THE ILEACH :: THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOR ISLAY + JURA

Excerpts from issue 45/21 4 August 2018

In this issue: Islay Archaeology Week, Port Ellen Sports, Bowmore Sports, Islay Half Marathon, New steps at the Leisure Centre, Book reviews.


islay show 2018

A substantial attendance at Islay's Annual Show in Bridgend on Thursday 9 July, was bolstered by glorious sunshine all day. Plenty to do and plenty to see.

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Walks, talks and beginning the dig

Islay Heritage is getting ready for a very busy summer, helping everyone to explore and enjoy the archaeology of Islay. Islay Archaeology Week will run from 8 to 14 August.
It begins at the Museum of Islay Life on Wednesday 8 August at 7pm with a presentation of prehistoric arrowheads from recent excavations Rubha Port an t-Seilich, (Late Glacial), Storakaig (Mesolithic) and the Giant's Grave Cambered Cairn (Neolithic) for display, and a demonstration of how these had been made many thousands of years ago.
On Thursday 9 August, please come and visit Islay Heritage at the Islay, Jura and Colonsay Agricultural Show. We will have a new exhibition about Dunyvaig Castle within our marquee, and there will be further demonstration of how prehistoric tools were made from stone, bone, antler and wood.
One of Islay Heritage's excavations has been at Dun Fhinn, a remarkable Iron Age fort in the far south west corner of Islay. Join Dr Darko Maricevic, Islay Heritage's Director of Archaeology, for a walk to the Dun and to visit other archaeological sites on Friday 10 August, meeting at Kintour Farm at 2pm, and returning around 5pm.
On Saturday 11 August Professor Steven Mithen, Chair of Islay Heritage, will give a public talk at 7pm at the ICCI, Bowmore, about the new Dunyvaig Castle excavation, and then you can come and help start the digging with the 'Breaking Ground' event at Dunyvaig itself from 11am-1pm on Sunday 12 August. Please bring a spade and help the archaeologist begin the new excavation project for Islay.
On Monday 13 August, Niall Colthart, as Islay Heritage Trustee, will lead a walk along the South Islay Archaeology Trail, visiting a range of monuments from the Neolithic to the medieval period. Meet him at 1pm at Port Ellen Primary School, and finish at 4pm at Lagavulin.
The last event of the Archaeology Week is at the Islay Natural History Centre on Tuesday 14 August at 7pm. Dr Maricevic will give a talk on what we learned from the excavation at the Giant's Grave Neolithic Chambered Cairn, and the on-going research for that project.
For further details, please visit www.islayheritage.org

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SITUATIONS VACANT

bridgend hotel

Two, Full-Time Chefs de Partie
Bridgend Hotel, Isle of Islay

We are currently looking for two Full Time Chefs De Partie to Join our team with immediate start. We offer a competitive salary and accommodation is available if required.
If you require more information please contact us on 01496 810212. Please send your CV to Scott Chance, Head Chef on info@bridgend-hotel.com

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Book review

The GG and Me: My 50 years in the Glasgow Gaelic Musical Association by Kenneth Thomson.
Lynn MacDonald writes:

This charming book is a fitting celebration of Kenneth Thomson's 35 years conducting the very successful GG choir, his 50th year performing with the choir, and the choir's 125 years of choral excellence.
Known in Mòd circles as Kenny, this account of his multi-faceted life documents his early family life in Campbeltown, busy career in the NHS, later family life in Glasgow and Islay, right up to his present day involvement with choirs and charities. These are all described with anecdotes gu leor, describing trips with the choir, tales of the Mòd, hilarious Gaelic drama, venues all around the highlands and islands, as well as wonderful travel around the world to famous opera houses with his beloved late wife, Valerie.
Kenneth's life is a full one, not without the complexities of health and family tragedy.
For those involved with Gaelic music and culture, this book is a potted history, containing a list of all Kenneth's musical arrangements and many photographs old and new. It's also a fine example of the rich connections families in Argyll have with Glasgow, and that special Islay-Glasgow connection. Kenneth is regarded by many as an honorary íleach, a role he enjoys through his ongoing involvement with Còisir Ghàidhlig Ìle, the Islay Gaelic Choir, and including of course his most recent contribution to Òrain Ìleach with the musical notation to all the Islay Gaelic songs there. He also documents his composition of Seeker Reaper, a song cycle performed in 2016, based on the epic poem by the Tarbert poet George Campbell Hay, and of course Kenneth is an accomplished singer, a Gold Medallist in his own right.
A rich life so far, a fascinating read, and a look forward hopefully to many more stories to come.
The book is £5 and available from the Celtic House, Shore Street, Bowmore

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Memorial Ceremony to honour the Otranto's dead
hms otranto

A commemoration in memory of the American soldiers lost in the Otranto 100 years ago will be held next month in Georgia, USA. The community of Tybee Island, Georgia, will welcome the public to attend a memorial dedication ceremony for a historical marker at Fort Screven in honour of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the British Troopship, HMS Otranto, followed by a special screening of the BBC Documentary, Islay, For Those in Peril. The ceremony will be held on September 15 at the Fort Screven Museum, at Battery Garland in Tybee Island.
The Otranto collided with another British Troopship on October 6, 1918 in a severe storm, killing 470 of the 1,025 US and British servicemen on board, resulting in the single greatest loss of life in troop transport during World War I. Of the 358 American casualties, more than 130 were from Georgia. The collision took place off the coast of Islay and the ship subsequently struck a reef off the rocky shore, broke in half and sank.
Apart from the memorial on Islay, a statue commemorating the American dead stands in Nashville, Georgia. A third memorial marker was dedicated in Sylvania, Georgia, in 2017 by the Georgia Historical Society and the VFW. Due to the number of troops from Fort Screven, Georgia, a memorial is being dedicated on the grounds of Fort Screven to mark the 100th anniversary of the tragedy and to honor those that perished in the service of their country.
The ceremony will include a Presentation of Colors by the American Legion Post 154 Color Guard, remarks from Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman, and other dignitaries and families of descendants.

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 18 August 2018

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islay info

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Islay Diary 2018

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  • Sunday 5 August
  • Ride of the Falling Rain
  • Tuesday 7 August
  • Timebank Stroll, Port Charlotte
  • Community Garden Public Meeting ICCI
  • Wednesday 8 August
  • T in the Church, Portnahaven
  • Islay Archaeology Week (till 14 August)
  • Country Music Concert, Ramsay Hall
  • Thursday 9 August
  • Annual Islay Show, Bridgend
  • Show Dance, Bowmore Hall
  • Saturday 11 August
  • Safari Supper
  • Monday 13 August
  • Chit Chat, Port Ellen Playing Fields
  • Tuesday 14 August
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall
  • Timebank Stroll, Distilleries Path
  • Wednesday 15 August
  • T in the Church, Portnahaven
  • Baptist Church Walk
  • Family Ceilidh, Columba Hall P.E.
  • Thursday 16 August
  • I&JSCF AGM, Service Point, Bowmore
  • Wednesday 22 August
  • T in the Church, Portnahaven
  • Tuesday 11 September
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall
  • Friday 14 September
  • Islay Jazz Festival
  • Saturday 15 September
  • Islay Jazz Festival
  • Sunday 16 September
  • Islay Jazz Festival

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