Plans launched for Oban to host a new Parade of Heroes

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The success of the weekly clapping in recognition of the work and commitment of our wonderful NHS is quite noticeable, and from its first week there’s been great support.

For some, including myself, there were thoughts that the clapping could be enhanced, hence a call to our very own Pipe Major Angus McColl to suggest that a tune from the members of our world champion Oban High School Pipe Band playing from their home locations could be a great addition.

This proved to be a big success but not only locally, as it progressed to pipers countrywide and then internationally. The actual thank-you was also extended to include carers and  all key workers.

Martin Gillespie, a founder member and one of the pipers in the band Skerryvore, inspired by the ethos of the whole thing, composed the tune Everyday Heroes. He and his band colleagues joined forces with musicians from other well-known Scottish acts to produce a fundraising single of the tune for the NHS that reached number one nationally.

Now a Parade of Heroes may be perceived as a further step on this journey.

I certainly hope it will have a two-fold purpose: first, creating an opportunity for our community or indeed any other community to have an achievable positive focus and, secondly, providing a collective occasion when everyone young and old can join together to say a big thank-you to the people and their organisations who have been at the forefront of supporting us all through this devastating crisis.

While Oban parades are famous, they, like all events, cannot happen until mass gatherings are allowed, and presently we have no indication when this might be, so it could be a while but we are planning ahead and hopefully will give the town a great focus for a great cause.

I am delighted to say that we already have Oban Pipe Band and Oban High School Pipe Band agreeing to take part. And The Oban Times, BID4Oban, Oban and Lorn Tourism Alliance and Oban FM are among a raft of individuals and organisations supportive of the parade, including my locally based colleagues in event organising.