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Looking astern - the continuing story of recognition.

The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen were as bright as they could be for holders of the United Kingdom Merchant Seafarers Veterans Badge.

The City of Aberdeen together with the Federation of Merchant l\/lariners hosted a St Andrews Day Presentation in.the Town and County Hall.

Over thirty holders of the United Kingdom Merchant Seafarers Veterans Badge and their guests were welcomed to this historic setting. Built in medieval style and bedecked by banners it was truly a setting fit for a King (King Edward Vll and Queen Alexandra had indeed visited in 1906) and also fitting for those of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets to receive recognition for their service to the Nation.

Entering through the St Nicholas Hall members and guests were met and shown through to the Town and County Hall where they were greeted by the Lord Provost of Aberdeen Peter Stephen OStJ MCIBS and a traditional Scottish welcome of a "wee dram”. Having been introduced to others attending by the Chief Executive they took their seats for the Presentation.

The official words of welcome from the Lord Provost underlined the City's immense pride in the service and sacrifice of merchant seafarers and the prosperity they had brought to the city.

The Chief Executive read the individual citation for each Award and the holder stepped forward to receive the Badge from the Lord Provost who was accompanied by the Lord Provost's Sea Cadet.

On behalf of all m‘erchant seafarers the Chief Executive presented the Lord Provost with a United Kingdom Merchant Seafarers Veterans Badge for his office.

Refreshments were kindly provided by the Lord Provost and after photographs there was a little time left to "swing the lamp".

Our guests included the Dean of Guild of the City of Aberdeen; Fishermans Mission; Harbour Master; Port Chaplain, Aberdeen Sailors Society; the Mission to Seafarers Scotland; Deputy Lieutenants for Aberdeen; tn Councillors of the City of Aberdeen; and the Sea Cadets from the TS Bon Accord. The motto of the City of Aberdeen could not have been more appropriate to sum up the memorable Presentation in their wonderful city — "Happy to meet, sorry to leave, happy to meet again". Amongst the letters of thanks which we received from those attending was one from Captain Campbell MBE "it is so seldom that you hear mention of the Merchant Navy in the press, TV etc, and indeed the general public have largely forgotten the magnificent fleet of merchant ships that sailed once under the Red Ensign. You and your associates have gone some way to redress the balance and thank you for all your hard work"