I suppose that most people, in looking back, enjoy hearing and talking about that which is within their own experience so that it is not surprising that so many Lewis men and women have such affectionate memories of Stornoway Y.M.C.A. particular of the years following the Second World War. This may be considered to be simply nostalgia and not history if there is indeed any difference. The Y.M.C.A. influence in the social life of the island extends well before that period and indeed covers the greater part of this century. It began with the establishment of the Y.M.C.A. Services Institute in 1915 for the purpose of providing recreational facilities and comforts for servicemen and fishermen during the First World War. This type of Y.M.C.A. War Programme had been initiated during the American Civil War and, at the same time as the Services Institute operated in Stornoway, the Y.M.C.A. in the United States provided extensive War relief to aid the American Expedition Forces.

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