Mod crowns its first-ever transatlanic bard

AN international dimension was brought to this year’s Royal National Mod in Stornoway as the distinguished “Bardic Crown” was presented to Canadian Lewis MacKinnon, with the award crossing the Atlantic for the first time.

Mr MacKinnon, a published poet and teacher, made the journey to Stornoway yesterday to be presented with the ceremonial robes and crown at a special event in the town centre.

The Gaelic version of the poet laureate is a major part of the Mod celebrations and is traditionally handed out during the literature events.

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John MacLeod, president of Mod organisers An Comunn Gaidhealach, said: “We’re delighted to bestow this prestigious honour on Lewis MacKinnon. While the distance between this year’s Mod in the ‘heartland of Gaelic’ and his home in Nova Scotia is considerable, it is really just a short step in linguistic terms across the wide ocean that separates us and we hope that our event will continue to reinforce these close links.

“In the words of the Canadian boat song: ‘Mountains divide us and the waste of the sea, yet the blood is still strong.’”

The newly crowned bard of the Gaelic world was born in Cape Breton, the district where Gaels first landed after emigrating from the Highlands. He has written a book of poetry in the Nova Scotian dialect and is a Gaelic teacher.

He said: “Acknowledging the importance the bard plays in events like the Mod I accept reticently this role and I hope that in some way I may, through my work, reflect Gaelic Nova Scotia and how it is today, profoundly aware that it has its origins, the words, the actions and historical events of the peoples of Gaelic Scotland.”

By coincidence, there was also a choir from Vancouver competing at this year’s Mod.

An Comunn chief executive John Morrison said: “The ties between Gaels in Scotland and Canada have always been strong and we’re delighted that a Canadian Gael will receive the honour of being crowned bard at the Royal National Mod.

“Lewis MacKinnon’s contribution to the Gaelic language, music and literature is exceptional and makes him a worthy recipient of this great honour. We look forward to working with Lewis over the years to come and wish him well in his new role.”

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Meanwhile, An Comunn chiefs breathed a sigh of relief as the stormy weather – which threatened to put a dampener on proceedings earlier in the week – eased off to make travel arrangements more straightforward.

While Tuesday’s sailing from Ullapool to Stornoway was cancelled – with passengers diverted through Skye and Harris – the normal timetable resumed yesterday.



Poetry Recitation (13-15) 1. Ally Weir, Ard-sgoil Lochabair; 2. Sharyn Ferguson, Sgoil a’ Bhac; 3. Eoghann Peutan, Tain Royal Academy. Prose Reading (13-15) 1. Eoghann Peutan, Tain Royal Academy; 2. Tearlach Barden, Sgoil Mhic Neacail; 3. Kirsty MacLeod, Tain Royal Academy. (under 13) 1. Catriona Bain, Coisir Og a’ Bhac; 2. Eilidh Reid, Sgoil Bhreascleit; 3. Isla NicLeoid, Bun-sgoil Stafinn. Conversation (16-18) 1. Meg Buchanan, Sgoil Ghaidhlig Ghlaschu; 2. Katrina MacLean, Comunn Gaidhealach Mhuile. (13-15) 1. Isabelle Bain, Sgoil Mhic Neacail; 2. Moreen MacLennan, Sir E Scott School; 3. Peigi Ann Scott, Sgoil Mhic Neacail. Storytelling (13-15) 1. Amanda Nicolson, Sgoil Mhic Neacail; 2. Isabelle Bain, Sgoil Mhic Neacail; 3. Ally Weir, Ard-sgoil Lochabair. Bible Reading (13-15) 1. Isabelle Bain, Sgoil Mhic Neacail; 2. Alison MacInnes, Sgoil Mhic Neacail; 3. Sharyn Ferguson, Sgoil a’ Bhac. Folk Tale (13-15) 1. Sorcha Nic an t-Saoir, Dun Eideann; 2nd equal. Sharyn Ferguson, Sgoil a’ Bhac and Peigi Ann Scott, Sgoil Mhic Neacail.


Two-part Harmony Mrs Ann Grant of Laggan Memorial Trophy (under 13) 1. Coisir Bun-sgoil Crois na Cise; 2. Coisir Og a’ Bhac; 3. Sir E Scott School. Traditional: Hugh and Rachel Morrison Taylor Trophy (Girls 16-18) 1. Steaphanaidh Chaimbeul, An t-Eilean Sgitheanach; 2. Kim MacDonald, Sgoil Mhic Neacail; 3. Jayne Morrison, Sir E Scott School. Neil MacLaine Cameron Memorial Trophy (Boys 16-18) 1. Ruairidh MacCarmaig, Ard-sgoil Phort Righ; 2. Alan M MacDonald, Isle of Benbecula; 3. Aonghas MacNeacail, Sgoil Mhic Neacail. (Girls 13-15) 1. Isabelle Bain, Sgoil Mhic Neacail; 2. Mairi MacLennan, Sgoil a’ Bhac; 3. Eilidh NicCarmaig, Ard-sgoil Phort Righ. (Boys 13-15) 1. Eoghann Peutan, Tain Royal Academy; 2. Eoghan MacDonald, Sgoil Lionacleit; 3. Sìm MacDhòmhnaill, Ard-sgoil Sheumais Ghilleasbaig. (Girls under 13) 1. Lauren Marie Matheson, Bun-sgoil Bharabhais; 2. Eilidh Jenkins, Sgoil Ghaidhlig Ghlaschu; 3. (equal) Claire Frances NicNill, Sgoil Bhagh a’ Chaisteil, and Hannah C MacLeod, Sgoil a’ Bhac. (Boys under 13) 1. Donald Barker, Bun-sgoil Ghaidhlig Inbhir Nis; 2. Domhnaill Lachlann Peutan, Bun-sgoil Cnoc na Creige; 3. Duncan MacLeod, Bun-sgoil Cnoc na Creige. TSB Scotland Shield - Donald Barker, Bun-sgoil Ghaidhlig Inbhir Nis.


Precenting a Psalm Allan C. MacLeod Memorial Trophy (Under 19) 1. Angus Nicolson, Sgoil Mhic Neacail; 2. Annabel MacLennan, Sgoil Mhic Neacail; 3. Isabelle Bain, Sgoil Mhic Neacail.


(16-18) 1. Jayne Morrison & Catherine MacLeod, Sir E Scott School; 2. Annabel MacLennan & Mairi MacLennan, Sgire a’ Bhac; 3. Angela Smith & Kayanna Morrison, Eilean Leodhais. (13-15) 1. Moreen MacLennan & Caitlin Mulhern, Sir E Scott School; 2. Kathryn MacAskill & Millie Kirkwood, Rionnagan Rois; 3. George Costford & Jordan Gibson, Falkirk Junior Gaelic Choir. (under 13) 1. Donald Barker & Peigi Barker, Bun-sgoil Ghaidhlig Inbhir Nis; 2nd (equal). Tuesday Rose McDonagh & Cliona McCabe, Bun-sgoil Crois na Cise, and Duncan Carmichael & Mikaela Carmichael, Bun-sgoil Crois na Cise.



Kennedy-Fraser Cup 1. Alison Campbell, Erskine; 2. Anne Bennet, Dundee; 3. Jackie Cotter, Edinburgh. Sarah Weir Trophy 1. Catriona Lang, Stirling; 2. Anne Bennet, Dundee; 3. Fiona Ross, Glasgow. Learners Katie Stewart Memorial Trophy (men) 1. Iain MacPherson, Campbeltown; 2. Iain Gordon, Nairn; 3. Fergus Muir, Islay; 4. Lawrence Butler Perks, Aberdeen. Fluent Caledonian MacBrayne Trophy (men) 1. Niall Caimbeul, Benbecula; 2. Seumas Mac an t-sagairt, Eilean Leodhais; 3. Calum MacLeoid, Dun Eideann; 4. Michael MacAoidh, USA. Learners Margot Campbell Trophy (women) 1. Raonaid M J Deans, Cumbernauld; 2. Donna Dugdale, Tobermory; 3. Wendy MacKay, Sutherland; 4. Jennifer Campbell, Glasgow. Fluent Mary C. MacNiven Memorial Salver (women) 1. Catriona Watt, Glasgow; 2. Alison G NicRath, Eilean Leodhais; 3. Gillian MacDonald, Perthshire; 4th equal. Sandy NicDhomhnaill Jones, Uibhist a Deas, Ceitidh Smith, Kyle of Lochalsh, Alison NicAnnain, Glasgow. John MacArthur Memorial Trophy - Niall Caimbeul, Benbecula. Fluent “Oban Times” Gold Medal (men and women) 1. Alison NicAnnain, Glasgow. Puirt-a-Beul Duncan Johnston Memorial Trophy 1. Nicola Pearson, Angus; 2. Sandy NicDhomhnaill Jones, Uibhist a Deas; 3. Rudy Ramsey, Colorado. Traditional George Clavey Memorial Quaich (learners) 1. Stuart A Jackson, Morvern; 2. Margaret Aksu, United Arab Emirates; 3. Raonaid M J Deans, Cumbernauld. Lochewe Branch Cup (Former Prizewinners, Local Mods) 1. Linn Phipps, Isle of Lewis; 2. Ainsley Hamill , Cardross; 3rd equal. Stuart A Jackson, Morvern, Emma A C Deans, Lanarkshire. Skye or Sutherland Song John D. Gillies Memorial Trophy 1. Emma A C Deans, Lanarkshire; 2. Anne Bennet, Dundee; 3. Fiona Ross, Glasgow.


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Solos (Junior) Florence Wilson Trophy (Elementary) 1. Ceitidh McLuskey, Bun-sgoil Crois na Cise; 2. Cameron MacDonald, Bun-sgoil Crois na Cise; 3. Morag Morrison, Bun-sgoil Crois na Cise. Lawrence MacDuff Cup (Intermediate 2) 1. Sean MacPherson, Ard-sgoil Sheumais Ghilleasbaig; 2. Corina MacInnes, Sir E Scott School; 3. Sophie Darbyshire, Boroughmuir High School. Duncan Chisholm Trophy (Advanced) 1. Mairi Louise NicDhomhnaill, Ard-sgoil Phort Righ.Solos (Senior) Accompanying of a Singer Jean C. Campbell Memorial Trophy 1. Rosemary Graham & John MacDonald, Isle of Lewis. Duets Comunn na Clarsaich Cup (13-19) 1. Eilidh Morrison & Elizabeth Anderson, Sgoil Mhic Neacail; 2. Broderick Sime Scott & Sim MacDhomhnaill, Ard-sgoil Sheumais Ghilleasbaig.

Wirestring Clarsach (Duo)

Voice and Clarsach Comunn na Clarsaich, Edinburgh Branch, Trophy 1. Rosemary Graha