Tolsta District News 1942 as reported in the Stornoway Gazette
On December 25th, in the Free Presbyterian Church, Donald MacDonald, R.N.R., a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Angus MacDonald, High Street, Skigersta, was married to Jessie, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Angus MacLeod, General Merchant, North Tolsta. Rev. M. Gillies, Stornoway, officiated.
On New Year's Day,Alexander Campbell,7,Shore St. was married to Annabella Mackenzie,the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs.Donald Mackenzie,73.New St. Rev.M. Gilles officiated.
WELCOMED IN BOSTON
Many lads from the township and from all over Lewis were made very welcome during their stay in Boston, U.S.A., by Lewis folk resident in that city and not least by the Rev. George Murray, B.D., who hails from South Dell, Ness. He did (as we who know him would expect him to do) his best to minister to their temporal and spiritual welfare. On one occasion he led a goodly party of naval ratings right up near the pulpit and preached to them in Gaelic, with a naval rating from Leurbost acting as precentor. Our boys will not soon forget this proof of blood being thicker than water.
The issue of babies' respirators and respirators of the Mickey Mouse type for older children is a reminder that a blacker phase of the war may yet in.
In the Free Presbyterian Church,on Tuesday,6th. January,Murdo Murray,R.N.R. 49,North Tolsta,was married to Mary Macleod,daughter of Mrs.Macleod and the late Mr.Angus Macleod,School Rd.the ceremony being performed by the Rev M. Gilles.The groom has now returned to his naval duties.
Under able local instructors,the Home Guard are undergoing training for warfare under modern conditions.We hope they will never be called upon to meet the invader on these shores,but the training is valuable in any event. It may be recalled that the militia of bygone days proved themselves tough fighters on land and sea,when the call for active service came-a corps that may well be revived after this war for the benefit of young men between 16 and 20.
Dr.Fraser's weekly lessons in first aid are much appreciated.
Such instruction serves a useful purpose in any community and especially in wartime.
THE DOUGLAS HOTEL FIRE
When the Douglas Hotel, Inverness was recently destroyed by fire,Gormelia,Katie-Anne and Margaret the daughters of Mr.and Mrs.Donald Mackay,16,North Tolsta,who were employed there, escaped safely.
FIFTEEN MILES TO SELL A COW
To walk a distance of fifteen miles to sell a cow in Stornoway is no mean achievement.When I tell you this was accomplished this week by Kenneth Macleod,3,New Tolsta,who is in his 78th.year,you will understand he did not develop his iron constitution on penny buns.
Angus Smith R.N.R.52,Shore St.was a very successful fisherman,but we are of the opinion that he landed his best catch on Thursday 12th. March when he was united in marriage to Isabella,the youngest daughter of Mr.and Mrs. Murdo Maciver,18,Shore St. Hundreds of villagers were there to congratulate them.
WED AT DINGWALL
At Castle St.Church of Scotland Dingwall,Mr.Donald Macritchie,youngest son of Mrs. and the late Mr.Kenneth Macritchie,12,New Tolsta,was married to Miss Elizabeth M.Reid,elder daughter daughter of Mr.and Mrs.James Reid, Bridgend Dingwall.
We are interested to learn that John Murray,R.N.R.21,Shore St.is a skipper of a small vessel on the Egyptian Coast.Though her estimated speed is that of the "Brodie Castle" towing a basking shark,still,we trust John to deliver the goods.
The signature of many villagers have been obtained and forwarded to the committee co-ordinating protests against broadcasts representing Our Lord as speaking in his own person,in the hope that this might be stopped.
A warning has been given that we are getting careless with our black-out observance and it is hoped the villagers will exercise more care in the future.Much may depend on it.
HOME FROM SINGAPORE
Two merchant seaman who left Singapore before its fall have arrived home.
They are Mr.Donald Macdonald,28,Shore St.and Murdo MacKay,18,New Tolsta.
Among those on leave is a Canadian Army Chaplain,Captain Mackay,who came to see his wife's people at 38,North Tolsta.He is a native of Uig Lewis.
Another three hefty recruits have joined the Naval Patrol service and reached their depots.
They are Alexander Campbell,8,Hill,John Mackay,16,Shore St.and Angus Smith 24,Shore St.
We, overlooking Broadbay, watch with interest to see if the odd trawler coming near tries a second drag,but no,the fish have disappeared from this once prolific bay.
A small boat with six lines had a total catch of 9 haddocks,2 flounders and 1 crab.In town the great line fisherman swings his catch ashore at less than 6d.a lb.,the buyer resells on the pier at 9d. a lb.,and if he takes it to his shop,it is 1/4d per lb.
Like the man who finds out that it does not always pay to buy a "reliable" horse from the hawkers,Donald Maciver,28,Shore St.has avoided the practice of buying local castaways and has returned from Glasgow with a good workman's bus.Tolsta is now enjoying a good public service.
Another good purchase has been a small tractor by John Macleod,Butcher, 56,New St.and although the trial seemed as if he was following the coast of Norway,quite afew are waiting their turn of the new plough.
Glasgow University has awarded the degree of B.Sc.with first class honours to Ian Buchan,whose parents reside in Glasgow. He is the grandson of the late Murdo and Mrs Macdonald,51,North Tolsta.
He has been a brilliant student,and as he is still under 20 years of age is probably the youngest B.Sc.in Scotland
We congratulate him on his magnificent achievement.
Our school children each and all with a little offering,so that the men would not be hungry or thirsty,gave the pipe band of the Seaforths and Camerons a great welcome,when they visited the village last Thursday.
This week the band will do their best to play for the H.M.S.Stornoway fund.
FISHERMEN TO WORK BAREFOOTED
In Lewis today, if you are a labourer digging a drain for the Government, you are issued with a pair of wellingtons free, but if you are a fisherman you must not only buy them, but use up your clothing coupons, as no permits are being issued by the Custom House.The seasonal gear required by fishermen will leave few coupons for other requirements.Justice!
IN THE R.A.F.
Angus Macleod,59,New St.has joined the R.A.F.and has arrived at his depot somewhere in England.
COUNTY COUNCIL PLEASE NOTE
It is hoped that members of the County Council will not forget the urgent need of having a substantial parapet built on the Glen Tolsta Bridge before the winter sets in.A bus negotiating this dangerous curve when icebound is courting disaster.
The longer and higher parapet erected on the Glen Tolsta Bridge won't make it a safe bridge,but from a pschological standpoint we do not question its usefulness.
To the authorities responsible for its building we say "Thank you".
The marriage took place on Friday last between Miss Johanna Graham,youngest daughter of Mrs. Graham and the late Donald Graham,39,North Tolsta and Malcolm Mackenzie,4,Achmore.Rev.Mr Gillies officiated.
On Friday,29th.August,the Tolsta Nursing Committee met in the Schoolhouse to present Nurse Anne Beck,on her departure from the district,with a tangible token of the respect and goodwill with which the people of the district regarded her during her six years stay in their midst.
She was ready and willing to attend to her duties at any hour of the day or night,and patients always found her efficient and pleasant.
A wallet of treasury notes and a canteen of cutlery were handed to her by Mrs.Maclean,Schoolhouse,after which the company was entertained by her to tea.
We wish Mr.and Mrs. Beck a long and happy married life.
On Thursday 16th.October in the Free Church,John Maciver,14,New Tolsta,(a son of Alex Maciver and the late Mrs.Maciver)was married to Catherine, a daughter of Mrs.Campbell and the late Angus Campbell,44,North Tolsta.
Rev.R.Mackenzie, Back officiated.
Mr.Maciver,who recently spent six days on the Atlantic in an open boat,is undertaking a longer and happier voyage this time.
We wish them the best.
Leading Seaman Donald Morrison R.N.R.46,North Tolsta,has been awarded the D.S.M.Morrison has taken part in several raids on enemy occupied territory including the Lofoten Islands.
At Dieppe he was coxswain of one of the small landing craft until it was sunk under him.He was picked up by the trawler Kingston Beryl,who coincidentally had Kenneth Maciver,43,North Tolsta,as one of her crew.
It was for his coolness and devotion to duty on this occasion that he was decorated.
He is the third Tolsta seaman to be awarded the D.S.M.
The others are Murdo Macdonald,38,North Tolsta,who was decorated just a month ago for services with a Murmansk convoy,and Murdo Macleod, 56,North Tolsta,decorated for services at Dunkirk.
Granted a short leave for the occasion, Duncan Graham,39, North Tolsta, was married to Annie Macdonald,the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs.William 48, North Tolsta,on Friday,4th. December.Rev.M.Gillies, Stornoway officiated.
We congratulate Able Seaman John Maciver,Merchant Navy,14, New Tolsta,on receiving the B.E.M.for his skill and resource."His courage was exemplary in circumstances which might' (as the official citation puts it)'have daunted the bravest". Maciver, who was home on leave, left last Thursday. It is probable, that before he sails ,he will appear at Buckingham Palace to receive his award.
On Friday a mass meeting was held to discuss the wisdom or folly of erecting a village hall.
A committee of ex-servicemen stated their reasons in support of their case.
First World War ex-servicemen also voiced their views,strongly deprecating the situation which had arisen,children ranging themselves against their parents and attempting to rectify evil by bringing it in another guise.
On a division,the large majority showed themselves against the proposal.
The clerk of the Grazings Committee,Mr.Angus Murray,was instructed to inform the interested authorities.
A GALLANT LEWIS SEAMEN
Seaman Kenneth Maciver,25,New Road,Habost Ness,has been posthumously mentioned in despatches for his gallantry and devotion to duty when H.M.S."Achates" was sunk in the defence of a vital convoy from Russia.
"On one occasion,heedless of danger,Seaman Maciver helped a wounded comrade out of a rapidly flooding compartment,and in order to carry out his duties,he made several journies along the upper deck while the ship was under heavy and accurate fire from the enemy"says the official citation.
"Later he took the wheel and with only a boat's compass steered the ship for an hour under the most hazardous and arduous conditions,remaining at his post until the last.I am to express their Lordships 'pleasure at this mark of His Majesty's high appreciation and their deep regret that your husband did not live to receive it."
Seaman Maciver was born and brought up at 36 North Tolsta.