Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands, who is also vice-president of the Brittany Scotland Association was present at the launch of the new Ouessant tartan in the port of Brest last Monday.
“Ouessant, the isle known as Eusa in Breton and Ushant in English wants to strengthen its links with the Scottish islands that were forged in 2007 when writers from Shetland to Skye attended the 9th annual islands literature festival on Ouessant in August 2007 that featured our Scottish isles.
“Serge Cariou from the Ouessant supporters has designed the new Eusa tartan and posed us a challenge. ‘Find us a Scottish island to twin with , if possible one with its own tartan and if it had a nearby distillery that would be a big bonus,’ he said mischievously.
Rob went on...
“On returning to Scotland from Brest I began to think of islands that could fit the twinning bill. What about Gigha, Raasay, Eigg or Barra? Or what about a bigger island like Arran, Islay, Mull, Skye or Harris which might be interested?
“Then I thought, maybe one of our northern isles could be a first by adopting a Norse tartan! Just as Ouessant is the first Breton isle to create a tartan of its own . Both Orkney and Shetland already have distilleries, why not their own tartan?
“I will contact community councils and activists around our Scots isles to seek a possible partner for Ouessant. I look forward to helping these Atlantic isles to build new bonds of friendship.
Rob (left) and Jean-Yves Cozan, Breton Regional Councillor for Ouessant who authorised the tartan design locally.
Over 10,000 tartans are now listed in the Scottish Register of Tartans. Eusa, the Ouessant tartan is number 10,236. The 2010 edition of Salon du Livre Insulaire starts this week on Ouessant. In 2007 writers and poets from Shetland, Fair Isle, Orkney, Lewis, Skye and Raasay came to the Breton isle to display our native writing talents.
The Brittany Scotland Association exists to promote economic and cultural links between our lands.