Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Meallaibh ur naidheachd a dh' Iain Aonghais MacLeoid!

I've just learned that Largs based poet John Angus MacLeod has been awarded the prestigious Duais Chomunn Gàidhlig Lunnainn for his outstanding and lifelong dedication to the Scottish Gaelic language.

John Angus, a Hearach (from Harris), a crowned Bard at the Royal National Mod and a former chief of the Gaelic Society of London, was for many years active in the promotion of the language in the south of England and Wales, before moving to Largs in North Ayrshire. Whilst living in Bristol, I had the pleasure of attending several of his Gaelic classes in Cardiff, and of meeting him and his wife at several cèilidhs at the Highlands and Islands Society in London. About three years ago I also had the further pleasure of taking John Angus back to his home in Harris to be filmed for the BBC series "Coast", he having witnessed Zucker's famous rocket mail experiment in the 1930s, designed to fire mail from the Harris mainland to its western island of Scarp.

If you come here to Largs and wonder why you are greeted with a big sign proclaiming "Failte do'n Leargaidh Ghallda", it's all down to him!

The following translation of Flower of Scotland into Gaelic is just one of John Angus's many contributions:


O Fhlùir na h-Albann,
cuin a chì sinn
an seòrsa laoich
a sheas gu bàs 'son
am bileag feòir is fraoich,
a sheas an aghaidh
feachd uailleil Iomhair
's a ruaig e dhachaidh
air chaochladh smaoin?

Meallaibh ur naidheachd Iain Aonhgais...! (Congratulations!)

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