Catriona Bain was presented with the Donald Stewart Memorial Trust trophy by Comhairle Convener, Councillor Norman A Macdonald
The Donald Stewart Memorial Trust award for 2017 has been won by Catriona Bain, from Gress, Isle of Lewis.
The Trust decided unanimously that this year’s award be made to Catriona, who completed her studies in The Nicolson Institute, Stornoway in June and will soon be continuing her studies in Robert Gordon’s University, Aberdeen.
The Trustees were highly impressed with Catriona’s academic performance where she attained excellent results in her Highers and Advanced Higher exams and with her extraordinary work ethic, time management skills and her commitment to her studies. Also, her leadership qualities and her desire and drive to help others.
Catriona has always been held in high regard by both her fellow pupils and by staff and this was reflected in her election as Pupil Council representative for a number of years. As well as being elected to be a prefect, by both pupils and staff, Catriona was Vice-captain of Addison House, discharging her duties with consummate ease and always happy to help others at all times.
Catriona has always participated in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, including the Secondary Schools Gaelic Debate, where she was part of the team that won the event in 2015, drama, where she was nominated for, “Best Actress” at the 2016 FilmG awards and music, where she has won a number of highly prestigious solo singing competitions, including An Comunn Gàidhealach Silver Pendant for solo singing, the 16-18 Prescribed Solo and the 16-18 Traditional Solo competitions at the local and Royal National Mods. Catriona is also a vital member of, “Faram”, a local youth music organisation which plays at concerts and charity events.
In terms of volunteering, Catriona has assisted, weekly, with the GME class in a local primary school, where the teacher found her contribution to be invaluable. Also, in her local community, Catriona collects for Cancer Research UK and she has organised the local village Halloween party/fundraising event for primary school children for the last two years.
In presenting the Award to Catriona, Comhairle Convener Norman A Macdonald said, “On behalf of the Comhairle I would like to congratulate Catriona on winning this award. Catriona epitomises the praiseworthy work which is being done in our schools and in our communities. She has put considerable effort into making her mark in all that she does, through her voluntary work for Cancer Research, her sporting activities and her participation in various Gaelic competitions such as the Gaelic Debate and The Royal National Mod. We wish her the very best for the future as she begins her studies on the mainland and hope that she will return to deploy her skills and talents in her native community.”
Murdo Macleod, Chairman of the Donald Stewart Memorial Trust said, “2017 is a particularly poignant year for the Donald Stewart Memorial Trust as it is 25 years since Donald Stewart passed away. We are so grateful that, 25 years after his death, his achievements and place in history continue to be celebrated, by recognising the young talent in his beloved islands.
"We were highly impressed with the overall quality of this year’s submissions but were unanimous in our decision to make the award to Catriona. We were delighted to learn of Catriona’s many achievements but what particularly impressed us was her commitment to her Gaelic culture, her achievements in sport and drama and her contribution to the voluntary sector.
"On behalf of the Trust I congratulate Catriona on winning this award and wish her well in all that she does in the future. It is evident that we have a wealth of talented young people in the Western Isles. I wish to thank the schools for their continuing support for the Donald Stewart Memorial competition, without whom, the competition would not exist.”
The Donald Stewart Memorial Trust was set up following a fund-raising campaign to establish a Trust which would disburse awards to young people in the Western Isles to commemorate the outstanding work of the late Donald Stewart MP. The Trust makes an annual award to an individual 5th or 6th year pupil from any of the secondary schools in the Western Isles for, “outstanding achievement”.
The “outstanding achievement” could be attained within the school, perhaps an academic achievement which has been recognised as outstanding at a national or indeed inter-national level or it could be for someone who has attained “outstanding achievement” in their own community, perhaps an act of outstanding community service or an act of bravery or other self-sacrifice.
The current Trustees are Murdo Macleod (Former Director of Education, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar) Chairman, Calum Iain Macleod (Development Director of Comunn na Gàidhlig) Secretary, Philip McLean (Treasurer), Ronald Macinnes (Uists and Barra Representative) and Margaret Martin (Chairperson of the Western Isles SNP Constituency).
Further information on the Trust can be obtained from Calum Iain Macleod, Secretary (01851 701802)