Last Friday, after years of uncertainty and struggling, was the official handover of Bowmore village hall from Argyll & Bute council to a community committee for a nominal fee of one pound. In the picture you see Margaret McLean from the local committee handing over the pound note, and Sandy MacTaggart from the Argyll & Bute council handing over the key. Margaret held a speech which you can find below:
Margaret: A Warm welcome to everyone,
This is a day many of us thought would never come. We have had many ups and downs in the nearly 3 years since we said we would undertake action to save Bowmore Hall from closure following the council’s announcement they could or would no longer run it at a loss. We have lost a few members along the way including a wonderful chairman Malcolm Younger, but this was due to him having to be away from Islay so much in connection with his work.
We all realise what we have taken on will involve commitment and a lot of hard work but we also think it is worthwhile as the hall is worthy of saving, being centrally situated and being of a size which can accommodate large and varied functions and even conferences.
The hall looks a “bit sad” at present and requires immediate painting outside and in, it needs more than a little TLC but I am sure you all agree it is certainly a valuable commodity the council are handing over to us today for the princely sum of £1!!
Thanks must go to several people who have helped from the outset, the architect, Robert White who made the proposed drawings, Christine Menhennet for the work preparing the feasibility study collating the questionnaire and presenting our proposals to the public meeting.
A big thank you to our councillors, Robin, John and Ann for their part in ensuring we received the monies promised and we hope we can rely on their support in the future. Thanks also to Anne Clark and John Davidson of CVS who have done a lot to help us get to where we are today. We wish Anne in her retirement and we rely on John’s continued invaluable guidance. I would like to thank all committee members for their input at all meetings and at fund raising events with special mention to Kate, secretary and treasurer who regularly liaised with John Davidson and Sandy MacTaggart and who has done a lot of work behind the scenes resulting in getting two large grants amounting to nearly £13000, well done!
Although we have a serious task ahead I sincerely hope the fun and comradery we shared as a committee will continue.
Finally we must highlight Sarah’s contribution, as everyone can see she has the hall sparkling! In the past I feel she was taken for granted and did a lot of work beyond the call of duty. We are delighted she has agreed to advise and help the new committee, we would like her to accept a small token of our appreciation of all her hard work and her part in making take over easier.
It just leaves me now to thank Sandy for ensuring all essential repairs and electrical works were completed before the handover date and also for coming over today to do the “honours.! We look forward to putting our plans into action and we hope we will have the support of the whole community behind us and at this hall OUR HALL, THE COMMUNITIE’S HALL will be there for everyone for many years to come.