Review of the Year – part 1

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Two Oban volunteers tied the knot on January 5 after meeting on a beach clean last year. Fiona Campbell-Smith and Thomas Ferris were joined by friends and family in Hope Kitchen, where the couple married.
NO_T02_Hope Kitchen Wedding01_Pic KM-jan

Youngsters were jumping for joy after Iona Village Hall Community Trust received £903,888 from the Big Lottery Fund towards their new village hall project. Chairwoman Anja Jardine said: ‘We have a vision of a hall which not only belongs to the community of Iona, but is somewhere where people can feel they belong, whether they are islanders, seasonal workers or visitors.’
NO_T04_Iona village hall lottery grant_Iona Village Hall


Oban grandfather-of-five Donnie MacPhee, who collapsed and ‘died’ for seven minutes on a job for his employer MacQueen Bros, welcomed the arrival of the town’s latest life-saving kit in February. The defibrillator was donated by Donnie’s boss Graham MacQueen after he received a letter from Glencruitten Golf Club member Helen Pearson asking for funding for one.

Torrents of muddy water escaping from a clogged-up stream left a disabled Oban woman at ‘breaking point’. A woodland stream at the back of Lorna McCullock’s home in Hazeldean Crescent would bursts its banks when it rained leaving her property so badly flooded she could not find anyone to insure her home contents.
16_T08_Lorna McCullock_flood garden-feb


Oban’s very own ‘eco-boy’ Felix Hughes, 6, launched a superhero mission to save the world from plastic waste. The Rockfield Primary School pupil tackled giant milk supplier Müller Milk over the use of plastic straws it attaches to its drinks cartons, and also sent copies of his letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, the boss of Argyll and Bute Council, local politicians, Greenpeace, his head teacher and The Oban Times. The campaigning youngster, inspired to stop plastic pollution after watching TV hit Blue Planet.
16_T09_Felix Hughes01_plastic straw-march

Benderloch and North Connel Drama Club cleaned up at the Lorn Drama Festival in March, winning nine trophies. The club was successful in the adult and junior sections, claiming first prize in both. More than 10 plays were performed over three nights.


Residents fighting plans for more pylons in one of Scotland’s most scenic villages – Dalmally – want to see the new power line go underground or under the loch instead. MSP Michael Russell said he was not in a position ‘to wave a magic wand’ for campaigners but believed more pylons would be ‘an overload on the landscape’ and said he would be opposing it. A consultation was due to end in April.

Oban High School head teacher Peter Bain welcomed pupils and staff to their new school building following the Easter holidays, with the new school given a resounding thumbs up from pupils.


A Tobermory dad used the skills he learned at a baby CPR training event in Oban when his infant son stopped breathing. Alec Brown learned to give CPR the January event organised by Oban couple Fearghas and Natalie Lafferty, whose own son Murray stopped breathing last year.

Campaigners from Ardchattan and Achnamara, near Loch Sween got together for an initial meeting in a bid to stop their local schools ‘sleepwalking’ into decay and disuse. Campaigners are considering setting up a community development trust to take ownership of the building and running it as an activity hub. A full consultation on its future was due to end on Friday June 29.


Taynuilt artist Sam MacDonald at The Shieling, a memorial to love inspired by his wife Evelyn. The memorial is the fulfilment of a promise made to Belfast-born Evelyn MacDonald  by her husband Sam before she died from cancer last year.

The Rockfield Centre launched its community shares project on June 16 and it proved to be a success, with £25,000 shares being bought. The aim of the campaign is to raise enough funds to be able to refurbish the former primary school building.
NO_T25_Thumbs up for the Rockfield Centre