Ongoing Preparations for the 100th Anniversary of the loss of the Iolaire

Members of the Comhairle’s Policy & Resources Committee will tomorrow be asked to note a report on preparations for the 100th Anniversary of the loss of the Iolaire. 

The Scottish Commemorations Panel has indicated that the remembrance of the HMY Iolaire disaster will be the culmination of the official programme of commemorative events. It is proposed that the Comhairle will host a civic event in remembrance of the Iolaire disaster and that the event should be on 31 December 2018 into 1 January 2019. Part of the preparations for the event will be the re-instatement of the path leading down to the Iolaire monument itself. 

Further to the works generated by the reinstatement of the path, there is a proposal to erect a sculpture including interpretation panels, reflecting the loss of the HMY Iolaire and the impact on the communities of Lewis and Harris. An Lanntair is taking forward the proposal and is currently in discussion with the artist concerning the final brief and approaching funding agencies to put together finance required to complete the project. In addition to a sculpture near the site of the memorial consideration is being given to having a sculpture in Stornoway town centre which would serve as a marker to inform and encourage visitors to visit the memorial site. Communities have also expressed an interest in replicating a smaller version of the final sculpture in each community which suffered losses. 

The Committee will be asked to approve that the Comhairle hosts a civic commemoration event on 31 December 2018/1 January 2019; note progress with proposals for the reinstatement of the path to the Iolaire Memorial; and note that a further Report detailing costs will be submitted to a future meeting of the Committee.