to help except in an emergency.

It was suggested that the Community Council take legal advice to find out whether Argyll and Bute had a duty of care should someone die as a result of this situation. Were this happening on the mainland the urgency of the situation would be seen and a solution found. Surely a stretch of water does not mean we can have our lives put in peril at a stroke. Even the possibility of taking the car to Oban to fill up (which would surely give Lismore the most expensive petrol in Europe) was not viable as many cars had MOT exemptions and could not be driven on the mainland.

Update: Follow this story here.

Fuel crisis – February 2005 (Part 1)

The following is a report of the Community Council Meeting on 18th February:

A fuel crisis has hit the island after the Marine Coastguard Agency served a prohibition notice on the Lismore / Port Appin ferry route banning the carrying of fuel, all hand luggage over 500kg (which must be stored in the designated area) and bicycles. Foster Yeoman, who run the route, told Community Council Secretary Julian Wormleighton that the ferry has no permit to carry goods.

A very angry Mairi Perkins, Chair of the Community Council, told a packed meeting that she had been given no notice of the ban and no reasons why a practice that had been going on for a number of years was suddenly the victim of a tightening of regulations. She said the ban appears to be the result of the agencyís observation on the 14th January and conversations with the ferryman on 16th January. Speaking in her role as nurse practitioner she said that there had been ample time for warning in what was a life and death situation. It was vital, she said, that she be able to answer all calls, emergency and otherwise, that the doctor and ambulance be sure of fuel and that home helps, the school run and all services be able to operate.

Julian said he had been working hard to find a long term solution as well as asking the MCA whether some temporary certification could be granted while solutions were sought. Elaine Robertson said she had also been in conversation with CalMac and Argyll and Bute to see if it would be possible for the ferry to meet the tightened regulations.

Mark Willis and Donnie MacCormick were appointed along with Julian Wormleighton to look into all the possibilities, long and short term, including the possibility of petrol storage on the island.

Update: More information in Part 2.

In memory of Mary MacDougall 1917 – 2005

A large congregation of family and friends gathered in Lismore Parish Church to say farewell to Mary MacDougall who died peacefully at her home in Achnacroish on 17 February 2005.

Mary was born in Dunoon in 1917 into a family of four whose parents both died when the children were very young. It was at this sad time that Mary came to Lismore to live with her aunt and uncle. She attended Balligrundle School and afterwards trained as a nurse at Royal Alexandra Infirmary in Paisley. She became a midwife at The Royal Glasgow Maternity Hospital and worked as a district nurse first in Dreghorn then Crosshouse in Ayrshire and later she succeeded her sister Bessie Mackinnon in Dalry.

Mary married Dugald MacDougall in 1949 and they lived most of their years together at Achnacroish. They had four boys and a girl. Tragically two of the boys, Peter and Neil, died while still young, but they saw Dougie, Gregor, and Faye grow up as they shared 37 years married life. Dugy died in 1987 but Mary continued her active life both supported by and supporting her family. Although a busy mother, Mary was for many years a relief nurse in Lismore, indeed, at the age of 79, she delivered her own grandson – John Carmichael. Mary loved her grandchildren and was much loved by them; her proudest moment was when she was present on the last Sunday of January 2005 to witness the baptism of her first great granddaughter in Lismore Church.

All her life Mary was fit and active working on the croft with Dugy, being a busy housewife and mother and always making her home a very welcoming place with tea and baking offered as soon as you were in the door. She was a lifelong member of the Church and active in the Guild, being genuinely interested in and caring for all. Age held no fears for Mary, so she was very ready at 79 to make her first trip out of Scotland going to Canada with her son Dougie and daughter-in-law Mary and enjoying every moment of it.

Mary MacDougall will be remembered on Lismore and beyond for the love she gave her family, the warmth of her friendship, and her friendliness and kindness to all who met her.

Roger Dixon-Spain's party on 16th February 2005

The entire island was invited to the hall to celebrate Roger's 60th birthday. More information and photos here.

Valentine Tea on 13th February 2005

At the Hall Committeeís Valentine Tea on Sunday 13th February we took our delicious refreshments in a hall decorated with balloon hearts, tables full of red flowers and hand wrapped chocolates. The event raised around £100 for hall funds.

Bards of Mull and Lismore – February 2005

Margaret MacDonald Lobbanís fascinating book – Lachann Dubh aí Chrogain (Lachlan Livingstone and his Grandsons) Bards of Mull and Lismore – is not just a work of painstaking scholarship but a complete labour of love. The bards are her great grandfather Lachlan Livingstone, known as Lachann Dubh, (Black Lachie), her two uncles John and Lachlan MacDonald, and her father James MacDonald.

Black Lachie was born in Croggan Mull in 1819 and died there in 1901. His obituary in the Oban Times noted that "he possessed the true Bardic repartee which he could easily clothe in incisive language". He earned this reputation when, after some years at sea, he was employed as a bard, fisherman and piper to the MacLaines of Lochbuie whom he served all his life as the last of the official bards. Sadly many of his songs have been lost but those Margaret has saved show his great love of nature, of the sea and of animals; his sharp satire; his vivid and often entertaining recording of local events; and his acute sense of social justice. So sharp was his tongue, Margaret writes, that people were wary of incurring his displeasure. But, she adds, he was scathing with just cause as in the song of the minister who abused his horse, while elsewhere his humour was gentle as in the song about Ludovicís badly built boat.

Lachlanís grandsons grew up on Lismore after Lachlanís daughter Sarah married John MacDonald, a Liossach. Although Margaret didnít know her great grandfather she grew up listening to her father and his brothers singing his songs as well as their own which they composed prolifically. Her unclesí songs each have their own character but here again is a deep love of place and people, the humorous recording of events (the coming of gas, farming subsidies and the Lismore Fire Brigade) and great out pourings of passion and yearning.

Printed in Gaelic and English with words and music at the back, this is a book for everyone interested in the everyday history, culture and beauty of the area. It will fill a gap in the Gaelic archive and provide material for Gaelic singers everywhere while serving as an entrťe to the songs for newcomers. The accompanying CD has recordings of many of the songs sung by Margaret, her brother Lachlan and others. It is available from the New Iona Press or online from www.gaelicbooks.net.

Burns supper on 22nd January 2005

Lismore Youth Club hosted the island's first Burns supper. More information and photos here.

Lismore is very happy to congratulate Dr Iain MacNicol on becoming an MBE in the January 2005 honours list. Dr MacNicol has been our GP since he took over his fatherís practice in 1981. For ten years he worked alone but there are now two doctors and, in Lismore, a Nurse Practitioner – Mairi Perkins. Dr MacNicol stressed that he felt that the award was for the whole team as no one person could cope with a practice which also includes Glensanda and parts of Duror.

As a keen sailor, Dr MacNicol has never minded having to cross on the north end ferry twice a week in all weathers and, of course, in emergencies. This is a comforting thought for us all. Recently when General Practitioners were given a new contract which allowed them to opt out of emergency cover, Dr MacNicol fought to be allowed to continue as he was, which means we are still covered 24/7 by the Appin Practice.

Among Dr MacNicolís special interests and areas of expertise is the health of travelling people especially in the North Lorn area for whom he has been caring for some years. He is in demand worldwide as a speaker on this subject as he has long been aware of their special needs and their routine exclusion from services the rest of us can easily take for granted.

As islanders we are very grateful we have such a strong medical team led by Dr Kate Howlett and Dr Iain MacNicol MBE.

The storm on 11th January 2005

A ferocious storm hit the island. More information and photos here.

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