Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Laying a wreath at the Polish War Memorial

Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands and Cromarty Firth Ward SNP Councillor Maxine Smith laid a wreath of white and red flowers at the Polish War Memorial ceremony in Invergordon on Sunday 16th November.

This annual service was well attended by several generations of Polish and Scots/Polish families from Easter Ross. Guests included the Polish Vice Consul to Scotland Piotr Leszezynski. The ceremony at the distinctive memorial at Castle Drive, Invergordon has an important place in many hearts as Polish families and service personnel chose to stay in Scotland after the war when conditions under the Russian occupation made it impossible for them to return home.

Rob Gibson and Maxine Smith took their turn to lay their wreath of red and white flowers, the colours of the Polish flag, at the memorial which proclaims 'for your and our freedom', a most appropriate dedication to remember the Second World War and in today's very different world.

The comradeship of world war and the fellow feeling of two of the peoples among the 27 member European Union of today maintains the ceremony at Invergordon. It includes a mixture of long established families in Easter Ross, young Poles working in the Highlands and families such as that of top piper Duncan MacGillivray of Calrossie whose American wife Jane is of Polish origins. Duncan piped for the flag bearers, the reveille and the Polish anthem. Their children and friends placed candles at the memorial after the wreath laying as a poignant tribute to the fallen of both lands.

Meanwhile in Warsaw, Linda Fabiani, Europe and Culture Minister in the Scottish Government was laying a wreath on a memorial to Scots in Poland signifying the close links between our countries over several centuries.

Rob Gibson said, "It is good to maintain the traditions of Scottish and Polish friendship. While the British declaration of war on Germany in 1939 tried to aid Poland in her hour of need, we remember the brave people who fought and fell for their countries and join with them in friendship today as Scottish-Polish links remain strong.

"The ceremony at Invergordon is organised each year by Vanda Hardy. She deserves wide praise for this lasting commemoration in Easter Ross."


No comments: