Lismore honour former players with memorial wood and benches
Lismore Rugby Club have unveiled a memorial wood and benches to pay tribute to club members who have left life’s playing field in recent years.
The Edinburgh-based club unveiled their place of remembrance at their annual Friends of Lismore lunch event, the first to have taken place since 2019 due to covid-19.
Members and associates of the club contributed over £1,400 in donations towards the project which allowed them to plant 45 trees close to their main pitch.
The club also installed three memorial benches, each displaying an embossed plaque with names of members they wished to honour.
Following the official opening by club stalwart John Munro, Lismore’s 2XV men welcomed their Forrester counterparts for a friendly fixture for which a minute's silence was held before kick-off.
Speaking at the event Club President, Hamish Skene said: “Lismore have always been a family club. We look after each other - on and off the field. Through good times and bad.
“We have lost a number of members and friends over the years, some to old age and many taken well before their time. Like any family this has hit us hard and there’s rarely a Saturday goes by when we don’t hear or tell a story of someone we have loved and lost and their antics on or off the pitch."
“We wanted to remember those no longer with us and provide a place where family and friends can come and reflect in a place where their loved ones enjoyed coming and spent many happy hours. We thought the idea of having a place to come and see the growth that comes from the memory of someone close to us would be very special.” Hamish Skene
Approximately 90 people attended the luncheon and opening of the woodland site, of which about 50 of those in attendance were family and friends of those the club were remembering.
Elinor Mitchell was one of those present as the club paid tribute to her late-husband Alastair who sadly passed away earlier this year, aged just 56.
“Losing Alastair so suddenly just eight weeks after his diagnosis with terminal oesophageal cancer was devastating,” said Elinor.
"One of the things that helped me and our girls get through these darkest of days was the kindness and support offered by others. Lismore was a big part of Alastair’s life as a player, supporter and as social secretary. The fact that the club have taken the time and effort to create such a beautiful memorial garden is just one example that demonstrates what a caring and inclusive club Lismore is.
"I was so touched on Saturday to be amongst a wider group of people who knew Alastair or had lost others. The garden is well designed, peaceful and a place I feel I could go to sit and be with my memories. Having a bench with Alastair’s name on it, in that space is so fitting and I know he’d be very happy to have prime spot watching the teams’ practice and play every week!
"I am so thankful to Lismore for making this happen.”
David Drummond, Scottish Rugby's Regional Director for the East, said: "Everyone at Scottish Rugby shares their condolences with the friends and family of Lismore as they remember those they have lost. Their gesture to create a special site of remembrance and reflection speaks volumes of the caring ethos embedded across the club's membership.”