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Nessie's Loch Ness Times

The Friendliest NewsPaper on the WWW

Established December 3rd, 1996
         Saturday 29th January 2000
Issue No164

Cruise Ship May Host Mod Visitors

Competitors and visitors to the 2001 Royal National Mod in the Western Isles may be accommodated in a cruise ship in Stornoway.

Plans are well in hand to take the cruise ship Midnatsol, which can accommodate 550 passengers, to Stornoway to alleviate the accommodation problem. Mainland choirs had threatened to boycott the Western Isles Mod in 2001 because of the lack of accommodation. The convener of the Western Isles Mod 2001 publicity and promotion committee, Murdo Morrison, returned recently from London, having had discussions with cruise operators at the World Travel Market. He said: "The main barrier is the cost of hiring a cruise ship and we would have to ensure that it was utilised fully, perhaps stopping at various destinations before heading for Stornoway." The ship, which has 325 berths, 40 car spaces and travels at a speed of 18 knots, looks a promising proposition. Mr Morrison accepted that the cruise ship idea had been discussed for the last Western Isles Mod, although the plan had been dropped at the time. "We are much more optimistic this time because we have a cruise ship in mind that can tie up at Stornoway Harbour. When I met the cruise operators in London, we took things a step forward and I will be giving more detailed proposals to the 2001 Mod Committee at their next meeting," said Mr Morrison. He added: "The tourist board is confident that there will be accommodation for everyone."

World's Newest Whisky

The last new whisky of the Millennium was launched in the North of Scotland where it was produced. At the close of last year the Highland and Moray Firth areas had first chance to buy The Talisman before stocks of the new style dram crossed the channel. The Talisman - which is produced for sale by J & W Hardie, the marketing arm of The Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd - takes its name from the novel by Sir Walter Scott, who wrote The Antiquary, after which a deluxe malt whisky is produced by J & W Hardie. The Talisman is a blend of whiskies from more than 25 Scottish distilleries, with the youngest being five years old, and the heart of the blend is selected eight year old malts, the complete blend being carefully crafted at Tomatin Distillery, near Inverness.

South Kessock Award

The South Kessock area of Inverness beat off competition from the rest of Scotland to take an important urban award. The Scottish Urban regeneration Forum (Surf) searched the country for the best evidence of good practice through partnership. It members have awarded first prize to the South Kessock Community Safety Project. The award was presented at the Surf's first annual conference held at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh recently. It was given to the project or initiative that demonstrated best practice in joint working between various sectors, agencies, professions and organisations with an interest in an area aiding to its regeneration. The competition for South Kessock included a project in the south side of Glasgow, an area housing initiative and a sports trust venture from Easterhouse. Deputy Minister for Local Government Frank McAveety presented the award to members of the management committee and the staff of the project who described it as a major boost not only to the area but also to all those who have contributed to its success.

Power to the People

The 14 residents of the Inner Hebridean island of Canna got switched on recently - with their first ever centralised electricity supply. And the cost of providing the islanders with a power generating system works out at around 35,000 per person. The National Trust for Scotland's 13 properties on Canna, and the island's tiny school have had to rely until recently on individual diesel generators to run their electrical appliances, heating and lighting. However the trust is currently working on a supply scheme which will power the whole island and neighbouring Sanday, to which Canna is linked by a causeway. A trust spokesman commenting on the introduction of the "full-time twenty four hour a day electricity", said: "The new supply will mean that residents can operate more than one appliance at a time, with the power being available all day, every day."

Princess Praises Gairloch Schools

Gairloch High School recently received a letter from the Princess Royal's lady in waiting, telling of the Royal visitor's delight with the small Highland secondary school and the adjoining primary school during her recent visit. The letter stated: "Her Royal Highness was extremely impressed by the school, particularly by your excellent facilities and the wide range of subjects and skills on offer, which must be the envy of most communities in Scotland - even those in the most accessible and affluent areas." The writer said that the Princess had commented particularly on the "immaculate behaviour" of the children in both the primary and secondary schools. She had also asked for her thanks to be passed on to the high school's home economics department for a "delicious luncheon". She said the Princess had also commended the school choir for its beautiful singing and the presentation CD featuring the choir "which will always remind her of a very special two hours spent in Gairloch".

Gaelic on the 'Net

The first global Gaelic learning service has been launched on the worldwide web. "Let's Try a Little Gaelic" is aimed at first time learners. It has been set up by a Ross-Shire company InternetRadio Ltd and is presented by Eileen MacKenzie from Dingwall. Eileen who is not a native Gaelic speaker said: "I feel the experiences I had while learning the language are an asset when presenting the programmes. Our research shows that Scots living outside the traditional Gaelic broadcasting area are keen to hear the spoken word. This is specially true of primary children who are unable to attend a Gaelic medium school."

Clan Rallying Call

A call has gone out for more Highland residents who bear the surname Cameron, to join their clan association in a bid to breathe fresh life into it for the new century. New office bearers and council members have been elected and a newsletter and a series of events have been introduced. More members are needed to make it a success and the association is urging Camerons in the Highlands and other parts of Scotland to join to make it a viable force. The organisers are hoping that when clan members from Canada, America, New Zealand and Australia arrive for the gathering at Achnacarry, Lochaber in August 2001, there will also be a large Scottish contingent. The Cameron clan has several septs, including Chalmers, Chambers, Clark, Gibson and Taylor. "It has been said that a nation that forgets its past is dead and this could also happen to clans," states association president, David Cameron, in an invitation to potential members. "They enrich the heritage and life in Scotland - and the Clan Cameron Association seeks your active support."

Charity Event

Children from Merkinch Community Centre in Inverness recently created a colourful wall hanging to raise cash for the Leonard Cheshire Home in Butiru, Uganda. Day services at Leonard Cheshire Highland at Ness Walk, Inverness, decided to raise funds to replace the Ugandans' solar heating panels and roof on the pig sties, destroyed in storms last year. As part of this project Angela Wilkinson, youth co-ordinator from the volunteer centre, Inverness, arranged for a group of children from Merkinch Community Centre to make the wall hanging to raise money for the fund.

Political Roundup

Music to SNP's Ears

A CD, which features the vocal talents of a number of prominent SNP members, hit the shelves just before Christmas - despite some less than flattering reviews of politicians voices. The album, A New Sang - 12 songs for Scottish Independence, features traditional music sung by some of the party's leading MSPs. Musicians such as Karen Mathieson of Capercallie and former Runrig member Pete Wishart have lent a hand in producing the album which is hoped to raise funds for the party. Music critics and opponents to the party have already had their say over the CD. The general message to the participating party members seemed to be: "Don't give up the day job".

Highland Weather Forecast

Saturday Afternoon
Some rain in the West a.m. Bright in the East. Locally heavy rain later. Wind light to moderate South Easterly. Temperature 12c to 16c.
Saturday Night
Locally heavy rain. Misty. Winds moderate to strong Easterly. Temperature 8c to 12c.
Bands of showers across the region. Bright with sunny spells. Moderate North Westerly winds. Fairly mild.
Mainly dry. Fairly cloudy with limited sunshine. Light Southerly breeze. Mild temperatures.

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This is Caledonia ( Caley for short ) A Ness-Scape family member and mascot. She is a White German Shepherd. Caley has decided to take over the editing of Nessie's Loch Ness Times, and she's sure she'll make a good job of it. What do you think?

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