Mull celebrates 80th Mòd with ‘best one yet’

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The  Mòd Ionadach na Dreòlluinn (Mull Local Mòd) is always an important one, as it is the last chance for competitors to get feedback before the Royal National Mòd in a few weeks time.

However, this year was even more special. For it was the event’s 80th anniversary – and it was best one yet, according to a local councillor.

This year’s highlight took place on Friday, when hundreds of primary school pupils gathered on the beach at lunch time to perform as a massed choir.

And on Saturday, relatives of the first committee members, Morag Fraser, Kay Morrison and Janette Morrison, made their way to Aros Hall to hand over trophies to the winning choirs.

It was decided at a committee meeting in December 16, 1937, that a Mòd would be held each year.

More than 100 entries were recorded in the first event, which was held on June 14, 1938, including choirs from Bunessan, Lochdon, Pennyghael, Salen, Tobermory and from Coll.

Fast forward 80 years and the Mull Mòd has become a two-day event, attracting hundreds of competitors from across the country.

The date of the Mòd was changed from June to September in 1997. This was done because the National Mòd takes place in October and the change of date would allow competitors to receive constructive criticism before the national.

Councillor for Oban South and the Isles, Mary-Jean Devon, said: ‘This was without a doubt the best Mòd, especially the amount of children. There must have been about 200 kids on that beach. It’s just terrific. There was a great atmosphere.

‘The thing that’s coming through to me is that the competitors are getting younger and the standard of the young people is unbelievable.

‘We know how to do a Mòd.’

Chairwoman of Mòd Ionadach na Dreòlluinn (Mull Mòd) committee, Janet MacDonald reiterated Mary Jean’s sentiments.

Mrs MacDonald said: ‘It went very well. We are really chuffed about it. I am really pleased about the massed choirs on the beach.’

The atmosphere of the event ran well into the night, with ceilidhs taking place on both Friday and Saturday, and even onto the CalMac Ferry.

Members of Taynuilt and Aberfeldy Gaelic Choirs captivated the lounge aboard the Isle of Mull with their singing – they even managed to silence, and engross, a rowdy group of men celebrating a stag do.