Lochaber remembers Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

Dressed in Commando uniform, Prince Philip chats with some old soldiers before laying a wreath at the memorial in 2002. PICTURE IAIN FERGUSON, THE WRITE IMAGE

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Communities from Lochaber and the Western Isles are united this week in tribute to His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip died peacefully at Windsor Castle last Friday and this week organisations, businesses and individuals have been remembering his many visits to the area.

Mike Conway was the manager at Glen Etive Restaurant where Highland Council hosted a lunch for the Queen and Prince Philip on June 5, 2005. He remembers it vividly.

‘It was a beautiful day and a real privilege to be hosting them after months of planning,’ he told us.

‘We shook hands as they were on their way in and I remember that we had ordered a special beer from Atlas Brewery in Kinlochleven for him. He seemed to enjoy it – he finished it, anyway.’

In 1974 the Duke visited the original Marine Harvest (now Mowi) salmon farm site at Lochailort, near Arisaig. The Duke has had a continuing interest in salmon farming and in 1991 spent some time at the Marine Harvest stall on a visit to Fort William to mark the tercentenary of the founding of the town where he got into a fairly deep and very supportive discussion about farmed salmon.

Su Cox, Scottish Salmon business development director, organised the stall and said: ‘It was a very exciting day for everyone.’

Marine Harvest/Mowi have been official suppliers of salmon since 1990. Jayne MacKay, community engagement officer Mowi, sent condolences on behalf of the company.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Convenor, Councillor Norman A Macdonald, also paid tribute this week: ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family at this sad time,’ he said.

‘Prince Philip had a successful Navy career, during which he saw active service during the Second World War. He then worked to support the Queen following her Accession in 1952.

‘In 2009, he became the longest serving British Consort.  He founded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, which many young people in the Western Isles have benefited from.

‘He also accompanied the Queen in visiting the Western Isles in 1956, 1979 and 2002. On behalf of the people of the Western Isles I send condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family.’

The death of the Duke saw politicians of all parties unite this week as election campaign’s were suspended as a mark of respect.

People from across the Highlands have been sending messages of their condolences to a special e-book hosted on The Highland Council’s website – www.highland.gov.uk/mourning

The messages reflect the high esteem His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has been held in by the people of the Highlands and includes personal tributes from councillors, Lord Lieutenants, local community representatives and individuals, some of whom met His Royal Highness during his many visits to the area.

Arrangements for his funeral, which will take place on Saturday, April 17, at Windsor Castle, have been issued by Buckingham palace. The arrangements include details of a national one minutes silence, which will take place at 3pm on Saturday to coincide with his funeral.