THE ILEACH :: THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOR ISLAY + JURA

Excerpts from issue 45/15 12 May 2018

lewis prentcie, amy logan and a representative from the commonwealth graves commission

Islay’s Lewis Prentice and Amy Logan, accompanied by a CWGC representative, placed wreaths at the War memorial on behalf of the RAF and Navy.

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A day to remember

The people of Islay were joined by the great and the good to remember those affected by the twin Islay tragedies in 1918 in a touching series of commemorative events on Friday 4 May.
The Princess Royal, the US Ambassador to the UK, members of the UK and Scottish Parliaments and representatives of the French and German Governments, paid moving tribute to those lost in the Otranto and the Tuscania sinkings and to the Ilich who rescued so many from the ferocious seas, cared for them so compassionately and buried the dead as lovingly and caringly as if they were their own.
The day broke to grey skies, which fitted the sombre respectful mood, and a re-dedication of the American Monument on the Oa. Conducted by Rev. Karen Campbell, national Chaplain of the Royal British Legion Scotland, around 150 people comprising members of the local community, representatives of the military and the media, made their way to the monument where they would see naval ships, HMS Raider, the USS Ross, FS Andromede and FGS Lubeck representing Britain, America, Germany and France, sit on the spot where the SS Tuscania was sunk. Wreaths were laid at the monument, adding to that which Lord Robertson had earlier laid at sea.
The main event of the day was a service, conducted by Rev Valerie Watson, at the War Memorial in Port Ellen. It was a beautifully balanced ceremony, incorporating readings and singing from Islay's superb Gaelic Choir and Mod Gold Medalist Alasdair Currie. Wreaths were laid by the Princess Royal, the US Ambassador, Woody Johnson, the French and German Consuls, as well as other related organisations. The A reading was also offered by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Right Rev. Dr. Derek Browning.
The ceremony had been preceded by a procession of Islay School children carried the flags of the US States who had suffered losses in the two tragedies. Just as the Stars and Stripes been made to honour the dead at many funerals 100 years before, the full complement of flags, hand-made by the Islay Quilters, brought home just how wide spread were the American losses.
Descendants of those lost in the twin events along with those of local people whose valiant efforts saved so many lives and cared for the wounded, then met the dignitaries in the Ramsay Hall. It was decorated with displays produced by local schools and organisations, showing the depth of care and knowledge of the events 100 years before.
The Princess Royal had a busy day, but was full of praise for the island, for all that had been done 100 years ago and the present commemorations.
"This is very much Islay's day and I feel so much gratitude for what everyone did and thank you for allowing us to be a part of that," she told the those assembled in the Ramsay Hall.
There followed an event which will probably never be repeated on Islay. In what could be seen as a reward for all the hard work put in by so many people of the island, the Band of the Royal Marines marched along the Frederick Crescent in Port Ellen. They played a selection of well-known pieces to an appreciative audience of islanders and fellow military personnel, enjoying the delights of the fete on Port Ellen Green.

Following Friday's Commemorations, there is an online gallery at benshakespeare.com/ww100 showing images from throughout the day. Ben has focused on images of the community in its remembrance of the lives lost during the war. All profits from the sale of images will be donated to the WW100 Islay Legacy Fund, which will support projects to ensure the Tuscania and Otranto tragedies, and the sacrifice that Islay and Jura made in World War One are not forgotten.

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New visitors' centre for Caol Ila
artists impression of caol ila's proposed new visitor centre

Diageo is to spent £150 million over three years to transform its Scotch whisky visitor experiences, including a new visitors' centre at Caol Ila.
The centre-piece of the investment will be a new state-of-the-art Johnnie Walker immersive visitor experience, based in Edinburgh, which Diageo claims will bring to life the story of the world's most popular Scotch whisky and creating a unique welcome for millions of Scotch fans around the world.
"We have big plans for Caol Ila, although they are at very early stages and we can't share any more specific details," said a Diageo spokesperson.
"However, you will see that it will be one of four distilleries representing the 'four corners' of Scotland, showing the breadth and diversity of whisky characters that go into the Johnnie Walker blend.
"Caol Ila has always been a key part of the Walker blending portfolio, providing the signature peated whisky that is so important to the blend.
"The investment will be in the visitor experience, enhancing how we welcome them at the distillery and linking to the new Johnnie Walker centre we are planning to create in Edinburgh."

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Islay Golf Open 2018

A weekend of glorious sunny weather with no rain and little wind greeted the 60 or so entrants to the Kilchoman Distillery sponsored 2018 Islay Golf Open. The weather was so good it confused the local entrants and the main prizes were taken in the main by country members and visitors from the North East, where they must be more used to calm conditions.
It was an especially good weekend for the Middleton Family, where Iain Middleton won the overall scratch prize with a total of 147 strokes with Dean Muir, the Machrie's Course Manager, keeping up the local end in second with 151 and visitor David Cardwell, from Hamilton, third with 152. Iain's brother, Allan, won the handicap competition with 139 strokes, with Iain second on 141 and Donald Heads third on 143.
Nearest the Pin winners, who each received a bottle of Kilchoman's finest, were Vice-Captain Bobby Quail, Ruaraidh MacIntyre, Allan Middleton, Mike Wilson and Gordon Hyslop.
The golf club would like to thank Kilchoman Distillery for their generous sponsorship, the Machrie Hotel for their excellent 'goody bags' for every contestant, Dean Muir and his team for the excellent presentation of the course, Match Secretary David Livingstone, Starters Diane Brown and Alistair MacMillan, and all those who managed to find accommodation and come and play.
Next year we’ll have a hotel to fill!

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 26 May 2018

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islay info

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islay community council

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Islay Diary 2018

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  • Saturday 12 May
  • Afternoon Tea, Ballygrant Hall
  • Tuesday 15 May
  • Craft Fair, Bruichladdich Hall
  • Timebank Stroll, Islay House
  • Wednesday 16 May
  • Islay Museums Trust AGM
  • T in the Church, Portnahaven Church
  • Thursday 17 May
  • Craft Fair, Bruichladdich Hall
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Tuesday 22 May
  • Craft Fair, Bruichladdich Hall
  • Timebank Stroll, Port Mor
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall
  • Wednesday 23 May
  • T in the Church, Portnahaven Church
  • Thursday 24 May
  • Craft Fair, Bruichladdich Hall
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Friday 25 May - Sunday 27 May
  • INHT Seaweed Foraging Weekend
  • Saturday 26 May - 2 June
  • F&eagrave;is Ile/Islay Whisky Festival
  • Tuesday 24 May
  • Craft Fair, Bruichladdich Hall
  • Wednesday 30 May
  • T in the Church, Portnahaven Church
  • Bowmore Primary School, May Fair
  • Thursday 31 May
  • Craft Fair, Bruichladdich Hall
  • Badminton, IHS
  • Tuesday 19 June
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall
  • Friday 20 July
  • Sports Junior Gala, Ramsay Hall
  • Port Ellen Sports Disco, Ramsay Hall
  • Saturday 21
  • Port Ellen Sports
  • Tuesday 24 July
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall
  • Saturday 28 July
  • Bowmore Sports
  • Sunday 5 August
  • Ride of the Falling Rain
  • Tuesday 14 August
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall
  • Tuesday 11 September
  • Kilmeny Ceilidh, Ballygrant Hall

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