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Thursday was a special day at the Royal National Mod for Mull Gaelic Choir (Còisir Ghàidhlig An Eilein Mhuilich) Ladies.
The island women won everything on offer in the rural choirs sing two-songs competition, including the Grampian Television Trophy, the Rod MacKenzie Sgir’ a’ Bhac Memorial Baton, as well as the Angus MacTavish Memorial Trophy and the Rotary of Blairgowrie Trophy for achieving the highest marks in Gaelic and music.
It was particularly significant, as this is the first mod since losing one of their members in a hill climbing accident earlier this year.
The choir wore commemorative pins to remember Rev Johnny Paton.
Mull Gaelic Choir conductor Elizabeth Jack told The Oban Times the pebble pins the choir were wearing were in memory of Rev Johnny Paton, who was the minister on Mull and a former choir member.
Donna Dugdale created around 40 of the pins, which were made from pebbles taken at the foot of Ben More, with Rev Paton’s favorite bird, The Oyster Catcher, painted on them.
‘We wanted to have something of him with us,’ Elizabeth said. ‘We miss him so much. It has been a difficult year.’
She added: ‘His memory lives on right across Mull. He was very down to earth and contributed so much towards the community. When we finished our last song, there were tears in a lot of people’s eyes, including mine.’
Speaking about winning four out of four trophies, Elizabeth said: ‘It is brilliant because there are so many that are not Gaelic speakers. So I am delighted to get the Gaelic trophy.’
Elizabeth paid gratitude to the choir’s Gaelic tutor Janet MacDonald, who won the gold medal in 1984.
Elizabeth said it was a special victory, given the tribute to Rev Paton.
The choir was also missing three ladies, who were not able to make it for various reasons, but it was noted they were missed very much.