I came across a few interesting snippets in the latest Ileach newspaper that might interest the regular (welcome evening) visitor as well as the regular Calmac ferry passenger. I will start with the first snippet about the Baker sisters (Image right). At the Mod Highland Dancing competition the Baker sisters from Kiells put on a good performance despite being up very early to catch the 7am ferry on the morning of the competition. Six year old Sophie won 1x1st, 2x2nds, and 1x4th - competing immediately on entering the hall at 10.30. In the afternoon Stacy competed in the Premier 11 years section and won 2x1sts, 2x2nds, 4x3rds and won the runner -up trophy. At the recently held Inveraray indoor competition Mairi McGillivray also from Kiells gained a fourth position.
Now if my memory serves me correctly I have seen one or both of the Baker sisters at several occasions on Islay including on one of the welcome evenings I attended and it's really nice to see them dance. Congratulations to the both of them and to Mairi McGillivray! Continue reading......
The second news snippet is about the use of Gaelic on board Calmac's vessels and in CMAL's ports. The first time I was on one of their ferries I was surprised to hear announcements in Gaelic but later I understood that it's no more than logical that they do, after all, there are still many Gaelic speakers in (the west of) Scotland. CMAL issued the following press release regarding their Gaelic language consultation: "Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) has published its draft Gaelic Language Plan for 2010-2015 and is now looking for feedback from the public. Following the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, the plan sets out how CMAL will use Gaelic in the operation of its functions, how staff will enable the use of Gaelic when communicating with the public and key partners, and how the company overall will promote and develop Gaelic, contributing to Scotlandâ€™s diverse culture.
The draft plan and details of the consultation process are now available to view here (PDF) and those who wish to respond, can do so by filling out an on-line feedback form here. CMAL is seeking as many responses as possible in order to produce a final plan which reflects the aspirations of the communities served by CMAL. Chairman of CMAL, Grenville Johnston, commented: 'We appreciate the support that BÃ²rd na GÃ idhlig has been given us to implement our plan and we look forward to enhancing our services for Gaelic users and raising the profile of Gaelic as a recognised language.'