Am Pàipear launched a programme of 40th anniversary celebrations with a bang last night, officially opening an exhibition through which the archive of the newspaper is now opened to the public.
Guests flocked from across the islands to Sgoil Lionacleit for a first glimpse at the exhibition, which has been prepared with the kind support of Museum nan Eilean.
Running from now until the beginning of September (details below) this display – entitled THE AM PAIPEAR COLLECTION – is made up of illustrations and photographs featured in the paper over the last four decades. Editions from all the way back in 1976 are also available for the community to access and enjoy.
Ahead of the opening last night, some of the tutors currently working at Ceòlas – Rachel Walker, Patsy Seddon, Shelly Campbell and Allan Henderson – performed alongside talented local youngsters Dòmhnall Henderson, Niall MacDonald and Joanna MacDonald.
Cllr Uisdean Robertson spoke to audience about the important role of local newspapers in our democracy, before Alasdair Allan MSP addressed the crowd and cut the ribbon, officially declaring the exhibition open.
Sony Davidson – who has a long and continuing involvement with Am Pàipear – then cut the special #AP40 birthday cake prepared for the occasion, which was promptly served to those in attendance.
Guests then entered the museum for a first look at the display of illustrations, photographs and past editions.
Meanwhile, in the cafeteria, glasses of prosecco and soft drinks were being poured, ready to serve along with an incredible selection of canapés prepared by Island Deli with support from Langass Lodge, Salar Smokehouse, Kallin Shellfish, MacLean’s Bakery, and Hebridean Smokehouse.
Iain Stephen Morrison, Editor of Am Pàipear, said: “We would like to thank absolutely everyone who came along and contributed in any way to the launch of this very special exhibition.
“It is a lot of work for a team as small as ours to pull together an event like this and we are by no means experts. So after a nervous couple of days and lots of hard work it was a great relief to witness so many people enjoying the evening and the many pieces that make up our archive.
“As I have said repeatedly in the media over the past few days, this milestone and success does not belong to Am Pàipear, but the community that launched it and continues to take ownership of the paper.
“This collection in Museum nan Eilean is all the stories of our islands. Our wish on this birthday is that the collection will continue to grow, that for Am Pàipear, life will truly begin at forty.”
Museum nan Eilean, Sgoil Lionacleit, Benbecula
8th July until 3rd September
Tuesday – Saturday (10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm)
Late night opening on Friday until 7pm
Am Pàipear would like to thank the following for helping with the success of the exhibition launch: Museum nan Eilean and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar / Island Deli, Salar Smokehouse, MacLean’s Bakery, Kallin Shellfish, Hebridean Smokehouse and Langass Lodge / Ceòlas / Sgoil Lionacleit / Stòras Uibhist / SNH – Stilligarry / Custom Prints / Shona MacInnes / UCVO / Cllr Uisdean Robertson and Alasdair Allan MSP