Monday, February 10, 2014

A Barra Funeral

In June of 2010 my wife and I stayed for a week at the Craigard Hotel in Castlebay. The hotel is set in a great location, high above the harbour next to the Our Lady, Star of the Sea Church. One day we noticed that a hearse had pulled up to the church, and we were told that a funeral procession would be heading to the cemetery on Vatersay. Since we had planned on visiting Vatersay that day, we decided to get there in advance of the procession so that I could get some photos of the cars driving across the causeway.

Hearse at Our Lady, Star of the Sea
Here we see the procession crossing the Vatersay Causeway.
Across the causeway - 1
Across the causeway - 2
After the procession passed over the causeway my wife and I followed it across Vatersay's single track road. It was probably the most traffic the island had seen in a long time.

The procession winds along the single track to Vatersay's East Bay
The coffin was then carried across the machair into the Vatersay Burial Ground.

Vatersay Cemetery
At the time I had no idea who the funeral was for. Two years later, in 2012, I returned to find the grave. It was for a Jessie Campbell, who had died on the last day in May, 2010; just two days before we had arrived on Barra. Even though we did not know her, it was a privilege to have witnessed her funeral.

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