The Skye Reading Room hosted a birthday party with a difference on the evening of Tuesday 25th February. The Declaration of Arbroath was sent by the Barons of Scotland to the Pope in 1320, begging for help against the bullying of the English King. The famous extract from the letter, highlighting the focus on freedom, is legendary to all Scots and many others around the World. It was thought that a discussion on the topic of Scottish Independence, in particular looking at literary output in connection with the subject, would make for a lively evening, and so it proved. Seventeen souls braved the weather and it was particularly encouraging to see so many new faces in attendance. Messages of support were received from the offices of Ian Blackford and Kate Forbes, who would have both welcomed the observation that the majority of attendees were in favour of Independence, after 700 years of waiting.
A contingent from The Common Weal were present and they had a variety of relevant publications to share. Most people brought suitable books or recommendations of appropriate writers, while the Chairman circulated the draft of a book list to assist with future reading.
Refreshments including cake, banana bread, and flapjacks were appreciated and would have kept us going late into the night, as the conversation never looked like flagging. However, eventually we had to call a halt and people were still enjoying each other’s company, as we ushered them out and locked up for the night.
A fascinating evening and particularly encouraging was the sense that everyone supporting independence seemed very clear on this being achieved in a civilised manner, thus protecting relationships for the future.
Simon Clayton – Chairman