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News - Current
(please see news archive pages for news prior to 2023)

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King's letter to Brora's Party in the Park - May 2024

Following on from Brora's Party in the Park earlier this month, on Friday Deputy Lieutenant Dawn McKenzie presented the letter that His Majesty King Charles III had sent to the organisers. Dawn had read out the letter at the opening of the Party in the Park at Fascally on May 6th. The King's letter read: "Please convey my heartfelt thanks to the members of the Brora Coronation Party in the Park Committee for their loyal greetings sent on the occasion of the anniversary of the Coronation, which is being celebrated today. I much appreciate your thoughtfulness in writing as you did and value your continued support. In return, I send my warmest good wishes to all those who are present in Fascally Park for a memorable and enjoyable gathering."


The photo shows Nick Lindsay of Clyne Heritage which hosted the party, Dawn McKenzie DL, and Alistair Risk of the Rotary Club of East Sutherland, which organised the party.

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King's portrait presented to the Bradbury Centre - May 2024

On 23 May Deputy Lieutenant Christine Mackay was invited to hand over the portrait of His Majesty King Charles III to the Bradbury Centre in Bonar Bridge. The portrait was presented to the centre at the start of their monthly Christian Service. The photograph shows Christine with Elizabeth Ross, Assistant Manager at the centre.


These portraits are made available for public buildings through the Governments and are available on request via Highland Council or the Lieutenancy.

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Visit of the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh - May 2024

The sun was shining as Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh visited Golspie on Monday 20 May. 


The visit began with the Lord-Lieutenant and Mrs Marriott, the latter as co-ordinator of the Golspie Flood Action Group and Chair of Golspie Community Council, welcoming the Duke and Duchess, who then met members of the Sutherland Schools Pipe Band and the Sutherland Caledonian Pipe Band, who played during the visit.


The Duke and Duchess then toured the seafront and harbour area of the village where the effects of flooding are clearly visible. They met members of the Golspie Flood Action Group, local residents, fishermen, environmentalists, those who use the sea for recreation and representatives of businesses affected by the flooding. 


Pupils from Golspie Primary School and Veterans met and talked with the Duke and Duchess at the Memorial Garden where the Duchess was presented with a posy of flowers and the couple then went on to visit an outdoor display of flooding events put together by members of Golspie Heritage Society. At the end of the visit the Duke and Duchess were presented with gifts by local businesses: locally produced chocolate, locally roasted coffee and a specially made tartan scarf.


The aim of the visit was “to focus on the effects of climate change, meeting the local Flood Protection Group and local residents”. Climate change, in particular the effects of flooding and erosion, and how these are now directly affecting local people, was the core of the visit. That said, their Royal Highnesses were delighted to have the opportunity to meet and see something of Golspie and its people too.

With grateful thanks to all those involved in planning, supporting and attending today's visit.

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Inverness Military Wives Choir at Ardgay - May 2024

The Lord-Lieutenant was invited to introduce and thank the Inverness Military Wives Choir who sang in Ardgay Community Hall on Saturday evening to raise funds for the Kyle of Sutherland Hub.

 
In addition to a superb performance, which both entertained and inspired a sell-out audience, around £2,000 was raised for the hub. The choir sang a medley of songs under their musical director, Mr Alyn Ross. The event was organised by the Chair of the hub’s directors, Ms Hayley Bangs and the hub manager, Mrs Carol Shaw - together with many staff and volunteers; Mrs Pauline Macleod playing a major part and who was especially thanked by Carol Shaw after the performance. 

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Starting the Charity Classic Car Tour - May 2024

The Rotary Club of East Sutherland ran their Classic Car Tour in aid of charity on Saturday 18 May with the cars starting in Dornoch. This year’s circular route went via Gairloch and returned to the Station Hotel in Dornoch for tea. Around 60 cars took part.

The Lord-Lieutenant, as in previous years, was invited to start the rally with his cannon, a one third replica of a Waterloo cannon presented to him by his soldiers after commanding the 7th Armoured Brigade (the “Desert Rats”) in 2007. The cannon fuze was lit by the Provost of Dornoch, Catherine MacAngus.

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Presentation of D-Day 80th anniversary commemorative flag - May 2024

Vice Lord-Lieutenant Kim Tulloch has presented Neil Dalton of the East Sutherland Rescue Association with a D-Day 80th Anniversary commemorative flag on behalf of the Lieutenancy.

A national event called “Light a Lamp for Peace” to commemorate the 80 year anniversary of D Day is being held on the 6th of June this year. An event to mark this is being organised for East Sutherland. The heavy involvement of the area, not to mention disruption in training for D Day, deserves recognition and remembrance.

Arrangements to date are ringing of the church bells at 6.30pm for 5 minutes and the lighting of a beacon at 9.15pm at the Dornoch beach car park, to include the reading of the national act of remembrance. 

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Lieutenancy tea party - May 2024

The sun shone on a tea party held by the Lord-Lieutenant and his team to say thank you to those who volunteer in the charity shops of Sutherland and also to Voluntary Groups Sutherland.


Guests spent the afternoon at Littleferry in beautiful sunshine, catching up with friends, listening to music provided by Monica and Trish from Strath Fleet Buttons and Bows, enjoying afternoon tea and watching Monica fire the canon. The Lord-Lieutenant took the opportunity to present the first of his specially commissioned Highland Stoneware coasters (see post of 01 April) to Christine Ross of VGS in recognition of the work that she does for Sutherland's voluntary sector.

With thanks to all who attended, played, baked and otherwise assisted in making it a wonderful afternoon.

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Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh to visit Golspie - May 2024

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are to visit Golspie on Monday 20 May. Golspie has been identified as among 10 coastal sites in Scotland most at risk of flooding. Prince Edward and Sophie are said to be keen to see for themselves the impact of climate change, extreme weather conditions and rising sea levels on the community. 


Henrietta Marriott, co-ordinator of the Golspie Flood Action Group and chairman of Golspie Community Council said she was thrilled that the Duke and Duchess had taken the opportunity to visit Golspie:
"The community council is thrilled to be able to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh to Golspie. It is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the climate change challenges which the village and this area face, but also to showcase the community of Golspie. This is an open event and all members of the public and local residents are warmly invited to take part and enjoy the occasion.” The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh will tour the seafront and harbour area of the village and then go on to the Memorial Garden. Sutherland Schools Pipe Band and Sutherland Caledonian Pipe Band will play during the visit. Photo - Crown copyright

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Dedication at the memorial to Lt Col Anderson VC - May 2024

The Lord-Lieutenant, together with Sheila Stewart DL, Christine Mackay DL and Lieutenant Colonel Colin Gilmour MBE DL, attended the dedication of a replacement cross on the memorial to Lieutenant Colonel Anderson VC, Highland Light Infantry, at Invershin Cemetery on Tuesday. Lieutenant Colonel Anderson was killed on 25th March 1918 and was, sadly, the last of four Anderson brothers killed in the War.  


Many family and friends attended the service which was led by the Reverend Elizabeth Campbell. Tributes to Lieutenant Colonel Anderson were read by Andrena Duffin, Lieutenant Colonel Colin Gilmour and Minty Mackay, and Psalm 23 was read by Geordie Anderson who had travelled from the USA for the event. Major Jim Stout played the Lament and a selection of pipe tunes. Photo: (L to R) Lieutenant Colonel Colin Gilmour MBE DL, Sheila Stewart DL, Reverend Elizabeth Campbell, the Lord-Lieutenant, Christine Mackay DL

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Party in the Park at Brora - May 2024

His Majesty King Charles III sent a message of good wishes to Brora's Party in the Park today. "Please convey my heartfelt thanks to the members of the Brora Coronation Party in the Park Committee for their loyal greetings sent on the occasion of the anniversary of the Coronation, which is being celebrated today. I much appreciate your thoughtfulness in writing as you did and value your continued support. In return, I send my warmest good wishes to all those who are present in Fascally Park for a memorable and enjoyable gathering." The King's message was read out by Deputy Lieutenant Dawn McKenzie after the party had been opened by Alistair Risk. Dawn also cut the generously donated cakes.

There was a great turn out to listen to Sutherland Schools Pipe Band, Strathfleet Buttons & Bows and Lesley Graham who provided the music, and many local charities had stalls and provided refreshments, as did Capaldi's of Brora.

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Reay Forest Estate open day - April 2024

Grosvenor's Reay Forest Estate, a conservation and sporting estate famed for deer, trout and salmon as well as its wild beauty and remote landscapes held their open “Schools’ Day” at Achfary recently - in spite of heavy rain and driving winds. The Lord-Lieutenant was kindly invited to attend and is pictured with Mr Ben Mardall, Estate Manager. The aim of the day was to give pupils an insight into modern rural estate management and to show how the estate is delivering a lasting commercial, social and environmental benefit. Critically, the day also sought to explain to pupils the opportunities and prospects of working in the “Rural Workforce” in Scotland - and why such work is so rewarding and important. Countryside Learning Scotland had a stand in the village hall. 


Reay Forest Estate shows best practice in every aspect of modern 21st century estate land management. The estate is leading the way in changing the traditional Scottish sporting estate into something more carefully and thoughtfully integrated with both its land and its people. It is an “elegant compromise”, as one senior stalker so neatly put it to me; he was right. Reay is leading the way. The estate’s leadership and staff are not only unlocking talent, they are unlocking the land. This absolutely deserves both our support and respect. This was one of the most important visits of my time so far as Lord-Lieutenant. My thanks to everyone who answered my questions, made me think, and clearly inspired a very fortunate group of pupils - and to the school’s heads who so wisely found the time for their pupils to attend the event”. 

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Marking 80 years since the Pentland Firth sinking of Midget Submarine X-22- April 2024

80 years ago, midget submarine X-22 was sunk following a tragic accident in the Pentland Firth. Five sailors were lost in the incident, two of whom were in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The names of those lost are also on the XII Submarine Flotilla Memorial at Kylestrome, Sutherland. One of the casualties, Lieutenant Brian Macfarlane RAN, also had connections with HMS Hood whose links to Loch Eriboll are well known. Lieutenant Macfarlane joined the RAN in 1933 as a Cadet Midshipman at the Royal Australian Naval College. Having volunteered for dangerous service, Lieutenant Macfarlane qualified as an X Craft Commanding Officer and was due to participate in the X Craft attack on Tirpitz and her consorts in September 1943 as Commanding Officer of X-8, but was denied the opportunity by machinery defects.  It was during a training exercise five months later that he lost his life.

A wreath was laid in Eriboll Church, on behalf of the Lord-Lieutenant, by Jonathan Brett Young DL who himself served with great distinction in RAN for 13 years (1956-69) and was, like Lieutenant Macfarlane, born in Melbourne, Australia. 

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Battle of Littleferry commemoration - April 2024

The annual commemoration of the Battle of Littleferry (15 April 1746) took place at the memorial near Golspie. In strong gusty winds, the commemoration began with Mr Malcolm Paton playing the pipes, followed by a short address by the Lord-Lieutenant who spoke on the meaning of “commemoration”, and the respect we owe to both sides at the battle for their courage and integrity. Four wreaths were laid after a period of silence and reflection. The wreaths were from the Lord-Lieutenant, the Golspie Branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland, The Royal Oak Society of Scotland (who had laid theirs the previous evening) and Mr Bruce Pitcher and Ms Denise Hardy. A relative of Mr Pitcher helped a wounded Jacobite soldier after the Battle of Littleferry and enabled his escape to the west. 


The commemoration was organised by Mr Kenny MacAulay, the Chairman of the Golspie Branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland - and a member of the Battle of Littleferry Project Team himself.

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Rewarding Volunteering in Sutherland - March 2024

In order to reward volunteering  throughout Sutherland, the Lord-Lieutenant has personally commissioned Highland Stoneware to make a 8 coasters which will be presented to volunteers in the county over the next two years. Each coaster is unique and all are numbered and inscribed on the reverse. 


The design and artwork was carried out by Tracey Aird (pictured with the Lord-Lieutenant) at Highland Stoneware and, as always with the pottery, it has been beautifully and thoughtfully hand painted. The flower on all 8 of the coasters is the Grass-of-Parnassus which is the county flower of Sutherland. It can be found throughout much of the county where it favours damp grasslands. Scottish Wildlife Trust has named it a “priority species”. The flower was also a personal favourite of the Lord-Lieutenant’s late mother. 

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800 years since the foundation of Dornoch Cathedral - March 2024

On Sunday 31 March, Easter Morning Worship took place at Dornoch Firth Church of Scotland, celebrating 800 years since the foundation stones of Dornoch Cathedral were laid. The Lord-Lieutenant read the lessons.

 

Photograph and text from Dornoch Firth Church of Scotland: "It was a privilege to welcome Rt. Rev. Sally Foster-Fulton, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and her husband,  Stuart, along with the Lord Lieutenant of Sutherland,  Major General Patrick Marriot and his wife, Henrietta, the Very Rev. Dr. James A Simpson and his wife, Helen and Catherine MacAngus, Provost of Dornoch. A wonderful joyous service followed with the Moderator preaching 'Remember Who You Are'."

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HMS Sutherland returns to the water - March 2024

After a deep refit HMS Sutherland is back in the water. The Type 23 frigate will take on her new crew over the coming months before undergoing an extensive period of work-up training. See royalnavy.mod.uk

 

The Lord-Lieutenant has written to the ship’s captain to welcome both him and the new crew of the ship on behalf of the county. In his letter, the Lord-Lieutenant said “HMS Sutherland has always had extraordinarily strong links to Sutherland which are much treasured by the County. Unique in counties in the United Kingdom, we have a west, north and east coast and there are few here who do not have both connections with the sea and a deep interest in all matters maritime.” The Captain responded by thanking the Lord-Lieutenant and saying that one of his first priorities was “rekindling the ship’s link with the county”.

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200th anniversary of the founding of the RNLI - March 2024

Vice Lord-Lieutenant Kim Tulloch was delighted to attend the service at Glasgow Cathedral on 10 March to celebrate 200 years since the founding of the RNLI. The uplifting service was conducted by the Rev Mark Johnstone with readings from RNLI volunteers.

The photograph shows Andrew Stewart (volunteer ALB Coxswain / Mechanic) who gave one of the readings at the service. He is pictured with: Karen Stewart (Deputy Chair of the RNLI's Scottish Council), Vice Lord-Lieutenant Kim Tulloch, Kim's husband Norman and two flag bearers from the honour guard, including John Tait from Girvan carrying the RNLI flag.

Further information on the RNLI is available from their website - www.rnli.org.uk

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Elizabeth Emblem - March 2024

The creation of a new award has been announced to commemorate public servants who died in the line of duty. The Elizabeth Emblem will be awarded as a mark of recognition to the next of kin of those who have died in public service including: police officers, fire and rescue service personnel, ambulance service staff, those working for mountain, cave and water rescue services, weather and natural disaster response services, coastguard services, and others who have given their life in public service.

Unusually, the award may be bestowed retrospectively to recognise historic deaths - back to 1948. There is a simple application process - through this link. All applications will be carefully reviewed through the Prime Minster to His Majesty The King. As with some other National awards, Lord-Lieutenants will be responsible for presentation arrangements. The Lieutenancy team is happy to take questions by email to sutherlandlieutenancy@gmail.com or by message to our FB page.

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Commonwealth Day - March 2024

Commonwealth Day, 11 March 2024, marks the annual celebration of the unique and diverse organisation that is the Commonwealth.  This year marks 75 years since the founding of the modern Commonwealth. HM The King has issued a message which will be played at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey which reflects that "the Commonwealth family is strongest when we are connected, through friendship". ​The Commonwealth Day service will be attended by The Queen and other members of the Royal Family. 

 

The full version of The King's message can be read on the Royal Family website at www.royal.uk

The video of The King's message will be available at The Royal Channel on YouTube.​

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Armed Forces Day planning meeting - January 2024

The first planning meeting for this year’s Armed Forces Day ceremony has taken place. Unlike previous years, and for the first time, this year’s Sutherland ceremony will take place at the Ferrycroft Centre, Lairg on Saturday 29 June, starting at 1045. Until now the ceremony has taken place in Golspie and the move to Lairg is designed to help veterans on the west and north coasts with large distances to travel. The ceremony will include the flag-raising ceremony, presentations of awards to both veterans and others from across Sutherland, and a buffet lunch at the Lairg Community Centre. Veterans and all members of the public are welcome to attend the ceremony. A Pipe Band is expected to play at the event.

 

Those attending were the Lord-Lieutenant Major General Patrick Marriott, Lt Col Colin Gilmour MBE DL, Sheila Stewart DL (and Chair of Royal British Legion Creich, Kincardine, Lairg and Rogart Branch), Kim Tulloch (Vice Lord-Lieutenant), Christine Mackay DL and Major Alisdair Miller (Chair of Royal British Legion Golspie Branch).

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Appointment of new Deputy Lieutenant - January 2024

David MacAskill, the decorated skipper of the Lochinver RNLI lifeboat, was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Sutherland on Wednesday 10 January, following the retirement of David Grant DL ( founder of Highland Stoneware). Mr MacAskill brings his wealth of local understanding, a natural kindness and his extraordinary sense of service and commitment to the Sutherland Lieutenancy team.

David joins the lieutenancy team of Lord-Lieutenant Patrick Marriott, Vice Lord-Lieutenant Kim Tulloch and Deputy Lieutenants Frances Gunn, Neil MacDonald, Christine Mackay, Dawn McKenzie, Sheila Stewart and Catriona Whitfield. 

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Brora New Year's Day wreath laying - January 2024

The first Lieutenancy appointment of 2024 took place on new year's day in Brora when Deputy Lieutenant Dawn McKenzie attended the annual wreath laying at the Clyne War Memorial in Brora. The event is organised by the Friends of Clyne War Memorial on 1 January each year to commemorate those from the parish who died in past wars.

 

The wreath was laid by Kathleen and Jim Cunningham in recognition of their work in support of the memorial. After the minute's silence, Danny Parkin piped the Flowers of the Forest then attendees disbursed to the harbour to watch Brora welcome the new year with the Brora's community bonfire and fireworks display

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200th anniversary of the founding of the RNLI - March 2024

On Monday 04 March, David MacAskill DL, coxswain of RNLI Lochinver Lifeboat, and deputy coxswain Joe Mackay attended the service in Westminster Abbey to mark 200 years since the founding of the RNLI.

 

For Sutherland the RNLI means the Lochinver boat, led by Coxswain MacAskill and his superb team of volunteers. Uniquely amongst counties, Sutherland has 3 coasts: west, north and east.

The RNLI has saved over 146,000 lives in its 200 years - and much of that will have involved great courage.

 

The lower photograph shows an appropriate salute to the courage and selfless commitment of the RNLI. The Royal Navy hoists the signal flags “B” and “Z” (“Bravo Zulu”) to signify “congratulations”, though more correctly it means “execution well carried out”. Throughout Monday 04 March, those flags flew at the Lord-Lieutenant’s house. They flew in honour of the crews, support teams and, very importantly, the families of the Lochinver lifeboat. 

Find out more and donate at - www.rnli.org.uk

RNLI Lochinver have their own facebook page at - www.facebook.com/rnlilochinverlifeboat

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ESRA bring Santa to Dornoch Square - December 2023

On Friday 15 December Vice Lord-Lieutenant Kim Tulloch was delighted to join many folk in greeting Santa as he arrived in Dornoch Square courtesy of East Sutherland Rescue Association and their new lifeboat Wildland.

 

ESRA served mulled wine and soft drinks and the children's choir sang carols.

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Bradbury Centre Christmas lunch - December 2023

The Lord-Lieutenant was kindly invited to the Bradbury Centre Christmas Lunch in Bonar Bridge. As always the event was a huge success and brilliantly arranged by Lorraine Askew, Lippy Ross and all the Bradbury staff and volunteers.

 

The Port Ceilidh Band from Portmahomack played during the event to much deserved applause. 

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Westminster Carol Service - December 2023

On Friday 8 December, members of the Royal Family attended a carol service at Westminster Abbey to thank all those who work to support babies, young children and families. HRH the Princess of Wales supports a number of charitable causes and organisations centred around providing children with the best possible start in life.


The Lieutenancy team were delighted that representatives of the Sutherland community were able to attend the service. Two attendees were nominated by the Lieutenancy in acknowledgement of their efforts in taking aid to mothers, children and babies in Ukraine; two further attendees were nominated for their support for children in Sutherland.

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Bonar Bridge 50th anniversary - November 2023

It was a real privilege for the Lord-Lieutenant to be invited to judge the Christmas tractors at the celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the bridge at Bonar Bridge. The whole event was both thoughtfully and brilliantly organised by a team of volunteers from the community - as so many of the very best things are. The winning tractor was from Culrain (Robert and Ann Henderson) who braved the -7° temperatures to ride in their metal bucket which surely deserved the medal. 


Public thanks to the very special team of organisers: Hayley Bangs, Robert Sawyer, Caroline Munro, Callum Smart, Donald Mackenzie, Grant Matthews, Nene Maclean and Christine Ross - and to the many marshals and helpers who looked after us on the night too.

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Visit to Kyle of Sutherland Hub - November 2023

The Lord-Lieutenant visited the Kyle of Sutherland Hub where he was kindly guided around this busy, lively and fun initiative by the Chair of Directors, Ms Hayley Bangs, and Ms Carol Shaw, the manager (pictured with Major General Marriott). After the visit the Lord-Lieutenant commented:

It’s a model of a community-led initiative, a very special place. The breadth and depth of its success is self-evident. That triumph is created partly by the leadership of its Board of Directors (who not only properly represent those they serve but are an intrinsic part of it), and partly by its very special, dedicated, thoughtful and hard-working staff. The Board and staff have so obviously listened to what local folk want, not what they think they ought to want - that difference is crucial. It’s an exemplar. I wanted to understand it better, to understand the issues, the worries and concerns. To be able to thank the team there was a privilege - and great fun”.

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Sutherland Remembers - November 2023

Members of the Lieutenancy team attended many of the services that were held at war memorials throughout Sutherland in order that those who gave their lives in conflict and in the service of their country might be remembered.


Photos (top to bottom, left to right) - Brora Remembrance parade attended by Dawn McKenzie DL (pictured with Mr Syd Bright of the Brora branch of Legion Scotland), Ardgay war memorial attended by Christine Mackay DL, Bonar Bridge war memorial attended by Christine Mackay DL, Dornoch Remembrance parade attended by Vice Lord-Lieutenant Kim Tulloch, Edderton Primary School's service at the war memorial attended by Christine Mackay DL, Helmsdale Remembrance parade attended by Catriona Whitfield DL, Lochinver Remembrance service attended by retiring DL David Grant, Catriona Whitfield DL attended the Loth Remembrance service, Lt Col Colin Gilmour retired DL attended the Rosehall Remembrance service, Frances Gunn DL attended the Tongue Remembrance service.Golspie Remembrance parade attended by Lord-Lieutenant Major General Patrick Marriott, and attendees at the Lairg war memorial attended by Sheila Stewart DL.


In addition Christine Mackay DL attended Gledfield Primary School's Remembrance service and Neil MacDonald DL attended the Scourie Remembrance service.

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Dornoch Firth Campus Act of Remembrance - November 2023

On Friday 10 November Vice Lord-Lieutenant Kim Tulloch was privileged to be invited to the Dornoch Firth Campus Act of Remembrance and felt that it was one of the most moving services she has ever attended. The service was held in Dornoch Cathedral and was organised by the pupils from Dornoch Academy, Dornoch Primary School and Bonar Bridge Primary School.

 

The pupils did a huge amount of research into the names on the war memorial and had obtained photographs of some of those whose names appear on the memorial. These were projected onto a screen during the service allowing those attending to relate to the young people from the area who served and who lost their lives. Head Teacher Norman Ross supervised the service and Dornoch Academy French teacher, Danny Parkin from Brora, was the piper. A wreath was laid both in the Cathedral and afterwards at the war memorial.

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Dornoch Tree Planting - November 2023

A tree to commemorate the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla was planted in Dornoch and formally presented to Ms Catherine Macangus, the new Provost of Dornoch (and Chair of the Dornoch Community Council) by the Lord-Lieutenant. Around 200 pupils from Dornoch Academy and Primary School attended, singing a song to mark the moment. They also buried “goodwill messages” at the foot of the tree, linking them to the planting in years to come.


Both the Lord-Lieutenant and Provost spoke to thank everyone for attending, especially the pupils, and for those who had helped with both the tree and the plinth, which is placed beside the tree. The costs of the plinth were kindly covered by Skibo Castle. The event was organised by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Kim Tulloch who is also a resident of Dornoch. The tree is a flowering cherry (Fragrant Cloud).

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Helmsdale war memorial visit - November 2023

The Lord-Lieutenant and one of his deputies, Catriona Whitfield, visited the Kildonan Parish war memorial at Helmsdale and met the chair of Helmsdale branch of the RBLS, Mike Ellis. Mr Ellis briefed General Marriott on the history of the war memorial (the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the memorial will be next year), it's restoration in 2018, and also explained the story behind the crosses that have been set out each year since 2014 at the war memorials in Helmsdale and Loth.


Many of those named on the memorials are buried away from the area, the crosses were made by the Helmsdale Woodlanders to give a physical focus for those who died. A cross was made for each person named on the memorials, as well as a cross marked for those 'Known unto God'. The original poppies on the crosses were made by the children of Helmsdale Primary School. The crosses go out each year at the start of November and remain at the memorials until the end of the month.

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100th birthday celebration - October 2023

Margaret Haslam celebrated her 100th birthday today at the Bradbury Centre. The youngest of 11 children, she was born in Wrexham in Wales on 27 October 1923 before moving to Nottinghamshire when she was 8. After 88 years, she moved to Sutherland to be with her son, Simon Haslam. She jokes that she has lived in “Wales, England and Scotland”. The Lord-Lieutenant presented her with a birthday card from The King and Queen and he helped Margaret cut her birthday cake with his sword. The party was a huge success and much enjoyed - special plaudits as always to Ms’ Lorraine Askew, Lippy Ross and the team at The Bradbury Centre.

 

The Bradbury Centre continues to rely on fund-raising and donations: https://bradburycentre.co.uk

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Culrain School reunion - October 2023

Deputy Lieutenant Christine Mackay was invited to attend the recent reunion of former Culrain School pupils as guest speaker and she also said grace and gave the vote of thanks.

Former Geldfield teacher Mary Campbell, who lives just outside Culrain, decided to  arrange a reunion of pupils who had attended Culrain School prior to its closure around 30 years ago. The reunion took place over afternoon tea at Nanny's tea room, thereafter those attending had their photo taken in front of the old school. The afternoon was a great success, with some guests not having seen each other for around 60 years.

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Retirement of Deputy Lieutenant David Grant - September 2023

A specially commissioned silver kilt pin was presented to Deputy Lieutenant David Grant of Lochinver to mark his retirement from the Lieutenancy after 24 years. Flowers were also presented to David's wife, Norah, to thank her for the support that she has given to David's appointment over the years. Members of the Lieutenancy team, past and present, gathered for lunch to thank David for his service.

David was brought up in Achfary from birth to age 11, then educated at Golspie High School. He graduated from the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee where he also spent his post graduate year before spending three years at the Royal College of Art, London, specialist subject Ceramics. David founded Highland Stoneware Ltd in 1974, successfully making Creative Pottery in Lochinver and Ullapool and employing 25-30 people for each of the years since then.

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Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust Learning Shelter - September 2023

Deputy Lieutenant Christine Mackay had the pleasure of cutting the ribbon to open the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust's new Learning Shelter (behind the Community Polytunnel) during the "Big Picnic" plants and seed swap in Drover's Square. the Big Picnic was an opportunity for the community to explore the new space, enjoy some food, spend some time in the polytunnel, chat to others and swap plants/seeds. 

 

This event was part of the Highlands and Islands Climate Festival funded by the Highlands & Islands Climate Hub.

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HMS Sutherland Liaison Officer - September 2023

The Lord-Lieutenant has invited Mr Ewan Mackay, Treasurer of the Sutherland Branch of the Royal Naval Association, to be the new “liaison officer” with HMS Sutherland. HMS Sutherland is due to complete a refit next year and Mr Mackay’s appointment will renew the traditional links the county and the ship. Mr Mackay joined the RN as a Marine Engineering Artificer at the age of 17, and went on to have a 20 year career which included 5 promotions, service in 9 different ships, 8 Operational deployments and visits to 42 different countries. Mr Mackay said, “I was lucky enough to serve with some fantastic people, and if I could do it all again I absolutely would. I grew up in Golspie, but was made in the Royal Navy.”


The Sutherland Branch of the Royal Naval Association meets at Golspie Heritage at 7-30pm on the second Wednesday of the month. New members are always welcome. 

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Visit to the Dornoch Firth Men's Shed - September 2023

The Lord-Lieutenant has recently visited the Dornoch Firth Group’s Men's Shed. The Shed provides a harbour for folk who may be retired or in part time work, those recovering from illness, or those who just want to get out of the house and need more than a walk on their own. The Shed, which serves all of East Sutherland is an especially welcome place. It is a proper haven for those living alone too. Company is a great healer. 


There are no fees, no obligations. Transport can often be found to help those who find travel difficult. Someone will be at the Shed to welcome new visitors between 10:30 and 12:00 every Thursday morning. If you want to enquire either for yourself or someone you might know who could benefit from a visit to the Shed, please email charles@dfgcommunity.com or call / text 07533 518 399.

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80th anniversary of the midget submarine attack on the Tirpitz - September 2023

A Service to mark the 80th anniversary of the attack on the German battleship Tirpitz on 22 September 1943 by midget submarines of the XII Submarine Flotilla was held at the Flotilla Memorial at Kylesku. It was attended by the Lord-Lieutenant, Royal Navy service personnel from Faslane and by members of the Sutherland Branch of the Royal Naval Association, the Scottish and West of Scotland Submariners’ Association, “We Remember Submariners” and the RN Submarine Association - together with relatives and friends of those who took part, and others from across the county.


The event was arranged by the Sutherland Lieutenancy with many thanks to Reay Forest Estate, Piper Andrew Barnes, Jonathan Brett-Young, Cdr Tim Honnor RN (Retd), the Reverend Canon Laurence Gunner RNVR and many others who helped with the event.

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Commemoration of 250th anniversary of the 'Nancy' - September 2023

250 years after the brig 'Nancy' set sail from Dornoch carrying 280 emigrants bound for North America, a commemoration was held on Dornoch beach to mark the death of over 80 of those on board during the passage to New York, including 6 of 7 mothers who gave birth aboard and all their new borns. The deaths were caused by a combination of disease, starvation and injury; attributable to insufficient food, bad weather and the brutality of the captain and crew. (Photograph credit: Ashley Rose)

The Provost of Dornoch, Paddy Murray, introduced Professor David Bell who told the story of those who sailed on the Nancy, Rev Graeme Muckart led the service of commemoration, Kaya Mackay recited a Gaelic poem and sang Fear a Bhata, and Pipe Major Willie Fraser piped beautifully throughout the service. Deputy Lieutenant Catriona Whitfield handed over a sheaf of flowers, grown in Sutherland, to the ESRA lifeboat crew who went out into the Dornoch Firth to lay the flowers in memory of those who died.

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Sutherland Honours and Awards Board - September 2023

Honours and awards are awarded to recognise and reward those who have made special contributions to society, or for extraordinary achievements. In Sutherland we are proud to be able to celebrate many who have given so much to our communities. A new Sutherland Honours and Awards Board has been created seeking “to improve the likelihood of honours and awards for the people of Sutherland in order to reflect better their contribution to our communities”. Nominations go to a national committee for a decision.


The Board aims to help anyone who wants to put forward names for recognition. Board members will be able to advise discreetly on the process, help with compilation of citations and generally ease the making of a nomination. The Board is keen to hear from anyone who knows of individuals in Sutherland who might merit recognition. The board can be contacted by email at sutherlandlieutenancy@gmail.com

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Coronation Art Competition overall winner - August 2023

Leo Lannon, a pupil at Golspie Primary School, was the overall winner of the Sutherland Primary Schools’ Coronation Art Competition held in May.

 

A copy of his winning entry was seen by the King who wrote to the Lord-Lieutenant with directions that His “congratulations and warmest wishes” be conveyed to Leo. The Lord-Lieutenant, having passed this on to Leo, gave him the original letter from the King’s Private Secretary in Golspie.

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25th anniversary of the Bradbury Centre - August 2023

The Bradbury Centre at Bonar Bridge celebrated its 25th anniversary on 23 August, and hosted a celebratory lunch. The Lord-Lieutenant attended and thanked first, all those who had so tirelessly (and with such vision) to set up the centre in 1998; second, he thanked all those who have worked, and continue to work there; third, he thanked in advance all those whom he knows will strive to continue the good work there in the future.

The lunch was a huge success and much enjoyed - a special tribute to Lorraine Askew and Elizabeth Ross who have worked there since the centre began. The Bradbury Centre continues to rely on fund-raising and donations and all donations are welcome - www.bradburycentre.co.uk

Photo: L-L with the staff, to his right Elizabeth Ross and to his left Lorraine Askew.

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Naming of the new ESRA lifeboat - August 2023

The new East Sutherland Rescue Association (ESRA) lifeboat was named on Sunday 20 August at a ceremony in Dornoch. The “Wildland” is a whole new capability for ESRA and, together with considerable ancillary equipment, has been generously funded by Anders Povlson. 


The boat was named by Kim Tulloch DL with the Lord-Lieutenant in attendance. Prayers were led by the Revd John Chambers OBE who chairs the Friends of ESRA. A blessing was conducted by the Revd Simon Scott with the help of local children who anointed both boat and crew, Mr Michael Fraser piped Highland Cathedral. The Lord-Lieutenant thanked Neil Dalton and his team for the successful ceremony. He then spoke of Sir Francis Drake’s prayer which reminds us that “….in any great venture….it is not the beginning but the continuing to the end which yields the true glory” and highlighted the vital need for support for ESRA both financially and in finding volunteers to crew and support the boat. www.esra.uk

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Inauguration of the Chief of Clan Mackay - August 2023

The Lord-Lieutenant attended the inauguration of Aeneas Mackay, the Lord Reay, as Chief of Clan Mackay at Farr on 23 August. The ceremony took place in rain, sun and a strong winds and was attended by around 150 people from across Sutherland and well beyond. Internationally, Mackays from the USA, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and Germany and many other countries were present. 


The Lord-Lieutenant read the original letters patent which raised the first Chief, Sir Donald Mackay, to the Peerage in 1628 during the reign of Charles I. Christopher Mackie presided at the event which was arranged by the Clan Mackay Society and in particular, Sandra and Lisa Mackay. The Benediction was delivered by the Rev Mary Stobo and Jennifer Port played the clarsach. 

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Sue Jane Taylor presented with Honorary Fellowship of UHI - July 2023

The Lord-Lieutenant recently made a presentation, on behalf of the Princess Royal, of an Honorary Fellowship of the University of the Highlands & Islands (UHI) to artist Sue Jane Taylor (pictured with the Lord-Lieutenant and Professor David Worthington, Centre for Highland History, UHI). The Fellowship is recognition of an artist whose contribution - locally, nationally, internationally, and to UHI - is helping ensure the transformative impact on our region that UHI is committed to.

Sue Jane Taylor grew up on the Black Isle, and studied at Gray’s School of Art, the Slade School of Fine Art and the Konst Academie, Stockholm.  She is renowned for her work documenting the North Sea energy industry and continues to capture its transition towards decommissioning and renewables. Her work raises questions about the relationship between art, environment and industry; developing ideas about labour, industry and their place in the natural world. Sue Jane Taylor's work currently forms part of a group exhibition 'Beatrice: Transition Under Petrocapitalism' at Timespan in Helmsdale.

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Durness Highland Gathering - July 2023

The four annual Highland Games in Sutherland began with the Durness Highland Gathering. As always it was a welcoming, generous and lively event - and, quite rightly, attracted a big crowd. These events take months of thought, preparation, hard work and time, and the Lieutenancy would like to thank the President, Mr David Morrison; Chairman, Mr Alastair Morrison and all committee members for such a successful event enjoyed by so many - Scottish Highland hospitality and kindness at its best. 


Congratulations to the Rev Andrea Boyce for being this year’s Chieftain - richly deserved. Frances Gunn DL as an ex-Chieftain herself, took part and kindly welcomed the Lord-Lieutenant as well as Christine Mackay DL from Ardgay.  Dates for the next three Highland Games in Sutherland: Dornoch - 4 August; Assynt - 11 August; Helmsdale - 19 August.

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National Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication - July 2023

The Lord-Lieutenant attended the National Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication that was held on Tuesday 5 July at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. The service saw the presentation of the Honours of Scotland to King Charles III.

It was a very Scottish ceremony in every way. There was a sense of history everywhere: the Honours were used as coronation regalia for Mary, Queen of Scots, James VI, Charles I and Charles III. The music was superb with pieces by Peter Maxwell Davies, Jay Capperauld and Dougie MacLean amongst other Scottish composers. Robert Lovie and Joy Dunlop sang perfectly. It was a privilege to be there in every way.

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Palace of Holyrood Garden Party - July 2023

On the day before the National Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication, His Majesty held the first Palace of Holyrood Garden Party of his reign. The themes which the palace sought to promote were youth, community, diversity and sustainability.

 

There were many guests from across Sutherland nominated for the work that they have done in support of their communities. Amongst those attending were two of the the Lieutenancy teams' newer Deputy Lieutenants Christine Mackay and Dawn McKenzie - undaunted by the somewhat unseasonal weather.

Armed Forces Day - June 2023

Veterans, reservists, members of the Lieutenancy team, family, friends and members of the community from across the County gathered in Golspie on Saturday 24 June to mark Armed Forces Day 2023. It was a delight to hear the Sutherland Schools Pipe Band, supported by members of the Sutherland Caledonian Pipe Band, playing at Armed Forces Day once more.


The day was marked as follows:
Until 1100 - Pipe bands playing, thereafter:
- welcome by President RBLS Golspie, Major Alisdair Miller
- Drum roll from SSPB and flag raised – by John Morgan of RBLS Assynt, followed by the pipe bands playing a set
- Short address by the Lord-Lieutenant, Major General Patrick Marriott, mentioning the work of SSAFA of which he is the Sutherland President
- Jonathan Brett Young told the story of 1943 Dambusters’ Raid and its connection to Sutherland due to Squadron Leader Henry Maudslay who was from Shinness and who was killed during the raid.
- Presentations by the Lord-Lieutenant with citations read by Vice Lord-Lieutenant Kim Tulloch. Veteran’s medals were awarded to Jane Mackay (Army, latterly Adjutant General’s Corps) and Archie Macdonald (Royal Air Force). Deputy Lieutenant’s commission presented to Neil MacDonald of Scourie.
- Concluding remarks by President RBLS Golspie Major Alisdair Miller
- pipe bands played a final set as attendees disbursed for a light lunch.


Many thanks to RBLS - Golspie Branch and to Kenny McAulay in particular for the arrangements. Thanks also to Sutherland Schools Pipe Band, Sutherland Caledonian Pipe Band, the team at The Stag's Head Hotel, Golspie for their kind hospitality and Kerry Hawthorne from @nannystearooms for the beautiful cakes. Thanks as well to Friends of Sutherland Veterans and the Co-op for funding to assist with the refreshments.


Note on the Dambusters’ Raid:
2023 being the 80th anniversary of the Dambusters’ Raid on 16/17 May 1943 by 617 Squadron RAF Bomber Command, the ceremony reflected upon that event. Sutherland has a strong connection with the raid through the Maudslay family who owned the West Shinness Estate at the time. Squadron Leader Henry Maudslay DFC was killed on the raid. After the flag-raising ceremony memorabilia from the Maudslay family was on display at The Stag’s Head Hotel.

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Coronation Art Competition awards at Brora Primary School - June 2023

Deputy Lieutenant Dawn McKenzie returned to Brora Primary School to present the Coronation Art Competition certificates.  Congratulations to Isla MacNicol and Evan Roney who are in the picture with Dawn; also congratulations to the Nursery winner who is not pictured.


All 16 Sutherland Primary Schools took part in the competition and standards were high. Over 600 children took part. Full results are on the Coronation page of our website and on the FB post of 5 May.

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SSAFA receive donation from St Finbarr's Church Charity Shop - June 2023

St Finbarr’s Church Charity Shop in Dornoch recently presented a cheque for £1,000 to the Soldiers, Sailors and Air Forces Association (SSAFA) of which the Lord-Lieutenant is the Sutherland Branch President. The cheque was handed over to the Lord-Lieutenant by Ms Caroline Barnes whose work, along with her remarkable team of volunteers, has been extraordinary and ongoing for many years. Sums collected at the shop are dispersed to a number of local and national charities.


Photo (from L to R): Commander William Sutherland RN (Retd), Chairman SSAFA Sutherland Branch; Ms Caroline Barnes; the Lord-Lieutenant. 

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Coronation Art Competition awards at Melvich Primary School - June 2023

Deputy Lieutenant Frances Gunn visited Melvich Primary School, during their assembly, to present the Coronation Art Competition certificates to pupils.

Our congratulations to Ella Will and Benny Mackinnon.

All 16 Sutherland Primary Schools took part in the competition and standards were high. Over 600 children took part. Full results are on the Coronation page of our website and on the FB post of 5 May.

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Coronation Art Competition awards for Edderton and Gledfield Primary Schools - June 2023

Deputy Lieutenant Christine Mackay visited Gledfield Primary School last week to present the Coronation Art Competition certificates to both Gledfield and Edderton Primary pupils. 

Edderton Primary winning picture certificates awarded to: Rebecca Taylor P2 and Finlay McMeekan P5; and those receiving a Head Teacher's Special Award: Jonathan Leighton P1, Harley Chapman-Kelly P1, Charlie McMeekan P1, Logan Urquhart P5, Innes Mchardy P5 and Reuban Urquhart P7.


Gledfield Primary winning picture certificates awarded to: Lilly-Rose Shaw P1 and Annabella Macrae P5; and Head Teacher's Special Awards to: Vinnie Wood P4, Amber Morrish P5, Hannah Mentin P5,  Grace Barnett P6,  Rebekah Lall P7, and Magnus Macrae P7.

All 16 Sutherland Primary Schools took part in the competition and standards were high. Over 600 children took part. Full results are on the Coronation page of our website and on the FB post of 5 May.

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King's Birthday Honours - June 2023

In recognition of her services to Nursing in Rural Scotland, Cathy Shaw, who lives in East Sutherland has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the first Birthday Honours List of King Charles III's reign.

Ms Shaw is a Lead Advanced Nurse Practitioner for NHS Highland, and is the lead advanced practitioner for the Remote and Rural Support Team (West) and the Hospital at Home Team Skye.

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Coronation Art Competition awards at Bonar Bridge Primary - June 2023

Deputy Lieutenant Christine Mackay visited Bonar Bridge Primary School to present the Coronation Art Competition certificates. After the presentation she was delighted to be invited to stay and watch the video of their school trip to Dunrobin Castle by train from Ardgay. Congratulations to the winners: Peggy Murray (Nursery), Cora Mackenzie (P2) and Eyra Williams (P4). Also congratulations to those receiving a Head Teacher's Special Award: Torben Manners-Debusschere (Nursery), Skyler Saldias (P2), Cara Colquhoun (P3), Ruby Stevenson (P4), Octavia Wells (P6), Molly Mclauchlan (P6).

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Coronation Art Competition awards at Tongue Primary - June 2023

Last week the Lord-Lieutenant Patrick Marriott and Deputy Lieutenant Frances Gunn visited Tongue Primary as part of the series of award presentations following the Sutherland Primary Schools Coronation Art Competition. Congratulations to Tongue prize winners Olivia Findlay and Paige Jones.


All 16 Sutherland Primary Schools took part in the competition and standards were high. Over 600 children took part. Full results are on the Coronation page of our website and on the FB post of 5 May.

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Coronation Art Competitions awards -  Scourie, Durness and Kinlochbervie Primary Schools - June 2023

The Lord-Lieutenant visited Kinlochbervie High School on the last day of term to present awards to pupils from Scourie, Durness and Kinlochbervie Primary Schools for the recent Coronation Art Competition and to say farewell to the long-standing headteacher of Kinlochbervie High School, Mr Graeme Smart. Mr Smart organised the Sutherland Coast to Coast Schools’ walk in 2017 with the Lord-Lieutenant.

To mark his departure Mr Graeme Smart fired the Lord-Lieutenant’s canon in front of a large crowd of staff and pupils.

Our congratulations and thanks to all all those who entered the competition, and to the teaching staff who supported them. All 16 Sutherland Primary Schools took part in the competition and standards were high. Over 600 children took part. Full results are on the Coronation page of our website and on the FB post of 5 May.

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Coronation Art Competitions awards Dornoch and Rogart primaries - June 2023

Vice Lord-Lieutenant Kim Tulloch visited Dornoch and Rogart Primary Schools during the last week of term to award the certificates for the Coronation Art Competition, together with the certificates from the Lord Lyon King of Arms to all participating schools. 

Top photo - Dornoch Primary - congratulations to Olli Whiteman (Nursery), Henry MacCarthy (P1-3), Maisie Levens (P4-7) and also to those receiving Head Teacher's special awards: Ben Cowie, Sophie Bennie, Faith Heneghan, Harry Fleming, Molly Lewis, Mikaela Jensen and Rebecca Connell (not all present).

​Bottom photo - Rogart Primary's Ennis Walker receiving his certificate.

Our congratulations to all all those who entered the competition, and the teaching staff who supported them. All 16 Sutherland Primary Schools took part in the competition and standards were high. Over 600 children took part. Full results are on the Coronation page of our website and on the FB post of 5 May.

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End of Term Assembly at Helmsdale Primary - June 2023

Deputy Lieutenant Catriona Whitfield visited Helmsdale Primary School for their end of term assembly to award certificates to the pupils who made the winning entries in the art competition, to award the Head Teacher's special awards and to hand over the Lord Lyon King of Arms' certificate to Helmsdale's Head Teacher Shelly Taylor.

Congratulations to Ruaridh Revie (Nursery), Elspeth Jappy (P1-3) and Emily Harris (P4-7) and also to those receiving HT special awards: Ruaridh Revie, Isaac Roberts, Bethany Taylor and Lexi Tricker.

 

The end of term assembly included wishing good luck to the Primary 7s who will be moving on to Golspie High School after the summer break and also a very fond farewell to Moira Mackay who was retiring after working for many years across a number of East Sutherland schools as a PSA, latterly at Helmsdale Primary School.

 

Our thanks to everyone who entered the competition and to those who supported them. 
All 16 Sutherland Primary Schools took part in the competition and standards were high. Over 600 children took part. Full results are on the Coronation page of our website and on the FB post of 5 May.

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Coronation Art Competition awards for Rosehall and Lairg Primary Schools - June 2023

Deputy Lieutenant Sheila Stewart visited Rosehall and Lairg Primary Schools during their end of term assemblies to award the certificates for the Coronation Art Competition, together with the certificate from the Lord Lyon King of Arms to both schools.

 

Top photo - Rosehall Primary winners and recipients of the Head Teacher's special awards.

Bottom photo - Lairg Primary winners and recipients of the Head Teacher's special awards.

Our congratulations to all all those who entered the competition.


All 16 Sutherland Primary Schools took part in the competition and standards were high. Over 600 children took part. Full results are on the Coronation page of our website and on the FB post of 5 May.

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Coronation Art Competition awards Lochinver Primary School - June 2023

Deputy Lieutenant David Grant visited Lochinver Primary as part of the series of award presentations following the Sutherland Primary Schools Coronation Art Competition. A certificate from the Lord Lyon King of Arms (presented to all participating primary schools) was presented to teacher Colin Masterson. Our congratulations to those receiving certificates at Lochinver Primary.


All 16 Sutherland Primary Schools took part in the competition and standards were high. Over 600 children took part. Full results are on the Coronation page of our website and on the FB post of 5 May.

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Melness Coastguard - June 2023

The Lord-Lieutenant recently met members of Melness Coastguard at Tongue Primary School where they were teaching pupils about their role, first aid and much more. The Lord-Lieutenant thanked the team for their work and plans to visit the team more properly in due course. Coastguard Teams deserve huge recognition - especially in the summer season when they are at their busiest. (Photo L to R: Neil Uprichard, Lord-Lieutenant, Emily Allsop).


The Coastguard saves lives 24 hours a day on the coast and at sea, working closely with the RNLI. They provide a superb search and rescue emergency coordination and response service. In Sutherland they often support other organisations such as local police and Mountain Rescue Teams. The Melness team cover an area from Lochinver in the south west to the edge of Caithness in the north east. The length of Highland Region coastline (of which Sutherland forms a major part) including islands at low water is 4,905 kilometres, 21% of the Scottish total, (excluding islands is 1,900 kilometres - 49% of Scotland).

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Coronation Art Competition awards at Golspie Primary - June 2023

The first of a series of award presentations following the Sutherland Primary Schools Coronation Art Competition was made by the Lord-Lieutenant at Golspie Primary School. 

 

Photo: L to R: Leo Lannon (winner of the P4-7 class in Golspie PS), the Lord-Lieutenant, Summer Bradley-Rice (winner of the P1-3 class in Golspie PS). Alba Sutherland (winner of the nursery class in Golspie nursery) was absent and will have her award presented separately.

All 16 Sutherland Primary Schools took part in the competition and standards were high. Over 600 children took part. Full results are on the Coronation page, and also on our FB post of 5 May.

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Carbisdale visit - May 2023

The Lord-Lieutenant Major General Patrick Marriott visited Carbisdale Castle at the kind invitation of the owner, Samantha Kane, who is in the process of having the castle restored. The project is of huge importance to the local community who had also been invited both to see the work and for a belated celebratory Coronation tea. The Lord-Lieutenant spoke publicly to thank Samantha Kane not only for her “dedication and passion in her work here but also for her very genuine desire to help the many for whom the project will deliver both opportunity and livelihood”. 


The Lord-Lieutenant and guests were treated not only to an amazing tea but also the superb piping of Andrew Innes of Helmsdale (pictured with the Lord-Lieutenant).

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Culrain Garden Fete - May 2023

A beautiful, and successful, day for the Culrain and District Hall Committee's garden fete to raise funds towards hall renovations.

 

There were plants for sale, teas, baking, a scavenger hunt, raffle and a competition for the best garden hat, judged by Deputy Lieutenant Christine Mackay (won by Sue Tomlinson, pictured with Christine).

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The Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla - May 2023

The Lord-Lieutenant had the honour to be invited to the Coronation. 


By now most will have seen the Coronation and witnessed its series of rituals, the sublime music, and the over-arching focus on Service. It was an extraordinary event where every part meant something to someone somewhere. Whilst undeniably a Christian service, it’s moral underpinning and rightness were common to all Faiths. It was a perfect example where the pursuit of unity and the desire to include triumphed absolutely.

A copy of the order of service for the Coronation can be viewed and downloaded at:

www.royal.uk/orderofservice

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Coronation events in Sutherland - May 2023

Many events took place across the County over the Coronation long weekend, Big Lunches, picnics, ceilidhs, barbeques, fundraisers and all involved significant amounts of volunteering.

Images of the events that have taken place are on the Coronation page of the website.


Huge thanks to those who organised, volunteered, donated, attended or otherwise supported the wide variety of events across the County.

The image shows the Lord-Lieutenant cutting the Coronation cake at the Brora Community Picnic.

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Primary School Coronation Art Competition - May 2023

Every Primary School in Sutherland took part in the Coronation Art Competition, as well as one clustered school from Ross-shire, and the whole Lieutenancy would like to thank the many teachers who encouraged and guided so many children during the competition - and for the extraordinarily kind welcomes they received at every school they visited. The response was incredible with over 660 entries and the quality of entries and breadth of imagination was very impressive. The P1-3 winners are shown left, full results on the Coronation page.

Awards are being made for each competing school and the awards will be presented by the Lord-Lieutenant or one of the Deputy Lieutenants during visits to schools from the end of May and into June.

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Coronation tubs for Tongue, Melness and Skerray - May 2023

Deputy Lieutenant Frances Gunn visited Tongue Primary School to help them plant up their decorated coronation flower tubs with blue, white and red pansies provided by Tongue, Melness and Skerray Community Council.

The picture shows the children with the tub at the school, other tubs have been planted for Skerray and Melness.

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Bradbury Centre visit - May 2023

Deputy Lieutenant Christine Mackay visited the Bradbury centre to see what the clients have been doing and have a wee blether; she dropped off some hats for their sales table and artificial flowers for a new project they are about to start.  As ever, it was a joy to see the clients and staff having such fun. The clients have been busy making decorations for their Coronation Celebrations this week and the picture shows the Coronation Tree with four of the centre's clients.

The Bradbury Centre is a purpose built centre for the over 60’s and those with special needs. Based in Bonar Bridge, it is a Health and Well-being Centre covering East Sutherland, Tain, Dornoch and surrounding areas, providing activities that help people maintain their physical and mental health. Further information is available on their website - https://bradburycentre.co.uk/

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Tree planting at Assynt Mountain Rescue Team - April 2023

On Saturday 29 April Sutherland’s Queen’s Green Canopy tree to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II was finally planted by members of the Assynt Mountain Rescue Team at Inchnadamph. The rowan tree was presented to the Assynt Mountain Rescue Team last year in recognition of the extraordinary service they provide to locals and visitors alike across Sutherland and Caithness.


Photo: Quinag and Loch Assynt provide a proper backdrop to members of the Assynt Mountain Rescue team, the Lord-Lieutenant and stalkers from the Vestey Estate at Inchnadamph. 

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Primary School Coronation Art Competition - April 2023

All the 600+ entries for the Sutherland Primary School Coronation Art Competition have been collected in by either the Lord-Lieutenant or his Deputy Lieutenants over the last 7-10 days. Every Primary School in Sutherland took part (16) and the whole Lieutenancy would like to thank the many teachers who encouraged and guided so many children during the competition - and for the extraordinarily kind welcomes they received at every school they visited. 


Judging will take place on 26 April in Lairg with results being published in The Northern Times on 4/5 May. After the Coronation (late May-June) the Lord-Lieutenant and his Deputy Lieutenants will be visiting schools across Sutherland for award ceremonies. The image shows the Deputy Lieutenant David Grant collecting the entries from Lochinver Primary School.

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Battle of Littleferry comemoration - April 2023

15 April was the anniversary of the Battle of Littleferry and a ceremony was held to remember the fallen from both sides who fought on 15 April 1746. Around 20 gathered at 11am at the memorial in bright sunshine. Both the Golspie Branch of the Legion Scotland and Mr Angus McCall were thanked publicly, the former for taking on the management of the annual ceremony in perpetuity and Mr Angus McCall, as land owner for his continuing support of the project. The ”ethos of the memorial” was read and a minute’s silence for reflection took place. Two wreaths were laid, one by the Lord-Lieutenant, Major General Patrick Marriott, and one, for both sides (The “Littleferry Wreath”) by Mr Alasdair Miller, the Chairman of the Golspie Branch of the Legion Scotland. The ceremony concluded with the playing of “The Battle of Littleferry”, composed last year by April Sutherland and played this year by Pipe Major Erin Monaghan. 

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Mrs Mary Morrison's 100th birthday - April 2023

On 14 April, Neil MacDonald, the newest Deputy Lieutenant to the Sutherland Lieutenancy, delivered a Celebratory Birthday Card from the King and Queen Consort to Mrs Mary Morrison. The “ceremony” took place in Kinlochbervie Community Hall where around 100 folk had gathered to congratulate Mary on her 100th birthday. 


Congratulations and a very happy birthday to Mary, from the Lord-Lieutenant and all of the Sutherland Lieutenancy.

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New Deputy Lieutenant Appointed - March 2023

On 24 March Neil MacDonald received his commission as a Deputy Lieutenant of the county of Sutherland. Neil works for Reay Estates and is well known to the west of Sutherland. He and his wife, Aileen, live in Scourie. Mr MacDonald brings a wealth of experience to the Lieutenancy and his appointment is hugely appreciated by the team. Neil is shown being congratulated on his appointment by Lord-Lieutenant Major General Patrick Marriott.

Neil joins the lieutenancy team of Lord-Lieutenant Patrick Marriott, Vice Lord-Lieutenant Kim Tulloch and Deputy Lieutenants David Grant, Frances Gunn, Christine Mackay, Dawn McKenzie, Sheila Stewart and Catriona Whitfield. 

Dornoch Primary School visit - March 2023

Lord-Lieutenant Major General Patrick Marriott and Vice Lord-Lieutenant Kim Tulloch visited Dornoch Primary School on Friday 24 March to see the work that the children are starting for the Coronation Art Competition.

The Lieutenancy has created an art competition open to all Sutherland Primary Schools. The competition is split by age group and has a choice of 2 themes - the Crown in Scotland and the Natural Environment in Scotland. Details have been sent to all primary schools within Sutherland. Our neighbouring Lieutenancy in Ross and Cromarty is running a similar competition.

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Citizenship Ceremony - March 2023

The Lord-Lieutenant Major-General Patrick Marriott attended the Citizenship Ceremony for Margaret Meek of Kinlochbervie who was accompanied at the ceremony by her husband Hector Murdo Mackay. The Lord-Lieutenant welcomed Mrs Meek as a new Citizen of the United Kingdom at the ceremony which was led and organised by Assistant Registrar Sara Krzyzanowski and attended by a number of Local Councillors at the Highland Council offices in Dingwall. 

The citizenship ceremony involves making an oath, or affirmation, of allegiance and a pledge promising to respect the rights, freedoms and laws of the UK. At the end of the ceremony the new citizen receives their certificate of British citizenship and a welcome pack.

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Schools art competition for Coronation - March 2023

To celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III and the Queen Consort, the Lieutenancy has created an art competition for Sutherland Primary Schools. Lord-Lieutenant Major General Marriott described it as a: “fun competition to mark a historic event through art and we would encourage all primary school age pupils in Sutherland to take part.” The contest is split into three age groups – nursery, primaries 1-3, and primaries 4-7 – with pupils given a choice of two themes – the Crown in Scotland and the natural environment in Sutherland. Entries should be on A4 paper and in any medium. 

 

The competition runs until 21 April with awards for artwork being made to each competing school in Sutherland and then being presented by the Lord-Lieutenant or one of the Deputy Lieutenants during visits to schools in June.

Bonar Bridge Community Food Stop - March 2023

Lord-Lieutenant Major General Patrick Marriott and Deputy Lieutenant Christine Mackay helped out at the amazing Community Food Stop in Bonar Bridge. This excellent local initiative, like many others across Sutherland, is quietly working away delivering meals once a week. Importantly, it’s providing a focus for folk to gather, to catch up and to share their worries, news and hopes. The food stop is open every Monday between 1200 and 1400hrs.

All credit to the generous and kind team that give up their time to make it happen - and for being such fun hosts to everyone today - special people. Photo (From L to R: Beverly, Sarah, the Lord-Lieutenant (in gum boots), Gail, Doris, Mary and Christine (Deputy Lieutenant).

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Earthquake appeal - February 2023

On Monday 27 February, the Lord-Lieutenant visited the Rotary Club of East Sutherland’s tent in Brora where Alistair Risk (and others) are camping out to raise funds for the ShelterBox emergency appeal to help those affected by the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. The club’s aim is to raise a minimum of £5,000 before their tent comes down on 13 March.

Donations can be made through East Sutherland Rotary Club's JustGiving page.

 

Other links:

Shelterbox

Disasters Emergency Committee

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Creich War Memorial Centenary - February 2023

A service took place at Bonar Bridge on Thursday 23 February 2023 to mark the centenary of dedication of the Creich War Memorial. The standards of the local branch of Legion Scotland were borne by David Hannah and Rob Pope; piper Gillian Sutherland piped the welcome, a lament and Amazing Grace; the gathering prayer was said by Jeani Hunter; wreaths were laid on behalf of Creich CC by Keith Williams, who also read the names on the memorial, and on behalf of the Lieutenancy by Christine MacKay DL, who also read Binyon's words and the Kohima Epitaph. Following a dismissal prayer by Jeani Hunter, those present retired to the Bonar Bridge community hall for refreshments.

Videos of parts of the service are on Facebook and can be viewed through this link and this link. Photo credit: John Wood

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New flagpole for Golspie Memorial Garden - February 2023

A second flagpole for the Golspie Memorial Garden was dedicated on Monday 13 February. The flag pole was kindly donated by the Countess of Sutherland who hoisted the Sutherland flag during the ceremony.

 

The flag was a gift to RBLS - Golspie Branch from the Lord-Lieutenant who is a member of the Branch. The flags in the garden are organised by RBLS Golspie Branch; the second pole will be used for special flags such as the county flag, Armed Forces Day flag and the like. The event (and the setting up of the flagpole) was brilliantly arranged by Mr David Hignett a Golspie RBLS branch member.

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100th birthday of Eric Dawson, Dornoch - February 2023

Sunday 12 February saw the celebration of the 100th birthday of Eric Dawson at St Finbarr's Episcopal Church in Dornoch with a party after the Sunday morning service. Mr Dawson's son Barry had travelled to Dornoch to help celebrate his father's birthday, which they did together with the Revd Fr Simon Scott, members of the congregation, the Lord-Lieutenant of Sutherland Major General Patrick Marriott, Vice Lord-Lieutenant Kim Tulloch and Provost of Dornoch Paddy Murray. The Lord-Lieutenant presented Mr Dawson with his birthday card from the King and Queen Consort

Further celebrations were held the following day, the day of Mr Dawson's actual birthday.

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Lieutenancy commissions presented - January 2023

On Friday 20 January, Lord-Lieutenant Major General Patrick Marriott was delighted to present Kim Tulloch with her commission as Vice Lord-Lieutenant (picutred left), and to present Dawn McKenzie with her commission as a Deputy Lieutenant (pictured right).

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Brora Community Wreath laying - January 2023

On New Year's Day Deputy Lieutenant Dawn MacKenzie attended the community wreath-laying ceremony at the Clyne parish war memorial in Brora.  The commemoration also marked the centenary of the unveiling of the war memorial on Christmas Day 1922. Approximately 150 people attended as the wreath, made by Faye Macleod, was laid by Elaine Smith and her children, Karl, Katie and Kyle (relatives of Mrs Thomas Matheson who originally unveiled the memorial in 1922) and piper Danny Parkin played from the top of the memorial clock tower. Also pictured is Dr Nick Lindsay, Chair of Friends of Clyne War Memorial.
 

Photograph: Friends of Clyne War Memorial

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