Shinty community recognises NHS staff efforts

A series of on-line auctions where customised camans and shinty publications were offered to the highest bidders has seen the shinty community raise the sum of £770 for the Intensive Care Unit fund at Raigmore hospital in Inverness.


Inverness caman-maker Roddie MacLennan of Aird Artisans produced four separate sticks for auction and combined with a similar number of books provided by Hugh Dan MacLennan of Alloa (no relation) the funds attracted a number of significant bids, reflecting the shinty community’s appreciation for the efforts of National Health Service staff in the face of the current Covid pandemic.


Roddie, former shinty player with Inverness, Glen Urquhart and Beauly, and a former forester, who now makes hand-made camans in various historical and traditional styles, from ash and oak mainly, said: “I am completely overwhelmed by the generosity of the individuals who bid the highest amounts to ensure that they purchased the camans and books, but not only that, I greatly appreciate the efforts made by others who moved the sums upwards and onwards from time to time.  It is a recognition of what the shinty community thinks of the efforts of NHS staff far and wide, not just in Inverness. Thy should know that we appreciate their efforts and I am glad that the camans and the books have found good homes.”


Hugh Dan added: “I was lucky enough to have kept a number of hard-back copies of the Camanachd Association’s centenary volume Shinty back for a rainy day. They are as rare as hens’ teeth and I can’t think of a more deserving cause in the current climate than the NHS staff. I’m happy to add my signature to the books as long as the recipients don’t feel that I’m devaluating them.  I have to say that Roddie’s outstanding work on the camans he is producing in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from all sorts of wood in the traditional hand-fashioned way, are highly prized and to be able to get one and contribute to  such a good cause means a great deal to both of us.”


Roddie and Hugh Dan would like to thank Garry Macleod, Norman MacArthur of MacArthur Builders, Newtonmore; Angus Davidson of Angus Davidson Rural Consultancy Services and Iain MacKintosh of Ardtower Caravan Park for their contributions to the auctions.


Roddie MacLennan of Aird Artisans has been making customised camans for some time now and one of his most recent projects was a hand-crafted caman for the 95th birthday celebrated by Denis Swanson of Inverness.  He is available for historical commissions or camans for special occasions and can be contacted at

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