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Isle of Benbecula Pupil Names New SSC Workboat

Ten-year-old Liam MacLennan from the Isle of Benbecula has been crowned the winner of a competition to name The Scottish Salmon Company’s (SSC) newest workboat with his entry ‘Gille na Mara’ - Gaelic for Boy of the Sea.

The name was chosen by SSC after the company ran a competition with the pupils of Balivanich Primary School, giving them the opportunity to choose a name for the new vessel. Children from P5, 6 and 7 were asked to draw a picture of the boat with their chosen name incorporated into it, in either English or Gaelic. They were asked to draw inspiration from the surrounding areas:  the fresh and salt water lochs, the miles of sandy beaches on the island’s coasts and the traditional rural island way of life.

SSC had the difficult task of selecting a winner from nearly 100 entries, with ‘Gille na Mara’ chosen as a fitting title for the new 50-tonne workboat, which serves SSC’s salmon farms in North Uist and the Western Isles. Liam MacLennan, who is in P6, was awarded a gift voucher, a donation to his school for future field trips and a box of fresh Scottish Salmon.  Liam was also given a book created by Meercat Boats who built the ‘Gille na Mara’, which included images showing each stage of the building process.  

Craig Anderson, Chief Executive of The Scottish Salmon Company, said: “Our congratulations go to Liam. We received great entries from the pupils at Balivanich Primary School and it was not an easy job deciding on a winner.

“‘Gille na Mara’ is a fitting name for our new workboat and is a great addition to ‘Caileag na Mara’, meaning Girl of the Sea, another of our boats that was named recently and operates in the same area. The workboat will be an integral part of our operations in North Uist and the Western Isles.”

Anne Graham, Head teacher at Balivanich Primary School, said: “The pupils had great fun coming up with a new name for the boat and produced some really creative and eye-catching entries. We’re thrilled for Liam to be named winner and agree that ‘Gille na Mara’ is a lovely name for The Scottish Salmon Company’s new boat.

“We all enjoyed meeting the team and will enjoy arranging some exciting trips in the future thanks to The Scottish Salmon Company.”