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STRUAN LODGE PROGRESS REPORT PUBLIC MEETING

 

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DUNOON COMMUN ITY COUNCIL and STRUAN LODGE DEVELOPMENT GROUP have posted notice to advise of two Public sessions to be held Wednesday 22nd November 2017 in Dunoon Grammar School between 6pm and 9pm and Thursday 23RD November 2017 in St Muns Church Hall between 2pm and 4.30pm

These meetings will be in the form of DROP IN Sessions to provide an update on the progress of discussions with ARGYLL & BUTE HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE PARTNERSHIP on the future for STRUAN LODGE and to obtain observations

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In May 2017 the Integration Joint board of Argyll & Bute Health and Social Care Partnership agreed that time should be given for discussion to take place with the Struan Lodge Development Group to consider the points set out in that body’s Strategy  document which presented a case for continuing twenty-four hour care at Struan Lodge and further developing the facilities there and at the Cowal Community Hospital with a view to creating a centre of excellence in adult care for the people of Cowal.

In August 2017 a Struan Lodge Redesign Project Group was set up and since then has met on four occasions and created two sub groups to investigate and report on specific issues. These sub groups were set up after considering the priority issues for the Redesign Project Group. These priorities were determined in order to meet the timetable for reporting back to the Integrated Joint Board in March 2018 and to be in a position to offer the required savings in the operation of Struan Lodge while giving time to review the medium and longer term services that would be needed to meet the needs of the people of Cowal given the anticipated demographics for the area while meeting the Scottish Governments targets for providing care in a manner which would allow people to remain in their own homes rather than be cared for in hospitals or residential care facilities.

This being the case the Struan Lodge Redesign Project Group decided that there were three key areas to initially concentrate on and these are:-

  • The development of day services  to a wider clientele throughout Cowal
  • The use of Struan Lodge for provision of reablement services that will help reduce the number of days spent in hospital awaiting discharge and the use of Struan Lodge to reduce unnecessary admission to hospital, a  process known as Step Up/Step Down
  • That the Health and Social Care Partnership and the Struan Lodge Development Group reach an agreed position regarding statistical data which sets out the forecast demographic figures for Cowal and how this will impact on the forecast needs for care.

MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC and INTERESTED COMMUNITY GROUPS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND ONE OR BOTH EVENTS

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DAZZLE TIME

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DUNOON FILM FESTIVAL FRI 10 – SUN 12 NOVEMBER 2017

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Advertised as a three day kino-ceilidh of films, music, interactive workshops and talks by the water the DUNOON FILM FESTIVAL is with us again utilising Dunoon’s Studio Cinema and the newly refurbished Dunoon Burgh Hall


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Dunoon Film Festival

STEWART FENWICK CELEBRATES 500th CELTIC COUNTRY 5TH NOVEMBER

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For 500 Programmes Stewart has brought us a mix of Country music from the Celtic lands plus the Country music gig guide for Scotland. Stewart has been broadcasting for over 40 years, firstly on his school station, “Radio Lornshill”, then on Radio Airthrey at Stirling University, where he ended an eight year run in 1988 with a 24 hour broadcast. He went on to present “Country Gold” on Central FM in Scotland for 15 years, as well as writing for Country Music & Dance In Scotland, and Country Music & More.  

This Sunday will be the 500th Celtic Country programme on Celtic Music Radio, having began back in the early days, when the programme was only broadcast during Celtic Connections and we have been proud to broadcast his weekly programme from the beginning of our DCR97.4FM broadcast

To celebrate Stewart will be having a CD Giveaway in a simple competition- who is the most played artist over the 500 programmes (Stewart has played over 2300), and as a secondary bonus question, who is most played Scottish act (born or based here). Just post your answers on Stewarts Face Book page  https://www.facebook.com/stewart.fenwick  by Sunday 5th November – go on, have a guess.

To help Stewart celebrate he will introduce special guest

 Georgie Jack 2

Geordie Jack, who wrote “Crazy Celtic Music”, the very first track played on the programme, is best known as frontman with Colorado, the British Country Music Association’s Band of The Year right through the 1980’s. Geordie is still as popular as ever, and only last weekend, headlined the Northern Nashville Caithness CMC 30th Anniversary Event. His latest album, “Choices” continues to be one of the most popular CD’s on the Scottish Country music scene.

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Lisa McHugh visited the programme, back when she had just released her debut single “Old Fashioned Girl”.

Since then, Lisa has moved to Ireland, but we’ve never forgotten her Glasgow roots on the programme. Six albums later, and the Glasgow girl is now one of Ireland’s biggest Country stars, and has just released her latest album, “Who I Am”.

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Allan Broom, who has been around since the first programme, has acted as the reception committee for most of the visiting guests, will also be on hand to share some of the memories.

GUESS WHAT NIGHT IT IS TONIGHT ——3 TRIES

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IAIN McKIE’S PERPETUAL DREAMS–LIVE IN THE STUDIO NOW—LIVE FOR HALLOWEEN

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AT THE START OF A NEW MONTH —IT’S LYNNE CARTER DTAstrol

1ST NOVEMBER

The ancient art of Astrology enables you to find your unique characteristics emanating from your birth chart, the planets, signs and houses. Where they fall in will relate to you, your feelings, gifts, talents, difficulties and your destiny. All this comes with the added information from Medieval Astrology … the reason why you were born.

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My next broadcast will be on the 1/11/17 at 15:00. 97.4 FM. This Month I start on the signs of the Zodiac.

THE BUS STOP.
12 People are standing at a bust stop, the bus is late and this is how they react. Aires; starts running to work. Taurus; Knows the bus will come and is patient. Gemini; Starts taking to everyone. Cancer; Gets upset and takes it all personally. Leo; Starts to entertain everyone. Virgo; Starts to worry about his meetings being late. Libra; Tries to pasify Virgo. Scorpio; Planning on what to do with the driver. Sagittarius; Probably cycling. Capricorn; Knew all along it would be late. Aquarius; Planning the city’s transport system. Pisces; Hasn’t noticed.

 

“LAAS” LOMOND & ARGYLL ADVOCACY SERVICE ON DCR97.4FM

img20171025_08363379DCR97.4FM www.dunooncommunityradio .org  5.00PM WEDNESDAY TLLLVLBS.  Tonight , Simon Richardson, Long term conditions Advocacy Worker for Cowal & Bute will be joining Victor in the John Street Broadcasting Studio to talk LAAS.

Simon will be telling listeners what LAAS does and how it can benefit over 65s who have a Learning Disability, Mental Illness or a long term condition or can sometimes find it hard to challenge decisions, claim their rights or to get their views listened to.

“LAAS”  LOMOND & ARGYLL ADVOCACY SERVICE 

Lomond & Argyll Advocacy Service (usually known as ‘LAAS’) is an independent, free and confidential advocacy organisation operating in the West of Scotland.

  • INDEPENDENT – this means we are separate from Social Work, the Health Service, and all other organisations.
  • FREE – we make no charges whatsoever for our services.
  • CONFIDENTIAL – we don’t share your personal information with others unless you ask us to.
  • We are a registered Scottish charity (no. SC033157), established in 2000.
  • We offer ‘one-to-one’ independent professional advocacy.
  • We operate across West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute.
  • We are members of the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance.
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DUNOON TO HOST THE ROYAL NATIONAL MOD OCTOBER 2018

Officially closing the Loch Abar Mod 2017 the final event took place on the streets of Fort William, as the massed choir made its way along the High Street for a final sing-a-long.

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 Angela Johnson receives the Mod Flag from Ronald Cameron of the Lochaber organizing Mod committee 

Dunoon’s Angela Johnson Representing the 2018 host town Dunoon Local Mod Committee excepted the Royal National Mod banner in the traditional ceremonial handover from this year’s hosts saying

“I am delighted to be here with you all today to accept this flag and to take it forward to Dunoon as the host town for the 2018 Royal National Mod.

Our Convenor and committee send their sincere congratulations to An Comunn and the Lochaber local committee for what has undoubtedly  been a very well organised and successful MOD 2017.

Our plans are moving apace and we are looking forward to seeing you all and to meeting with you in Dunoon a year from now. The Gaelic festival will return to Dunoon for the eighth time next year, taking place from 12th-20th October next year.”

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FINAL DAY AT LOCH ABAR 2017 MOD

THE ROYAL NATIONAL MOD BIDS FAREWELL TO LOCHABER

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After eight days of competitions, performances and festivities, the Royal National Mòd says goodbye to current host, Lochaber. Scotland’s biggest Gaelic festival has been hailed a huge success, with a record number of participants leaving a legacy that will be remembered for years to come. Thousands of Gaels and supporters made their way to the festival to enjoy all that the Mòd has to offer, with somewhere in the region of up to £2.5m expected to have been generated for the local economy.

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 Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, the event is the biggest and most important festival of the Gaelic language in the world. This year saw a rise in under 18s competing in traditional singing events and literature events, with at least 200 more entrants than the previous year. The rising interest in the festival and traditional Gaelic culture bodes well for future events and the Mòd’s continued success.

Alasdair  MacMhuirich --Raonaid Walker

The top prizes this year went to Alasdair MacMhuirich and Rachel Walker in the Gold Medal competition;

Hannah Knight --John Joe MacNeilo

John Joe MacNeil and Hannah Knight in the Traditional Gold Medal

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and Ishbel Campbell and Coinneach MacLeod took home the Silver Pendants.

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Claire Frances NicNìll was awarded this year’s first ever Charlie MacColl Memorial Award, for achieving the highest mark in Traditional Singing (ages 16-18),

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and Mary Sophia Morrison scooped the new Angus Nicol Memorial Quaich.

In the choir competitions;

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Back Choir won the Lorn Shield,

BURACH Choir

and Bùrach scooped the Sheriff MacMaster.

On Friday,

Home victory! Lochaber Gaelic choir win the Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy in the A302 Area Choirs competition. (2)_preview

 

Lochaber were presented the Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy;

 Dingwall Choir win the Lovat and Tullibardine Shield on the final day of competitions,  for their performance in the A301 Area Choirs competition (3)_preview

and the Lovat and Tullibardine was won by Dingwall for the second year running.

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John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach said:

“What a fantastic year it’s been for the Royal National Mòd in Lochaber. To welcome the highest number of participants in a decade is special, and shows the strength and importance of Gaelic Culture. The level of competition has been outstanding.

I’m delighted to welcomed so many new faces amongst the familiar ones this year, and we hope they’ll be returning to join us in Dunoon next year. It’s encouraging to see so many young entrants and winners this year, and the quality of competition has been magnificent. I’d like to extend our gratitude to everyone involved in running this year’s Mòd, and particularly to the local organising committee and all of our volunteers and sponsors. Planning is already underway for Mòd 2018 in Dunoon and we look forward to seeing everyone there.”

 

Councillor Alister Mackinnon, Chair of The Highland Council’s Corporate Resources Committee and Chair Gaelic Strategic Implementation Group said: “The Royal National Mòd in Lochaber has been highly successful. I believe that the Mòd provides a platform for Gaelic and cultural development to the community. The Mòd is hugely important nationally as a means of raising the profile of Gaelic’s role in our heritage. The Lochaber Mòd has proven that Gaelic is a thriving, living, modern language.

“The Mòd is central to Gaelic developments it supports education, broadcasting – including new media, the creative industries and adds greatly to the economy of the area where it is being hosted.

“The numbers of competitors are increasing, and this was evident earlier this week, especially participation from the youth sector. They are our tradition bearers of the future.”

Councillor Mackinnon, continued, “Fort William and the Lochaber area has proven once again that it is an ideal location to host the Mòd. It is also rewarding to see a high percentage of local Lochaber input winning highly credible results in the major competitions.

“On behalf of Highland Council I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate all the competitors, the Local Organising Committee, An Comunn Gàidhealach and all the volunteers for their hard work to ensure that Mòd Lochaber was a huge success.

‘S math a rinn sibh!”

 

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at Event Scotland said: “We are delighted to see the Royal National Mod enjoy another successful year celebrating Gaelic culture. Lochaber has been the perfect host in 2017, Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, helping to reaffirm Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.”

 

Brian Fulton, CalMac’s Director of Community and Stakeholder Engagement said: “The 2017 Mod in Fort William has been a great success and we congratulate everyone associated with it for putting on such a memorable and enjoyable event. The Mod is a highlight of our year and the 2017 event fully lived up to the very high expectations we had for it.”

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THE ROYAL NATIONAL MOD LOCHABER 2017—THE WINNERS LOVAT &TULLIBARDINE & MARGRAT DUNCAN MEMORIAL TROPHY

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The final competitions of the Royal National Mod have now completed, and the winners announced.

Dingwall Choir win the Lovat and Tullibardine Shield on the final day of competitions,  for their performance in the A301 Area Choirs competition (2)_preview

Dingwall Choir win the Lovat and Tullibardine Shield on the final day of competitions,  for their performance in the A301 Area Choirs competition (3)_preview

Winners of the Lovat & Tullibardine Shield are Dingwall, who retain the top spot in the A301 Area Choirs competition for the second year running. They are led by conductor Kirsteen Menzies.

A301:

  • Lovat & Tullibardine Sheild – Dingwall
  • Malcom G MacCallum Silver Baton for the conductor of the winning choir – Dingwall conductor Kirsteen Menzies
  • Donald Thomson Memorial Quaich, for the tutor of the choir gaining highest marks in Gaelic – Dingwall
  • The ‘Weekly Scotsman’ Quach, and the Donald J MacAskill Memorial Trophy for the highest marks in Gaelic – Dingwall
  • The ‘Oban Times’ Silver Salver for highest marks in Music – Dingw

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Home victory! Lochaber Gaelic choir win the Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy in the A302 Area Choirs competition. (1)_preview

 

Home victory! Lochaber Gaelic choir win the Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy in the A302 Area Choirs competition. (2)_preview

Winners of the Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy in the A302 Area  Choirs competition, is Lochaber, who celebrate the win on their home turf. The choir is conducted by this year’s Gold Medal winner Rachel Walker, and includes last night’s Traditional Gold Medal winner John Joe MacNeil within its ranks.

A302:

  • The Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy – Lochaber
  • An Comunn Silver Baton, for the conductor of the winning choir – Lochaber conductor Rachel Walker
  • The John McNicol Memorial Trophy for highest marks in Gaelic – Lochaber
  • The Staffinders Quaich for the highest marks in music – shared win between Lochaber, Aberfeldy & Stirling
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Aggregate prizes:

  • The Hugh MacCowan Trophy  for the highest marking Argyll Resident Choir in the Senior Choral Competitions  – Isle of Mull
  • Rev William MacDonald Memorial Quaich for highest marks in Gaelic across competitions A301, A304, A307, A308 – Glasgow Gaelic Choir
  • J Norman McConochie Trophy for highest music marks across competitions A301, A304, A307, A308 – Glasgoww Gaelic Choir.

 

 

 

SO SOON –THE FINAL DAY OF ROYAL MOD COMPETITIONS

SO SOON THE FINAL DAY OF ROYAL MOD COMPETITIONS

 

In the final day of competitions this year, the area choirs will compete in the highly anticipated Lovat and Tullibardine Trophy and Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy at the Nevis Centre. Yesterday, the Lorn Shield was won by Coisir Sgir a’Bhac from Lewis,

Back Gaelic Choir-Lorne Shield Winners

while the Sheriff MacMaster Campbell Memorial Quaich, the other main award of the day, was won by Bùrach.

 

Hannah Knight --John Joe MacNeilo

Last night also saw the Traditional Final competitions, with local Gaelic school head teacher John Joe MacNeil winning the gold in the men’s category, and Hannah Knight of Càrlabhagh won gold in the ladies’ category.

Morag Macdonald

And as the Fringe nears its end today with what has now become a traditional highlight of each Royal National Mòd.

Morag MacDonald will be broadcasting her show A’ Mire ri Mòir live on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. Audiences are invited to join, enjoying music and discussion.

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Trail West

In the evening, festival goers will have the opportunity to dance the last night away at the Mòd Closing Ceilidh, taking place in the Nevis Centre, showcasing sensational performances from trad supergroups Tidelines and Trail West – an event not to be missed.

Saturday morning The Massed Choir will assemble in Fort William’s town centre for a final sing-a-long, with the Mòd flag being handed over to 2018 hosts, DUNOON , before Mòd goers make their way home after a spectacular week celebrating all things Gaelic.

John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach said: As we reach the conclusion of this year’s Mòd here in Lochaber, we can’t thank the local people enough for their warm hospitality. The level of competition across all age groups has blown us away. and I’m sure we’ll be seeing many familiar faces again in DUNOON next year.”

NEW PLANS FOR THE ROYAL NATIONAL MOD 2021 AND 2022

NEW PLANS FOR THE ROYAL NATIONAL MOD 2021 AND 2022

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As the Royal National Mòd enters its final day of competitions in Lochaber, it has been announced that Paisley and Perth will play host to the Mòd in 2021 and 2022.

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It’s the first time that the Mòd’s organising body, An Comunn Gàidhealach has announced plans for more than a single year, due to the exceptional standard of applications by both local committees, supported by Local Authorities.

With Paisley on the final shortlist to be named UK City of Culture 2021, the decision has been made to delay the announcement of host city for 2021 until the bid outcome is known – expected to be announced later this year.

If Paisley is crowned UK City of Culture, the Royal National Mòd will be among the programme of events in the town for that year, which last hosted the event in 2013. In 2022, the Mòd will then travel to Perth for the tenth time, and the first time in 18 years. However, if Paisley is not named UK City of Culture, the decision for the 2021 host venue will be based on a point scoring system. The place which does not host in 2021, will host the following year.

 

John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach said: “The applications to host Mòd 2021 was exceptionally high, and we were particularly impressed by the two bids from Paisley and Perth. With each bid offering unique features, we felt it only fair to recognise their strength by offering them both the opportunity to host the Royal National Mòd – one in 2021, and the other in 2022. We feel that the chance to host our Royal National Mòd in the City of Culture would be too good an opportunity to forego, and we wish our friends in Paisley luck ahead of the final decision on the City of Culture title. Equally, we look forward to returning to the lovely city of Perth, in the not too distant future.

 

As we reach the conclusion of this year’s Mòd here in Lochaber, we can’t thank the local people enough for their warm hospitality. The level of competition across all age groups has blown us away. and I’m sure we’ll be seeing many familiar faces in Dunoon next year.”

 

Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, Councillor Ian Campbell commented: “I’m delighted to learn that Perth and Paisley can both expect to host the Mòd in the next five years. It will be the ideal opportunity to showcase our area’s Gaelic heritage and culture. High profile events also increase the national and international exposure of Perth and Kinross, which in turn generates more visitor numbers to the area.

 

“The staging of the Mòd brings a real ‘buzz’ to the host city with visitors travelling from all over Scotland and beyond to take part in this premier festival of Gaelic culture. Our recent experience of hosting major events in the area proves that Perth and Kinross would give a warm welcome to the Mòd. “

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: ”We are delighted the Mòd is coming back to Paisley and we look forward to working with our friends at An Comunn to deliver another successful event.

 

“Paisley’s central location, outstanding transport links and proven record as a major event host will make Gaelic culture accessible to new audiences – our last Mòd in 2013 saw 8,000 people attend over nine days and a great atmosphere.

 

“The legacy of that was to strengthen Renfrewshire’s commitment to Gaelic language development – we have since invested in arts programming, and our annual Fèis Phàislig music event has reached around 700 schoolchildren so far.

 

“Should Paisley be named as UK City of Culture in 2021 that year’s Mòd will form part of an international-class cultural programme – but even if we are waiting another year we will be ready to welcome Gaels from across the world, and delighted to do so.”

 

 

 

IAN WILSON’S BIRTHDAY BASH POSTPONED

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If you were one of the many folk who was given a Blue and Gold Invitation to Ian’s 73rd Birthday Bash at Dunoon’s Masonic Hall on Friday 3rd November it is with deep regret that Ann has announced because of circumstances out with her control the event has been postponed .

As most of you will know Ian said his Final 73rdBirthday Bash with his good Friends Gunna Sound leading the shenanigans  would go on “with or without him”.

Unfortunately his battle with an incurable tumour was one battle to many but Ann has said a Memorial Ceilidh will indeed take place in the near future so please put you tickets somewhere safe as they will be accepted at the new date.

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NEAR THE END AS THE RURAL CHOIRS TAKE TO THE STAGE

The Royal National Mòd (Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail) nears its end today (Thursday 19th October) in Lochaber as Rural Choirs take to the stage.

Alasdair  MacMhuirich --Raonaid Walker

The coveted Gold Medal competition took place yesterday evening, with Alasdair MacMhuirich from Islay and Rachel Walker from Spean Bridge walking away with the awards.

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Yesterday also saw the prestigious Silver Pendant competition take place at the busting Nevis Centre, as Ishbel Campbell of Tiree triumphed in the ladies’ category, and Coinneach MacLeod from Lewis took home the win in the men’s.

Today, the Rural Choirs will look to make their mark on the 2017 Mòd, particularly in the Lorn Shield and the Sheriff MacMaster Campbell Memorial Quaich competitions which, for the first time, are being broadcast live on BBC Alba. Traditional solo competitions will also run today, with the qualifiers in the morning and the winner being crowned in the evening.

Fringe events begin to wind down today, but the always popular Convener’s Ceilidh will round off the day’s competitions in style with performances from an array of talented singers and musicians. Taking place in the Masonic Hall in Fort William, the shindig is organised by the convener of the local committee, Ronald Cameron.

John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said:

“We can’t believe this year’s Mòd is already nearing its close – we’ve had a fantastic week so far and its testament to the hard work of the local committee, and the skill of competing Gaels from across the world. We’ve seen some fantastic performances throughout, and last night’s Gold Medal was truly outstanding; huge congratulations to Alasdair and Rachel.  As we reach the final few days in Lochaber, there are still some great competitions to come. The atmosphere has been electric, and we’re very much looking forward to seeing what the final few days will bring.”

For full event programme and details, visit www.ancomunn.co.uk

We now have the results in from the A300 and A303 Rural Choirs competitions this afternoon.

 

The Coisir Sgir a’Bhac from Lewis had a fantastic competition, winning the prestigious Lorn Sheild, and a host of other trophies.

 

Their conductor Avril Allen was given the Mrs Catherin C MacDonald Silver Baton, and they also won the Dalriada Cup for the highest marks in Gaelic, and the Captain Angus Stewart Trophy for the highest marks in music. They also won the Hamish Graham (Strath) Trophy for highest aggregate marks in Gaelic throughout competitions A300, A305 and A306 (qualifiers); and they shared the prize for highest aggregate music marks in the same competitions – having scored equal points with Còisir Ghàidhlig Mhealbhaich (Melvich Gaelic Choir).

 

Avril Allen commended soprano singer Carol MacDonald, who sang a particularly difficult high note that caught the attention of the audience.

 

The Sheriff MacMaster Campbell Memorial Quaich, the other main award of the day, was won by Bùrach, a choir from Lochaline led by conductor Riona Whyte. They also won the Selma Shield for highest marks in Gaelic, while the Grace Robertson Memorial Award for highest marks in Music was given to the Còisir Ghàidhlig Ile (Ilsay Gaelic Choir).

 

Bùrach competed wearing ribbons of MacLean tartan, in honour of their late choir member, Iain MacLean who passed away on his return from a successful choir competition at the International Pan Celtic Festival in Ireland, earlier this year. Speaking of Iain, they said: His strong, melodic tone was a huge asset to the bass section, as was his encyclopaedic knowledge of Gaelic Song. Quick witted and funny – he had a humorous anecdote for every occasion and his company and cràic was sought out, and enjoyed, by all choir members – without exception.”

TODAY IS LITERATURE DAY AT THE ROYAL NATIONAL MOD

Today Wednesday (18th October) heralds the beginning of the adult competitions at this year’s Royal National Mòd in Lochaber. Commonly known as ‘Literature Day’ at the Mòd, competitions including drama, poetry and storytelling will take place throughout the day.                      Competitions in singing will also be held in venues across the area, with the coveted Gold Medal and Silver Pendant finals being presented in the Nevis Centre.

 

In both the Silver Pendant and Gold Medal finals, competitors are required to sing two songs, one prescribed and one of their own choosing. In the prestigious Gold Medal finals in Stornoway last year, Carol Maclean picked up the ladies’ award, while Eachann MacEachairn won the in the men’s category.

Also to be awarded today are prizes for the drama final, and the Gaelic Learner of the Year award. Last year’s award, which was presented by HRH Prince Charles, The Lord of The Isles, to 30-year-old winner Carmine Colajezzi, from Italy. Sponsored by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society for Scotland, the award acknowledges a Gaelic learner who’s made significant steps to becoming fluent.

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This year, the prize is being awarded to Ross Christie, and is presented by Kenneth Matheson, Area Director of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) for the Highlands. Ross started learning Gaelic just last year, and continues his studies now at Sabhal Mòr, Skye’s Gaelic higher education college.

Yesterday saw the first ever Charlie MacColl award being presented to the overall winner of the girls and boys traditional competition (ages 16-18). The trophy was presented by his wife Mairi, and son Calum, who today competes in the Traditional Singing Competitions.

Fringe events will also continue at the Mòd today, with Dr Hugh Dan MacLennan reflecting on his background growing up in Caol, in his talk ‘From Lochaber to the National Library of Scotland’. He’ll discuss his journey to the National Library of Scotland – via shinty, universities and broadcasting

John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: We’re excited to kickstart the adult competitions today, following on from a successful few days of children’s contests.  The Gaelic Learner of the Year Award is a fantastic recognition, and Ross Christie is a deserving winner.

Two of the most prestigious awards at the Royal National Mod take place this afternoon, and the standard of entries this year is high, so we know there will be some fantastic performances. No doubt the adjudicators will have their work cut out for them – it’ll be a difficult decision to make.”

 

Kenneth Matheson, Area Director of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) for the Highlands said: “As an charity with a remit to champion Scottish culture and well as farming, food and rural life we are proud to be associated with the Royal National Mod and congratulate Ross on his achievement.”

 

For full event programme and details, visit www.ancomunn.co.uk

 

OOR WULLIE AKA “UILLEAM AGAINNE” BOOK LAUNCH AT ROYAL NATIONAL MOD

OOR WULLIE

One of the most popular Scottish characters of all time has now had his adventures translated into Gaelic Oor Wullie – or Uilleam Againne as he will be know in Gaelic has a  book launched today at the Royal National Mod in Fort William.

The young rascal, who has immortalised catchphrases such as Jings, Crivvens and Help ma Boab, and is always getting into mischief, set his translators quite a challenge – especially with the speech bubbles that come out of his mouth.

The book, described as a “huge piece of work” was a labour of love for Dr Domnhnall Uilleam Stiubhart of the University of the Highlands and Islands who is based at the Gaelic college, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, on Skye and colleague, Mairi Kidd.

Dr Stiubhart is quoted as saying in the Highlands Press and Journal : “Every speech bubble had to be changed and made as simple as possible so that a child could read them. We felt that all the young Gaelic speakers were missing out by not having stories such as these in their language.

 oor will 1

“My two sons, Alasdair who is 10 and Seumas, seven, just love Oor Wullie, so we thought it would be great to do a book on him that youngsters can start reading by themselves. Lots of adults love the Oor Wullie adventures too, so it can really be for everyone.”

Press and Journal publishers DC Thomson first printed the Oor Wullie comic strip in the Sunday Post more than 80 years ago. He was created by Dudley D. Watkins and the character is as popular today as he was when he first appeared back in March 1936.

Dr Stiubhart added: “DC Thomson was very helpful when we approached them about translating Oor Wullie into Gaelic.

“It was a huge work and some of the translations were quite difficult as we wanted them to be easy for children to understand.

“Words like ‘whoosh’, which are used quite a lot, were tricky.”

Dr Stiubhart and Ms Kidd translated half the book each then swapped round so they could proof-read the other’s work.

The designer was Julie-Ann Murray who also worked hard changing the text in the speech bubbles.

Uilleam Againne is published by the not-for profit organisation, Cuilean Craicte, and will be officially launched at the library in Lochaber High School at 1pm.

or will 2

 

CHILDRENS COMPETITIONS RAMP UP TO GRAND FINALE

 The Royal National Mòd (Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail) continues today (Tuesday 17 October) as children’s competitions ramp up to their grand finale.  Contests will take places across singing, poetry, reading and storytelling, with the coveted Traditional Silver Medals being handed out.

New to this year’s competition is the Charlie MacColl Memorial trophy. Charlie was chairman of the Lochaber Local Organising Committee the last time it played host to the Mod in 2007, and was a great champion of the Royal National Mòd. A lifelong supporter of the Gaelic language and culture, and particularly the encouraging of young Gaelic learners, he spent over thirty years fundraising for Mòds throughout Scotland. Charlie’s memorial award will be presented to the person who achieves the highest overall mark in the boys and girls Traditional competitions (ages 16-18) today. His son Calum is set to compete in a traditional singing competition tomorrow – carrying on the Gaelic tradition in a fitting legacy to his father.

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Another memorial award new for 2017 is the Cuach Aonghas Neacal, donated by Coisir Lunnainn (the London Gaelic Choir) in memory of the late Angus Nicol – it will be awarded to the winner of the poetry recitation competition (ages 11-12).  Angus Nicol, was a renowned expert on bagpiping music and lore, distinguished Gaelic scholar, and advocate for Gaelic culture – another huge loss to the Gaelic community.

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Mary Sophia Morrison winner of the new Angus Nicol Quaich

The fringe brings a treat for fans of the old classic, Oor Wullie, as it can be enjoyed in Gaelic for the first time at the Lochaber High School. The book, which launches today, is published by the non-profit Cuilean Craicte (Crazy Puppy), was painstakingly translated into Gaelic by Donald W Stewart and Mairi Kidd, with speech bubbles edited  by designer Julie-ann Murray. In the evening, Nàdar will bring the music and songs inspired by the nature of the Highlands and Islands to locals and visitors – featuring performances from some of Scotland’s leading musicians.

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John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “It really is special to see youngsters of all ages so engaged in Gaelic culture at the Mòd, and today’s competitions will round off the contest for the under 19s. We’re delighted to be able to award a trophy in the name of both the late Charlie MacColl and the late Angus Nicol – both were stalwarts of the Gaelic community, and the trophies are a fitting and lasting legacy.  The level of competition already this year has been outstanding, and the rest of the week promises to live up to expectations.”

 

Allan Campbell, President of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “Charlie MacColl was a great friend of mine and to so many across Scotland – such was his enigmatic presence. It’s a fitting tribute that the first presentation of the Charlie MacColl Memorial trophy is to be made in Lochaber, where he headed up the organisation of our last Mod here in 2007.”

 

Fergus Reoch, conductor of Coisir Lunnainn (the London Gaelic Choir), said: “Coisir Lunnainn is delighted to commemorate Angus, our conductor, mentor, and friend for many years, with this quaich. Angus’ commitment to Gaelic poetry, music, and to the language itself was inspiring. We hope that this quaich will continue Angus’ legacy of encouraging Gaelic both in the Gaidhealtachd and further afield.”

 

For full event programme and details, visit www.ancomunn.co.uk

MONDAY AT THE ROYAL NATIONAL MOD 2017

 

The Royal National Mòd (Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail) in Lochaber continues today  as the Children’s competitions heat up. Day four at Scotland’s biggest Gaelic Cultural Festival sees thirty competitions takes places across poetry, drama, song and music, for young Gaels aged 5-19.

Anndra Ian MacPhail

Talia Graham

 

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In the Fringe, workshops to help parents teach their children to read in Gaelic will take place in Lochaber High School. In the evening, Hunting Songs in the Hebrides will see Mòd Gold medallist and Canna House archivist for the National Trust for Scotland, Fiona J Mackenzie, give her audience a unique opportunity to see a fascinating glimpse of the lives of our ancestors as they were at the beginning of the 20th century. Monday and Tuesday evenings will culminate with a children’s ceilidh at Caol Community Centre.

 

The children’s competitions are set to continue on Tuesday, with the coveted Traditional and Prescribed Singing Silver Medals to be awarded at the Nevis Centre. The adult competitions begin on Wednesday with this year’s Silver Pendant and Gold Medal Finals taking place.

 

The Traditional Final competition runs on Thursday, with the Lorne Shield and Sheriff MacMaster Campbell competitions being broadcast live on BBC Alba for the first time. Also set to be shown on BBC Alba are the highly anticipated Lovat and Tullibardine shield and Margrat Duncan competitions, on Friday 20thOctober. The Royal National Mòd will conclude on Saturday October 21st with a procession of choirs and pipers making their way through Fort William towards the Nevis Centre, where a massed choir finale will close festival in style.

 

John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said:

Witnessing the fantastic talent of the young Gaels is always a great start to the Mòd. So far, we’ve seen some wonderful musical performances, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else is in store.  It’s real testament to the success of our Mòd Roadshow to see growth amongst the young choirs entering this year compared to previous years.

Lochaber has been most welcoming to us, and we thank the community for helping us get the Mòd off to such a great start. We’re looking forward to the rest, with some real treats still to come.”

For full event programme and details, visit www.ancomunn.co.uk

ROYAL NATIONAL MOD KICKS OFF IN STYLE IN LOCHABER

L M mod logoThe Royal National Mòd (Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail) opened on Friday night as Scotland’s biggest Gaelic cultural festival arrived in Lochaber for the first time in a decade. Running until Saturday 21st of October, the Mòd will bring thousands of people to Lochaber as visitors and competitors make their way from across Scotland, the UK, and even the US.

FORT MOD PROCESSION

Friday saw a torchlight procession through the streets of Fort William ahead of the official opening, with hundreds in attendance. At the ceremony, the new President of An Comunn Gàidhealach, Allan Campbell, gave his inaugural president’s address. In his speech, Mr Campbell called for the Royal National Mòd to be acknowledged as a Scottish cultural treasure. The opening ceremony included sensational performances by a former Mòd gold medallist Robert Robertson with Ross Wilson, and Gaelic folk group Na h-Òganaich completing the musical highlights.

robert robertson

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Alba win. Captain Graham Black with the cup

On Saturday afternoon, the Mòd played host to the international Colmcille Shinty competition, Scotland played spectacularly, beating Ireland 4-1 in this international Colmcille shinty fixture.

Malaig win! beating Strath by 6 goals to 1

In the Mod Football, Mallaig beat Sleat & Strath of Skye 6-1

 

The main competitions also kicked off with young Gaels vying for medals in fiddle, piano, accordion, melodeon and bagpipes. In the Fringe, Alexandra Hotel played host to a training session from The National Library of Scotland and Wikipedia – where locals could learn about the Gaelic site and how to edit it. A foraging walk also allowed guests to explore the local area and discover Scotland’s natural larder of edible plants, fungi and berries, before the party kicked off in the evening with the Fiddler’s Rally, with performances from Gold Medallists Eilidh Davis and Alasdair Whyte.

Sunday brings with it a day of rest in Lochaber, with the Royal National Mòd hosting a Gaelic service at Duncansburgh Church, ahead of a Celtic praise – a celebration of praise with music and song from the Church Gospel Band and more.

Over the next six days, the Royal National Mòd will host the highest number of participants in a decade, performing in competitions for Gaelic music, song, drama, highland dancing and literature, with all levels of Gaelic taking part.

 

John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach said: “This year’s Royal National Mòd has got off to a flying start and we’re looking forward to welcoming a record number of participants to Lochaber this year. It’s a joy to be back here after ten long years, and we thank the local community for such a warm welcome.

We have already seen some amazing performances, competitions and sport at this year’s festival, and we’re only three days in. The rest of the Mòd promises more exciting contests and performances, especially with the coveted Gold and Traditional Medal finals, and the Lovat and Tullibardine and  Margrat Duncan awards later in the week.”

 

For full event programme and details, visit www.ancomunn.co.uk