There’s been a change of team at Stornoway’s Comunn na Gaidhlig office this week as director of development Calum Iain Macleod retires after 11 years.
Calum Iain has held a national remit from the Stornoway office of CnaG since March 2007.
The organisation works with young people in Gaelic Medium Education, giving them opportunities to use Gaelic outside the classroom. Projects such as after school clubs with homework support and activities, workshops, sports competitions and media projects are run around Scotland, with all activities conducted entirely in Gaelic.
This week young people from all over Scotland joined island youngsters at a three-day camp in Harris, with activities including a barbecue and sports night on Luskentyre beach on Wednesday (July 4th).
Reflecting on his time with CnaG, Calum Iain said: “There are now so many opportunities for young people to use Gaelic outside the classroom. I am proud of how things have grown. There are now six Sradagan (youth clubs) in Lewis and two in Harris, for example, and whereas when I started there was just one camp a year, we now have two and are hoping there will be three next year.
“Very often it is the first time the children have been away from their parents, and by the end of the week they are all chatting away in Gaelic. That is something I take great pleasure in witnessing.
“I’m now planning to do absolutely nothing except enjoy the company of my grandchildren for three months, and then I shall look around and see what might arise as a part-time opportunity that will keep me busy!”
Calum Iain is succeeded by Marina Murray, who has been appointed development director after nine years as Gaelic initiatives officer for north-west Lewis. Marina said: “It was a pleasure working with and learning from Calum Iain over the years. He’s had a huge impact on Gaelic development and was a very popular, helpful and supportive manager.
“I’m really excited to get working on projects both established and new. We have an excellent team of staff working on projects all over the country, which is having a positive impact on young people’s ability and confidence in using Gaelic.”
Also newly appointed is Mairi Macdonald, who will be development support co-ordinator at the Stornoway office.
Calum Iain is pictured (centre front) with his colleagues at his retirement dinner in Stornoway last week. Marina Murray is standing behind him.