Tiree Association Gathering

The third Thursday and Friday of November – the 15th and 16th – marked the 118th Gathering of the Tiree Association.

The concert – held at Partick Burgh Hall on the 15th and once again a Facebook Live Event – attracted some 120 people and proved to be an extremely successful evening. Following the remarks of our President, Margaret MacKinnon, John Campbell treated us to a selection of pipe tunes before our chairperson, Ian Gillies, delighted with his array of jokes and regaled the audience with tales of his early days on Tiree – we’re waiting for a new column in An Tirisdeach now: ‘Ian’s Anecdotes’.

He reminded us of the journey leading to the choosing of the Tiree Flag and the Association was proud to have an example of same – a gift from the Flag Committee – displayed in the hall.

As Ian introduced our artistes we were reminded of the sheer talent and range of achievements of each and every one. The concert kicked off with a rousing set from Martainn Skene on accordion and the tapping feet of the audience bore witness to their sheer enjoyment of the tunes. Alasdair Currie followed, much to the delight of the audience, with ‘Mo Mhathair’ and ‘Oran Mhanitoba’. Josie Duncan added to the relaxed ambience, inviting those present to join her in the chorus of ‘Ain’t No Ash’. Accompanist Kirsteen Grant provided stellar support to the singers – an accomplishment which was even more impressive as she’d had minimum notice of her appearance. Kathryn Callendar, who usually provides accompaniment, had to withdraw due to injury. (We wish Kathryn a full and speedy recovery).

After the inimitable James Graham completed the first half with a beautiful rendition of ‘Clachan Mo Ghaoil’ we moved to the interval.

Interval at the Tiree Association Concert would not be complete without Susan’s delicious dumpling and seriously tasty shortbread – for both we say Moran Taing!

During the second half Kirsteen led us all in a rousing sing a long before we were again treated to more from our artistes. After John’s vote of thanks the raffle was drawn; and a Grand raffle it was indeed! (Many thanks to Josie for her kind comments!) the committee would like to thank all those who so generously donated to the raffle – the list too long to itemise here.

The evening ended with a rendition of ‘Oidhche Mhath Leibh’ from all the singers accompanied by an enthusiastic audience.

A sincere thanks to all those who helped in preparation, on the night and by attending; thus making for a thoroughly enjoyable, uplifting evening.

Strictly Ceilidh Dancing

So, if Thursday was the concert then Friday must have been the dance!

Glasgow University Union was the venue and, from 9pm onwards, Dun Mor Ceilidh Band kept things jumping! An enthusiastic crowd immediately showed their love of the dance – any dance – and, as the evening progressed, eventually, a veritable tsunami of dancers was descending on the floor: the average age plummeted and, as these young folk birled around the floor, their sheer energy and enjoyment shone through: “..the piper loud and louder blew, the dancers quick and quicker flew.” To have their support – FANTASTIC! The committee would like to thank the band – who were magnificent – and all those who attended.

It was great to see so many over from Tiree to enjoy the concert, the dance, and more … As we head into the final month of 2018 we’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

And, as we head into 2019 – anyone fancy a Burns Supper? I can thoroughly recommend T.A. Burns Supper, Ralston Community Hall, Saturday 26th January. A three course meal, a toast to Burns and some superb entertainment – all for £15? You can’t go wrong! Hope to see some of you there.

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