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Remembrance Sunday in Highland Perthshire During the Pandemic

LISTEN: David Barrie explains what will be happening and how people in Highland Perthshire can pay their respects

Unlike any other year, this year’s Remembrance Sunday will have no formal event because of the safety restrictions surrounding the spread of the Coronavirus.

Perth and Kinross Council are not permitting any formal gatherings in Pitlochry in line with the tier 2 Coronavirus restrictions.

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Local Baptist pastor, David Barrie, explained: “So Perth and Kinross [council] don’t give us permission to do a small wreath-laying ceremony, but individuals are very welcome to go to the war memorial as long as they observe social distancing protocols and have their own time down there.

“I certainly will be there, from just before eleven o’clock, and I will be laying a wreath and having a short time of prayer, but they’ll be nothing official and there will be no sound system, and they’ll be no coning the pavement or blocking off the road.

“So very different this year from past years, but hopefully it’s still important for all of us but especially for those who have a close link with veterans and of those who are still serving in the armed forces.”

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Usually, there is a parade to the war memorial with uniformed organisations and a pipe band which march down Atholl Road, ‘it was never going to fly’, says Mr Barrie, because of the Coronavirus restrictions.

‘Because we need to look after each others health’ adds Mr Barrie, so, the next idea was to have a ‘very small’ wreath-laying ceremony with an individual from ‘various uniformed organisations’ laying a wreath each as a lone piper played.

“But we’ve just heard back from Perth and Kinross [council] on Monday that, that isn’t being permitted either.” Explained Mr Barrie.

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However, the council has lit up the Black Watch Monument in Aberfeldy and the Square and Pitlochry War Memorial in support of the Light Up Red campaign from Poppy Scotland.

Because of the impact COVID-19 has made on collecting donations by Poppy Scotland, the veteran’s charity is asking for buildings of all sizes to light up red to raise awareness about the work they’re involved in.

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Highland Ward councillor, John Duff, said: “I am delighted that once again, Perth and Kinross Council is supporting poppy Scotland’s national light-up red campaign. The campaign helps to raise awareness of the poppy appeal and mark the season of remembrance.

“As a volunteer with Poppy Scotland in Aberfeldy, I am very aware that this year’s appeal has been severely impacted by the pandemic.

“I very much hope listeners will make an extra effort to donate this year and to help our armed forces community.”

Anything from Edinburgh Castle to anyone’s home can and have joined in, and now the Scottish Crannog Centre, House of Bruar and Dunkeld Cathedral are all lighting up red in remembrance.

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