District News, December 24 2021

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The Christmas spirit came early this year for Bellochantuy Rural.

A Christmas lunch was arranged by the institute secretary at the Royal Hotel.

President Mrs Lois Fell welcomed eight members and two guests.

The snapping of crackers producing silver hats and a Christmas decoration set the scene.

The lunch was enjoyed by all especially as it has been two years since the last get-together. After the delicious meal there was a Secret Santa also enjoyed by all.


Clachan children got a surprise last week when Santa Claus paid them a visit at a special evening at D McNair and Son Ltd’s Clachan Filling Station.

The joint event was organised by the shop, the village hall and Kilcalmonell Church.

There was carol singing, stalls and games, discount in the shop and the evening was topped off by a visit from the man himself on a horse drawn sleigh accompanied by some happy helper elves, taking a break from toy making.

The rain even stayed off!

Santa paid a very special visit to Clachan.

Organisers would like to thank everyone who helped to make the night such a success and everyone who came along for a magical night under the stars in Clachan.

‘Merry Christmas, everyone!’


Largieside Scottish Women’s Institute (SWI) held a special Christmas lunch last week during which they marked 27 years of service from former president Helen Steel.

Helen arrived from Ayrshire in the 1960s and became a member of the Largieside rural shortly afterwards. She was a great asset to the rural being an excellent baker especially of pancakes and pastry.

She was vice president in the late ’80s and went on to become president in 1991-95.

Following a short break, Helen was re-elected in 1998 and remained in the post until October this year.

Treasurer Mary McDonald gave a short address at the luncheon and told the Courier: ‘Helen is kind-hearted and generous with her time and has a strong sense of community.

‘We will miss her as president but hopefully she will be able to sit back and enjoy her time at the meetings and let others do the work.’

Current president Enid Williams took over the role in October and added: ‘Helen is going to be a hard act to follow.’

Enid presented Helen with a gift consisting of a buddleia tricolour and an orange azalea.