look back 2020 – May to August

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May

Scotland’s top golfer Bob MacIntyre and COVID-19 survivor James Scott hit the first tee shot at Glencruitten since the course went into lockdown.

The 2019 European Tour Rookie of the Year joined 63-year-old Mr Scott  to officially reopen the course on May 29.

Mr Scott, whose mum Jessie died from coronavirus – had just launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £15,000 towards a special infection control room at Lorn and The Islands Hospital.

The granddad, whose been a member of Glencruitten Golf Club for eight years,  spent 38 days in hospital himself because of the virus and was put in an induced coma for more than two weeks.

James Scott COVID-19 survivor was given the honour of restarting golf at Glencruitten with Oban pro Bob MacIntyre Oban. Photo by Kevin McGlynn

Obanvision winner Lachie D’Arcy had double reason to celebrate when he was reunited with his dad after 11 weeks apart,

Obanvision’s first winner is nine-year-old Lachie D’Arcy.

The all-singing and dancing nine-year-old whose cover of Uptown Funk won the most hearts and votes during the town’s Facebook alternative to COVID-cancelled Eurovision, was over the moon to see the return of his dad who had been working away in India as a  commercial diver but managed to get back  just in time to watch Lachie’s performance online from a safe social distance at a neighbour’s house where he had to self-isolate for two weeks.

 

June

About 200 people lined the seafront at Oban  sending out a message of love and equality to all.

Georgie Stones and friends James MacIntyre and Issy Thomson organised a silent show of solidarity along the esplanade after feeling ‘fed-up and unhappy with the world.’

They spread word of their solidarity event online with Black Lives Matter Oban and other  groups and were overwhelmed by the number of people who turned up with banners to  show support for people who have to fight for equal rights.

The socially-distanced line  stretched all the way from Station Square past the Columba Hotel.

Black Lives Matter Oban show of solidarity in town earlier this year.
Picture by Kieron Green.

 

A summer solstice Facebook party live-streamed from a secret location above Oban plugged into more than 4,500 hits.

DJ Mark Gowdie and best friend Neil Gillies carried a generator and a pile of gear up to the view point at Lonan Woods to stream a two-and-a-half-hour club and dance session on midsummer night.

DJ Mark Gowdie live-streaming his Summer Solstice isolation for a dance Nation session from Lonan Woods viewpoint.

July

A charity giving bereaved families a break moved a step closer to getting keys to its first respite caravan.

Thanks to well wishers and funds raised, Anam Cara Fasgadh was able to make its first visit to the luxury caravan at Tralee Bay Holiday Park near Oban.

The charity’s Michael McGuire said there was already a waiting list of child-loss families  desperately needing the safe haven that took just 14 months of fundraising to make possible.

Anam Cara Fasgadh’s founding Simpson and McGuire families at the respite caravan at Tralee Bay.

Crowds braved torrential rain to pay their  final respects to retired firefighter Brian MacDonald today.

Six firemen in ceremonial tunics formed a guard of honour at St Columba’s Cathedral as mourners of all ages gathered with umbrellas along the esplanade to say their last farewell to the popular 43-year-old who was diagnosed with muscle-wasting Motor Neurone Disease and passed away on July 15.

Among them were a lone piper, other uniformed colleagues and friends as well as police and ambulance attending in tribute.

 

Guard of honour outside St Columba’s Cathedral, Oban, for Brian MacDonald.

August

An online video mourning the suspicious disappearance of Tom the Golden Eagle from Argyll was viewed by thousands of people.

Tom, who hatched in Argyllshire and was just eight weeks old when he was tagged as part of a project to monitor his travellings, had made it to Mull in his short life but decided not to stay.

His last known location before his tag ‘failed catastrophically’ was in Strathbraan in Perthshire, an area where two other tagged young golden eagles have vanished previously and a spot ‘infamous’ for its raptor persecution, according to TV wildlife presenter Chris Packham.

Tom the Golden Eagle who hatched in Argyll. Photo: RPUK
Photo: RPUK

Meanwhile in Oban, a prowling puma-like animal was spotted on a hill near houses.

There were several claimed sightings of the cat-type creature said to be about six- foot long from nose to tail and ‘easily the height of an Alsation.’

Alan Turner contacted The Oban Times to say he had seen it twice while waiting for a bus round the corner from McKelvie Road.

Alan Turner claimed he had twice spotted the puma-like creature