Ian tunes in with tribute to sterling Mod stalwart
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