Maureen Chand, of the Mull of Galloway Trust
First published in Issue 8, 2016
OW: What is your role with the Mull of Galloway Trust?
MC: I am currently Chairperson of the Trust and chief filler-in of application forms for funding, business planning and chairing monthly meetings of the Board of Directors. There is also an aspect of raising awareness of the area so I work closely with our Marketing Officer to ensure that the Mull of Galloway is becoming more and more well known in the local and national media. We only took possession of the Mull in July 2013 so we are still at the early stages of development.
OW: How long have you been involved with the Mull of Galloway Trust and how did you get involved?
MC: I was a founder member of the South Rhins Community Development Trust back in the 1990s when I used to be on the Kirkmaiden Community Council but then retired for a while before being persuaded to go back on in 2012. So I have been involved with the Trust since it was awarded charitable status and its formation. It is such an exciting project in which to be involved.
OW: What is the Trust working on for the future?
MC: There are lots of things going on. We have just placed a number of interpretation panels around the Mull in partnership with the RSPB. We are currently trying to bring the old vegetable garden back to life and were recently awarded some funding by Grow Wild. A living willow sculpture is already in place and we have a wee boat there too, which children can play in eventually. We’ll work with the RSPB and local schools, which hopefully will involve parents and the wider community on creating new native planting to encourage birds and insects and there will be a small children’s play area with picnic tables. Upgrading of the three former Lighthouse Keepers’ cottages continues and this can be quite costly as they have not been refurbished for a long time. We have always intended funding to go back into the local community and are in the process of drafting up grant/loan criteria and soon will be seeking applications for assistance.
OW: What makes the Mull of Galloway special?
MC: I have had a connection with the Mull since I was a wee girl – my first best friend was Jennifer Thompson whose father was a Principal Lighthouse Keeper. There is something for everyone at the Mull, whether it is just a quiet place to soak up the views, watch the amazing bird life or see how many porpoises, dolphins and whales there are. Even when it is blowing a hoolie it is a special place.
OW: How many people are involved in the Trust?
MC: Our Articles allow for up to nine Directors plus we keep three seats for representatives of Kirkmaiden Community Council, RSPB and Northern Lighthouse Board plus up to two co-opted directors. We currently have a vacancy on the Board and would love for a young person to join us. We are also very lucky in that whenever we need something done we put a call out for volunteers on social media and folk turn up. Tasks can include painting walls, acting as parking wardens, dressing up as Square Pants Sponge Bob or even the Easter Bunny!
OW: How long have you been in Wigtownshire and what drew you to Drummore?
MC: I’m a Gorman and the Gorman family has been in Drummore for a very long time so I was born in Drummore and attended the old school on the hill above the village before going to the old Stranraer High School (now the Ryan Centre) and then on to the new one in London Road. When I returned from overseas we just gravitated back here and have no regrets at all.
OW: Where is your favourite place in Wigtownshire?
MC: Has to be the area around Drummore and the Mull of Galloway. I never get tired of the views from my home across Luce Bay, to the Scaur Rocks and beyond.
OW:. What are you involved in away from the Mull of Galloway Trust?
MC: I enjoy bowling and have been secretary of Drummore Bowling Club for a while. I have started going to tai chi classes in Drummore which is fun. I have been spending time researching my family tree and managed to get back to the 1300s in Ireland so I am definitely one of the Galloway Irish. My husband and I travel quite often which we both thoroughly enjoy. We now have two grandchildren – three years and four months – and they have given us great joy and keep us on our toes!
OW: Where is your favourite place to go out to eat in Wigtownshire?
MC: There are so many excellent places to go to that it would be unfair to name one only!
OW: Tell us something people might not know about yourself.
MC: I lived in Fiji for nearly 15 years and was a legal assistant to a former Attorney General who went into private practice as a QC and acted as an Adviser to the President during a military coup in 1987. I also ran a couple of businesses – a plant nursery specialising in African violets and another manufacturing perfumed room fragrances.
OW: Finally, describe Wigtownshire in one word.
Picture: PR Imaging