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What was happening in Sutherland 25, 50 and 100 years ago


By Ali Morrison

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25 YEARS AGO

Campaigners who want to knock down the Duke of Sutherland’s statue on Ben Bhraggie will re-submit their planning application next month. And they have announced a series of fundraising events today for their proposals, including a “Topple the Duke” T-shirt and sponsored walks to the top of Ben Bhraggie. The planning application to take down the statue has been reworded, now asking for the removal of the statue, which would be stored until a permanent home is found for it – possibly in the grounds of Dunrobin Castle. It is then proposed to erect a Celtic cross on top of the plinth.

Brora registrar for more than 65 years Mr Jack Maclennan, should be honoured by having a new registrar’s office named after him. This was the view of Brora community councillors, who agreed this week to continue their push for the former health centre in Gower Street to be made into new offices for Mr Maclennan. The former health centre was vacated last month when staff moved into new premises.

50 YEARS AGO

Mr George J. Dingwall, of Lairg, who recently retired as Scout Commissioner for the county of Sutherland, has been awarded the Silver Wolf, the highest award in Scouting, by the Chief Scout, Sir Charles Maclean. And Sir Charles himself is to make the presentation when he visits Sutherland during his Scottish tour next month. The ceremony will take place in the Drill Hall, Golspie. Mr Dingwall has almost 50 years' connection with the Scouting movement and this latest award is "in recognition of services of the most exceptional character".

"I WILL not have the naming of dollies, the raffling of boxes of chocolates (far less whisky!) nor the counting of sweeties in order to raise funds for the church. May God have mercy on us if we are as desperate for money as all that!"

That is the warning handed out to his congregation by the Rev. Charles Abel, minister of Clyne Parish Church, Brora. He was writing in a letter in his latest congregational magazine.

100 YEARS AGO

Several meetings have been held with a view to fixing a design for Helmsdale War Memorial, but as yet nothing definite has been decided on although a site has been already chosen. People who have given handsome subscriptions towards the Memorial Fund (which is now well over £1000) are wondering when the Memorial is to be erected and what form it is going to take.

The Comrades of the Great War movement has been enthusiastically taken up in the Bonar Bridge district, which includes Ardgay, Rosehall and Spinningdale.

At a preliminary meeting in the Drill Hall, chaired by Lieut-Col A. L. Macmillan, it was agreed that the Post be called Kyle Post of the Sutherland County Division, and it was hoped it would soon be converted into a branch, ie., with 100 members. Office-bearers were appointed.

At a meeting on Saturday evening, 40 members were enrolled and it was unanimously agreed that a club be started in connection with the Comrade movement.

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