Local News for Tuesday 3rd October 2017

Island loses Gaelic champion
The Gaelic champion and community enthusiast Chrisella Ross, of Bayble, has passed away, it was announced yesterday. Chrisella was a tireless advocate for Gaelic language, culture and folklore, a teller of tales and a writer of distinction. She originated the successful TV drama Bannan, and was for many people an unfailingly positive supporter in their quest to learn and understand Gaelic. Publishers Acair yesterday said: “A friend to Acair and a writer of great talent. Chrisella was directly involved in many projects in the Gaelic world over the years, always bringing imagination and fun to whatever she was working on. We saw how lively and joyful she was at last year’s Royal National Mod in Stornoway, where we held a reading session for children and Chrisella entertained everyone with underwear from ‘Na Neònachain’ on her head!” Also paying tribute was Comann Eachdraidh an Rubha (Point Historical Society), for whom Chrisella served as treasurer and curator. The society said: “Her passing is a grievous loss to her family and to us as a group. She was zealous for her language, culture and heritage and knowledgeable about all three.” Chrisella leaves husband Donald, daughter Mairi and son DJ, as well as her mother Mairi, and sisters Etta and Marisa. We extend heartfelt condolences to them all.

Music fans boost Benbecula economy
Proving that HebCelt isn’t the only festival boost to the Western Isles, Benbecula’s Eilean Dorcha Festival helped generate £420,000 for the local economy and safeguarded eight jobs in 2017. In only its second year, EDF attracted a sell-out crowd of 3,000 to Benbecula over two days, a 141% increase on year one. An independent economic impact study published yesterday calculated that public subsidy of £33,500 generated a visitor spend of around £420,000. More than half of festival-goers came from outwith the Hebrides, with 28% staying on the islands for more than a week. EDF has also been shortlisted for the Small Event Of The Year Award by the National Outdoor Events Association. EDF development manager Roddy MacKay said: “Tourism is a key part of the Uist economy, and as this positive study shows, the Eilean Dorcha Festival is helping to attract visitors and boosting the local economy. Everyone involved in EDF is focused on offering an unforgettable visitor experience. The festival has something for the whole family with full Hebridean hospitality thrown in for good measure.”

Harris project in awards shortlist
The new community project set up by the West Harris Trust, Talla na Mara, has been shortlisted in the Scottish Green Energy Awards, it was announced yesterday. Talla na Mara is in the running as best community project, in a shortlist of 40 projects chosen from 100 proposed for the various categories. The awards will be announced in Edinburgh on November 30th, at a ceremony addressed by Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP and hosted by TV comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli. Jenny Hogan, Deputy Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables said: "Every year we see some of the best and brightest from our industry come through the Scottish Green Energy Awards' judging process, and 2017 is no exception. These are people and projects of which everyone in Scotland should be proud."

Coffee morning at Taobh Siar
As part of a series of events throughout the area raising funds for Macmillan, there’s a coffee afternoon in Sgoil an Taobh Siar today for Macmillan Cancer Research. The coffee afternoon will run from 1:30 until 3pm and is open to all.