A barbecue being held tomorrow afternoon (Saturday July 27th) marks the official celebration of 10 years since the Clan Macquarrie community centre opened.

The new centre in Borve replaced a much older village hall which itself commemorated a momentous event on the Westside of Lewis.

Clan MacQuarrie was a Clan Line ship which came to grief during a great storm on January 31st 1953. The biggest ever breeches buoy rescue brought 66 crewmen safely to land, where the warmth and hospitality of the islanders became legendary.

The actions of lifesavers and community that night earned the national Rescue Shield for Stornoway – coincidentally this year our Coastguard teams won the shield for only the second time, after saving the life of a man fallen on a cliff in St Kilda.

In 1954 a new village hall was built with a thank you donation from the Clan Line, but by the turn of the 21st century that hall needed to be replaced. With the support of dozens of agencies, funders, local businesses and individual volunteers, the new Clan MacQuarrie centre opened in April 2009.

In the decade since then it’s been the scene of community events, celebrations, performances and meetings. From Burns night to Hogmanay, the hall is often full. Run entirely by a dedicated band of volunteers, it’s a place for everybody and a huge asset to the district.

Tomorrow the committee extends an invitation to the whole community to join them at 5.30pm for a family BBQ, followed by a ceilidh. The event is bring-your-own refreshments, although a welcoming drink and a burger are free to all, with a vegetarian option available. Soft drinks, juice and ice cream will be on offer for the youngsters, plus face-painting and a raffle with some very nice prizes!

The committee say: “Please join us to mark 10 successful years of Clan Macquarrie Community Centre.”