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A Happy Day Canvassing in Caol!

Yes Lochaber volunteer Margaret Muncie recounts her first day canvassing in Caol, near Fort William.

Yes volunteers in Caol
Some Yes volunteers gather for canvassing in Caol, Lochaber.

Yes, I'll always remember Saturday 7th June 2014. It was a bright day and the temperature was around 20 degrees - not bad for Lochaber!

But that's not why I will remember it. It was the day I took a wee step forward to be part of the most exciting and positive event that Scotland has ever known.

I wanted to be part of the movement towards an Independent Scotland, and to that end I was heading down to Caol from Spean Bridge, and I was going to be late! A group of Yes Lochaber and Yes Highland volunteers including the Councillors for Independence were going to be canvassing opinions on the Referendum from the good inhabitants of Caol. Well, knowing that the World Cup Mountain Bike events were on at Nevis Range, and fearing some of the traffic jams common in Lochaber even on a normal day in the summer, I headed off down the Banavie road, a bit disconcerted by the signs at Gairlochy warning, 'Beware of cyclists'!

Only a few minutes late, I joined the group of Yes-adorned volunteers in the car park at Caol shopping centre.

There was a great sense of camaraderie and anticipation. No such things as strangers, we were friends immediately although some of us had never met before. Smiling broadly in the sunshine and exchanging names, we faced a day of canvassing in the streets of Caol; for some, it was the very first time canvassing anywhere. My pal Ruth and I were rookies, but although we were nervous, we were going to be OK – we would have a 'partner' and so we would learn the ropes.

I was paired with Highland Councillor Ian, from Skye, an old hand at canvassing, as became clear when he articulated the inarguable facts about the right and benefits of Scottish Independence with verve and fluency.

Our canvassing started quietly with zero percent (!) with no-one in the first house, and a lady in the next one who asserted very positively, 'We NEVER vote for anything, NEVER! And my husband is the same!'

The next house had three Yes voters inside; I knew because it was my friend's house and I know where her heart lies. We put the cards in the letterbox for her anyway as she was out shopping.

So the day began, with chat, laughter, earnest conversation on doorsteps, and much questioning from the  Don't Knows that we encountered. As was to be expected, a range of opinions were expressed, and we thanked everyone for their time as we left, whether they were Yes, No or Don't Know.

One gentleman stood out for me however. He was mature in years, but straight and proud. When we explained we were canvassing for the Referendum, he asked, 'And which side are you canvassing for?'

When we said the magic word 'Yes', he said, 'Just as well you said that, or I'd be escorting you down the garden path and out the gate! The answer is Yes, Yes Yes!'

He was so radiant at the thought of Independence that I wanted to shake his hand, and noticed that Ian was in fact doing that very thing! 'Let me shake your hand too!'

We all laughed in the sunshine as we looked forward to the day in September when we would, God willing, be rejoicing even more.

Well, I had to call it a day after only a couple of hours as I myself am of more mature years. But the rest of the gallant volunteers carried on until late afternoon, and with close weather, it must have been tiring for them. They are going out again on Sunday 15th as there were still some houses to cover.

It was a wonderful experience for me, a privilege to be counted amongst those helping to journey that historic road to a Yes Vote on September 18th 2014.

Yes, it was a lovely day on June 7th. this year.

A happy feeling, the sun shining; a noble common cause.

ATTENTION!

This is an archived copy of the Yes Highland website created prior to the referendum in September 2014.

If you are looking for the current website please go to https://yeshighland.net.

Yes Lochaber