Remembering Piper Alpha – three decades on
Families, friends and industry representatives are to gather to remember the 167 men who lost their lives in the Piper Alpha disaster.
Thirty years on from the world’s worst offshore disaster, an Act of Remembrance - organised by the UK Oil and Gas Chaplaincy and Aberdeen City Council - will be held at the Piper Alpha Memorial Garden in Aberdeen.
The service will begin at 7pm on 6 July with the names of those who perished read aloud. A lone piper will play a lament followed by a minute’s silence. Families, friends and colleagues will then be invited to lay wreaths or flowers led by Aberdeen’s Lord Provost Barney Crockett. Music will also be provided by the Bon Accord Silver Band.
The Reverend Gordon Craig, Chaplain to the UK offshore oil and gas industry and who is organising the Act of Remembrance, said: “Thirty years may seem a long time to some, but for those who lost a father, son, brother, husband, partner, friend or colleague, the tragedy is still very much part of their life. Our commemoration is an opportunity to gather together and remember those loved ones who never came home. By naming every person who tragically lost their life the city and industry together can demonstrate that the loss of these men will not be forgotten. And that, may hopefully, bring a crumb of comfort to those whose loss is greatest.”
The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett added: “It is hard to believe that three decades have passed since the Piper Alpha tragedy. The shocking events of that night thirty years ago are imprinted on the Aberdeen memory forever.
“We will never forget that 167 men died in the tragedy – dads, sons, brothers, uncles, nephews, partners, friends and colleagues – who never returned home. This is why it is so important that the City of Aberdeen and industry come together for this Act of Remembrance.
“The memorial garden and statue is a very special place for the people of Aberdeen, the wider oil and gas industry, and particularly for those whose lives have been affected by this tragedy. I hope that by coming together for this special service that those affected will know that our thoughts are with them at this time and forever.”
The service is open to families and friends of those who died in Piper Alpha as well as anyone who wants to remember and pay their respects.
Rev Craig added: “We would also like to take this opportunity to recognise the Pound for Piper Trust, who continue to provide funding to maintain the Memorial Gardens and thank them for their generosity in arranging with Hazelhead Park Café to provide light refreshments to all families and friends, prior to and after, attending the remembrance ceremony.”