THE ILEACH :: THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOR ISLAY + JURA

Excerpts from issue 51/16 18 May 2024

From nine to five
fraser hughes, ardnahoe

On Friday 10 May, Ardnahoe, Islay's ninth distillery, released its first single malt at five years old, seen here in the hands of Distillery Manager, Fraser Hughes.
According to several of those invited for a tour and tasting at the distillery, the Ardnahoe Malt is 'light and fruity, belying its young age.' Ardnahoe's Fèis Open Day will take place on Wednesday 29 May.

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In this week's issue:

Ardnahoe's first Islay malt, Robin Currie 1955-2024, MachairWind visit, Festival opening events, Gaelic School in Argyll & Bute, Return of the corncrake, Gaelic speakers at ICCI, Ardbeg All Islay Fund year two, Busy times at Islay RNLI, Brought to Book - Charlène Busalli, Sharon McHarrie recalls the halcyon days of yore, Islay FC in Mull, Rangers training weekend, Made on Islay craft fairs, New Fès tartan, Bowling open day.

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Situation vacant

Argyll and Bute Council has a vacancy for a 2nd person, crew/deckhand on the vehicle ferry that runs between Port Askaig and Feolin.
The hours are an average of 41.5 per week (includes 4.5 hours contracted overtime) which are worked over a two week rotating shift pattern, seven days on and seven days off. You will be expected to take part in the out of hours bookable sailings and call out rota to support emergency services.
The position requires the following certificates:
Seafarer medical report form ML5 and ML5 certificate (MSF 4112)
Basic Sea Survival (STCW Code – Table A-VI/1-1)
Fire Fighting & Prevention (STCW Code - Table A-VI/1-2)
Elementary First Aid (STCW Code - Table A –VI/1-3)
Personal Safety & Social Responsibilities (PSSR) (STCW Code - Table A-VI/1-4)
To apply for this vacancy, please go to My Job Scotland, www.myjobscotland.gov.uk and search for reference ARB14228. Closing date is 23 May 2024.
Further information can be obtained from Robert Paton, Technical Officer - 07741 036246.

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Councillor Robin Currie 1955 - 2024
Councillor Robin Currie

With great sadness we learned on Thursday morning, 9 May, of the sudden passing of Councillor Robin Currie.
Robin served Islay, and Argyll and Bute, for almost 40 years as a councillor with Argyll and Bute Council, and Argyll and Bute District Council before that.
He held different roles during that period, contributing to policy and service delivery that supported life in Argyll and Bute in areas as vital as housing, Gaelic language and economic development.
As well as a devoted local councillor, he took on Policy Lead roles, served as Leader of the Council from September 2020 to April 2024, and ultimately one of the Depute Leaders of the council.
Ileach editor, brian palmer said, "Robin was of great help to me when I took on the role of editor, providing comment and advice when it was most needed."
Fellow Islay councillor, Dougie McFadzean told the Ileach, "I was shocked to hear of the passing of my colleague, Councillor Robin Currie.
"Robin was a legend within Argyll and Bute and over his long and dedicated term of public service. He helped countless people and drove many successful projects. He was a quiet, polite and unassuming gentleman who welcomed me with open arms when I was elected two years ago.
"He was one of my 'go to' people for advice and truly helped me in my journey to serve. Robin was the kind of guy who went about his business professionally and compassionately at all times and was always full of interesting stories, with a skill to lighten awkward meetings. He always fought hard for Islay, and beyond, and loved Islay and its people.
"I will miss him, Islay will miss him and Argyll and Bute will miss him. My heartfelt condolences go out to Robin's family and friends. Let's remember Robin for all the good he has done and may he now rest in peace."
Councillor Jim Lynch, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said, "He was an inspiration in standing up for the interests of the area, of our islands and of different aspects of life that make Argyll and Bute the place he loved and believed in.
"For many reasons, Argyll and Bute owes Councillor Robin Currie heartfelt thanks."
Chief Executive Pippa Milne said, "So much of Robin's work was about raising Argyll and Bute's interests at national level, but his focus always remained firmly on delivering benefit for our local communities. He cared about people and he cared about the council's role in making life better for everyone. He will be greatly missed."
Fellow Liberal Democrat member, Alan Reid said, "I was shocked and saddened by Robin Currie's sudden death. He was a valued friend and a wise counsel when I was an MP and councillor.
"He was always passionate about serving his local community of Kintyre and the Islands.
"He will be sadly missed by all who knew him."
Councillor Alastair Redman stated, "I am deeply saddened and shocked by the passing of Councillor Robin Currie.
"It is difficult to fathom the council without his presence. Robin's dedication to Islay and his vast experience in local government greatly benefited Argyll and Bute in numerous ways."

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Fèis Ìle Community Opening Event

Ben Shakespeare writes:
Fèis Ìle officially opens on Friday 24 May with another fantastic free event for all to enjoy!
Following the success of the 2023 parade, we'd like to welcome the floats back for the parade through Port Ellen. This year's theme is FèisÌlympics, so we're looking forward to seeing the fantastic designs and floats people have come up with! The parade will be led by Islay Pipe Band; what better way to start the Festival?
After the parade, and Florence Grey's traditional welcome, we have entertainment and music galore for everyone on Port Ellen playing fields. Circus Entertainers 'Let's Circus' will be entertaining with several shows, including the 'Wheel Nuts' unicycle show, 'At the Beach' plus balloon-making and face-painting.
There will be music from The Music Man - Gary Coupland (from the Singing Kettle) The Midgies Ceilidh Band and a Fire Show from Let's Circus to round off the evening!
There will be stalls selling the new Islay Tartan, as well as burgers from Sidekick and more.
We would like to thank everyone who helps us with our fundraising, especially the island distillers and the Friends of the Fèis who donate their bottles to our competition, Lily who runs the competition on our behalf, and to those who enter. It's fundraising efforts like this that enable us to put on these events completely free of charge for the community.
The full schedule is: 17:00 Parade leaves Port Ellen School with Islay Pipe Band 17:30 Islay Pipe Band on The Port Ellen Playing Fields. 17:45 Wheel Nut Circus Show. 18:30 A Day At The Beach Show. 19:15 The Music Man - Gary Coupland 20:00 The Midgies Ceilidh Band. 21:00 The Fire Show!
Please note that due to the ongoing works on the Port Ellen Playing Fields, the Parade will finish at No.1 Charlotte Street, and there will be no parking at the Playing Fields. For any additional information, please email info@feisile.co.uk

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This is Islay
this is islay podcast

A monthly podcast featuring individuals, personalities and features of Islay and Jura. Listen now at https://anchor.fm/thisisislay

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The Ardbeg All Islay Fund

Supporting 22 local projects in year two
In the fund's second year of bids, The Ardbeg All Islay Fund Panel were very pleased to have received 31 submissions from all over Islay. Charitable organisations applied for funding towards projects that included intergenerational events, sporting activities, staff revenue posts supporting the local community and capital purchases.
The SID team were pleased to offer any support and guidance to the groups during the submission period this year. This proved to be a very useful resource for many of the local groups. The total request for funding in year one was over £390k, with the panel having the hard task of funding £180k each year. This was not a task undertaken lightly, and each panel member handled it diligently and professionally. All applicants were notified at the beginning of May of their outcome.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the panel members for their valuable dedication and volunteering to be on the panel. Their passionate response has enabled the SID team to progress efficiently through the second year of the fund.
The Ardbeg All Islay Fund is pleased to award 22 local charities the funding necessary to grow or continue their excellent community work in the coming months.
A few are highlighted here and the full list of awards are published on the South Islay Development website. (www.southislay.co.uk)
Bowmore Community Association - We are hoping that with this funding we will be able to purchase a stock of reusable resources that we can use for our community events throughout the year and annually, to enable us to continue to fundraise and put on events throughout the year.
Fèis Òigridh Ìle agus Dhiùra is a 30-year-old charity offering Traditional Music & Gaelic Culture to the children of Islay & Jura. This is carried out via weekly music lessons on accordion, whistle and fiddle, and an annual main Fèis encouraging more children to engage in our rich heritage.
We would like to continue with our ever-growing popular weekly lessons while offering an additional instrument - keyboard/piano lessons. We would also like to continue and improve our main Fèis taking place in February 2025 to include a section specific to local teenagers to allow them to further their skills and knowledge through professional tuition.
The Rhinns Playing Fields - We are seeking funding to purchase and install a modular pump track on our community-owned field which is situated in Portnahaven, on the Rhinns of Islay, making it the first of its kind on Islay (and in Argyll and Bute). This is part of our ambition to create an inclusive community recreational facility for the whole Islay community to enjoy.
Pat McGrann, Chair at SID said, "Year two of the Ardbeg All Islay Fund proves there are plenty of initiatives and inventiveness across Islay. The grants maintain well-established activities as well as new ventures to support the active lives and well-being of our community. This year's adjudicating panel has been impressed with the quality of the successful bids. Long may it last."
Hamish Torrie, CSR Communications Director at The Glenmorangie Company said, "It was great to see so many projects come forward for consideration in year two of the Ardbeg All Islay Fund, covering the length and breadth of Islay."
The Ardbeg All Islay Fund encourages all applicants to reapply next year, and applicants are invited to work with Alyson MacGillivray SID Development Manager, to receive feedback to strengthen their application for year three. A programme of workshops will be considered in the autumn ready for the fund reopening in January 2025.

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE, Saturday 1 June 2024

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