Shetland Fishermen’s Mission marks 100 years of service Published: 23 April, 2007
AROUND one hundred Shetlanders gathered at the Knab, in Lerwick, yesterday to witness an unusual wreath laying ceremony marking 100 years of service by the Fishermen’s Mission to the isles’ fishing community.
Port missioner Peter Dade and the chief executive of the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen (RNMDSF), Dab Conley, laid the wreath on the sea to remember those of had lost their lives at sea.
Shetland’s emergency services, including the Lerwick lifeboat and the Coastguard emergency towing vessel Anglian Sovereign together with a number of fishing boats attended the short ceremony. The Coastguard search and rescue helicopter Lima Charlie performed a fly by.
Superintendent Dade said laying a wreath on to the sea was the appropriate thing to do.
“We are celebrating 100 years of Fishermen’s Mission in Lerwick, and it is only appropriate to do this as a mark of respect to those who have been lost at sea around Shetland. You can celebrate, but the celebration goes hand in hand with the sorrow.”
Mr Dade added that for the last 100 years the Fishermen’s mission had been an integral part of life in Shetland and in particular in its many fishing communities.
And although Shetland’s role as a centre of the Scottish fishing industry has been changing over the years which is reflected in a much smaller but technically advanced fleet, Mr Dade and his team of volunteers are still much in demand.
Southampton based mission chief executive Dan Conley said there would always be a role for the mission in Shetland as long as there was a fishing community.
“This is a very important celebration. It marks 100 years presence of the mission in Lerwick.
“But of course we must look into the future, and as long as there is a fishing industry in Shetland, there will be a presence here to support both the active fishermen and the large retired community that live in outlying communities,” he said.
The wreath laying was the highlight of a weekend of mission celebrations, which kicked off on Saturday with a concert in Lerwick Town Hall.
This was followed by a parade through Lerwick on Sunday and a church service in the town’s St Columba church.
The events of last weekend’s celebration have been planned for the last year, but they received an additional significance following the Bourbon Dolphin tragedy and the loss of eight lives, ten days ago.
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