The Glasgow Uist and Barra Association was founded in 1888. It was established to provide support and assistance to the people who had left the islands of North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, Eriskay and Barra.
The Association promoted social and friendly relationship among the people from the islands who had left their homes to seek employment in Glasgow and beyond.
There is little written information available about the Association�s first 2 years, but the minutes of the meeting held on the 1st May 1890 shows that by this time the committee was well established. Monthly meetings were being organised and held in the Waterloo Rooms in Glasgow. Constitution and Rules were drawn up, and memberships were introduced. Annual Gatherings in the form of concerts and ceilidh dances were commenced. It is noted that at one of the Gatherings there were 700 to 800 people present. The support was admirable. It became apparent that apart from providing financial support to those in great need other aims and objectives were considered. The Gaelic language and culture had to be up held and kept alive and functional in the city of Glasgow.
The old minutes, which are at hand, provides a detailed and fantastic account of the history of the Association. It had its successes and failures through the world wars beginning with the Boer war then the 1st and 2nd World Wars, it is remarkable how they overcame hardship all through these years and persevered in maintaining a social life.
In 1944 Glasgow Uist and Barra Piping Competition was formed. It is now one of the most prestigious competition in the piping calendar, and is held annually in March.
In 1952 the Association Crest was compiled and accepted. It was to be used on all paper work pertaining to the Association and this practice continues to the present day.
The Association aspires and aims to continue the work our forebears started over a hundred years ago.
We have 5 ceilidh dances from October to April. An annual Reunion Dinner/Dance in November and a New Year Dance in January. This dance is well supported by the younger generation.
Our monthly meetings are held from September to April, and our Annual General Meeting is in May.
We continue to support the Barra Lifeboat and the Glasgow Mod.
We are also proud to have our own song composed by Roderick MacKay, Illeray, North Uist. ' Comunn Uibhist agus Bharraigh'
The Glasgow Uist and Barra Association celebrated their 125 years anniversary by holding a Grand Concert on Friday 22 November 2013 in the Partick Burgh Hall Glasgow.
Over 200� attended the concert coming from as far as London, Thurso, Fort William, the Uists, Barra and many other places throughout the country.
This is part of the �thank you� speech made Secretary Mary Bell MacDonald :-
���� �We must never forget the reasons why we are here. We are here because in1888 a few brave people got together and founded the Glasgow Uist and Barra Association, so we should at this time give� thanks to all those who are no longer with us, they were hard working and strong people. 125 years ago because of the poverty on our islands ,they left their homes and their families, so you can imagine� the loneliness they endured. Thank them for their inspiration and great intuition, to keep our Gaelic language, our music , our dance, and our culture, ongoing in the City of Glasgow we should be so proud of it all. We have to nurture it, care for it, and keep it alive for their sakes and in their memory, and for ourselves and future generations �
HISTORY OF THE ASSOCIATION