Oban will remember war heroes despite Covid

Jackie Carter Brown is one of the creatives auctioning off work at Made In Argyll in aid of this year's Poppy Appeal.

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Oban will keep up its remembrance tradition this year but it will be different because of Covid.

Councillor Jim Lynch and Oban Sea Cadets chaplain Reverend Peter Park have been working on a plan to make sure the town can still pay its respects despite the virus and carry on commemorating the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women involved in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts.

The usual parade from Corran Halls to Oban War Memorial cannot take place but there will be two acts of remembrance going ahead with reduced numbers attending and while keeping to government guidelines such as social distancing.

The first will be a service at the War Memorial on Sunday November 8 from 10.45am to 11.15am  led by the Rev Park and including a two-minute silence with wreath laying led by Deputy Lord Lieutenant Neil Mathieson. Also taking part will be Archie McCulloch who is the British Legion standard bearer, Oban Pipe band pipe major Daniel Johnstone and Councillor Jim Lynch. That event will also be live streamed.

‘We invite organisations and groups who wish to lay wreaths to send a representative to the War Memorial and ask that wreath layers go directly to the memorial and assemble between 10.30am and 10.45am.

‘Wreath layers are requested to wear face coverings, unless exempted from doing so, and physical distancing measures will be adhered to,’ said Councillor Lynch.

Any members of the public attending are also asked to keep a safe social distance and wear masks.

The second act of remembrance will be on Wednesday November 11 at 11am at the Garden of Remembrance on George Street.

Remembrance crosses will be provided for anyone wishing to place a cross in the garden.

Anyone wanting to find out more about these events should contact the Rev Park on 01631 565849.

Crafters at Made In Argyll in Station Square are hosting an auction and selling hand-made poppies for the Earl Haigh Poppy Appeal. From an oil painting to a sculpture on slate from the Isle of Seil, there are eight different lots to go under the virtual hammer and help raise funds, says Janice Stewart, who runs the co-operative of crafters. The items have minimum bids suggested.

‘The cause is close to my heart. It’s been a difficult year for fundraising so we hope we can help this way,’ she said.

The auction will close on November 10 and winning bidders will be notified.