Ian tunes in with trib­ute to ster­ling Mod stal­wart

The Oban Times - - News - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­times.co.uk

A TRIB­UTE to the late Robin Banks of Oban has won the inau­gu­ral Oban Mu­sic for the Mod com­pe­ti­tion.

The two-four march was writ­ten by Ian Ma­cLean - a renowned box player and mu­si­cian who lives in Oban.

Ian wins a cash prize from the Oban Times and Fin­lay Wells of Nut­shell Stu­dios, Oban, will make a record­ing of the tune be­fore it is per­formed at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the Royal Na­tional Mod in Oban in Oc­to­ber.

Ian, 72, was brought up in Glas­gow by Barra par­ents. He started play­ing the ac­cor­dion at the age of 12. He has lived in Oban for more than 40 years.

The in­spi­ra­tion for the tune came from Robin Banks, a sup­porter of the Mod for many decades and a mem­ber of An Co­munn Gàid­healach, who died last year.

An obit­u­ary pub­lished in the Oban Times and The Her­ald read: ‘There can be few men in Oban, and in­deed in Ar­gyll, who have been more re­spected than Robin Banks.

‘He was an Oban boy, an alum­nus of Oban High School, who grew up to make a huge con­tri­bu­tion to the town to which he was proud to be­long and in which he made many last­ing friend­ships.

‘Robin was an ac­tive worker in sup­port of the Gaelic lan­guage and cul­ture and it gave his many friends great plea­sure to learn his work had been re­warded by the pre­sen­ta­tion of a gold medal from An Co­munn Gaid­healach in recog­ni­tion of his life­long work in its sup­port.’

The theme of Ian’s tune, A Trib­ute to Robin Banks, was not dif­fi­cult to come up with for the self-taught mu­si­cian. He said: ‘Robin was such a pas­sion­ate sup­porter of the Mod and he will be missed this year when it is in Oban.

‘Robin al­ways had a nod or a hello and did so much for the Mod and it is poignant that he is not here dur­ing this year’s com­pe­ti­tions.’

Martin Dorch­ester, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Mod-spon­sor CalMac Fer­ries Ltd, said: ‘Robin was such a big part of the Mod and Oban so it is fit­ting that he should be re­mem­bered this way.

‘I look for­ward to hear­ing the new tune dur­ing this year’s Mod. We are look­ing for­ward to com­ing to Oban.

‘The Mod is al­ways a high­light of CalMac’s year.’


TUNE FOR THE MOD: Oban will re­sound to the notes of a spe­cially-writ­ten tune for this year’s Royal Na­tional Mod. Com­poser Ian Ma­cLean has been an­nounced as the win­ner of the inau­gu­ral com­pe­ti­tion held by the town’s mod com­mit­tee

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