As a Norwegian and volunteer crew member of the Christian Radich which arrived in Lerwick on 21st July I am writing to express thanks for all the kindness and concern shown by Shetlanders to myself and fellow Norwegians who were in Lerwick when the tragic killing of innocent people happened in Oslo and Utøya on 22nd July.
From speaking to fellow crew members and other Norwegians on that day and until they left Shetland I know that they felt supported and comforted by the response of Shetlanders and many took part in the service at Holmsgarth and met together on the Statsraad Lehmkuhl. They were also full of praise for all the Tall Ships events.
Shetland and Norway share much historically but also in the present day with the welcome provided to strangers and the inclusiveness of their societies.
My father escaped from Norway to Scotland by boat in February 1941 to resist the occupation and destruction of his country, and as Jens Stoltenberg, the Norwegian Prime Minister said after the tragedy, the Norwegian response to tragedy is “more democracy, more openness and greater political participation”.
Individuals and groups both in Norway and Scotland that oppose immigration and multi-cultural, multi-faith and multi-racial societies must be challenged vigorously and I am confident that Shetlanders, Scots and all reasonable people throughout Britain will share these sentiments.
Thank you Shetland for demonstrating these values in your quiet concern and kindness – the Tall Ships of friendship and concern for others will keep sailing despite the tragedy.
17 Ord Terrace,