A salute to our Merchant Navy seafarers

Provost Carmichael raising the Red Ensign at Eastwood Park.
Provost Carmichael raising the Red Ensign at Eastwood Park.

To mark Merchant Navy Day, East Renfrewshire’s Provost Carmichael raised the Red Ensign at Eastwood Park to raise awareness of the dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers.

And residents, with close connections to the Merchant Navy, including Keith Fraser from Giffnock who was accompanied by his wife Moira, joined Provost Carmichael to help raise the flag and share stories and memories.

Mr Fraser who served as a Navigational Deck Officer 3rd Mate from 1955 until ‘61 spent most of his time in the North Atlantic travelling to Canada explained: “Celebrating the work of the Merchant Navy is a necessary thing to do.

“This is my first time coming along to the rising of the Merchant Navy Day flag event and it has been great to share memories of my time in the service.”

East Renfrewshire Council is supporting a nationwide call from the Seafarers UK charity and the Merchant Navy Association for the UK Merchant Navy’s official flag to be flown on public buildings and landmark flagstaffs.

Provost Carmichael who served as an Engineer in the Merchant Navy said: “The Merchant Navy past and present has often been an unsung service but many who have sailed the globe under our country’s colours have shown sacrifice and bravery.

“Merchant Navy Day is a way to celebrate all those who have carried out a range of roles over the years.”

As an ‘island nation’ the United Kingdom relies on the Merchant Navy and its seafarers for 95 per cent of our imports, including half the food we eat. The UK has the largest ports industry in Europe. 75 per cent of our exports (by volume) are shipped from UK ports.