Sunday February 3rd. 2013 Charity registration No. SC002876   Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Main Menu Burns Supper makes £1,000 - despite many cancellations because of the winter virus Some days before the Burns Supper last , it was obvious that the ticket sales were being affected by the awful  winter virus that swept through Lochaber. Two  hundred and forty children were absent from Lochaber High School on one day, and the primary schools were equally affected. The number in the hall was down to just over hundred guests,  but what was most worrying of all was the number of artists who  had to cancel even on the day of the Supper. The programme for the evening was in the capable hands of Deirdre Beck, and as the time drew near none of the artists whom she had invited, and who were delighted to be asked, were unable to come because of the virus. However, the evening went ahead and turned out to be a great success. Father Tom welcomed everyone and started off the evening with his traditional humorous poem. The haggis was piped in by Dougie Beck and carried by Sandy MacKintosh  and  presented to Joe Wilson who addressed it magnificently in true Ayrshire style, and with great relish, plunged the knife into it. In a very short time, each guest tucked into a very full plate  of haggis, neeps and tatties, served by a great team who take pride in assuring that everyone is served within an incredibly short time. Raffle The raffle was magnificent, and great fun,  because of the generosity of our parishioners and friends who contributed some beautiful prizes. It brought in £330! Entertainment Deirdre Beck arranged the entertainment several weeks before the Burns Supper, and it promised to be a great evening of music and song. One after another the artists phoned to say they were too unwell to come, and the Strathspey and Reel Society had to call off at the last minute for the same reason. Deirdre’s own very popular group of fiddlers and accordionists, were all absent from school during the week, and also were unable to come. David Sutherland very kindly agreed to sing some Burns songs, accompanying himself very professionally on the guitar, and received a  great applause. Deirdre played some very popular highland marches and strathspey and reels on the violin, and was joined by her brother  Ian Joseph, on the accordion (who also was affected by the virus). I am very grateful to Deirdre for acting as fair-an taigh for the evening and she did a splendid job! After the tables were cleared away, the guests danced the night away to Jim MacKenzie’s band. Despite our initial worries, next day everyone said how much they enjoyed the evening, and very much appreciated  the difficulties that presented themselves. January is always a vulnerable time of the year with the uncertainty of the weather and the risk of winter viruses. However, it has not altered our resolve to book the hall early for our next Burns Supper in January 2014! My final and very sincere thanks is to our social committee who arranged the evening, and to everyone who came along to prepare the hall and help on the night of the Burns Supper, and clear up the following morning. May God bless you all for the work you do for the parish, and for the magnificent sum that was raised far beyond our expectations! The £1,000 includes all expenses paid! Don’t forget today to pick up a 100 Club envelope at the back of the Church to renew your yearly subscription. My sincere thanks to those who have already paid their subscription.  Ishbel has now banked over £800 in the 100 Club account, so we are already halfway to our usual annual total. Our catechists, Marie-Ann Wardlaw and Catrina MacDonald  have asked to have the First Communions of the children on the last Sunday of February, which is the second Sunday of Lent, February 24th. Usually, we try to have the First Communions in June, as near to the feast of the Body of Christ as we can, but the children are now ready and it would hold up the preparation of the next group of children to be prepared if it was delayed. All the parents have been notified, and I will personally be in touch with them during this coming week. It is always an important day in the life of the parish as the children progress in their knowledge and love of God until the great moment when they can receive Our Lord in holy communion, the sacrament of his love. We rely so much on the parents to follow up all the good work done by the catechists to ensure that their children attend Mass regularly each Sunday and receive holy communion. It is very sad when parents fail in their duty to their children by not being an example to them by their own personal faith and love of the Mass. Consequently all the hard work of the catechists, who devoted so much of their own time to instruct the children, is lost by the  lack of care for the spiritual well-being of their children.  Don’t let them down! Page 5