THE ILEACH :: THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOR ISLAY + JURA
islay high school flashmob

Pupils from Islay High School presented a surprise 'flashmob' in Bowmore Square on Monday morning, 18 December.

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ileach calendar 2018

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Excerpts from issue 45/05 16 December

Six songs of Christmas

Hugh Smith writes:
At this time of the year it is almost impossible to avoid hearing Christmas songs which seem to remind us - as if we needed to be reminded - that 'tis indeed the season to be jolly.
Christmas music is continually heard on radio and television, played by Salvation Army bands on street corners, sung by choristers in shopping malls and endlessly featured on supermarket loop systems. Year by year people vote for their favourite Christmas songs and are often miffed if their special favourite is not high, if at all, on the list of those chosen.
There is little doubt that topping the Christmas song hit parade is 'White Christmas', penned by prolific composer and songwriter Irving Berlin in 1942. It came to wider public attention when it was included in the film 'Holiday Inn' which starred crooner Bing Crosby among others.
Crosby's recording is undoubtedly the definitive version, going on to become an international hit and the world's best-selling single with estimated sales topping the 100 million mark.
'Jingle Bells' is another hot favourite and hard to avoid at this time of year. It was written by an American minister, James Lord Pierpont in 1857 as a Thanksgiving song, under the original title 'One Horse Open Sleigh', for his church's children's choir. With a bit of tweaking it became a Christmas favourite and was included in the repertoire of Ella Fitzgerald, Perry Como and Jo Stafford.
American composer and teacher, Katherine Kennicot Davis, wrote the 'Carol of the Drum' in 1941. Its popularity was assured when it became 'The Little Drummer Boy', and was first recorded in 1951 by the Trapp Family Singers. A host of soloists have followed suit and these include Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams and The Supremes. Another firm favourite is 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas', composed Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine for the 1944 MGM musical 'Meet Me In St Louis', where it got the Judy Garland treatment. It was also sung by Frank Sinatra, Kylie Minogue and Michael Buble. Today it is regarded as the third most popular Christmas song in the world.
The more energetic among you can 'Rock Around the Christmas Tree' which made Brenda Lee a very rich vocalist when her version went on to sell in excess of 25 million copies. It was penned by the Jewish composer, Johnny Marks, who enjoyed writing Christmas songs and also released on an unsuspecting world, a musical tale of a reindeer plagued with a highly inflamed nose. Less successful versions of the song were covered by Bill Haley and the Comets and The Partridge Family.
The jaunty 'Sleigh Ride' was the work of the American orchestral composer Leroy Anderson who wrote it during a heatwave in July 1946. Lyrics were added in 1950 by Mitchell Parish and the first recording was by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra in the same year. Since then the Leroy composition has become a Christmas standard.
It is regrettable if your own personal favourite is not included in the above list. Despair not, it will pop up during this festive season. Meantime, keep singing and as Judy exhorted - 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'!

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Bowmore's brilliant book
bowmore's brilliant book

Bowmore Primary School Parent Council has produced an excellent book of poems and art work created by every pupil in the school.
The poems, in both English and Gaelic, cover themes including My Seashore, The Seasons and My Island and are displayed in a clean and concise manner in the A4 book, while the memorable cover, photographed and designed by Ben Shakespeare, has virtually every pupil striking casual poses in a series of amalgamated group shots. Proceeds of the book, costing £8, will go towards valuable resources in the school and it is available in the school, the Gaelic centre and Bowmore pharmacy.

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Adopt a phone box

A BT scheme to 'Adopt a Phone Box' has led some Islay bodies to believe that they will be preserving the phone box for future use when, in fact, adoption means taking it out of service, allowing it to be put to use in 'non-communication' roles.
At one point applications to adopt five Islay telephone kiosks were on the table including two from South Islay Development, a further two from the the RNLI, and one from Save our Seals, but all were withdrawn when it became apparent that adoption was not a means of keeping the box operational for public use.
The Adopt A Kiosk scheme, encourages community groups or registered charities to apply to BT to adopt traditional red kiosks for £1. BT follows an agreed process with the regulator Ofcom where it consults with the local planning authority on any adoption requests where the payphone is not on private land.
BT confirmed that consultations had been on-going on Islay to adopt the five kiosks, but that at the time of notification, three of them had been withdrawn. Subsequently the remaining two were also withdrawn. "Across Scotland, around 200 pay phones have been adopted by local communities and they have been converted into things like libraries, cash machines and to house heart defibrillators," said a BT spokesman.
Alyson MacGillivray was one of those who made an application to adopt two boxes on behalf of South Islay Development. "South Islay Development felt it important that our red telephone boxes were preserved for the island.
"Many areas are out of mobile telephone range and so it is vital that people can contact others an often a phone box is the only way of doing that. We believed that the adopting a phone box scheme was something which would keep the service and were keen to take the opportunity,"
explained Alyson. "When we learned that adoption meant that that the phone box would be taken out of service as a result we quickly removed ourselves from the process," she added.
Councillor Robin Currie confirmed that the Argyll and Bute Council Area Committee were not in support of the adoption of phone boxes on Islay as it would mean a loss of the BT telephone service.
The committee also feed back to BT that the information received by communities in relation to the Adopt a Kiosk Scheme was misleading and did not make clear that by adopting a Kiosk there would be a loss of telephone service at the location.

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 10 January 2018

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islay info

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islay community council

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Islay Diary 2017/18

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  • Saturday 16 December
  • St Kiaran's Coffee Cakes & Carols
  • Christmas Carols, Bowmore Square
  • Sunday 17 December
  • Bowmore Village Children's Party
  • Mince Pie Bike Ride, Debbie's Bruichladdich
  • Tuesday 19 December
  • Bogha-frois, ICCI
  • Wednesday 20 December
  • IHS Christmas Concert
  • Thursday 21 December
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Bogha-frois, ICCI
  • Piping Club, Kilarrow House
  • Monday 25 December
  • Christmas Night Disco, Bowmore Hall
  • Tuesday 26 December
  • Boxing Night Disco, Ramsay Hall
  • Wednesday 27 December
  • Calum Bell Memorial Shoot, Jura
  • Friday 29 December
  • RNLI Family Ceilidh, St Columba Hall
  • Monday 1 January
  • Bowmore Fireworks Display
  • Tuesday 9 January
  • Timebank Stroll, Bridgend Woods
  • Tuesday 16 January
  • Timebank Stroll, Distilleries Path

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