Stornoway Port Authority is playing an integral role in a series of poignant projects commemorating the centenary of the Iolaire disaster in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.
System2 is helping raise awareness of the authority’s involvement in various projects being held to mark one of the UK’s worse maritime disasters.
This week saw the completion of a powerful installation, ‘Sheòl an Iolaire/The Iolaire Sailed’, commissioned by the authority and now positioned on South Beach. This project, conceived by Torcuil Crichton and Malcolm Maclean, is a full-scale representation of the ship’s hull, with 280 wooden posts representing each man aboard when it sank in sight of the harbour lights as it returned to its home port at the end of World War I.
Of these markers, 79 have been painted white to represent the number of known survivors and 201 have been left plain to represent the losses. The hulk, which is dramatically submerged and revealed with the tide, will be illuminated while the installation remains in place during December and January.
System2 announced this initiative by distributing news content which attracted local and national media coverage, and also highlighted the project via social media and digital channels.
Stornoway Port Authority has also helped fund a bronze sculpture, commissioned by An Lanntair art centre and created by respected visual artists Arthur Watson, Marian Levan and Will Maclean, which will be located near the site where the vessel was wrecked.
Representatives of the authority will join Prince Charles, Lord of the Isles, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and other dignitaries at the memorial service on 1 January when wreaths will be laid at the Iolaire memorial overlooking the scene of the disaster.
And as a legacy of the centenary commemorations, the port authority is working with businessman Stewart Graham and other organisations, to build a world-class visitor centre at the harbour. This will become a high-quality community asset as well as a permanent reminder of HMY Iolaire and those who perished.
Stornoway Port Authority is humbled to be involved in all these projects to remember such an evocative episode in the islands’ history and System2 is honoured to help ensure these efforts are recognised widely.