Chairman's Report to AGM 2011

Category: Publications

Chairman's Report to AGM 2011 -  February 28, 2011

Welcome to the AGM and thanks to everyone who helped throughout the year.

The Comann Eachdraidh has a strong membership, but I think it is time to recruit more villagers. Seanchas sells well and Seanchas together with our website generates much discussion and correspondence among our readers. We only had one local public meeting this year ‘From Tolsta Lewis to Tolsta Quebec’. The meeting in the Community Hall on 19th April 2010 was well attended and enjoyed by all. Margaret Bennett, the well-known folklorist, author and singer was accompanied by a group of Québécois from Canada. Their lively music from Quebec was most entertaining and all present enjoyed the food, both ‘Tastes of Quebec’ and ‘Tastes of Tolsta’.

We are involved in two major projects. Our own local project – Interpretative Plaques at Garry and Cladach Giordail, The Aird Walk Pamphlet and repairs to the Cladach Road - is proving to be difficult to fund. I have filled in several applications for funding and have only secured £3000 of funding to date. I am hopeful that the application at present under consideration, to the Heritage Lottery Fund, will be successful.

The second project – Hebridean Connections Project – involves several other Comainn Eachdraidh and is to be sponsored by our federation An Caidreachas Eachdraidh. A company limited by guarantee called Hebridean Connections Ltd is to be registered. If funding is obtained the project, which is expected to cost 300K (and that does not include the data input by each Comann Eachdraidh) should start in March 2011 and should last for two years.

We welcome the establishment of Tasglann nan Eilean (Hebridean Archives). This three year project creates a professionally staffed service for the Western Isles and offers advice to the Comann Eachdraidh.

We also met regularly with Trish Botten, Principal Officer, Cultural and Information Services. Trish is also Chair Heritage Team, HLF Lews Castle/Museum nan Eilean Project and a group from the NTHS participated in a workshop on the new vision for the museum at Lews Castle.

As well as our regular minuted meetings, subgroups have met regularly to discuss other developments and progress the work of the Society eg phone book input. The Tolsta Phone Book will be published shortly by Alec Maciver (28).

We continue to have many enquiries locally and throughout the world and this makes the work of the Comann Eachdraidh really interesting.

I hope the report has given an indication of some of our activities over the year.

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

Donald Murray chairman