About the Islay Info Website and Webmaster
My name is Ron, I am based in the Netherlands, and work for an IT Department of a local city council. I am married to Manuela, who is a self employed personal trainer and nutrition consultant. My interest for Islay started many years ago when I joined the Friends of Laphroaig and was given a square foot of land on Islay. My dream was to visit my plot of land, collect my dram, and to see more of this special whisky island. Almost four years ago I married Manuela in Scotland and we spent our honeymoon in the Highlands. The last three days of our honeymoon were spent on Islay and that's where we both developed a passion for the island and its people, which is getting stronger with each visit. I guess our story is similar to that of other people who visited Islay for the first time and heard about the island through a bottle of its excellent malt whisky. It's then on your very first trip to Islay that you discover that the island has so much much more to offer than just distilleries.
Since one of my hobbies is photography I took quite a lot of pictures during our annual visits to Islay and as a result of that, and due to my IT background, I started the islayinfo.com website in the summer of 2005. What started off as a hobby, by creating a space on the internet where other people could see what Islay is really about, ended up to be a second "full time" job. Being the webmaster for the islayinfo.com website means I have to spend many hours keeping the site up-to-date and search for possibilities to expand and organize the site even better. Luckily Manuela supports me very well, without her ongoing support I would be lost and I also receive a lot of support from my friends on Islay and other locals!
My passion for this magnificent island is one of the reasons to keep me going and another good reason are the wonderful comments I receive from time to time, either when we are on the island from the locals and also through the feedback form on the website. It's no secret that Manuela and myself are looking for a way to settle ourselves on Islay permanently in the near future. We are not in a rush but when something interesting does come up we might make the move and become part of this wonderful community we feel to be our second home already. Finding a job on Islay is of course important if we ever want to settle permanently so if you have any suggestions for us... you are welcome to respond through the feedback form!
As the visitor numbers increase almost every month the website also attracts more and more advertisers. It is my intention to give as much as possible back to charities on the island and in 2007 I have started a sponsorship with the Museum of Islay Life and the Islay Natural History Trust, both located in Port Charlotte. This will benefit the island community as a whole which is my first and most important goal for running this website! If you like to help me supporting my goals, please feel free to make a donation through the "Make a Donation" button below for the upkeep and further improvement of this website, and to increase support for charities on Islay! Thank you very much! If you like to advertise your business please check the advertise on Islayinfo page.
Over the last years I have received a lot of positive comments, as mentioned above, and it felt not right to do nothing with them. So as a big thank you for all your support, and not to promote myself which is something I'd rather not do, I have added some of these fine comments on this page.
Testimonials from website visitors:
Helen: I just wanted to congratulate and thank you for this excellent website. It's easy to navigate, well set out, enjoyable and very useful. Gentle and friendly, like much of what Islay has to offer.
Janet, Islay Museum: Thanks so much for putting our Holiday cottages on your wonderful Website. Bookings for 2008 are going well, and i'm sure will be greatly enhanced by being added to Islayinfo.com.
Paul van Eck: My wife and I are visiting Islay for the first time on 22 Sep from South Africa. I have been checking out various websites on the net about Islay so that I am not a complete dufas when we arrive. Your site is absolutely incredible! The photos, the layout, the depth of information, everything. For example, your sections on each distillery are better than the actual distillery home pages! No other site even comes near this one. If I see you in Islay I'll buy you a drink or 3! Well done on an excellent product.
John MacKay: You have an excellent site. Well done! All the best, and keep up the good work.
Jane McAfee: Wow the website looks really good
Nicola Stein, Bowmore: "A huge thank you to Ron, who has just completed my website and links to Islayinfo.com. With each stage I have been greatly impressed by his commitment and artistic input, as well as his technical skill, and I've got exactly the result I was hoping for. Islayinfo is a tremendous site for Islay - comprehensive, informative and interesting, and also provides a great facility for enabling local businesses to reach a wider audience - long may it continue!"
This is THE first picture I took from Islay on our first visit
Teresa Morris: Firstly may I say what excellent work you are doing with the Islay info website it is truely superb and really bringing the community together. Keep up the good work!
Christine Logan: You are doing an amazing service with your website and I hope that it is much appreciated with a steady growth in members. If there is anything I can do I will be delighted. You are providing a wonderful service and I wish you many congratulations!
Tom Henderson: Just to say WOW! I have been transfixed for the last three hours trawling through this site. I was born in Bowmore and brought up in Bruichladdich. You have effectively sent me back 40 years! The photos are stunning, I realise that a lot has changed since I was last there (1976), but I instantly recognised a lot of it. Thank you for such a comprehensive and well laid out site.
René Ramon: I enjoyed the April newsletter very much and the structure of it. I live on Speyside I would love to receive further newsletters which keeps me in touch with my favourite Scottish island and the Ileach people!
Fiona MacGregor: I find your site extremely infomative and very well laid out. In fact you probably know more about Islay than i do and I've lived here all my life.
Grahame: I love your blog and Islay site
Marian, Session Clerk, Bowmore Round Church: I am very impressed by the website and have recommended it to several people who are coming to Islay this summer.
Ian Brown, Machrie Hotel: Having received an e mail from yourselves and seen your pages for the first time and being very impressed I WOULD LIKE TO ADVERTISE ON YOUR SITE
Klaas Steenhuis: I just want to say that I enjoy the Islay info very much. Together with a friend I visited Islay this year and last year. We will come back in July next year, because it's such a beautiful island.
Ciara: I really like your Islay website. It's excellent
Richard: a very interesting site - many thanks to Mark Reynier for showing it to me.
Jeremy Hastings: You have done an excellent job…The site looks better and better each time.
Lois Moon: Just wanted to say that I really like your most recent autumn photos of Islay. They are excellent! They are exceptionally clear. I assume you are using a digital camera. Beautiful! Great website, too.
Barbara Cairney: Can I start with some flattery. This is by far the most informative Islay web site I have found. I am researching the Island with a view to moving myself and family back to Scotland to live on Islay.
Carol Smith: This website, and the blog, are wonderful! I love Islay and feel dreadfully homesick for it when I'm not there... Thank you!