An annual Armistice Day event in Inverness will not take place in its traditional venue outside the Town House on Saturday.
The Town House is the usual venue for the two-minute silence when Armistice Day falls on a weekday.
It is believed a ceremony has been held there almost every year since 1919.
But this year, the city’s service and silence will instead be held at the city’s Falcon Square. The event is organised by the Inverness branch of Royal British Legion Scotland (RBLS).
The change has been described as “disappointing”, and won’t be “the same” if it isn’t at the Town House.
Sunday’s Remembrance Day Parade will go ahead as normal.
Silence marks end of fighting
The two-minute silence is held at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month to mark the agreement to end the fighting of the First World War.
The local events honour the lives lost in the First World War, the Second World War, and later conflicts.
Inverness councillor Duncan Macpherson said he was “disappointed and surprised” that Saturday’s event is not being held at the Town House.
“It’s disappointing because normally it’s led by the town rather than the British Legion.
“The Eastgate Centre is not the place where it should be held. It should be held outside the civic venue where major events take place.
“It’s a significant moment in the calendar but it’s fallen on a Saturday so we have decided to ignore it this year.”
Fellow councillor Isabelle MacKenzie said there is a “silver lining” in an event going ahead in Falcon Square.
“Across the UK every city will be marking the 11th hour of the 11th day and Inverness will not be marking it at its landmark Town House.
‘It’s not the same’
“We have slightly changed the tradition this year and Falcon Square is a very notable open space.
“But it’s not the same if it’s not at the Town House where it’s been for more than 100 years.
“However it is an important date in the calendar of many people and a lot of us will have the opportunity to pay our respects.”
Bart Lucas is chairman and treasurer of RBLS Inverness branch. He said he is pleased an event is going ahead in the city centre.
“The city is not able to recognise this event outside the Town House this year, so it is being moved to Falcon Square.
“The country has been holding these events for over 100 years and it’s important they continue.”
Wreath laying ceremonies
Inverness Provost Glynis Campbell Sinclair will attend Saturday’s event at Falcon Square.
A Highland Council spokesman said: “We did receive an enquiry from the Royal British Legion as to our arrangements for 11th November.
“Following discussion between RBL and the council arrangements have been made to facilitate the event at Falcon Square, noting that many people will be out using Eastgate as on this occasion the event falls on a Saturday.”
The change of venue has meant alterations to timings of wreath laying events held on Remembrance Saturday.
The Queen’s Own Highlanders Memorial in Bank Street will be at 10.15am. The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders Memorial in Station Square will be at 10.30am.
On Sunday, the Remembrance Day Parade will depart from Huntly Street at 2.20pm for the 3pm service at Cavell Gardens.
Last year plans were approved to stop using the Town House as an office space.
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