Local News for Friday 11th November 2016
Remembrance events across the islands
Remembrance day events take place across the islands today and through the weekend, as we once again commemorate 100 years since the First World War. Guns fell silent at 11 o’clock on November 11th 1918, and at the same time each year silence is observed at many memorials and in towns and villages across the UK. In Stornoway today a service will be held at the monument outside the Drill Hall at 10.45am today, conducted by Rev Dr Iain D Campbell and followed by the silence. Up to 200 pupils of Stornoway Primary School will then lay poppies at the memorial. This evening at the Drill Hall an evening event will commemorate the battle of Beaumont Hamel, the last big action of the Battle of the Somme, fought in 1916. After speeches and a short service, there will be entertainment by pupils from the Nicolson Institute and piper and singer Anna Murray.
This morning on Isles FM, we will observe two minutes of silence at 11am, and this will be followed by a documentary, the First World War: Through the Eyes of Women, produced and presented by Annie Delin.
Tomorrow Remembrance services will be held at Tarbert war memorial, which has been newly restored, at 10.45am, and a Royal Air Force Association service at Melbost war memorial at 1pm. At 2pm tomorrow, at Stornoway airport, a historic aircraft propeller commemorating airmen of both world wars will be rededicated.
On Sunday there’s to be a parade from the Royal British Legion, through the narrows and back to Martin’s Memorial Church, starting at 10.20am and followed at 10.40 by a service in the church. There will be wreath-laying at Stornoway War Memorial at 12.30pm. A new war memorial commemorating the dead of two world wars and of the Suez Crisis is to be unveiled at Barvas on Sunday at 10.45am. Work on finishing the memorial will later be completed before a formal service later this year. And at Garrabost Church of Scotland on Sunday there will be a Remembrance service at 10.30am, conducted by Rev I D Campbell and followed by laying of wreaths at Point war memorial at 11am.
Meanwhile in London on Sunday, Coastguard volunteer Mitchell Thompson of Bragar Coastguard Rescue Team will represent HM Coastguards from the Western Isles, Skye, Lochaber and the Small Isles at the Remembrance Parade at the Cenotaph on Whitehall. Mitchell will march in full uniform with other Coastguards from around the Country to form part of the Honour Guard lining Whitehall at the National War Memorial.
In other news:
Government slammed for renewables backtrack
There’s been a chorus of disappointment from politicians and island representatives, after this week’s UK government decision not to use Contract for Difference payments to level the playing field on renewable energy from the islands. The news was announced just as this week’s seminar on depopulation in the islands came to an end and was described as ‘ironic’ by Comhairle leader Cllr Angus Campbell. He said: "The day after a two day seminar on depopulation and migration we get an announcement from the UK Government that the Islands will not be included in the next round of Contract for Difference – which is required to make island windfarm projects viable. Renewable energy offers an unprecedented opportunity to transform the economic fortunes of the islands. To make that happen we need Government to set the right conditions and this latest announcement is extremely disappointing.” Adding their voices to this reaction were MSP Alasdair Allan and the Scottish Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, who said he was disappointed and angered by the decision. There are also claims that the UK Government chose the day of the US Presidential election to announce the decision, in an attempt to bury bad news.