The funeral took place at Sandwick Free Church Continuing on Wednesday October 4, of well-known traditional storyteller and TV scriptwriter Chrisella Ross, from Upper Bayble on Point, who has died at the age of 55.
Most recently, Chrisella was a scriptwriter for the Gaelic drama Bannan, produced by Young Films in the Isle of Skye. Earlier this year (2017) producer Chris Young said of her: “Chrisella is one of my favourite scriptwriters. Her writing – a unique and powerful mix of originality and authenticity infused with her own rich sense of humour – creates characters with a depth of emotion and humanity that makes for great drama.”
The idea at the heart of the drama – a high-powered lawyer returning to her home island – was hers. She came up with the idea while studying on Glasgow Caledonian’s Master of Arts in TV fiction course.
Earlier, with the former national Gaelic arts agency, Pròiseact nan Ealan, she created and led a national Gaelic storytelling project for more than seven years. After that, she moved into telling stories herself and then began writing for theatre.
She said in an interview with the West Highland Free Press earlier this year: “In terms of my CV, I have done loads of jobs! I’ve been a barmaid. I had a stint in Inverness College as a secretary, which I knew by day three was never going to happen! In Edinburgh, I was the caretaker of a DSS property, I stripped furniture and I drove a library van. I studied Business Studies at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig when it first opened, and then I worked in the museum in Lewis.” With Museum nan Eilean, she was involved in creating an event in the Town Hall to commemorate the passing of the Crofting Act in 1886.
She then spent about ten years in Edinburgh and got a post in the military museum in Edinburgh Castle. She got involved with creating a CD Rom for schools about the history of Gaelic Scotland from 300AD to 1951 based on the collections of the National Museum and the School of Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh.
Comann Eachdraidh an Rubha (The Point Historical Society) said that it was "with immense sadness that we record the passing of Chrisella Ross, a long-time key member of Comann Eachdraidh an Rubha.
"Chrisella served on the committee and previously as treasurer, and has been curator of valuable parts of our collection. Her passing is a grievous loss to her family and to us as a group. She was zealous for her language, culture and heritage and knowledgeable about all three.
"Despite her illness she remained positive in outlook and continued to be involved in as many activities as possible. A month ago she was involved in planning the next exhibition.
"We extend heartfelt sympathy to her husband Donald, to daughter Mairi and son DJ, to her mother Mairi, and her sisters Etta and Marisa and their families in their immeasurable loss."
(This article has been modified and extended since its original publication)