Sailing Smacks display from 22nd October 2011

Professor D E Meek image

At 3pm (this is a change to the previous time on 22nd October 2011 at the Lismore Heritage Centre, Donald Meek, Emeritus Professor of Scottish and Gaelic Studies, University of Edinburgh will launch the audiovisual display on the history of the Lismore Sailing Smacks.

The display takes the form of a rich collection of photographs and documents from the heyday (1870-1940) of the sailing smacks that operated mainly out of Port Ramsay, with commentaries in English and Gaelic by Duncan Black, Calum MacCorquodale and John MacFadyen, who remember the last days of the smacks. Margaret Black has curated the collection.

Professor Meek, brought up in a Gaelic-speaking household on Tiree, is an authority on a wide range of subjects including the Book of the Dean of Lismore. He can tell us a great deal about the MacFadyen sea captains who came from Tiree to Lismore in the 1870s, and he has contributed an important photograph to the display.

The screen and computer for the display were purchased using a generous grant from the MacDougall McCallum Heritage Foundation.

The event, followed by refreshments, is open to all who are interested in the history of Lismore.

Provided by Bob Hay on 9th September 2011

Prof. Meek has very kindly provided us with the following

Donald E. Meek is a native of Tiree, and is well known for his work on behalf of Gaelic in Scotland. He was formerly Professor of Celtic at the University of Aberdeen (1993-2001) and Professor of Scottish and Gaelic Studies at the University of Edinburgh (2002-2008), but is no longer associated with the Scottish universities. Having taken early retirement in 2008, he combines the occasional writing of a book with his passionate, lifelong interest in ships and the sea. He is a keen model-boat builder, and tries to paint pictures of ships, most of them shown in West Highland waters. His latest book, co-authored with Dr Bruce Peter of the Glasgow School of Art, is entitled From Comet to CalMac: Two Hundred Years of Hebridean and Clyde Shipping, and will be published in late November by Ferry Publications, Isle of Man. He was recently awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Glasgow for his many publications on ‘Gaelic Literature and Society in the Nineteenth Century’.

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