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Morvern Games and Gala Week
13th - 20th July 2024

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Morvern Games and Gala Week is an annual event held on the west coast of Scotland on the beautiful Morvern peninsula.  

Gala Week begins with the Morvern Highland Games, held in the small village of Lochaline, a friendly authentic games set in a stunning rural setting.  It has been hailed the 'most scenic Highland Games in Scotland' and it's hard to disagree with views overlooking the idyllic Isle of Mull, Ardtornish Castle with views towards Oban. Attractions on the day include; children's sports, adults athletics and heavy events, Pipe band, Highland dancing displays, Tug o War, Novelty races including our popular 'Wife Carrying race', whisky barrel rolling, Market street which includes various food, craft and charity stalls from across Scotland, refreshment tents, prosecco bar, chainsaw carvings, bouncy castles and rodeo bulls, archery, tomahawks and axe throwing,  live music plus much much more!  It's a great day out for all the family!

Following the Highland Games is a week full of events and activities for all ages including; Duck Race, Clay Pigeon Shoot, Afternoon Tea, The Big Morvern Run, Drimnin Cinema, Bowls, Badminton, Quiz nights, Bingo, Rodeo Race Night, Treasure Hunts, Mini Highland Games, Heritage & Nature walks, Shinty, Under 5's play Session, Lochaber Ceilidh Trail, Allotments Open Day, Mad Hatter's Tea Party, Live Music, Raft Race, Morvern Watersports Open Day, Darts & Pool Tournaments, Flower Festival, Sand Mine Tour, Woodland Art, Stories by the Fire and Junior & Adults Shinty.

The Morvern Highland Games 2024 - Chieftain

 

FERGIE MACDONALD M.B.E - THE CEILIDH KING (1937 – 2024)

The sad news of Fergie’s passing was resonant throughout the Highlands, across Scotland and in the international music community. Fergie had long championed “ceilidh music,” recognising the fun and enjoyment it encompassed, and this enabled him to reach a wide audience that spanned several generations. His musical endeavours saw him record 50 albums, over a career of more than 70 years. Fergie was a Scottish chart topper, in the 60’s, with his hit “Loch Maree Islands” and, more recently, even topped the iTunes World Music Chart, beating Rihanna to the no.1 slot! He was an inductee to the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame and, in 2021, he was awarded an M.B.E. in the New Years Honours list.

While we cannot fail to be impressed by all these accomplishments, we have only just scratched the surface of the life and times of Duncan Ferguson Macdonald, “FERGIE”.

He was also a Writer & Author, Deer Manager, Stalker, Gamekeeper/Poacher, Army PTI, Physio for Partick Thistle FC – Fort William Camanachd and NHS Highland, Hotelier, Scottish Internationalist – Clay Pigeon Shooting, Composer, Singer, Local Historian, Highland Games athlete and Games Chieftain (Glenfinnan and Morvern). We could also add Moonshine Whisky Expert, but that is another story.

Fergie lived life to the full, laced with considerable Highland charm, astute business acumen, and a flair for making it all seem fun. Along with his wife Maureen, his family were paramount in his life and his love and pride for his daughters Angela and Morven Anne, his sons John and James, was evident for all to see. Fergie had a strong family connection to Morvern, and as a boy, along with his mother, Mima, he was a frequent visitor to see his aunts Dolly, Mary Ann and Lena. All four of the Currie sisters lived in Lochaline, at some part of their lives, and their family ties go back several generations. Dolly especially was very musical and perhaps it was her that triggered the musical interest in Fergie! Fergie was a successful, regular competitor at the “Lochaline Games”, as most referred to it then.

Fergie’s pride at being asked to become the Morvern Games Chieftain was very evident during his

conversation with Stuart Jackson on the subject. He reflected how proud his mother, Mima, would have been to see her son receive such an honour and how humbled he was to have been asked. Telling Stuart stories of Games in the past, about famous athletes of the era, and how he marvelled at the Oban Pipe Band marching from the West Pier to Knock Park , in a lung bursting fit of stamina. They talked of characters and place names now forgotten, details lost in the ebb and flow of memory. It was nostalgic and warming to hear his reminiscences of an older community and an older generation.

We are sure that Fergie will be delighted that, with his family’s blessing, MGGW decided to honour him posthumously, as Morvern Games Chieftain. The Committee are delighted that his family will join us on Saturday 13th July for the Morvern Games at Knock Park, Lochaline to celebrate his memory.

We would like to invite everyone not only to join us Games day, but also on Thursday 18th July at Lochaline Village Hall for a ceilidh in honour of the Ceilidh King himself, Fergie MacDonald. Bring an instrument, bring your voices and your dancing shoes for a proper west coast ceilidh Door takings at the Ceilidh will be split between MGGW and Fèis nan Garbh Chrìochan, an organisation close to Fergie's heart where he encouraged so many up and coming musicians.

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