THE ILEACH :: THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOR ISLAY + JURA

Excerpts from issue 46/02 10 November 2018

In this issue: Keills goes batty, American Monument to be floodlit, Loganair adds Islay/Edinburgh service, New distillery Opera on Islay, SID in action, Laddie tree-planting, Why so many swans?, Lily MacDougall's pipe tune.


ww100 trail

Tom and Tilly stand next to one of the WW100 plaques placed across Islay and Jura at sites which were touched by World War One.

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2019 ileach calendar

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Local Hero
emma clark

Emma Clark of Glenegedale House has been named 2018 winner of the Tourism and Hospitality Hero, in the Highands and Islands Tourism Awards.
"What a fantastic honour to be not only recognised, but to go on and win the coveted Hospitality and Tourism Hero at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards for 2018," said Emma, whose guest house is a prolific winner of tourism awards.
"This award recognises the dedication given to each and every visitor that comes in contact with myself, to making their precious time the best it possibly can be for them while enjoying and visiting our beautiful island within Argyll and the Isles."
Judges said that Emma built up a rapport with each guest long before they set foot over the threshold of the hotel: "This personal touch, from the initial enquiry to the moment they arrive, ensures that all guests feel at home the minute they enter Glenegedale House."
The awards' finale, held in front of 300 industry representatives at the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness, was addressed by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs.
"I'd like to offer my congratulations to the finalists and winners of the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards for their fantastic work in encouraging people to visit the area by providing high quality visitor experiences. It's no wonder Lonely Planet recently named the Highlands and Islands as one of the top regions in the world for travellers in 2019," said Fiona.
She also took time to congratulate Emma personally as she had stayed at Glenegedale House during the WW100 commemoration in May.

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What's going swan?

With the Scottish Natural Heritage goose-counting season now underway, we are all used to seeing fields filled with our feathered friends. However, this year we have some interlopers, who have arrived and in considerable numbers. Some fields are not filled with our traditional barnacle, white front or greylag geese, but with Whooper Swans.
White, and much larger than any of our geese breeds, they are a spectacular sight, particularly in the numbers they have have been seen grazing in some Islay fields lately.
Traditionally, several thousand overfly Islay on their way south from Iceland to winter in Ireland and a proportion land on Islay to check out any refuelling opportunities.
"This year, following the poor barley harvest, with much spilt grain and late or even unharvested fields, they have stayed, and were joined by more and more," explained Malcolm Ogilvie.
"There was a count of around 1000 a couple of weeks ago, easily an Islay record, while there are still many hundreds here almost exclusively on the barley stubbles," said Malcolm.

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A tribute to Lily MacDougall
christine logan with pipers

One of Islay's best known former inhabitants has had a wonderful tribute paid to her all the way from Italy.
Lily MacDougall, at one time Islay's only female piper and who lived in Caol Ila until just after she had enjoyed her 100th birthday in 2015, has had a beautiful march named in her honour.
Roddy MacLeod MBE, Principal at the National Piping Centre, was a long time friend of Lily, as well as one of the most revered and sought after piping teachers in the world. He had been invited to hold a Master Class at a Church-owned members' club in the Italian village of Grottannara, on the Adriatic Coast. The Club, which raised funds for the church, included a restaurant, a whisky collection and function suite which was used for cultural music events and whisky tastings. "While there, at the ceilidh following the Master Class, and after a few drams, Roddy came across a bottle of Caol Ila and told the story of Lilly, her piping, her house in Caol Ila, and the fact that she had reached her milestone birthday," explained Simone Calvaresi, one of the managers of the Grottannara Club.
Composer, Alberto Massi, was so inspired by the story that he wrote a special tune and Roddy contacted Lily's daughter, Christine Logan, to ask permission to name the tune after her mother.
Christine was so touched by the gesture that she contacted the Club and invited the group to visit Islay, an offer which was gladly accepted with the group already due to visit the solo-piping championship at Blair Castle, in Perthshire.
So it was that a lone Italian piper came to stand on the Caol Ila pier to serenade a proud daughter with a tune in her mother's name. "It is a stunning tune and it was very emotional listening to it. For my mother, piping was her life and she would have been immensely touched and proud," said Christine, who hired a minibus to ferry her Italian friends around the island, all the time enjoying some excellent singing provided by her whisky loving passengers.
Christine has passed the march on to Neil MacTaggart, Pipe Major of the Islay Community Pipe Band, so that the rest of the island will have the opportunity to hear it in future.

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 24 November 2018

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islay info

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Islay Diary 2018

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  • Saturday 10 November
  • Islay Kick-Boxing Club, Bruichladdich Hall
  • Sunday 11 November
  • Scottish Country Dancing, ICCI
  • Tuesday 13 November
  • INHT AGM, Quiz & Raffle
  • Chit Chat Strollers, Bridgend Woods
  • Islay Rugby Club AGM, IHS
  • Wednesday 14 November
  • Jura Fish Farm Meeting, Craighouse
  • Bruichladdich Hall Committee AGM
  • Friday 16 November
  • Bake On, Blue Letterbox, Port Ellen
  • Saturday 17 November
  • Islay Kick-Boxing Club, Bruichladdich Hall
  • Islay Quilters Christmas Fair
  • WW100 Ceilidh, IHS
  • Sunday 18 November
  • Scottish Country Dancing, ICCI
  • Tuesday 20 November
  • Chit Chat Strollers, Woollen Mill
  • Friday 23 November
  • Islay Sessions
  • Saturday 24 November
  • Kilmeny Church Christmas Sale
  • Festive Fayre, Rhinns Hall
  • Islay Quilters' Christmas Workshop
  • Rhinns Hall, Festive Fayre
  • Islay Sessions
  • Sunday 25 November
  • Scottish Country Dancing, ICCI
  • Islay Sessions
  • Thursday 28 November
  • IHS Careers event
  • Saturday 1 December
  • Islay Korean Kick-Boxing Club, Bruichladdich Hall
  • Christmas Fayre, Kilchoman Distillery
  • Sunday 2 December
  • Scottish Country Dancing, ICCI
  • Christmas Carols, Old School, Ardbeg
  • Christmas Fayre, Kilchoman Distillery
  • Saturday 8 December
  • Islay Korean Kick-Boxing Club, Bruichladdich Hall
  • Sunday 9 December
  • Scottish Country Dancing, ICCI
  • Thursday 20 December
  • Islay Getting Together AGM

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