At random with Martin Laing 12.03.20

Murdo MacLean turned '18' in 2016.

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Splendid sum

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had attended a recent memorial fundraising night in Oban’s Masonic Lodge in aid of Oban Dementia Resource Centre.

The event was organised by the family of Iain Auld, well-known and kenspeckle man about town who sadly died from dementia at the end of May last year.

I was contacted last week by Sue Pagan, Alzheimer Scotland’s Oban dementia adviser, who said: ‘ The final sum from the recent fundraiser held for Alzheimer Scotland  in memory of Oban golf professional Iain Auld came to £2633.41.

‘This is a wonderful donation, and we are very grateful to Joan, Iain’s wife, and her friends worked very hard to raise this and it is a fitting tribute to her husband.’

Incidentally, I was touched to be told by a mutual friend, Jim McLeish, that Joan and the family were delighted with the coverage in The Oban Times.

If only it were not necessary.

Happy birthday

The Oban Times featured a great front page picture four years ago of another kenspeckle figure from the town, Murdo MacLean, who is also a friend of mine.

The reason for the photo? Murdo had just turned ’18’ – actually 72 – but being a leap year baby he had supposedly just had his first legal pint in Aulay’s pub.

So it was that I toasted his ’19th’ a couple of weeks ago. Happy birthday, young Murdo.

Welcome back

Talking of pubs in town, I am pleased to report the reopening of the Whisky Vaults in Tweeddale Street after its winter hiatus.

Proprietor John McLachlan and his partner Helen have been roughing it for a month or so in Florida (and elsewhere) but have returned to Oban and the business formerly known as the Woodside and the Rockport Hotel.

He has, too, very interesting ideas to further develop his enterprise, and I will provide a suitable update when able to do so.

What do you think?

Write to me at or The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4HB, or call 01631 568021.