Group ap­peals for sculp­ture cash

The Oban Times - - News -

A SKYE-BASED her­itage group is ap­peal­ing for do­na­tions to fund a sculp­ture of two moun­taineer­ing leg­ends at Sli­gachan.

The Col­lie MacKen­zie Her­itage Group is try­ing to get a sculp­ture of Nor­man Col­lie and John MacKen­zie built over­look­ing the Cullin moun­tains.

John MacKen­zie, 1856-1933, is recog­nised as the first Bri­tish Alpine stan­dard moun­tain guide and has Sgurr MhicCoin­nich (MacKen­zie’s peak) named af­ter him.

Nor­man Col­lie, 1859-1942, mea­sured heights of all the Cullins con­tribut­ing to the map­ping of the area and Sgurr Thor­maid (Nor­man’s peak) is named af­ter him.

The sculp­ture is to be 9ft tall and will stand on a stack of rocks with the men look­ing to­wards the moun­tains they climbed and mapped.

The group needs £110,000 to com­mis­sion the sculp­ture and if they can raise half that amount they can get match funds for the re­main­der.

They have al­ready had do­na­tions and pledges to­wards this goal but there is still a long way to go.

Morag Ni­chol­son, chair­woman of the Col­lie MacKen­zie Her­itage Group, brought a scaled­down model of the planned statue to Fort Wil­liam Moun­tain Fes­ti­val to spread the word.

She said: ‘ We’ve had a fan­tas­tic re­sponse at the fes­ti­val. We feel we’ve brought the climbers back to the climbers.’

Sir Chris Bon­ing­ton, who was speak­ing at the fes­ti­val, said he would like to be at the un­veil­ing of the sculp­ture and gave his en­dorse­ment to the pro­ject.

Mrs Ni­chol­son said: ‘We are hop­ing to be able to give the artist the go-ahead by the end of the year.

‘It’s a lo­cal story and it’s brought out other lo­cal sto­ries. We want the un­veil­ing to re­flect that with sto­ry­telling and pho­tog­ra­phy and lo­cal artists get­ting in­volved.

‘ We’d also like to even­tu­ally get lo­cal guides tak­ing peo­ple up the peaks named af­ter MacKen­zie and Col­lie.

‘Pupils of all 12 pri­mary schools on Skye and Raasay, and the high school, have been in­volved so far and did projects on the climbers.’

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion or to do­nate visit www.skyes­culp­ture. wordpress.com

Pho­to­graph: Iain Fer­gu­son, The Write Im­age.

World fa­mous moun­taineer Sir Chris Bon­ing­ton, who is sup­port­ing the Col­lie and MacKen­zie Her­itage group, met com­mit­tee mem­bers Hec­tor and Morag Ni­col­son at the Fort Wil­liam Moun­tain Fes­ti­val.

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