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Letters / Thank you, Shetland

I have come across this story on the Shetland News website in relation to the memorial to the victims of the air accidents that was unveiled on Saturday, and would like to extend my warmest and heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all concerned.

My father, Fraser Scott, was one of those killed on G-BEKF on 31 July 1979 and, indeed, I was myself present at Sumburgh that fateful day – my father was the contracts manager for the construction company G.P.Trentham who were building the heliport, and he had found me a summer job there. It was a dreadful day and still painful to recall.

I have never felt particularly inclined to return to either Shetland in general or Sumburgh in particular, but maybe that has had something to do with the fact that there would have been no focus for such a return – the thought of aimless wandering only seemed to serve to risk reinforcing what are rather bleak memories. Perhaps now that there is a memorial, I may one day return. In fact, one day I most certainly will return.

In the Christmas immediately following the accident, the Shetland islanders sent me and my sister some gifts. We never replied or said thank you. It was just too difficult but I am sorry for our omission. The Shetland islanders showed genuine kindness and compassion then and have continued to do so. This memorial really means a huge amount and I am grateful to all concerned.

I want to extend my thanks to all those involved in the creation of the memorial. It is greatly appreciated and most welcome. I will come and see it.

Thank you, Shetland.

Yours sincerely,
Ian F. Scott