Pupils fly flag for Bute-Sri Lanka link

Primary school children from Bute have been designing a flag for the island to help form a link with village schools in Sri Lanka.
Primary school children from Bute have been designing a flag for the island to help form a link with village schools in Sri Lanka.

Local primary school children are ‘flying the flag’ for Bute this week in an art display which has attracted international attention.

The public exhibition, entitled ‘A Child’s Eye View of Bute’, has been organised by Bute Cricket Club and will feature paintings, drawings, poems and letters to children in Sri Lanka.

Visitors to the United Church of Bute’s church centre in Rothesay’s High Street on Saturday will include members of the Sri Lanka Association of Scotland, who will be travelling to Rothesay for the day to view the children’s work, watch cricket and take in the sights of the island.

As part of the club’s Sri Lankan project, the children were encouraged to enter a competition to design a flag for Bute.

“The response has been incredible,” said organiser, Barbara Lloyd.

“We invited all primary school children to take part and one school alone has submitted almost 100 entries.

“The challenge is now to display them all and also to choose the competition winner. I’m delighted that Provost Len Scoullar has agreed to be the judge because it’s going to be a difficult choice to make.”

The children were asked to base their design on what sums up life on Bute and would encourage visitors to the island. The recurring themes include Rothesay Castle, Highland dancers, Calmac ferries, Highland cows and ice-cream.

The schools’ project was sponsored by Experience Travel Group to help form a link between the schools on Bute and village schools in Sri Lanka.

The company provided online seminars and posters of Sri Lanka to help the children learn about life there and inspire them to write letters and draw pictures about life on Bute to be sent on to Sri Lankan schools

“We’re hoping that our Sri Lankan visitors will present prizes to the flag competition winners around 12 noon on Saturday and that we’ll have lots of support from the children’s families and friends for the event,” said Barbara.

“As well as pictures, drawings and letters to view, there’ll be tea and cakes and a raffle in aid of the Sri Lankan Bikes for Life charity. The organisation supplies bikes to rural villages so that children can reach the nearest schools and then when they’re older they can cycle to find work.”

After the exhibition, local businesses and CalMac will be invited to display some of the flag entries to grab the attention of tourists and highlight attractions on Bute.

The children’s work will also be featured on the Facebook page of cricketing legend and former Sri Lankan captain, Kumar Sangakkara, an associate member of Bute Cricket Club.