At Random with Martin Laing

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We are familiar with Leonie Woolf at The Oban Times.

Leonie is Oban lifeboat’s press officer, as well as a member of the crew, and frequently sends us press releases about the RNLI vessel’s actions. I had the pleasure of meeting her last year when I wrote a feature about the lifeboat.

But she makes the headlines herself this week after marrying fellow crew member and deputy mechanic Andrew Mead.

As you might expect, there was a very nautical theme for the big day, with all the RNLI crew and support workers invited to celebrate with the happy couple.

Leonie and Andrew are not alone in making the pages of this week’s paper. There are a couple of other positive stories about the lifeboat and what its team does.

It is particularly pleasing to report on these events, given the amazing work done by the Mora Edith MacDonald’s crew, who are largely volunteers.

These dedicated people turn out at a moment’s notice in all types of weather and at all times of day or night to help people in danger at sea.

Their selfless bravery has seen many lives saved down the years. The marine community is very lucky to have such a professional and motivated band of heroes.

I wish Leonie and Andrew every happiness for their future.

Stars at SAMS

Regular readers of The Oban Times will know that last week we reported on the graduation ceremony held in Oban by the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS UHI).

There were some heart-warming tales behind the success of the SAMS students, none more so than that of Maryam MacCorquodale, a 37-year-old Iranian woman married to a Scot. Maryam achieved her BSc Marine Science (Hons) degree while working part-time and raising a young child.

There was also a notable list of local graduates from the Oban area and across Argyll who had studied at the Dunstaffnage-based institution.

SAMS UHI provides a fantastic education in its various subjects.

But as well as teaching its students, it carries out cutting-edge research work that has earned it an enviable reputation worldwide. We have reported on many occasions on some of the work it does and the achievements of its leading academics and other staff.

We are very fortunate indeed to have such a fantastic facility on our doorstep.

Head for Easdale

Easdale island is the place to be this weekend.

As we report elsewhere on this page, the tiny island is preparing to welcome hundreds of people for its annual World Stone Skimming championships.

There is something wonderfully eccentric about the event. If you possibly can, why not go along and show your support for the organisers and competitors?

Islay mourns

It is a real tragedy Ciara Caskie Allan has lost her long struggle against illness.

The 16-year-old from Islay died after fighting a brain tumour for 13 years, during which time she remained positive and cheerful.

Our thoughts here at The Oban Times are with her family and friends.

What do you think?

Write to me at or The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4 HB.