New Head Teacher

A new head teacher has been appointed to Iona’s small primary school.  Katherine Elwis from Tobermory was acting head for a while and has now been appointed head teacher on a permanent basis.  The primary school has 14 pupils at the moment, with 3 in the pre school unit.  The school role is slowly growing and is expected to reach 20 by 2015.  The islands population of children had been in decline in recent years, but now seems to be steadily growing.

Facebook Page

The website has a brand new Facebook page designed to help the visitor to the island.  Please add your images and any helpful comments.

Anna of Iona : A Carved Identities project

Anna of Iona : A Carved Identities project

On 12th April 2012, girls from Ross of Mull and Tobermory Brownie units had the chance to give an on-site presentation to professional archaeologists, historians and experts from both the UK and abroad as part of a research conference taking place on Iona.

The girls took delegates round the nunnery on Iona, impressing them with their knowledge and confidence, and told them about the Carved Identities project they had taken part in – Anna of Iona.

This was the culmination of a Carved Identities project run by Historic Scotland’s Learning Services, which aimed to encourage young people to explore and celebrate the carved stone heritage of Iona.. The focus of the project was Iona nunnery and the carved graveslab of Anna McLean, housed at Iona Abbey, which is one of the few carvings of an abbess surviving in Scotland.

The girls found out about Anna and life in a nunnery by undertaking activities from a resource pack produced for the project.

The Brownies, plus Rainbow Guides from Tobermory and Ross of Mull, came together to visit Iona in September 2011, which was facilitated by local storyteller Jan Sutch Pickard, who brought the nunnery to life through her interactive story. The girls also visited the graveslab and made sketches of Anna to take away.

Back at their meeting places the girls then made textile collages of their interpretation of Anna McLean, and created acrostic poems about the abbess with Jan.

The results of the project, along with photographs from the trip, are now on display in St Ronans Chapel, Iona, until 30th April, and the exhibition will then move to Ross of Mull Historical Centre on 18th May, and then travel to Tobermory in June (dates and location to be confirmed)

Quotes from the girls :

Alana and Morven

We went to Iona and did a guided tour of the nunnery and worked together to tell the visitors about the church and the sewing room. We were successful on getting the information across to the people.

Chloe and Sakshi

We did a talk together about the refectory. We talked about how the nuns had to eat in silence and they used to pick some herbs for healing people. We enjoyed seeing our pictures on display. There were lots of people there.

Daisy and Page

On the 12th of April the Brownies went to Iona to go to the nunnery to do a tour of the nunnery. Daisy was interviewed by BBC Alba. Our favourite thing was speaking about the dormitory.

Quote from leader:

Sue Penny, Leader with Tobermory Brownies: “it’s been great to see how much the girls have taken from it, and how it has fired their imagination”.


Iona 2013 Celebrations

This is an advance notice of an important event to commemorate  the 1,450th anniversary of the death of St. Columba; it looks like there will a series of events that will take place on Iona 2013.   It is anticipated that the leaders of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Repulic of Ireland will be attending an event on Iona in 2013, although this is not yet confirmed.   As events and schedules are ‘firmed up’ I will post notices on this website and also add the events to the Mull and Iona Diary, accessed by the link on the menu bar.  The event is being coordinated by Argyll and the Isles Strategic Tourism Partnership.

High profile V.I.P’s will be present at many of the events, particularly in May.   15th 16 June are earmarked for festivities.

Argyll and the Isles ‘Stronger Together’

The 1st of March saw the second Tourism sumit for Argyll and the Isles held at the spectacular Portavadie Marina.   Argyll and the Isles Strategic Tourism Partnership was the host of the event, in partnership with the Council and other stakeholders.  The Partnership is chaired by Mike Story from Mull, with Dave Curry from Holiday Mull, and myself, representing the Argyll and the Isles Federation of Small Business as this areas representitves.  Our joint aim is to bring tourism together under one heading, with the common aim of joint promotion and representation.

Argyll and The Isles Tourism Coop Ltd. (AIT). This is a new company now being set up setting up to receive funding and deliver the actions required to develop tourism. It is a cooperative company, because it must belong to the members of the 28 marketing groups. The company will have no outside shareholders and Directors will be elected from members of the various marketing groups. AISTP will continue to act as the strategy group.

I think that all of the area has realised that it is time to ‘raise the bar’ on our efforts to develop Tourism and give the visitor a first class experience.  The advent of Social Media and ‘Feeds’ has meant that content can be dynamic and exciting.  Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are but three of the mediums that can be developed.

‘Together we are Stonger’ was the phrase that came across strongly, from both the guests and speakers like the SNP minister Mike Russel.  To that aim we should all now work.

Garmony Hydro project passes first main objective

As you may have seen on Facebook, we now have a total of 1426 votes cast and received by Electoral Reform Services in London. This equates to 59% of the electoral roll on Mull and Iona and means that the result of the ballot will be recognised by Forestry Commission Scotland.
As yet we have no indication of what the result will be and have to wait for the closing date on March 8th before Electoral Reform Services will let us have this information.
It would be great to keep up the momentum and maximise the percentage of residents who use their vote so please can you keep up the good work by spreading the word.
Remember, if someone has lost their ballot paper, they can obtain a replacement by calling Electoral Reform Services on 020 8889 9203.

Thanks for your help.


Sustainable Mull and Iona