On Sunday, 21 May, almost a year to the day since his funeral, Michael Hulman’s friends gathered in Café Kilbride to celebrate his memory. Michael was a gifted musician and engaging raconteur, so we toasted his memory in tune and song, and, it has to be said, we lifted many a glass of wine or beer.
Michael died too young. But then the good often do.
His grave lies now beneath the larch tree, just as you enter the graveyard, on your right. A plain stone has a brass plate mounted upon it, bearing the bare facts of Michael’s life and untimely death from natural causes.
Just like Michael, the little monument is unobtrusive, dignified, understated. Comments in Friends of Kilbride’s visitor book reflect the regard, indeed love, that he engendered among those who knew him best.
There were tears, of course there were. The talented array of musicians played tunes that plucked at the heart strings, hearts already heavy with the loss of our friend. But then Michael’s own words surfaced in our minds, words he recorded on video. He’d had a happy life. He’d loved his music and the friends that his talent drew around him. He stated clearly that he felt he’d lived a full and fulfilling life.
So we took up “the parting glass” and played and sang the hours away, In memory of our friend.
Gute Nacht, Michael.
Liam Griffin. Friends of Kilbride.
By Michelle McAnally
Friends of Kilbride, the charity dedicated to the preservation of the important historic site centred on the mediaeval kirk and Clan MacDougall sacred aisle in Lerags, raised £1834.50p at a céilidh that kicked off their capital fundraising campaign.
Kilbride was the main parish for Lorne until the 18th century, and was the site of a piping school and learning centre for the sons of Argyll’s clan chiefs from the Middle Ages. Followers of St Bride originally established the site in the 6th century. The earlist written reference to Kilbride is attributed to the 13th Century, King Alexander 2nd. However, it is likely that Kilbride has been an important cultural centre since the Bronze age, given the propensity for the early Christian missionaries to superimpose their own culture on that of pre-existing cultures. Friends of Kilbride was established as a charity in 2015 to preserve the ancient kirk and graveyard, and members have donated hundreds of work hours and more than £20,000 to that end. With the help of local conservation architect, Shauna Cameron Architects, the charity has recently developed a management plan that has been enthusiastically approved by Historic Environment Scotland, the relevant enforcing agency .
At Kilmore Hall on April 21, more than 60 people enjoyed a three course dinner prepared and served by Silver Laced Catering. The Hollow Mountain String Band kept the tunes playing and a raffle of prizes donated by local businesses, helped the Fun(d) raising along.
Liam Griffin, Friends of Kilbride commented: ‘Our inaugural fundraising céilidh to raise funds for Kilbride’s preservation plan was not only a financial and social success, but we were encouraged that local folk and businesses enthusiastically expressed support for our aims.’
Friends would like to thank the long list of local businesses, too numerous to mention individually, who contributed a host of prizes and services.
The public is invited to visit Kilbride, located past the turn-off to The Barn Bar on the Lerags Road, to explore the site and the newly built visitor’s kiosk. For more information, or to volunteer or donate, visit friendsofkilbride.scot.