Local News for Wednesday 10th October 2018

The announcement of the preliminary rounds of the National Gaelic Schools Debate competition has been made and the 2018 competition looks set to be another excellent year. The first two rounds will be held at the Town Hall in Stornoway, on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th of November 2018.

Last year, for the first time ever the first rounds from Stornoway were available online, through e-Sgoil’s You Tube channel and the Committee will be making sure that this year’s first round will also be live streamed to a potentially global audience.
Sixteen teams from fourteen schools are due to compete in the 2018 competition. Following on from the positive feedback received from the new competition format, all the schools will participate in debates over the two days, with the four teams with the highest points, across the two days, progressing to the final stages which will be held in Edinburgh on Tuesday and Wednesday the 27th and 28th of November 2018. The Committee welcome Agnes Rennie and Boyd Robertson who will join Iain Stephen Morrison as judges.

An effort to safeguard the Mobile Library service for the future was defeated at a vote in the Comhairle recently.

The SNP Group and a number of Independents at the Comhairle have been campaigning for the retention of Mobile Library vans which serve rural communities throughout the islands and for the procurement of two replacement vehicles.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr John Mitchell said:
‘I would like to thank all the councillors who supported my plea to safeguard this vital service.
‘The service will now be considered as part of the community conversations on future services and I hope that all councillors will then speak up for this service.’

The amendment to a decision of the Policy and Resources Committee put forward by Cllr Mitchell, Vice Chair of the SNP Group and member for Harris and South Lochs, was defeated 12 votes to 18.

On the cusp of the centenary and 100 years after the Armistice, Acair are to publish a new book which will tell the stories of each and every one of the men lost on the Iolaire for the first time.

The Darkest Dawn: The Story of the Iolaire Tragedy, is being launched by Acair Books at an evening event in An Lanntair on November 1, during the Faclan Hebridean Book Festival.
It has been written by Malcolm Macdonald, chair of the Stornoway Historical Society, and the late Donald John MacLeod, who passed away earlier this year.

The book is the result of 20 years’ research and a joint effort which brought in information, photos, memorabilia and personal stories from all over the world.

At nearly 500 pages, it is an impressive piece of work and a lot of the detail will be new to island readers, familiar as they might be with the tragedy itself.

Further information is available online from www.acairbooks.com