Storytelling, drama and poetry as contests start at Mod

Maoilios Chaimbeul, winner of the children's book award, with granddaughter Eubha, who came second in the C46A award 11-12 years on as the Royal National Mod marked 'Literature Day
Maoilios Chaimbeul, winner of the children's book award, with granddaughter Eubha, who came second in the C46A award 11-12 years on as the Royal National Mod marked 'Literature Day
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Literature Day at the Royal National Mòd in Lochaber yesterday saw the start of the adult competitions in drama, poetry and storytelling.

Singing was also taking place in venues across the area, with the coveted Gold Medal and Silver Pendant finals being presented in the Nevis Centre.

In both the Silver Pendant and Gold Medal finals, competitors are required to sing two songs, one prescribed and one of their own choosing. In the prestigious Gold Medal finals in Stornoway last year, Carol Maclean picked up the ladies’ award, while Eachann MacEachairn won the in the men’s category.

Also to be awarded yesterday were prizes for the drama final, and the Gaelic Learner of the Year award.

Last year’s award was presented by HRH Prince Charles, The Lord of The Isles, to 30-year-old winner Carmine Colajezzi, from Italy. Sponsored by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society for Scotland, the award acknowledges a Gaelic learner who has made significant steps to becoming fluent.

This year, the prize was awarded to Ross Christie, and presented by Kenneth Matheson, area director of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland for the Highlands.

Mr Christie started learning Gaelic just last year, and continues his studies now at Sabhal Mòr, Skye’s Gaelic higher education college.

Tuesday saw the first ever Charlie MacColl award being presented to the overall winner of the girls and boys traditional competition, for ages 16 to 18. The trophy was presented by his wife, Mairi, and son Calum, who yesterday ­competed in the Traditional Singing Competitions. Fringe events also took place yesterday, with Dr Hugh Dan MacLennan reflecting on his background growing up in Caol, in his talk From Lochaber to the National Library of Scotland.

John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said yesterday: “The Gaelic Learner of the Year Award is a fantastic recognition, and Ross Christie is a deserving winner.

“Two of the most prestigious awards at the Royal National Mòd take place this afternoon, and the standard of entries this year is high, so we know there will be some fantastic performances.”

Mr Matheson said: “As an charity with a remit to champion Scottish culture and well as farming, food and rural life we are proud to be associated with the Royal National Mòd and congratulate Ross on his achievement.”