Funds to help pay for the ongoing maintenance of the North Sea Memorial Garden in Aberdeen that pays tribute to the 167 men who lost their lives in the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster were handed over Thursday, August 13.
The Piper Alpha was the North Sea’s worst ever oil disaster, and one of the largest disaster in the history of offshore oil and gas industry.
Oil & Gas UK has given the Pound for Piper Memorial Trust just over £185,000 ($288,800), which is the remainder of funds raised by industry to help support refurbishment and upkeep of the garden at Hazlehead Park.
Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “We were delighted funds raised by our members for the Pound for Piper Memorial Trust contributed towards the initial restoration of the North Sea Memorial Rose Garden, which included planting and pruning, cleaning of the monument and painting the surrounding benches. They also funded the garden interpretation board designed by local artist Nicola Cruickshank that has only recently been installed.
“Now we are handing over just over £185,000 – the remaining sum – to the Trust which we hope helps ensure this tranquil and beautiful spot continues to flourish for many years to come.”
Carol Banks, from the Pound for Piper Memorial Trust, said that the North Sea Memorial Rose Garden is a place of reflection and remembrance for the families and friends of those who lost their lives in what was the world’s worst offshore oil and gas disaster.
Lucy Norval, also from Pound for Piper, added that the money will help the Pound for Piper Trust and ground staff at Hazlehead Park keep the garden looking its best for years to come.
Lord Provost of Aberdeen George Adam, said: “The memorial garden and statue is a very special place for the people of Aberdeen and the wider oil and gas industry, particularly for those whose lives have been affected by this tragedy.”
He said that it is a place where people can go for quiet contemplation and reflection so it is essential that it is attractive, well looked after and maintained.
“Council staff work hard on its upkeep but the additional support from the oil and gas community, both on and offshore, has been a tremendous boost. We are extremely grateful for their generosity and hope we can continue to work together so the memory of the victims of the Piper Alpha tragedy lives on.”
On Wednesday, July 6, 1988 the Piper Alpha platform in the UK part of the North Sea was struck by an explosion which set the facility on fire, killing 167 men on board.
The platform, located in the North Sea approximately 110 miles from Aberdeen, Scotland, had 226 people on board at the time of the event. Only 61 survived. The platform was completely destroyed.