The Isle of Whithorn
History of the Isle Gala
In 1987, Dr.Norman Robertson approached Marion Sunderland,at the time treasurer of the Community Council, stating that the W.B.S.C. was no longer able to run the Isle Regatta which included rowing ,swimming, and the famous Greasy Pole. He persuaded Marion, as a past winner of all 3 events, to take on the Regatta, which became the Gala Day.
Marion started from scratch, with no grants or sponsorship.
She personally went around local businesses including from memory, McWilliam Bros., Steam Packet, Queen's Arms, Martin Jolly Transport, and Ian Drape's who also gave the washing up liquid for the greasy pole for some years. Each of those businesses gave ,as asked ,£5, and there were probably one or two others.
The long defunct Garlieston Pipe Band entertained, as did a group of young Scottish Country Dancers from the Isle, including Anys Scoular, Hayley Gamble, Elizabeth and Margaret Flannigan and Claire Vance.
Marion was assisted by many Isle people, including her mother, Mrs. Marion Johnston, the retired Head Teacher of the Isle school, who rattled a collection can up and down the harbour to raise funds.
There were Gala dances on the Saturday night, but after several years at the helm Marion handed over the reins to others .The Gala has gone a long way!
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