I should say here that I know and trust our archaeologists implicitly. I have worked closely with them in the EVPF visits to the island and have seen their commitment to the work. I have seen the intermediate work and, if told we need another day of survey with less foliage, I know that is the case. We are hoping to have first drawings to share shortly. I mention this because we did have one sponsor complain about statements that we had finished field work only to find that we needed another day. We are being very good stewards of your donations and, in fact, the vast majority of this project is being funded directly by the EVPF Board ourselves.
We had reported earlier that we had entered into negotiations with The International Clan MacFarlane Society (CMSI*) for sponsorship of exclusive projects within the EVPF program. Although we have doggedly held that the work on Ellan Vhow must be open to all, we had offered to allow exclusive sponsorship of specific projects in response to requests from CMSI and had published their commitment to fund the Phase III project in our Projects tab ... anticipating successful confirmation of conditions and agreement. Unfortunately, we were not able to agree to exclusive fundraising requirements and terms and CMSI has withdrawn from sponsorship of EVPF work. Changes have been made today to the site to try to reflect this. More unfortunately, representatives of CMSI indicated that they felt we were not negotiating in good faith. We consistently responded that we were only trying to get clarification on aspects of their conditions that might play into ownership disputes over the island or that might play into the tensions between the three Macfarlane clan societies that we are aware of. We would continue to welcome any involvement that CMSI would like to have in this program in future and remain grateful for their response in the earlier applications for work approval with Historic Scotland.
We continue to be independent of any particular society and inclusive of all. We are grateful that the other two societies have made, and continue to make, unrestricted donations to this work and do hope that there will someday be unity amongst the clan again.
There is plenty of good work to be done ahead, and we hope to continue to work through the prerequisite work to enable eventual stabilization of the castle structure and exploratory excavation. It will require patience, commitment, and perseverance.
Thank you sincerely for your continued support!