This is the first Sunday on which Calmac have run a scheduled ferry service between the Isle of Lewis and the Scottish mainland breaking a tradition stretching back hundreds of years. Opponents have described it as an attack on the culture, heritage and way of life in Lewis, where the Sabbath is strictly observed, but many believe it will be a great benefit to the islands.
Opponents of the Sunday sailing prayed at the quayside, while supporters cheered the boat on its way to the Scottish mainland.
I can see both sides of the argument. I am not in favour of unrestricted shop opening and the general Sunday mania that occurs on the mainland. I believe people in non-essential jobs should have a day off. And if they wish to use that day only to walk to church, read and pray I am OK with that. (Quite where travelling by car to protest at the quayside comes in I'm not sure. That in itself is a relaxing of the former rule whereby one had to walk to Sunday worship - but perhaps they all did walk into Stornoway.) It bothers me not that the shops and cafes are closed. I also quite enjoy the fact that noisy outside work doesn't take place. (Who knows what goes on inside?). On the other hand the Island needs the tourists and the increased freedom that a Sunday sailing allows. What I do not find amusing are extremists of any sort. Or perhaps I should say that in some ways I do find them amusing - they can make such fools of themselves.
When the ferry, the MV Isle of Lewis, broke down in the Minch on Friday and spent Saturday in dock being repaired, some members of the Lord's Day Observance Society claimed it was God's Will. When it got going again for the Sunday sailing I can only presume Calmac's Will was a bit stronger or God had changed his mind! Yes, Heather dearest, I know I'm being naughty! The whole palaver was just so funny (or it would have been had I not been concerned about the possibility of Jo being stranded in Ullapool on Monday because the ferry broke down on one of its busiest weekends of the year). Jo, wandering around Ullapool for the afternoon, watched the first car come off the ferry onto the mainland to the sound of cheering.
Interestingly, I read recently that in 1907 the parish council of the village of Halberton in Devon passed a resolution against the sale of Sunday newspapers in the village as having 'a bad and pernicious influence upon public morality, and in affecting the moral tone of the rising generation'. The absence of a ferry service has meant the absence of Sunday newspapers and if anyone had attempted to import them by plane they would have been boycotted by a lot of people. I wonder if Sunday newspapers will follow the ferry service and, if so, whether the moral tone of the rising generation will be affected. No doubt the debate over Sunday generally will continue for a long time yet but the ferry will become absorbed into the new Island mentality just as the Sunday plane service did a few years ago.
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I'm a blogger - and nowadays that seems to be my main occupation. Rambles from My Chair is my main blog. I’m a retired local government executive - now studying how to survive a neurological disorder that gives me various problems but, hopefully, a whole new outlook on life and an increased sense of humour and perspective. There is a saying in Sweden "man måste vara frisk för att orka vara sjuk" ~ "you have to be well to cope with being ill"....
I enjoy most forms of communication and postcards are a special favourite. I used to blog as Scriptor Senex which is Latin for Old Writer but now Google only lets me post as John Edwards.
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