I'm sure many (regular) visitors of Bruichladdich Distillery will know Ella. That's why I'm glad Mark Reynier sent me the following email regarding Ella's retirement.
Mark: Ella has been with Bruichladdich since the reopening of the Islay distillery in 2001. It was tough back then getting the company off the ground. There were a lot of activity - both emotional and physical - expectations were high and money was short. Through these very difficult, early times Ella was the stalwart that kept the show on the road, liaising with staff, contractors, visitors and suppliers. Ella, a Gaelic speaker, is a very highly respected member of the Islay community. A very warm, engaging and friendly lady, she is also a resolute, determined, tough cookie as her own personal battles have testified.
Although working on the Rinns she lives on the other side of the island at Port Ellen - she was, after all, born in the Lotts, half way between the two. Ella's career started with Ardbeg at the age of 19 until the distillery closed. Ella's working life has been spent in clerical administration: half in distilleries, either Ardbeg or Bruichladdich; the other half at Port Ellen school. She has been the distillery matriarch, always ready to talk with staff and visitors alike, sorting out problems and issues. Though we shall miss her (and her baking) we will continue to see Ella and her award-winning Highland dancers at the open day at the very least.
Thank you Ella - we wish you all the best.