Club President Donald McCorkindale welcomed the winners of this year’s annual Rotary poetry competition, Alan Byrne and Sarah MacEachan from St Columba’s RC Primary, along with their Head Teacher Violet Smith, to lunch at a recent Rotary meeting. The winner of the Gaelic language poem, Martha Pritchard from Acharacle Primary, was unable to attend.

Over 200 entries were submitted from Lochaber’s 25 primary schools -stretching from Kinlochleven in the east to the Island of Eigg in the west and from Invergarry in the north to Duror Primary in South Lochaber.

The subject of this year’s creative challenge was “The Seashore” – a recognition of the importance that the contribution of the sea and coastline make to Lochaber’s outstanding visual landscape, its economy and its character. This topic posed a real challenge to the youngsters who addressed it in a wide range of poetic creations.

After lengthy deliberation discussion, including reading all the entries aloud, the judges decided to award the overall winner’s prize to Alan Byrne from Primary 6 at St Columba’s Primary at the Caol Campus. Alan receives a trophy and his school receives a cheque for £50. All the winners (see below) receive book tokens to the value of £20 with £10 tokens to the runners-up.

Past-President John Goodall, current chair of the Club’s Youth Activities Committee, said “We were pleased with the quality of the entries, particularly with the inventiveness of the very young pupils in primaries 1 and 2, and we are happy with the year-on-year uptake from Lochaber’s schools. The poetry competition continues to be very popular. We extend our thanks to Lorna Findlayson who read all the poems aloud. This was a huge help to the judges”.

The winners were presented with their certificates and book tokens at the Club’s weekly business lunch meeting. Pictured are Margaret Boyd, vice-convenor of the Youth Activities Committee, John Goodall, convenor, Sarah and Alan, Violet Smith, Headteacher, and Club President Donald McCorkindale

Primaries 1-4
Winner Sarah MacEachan, p4, St Columba’s Primary, Caol
Runner Up Ailsa MacDougall, p4, Arisaig Primary

Primaries 5-7
Winner Alan Byrne, p6, St Columba’s Primary, Caol
Runner Up Brodie Groundwater, p5, Kinlochleven Primary
Gaelic language winner: Martha Pritchard, p2 Acharacle Primary