Remembrance garden plans for Pittencrieff Park
Gary Fitzpatrick • Published 18 Nov 2011 08:45
THE former paddling pool in Dunfermline's Pittencrieff Park has been earmarked to become a garden of remembrance for the victims of recent conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
The garden would provide a peaceful haven for the families of soldiers who have died in recent years and with West Fife having suffered a series of tragic deaths, the Dunfermline park is seen as a fitting location.
The family of Black Watch corporal Tam Mason (pictured), originally from Rosyth, who died following a roadside explosion in Afghanistan, have been keen to have a place designated specifically for the conflicts of recent times, feeling the existing memorials are more associated with the world wars of previous generations.
Tam's mum, Linda Buchanan, from Kelty, said, "We had a good meeting with our councillor, Alex Rowley, and Steve Grimmond (executive director of local communities and housing) and Fife Council are right behind the idea.
"The place that's been proposed for it is the old paddling pool which is a lovely spot and very peaceful.
"It would be a place for anyone to go and sit. We'll be having a meeting with the soldiers' families where people can have an input on what they'd like to see there.
"I would like to see it having a water feature, which would be peaceful and a symbol of something that's there forever.
"The paddling pool has not been used for years and is waiting there for something to be done."
The money required to build the garden would come from grants and from fund-raising activities.
"By raising part of the money people would be feeling they were getting involved and doing their bit to help," said Mrs Buchanan.
"It was said the garden could be up and running by next spring but I think that's a bit optimistic."
West Fife communities are the Black Watch heartland and have been by struck by sad losses in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers from Kelty, Dunfermline, Oakley and Cowdenbeath have all made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Press online petition supporting the memorial garden has already been backed by 180 people with many leaving heartfelt messages of support.
Colin posted, "It's the bare minimum that should be done to recognise the bravery of these young men" and added "Must happen".
Richard Mclaughlin wrote, "We should do more to support our heroes and their families."
Kenneth Allison posted, "This would be very welcome. It's the least that we could do to remember those courageous citizens of Fife."
Gail Henderson stated, "This isn't something we should have to fight for, this is something which should have been done a long, long time ago. RIP Tam xx."
You can sign our petition for the garden now on our website (see homepage for details).
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 18 Nov 11