Preliminary Meeting Shish Mahal 19th May 2014
Fin snr, Robbie and Richard met with Jim and Fin jnr prior to our fact finding trip to Kintyre. The discussion was wide ranging with a view to guiding our efforts when we reached Kintyre.
Our remit was to explore commemoration of the centenary of the founding of Keil School at Keil House Southend in November 1915. We agreed that the celebration/commemoration should take place during 2015 but it was felt that November would be impractical because of weather and shortage of day light. Three possibilities were raised, a weekend in late May, mid July, or September. The events of the weekend would be open to families and friends.
Production of a commemorative plaque was discussed. Considerable progress had already been made by Robbie to procure this in discussions with Black Isle Bronze, the aim being to cast the plaque in bronze with a view to siting it on the plinth of the Sir William MacKinnon statue on the Campbeltown waterfront. We agreed to progress this idea by obtaining measurement and photographic data from the statue. It was realised that we would also have to make contact with the responsible authorities in Campbeltown eg community and regional council officials to obtain appropriate permission. Campbeltown Rotary had been instrumental in moving the statue from Helenslee to Campbeltown and would also be consulted by us.
Black Isle Bronze had produced indicative costing to manufacture, transport and mount the plaque ranging from £2,500 to £6,000 depending on its size. Jim indicated that the OBs club was prepared to donate £500 to this amount. It was clear that we would require to mount a fund raising effort to raise the bulk of the money from individual OBs. Fin jnr suggested that an internet campaign would be the most efficient way of doing this. We should also contemplate an approach to the MacKinnon MacNeil Trust for financial help.
Richard was keen that we somehow recognise the birthplace of the school at Southend. Mention of this would be made on the plaque on the statue and there remained the possibility of an additional plaque being sited at the Keil House ruins at Southend.
We discussed an unveiling ceremony for the plaque and hoped that we might persuade a member of the MacKinnon or MacNeil families to do this. At some point we should make contact with the Keil Trust to see if this is possible.
Our trip should include consideration of a suitable venue for golf. Activities such as cycling and walking would be given further consideration by Jim and Finlay jnr but Richard announced that he had packed his boots with a view to exploring a section of the Kintyre Way! A cycling tour of the three Keils was mentioned, including Helenslee, Clachan and Southend.
Jim had some knowledge of the Village of Macrihanish Dunes and encouraged us to include it in our itinerary. This complex might provide the accommodation focus for our gathering together with a venue for the dinner/Ceilidh and golf. We also realised that it is close to the ruins of the original school at Southend.
We felt that we should have our plans well enough developed to make an announcement at the OBs dinner in November this year.
It was noted that we intended to tap in to the OB network in Kintyre and our first contact would be with Peter Semple in Inverary.
Contact should be made with the local press to obtain their assistance in publicising our event.
Using his key roles as Webmaster and Vice President of the OBs club Jim would handle communications with members of the OBs club and provide liaison with the OBs committee.