Local News for Wednesday 4th July 2018

SNP MSP for the Western Isles Alasdair Allan is calling on the Ministry of Defence to designate the site of HMY Iolaire as a protected place under The Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.

HMY Iolaire sank on 1 January 1919 after striking rocks two miles from Stornoway where families were waiting to welcome home World War I servicemen. Eighty-two servicemen survived and over 201 servicemen died in this tragic incident. Around a third of those known to be lost were never recovered from the sea and the wreck remains their final resting place.
This New Year’s Day marks the centenary of the disaster and there are a range of events taking place in the islands to commemorate those who were lost.

Alasdair Allan MSP for the Western Isles said:
"The sinking of HMY Iolaire off Lewis on the Beasts of Holm has left an indelible impression on the islands of Lewis and Harris. There was barely a family on the island that didn’t lose a relative in the Iolaire disaster and even now it is still very raw in people’s minds. As we approach the centenary of the sinking, it is important that the site is designated as a military maritime grave to both protect the site and commemorate the immeasurable sacrifice of those who served their country in a time of war and lost their lives so tragically close to home. I hope the Ministry of Defence will react positively to this request.”

Last week’s exceptionally good weather in the Hebrides has enabled NASA, the U.S. space agency, to task one of its satellites to photograph the area from space and the resulting photographs have revealed huge pockets of phytoplankton blooms along the north and west coasts of the western isles and the mainland.
Phytoplankton, in the marine environment, are microscopic algae that need sunlight to thrive.
Dr Eddie Graham, a meteorologist at the University of the Highlands and Islands' Lews Castle College UHI, described the images as "remarkable" and said that ‘such massive blooms have occurred in the past but are almost always hidden for the gaze of any passing satellite due to the more usual layers of thick clouds covering the western isles’.

Malcolm and Janet Paterson from the Western Isles Lottery Team recently presented youths of North Lochs Community Centre with a cheque for £760.80 to be used to set up a monthly Soup and Pudding Café for the more mature members of the community in the area.

The use of Lottery funds match the funding criteria for enhancing Amenities in the Community as well as linking in with The Year of Youth 2018 and bringing differing age groups together in a social setting. The funding was raised from Supporters of the Lottery within the Uig/Breasclete/Lochs Area 3. Lucy Macdonald, Eilidh Wilson and Alison Matheson proudly accepted the funds on behalf of the Community Centre and the Lottery Team wish them well with their new venture which has the potential to expand over time.

This next period of funding is identified for the new Keose/Keose Glebe Playpark soon to be opened to the public. Further applications are invited from across the area for consideration.

To Join in with the Lottery and help raise more funds for your area you can access the website at www.westernisleslottery.co.uk OR phone 0300 30 20 444 (normal telephone rates apply)