Members of South Islay Development's executive committee were in jubilant mood when the missives were finally completed for the acquisition of Port Ellen Filling Station. Their local development officer, Kirsten Laurie, said that SID will take full ownership of the site on the 1st May with an opening date to be arranged as soon as possible.
Kirsten said, "We would like to say a big thank you to the community for all their support and patience working through this process. It is sure to be a challenging and exciting venture. Chairwoman Jackie Thomson said, "This is SID's first acquisition for the community. We are thrilled to take this on. We have secured a valuable and essential asset which will be of great benefit to those living in the area and our many visitors."
Gus Newman said that it would help Port Ellen and the south grow and prosper. "It will mean more yachts coming to the pontoons. They know that they can once more buy fuel in the Port Ellen area. The lack of this amenity was a short term hindrance to the growth of the facilities down at the pier." With his tongue firmly in his cheek, Gordon Currie added, "Much as we love our friends in Bowmore and Bridgend, Port Ellen folk would like to buy Port Ellen petrol from Port Ellen pumps. A twenty mile round trip is a bit much to fill a container to fuel your lawnmower. We will, of course, welcome customers from all over the island at our pumps. Service with a Port Ellen smile."
John Findlay had the final word. "It took a lot of time and a lot of hard work to get to this stage. We started working on the venture way back in February 2012 and our success is a tribute to the diligence and teamwork of SID members, all busy people who give up their time voluntarily for the good of the community." Let's hope that someone has a camera at the ready when the first tankful of fuel is bought and sold.
This article was published with kind permission of the Ileach newspaper