STAFFIN can partially lay claim to the 2014 Gold Medal winner, it has been confirmed.
Inverness-based solicitor Angus MacLeod won the blue riband event for singers at the Royal National Mòd earlier this month.
Angus, who is also a member of the Inverness Gaelic Choir, won the competition on his home turf but revealed at the time he had a strong Skye and Western Isles family background.
Angus’ grandfather Alec Fraser, who hailed from Clachan, was a former headmaster of Staffin School in the post-war period. Angus’ mother Catherine spent part of her childhood in Staffin, along with brothers Archie and Neil.
Angus himself spent family holidays in Staffin as a youngster staying with his Clachan relations, the late Duncan (Donnchadh Mor) and Margaret MacLean, herself a former teacher at Staffin School.
“We would stay at Ballard, in Clachan with Donnchadh, my mother’s cousin, and Margaret,” said Angus. “Most summers we would be across to Skye and Lewis and Uist. My grandfather left Staffin in 1955 to become the headteacher at Hilton School which had just opened in Inverness.”
“My mother was a big help to me for the Gold Medal and helped tutor me before the Mòd.”
Angus said the Mòd was a hugely enjoyable experience but tiring as the father-of-two was ferrying his children around to the youngsters’ competitions at the start of the week. He has now received several invitations to sing at ceilidhs after scooping the prestigious honour.
Another Gaelic singer with strong Staffin connections and who also lives in Inverness, enjoyed Mòd success as well. Iain Hector Ross, whose father Calum came from Flodigarry, came third in the Sliver Pendant final and is a member of the Inverness choir.