An Erskine Tree of Honour stands proudly in each of the Veteran charity’s four homes, following the annual tree dedication and lighting ceremonies last night. Purple Stars of Honour, representing loved ones no longer here to celebrate Christmas with family and friends, adorn the trees.
The Erskine Star of Honour appeal asks Erskine supporters to send their stars with personal messages in memory of someone special. Once the trees are full the remaining stars are displayed in the Erskine Field of Stars in the grounds of the Erskine Estate in Bishopton, or in and around the other homes.
At The Erskine Home in Bishopton Pony Major Cpl Mark Williamson and Cpl Cruachan IV, Regimental Mascot of the Royal Regiment of Scotland led a candlelight procession through the Veterans’ Village, joining them were Bargarran Primary School children; volunteer George Brabender, Therapet Bailey and the Kilbarchan Pipe Band.
Chaplain Graham Morrison led the Service of Dedication. The gathering of residents, families and friends enjoyed Christmas Carols and The Lone Piper Lament before the dedication. Erskine Resident Roberta Paterson (aged 88) then had the most important task of the evening – switching on the Tree of Honour lights. Roberta said: ‘What a treat to be asked to turn on the lights it’s a very special moment for me”. With the beautiful tree now lit Erskine Chief Executive Ian Cumming closed the service with a few well-chosen words before inviting everyone back to The Bunker to enjoy Christmas refreshments and some live entertainment from Boogie Box Jive.
The Erskine Home Tree of Honour event is once again sponsored by Central Car Auctions of Glasgow. Chairman Jonathan Miller said: “We are delighted to support Erskine’s Tree of Honour. It is a special event that celebrates the festive spirit at Erskine. We are pleased to support the charity and in particular an event that is enjoyed by Veterans, families and members of the local community alike.”
Erskine Chief Executive, Ian Cumming MBE said: “Our Tree of Honour services lead us into the Christmas season but also offer us the opportunity to remember those loved ones who will be missing from celebrations at this special time of year. For our Veterans, those reflections are very personal as they remember colleagues who didn’t come home. Our special thanks to Central Car Auctions for their long term commitment in support of our Veterans and also to Atalian Servest who once again have generously donated the magnificent tree which stands proudly at the entrance to The Erskine Home”.