At Ran­dom

The Oban Times - - Districts - MARTIN LAING mlaing@oban­

Rel­ish­ing – and dread­ing – Am-Am

IT IS only days now un­til the an­nual Oban Ro­tary Am-Am golf com­pe­ti­tion.

This is an ex­cel­lent char­ity ini­tia­tive that over the years has raised more than £165,000. It is also one of the most ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated events in the Oban so­cial cal­en­dar, and rightly so.

Played over the beast that is Glen­cruit­ten golf course – the 12th hole should ei­ther be abol­ished or have a fu­nic­u­lar rail­way in­stalled – the AmAm will again, I’m sure, be a fab­u­lous day for all those in­volved.

Now in its 32nd year, the Am-Am, ac­cord­ing to Ro­tary ju­nior vice-pres­i­dent Iain MacIn­tyre, is cru­cial to the lo­cal Ro­tary Club’s fundrais­ing. Iain told The Oban Times: ‘ We raised just short of £11,000 last year. If we raise be­tween £10,000 and £11,000 this year, I will be de­lighted.

‘The Am-Am ac­counts for about 60 to 70 per cent of our to­tal funds raised each year.’

Among the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the spon­sors’ largesse are a num­ber of lo­cal causes, with an em­pha­sis on youth- ori­ented ac­tiv­i­ties, such as school trips, ju­nior golf de­vel­op­ment, shinty, foot­ball and rugby coach­ing, and the likes of the Oban High School Pipe Band. It also sup­ports Mary’s Meals, the Lau­r­in­burg School ex­change, the lo­cal se­nior ci­ti­zens’ an­nual Christ­mas lunch and Oban Hospice.

More than 100 spon­sors and nearly 200 play­ers are ex­pected for this year’s event, which takes place on Sun­day June 4. In­ex­pli­ca­bly, thanks to my

Oban Times col­leagues, I’ve been shang­haied into the pa­per’s team. My play­ing part­ners might live to re­gret ask­ing me.

Well-de­served recog­ni­tion

A HUGE well done to the team at Hope Kitchen in Oban for be­ing down to the fi­nal four in the Char­ity of the Year.

Part of the Scot­tish Char­ity Awards, mak­ing the short­list is bril­liant recog­ni­tion for the su­perb work done by Lor­raine MacCormick and her team of vol­un­teers at the Ar­gyll Street-based premises.

Hope Kitchen’s web­site states: ‘Our aim is the ad­vance­ment of ser­vices which pro­vide food, shel­ter and com­pan­ion­ship to vul­ner­a­ble and marginalised peo­ple liv­ing within the area of Oban and Lorn.

‘Where pos­si­ble and ap­pro­pri­ate, we seek to ad­dress the phys­i­cal, emo­tional and spiritual needs of the peo­ple at­tend­ing Hope Kitchen.’

It is a pro­saic state­ment of in­tent but the team there de­liver big time. Now they will have wait un­til June 22 to find out if they have won.

Re­gard­less of the fi­nal out- come, how­ever, Hope Kitchen de­serves all the plau­dits it has al­ready re­ceived.

Is this gaffe a bridge too far?

AND, fi­nally, I re­ceived tele­phone call at The Oban

Times of­fice last week from a reader ask­ing if I knew where the bridge over the At­lantic is lo­cated.

When I an­swered Seil, the caller, who didn’t leave his name but told me he came from Kil­creg­gan on the Ros­neath penin­sula, said some­one should tell Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

The caller pointed out that Fred Olsen has a blurb in its mar­ket­ing ma­te­rial for one of its voy­ages to the Faroe Is­lands which claims the only At­lantic span is lo­cated there.

Sure enough, I searched on­line and found on Fred Olsen’s web­site: ‘ The only bridge over the At­lantic, as it is some­times called, spans the nar­row chan­nel of Sun­dini to con­nect Eys­turoy with the larger is­land of Strey­moy.’

Shame on them!

What do you think?

Do you have something you want to share? Let me know by writ­ing to me at The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4 HB, or by email to mlaing@oban­

The beastly 12th hole at Glen­cruit­ten.

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