Local News for Monday 30th April 2018

Mosque to open May 11th
Stornoway’s new Mosque will officially open for Friday prayers on May 11th, becoming the fastest-built place of worship ever in the Western Isles. The formerly derelict store building on James Street was granted planning permission for conversion to a Mosque in September last year, but work was delayed as the small Muslim community, resident in the islands since 1945, did not have the resources to get the project under way. After a call from a friend in Lewis, Leeds businessman Aihtsham Rashid launched a crowd-funding appeal just one month ago, appealing for £50,000 to get the building fitted out and prepared for use. Donations are now approaching £90,000 and the appeal also led to volunteer workmen, materials and other donations both locally and internationally. Mr Rashid said “Humbled is not the word any more. I am speechless at the support from around the world.” Just four weeks after starting, the finishing touches now being put to the new building, which provides space for children’s activities, prayer and socialising including at weddings and funerals. The building will be opened to the public on Friday May 11th with food and celebrations after prayers, and in good time for the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan on the evening of May 15th.

Lifeboat launch
Leverburgh’s RNLI lifeboat, the Mersey-class Royal Thames, was launched on Saturday night at 7.17pm after Stornoway coastguard requested they go to the aid of an 11-metre passenger vessel with engine trouble, 25 nautical miles west of Pabbay, Isle of Harris. A towline was passed and the vessel was taken under tow to Leverburgh and secured alongside there. Leverburgh Lifeboat was refuelled and ready for service again by half past midnight. It was not a first shout for the new Shannon-class vessel, which arrived at the station last weekend. The Royal Thames remains on service until all crew have completed the training for the new vessel, which is to be formally named in July.

Peppa Pig’s £1,000
Over 100 pre-school children and their parents turned out in beautiful sunshine on Saturday for the Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle Walk in aid of Save the Children. Despite the fact that there was not a puddle in sight, lots of fun was had and over £1,000 raised for Save the Children. Peppa and George led the party on a half-mile round trip along the paths from Bayhead play park and back, and joined them on the bouncy castle. An extra fundraiser is now being planned by Carly Yoga, who will add proceeds from tomorrow’s Buggy Fit walk from the Castle carpark at 10am to the total being donated to Save the Children.

New exhibition is pure silver
A new exhibition opening at Lews Castle on Friday shows how silver, not gold, was once the most important precious metal in Scotland. The National Museum of Scotland exhibition features spectacular objects dating from AD75 to AD1000 and shows how the earliest silver, arriving with the Roman army, quickly became associated with prestige and power. Medieval treasures like massive silver chains and ornate brooches will be on show alongside items from the Dairsie hoard, which dates to the late 3rd century AD and is the earliest known example of hacksilver from anywhere beyond the Roman frontier. Alanna Davidson, Touring Exhibitions Manager, National Museums Scotland said: "The exhibition has proved to be hugely popular to date and we hope that it will continue to draw large numbers of visitors from Lewis and beyond during its time in Stornoway."

Weekend sport
Carloway FC’s new goal machine Calum Masson scored a hat-trick for his club on Friday night, contributing to their 5-nil win against Aths in the league. The goals were also all on one side between Lochs and Back, Lochs winning 4-nil. The Co-op cup match due to be played between Iochdar Saints and Ness on Saturday was postponed to May 5th by agreement. There are two matches in the league tonight – between Ness and Point at Fivepenny, and at Goathill between United and Westside, kick-offs at 6.30pm.
There was a painful home match for Stornoway Rugby Club on Saturday, when Aberdeen Grammar took all the points with a bruising 7-52 win. Stornoway are at home to Shetland next Saturday.
Lewis Camanachd were away to Lovat and on the wrong end of a 9-nil scoreline.