Tiree Welcomes ‘The Homecomers’
After years of discussions and hard work by the dedicated committee, ‘A’ Bhuain’ – The Tiree Homecoming is finally here!
Tiree is awash with flags situated throughout the island to welcome the homecomers, some who have come from as far as New Zealand. The event (which will only be half way through the week of activities by the time we go to print) was kicked off on Sunday, when The Church of Scotland and the Baptist Church came together to hold a joint church service in Heylipol, which was very well attended. The picture above gives you a good idea of the amount of people who have come from all over the world to enjoy the festivities which are on offer and also includes a host of locals who get to take advantage of the excellent programme of events that has been organised.
A’ Bhuain was officially opened on Monday, when the registration of over 200 people took place in the morning, attendees where then treated to a lovely lunch prepared by The Scarinish Hotel. Chairman of the A’ Bhuain committee, Doctor John Holliday welcomed all to An Talla and commented on how wonderful it was to see so many people ‘come home’ for this event. He joked that in order to combat Tiree’s declining population, visiting attendees to the island were not only registering for the week of activities, but also registering to immigrate back to Tiree – wouldn’t that be nice! People have travelled from all over the world to atten A’ Bhuain, 35 from Canada, 6 from New Zealand, 1 from Australia, 2 from The U.S.A, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium and France, 18 from England, 1 from the isle of Man, 60 from mainland Scotland and of course all of the Tiree locals.
Gordon Connell continued to entertain the crowd with stories and memories and we heard music from the wonderfully talented school pupils including the choir, which was lovely to hear. Monday was a hive of activity, that also included the official launch of ‘Tiree Whisky Company’ and gave everyone the opportunity to get their hands on the first bottling from this venture between two Tiree locals, Ian Smith and Alain Campbell. Both boys conducted an interesting talk on the history of Tiree whisky and gave an insight into the making of ‘The Cairnsmuir’. In the evening we were also treated to a very interesting talk by Professor Donald Meek, ‘Between Island and Memory’, who gave us an overview of his life growing up on Tiree, treated us to a poem or two and also some songs sung by Ethal MacCallum and Gordon Scott. And that was only day one!
The rest of the weeks programme includes, talks, home ceilidhs, an island tour, a bird walk, croft visits, The Napier Play, a Skipinnish concert and rounding off the week with a big Ho Rò Gheallaidh concert and dance organised by An Comunn Tirisdeach – The Tiree Association. Each day a local community group is preparing and putting on lunches, for all to enjoy. An Tirisdeach would like to congratulate the A’ Bhuain committee and all who have been involved in putting on this event. With plenty of things to do and get involved in, we will be reporting back on all of the activity in the next edition of An Tirisdeach! To all of the homecomers, we would like to welcome you to Tiree and hope you enjoy your visit!
Keep up to date with all of the weeks activity and have a look at some of the photos by visiting www.tireehomecoming.com