North Mainland Notes

North Roe Carol and Nativity Service

On the Sunday before Christmas, despite the snowy weather, a good-sized congregation gathered in the North Roe Methodist Kirk to join in the carol service and nativity play. This year the nativity featured Michael Mouse, a story about a peerie mouse, played by Stuart Clark.

Michael could not get into the stable as he had no gift for Jesus, but this was resolved when he clambered into a hole near the roof of the stable and blocked the draught which had been bothering Jesus. This was the best gift the baby could have received and it gave the play its main message: “I gave him me for as long as he needed me”. Bethany Dunk and Stephanie Thomson of North Roe were responsible for the excellent production of the nativity play and the cast of young folk excelled themselves, making the evening a thoroughly enjoyable experience for everyone.

From the offering, a gift of £90 has been sent to the Methodist Relief and Development Fund. This will be used to purchase 10 goats for villagers in Ethiopia.

Several families within a village are given a goat each to enable that family to support itself with milk. The goats are also bred in order to sell on to others in the village. This has been found to be a good way to raise hopes and standards of living among the poorest people there.

Trials and triumphs

It has has been a tough year for many in Shetland this year. Individuals, families, communities and even our councillors have all faced trials as well as triumphs. The majority of these folk have drawn strength from each other, often overcoming the trials or at least finding a way to cope with them.

The majority have also remembered what was important to them and what their priorities were. In the case of individuals and families, it could have been a loved one. For communities, it might have been a service or a facility that they have strived together to retain as an essential part of their quality of life. For councillors it should have been the folk in the areas of Shetland they were elected to serve. And for the majority it was.

Although we are unaware of exactly what 2010 holds for us in Shetland, we know that collectively we face trials ahead through cuts in council finance. We also have a chance to triumph during events this coming year, such as the Hamefarin. Whatever we face, we’ll be much stronger if we continue to come together. Community cohesion is at the heart of safe and strong communities. It’s all about creating a good place to live, in which people share a common vision and everyone feels welcome. This doesn’t necessarily mean that tensions are never created, or that differences mean a community will lack cohesion. It just depends on how the different dynamics are managed.

So here’s to a healthy and happy New Year for everyone where triumphs outnumber trials – and some weel managed dynamics in da cooncil!


I would like to extend thanks to all the folk who have help provide stories, information and contributions to the North Mainland Notes over the past year. I look forward to hearing more news and stories from anyone in the North Mainland in 2010. Special thanks also to my reader – cheers Dada!

Maree Hay


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