Bibby' Blog - Tuesday 18th November
In last week's Gazette readers will have seen the special report covering the Rememberance Sunday services across the area.
People from Renfrewshire joined other people across Britain and the Commonwealth in remembering those people who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend freedom and democracy. I was honoured to attend the rememberance services at Johnstone High Parish and at Houstoun Square. As always local people turn out in great numbers to pay their respects. The United Services Club, Armed Forces representatives, Strathclyde Police and Strathclyde Fire Brigade were just some of the many local organisations that were in attendance
It was also very encouraging to see so many young people at the service with the Air Cadets and Boys Brigade in attendance. For younger people it can be difficult to imagine what people go through during confict. My grandfather was a Private in the British Army who fought in Italy in the Second World War. He died in 1995 but when I was younger I would often ask him about his experiences - I was fascinated by the subject at the time. He didn't really want to talk about it and perhaps naively I didn't fuly understand what he and so many other people went through.
Of course we also remember those men and women who have lost thier lives in other conflicts most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. Whatever our thoughts are about these conflicts we can not be in any doubt that our service men and women are doing an excellent job in very difficult circumstances.
It is great to see more recognition and support being given to our troops. The Royal British Legion have reported that in many areas they have seen a large increase in the number of poppies they have sold and the 'X Factor' television programme has helped raise £1million for the Help the Heroes Charity in the last three weeks alone.
This area in particular has a proud tradition of supporting our service men and women. I have been to fundraisers for both Erskine Hospital and the United Services Club in Johnstone in recent years and they are very well supported by local people. Erskine is well regarded across the UK and the Services Club in Johnstone is one of the oldest in the whole country. Both do excellent jobs and we should be proud that we do so much in this area to support our service men and women.