Monday, December 03, 2007

Glittering Turn out For Glen Social Event of the Year *

On Friday 23rd November 2007, a party of over 90 players ,friends, sponsors and supporters of Glen Urquhart Shinty Club gathered together to enjoy a splendid social evening in the Clansman Hotel . Nourished by a splendid repast provided by Cobb’s master chef Mr. Dave West, waited on diligently by Rory and his staff and enticed to dance by the Ness Duo the company enjoyed an evening of friendship and reflection. It was certainly an evening to look back with perhaps a tinge of regret at a season which saw the Balliemore Cup and the League trophy come close but remain just out of reach.
On the other hand ,it was also an evening to look back on what was achieved- the under 14 side made it through to the final of the Development League and shows that we have taken some steps forward in our youth policy; on the pitch the top side played some marvellous games and -though the Kyles victory remains high on the Wing Centre’s personal list of favourites-holding Fort William to a 1-1 draw at An Aird in the Camanachd Cup must be the true highlight.
And aren’t the gods of shinty cruel : neither Lovat or Kinlochshiel -and they won the trophies which mattered -produced a performance like that this season. Still it is memories like these which give hope and focus for seasons yet to come.
Social evenings are also an occasion for giving out prizes and saying thank you to those who have served the Club throughout the years and this year Chairman Jim had at the head of his list our long serving secretary Mrs Mary Macdonald who was stepping down from the post after many years of loyal service. Obviously it would be ungallant to be precise about just how numerous were Mary’s years of work on behalf of the Club but suffice to say that they are considerable and much appreciated by all.
Also stepping down from the task of regulating the weekly Lotto is Mrs Ann Fraser and many thanks are due to her for all her efforts.
As a token of gratitude from the Club Mary received a piece of jewellery and was presented with a bouquet of flowers.
Mrs Helen Maclennan was recognised for the sterling work which she does with the young players and she in turn paid tribute to Stuart Reid who did so much in his placement in the school during the summer term to raise the profile of shinty amongst youngsters in the Glen. Thanks in this instance too are also due to Stuart Morrison who deals with the younger players and of course to Jan and Alan Bell who do much work with the Primary pupils. Alistair Mackintosh (Jun) and Neale Reid who have also done much to help were also thanked for their efforts.
The main award of the evening -that of Glen Urquhart player of the year-went to Lewis Maclennan (pictured above). Lewis had an excellent season and finished with 29 goals (30 if you count one scored in the North area trials) it would have crowned his season if he had been able to be selected for the North Squad but unfortunately he missed out on that. To be fair on him with James Clark, John MacDonald, Ronald Ross and John Stewart ahead of him in the picking order it was hard to see that dream coming true. However, young Maclennan has laid down a fine marker for the future and it is to be hoped that he will get the opportunity
After the eating and the awards the rest of the evening passed in a blur of conversation and dancing . Old games were replayed and old acquaintances renewed : it was ever thus.

For those with a culinary interest in these things the menu was as follows:

Scotch Broth
Crayfish salad masked with Marie Rose Sauce
Prime Roast of Scottish Beef
served with Yorkshire puddings, seasonal vegetables and a rich gravy
Breast of corn-fed chicken laced with a white wine & cream sauce
served with seasonal vegetables
Coffee & shortbread

As the party waited at the end of the evening to be conveyed up and down the Glen in the fine autobus provided by Mr Bill Ross of Struie, the verdict was unanimous. A good night was had by one and all.

*written mostly in the style of the Inverness Courier circa 1907

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