Range of Hebridean Emigration Commemorative Events

Plans are proceeding for commemorative events to mark the 100th anniversary of the sailing to Canada of the Metagama and The Marloch in 1923. These include ecumenical services in Lewis and Uist, the erection of plaques at appropriate locations and exhibitions.  A range of events are being organised by Stornoway Historical Society to commemorate the centenary.

The Leaving Home Exhibition, prepared by the Western Isles Community Society and Stornoway Historical Society, will open on 21st April in Stornoway Town Hall for 6 weeks. It will be opened at 5pm by the Convener of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Mr. Kenny Macleod.

The exhibition tells the story of Hebridean Emigration from 1770 through to the 1923/24 emigrant departures on the Marloch, Metagama and Canada.

The exhibition will then move in June to Ionad Stoodie for a week then to Clan Macquarrie Centre for three weeks in July. It will then return to Stornoway for Tattoo week commencing 7th August to 12th August.

The exhibition will visit the Southern Isles on dates to be confirmed.

During the summer Stornoway Historical Society will hold a separate Emigration exhibition in their Town Hall premises. This will tell individual stories of  the ships and the men and women who emigrated. 

On the 21st April at 6pm Pipe Bands will play on No 1 Pier.  The Tattoo week in August will include craft fairs, continental market, fair and carnival. The Tattoo Metagama will be held on the Lews Castle Green between 7pm and 11pm on Saturday 12th August 2023.

Ten Pipe Bands led by the 78th Fraser Highlanders from Toronto will feature with mass bands and solo performances. Uist, Barra, Skye and Lewis Pipe Bands and also mainland bands will also feature. A Mass Highland Jig is planned. Sambayabamba from Glasgow and Chinese Dragons from Inverness will be appearing whilst there will also be a mass Gaelic Choir, other music and a Firework Finale. Saturday afternoon will be Carnival Day with a mass band parade through Stornoway.

A Grand Concert on Saturday 12th August will feature:

  • 78th Fraser Highlanders in concert
  • Alyth McCormack with an Irish Band
  • Eleanor Macleod
  • Willie Campbell with School Group
  • The Ragtime Dolls (1920s style singers appropriate for date of Metagama departure)
  • Mass Gaelic Choir
  • Sambayabamba
  • Dancing