Excerpts from issue 44/20 22 July

islay vikings

Photo of some young Vikings ready to do battle at the 'Big Day Out' in Lochgilphead with their homemade shields, swords and helmets.

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Laphroaig's community spirit

Vicky Stevens writes:
On Friday 14 July Laphroaig Distillery shut for the day to allow time to support the local community with a number of projects. The areas selected were nominated by members of the Laphroaig team. The railings outside the Ramsay Hall in Port Ellen were stripped of layers of old paint, given a fresh coat of red oxide, and will be painted black over the next few weeks.
Residents and visitors to Gortonvogie will notice that a wall within the internal garden has been brightened up with a coat of green paint; ahead of the strawberry tea in the Community Garden in Bridgend, a group from Laphroaig helped with weeding and picking fruit and vegetables; the footpath from Port Ellen to Lagavulin was cleared of litter, drystone walls rebuilt where they had fallen and picnic tables and benches were given a fresh coat of wood stain.
Everybody at Laphroaig is keen to support the island and as well as donating money and raffle prizes throughout the year, we wanted to offer up our time and resources to make a difference to the community around us.
To complete the day, a scavenger hunt was held in the afternoon. A BIG thank you to everyone whose day was disrupted to help the teams get the items they needed. Scott at Mactaggart Leisure Centre, Tom at the Community Garden, James at The Harbour Inn and the team at Gate 1 Café at the Airport went out of their way to help by ensuring all the clues were in place for them to find. Thanks to everyone who helped make this fun for all.

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Queen's Baton on Islay 23 August

The Queen's Baton Relay for the 2018 Commonwealth Games is well under way, and this year it will make a stop on Islay.
The Commonwealth Games will take place on the Gold Coast in Australia next year, so the baton has been designed in Australia and made from macadamia wood and reclaimed plastic from Gold Coast waterways. It will arrive on Islay by plane on the 23 August and make its way to Bowmore Primary School, where it is hoped that children from other schools will be able to join them.
A spokesperson from Team Scotland said, "We contacted the Islay Community Council to help us make arrangements for our short visit to Islay. We don't have firm plans at the minute, but we hope to incorporate the schools and Bowmore Distillery before the main activity to be held at the square in Bowmore, allowing the whole community to join in. It is also hoped that someone from Islay will carry the baton as part of the relay, but who that will be is yet to be confirmed."
The Queen's Baton Relay was started in 1958 for the VI British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, when Her Majesty the Queen handed over the baton containing a message from her at Buckingham Palace. The message in the baton was carried by 664 runners before being read at the opening ceremony in Cardiff.
Now an integral part of the Games, the relay has grown in magnitude over the years and in 2006 Melbourne started the tradition of the baton visiting every nation and territory competing in the Games.
The Gold Coast 2018 Relay is set to be the longest in Commonwealth Games history. It was launched on Commonwealth Day on 13 March 2017 at Buckingham Palace where Her Majesty the Queen set the baton off on its journey which will span 230,000km over 388 days. It will visit the six Commonwealth regions of Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Oceania, arriving in Australia in December this year. After 100 days travelling through Australia it will finish its journey at the Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018, where the message will be removed from the baton and read allowed by Her Majesty or a representative.
Currently in the Bahamas, the baton will continue through Bermuda, Canada, Belize, Guyana and the Falkland Islands before returning to British soil and making its way up to Islay. Readers can follow its progress at www.gc2018.com/qbr

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"An Tilleadh" – The Return
bothy for sale

Ann Vastano is a Scottish Highland Artist living and working in the Highlands, based in Aviemore, probably best known for her artworks which hang in the Scottish Parliament.
Originally born in Bowmore, her family have enjoyed regular return trips to Islay. Last year Ann decided she would really like to hold an exhibition of art works reflecting a re-engagement with the land and seascapes of the isle, and is delighted that the exhibition has now come to fruition.
It opened last night at the Ionad Chaluim Chille Ile. Ann has created an island portfolio of her trademark colourful paintings with the key theme being incorporation of Islay Gaelic. She has also created an exclusive Islay Gaelic calendar - Miosachan Ile 2018 - which showcases the work of the exhibition - and is available to purchase at the Gaelic Centre.
A percentage of the sales of this calendar will be donated to the Islay and Jura Sick Children's Fund.
Ann is very grateful to have received some sponsorship from Caledonian MacBrayne  and also New Concept who recently completed work on Bowmore's brand new eatery, "Peatzeria". The exhibition runs until the end of September.

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to subscribe or advertise, contact ileach@ileach.co.uk

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 5 August 2017

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islay info

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islay community council

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Islay Diary 2017

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