Chairman's Report to AGM 2005

Category: Publications

Chairman's Report 2005 - AGM February 28, 2005

Welcome to the AGM and thanks to committee members for their work throughout the year. A special thanks for your good wishes and your support during the weeks last year when I was incapacitated due to ill health.




• Young Historians

Two group leaders, Nina Moir and John A. Maciver, were employed in October 2003 to run this project, which is funded by LEADER+, Better
Neighbourhood Scheme Fund and the Comann Eachdraidh.

The project is due to end in April 2005. In May last year John A. resigned because of increased work commitments and Nina continued as sole leader, submitting regular
progress reports to our committee. This 18-month project has been very successful, receiving accolades from several groups. The youngsters hope to continue with their
involvement in the Historical Society after April and we certainly welcome and appreciate their input.

• Tolsta Bardachd

Marsali Macleod started work on the substantial collection of village bàrdachd, collected by the committee, on 26 th April 2004. Angus Macleod has been editing and proof reading her work as required. This work will continue through 2005. It is financed by Gaidhlig sa Choimhearsneachd (£3,360), CNES (£600) and Comann Eachdraidh Tholastaidh (£240).

• Local Walks

Some members of the committee accompanied Susan Rabe, Project Officer CNES, round various walks in October. Funding will be granted for this development, but at the moment we are awaiting details.

2. Functions

• Bill Lawson Talk on Genealogy

This interesting talk took place in the Community Hall on Friday 12 th March 2004 and a video recording was produced by the young Historians.

• Classic Cars Visit

This was part of the Community Council May Holiday Fun Day in the hall. Members of the Historical Society met with the car drivers at the Garry Bridge and John Morrison, New Tolsta gave a short, interesting talk on the history of the bridge.  The Young Historians prepared a display on the Leverhulme Bridge in the Community Hall.

• Meeting of Merchant Seamen in Stornoway

This social evening was sponsored by Project nan Sgeulachdan and the Historical Society arranged a minibus to take the seamen to the British Legion on Friday 5 th November.
A good time was had by all, as seamen met up with friends from the Butt to Barra.

3. Income

Seanchas and private donations pay for our running costs. We print 400 copies of Seanchas every quarter. There are now 78 subscriptions to Seanchas. We are very grateful to all those who supported us throughout the year by buying Seanchas and by making donations to our funds.

4. Special Interest Groups

This is ongoing throughout the year. The Young Historians have developed further the Fishing Records and collected some wedding photos.

5. Membership, Visitors and Visits

We now have 352 members.We had visitors from the island, the mainland and from abroad during the course of the year and they were all grateful for the time we spent with them. Many more friends and supporters throughout the world have made contact with us by e-mail through our website, usually looking for information on their roots. We now have more control over our website and since last July we have been able to edit all the pages on the site. I would like to thank Ruairidh, Marsali and Rhoda for keeping the site up to date.

The site experienced problems over the past few weeks, but hopefully these have all been resolved. I attended all the meetings of the Caidreachas Eachdraidh.

Representatives also attended meetings in the Lews Castle College / Woodlands Centre/ Town Hall/ Museum nan Eilean mainly to do with the Links Project.

6. Database

  AGM 2005  AGM 2004 
Pre school age children    30   32
School age children    64   65
Age: 16-18   11   7
Age: 18-59   244   242
Over 60s   140   140
Total   489   486
Births   4   6
Deaths   7   11
Holiday homes   16   13
Unoccupied  homes   5   5

Thanks again to all those who contributed to a successful year at the Comann Eachdraidh.

Donald Murray