Provost welcomes Russian Convoy Veterans to Inverness
Today (24 December) the Provost of Inverness hosted a reception in the Town House for a group of Russian Convoy Veterans who were visiting the Highlands as part of a UK Christmas tour of reunions with their British shipmates across the country.
The group of eight veterans included, Commander Yuri Alexandrov, Chairman of the Polar Convoy Club in St. Petersburg and 97 year old Anatoli Lifshits from Moscow.
Following a site-seeing tour around the city they join the Provost in the Town House where guests, including British Arctic Convoy veterans were waiting to give them a rousing welcome. The entertainment for the event was organised by The Highland-Russia Connection Charity and included rousing music and a dancing display.
Speaking after the reception, the Provost of Inverness Councillor Alex Graham said: “The Arctic Convoys left from Loch Ewe in Wester Ross carrying vital war supplies to our Russian Allies, and the heroism of their crews created an enduring bond between our countries. It was a privilege to welcome the Russian convoy veterans to Inverness and the Town House today and it was heartening to see the very warm welcome they were given by everyone. It was the ideal chance to show our appreciation and to reflect the high esteem in which they are held by everyone in the Highlands.”
The visit is reciprocal to the Russian hospitality when a group of British veterans of the Arctic Convoys visited Saint Petersburg in autumn this year for the 73rd Anniversary of the First Arctic Convoy ‘Dervish’ and the unveiling of the Memorial to the Heroism of the Arctic Convoy Sailors.
The veterans, who arrived in Edinburgh yesterday where they took part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Leith Merchant Navy Memorial, will now travel on to Newcastle, London and Portsmouth before being reunited with their families for New Year celebrations in Russia.