From the left, games chieftain, Angus Baillie, his wife, Mary, and committee chairman, Hugh Morrison.



Am Bratach No. 238
August 2011


Durness Highland Gathering 2011

Last week’s Durness Games may not have been blessed with the fairest weather — it was decidedly cool, though dry — but a fine crowd turned up and gave every appearance of enjoying themselves as athletes from far and near gave excellent displays of their prowess and a number of records fell.

In introducing the 2011 chieftain Angus Baillie, games chairman Hugh Morrison paid tribute to the work of Iris Mackay, last year’s chieftain and a former chairman, who died in November. He said: “Iris was a lady who devoted over forty years of her life to the Highland gathering, eighteen of them as the chairperson, until last year, when she was given the honour of chieftain. Despite not being in the best of health, she carried out her duties with dignity.” He said she would be badly missed around the games arena, but was pleased that her husband, Donnie, was present and had joined the platform party.

It was a great honour and privilege to be chieftain and anyone with Durness connections should be very proud, said Angus Baillie, a son of the parish, who lives part-time in Formby, near Liverpool, and part-time in Durness. “Going back forty years,” he recalled, “I was speaking to Dickie Mackay, and he said to me, ‘We’re having a meeting and planning to start up the Highland games again — so you’ll be there’. I replied, ‘I haven’t a clue about running Highland games’. Dickie looked at me and said, ‘You’ll learn’. So I went and I joined the committee.” “As some of you will know, I left Durness thirty years ago, but my heart is here — it always will be home.”

Results were not to hand when we went to press, but there are more photos on pages 7 and 27, and on our website.

For more photos, click here

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