Red turbines and projection of the lost for the Iolaire

The faces of Iolaire victims from the Point and Sandwick area are to be projected at night on December 31 and January 1, as part of our remembrance of the tragedy on the 100th anniversary.

A video of around 40 portraits and photographs – supplied by Margaret Ferguson, whose exhibition of 100 Iolaire portraits opens today (Saturday, December 29) in An Lanntair, and Acair, publishers of The Darkest Dawn book on the tragedy – will be projected onto the side of the Old Knock School, where the Point and Sandwick Trust offices are located.

At the same time, the Christmas lights will be turned off and the three turbines at Beinn Ghrideag and the rest of the old school building will also be lit up red again – just as we did during the Poppy Scotland Light Up Red campaign for Remembrance Day.

The idea for the projection of lost Iolaire sailors came from our community wind farm developer, Calum MacDonald, and was executed by Tony Robson, Point and Sandwick Trust’s retained engineering consultant, and OnTime Computer Services in Stornoway. 

Tony explained that he had used an LED projector, the type used for watching videos in the garden, bought from Amazon, and OnTime Computer Services had converted the selection of pictures and photographs and other relevant imagery into a video, so it could play on a continual loop.

Donald Macaskill of OnTime Computer Services, based on Rigs Road, said it was his son, Steven, who had created the video. “It’s very good,” he said, “but it’s quite touching, really.”

The pictures of the projection were taken by Sandie Maciver during a test run on Thursday night (December 27).

Calum MacDonald said: “The Iolaire was such a colossal loss to the whole of our islands that we sometimes struggle to grasp the individual, family and human scale of the tragedy. But these portraits and photographs still speak to us vividly and can help to bring home the sheer heroism of that generation – not just those who lost their lives on that awful night but all those who were touched by those four terrible years of war.”

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, 

We will remember them.

• All pictures used here are by Sandie Maciver of SandiePhotos