£63,500 handover from Pound for Piper Memorial Trust

A cheque for £63,500 has been handed over to Aberdeen City Council from the Pound for Piper Memorial Trust for the upkeep of the gardens and memorial in Hazlehead Park.

The Pound for Piper Memorial Trust was set up in 2012 to refurbish and maintain the North Sea Memorial Rose Garden, and the cash being donated this month will keep the gardens in good condition for years to come.

Hazlehead Park contains the Memorial Garden along with a statue which commemorates the 167 people who died in the Piper Alpha tragedy in 1988, which was the oil and gas industry’s worst disaster.

Lord Provost of Aberdeen Councillor George Adam, who received the cheque on behalf of the City Council, said: “The upkeep of the Memorial Garden and statue are so important as the garden is a place for quiet contemplation for the families affected.

“We are very grateful to the Pound for Piper Memorial Trust for their efforts in raising the money to enable us to continue to ensure the garden is a peaceful and beautiful place for reflection and memories.

“We would also like to thank the public and oil and gas companies who gave so generously to the campaign.”

A major regeneration of the gardens took place during 2012 and 2013 and this was completed in time for a memorial service to take place to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the disaster.

This regeneration included the purchase, planting and pruning of thousands of new roses, the monument was thoroughly cleaned, surrounding benches were painted and indeed the complete site was subject to a major renovation as it had fallen into bad disrepair.

This was achieved through the generous donations to Pound for Piper received from the public, from offshore personal and from oil companies (supported by Oil and Gas UK). This included donations placed into the unique Pound for Piper Offshore hats, and great support with Pound for Piper badged products being sold.

A spokesman for the Pound for Piper Memorial Trust, said: “The Pound for Piper Memorial Trust continued with its endeavours to collect funds to ensure the gardens continue to look at their absolute best and this presentation to the Council confirms the charity’s commitment to supporting this project.

"The gardens are so important as they are a place of contemplation for friends and families of the bereaved and are a constant reminder with regard to North Sea safety.

"They are also important as there are remains of the unidentified deceased entombed within the monument which is the centrepiece of the grounds so this therefore is a serious place of solace and reflection.

"We were delighted that funds raised, thanks to the donations, have contributed towards the initial restoration of the North Sea Memorial Rose Garden and will ensure that this tranquil and beautiful spot will remain in good repair for many years to come.”