Chairman's Report - AGM 2016

Annual General Meeting                                                       March 2016

Chairman’s Report

Welcome to the AGM and thanks to the committee and to all those who helped with the work of the Comann Eachdraidh throughout the year.  The Society achieved much this year and although the work was demanding it was also very rewarding.

Two of our main projects were completed successfully.

The WW1 Project was well researched by Cathie Mary the Project Leader.  Poppy crosses representing each of the 52 villagers who died in the conflict are on permanent display in the Community Hall in the hand-crafted cabinet skilfully made by Murdo ‘Fleed’ Morrison.  This Plaque was unveiled on May 20th 2015.  The WW1 website designed by Christine and Graham Walling is well worth a visit   More information will be added to this website in the near future.  The website was launched on November 7 2015 in the Tigh Ceilidh attended by a large audience.

The final print of the Heritage Site Project was produced in Spring 2015 in a well-received booklet, Tolsta Shielings, which summarised the shieling tradition in Tolsta.

 We had hoped to publish a booklet on Commander John Morrison’s life story using information given to the CE by his daughter Anne Robertson and the funding is in place to publish the booklet.

Hebridean Connections

The preparation of our records for publication on the Hebridean Connections Site  proved to be difficult and time-consuming.  We attempted to increase the number of volunteers involved but were not successful so we applied to TCDL for funding to pay for four employees to help with this work.  Our application was successful and TCDL granted us £13,000 and the use of the Tigh Ceilidh for training purposes for which we are very grateful.  The work with two creators and two validators is now progressing well.  The funded Hebridean Connections Project will finish on March 31st 2016.  It is planned that the Comhairle will assume responsibility for the Hebridean Connections website as of April 1st 2016.  A provisional arrangement has been developed to cover a transitional period of a few months beyond April 1st, subject to approval by councillors in late March.   

New Build

On 24th May 2015 we received an email from Iain Macleod intimating to us and to the Stornoway Trust that he was not now prepared to transfer the tenancy of the allotment 83b to the village.  I informed the other village groups involved and following a meeting on 5th August a Steering Committee was set up to progress this project.  We have received a feasibility study on another site and are considering this at the moment.

Remembrance Day

As the new Community Council had not been constituted in early November, the CE was asked to organise this event.  The three councillors funded the event and we once again thank them for their continued support.


With no editor in place, I, as chair of CE and with help from the committee, took responsibility for the production.  (Rhoda gave me a hand).  Helen Smith did the typesetting and Phil Hilton continued with the printing.  I found Helen and Phil very easy to work with and their work was excellent.  However as I am stepping down as chairperson, this will have to be addressed by the new committee.




The Facebook page is still proving to be very popular and I would like to thank Ewen for keeping it going.  The website has not been updated for a long time.  This too can be time consuming but an up to date website benefits the CE and I believe it would be worthwhile keeping it up to date.

 Thanks again for your help and support.  As I indicated I will not be standing as chairman but I would like to continue to be involved especially with the Hebridean Connections Project, if that is your wish.  

Donald Murray, chairman