This years’ Ceòlas voted the best yet
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