This years’ Ceòlas voted the best yet

The Oban Times - - Leisure -

CEÒLAS’ sym­po­sium based at Iochdar School and Gèiri­nis Taigh Ceilidh ‘ was the best yet’ in the words of Don­ald MacRury, orig­i­nally from Cao­las, East Gerin­ish, but home from Glas­gow each year for this event.

This year the ex­hi­bi­tion is a com­mem­o­ra­tion of those who died in WWI, but with very few photos avail­able, a dis­play was cre­ated for all those from the Parish of South Uist, in­clud­ing Ben­bec­ula and Eriskay, where so many lost their lives.

The open­ing of the ex­hi­bi­tion was fol­lowed by an ex­cel­lent talk from Murdo Beaton from Ur­ras an Eilean, which was very well re­ceived – such en­thu­si­asm for his sub­ject.

Jo Mac­Don­ald gave her talk on ‘Bi­adh is De­och ann an Orain Ghàidhlig’ while await­ing the ar­rival of Murdo. A very rich ta­ble of sam­ples was read by Katie Mary Mac­In­tosh.

Sun­day’s out­door Mass was can­celled ow­ing to the weather forecast, but a full house at St Michael’s, Ard­ken­neth, en­abled all to hear the Roll Call from the ex­hi­bi­tion read by Sarah MacEachen and Fiona Bal­lan­tyne.

Fam­ily Fun fol­lowed the church ser­vice and there was a great turn- out with the chil­dren en­joy­ing the range of ac­tiv­i­ties of­fered by Kay Marie MacInnes, Lisa Wil­son and the team of face pain­ters. The laughs were pro­vided by Ron­nie MacPhee’s Sumo Wrestling suits.

The adults had dif­fer­ent in­ter­ests with Lawrence MacEachen, show­ing how to make the right knots and splic­ing for the sròinein or Taod.

The Sun­day evening Quiz was great fun with the quiz­mas­ter Morag Mac­Don­ald, which had fol­lowed on from the beer tast­ing! One of the chal­lenges for ‘Se ur Beatha’ was to pro­duce ‘Leann nam Bi­ast ‘– this was met by Tommy Mac­Don­ald, who pro­duced a va­ri­ety of flavours – to the sur­prise and de­light of ev­ery­one.

A group of 15 took part in a long dif­fi­cult hike. Those who were not keen to walk so far or who had the wrong footwear, climbed aboard Don­nie Fraser’s MacBrayne’s bus to go on the poly­tun­nel tour or­gan­ised by CJ MacPhee.

Mon­day was the Pip­ing Recital, with one song from Rena Gertz, a Ceòlas reg­u­lar.

Young pipers, Fer­gus MacVicar and An­drew MacIsaac were fol­lowed by Fiona Ma­cLean who brought the first half to a close with an out­stand­ing per­for­mance.

Sec­ond half opened with Ceilidh air chuairt (WI Ceilidh Trail) who showed why they had been se­lected with a great per­for­mance and then the master him­self came to the stage, Allan Mac­Don­ald, who gave a great per­for­mance truly ap­pre­ci­ated by the pip­ing fra­ter­nity who were present. An­gus MacMil­lan hosted the event in great hu­mour.

Tues­day morn­ing started with Dr Sarah Marr talk­ing about heal­ing of plants and the place of nat­u­ral medicines in peo­ple’s lives. Sarah is a very en­ter­tain­ing speaker and great fun was had dis­cussing op­tions for keep­ing well longer.

Af­ter lunch, the walk with CJ MacPhee and Becky Ren­nell - ar­chae­ol­o­gist, took place from Borve Castle – ev­ery­one re­turned just be­fore the heav­ens opened say­ing how much they had en­joyed it.

The chil­dren were still danc­ing with Laura – so ev­ery­one was ex­hausted.

The com­mu­nity ceilidh was hosted by Morag Mac­Don­ald and she kept the show mov­ing and what a show it was, with great num­bers of young peo­ple.

The ques­tion now is how to top that next year - sug­ges­tions to Ceòlas will be welcome.

Singers of Ceòlas en­joy the fi­nal song

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