Excerpts from issue 42/11 21 March 2015

aurora borealis from islay

The Aurora Borealis, or 'Northern Lights' were visible from parts of Islay during this past week. This image was taken at Saligo Bay by Mark Unsworth of Islay Studios

Photo: Islay Studios

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Bessie West

One of Islay's oldest residents, Bessie/Betsy West from Port Wemyss, passed away in Islay Hospital on Friday 13 March at the age of 99. Bessie's home in Port Wemyss was an open door to everyone, and her knowledge as a genealogist and folklorist meant that she was the first port of call for many people who visited the Rhinns in search of information on their ancestors. Bessie's warmth and kindness will be sorely missed by her neighbours and her very many friends throughout the world.
A full obituary will appear in a forthcoming edition of the Ileach.

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No politics please, it's Islay time
Ruvaal Fish Quay, Islay

On the very day that the least-predictable-ever General Election campaign gets going, Ionad Chaluim Chille Ile, Islay's Gaelic Centre, will host a unique Islay coalition.
Monday 30 March marks the dissolution of the UK Parliament and the official start of the election campaign, but for one evening alone political arguments will be suspended. Titled Islay 3X8, the upcoming photographic exhibition showcases the work of Islay Studio's professional award-winning photographer Mark Unsworth, along with photos by Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell and former NATO Secretary General, Lord George Robertson of Port Ellen.
Each photographer will have eight pictures of Islay displayed in this exhibition, which was last year on display and widely admired in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. The twenty-four images of Islay, as seen through these three different sets of eyes, show the stunning diversity and beauty of the island and its folk.
The idea came from Mark Unsworth, who thought it would be a good idea to team up with the political rivals, both keen amateur snappers, in an exercise to promote the wonders of Islay. Both politicians were immediately ready to picture and promote the Queen of the Hebrides.
Kilchoman Distillery has generously supported the exhibition, which will be launched on Monday 30 March at 7pm at ICCI, the Gaelic Centre. Everyone is welcome - and no politics. Pictures of Islay rule.

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2015 Islay Gathering

Hugh Smith writes:
Mòd gold medallist Angus MacLeod, winner of the supreme solo singing award at last year's National Mòd in Inverness, performed in splendid voice and did justice to such favourites as 'Mo Chaillinn Donn Òg', 'Ceud fàilt air gach Gleann' and 'Mo rùn a Chruinneag'. Mull vocalist Janet Campbell was also at her musical best and fittingly favoured the audience with 'Mo Chruinneag Ileach' and 'Westering Home', and threw in 'Cumha Iain Ghairbh' and 'Gleann Bhaile Chaoil' for good measure.
Upping the tempo were the Rowan Brothers, whose lively selections had the audience clamouring for more as Kyle on accordion and Alan on piano raised the roof with their selection of Gaelic airs, jigs, reels and 6/8 marches. The brothers have a surfeit of island blood coursing through their veins as their mother Mairi, née Stewart, comes from Bowmore and their soldier and piper father Gordon hails from Tiree. And while all this was going on, Kirsteen Grant was in her accustomed place, providing the soloists with their inobtrusive piano accompaniments.
Peter Campbell Snr., a former president and now honorary president, extolled the talents and virtues of the participants and organisers, and the traditional 'Soraidh leibh' brought the curtain down on what was described as another friendly gathering and highly enjoyable concert programme.
The organisers were disappointed that the attendance was down on recent years. Be assured that this will be the subject of a post mortem and steps will be taken to redress the situation.

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to subscribe or advertise, contact ileach@ileach.co.uk

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 4 April 2015

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Islay Natural History Trust Blog

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islay community council

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Additional information is available on the Isle of Islay
and Isle of Jura websites.

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Islay Diary 2015

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