Piper Alpha Memorial

Piper Alpha memorial

I joined hundreds of others gathered in Hazelhead Park, Aberdeen for the rededication of this fine memorial and its surrounding rose garden.

6 July 2013

Both have been impressively refurbished by the local council and offshore industry working together, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of this tragedy when 167 men died.

The moving ceremony, beginning with a flypast by an RAF Sea King and led by oil industry Chaplain Rev'd Gordon Craig, included five industry members reading the names of each person who died, a lone piper playing a lament and then laying of wreaths by politicians, industry representatives and, above all, by families and friends.

Just as was the case 25 years ago, the weather was bright and sunny. People of all ages gathered, some in formal funeral wear, but others in summer clothing - and many of these were clearly too young to remember the event personally. Survivors were also present, including Roy Thomson, whom I met for the first time only a few days earlier at the Piper25 conference and who then spoke about his experience of the disaster at the IOSH Holyrood reception.

All who spoke emphasised their determination to ensure that not only the victims of Piper are suitably remembered, but also the lessons learned since about how to prevent such events. The number and variety of all those present emphasised how only by working together can we ensure that such events never happen again.