Carmichael backs National Lost Trawlermen’s Memorial Day

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has spoken out in Parliament in support of a National Lost Trawlermen’s Memorial Day. Mr Carmichael intervened in support of a debate led by Karl Turner MP, who raised the idea as a national extension to a day of commemoration already recognised in the coastal city of Hull.

Speaking during the debate, Mr Carmichael said:

“This is a proposition that I am sure will have support in coastal and island communities right around the country. I was brought up on Islay, with a population of 3,500 people, and even of those who were at school with me I can count no fewer than six who have lost their lives in the industry. The real benefit that would come from what he proposes is not just that it would be an act of remembrance but, in its own small way, it would help to improve the culture within the industry so that the many lives that were lost needlessly would not be lost in future generations.”

Karl Turner MP replied:

“The fact that he speaks as he does adds incredibly strong support to the argument. I think I am right in saying, having spoken briefly with the Minister prior to the debate, that to some extent we are pushing at an open door.”

Later in the debate Mr Carmichael raised the recent passing of Jakob Strandheim with the responding minister:

“It is worth remembering that we have just seen the passing of the last man who was part of the Shetland Bus, Jakob Strandheim. That still lives very strongly in the communities I represent in Shetland, but as we get further from the memory of what they did, acts of commemoration like this will be all the more important.”

Minister Robert Courts said:

“He is absolutely right that the memories of the sacrifices made by communities runs deep, but we must not be complacent. Those extraordinary acts of sacrifice, through the sheer passage of time become something we have to redouble our efforts to remember. There are those we have lost, but also, as we have heard, those currently working in what is a uniquely dangerous industry.”

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