Inverness Highland Games Community Heroes Honoured

The dedication of two of the North of Scotlandís most popular Highland Games stalwarts will be recognised at a special ceremony to be held at Inverness Town House on Friday evening (October 16th) when Games Chieftain Provost Helen Carmichael inducts the first two members into the newly established Inverness Highland Games Hall of Fame.

Inverness Highland Games Committee Chairman Angus Dick said ďWith over 90 years of involvement with numerous Games around the Highlands between them; the induction of our Scorer Ian Tasker and our Commentator Colin Baillie into our Hall of Fame is richly deserved; and it enables us to thank them for their much appreciated contribution.

Without the support of community members like Ian and Colin, it would be impossible for many Games to continue, and we are grateful to the Provost and the Council for their help in honouring them.

In future years we are planning to announce the inductees at the opening ceremony of our Games; and as part of the preparations for the celebrations for the bi-centenary of our Games in 2022; we are now looking back through the archives to discover more about those who made a major contribution in the past and should be considered for inclusion. ď

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Review 2015 Kirking of the Council 

Provost Helen Carmichael led a colourful parade through the sunny streets of Inverness to the 2015 Kirking of the Council which was held at the Old High Church. The service conducted by the Reverend Peter Nimmo was focused upon the the theme of volunteering and was enjoyed by all. We will be adding some great pictures of the Kirking in our Gallery in the days ahead and as usual if you have taken any photographs we would love to see them!

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Preview: Remembering Edith Cavell 
Edith Cavell, the British nurse who the gardens by the River Ness in which our city's War Memorial stands is named after, is to be remembered at an event in Inverness on 12th October 2015 - the 100th Anniversary of her execution during World War One.

Edith worked as a nurse in German-occupied Belgium where she helped save the lives of soldiers from both sides. She was shot by a German firing squad for helping allied soldiers to escape across the border into the Netherlands.

The daughter of a parson from the village of Swardeston in Norfolk; after becoming a nurse, Edith was invited to organise training in Belgium.

When the war broke out, she was at home in the safety of Norfolk but bravely insisted on returning to Europe. Historians have connected her Christian faith with her commitment to the nursing team and the college that she had set up in Belgium.

When she returned to mainland Europe, she became part of an informal group which smuggled 200 allied soldiers into the Netherlands, which was neutral, in order to save them from falling into the hands of the Germans.

After being betrayed and arrested in August 1915; she admitted her role and was tried for treason. Despite appeals for clemency from the US and Spain, she was shot on the morning of 12 October 1915, aged 49. Her execution received worldwide condemnation and extensive press coverage.

She is well known for her statement that "patriotism is not enough" and her strong Anglican beliefs propelled her to help all those who needed it, both German and Allied soldiers.

She was quoted as saying, "I canít stop while there are lives to be saved."

That she did not criticise those who condemned her or failed to help her when facing death has been lauded by historians as another instance of her courage.

Further information can be obtained from the Secretary Royal British Legion Scotland Inverness Branch on 07881815873

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The Inverness Highland Games attracted an enthusiastic crowd of around 7000 spectators upon its eagerly anticipated return to Bught Park as part of the new Inverness Gala.

History was made when Provost Helen Carmichael became the first female Games Chieftain in the history of the Gathering, and the warm smiles and sustained applause from the packed grandstand as the spectators realised that they were witnessing something very special indeed got the proceedings off to the finest possible start.

The numbers taking part in the traditional Mass Highland Fling led by the Elizabeth Fraser School of Highland Dancing at the end of the opening ceremony were the largest and most enjoyable to date; with over 70 young dancers and around 100 soldiers from The Royal Regiment of Scotland based at Fort George; joined by numerous spectators from all over the world and a host of distinguished guests.

The Games featured one of the largest number of entries for the Track and Field athletics events for many a year; thanks to the support of the Inverness Harriers, who found their athletes facing competitors from all over the North of Scotland, France, England, Ireland and as far away as Australia and Fiji.

The Heavy events took place in front of a backdrop of wonderful entertainment which was provided throughout the day by members of the Inverness Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dancing Society; the Northern Constabulary Police Band, the Dingwall Royal British Legion Pipe Band and the Strathisla Pipe Band.

With a Canadian Film crew recording his every move for a Discovery Channel TV Documentary on the science of Highland Games; Sinclair Patience of Tain retained his Inverness Games Championship after a memorable struggle with John Macleod of Lochinver, David Hart of Fort William, Shaun and Jamie Gunn of Halkirk; and Brad Goldsmith (Virginia)and Paul Finn (New York) of the USA.

The Games ended with 252lb Stonemasonís Stone Challenge and to the delight of the crowd all of the heavies stepped forward to attempt it. After watching Goldsmith and Hart go agonisingly close to launching the Stone over the 5 foot bar; the day ended with the crowd going wild as Sinclair Patience achieved the feat for the 3rd year in a row. Roll on 2016!

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Review:2015 Highlands Strongest Man 
Highlands Strongest Man 2015.
(Report by Gavin Laird)

A total of seven competitors gathered at Nothern Meeting Park for a day of sport in near perfect weather conditions. the events were Car Deadlift for reps, Sandbag Medley, Log Press for maximum, Conans wheel and Stones over Yoke.
1. Ben Thomson - 50 points.
2. Stewart Flett - 42 points
3. Shaun Hunter - - 40 points.
4. Larry Wood - 37 points
5. Mike Bickers 33 points
6. Dave Notman - 31 points
7. Ian Wood - 13 points (retired after 2 events)
A superb winning performance by Ben, taking first place in every event and showing a great blend of static strength, technical ability and fitness when moving with weight.

Shaun and Stewart both put in extremely solid performaces, tallying up a string of 2nd and 3rd places throughout the event and providing great entertainment for the crowd of over 600 spectators.
My thanks to our event staff John R Thomson, Karen Sutherland, and Luke Stoltman for all their assistance with time keeping, scoring and re-setting equipment between events, it was great to have Scotland Strongest Man and Scotlands Strongest Woman on hand to help out! Thanks also to our event sponsors Macrae and Dick Honda, Cerberus Strength, The Forge Gym, Scotts Larder and as ever to Gerry Reynolds and Inverness Festivals for their ongoing support of Strength Sports in the Highlands.
We'll see you next year for more spectacular action at the Highlands Strongest Man 2016!

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Review- Saturday 27 June -Riverside Party & Zombie-Ness 
With two (pilot) events for the price of none safely in the bag - June 27th 2015 went into the record books as a seriously good day.

The Riverside Party in Huntly Street which was designed to appeal to Toddlers and the younger members of our community was well received; and we managed to capture this lovely shot of a youngster meeting Mini Mouse. Seeing hundreds of happy families having an enjoyable time on a sunny day was really pleasing; but perhaps more importantly we now have a clear understanding of what can - and can not - be staged successfully in this part of the city. Lots of encouragement and support from the locals who live and work on Huntly Street.

The second pilot event staged was Zombie-Ness and this event was designed to appeal to teenagers and families alike. The scale of the community creativity on display at this event is hard to explain in a few photographs; but special mention must go to the participants; and the folks working behind the scenes to transform them. It really was a lot of fun.

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