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Sirs,

 

Today after a fair bit of thought I am putting forth my opinion regarding the memorial to the Iolaire disaster.

 

Firstly, I wish to thank all involved in remembering this tragedy. The work involved and the thought that went into this project is to be commended. Without any shadow of a doubt a lot of time and dedication was put into the erection of this long overdue monument to those who lost the lives so close to shore.

 

My second point sadly is not so complementary. The monument does not reflect the values and taste of the people of the generation who were lost. I have heard it described as similar to “tartan tat,” “an “abomination,” “did they build it out of bubble gum.”

 

Possibly the most telling comments were “hideous and shame.”

 

As a former commissioned officer, HMF British Army, regular forces and an island man to boot, I am very disappointed in the end result we see today in the square. A simple, elegant, solid monument would have been so much more appropriate and keeping in character.

 

Now when visitors to our islands return home to their places of origin they will tell their people: beautiful islands, powerful winds, evil midges, religious maniacs and we build monuments to our war dead out of bubble gum.

 

I think we can do better that.

 

Murdo MacKenzie

Edgemoor Cottage

Gravir

South Lochs

Lewis

 

 

Letter: Criticism of Iolaire memorial design

26 March 2018