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Sir Iain Noble Memorial Lecture

Dr Hugh Dan MacLennan will give this year’s Sir Iain Noble Memorial Lecture at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, entitled “Interesting”, a word often used by the late Sir Iain.

The annual lecture was established two years ago by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Urras an Eilein (the Island Trust) – two organisations which Sir Iain helped to establish and with which he enjoyed enduring ties during his lifetime – to honour the work and achievements of Sir Iain, especially with regard to the college, the island and the Gaelic language.

It was through the vision and efforts of Sir Iain that Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI was established in 1973. The college is now part of the University of the Highlands and Islands and offers courses in various subjects at under-graduate and post-graduate level all through the medium of Gaelic. Sir Iain was a successful merchant banker and businessman, but is, perhaps best remembered in the Highlands for his continued and proactive support of Gaelic.

John N. MacLeod,  Vice-Principal at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig said: “This annual event is very important in commemorating and marking Sir Iain Noble’s legacy, the successful developments he established and the numerous important initiatives in which he was engaged, particularly those connected with the promotion of Gaelic.  We are delighted that Dr Hugh Dan MacLennan, broadcaster, author and  academic, who is actively involved in developments related to language, culture and sport at various levels,  is to deliver this year’s lecture.  We look forward to an erudite and scholarly lecture, personal recollections and an evening with fine music and merriment also.”   

Sir Iain was also very much involved in the work of Urras an Eilein during his life, a trust he helped to establish in order to promote cultural and educational projects with a particular connection to Gaelic and/or, the Isle of Skye.

Murdo Beaton, project co-ordinator for Urras an Eilein, said: “We are delighted to have Dr Hugh Dan MacLennan deliver this year’s Lecture, and we are certain that it will prove to be a lively, encouraging and interesting evening that will be much enjoyed by all those who attend”

Dr Hugh Dan MacLennan, whose parents were originally from Harris, was brought up in Lochaber. In 1978 he took his first steps into the world of Gaelic employment when he became a Gaelic teacher at Millburn Academy, Inverness after graduating from Glasgow University.  Since then he has been heavily involved in Gaelic Media as a journalist, historian, sports commentator, translator, and broadcaster.  Dr Hugh Dan has been involved with the Gaelic community at various levels and has taken part in projects for the development agency Comunn na Gàidhlig as well as being Secretary of the Gaelic Society of Inverness and Chairman of the Sorley MacLean Trust. A lifetime passion of Dr Hugh Dan has been shinty which has taken him as far as Novia Scotia when he was an organiser of the shinty tour undertaken by Kingussie and Skye shinty clubs. He was also appointed to the first Board of Directors of the Camanachd Association, the Governing Body of shinty.

Looking ahead to the lecture, Dr MacLennan commented: “There are very few people who wouldn’t have heard the word “interesting” while in the company of Sir Iain Noble at one time or another. I regard it as a great honour to be invited to deliver this year’s lecture in memory of our good friend, Iain Noble. These past years have been an exciting time in the world of Gaelic, and none more so than the events that have unravelled in the South end of Skye over this time. During the lecture I will reflect on events that have had an impact on my life – who am I and why? – people I have met through Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and hopefully raising a few questions that I hope will be, well, interesting”.

The lecture will take place on Thursday the 30th of October at 7.30pm in Talla Dhonaidh Chaimbeil, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. All are welcome and entry is free. The lecture will be given in Gaelic, and simultaneous translation will be provided for those without Gaelic. The evening will include music and refreshments afterwards.

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