Times Past 30.10.09

25 Years Ago

The long-awaited news about a new lifeboat for Aith came this week from the RNLI.

The new Arun class boat, to be built at Fairey Marina in the Isle of Wight, will be first to be built in steel. The £370,000 lifeboat will be ready to take up station once a new breakwater at Aith is complete in 1986.

The new breakwater was needed before the RNLI could decide to allocate a new lifeboat to Aith so that the new boat could lie afloat at a sheltered mooring.

The SIC stepped in and agreed to give the RNLI a charitable trust grant of £450,000 to build the 370-foot breakwater and pontoon – a gesture which the RNLI described as “truly magnificent”. Work on the breakwater is expected to start next summer.

Oil companies operating offshore in the North Sea have already made several large donations towards the cost of the new lifeboat. So far the RNLI has received over £250,000 leaving £120,000 still to be found. Honorary secretary of Aith lifeboat, Mr Davy Garrick, said he was absolutely thrilled at the news.

Last year the Aith lifeboat celebrated 50 years of service.

50 Years Ago

A local gentleman at present on business in the USA had an unexpected meeting with a survivor of the crew of the American Flying Fortress which lost its way over Shetland in January 1947.

The local man was on a flight from Texas to San Francisco in one of his company’s private planes and in writing home to his parents tells of the occasion.

While at dinner, one of the pilots asked if by any chance any of the British party came from Shetland. During the conversation it transpired that the pilot was second pilot of the Fortress, Melton H Craven, of Texas.

Remember the occasion? The plane lost its way between Iceland and Prestwick, and the crew baled out near Lerwick as their fuel was running out. All were saved – thanks largely to the initiative of Mr Alex Gray, then a police sergeant who got the town lights switched on to act as a marker when it became obvious that the plane was in difficulties.

100 Years Ago

Shetland Women’s Suffrage Society – A number of those interested in the Women’s Suffrage movement met at Twageos on Saturday last week to consider the advisability of forming a Women’s Suffrage Society for Shetland.

After some discussion, it was unanimously decided to form a society, to be called the Shetland Women’s Suffrage Society, and to affiliate with the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, London. The object of this Union is to endeavour by constitutional and non-party – as opposed to violent – methods to obtain the extension of the Parliamentary Franchise to women, on the same terms as it is or may be granted to men.

After the formal constitution of the Society, the members proceeded to elect office-bearers.

Some discussion then took place as to the means of propaganda to be adopted; it was decided to supply “The Common Cause” (the organ of the movement) to the local Reading Room, and to endeavour by the distribution of literature to induce others to join the Society, and to secure the co-operation of electors in forwarding the movement.

The meeting then terminated with a hearty vote of thanks to Miss Jamieson.

Intending members will be enrolled on application to Miss Jamieson, Twageos, the minimum annual subscription being 1s. As the success of the whole movement largely depends on the increase of the membership of individual societies, it is earnestly requested that all sympathisers throughout the islands, men or women, enrol themselves among the workers for this cause.

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Anti-Socialist Union of Great Britain – The Executive of the Anti-Socialist Union of Great Britain has issued an appeal for a public fund of one million shillings to enable the Union to extend its work among the people and to obtain a fair representation for working men in Parliament.

The appeal states: – Our Union exists to show the people that the triumph of Socialism means the death of liberty, the negation of law, the destruction of order, the ruin of trade and public credit, the disruption of the Empire, the abolition of the Monarchy. Socialism derives its motive force from ignorance of economics. Already we have established schools where men are trained to fight its fallacies and to lay bare its quackeries. We want to extend our work by enabling the democratic forces of the country which we are now ranging against Socialism to obtain expression in the House of Commons. We know of vast masses of trade unionist workers who are chafing under the intolerable yoke of the Socialist “ring” (group), and who bitterly resent being made parties to the seditious and anti-national utterances of Socialist members of Parliament. The work of the Union has increased ten-fold during the year it has been in existence, and the urgent demands which we are receiving daily from every part of the country for speakers and workers is the best evidence that a great need exists for an army to fight the Socialist peril. Hundreds of men and women who are alive to the danger are anxious to attend the classes, and serve the Union, if they could afford to give up the time from their daily work. To train these as teachers and lecturers, and to pay them while they are fitting themselves for the task, costs money. Funds are required, urgently required, if the work is to be done.


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