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It was the new era of the Mull and Iona Glasgow Association ceilidh and dance last Friday night when youngster Ross Wilson from Bunessan and his team presented the new committee’s first event – and what a night it was.
Proving that the old and the new were still very much supportive of the event, former chairman Charlie Kirkpatrick was MC for this event, the 151st Mull and Iona annual gathering.
At at 2am, when folks were making their way home, they were still laughing at his superb antics as MC.
The event was filled with good friends and new characters to meet.
The line-up of the more traditional concert saw superb performances from Mull and Iona Pipers, a well-suited Robert Robertson, gold medallist Carol MacLean, Manran’s wonderful Ewen Henderson, Hector Mackechnie (a gold medallist from Lochaline) and winner of the Royal National Mòd song competition Anne Bennett from Dundee.
At the end of the ceilidh, the large crowd sang An t-Eilean Muileach and Soraidh Leibh is Oidhche Mhath Leibh before turning the room around for the annual dance.
This year Scottish dance band of the year, Trail West, were headlining, and what a party was created.
Chairman Ross Wilson thanked everyone for the tremendous support for the event, and for the members of all the other associations who were in attendance at the event.
Ross said: ‘We’re hopefully going to make more of a feature of the Royal National Mòd song at gatherings to come although the winner of this competition has always been invited to sing their winning song at the gathering.
‘Many thanks also go to our sponsors Inverlussa Marine Services, a local business run by Ben Wilson, and to those many people who donated raffle prizes from Mull, Iona and Glasgow.
‘Charlie was president of the association for 11 years until he stepped down at the previous AGM. Charlie is from Iona. He’s lived in Glasgow for many years – worked in the police in Glasgow for more than 40 years – and is a well-known three row button accordion player.
‘Known for his great jokes and MC capabilities. He dedicated a lot of his time to the association as president and still remains on the committee to help steer it.
‘A special mention was also made at the concert to all the other committee members who stepped down at the AGM, in particular the past office bearers Hugh Lennie (treasurer) and Elizabeth Graham (secretary) for all their professionalism, dedication and hard work ensuring a smooth transition with their successors Alasdair Mackellar
(treasurer from Bunessan) and Catriona Currie (new secretary from Tobermory with strong family connections to Iona).
‘Charlie also made reference at the concert to a number of projects that Mull and Iona took interest in and donated to over the years, namely – the Ulva Ferry and Iona housing projects.’
Ross concluded that this year was one of the busiest yet. He said: ‘Thanks to the great attendance and raffle, we made a healthy profit this year which we will use to make more notable donations to local charities and groups back on Mull and Iona.
‘We are looking forward to next year already.’