This week the Comann Eachdraidh was pleased to welcome Mr and Mrs Jack Duncan from Michigan, USA, on their first visit to Uig. Jack is the great grandson of “An Irish”, Calum Macritchie, a well-known character in his day and one of the leaders of the Reef Raiders in 1913. Jack’s grandparents were Tarmod an Irish and Ceit Bhan (daughter of Barney O’Hare) who lived latterly in Stornoway, and Jack’s mother Catherine emigrated to America as a young woman in the 1920s where she settled in Detroit (home of many Lewis folk) and met her husband who was from Glasgow.
Finlay Maciver and Kathanna Latimir took Jack and Marilyn on a tour of the various family homes: Carnish, from which they were cleared in the 1850s, Aird, Kneep, Reef and Carishader. Maggie Smith sang “Mac an Irish” for them and the following day they visited the house on Westview Terrace (then Ropework Road) where Tarmod and Ceit lived, before visiting Marion Morrison in Barvas, who remembers not only Tarmod but also his mother, Mairi Mhurchaidh na Duine. Those who remember the “Irishes” will notice that Jack has inherited the family height. We hope to see them again soon and we are calculating how many weeks they’ll need to stay next time if they are to get round all the many cousins in Uig.