Editorial – The Scottish Banner Says….


Gracing our front cover: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations. Photo: Chris Watt/ Edinburgh Hogmanay.

December 2018 (Vol. 42, Number 06)

The Banner Says…

Look Back, Act Forward

Welcome to December which is always a very busy month for people with all the festive celebrations that come with Christmas and Hogmanay. For many it is a magical time of the year, with the infectious joy of excitement that comes from kids who simply cannot wait to wake up on Christmas morning to see what is under the tree.

I hope the joy of Christmas reaches your home on Christmas day, however we must not forget those who may not have lots to celebrate this holiday season. Some will have lost loved ones this year making the Christmas lights that bit duller, whilst others will be alone without others to share the holiday season with.

Reaching out to someone you know who doesn’t have another to share the season with or may have lost someone important this year, it may just be the best gift you can give. Not one of monetary value but one that truly evokes the true meaning of the season.

The 30th Anniversary of the Lockerbie Disaster

One group of people who have had their holiday season impacted for the last 30 years are the relatives and friends of those who perished both in the air and on the ground during the tragic Lockerbie Air Disaster. On December 21st, 1988 259 passengers and crew aboard Pan Am 103 left London Heathrow Airport bound for New York with plans for the upcoming Christmas to be with loved ones or start a new adventure, but those souls did not reach their destination.

Instead, a terrorist bomb caused the jumbo jet to explode in the sky above Lockerbie, killing all on board, plus a further 11 residents in the Scottish Borders town as large sections of the plane crashed to the ground. The sleepy town of Lockerbie was once home to Scotland’s largest lamb market but has forever been linked to the terrorist attack which this month will mark its 30th anniversary.

The entire town and its surrounding communities were deeply affected. As the aircraft imploded it fell onto the Scottish town from a great height, landing in several pieces and ripping roofs off homes and creating a large hole in the earth. Thousands of
emergency workers from Lockerbie, the surrounding communities, across Scotland and throughout the United Kingdom responded and the town would never be the same.

In Dryfesdale Cemetery, on the outskirts of Lockerbie, there is a memorial garden that is a fitting and touching tribute to the victims of the 1988 Lockerbie Air Disaster.

Cycle to Syracuse

Recently five men completed a 3,238 mile journey called the “Cycle to Syracuse — The Lockerbie Memorial Tour 2018” that began in Lockerbie in September, honouring those lives lost in the most remarkable way. On board Pan Am flight 103 were 35 Syracuse University students, the New York institution has since 1988 held an annual remembrance week to show support for all who suffered in the Lockerbie tragedy. The Cycle to Syracuse team chose to finish the journey that those people who boarded Pan Am 103 did not get the chance to complete and finished their journey at Syracuse University. On their cycle shirts the team had the very fitting slogan which “Look Back, Act Forward.”

With each pedal taken the legacy of the victims of Pan Am flight 103 and in the town of Lockerbie have not been forgotten, and their lives have been celebrated for what they were before December 21st, 1988.

In this issue

Hogmanay is Scotland’s holiday and this year the country will again awaken out of winter darkness to celebrate all the magic of this festive period. Scots make a bigger deal of Hogmanay than
they do of Christmas and a New Year brings hope of things to come, whilst also honouring tradition. It is today one of the top destinations in the world to ring in the bells and a further example of how Scotland does “Look Back, Act Forward”.

Scots have travelled the world over and added to the stories of many nations. As Scots settled, they brought with them their customs and religion. A part of that legacy is the diverse selection of Scottish churches or Kirk’s you can find around the world. Wander various cities or towns and a touch of Scotland can be found with a great story to tell, these buildings have not only added to the architectural wonder of destinations but have added to the social fabric of far flung Scottish outposts.

A further example of how far the reach of Scots has been is the story of a unique ship that is currently in Hawaii, with plans to bring her home to Scotland. The Falls of the Clyde turns 140 this month and is a rich part of Glasgow’s “Clydebuilt” engineering history. The ship is the last surviving iron-hulled, four masted full-rigged ship in the world, and a campaign is underway to repatriate the tall ship from Hawaii to Scotland and you are invited to help bring her home to be transformed and refitted for 21st century use.

A wonderful and peaceful holiday season

2018 has been a difficult year for the Scottish Banner as we have had to deal with both personal and business challenges. We however get a great deal of pleasure and pride from hearing from so many readers who tell us how much they continue to enjoy the Banner every month. I know many readers who pass on their paper to friends and family, who in turn pass on their copies to even more people, this is great way to introduce others to our publication.

However, for those who receive a copy from someone else on a regular basis, perhaps you can make a New Year’s resolution to get yourself a subscription with us? Each copy or subscription that is purchased really does help us put together the publication, if each reader who is able to do so, supported us in this way it would greatly help us continue to keep providing the content which so many enjoy each month.

From all of us at the Scottish Banner we thank all our readers, followers, friends and advertisers for their continued support of what we do, and wish each of you a wonderful and peaceful holiday season ahead and as 2018 comes to a close may you “Look Back, Act Forward”.

Do you have any comments about this month’s editorial?   Share your story with us by email, post, social media or at www.scottishbanner.com/contact-us


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